top of page

1928: Queen Victoria's Usher buried in Cuckfield

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 10 January 1928



A prominent family with Cuckfleld connections sustained a bereavement on New Year’s Day by the death of Aubrey FitzClarence, fourth Earl Munster, passing away at Thorpe Malson Hall, Kettering, at the age of 65.

His Lordship, who was unmarried, was the fifth son of the second Earl, who for some years resided at 23 Palmeira Square. Hove, and Leyton House, Cuckfield. While resident locally about 1870 the second Earl lost his eldest son, Edward Viscount FitzClarence, an invalid lad of fourteen, and a family vault was constructed in Cuckfield Cemetery.

Photograph, Aubrey FitzClarence, 4th Earl of Munster (1862-1928) by A. J. Langton, photographer.Signed 'Munster, 1902'

The second Earl died in 1901, and was succeeded by another son, Geoffrey George Gordon FitzClarence, who was killed in South Africa and was succeeded by his younger brother, who has just died. The Earldom, which also carries with it the titles of Viscount FitzClarence and Baron Tewkesbury, was created in 1831. The first holder was the eldest of nine children born to King William IV by Mrs. Jordan. The late Earl was formerly


He was succeeded by his nephew, Mr. Geoffrey William Richard Hugh FitzClarence, son of the late Major the Hon. Henry Edward FitzClarence M.C., formerly Governor of Manchester Prison. The new Earl was born in 1906. There is no connection with the Munster family, which formerly resided at Maresfield Park.

The funeral of Lord Munster took place in Cuckfield on Friday afternoon, the coffin having been brought down from Kettering on Thursday and placed in the Parish Church.

Prior to the service the Organist (Mr. Eric Mc Lellan) played “O Rest the Lord”. The mourners were Lilian Boyd and Lady Dorothea Lee-Warner (sisters), Mr. Geoffrey FitzClarence (the new Earl, nephew), Major and Mrs. Cokayne Maunsell (nephew and niece), Major Lee-Warner (brother-in-law), Mrs. Elborough (niece), Mr. Henry FitzClarence, Mr. Lionel FitzClarence and Annette FitzClarenoe (cousins), the Hon. Mildred Campbell (Little .Minster), Mr. Gerald Wood (Hove), and the late Earl's valet and cook, Mr. William Law and Miss Kennedy,

The cortege, was met at the west door by the Rev. Canon C. W. G. Wilson (Vicar), the Rev. S. G. Farrar, and the choir headed by processional cross. The choral portions of the service included Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd,” and the hymn “O God, our, Help ages past” On leaving the church. the “Nunc Dimltlis” was chanted, and, the hymn


was sung on the way to the graveside.

The grave, which was lined with evergreens, was situated in a piece of ground enclosed by a kerbstone, and adjoining the family vault, which was last opened In 1906 to receive the remains of the second Earl's widow’. The unpolished oak coffin bore the inscription:—


5th Earl of Munster,

Born June 7th 1862

Died January 1, 1928.

The beautiful floral tributes were sent by Lady Lilian Boyd; Major and Lady Dorothea Lee-Warner; Lionel, Dora and Annette, and Dorothy Elborough; Joe and Joan and Geoffrey FitzClarence; Mr. and Mrs. H. E. FitzClarence; Mrs. Maunsell and the Misses Maunsell (Kettering); Major and Mrs. Maunsell (Kettering); Sir Philip and Lady Waterlow (Wrotham. Kent); Mrs. F. C. Vaughan Powell (nee Maunsell), and the Rev. and Mrs. F. H. Waller- Bridge (Worth): Mrs. Buxton (Wootten Bassett); Mrs. James McLean (Lonon); Mrs. Charles I. King (London); Sydney Carroll; Mary Wing; Mr. Ramsay L’Amy and the Misses L’Amy (London) ;• Leila (Mrs. Stafford, London); Amy Elliott Wood ; Admiral and Mrs. Albert B. Jenkings, Hubert Langley and Miss Florence Langley (London); his faithful servants; Knight and Mrs. Knight; Mrs. T. Mark Hoveil; Ruby and all at Tyberton. Several wreaths bore no names.

Messrs. G. Hilton and Sons, of Haywards Heath, assisted with the funeral arrangements at Cuckfield.

Photograph courtesy of The National Trust Collection


bottom of page