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Gilbert James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 3rd Earl of Ancaster (8 December 190729 March 1983), known as Lord Willoughby de Eresby from 1910 to 1951, was a Britishmarker Conservative politician.

Ancaster was the son of Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 2nd Earl of Ancaster and Eloise Lawrence Breese. He was educated at Etonmarker and Magdalene College, Cambridgemarker. In 1933 he was elected to the House of Commonsmarker for Rutland and Stamford, a seat he held until 1950. From 1933 to 1935 Ancaster was "Baby of the House", the youngest member of the House of Commons. He served in the Second World War as a Major in the Royal Artillery, and was mentioned in despatches.

In 1951 Ancaster was summoned to the House of Lordsmarker through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Willoughby de Eresby. He succeeded as third Earl of Ancaster later that year upon the death of his father. Apart from his political career he was also Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire from 1950 to 1975 and Joint Lord Great Chamberlain from 1951 to 1983.

Lord Ancaster married the Hon. Nancy Phyllis Louise Astor, daughter of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, in 1933. They had two children, one son and one daughter. His only son and heir apparent, Timothy, Lord Willoughby de Eresby, went missing at sea off Corsicamarker in 1963, never to be seen again. Lord Ancaster died in March 1983, aged 75. On his death the earldom and barony of Aveland became extinct, while he was succeeded in the ancient barony of Willoughby de Eresby by his only daughter Nancy Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, who also succeeded him as joint Lord Great Chamberlain. Lord Ancaster's baronetcy also survived, and was inherited by his distant relative Gilbert Simon Heathcote.


  • Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th Edition, edited by Charles Mosley, Wilmington, Delaware, 2003, vol III, p. 4196, ISBN 0-9711966-2-1

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