George Annesley

The Right Honourable George Annesley, second and last Earl of Mountnorris, ninth Viscount Valentia, co. Armagh, and Baron Mountnorris of Mountnorris Castle, co. Armagh, eighth Baron Altham, of Altham co. Cork, the premier Baronet of Ireland, was a traveller and plant collector active in the early-19th century. He was born at Arley Castle in either 1769 or 1770, the eldest son of Arthur, first Earl of Mountnorris and his wife, the Honourable Lucy Fortescue Lyttelton, only daughter of Lord George Lyttelton.

Better known as Lord Valentia, the title from his youth, Annesley, travelled widely and collected plants from India and other parts of the world he visited. He established a ten-acre arboretum in the grounds of Arley Castle, Upper Arley, Worcestershire, England in the first half of the 19th century. He also commissioned the remodelling of the house into an asymmetrical Gothic castle, completed in 1844, the year of his death. Annesley died, aged seventy four, at Arley Castle on 23 July 1844. He was a fellow of the Royal Society (1796) and the Literary Society (1796) and author of Voyages to India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt(1809).

Sources:

'Obituary: Earl of Mountnorris', The Gentleman's Magazine, 22 (1844), pp. 425-426.

Desmond, Ray, Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists(London: Taylor & Francis, 1994), p. 17.

National Portrait Gallery, Search the Collection, 'George Annesley, 2nd Earl of Mountnorris' < http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp52172 > [accessed 18 December 2008]

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