Hugh Cholmondeley, 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley: A British Peer with an Illustrious Legacy

Lord Cholmondeley's coat of arms Houghton Hall in Norfolk, ancestral home of the Marquess of Cholmondeley since the establishment of the title in 1815, has now opened some of its rooms to the public. The...

Hugh Cholmondeley, 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley Lord Cholmondeley's coat of arms

Houghton Hall in Norfolk Houghton Hall in Norfolk, ancestral home of the Marquess of Cholmondeley since the establishment of the title in 1815, has now opened some of its rooms to the public.

The legacy of Lord Hugh Cholmondeley, the 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley, GCVO, MC, DL, remains etched in British history as a prominent British peer who served as Lord Great Chamberlain of England from 1968 to 1990. Born on April 24, 1919, in St George Hanover Square, London, Lord Cholmondeley descended from Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. His father, George Cholmondeley, was the 5th Marquess of Cholmondeley, and his mother, Sybil Sassoon, hailed from the distinguished Jewish Sassoon and Rothschild families.

Education played a significant role in Lord Cholmondeley's life, as he followed in the footsteps of his ancestors by attending Eton, a prestigious school. Afterward, he pursued higher education at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. With a strong academic foundation, Lord Cholmondeley embarked on a remarkable journey in the British army, serving first in the Grenadier Guards and later in the 1st Royal Dragoons. Throughout the Second World War, he displayed exceptional bravery, seeing action in the Middle East, Italy, France, and Germany. In recognition of his gallantry, he was decorated with the Military Cross (MC) in 1943, making a lasting contribution to his military career. By the time he retired from the army in 1949, Lord Cholmondeley had reached the rank of Major.

In 1968, Lord Cholmondeley succeeded his father, inheriting the family's vast lands, estates, and title. He resided at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire until his passing on March 13, 1990. Throughout his lifetime, Lord Cholmondeley was known for his dedication to public service and commitment to his role as Lord Great Chamberlain.

Marriage and family played important roles in Lord Cholmondeley's life. He married Lavinia Margaret Leslie, daughter of Colonel John Leslie, on June 14, 1947. Together, they had four children. Lady Rose Aline Cholmondeley, his eldest daughter, is a renowned concert pianist and the President of the Chopin Society UK. Lady Margot Lavinia Cholmondeley, his second daughter, married Walter Anthony Huston and is the mother of actor Jack Huston. Lady Caroline Mary Cholmondeley, his third daughter, married Rodolphe Frederic d'Erlanger, and they have children of their own. Finally, David George Philip Cholmondeley, as the eldest son and successor, became the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley upon his father's passing. Lavinia, Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley, continued to live at Cholmondeley Castle.

The family's ancestral homes include Houghton Hall in Norfolk and Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire, surrounded by a vast 7,500-acre estate. These properties hold a profound historical significance for the Cholmondeley family, representing their heritage and rich cultural legacy.

One of the remarkable features of Lord Cholmondeley's family history is their hereditary honor as part of the ancient office of Lord Great Chamberlain. This inheritance was acquired through the marriage of the first Marquess of Cholmondeley to Lady Georgiana Charlotte Bertie, daughter of Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven. Remarkably, several generations of the Cholmondeley family have held this honorable position, including the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh holders of the marquessate.

Lord Hugh Cholmondeley's remarkable life and contributions continue to inspire and shape British history. His dedication to public service, his military achievements, and the preservation of his family's heritage have left an indelible mark on the legacy of the Cholmondeley family. The Cholmondeley name will forever be associated with honor, integrity, and an enduring commitment to the British nation.


  • Debrett, John, Charles Kidd, David Williamson. (1990). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage. New York: Macmillan.
  • Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage: 107th Edition. Burke's Peerage. 2003.

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