The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Sir Ivor Guest

Sir Ivor Guest in fancy dress

The sitter is unidentified but is probably the Welsh industrialist Sir Ivor Guest (1835-1914), elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Wimborne in 1880.

Sir Ivor Bertie Guest was born at Dowlais, near Merthyr Tydfil, the son of Lady Charlotte Guest, translator of the Mabinogion, and Sir John Josiah Guest, owner of the world's largest iron foundry, Dowlais Ironworks. Educated at Harrow School in Middlesex, he went on to gain a Master of Arts degree from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1856.

On 25 May 1868 Guest married Lady Cornelia Henrietta Maria Spencer-Churchill, daughter of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, a huge step up the social ladder for a mere baronet.

Guest was generally regarded as a snob and social climber; so much so that he was lampooned in Vanity Fair as ‘the paying Guest’.

Guest had succeeded his father to his baronetcy in 1852. In 1880, on Disraeli’s initiative, he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Wimborne, of Canford Magna in the County of Dorset. Starting in 1874 he made several unsuccessful attempts to gain a seat in Parliament on the Conservative ticket but following Chamberlain's tariff reforms he left the Conservative party and sat in the House of Lords as a Liberal.

He died on 22 February 1914 at Canford Manor in Dorset and was succeeded by his son, Ivor Churchill Guest, later created Viscount Wimborne.

Photographed by Arthur J. Melhuish of London.


Code: 123729
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