Philip Henry Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian

Philip Henry Kerr, bequeathed Blickling Hall to the Trust in 1940 © NTPL/John Hammond

Philip Henry Kerr, bequeathed Blickling Hall to the Trust in 1940

Philip Henry Kerr (1882-1940) was the son of Lord Ralph Drury Kerr, the third son of John Kerr, 7th Marquess of Lothian.

He was born in London and educated at the The Oratory School and New College, Oxford.

He served in the South African government from 1905–10 after which he returned to the United Kingdom to found and edit the Round Table Journal.

In 1916, he was appointed David Lloyd George's private secretary and was active in the Paris Peace Conference. For these services he was appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in March 1920.

After years of letting Lothian found Blickling Hall gloomy and drab, its rooms cluttered with Victorian furniture whose arrangements had been muddled by successive tenants. It took 33 workmen fourteen months to bring Blickling up to date.

A confirmed bachelor having never been romantically linked with any female, he left no heirs and the marquessate was inherited by his first cousin, Peter Kerr.

Devoted to the very end to the religion to which he had converted, Peter Kerr died having refused medical treatment as a Christian Scientist.

In 1940 Lord Lothian bequeathed Blickling Hall to the Trust, setting the seal on his Country Houses Scheme, with the help of James Lees-Milne. Many estates were saved rather than being broken up wholesale.