- Also known as
Hugh Cecil Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale
primary name: Lowther, Hugh Cecil
other name: (Earl of) Lonsdale
- individual; collector; athlete/sportsman; British; Male
- Life dates
- Studied at Eton College for two years, leaving at age 12 to learn outdoor sports in his father's stables at Ashfordby, near Melton Mowbray. 1878, married Lady Grace Cecilie Gordon (1854–1941), third daughter of Charles Gordon, tenth Marquess of Huntly. 1879, travelled to American Middle West. Inherited Earldom in 1882. Houses: Lowther Castle, Whitehaven Castle, the large hunting-box at Barleythorpe in Rutland, and two houses in Carlton House Terrace knocked into one. 1885, travelled to New York. 1888-89, travelled 6000 km up the Mackenzie River and across northern Alaska; reached Arctic circle; returned to San Francisco. Obtained numerous artefacts during his travels; presented most of huge collection to British Museum.
Chairman of the boxing committee of the Pelican Club (aristocratic sports club in Gerrard Street). First President of the National Sporting Club; introduced new boxing championship trophy, named the Lonsdale belt after he donated the first belt in 1909. First President of Automobile Association. In 1907 he was the first president of the International Horse Show at Olympia.
During First World War, he helped found Blue Cross (his wife, Grace, was appointed CBE for her Red Cross work). His chief role was as a recruiter both of horses and men. ‘Are you a man or a mouse?’ asked his posters, distributed among the northern towns. The enlisted men, officially named the ‘Lonsdale battalion’, were reduced to scarcely a quarter of their number at the Somme.
- Shepard Krech II, 'A Victorian Earl in the Arctic: the travel and collections of the fifth Earl of Lonsdale 1888-1889', BMP, 1989.