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Sackville, Mortimer Sackville-West, 1st Baron

SACKVILLE, MORTIMER SACKVILLE-WEST, 1ST BARON (1820-1888), was descended from Sir Richard Sackville, a Kentish gentleman, and a cousin of Ann Boleyn. A member of parliament and courtier under Henry VIII., Richard Sackville became chancellor of the court of augmentations in 1548 and was knighted in 1540. He amassed a great deal of wealth, and Sir Robert Naunton said his name should be " fill-sack," rather than " Sack-ville." He was on friendly terms with Roger Ascham, whom he advised to write his Scholemaster. In 1604 his son Thomas was created earl of Dorset, and from him the earls and dukes of Dorset (q.v.) of the Sackville family were descended.

Mortimer Sackville-West was a younger son of George John Sackville- West, sth Earl de la Warr (See DE LA WARR): his mother, Elizabeth, Baroness Buckhurst, being a daughter of John Frederick Sackville, 3rd duke of Dorset. When in 1873 his elder brother, Reginald Windsor, became 7th Earl de la Warr, Mortimer succeeded by arrangement to the extensive estates of the Sackvilles, including Knole Park, their beautiful Kentish residence, which had come to his family through his mother. In 1876 he was created Baron Sackville of Knole, and died on the 1st of October 1888.

His brother, LIONEL SACKVILLE-WEST (1827-1908), succeeded as 2nd baron. He had a long career in the diplomatic service. From 1872 to 1878 he was ambassador to the Argentine Republic; from 1878 to 1881 he represented his country at Madrid, and from 1 88 1 to 1888 at Washington. His retirement was due to an unfortunate interference in American domestic politics, or what was taken as such, which caused some stir. He died in September 1908 and was succeeded by his nephew Lionel Edward (b. 1867) as 3rd baron. By a Spanish dancer, Josefa Duran de Ortega, known also as Pepita de Oliva, Mr Sackville-West, as the 2nd baron then was, had several children, and soon after his death one of these, calling himself Ernest Henri Jean Baptiste SackvilleWest, claimed to be a lawful son and his father's heir. He asserted that between 1863 and 1867 Sackville-West had married his mother. The case came before the English courts of law in 1909-1910, and it was decided that the children of this union were all illegitimate, as Pepita's husband, Jean Antonio Gabriel de Oliva, was alive during the whole period of his wife's connexion with Sackville-West.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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