Bridget Monckton, 11th Lady Ruthven of Freeland
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Bridget Monckton, 11th Lady Ruthven of Freeland

The Viscountess Monckton

Member of the House of Lords

Personal details
Bridget Helen Hore-Ruthven

(1896-07-27)27 July 1896
Died17 April 1982(1982-04-17) (aged 85)
Political partyConservative
(m. 1918; div. 1947)

RelationsAlison Mary Hore-Ruthven (sister)
Margaret Leslie Hore-Ruthven (sister)
Children2, including Charles
ParentsWalter Hore-Ruthven, 10th Lord Ruthven of Freeland
Jean Lampson

Bridget Helen "Biddy" Monckton, 11th Lady Ruthven of Freeland, Dowager Viscountess of Monckton, CBE (27 July 1896 - 17 April 1982) was a British peeress and Conservative member of the House of Lords best remembered as the wartime commander of women's services in India.

Early life

The Honourable Bridget Hore-Ruthven was born in 1896, the eldest of the four daughters of Major-General Walter Hore-Ruthven, 10th Lord Ruthven of Freeland and the former Jean Lampson. Among her sisters were Hon. Jean Elisabeth St Loe Hore-Ruthven (wife of Don Francisco Larios, only son of Don Ernesto Larios) and Hon. Alison Mary Hore-Ruthven (wife of Cdr Sir John Leighton Barran, 3rd Baronet) and Hon. Margaret Leslie Hore-Ruthven (wife of Peter Llewelyn Davies).[1]

Her paternal grandparents were Walter James Hore-Ruthven, 9th Lord Ruthven of Freeland and Lady Caroline Annesley Gore (a daughter of Philip Gore, 4th Earl of Arran).[1] Her maternal grandfather was Norman George Lampson, DL, JP, younger son of Sir Curtis Lampson, 1st Baronet. Bridget was therefore the niece both of Miles Lampson, 1st Baron Killearn, and of Alexander Hore-Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie.[1]


At the beginning of the Second World War, Lady Carlisle was a Senior Controller of the Auxiliary Territorial Service. The Countess of Carlisle was then promoted to become the Director of the Women's Auxiliary Corps (India) - the Indian counterpart of the ATS - and of the Women's Royal Indian Naval Service (WRINS). For her work in command, she was appointed a CBE (military division) in 1947.[2]

From 1962 to 1874, Lady Monckton was the Chairman of the charity Attend: the National Association of Leagues of Hospital Friends.[3] From 1977 to 1978, she returned to office at the charity when elected to be the President of Attend.[3]


Her father's title dated back to 1651 and was in the peerage of Scotland, hence the form: the Lord Ruthven, rather than Baron Ruthven, which meant that, unlike most English, Irish, British and UK titles, it could be inherited, as a matter of course, by a daughter. Therefore, upon the death of her father in 1956, Lady Monckton inherited the lordship of Ruthven of Freeland. She was now, suo jure, the Lady Ruthven of Freeland. In 1957, her husband received a peerage too, when he was created the first Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. Lady Ruthven of Freeland's marital title was now: the Viscountess Monckton of Brenchley.

Although entitled to a Scottish peerage, Bridget was not initially entitled to membership of the legislature. However, from 1963 she did take her seat in the House of Lords, after the new Peerage Act 1963 gave all Scottish peers and all female holders of hereditary peerages the right to sit in the upper chamber of parliament.[4] Unusually, she sat concurrently with her son and with her second husband, plus her cousins mentioned above.

Personal life

On 17 January 1918 she married George Howard, 11th Earl of Carlisle, becoming the Countess of Carlisle. They had two children:

In 1947, Lord and Lady Carlisle divorced. Lady Carlisle then married Sir Walter Monckton on 13 August 1947, becoming Lady Monckton. Sir Walter was previously married to Mary Adelaide Somes Colyer-Fergusson (the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Colyer-Fergusson, 3rd Baronet). The couple had no children together, but both had offspring from their previous marriages.[1]

Lady Monckton of Brenchley died in April 1982, aged 85, and was succeeded in her own title by her son, who was already the Earl of Carlisle.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ruthven of Freeland, Lord (S, 1651)". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD" (PDF). The London Gazette. 1 January 1947. p. 10. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Attend VIPs | Attend". Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ a b Bridget Helen Hore-Ruthven, Lady Ruthven of Freeland profile,; accessed 2 April 2016.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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