The Right Honourable Allen Bathurst, formerly Lord Apsley, on the passing of his father 16th October 2011 became the 9th Earl Bathurst. The Earl lives with his wife the Countess Sara, Lady Bathurst, at Cirencester Park, the Bathurst family seat. The Park is a wonderful example of geometric design and is reputed to be the finest example of forest parkland. Within the estate is the famous polo ground, founded in 1894, the oldest playing ground in the United Kingdom.
Popular among the important members of Gloucestershire and Cotswold society, Earl Bathurst is known for his amiable and forthright personality. Hard working, fair minded, and a man of the people with a clear approach to duty and among other things currently an avid supporter of ‘Help the Heroes’.
Locally, Lord of Cirencester, serving on several charitable boards, he is a director of the Housing Society and Trustee of the St Lawrence Hospital Trust. As an ambassador of agriculture, his limits are boundless. Undoubtedly his largest commitment is to the efficient running of the large and well organized Bathurst Estate, covering some 15,000 acres of supreme countryside. Earl Bathurst is Director of the Cirencester Housing Society and a governor of the family connected Royal Agricultural College. He is Director of the annual Cotswold Country Fair, past President of the Three Counties Agricultural Society and is President of the Gloucestershire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, FWAG.
His involvement with the National Farmers Union has had far reaching effect. As a conservationist, Earl Bathurst has campaigned to preserve the rural countryside and various historic buildings. He has done much to encourage sensitive farming methods and has gained awards for his approaches to the improvement and sanctuary of wildlife.
Earl Bathurst is a Patron of the Cotswolds Museum Trust and the Countess Lady Bathurst is Patron of the cancer charity LINC and national Vice President of the Royal British Legion’s women’s section. The Right Honourable Ninth Earl Bathurst will be following his eminent predecessors who have variously held prominent positions of distinction in government, a Lord Chancellor, Solicitor General, military heroes and sporting sponsors, nationally and internationally. The Third Earl Bathurst was Secretary of State for War and Colonies during the Napoleonic Wars and was a great supporter of the Duke of Wellington, or indeed vice versa.
Without doubt, our distinguished Patron is a man of great integrity, probity and responsibility, he has an empathy with all things truly British and is sympathetic with our historical traditions. We can consider ourselves most fortunate to have such an influential and suitable patron in the Right Honourable Earl Bathurst.
Postscript – A very interesting ‘Freedom’ connection exists within the historical background to a club that still exists today, namely the “Cirencester Society in London”. Founded before 1692, the objects of the Society include the apprenticeship of poor Cirencester boys to Freemen of the City of London to take up useful handicraft trades. Of course much has changed, but the Society still continues to give money in support of apprentices going to London from Cirencester. This year they are aiding an apprentice in her training and career as a promising stone mason.
Alan Shelley, October 2011, for the Association of ‘Freemen of England and Wales’.