Thomas Powys, 4th Baron Lilford

Thomas Powys, 4th Baron Lilford

Thomas Littleton Powys, 4th Baron Lilford (March 18, 1833-June 17, 1896), was a British aristocrat and ornithologist.

Lilford was the eldest son of Thomas Powys, 3rd Baron Lilford, and Hon. Mary Elizabeth Fox, daughter of Henry Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland. He succeeded his father as fourth Baron in 1861. Lilford was one of the eight founders of the British Ornithologists' Union in 1858 and its President from 1867 until his death. He was also the first President of the Northamptonshire Natural History Society.

Lilford travelled widely, especially in the Mediterranean Region and his extensive collection of birds was maintained in the grounds of his main residence at Lilford Hall, his second residence being the jacobean mansion of Bank Hall in Bretherton, Lancashire, which he inherited from his father (3rd Baron Lilford), who had inherited the Bank Hall Estate from George Anthony Leigh Keck a year before. Until 1991, his aviaries featured birds from around the globe, including rheas, kiwis, Pink-headed Ducks and even a pair of free-flying Lammergeiers. He was responsible for the introduction of the Little Owl into England in the 1880s.

He also wrote about birds. His books included "Notes on the Birds of Northamptonshire and Neighbourhood" (1895) and "Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Islands", which was completed by Osbert Salvin after his death.

Lord Lilford married, firstly, Emma Elizabeth Brandling, daughter of Robert William Brandling, in 1859. After her death in 1884 he married, secondly, Clementina, daughter of Ker Baillie-Hamilton, in 1885. He died in June 1896, aged 63, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son from his first marriage, John. Lady Lilford died in 1929. A metal plaque commemorating a "Cedar of Atlantica" planted by Lady Lilford in 1897, was found at Bank Hall by a member of the Bank Hall Action Group in 2005 and is now on display in the Visitor Centre at Bank Hall.


*Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). "Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage" (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
* [ Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page]
* []

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