Henry Gordon



1848 - 1928











Henry Gordon

Henry Gordon of Manar was born on 21st January 1848, and was not due to inherit Manar, but his older brother Hugh died in 1857 at Lucknow in India as a young ensign in the 90th Light Infantry. This was a calamity which from later records clearly stunned the family. So at the age of about 9, Henry became the heir to the Manar Estate.

Henry joined the Gordon Highlanders as an Ensign in October 1867, transferring to the Rifle Brigade in January 1870, but he retired from the army in the following year. He succeeded to Manar in 1874 on the death of his father, and three weeks later got married to Ellen Hall, the daughter of Sir Charles Hall. He was appointed a JP and Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire in 1876 at the age of 28.

Henry Gordon and Ellen Hall had one daughter, Elizabeth Cruger Gordon, born on 9th May 1875. She would live until 3rd May 1950, marrying Sir John Shuckburgh Risley on 9th August 1900. They in turn had one daughter, an only child, named Elizabeth Gordon Shuckburgh Risley (later Elizabeth Risley-Hutt), born in Kensington on 20th May 1901, married in Kensington in 1922, who lived until 1985 (died in Torbay) but had no children. Thus this line from Henry Gordon of Manar's first marriage died out.

Henry Gordon's second marriage was to Ellen Coates, born on 31st January 1875, and they had three children: Henry Robert Gordon (whose descendants survive and run this website) born 18th March 1892, Ian Gordon (born 24th November 1898, later a Lieutenant in the Buffs, London and East Kent Regiment), and Aileen Mary ('Babs') Gordon (who was born on 1st July 1904 and had one son, who never married).

Henry Gordon of Manar had poor financial judgment, managing to run a successful and remunerative estate into debt. He moved to London (though the Estate was not sold until 1946), becoming a recruiting officer during the First World War, and frequenting London clubs. However, by the 1920's his life was much diminished from the wealth and status he had inherited.

In contrast, his son and heir, Henry Robert Gordon gained respect and reputation, as an invalided officer in the Great War, and for a key role at Ashridge House when it was turned into an emergency hospital in World War II, for which he was awarded the O.B.E. His approach was scholarly and assiduous, and he spent long hours reading and writing in a large private library. Works included 'A Rambler's Companion' and 'A History of Ashridge'. His eldest son Henry Langston Gordon (Sandy) was sadly killed in Burma serving in the Gordon Highlanders and then the Gloucesters. His younger son Leslie Gordon flew in Lancasters in World War Two, and daughters Barbara and Sheila - 'The Gordon Twins' - worked at Bletchley Park. He also had a daughter 'Boodles' (Kathleen) who had fine insights when it came to antiques, and a surviving daughter Jean who lives in Argyll, and is a well-known dog-breeder and show-judge as was her mother Kathleen (Langston) Gordon.

Henry Robert Gordon's family continues to thrive with at present about 35 surviving descendants.

Henry Gordon of Manar died on 1st January 1928 at the age of 79. He was buried in the Old Chiswick cemetery.

Collated and summarised by Susannah Clark, 15th October 2017

(Great-Granddaughter of Henry Gordon of Manar)







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