Gilbert Sackville, 8th Earl De La Warr

Major Gilbert George Reginald Sackville, 8th Earl De La Warr JP, DL (22 March 1869 – 16 December 1915), styled The Honourable Gilbert Sackville until 1890 and Viscount Cantelupe between 1890 and 1896, was a British landowner, politician and soldier.

"Bexhill and Dunlop". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1896.


Sackville was the second but only surviving son of Reginald Sackville, 7th Earl De La Warr, by the Honourable Constance Mary Elizabeth Baillie-Cochrane, daughter of Alexander Baillie-Cochrane, 1st Baron Lamington. He was educated at Charterhouse School. He became heir apparent to the earldom in 1890 when his elder brother, Lionel Charles Cranford, Lord Cantelupe, died without issue in a boating accident on Belfast Lough aged twenty one.[1][2] Sackville, now taking the name Lord Cantelupe as a courtesy title, twice played cricket at first-class level during the 1890s, in the second match captaining a team under the name "Earl de la Warr's XI" against the touring Australians at his private manor cricket ground.[3] His brother-in-law, Freeman Thomas, also played at first-class level.[4]

Public lifeEdit

Lord Cantelupe was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Sussex in 1891.[5] He became a second lieutenant in the 2nd (Cinque Ports) (or Eastern) Division of the Royal Artillery in 1891,[6] was promoted to lieutenant in 1893[7] and to captain in 1894.[8] In January 1896 he succeeded his father in the earldom, aged 25.[1][2] He resigned his army commission later that year.[9] However, he was re-appointed captain in the 2nd Cinque Ports Division in 1900[10] and fought in the Second Boer War, where he was wounded at Vryheid.[2] He was promoted to major in 1901[11] but once again resigned his commission in 1902.[12]

In 1903 and 1904 De La Warr was Mayor of Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, a town mainly owned by the Sackville family. He was also a County Alderman and Justice of the Peace of Sussex.[1] He served in the First World War but relinquished his commission as a temporary major in The Southdown Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment in November 1914.[13] He later fought in the war as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and was killed at sea while on active service in December 1915.[2]


Lord De La Warr married firstly Lady Muriel Agnes Brassey, daughter of Thomas Brassey, 1st Earl Brassey, and Anna Allnutt, in 1890,[14] spending their honeymoon at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight. They had one son and two daughters, Lady Idina Sackville and Lady Avice Ela Murial Sackville, wife of Sir Stewart Menzies. Lord and Lady De La Warr were divorced in 1902. Lady De La Warr died in August 1930.

Lord De La Warr married secondly Hilda Mary Clavering Tredcroft, daughter of Colonel Charles Lennox Tredcroft, in 1903. There were no children from this marriage.

He died at sea in December 1915 from pneumonia, aged 46, while on active service in the Dardanelles in the First World War. His only son Herbrand succeeded in the title.

In 1916, Gilbert Sackville was cited posthumously in a divorce case in which Charles Skarratt, then assistant manager of the Alhambra Theatre, sued his American wife Mabel Loeb for divorce on the grounds of her adultery with the Earl between 1913 and 1915. The case was proven. The lady had been visiting the Earl so often at his rooms in Belgrave Mansions that eventually he had been asked to leave.[15]

The second Lady De la Warr married secondly John William Dennis, MP for Birmingham Deritend, in 1922. She died in 1963.[1][2]

Pearl fishing mis-adventureEdit

Lloyds Yacht Register 1892-93. Entries show two schooners named Sunbeam. One owned by Lord Brassey and other by his son-in-law, Viscount Cantelupe.

In 1892 a ship named Sunbeam, owned by Viscount Cantelupe, was on a pearl fishing expedition on the north west coast of Australia. The ship was lost and the legend is that the Aboriginal people called upon serpent spirits to sink the vessel. This was in revenge after the crew, who had been allowed to "borrow" some Aboriginal women, failed to return them at the agreed time.[16] The story caused some confusion in the newspapers at the time because the Viscount's father-in-law, Thomas Brassey, was owner of the famous steam yacht Sunbeam RYS and it was incorrectly assumed that this was the ship that sunk.


  1. ^ a b c d Gilbert George Reginald Sackville, 8th Earl De La Warr
  2. ^ a b c d e De La Warr, Earl (GB, 1761) Archived 12 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ First-class matches played by Earl de la Warr (2) – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  4. ^ Earl de la Warr profile – CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  5. ^ "No. 26213". The London Gazette. 13 October 1891. p. 5354.
  6. ^ "No. 26192". The London Gazette. 14 August 1891. p. 4380.
  7. ^ "No. 26419". The London Gazette. 7 July 1893. p. 3846.
  8. ^ "No. 26520". The London Gazette. 8 June 1894. p. 3319.
  9. ^ "No. 26758". The London Gazette. 14 July 1896. p. 4026.
  10. ^ "No. 27230". The London Gazette. 18 September 1900. p. 5769.
  11. ^ "No. 27292". The London Gazette. 8 March 1901. p. 1658.
  12. ^ "No. 27422". The London Gazette. 4 April 1902. p. 2283.
  13. ^ "No. 28991". The London Gazette. 27 November 1914. p. 10147.
  14. ^ Isle of Wight County Press dated 5 July 1890, Page 4
  15. ^ Bexhill-on-Sea Observer 25 March 1916, p3

External linksEdit

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Reginald Windsor Sackville
Earl De La Warr
Succeeded by
Herbrand Edward Dundonald Brassey Sackville