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DateOriginal Topic
9th February 2004Chelmsford - Then and Now
By Ed Coan
A few Chelmsford-related questions to one and all:
1. Has there been a serious biography of Lord Chelmsford does anyone know?
2. Was Frederic Thesiger the explorer his grandson and therefore Lord Chelmsford?
3. If not, who is/was?


9th February 2004John Young

1; No there has not been a serious biography of the 2nd Baron Lord Chelmsford. I touted an idea I had for one some years ago to several publishers - the idea was met with a lack of interest.

2; The explorer was Sir Wilfred Thesiger, he was indeed the grandson of the 2nd Baron Lord Chelmsford. He was not however the Lord Chelmsford.

3; The eldest son of the 2nd Baron Lord Chelmsford, became the 3rd Baron on the death of his father in 1905. The 3rd Baron became Viceroy of India, and for his services was elevated in the ranks of the Peerage to become 1st Viscount Lord Chelmsford.

His son followed him to become 2nd Viscount Lord Chelmsford, whilst in post-war Berlin he met with an American intelligence officer, by the name of Donald R. Morris. On his death the title was inherited by Jan Thesiger, who became 3rd Viscount. Jan was only of the original Patrons of the Anglo-Zulu War Research Society, sadly he died in 1999. He was last Lord Chelmsford to sit in the House of Lords.

Jan's son, Kim, became the 4th & current Viscount on the death of his father.

Hope that helps,

John Y.
10th February 2004John Young

Sorry just seen an error, the line above should read - Jan was one of the original...

Problem with trying to type with a broken shoulder!

10th February 2004Ed Coan
Thanks John - also spotted the obvious error in my original mail, in referring to Frederic and not Sir Wilfred.

Do I conclude that Sir Wilfred was Jan's younger brother?

10th February 2004John Young

You conclude incorrectly. I believe that Sir Wilfred was Jan's great-uncle.

Line progresses through the eldest son. The 2nd Baron's eldest son was Frederic John Napier Thesiger, I believe Wilfred's father was the third son.

Tucked away in one of my books I do have the lineage in Jan's own hand, this was due to the fact that John Laband had made an error in his edited work on Lord Chelmsford's papers.

I notice that the current & 4th Viscount is actually listed as Frederic Corin Piers Thesiger, I assume that 'Kim' is the name he uses.

If any publisher wants a biography on the 2nd baron, I'll willing brush up on the Thesiger family-tree.

John Y.
11th February 2004Julian Whybra
The barony is still extant thus the 4th viscount Chelmsford is also the 6th Baron. If you want to dicover the family connections you can tap in The Complete Peerage into your search engine and a mini-Burke's Peerage website will appear or go to your local central county library and consult the Burke's Peerage which is fairly standard as a reference work.
11th February 2004Steven Etchells
Was the meeting between him and Donald Morris a coincidence?
11th February 2004John Young

I believe that the 2nd Viscount was working in the region as part of the post-war administration. Jan, the late 3rd Viscount, mentioned the meeting to me. By the mid-1950's it would appear Morris was interested in the campaign, and meant very well have sought him out.

John Y.