Lord Fairhaven's philanthropy

Lord Fairhaven

Lord Fairhaven was an extremely generous benefactor not only to the National Trust, to whom he bequeathed Anglesey Abbey in 1966, but many other organisations and the local community. Raised surrounded by privilege he was always keen to give back especially to causes that he was passionate about. This August an exhibition in the House looks at his philanthropy.

A philanthropic family heritage

Lord Fairhaven’s American Grandfather, Henry Huttleston Rogers,  was a philanthropic yet modest man, and some of his generosity became known only after his death. He saved Mark Twain from bankruptcy and in 1885 began to donate buildings and provide infrastructure to his hometown of Fairhaven, Massachusetts. 
Lord Fairhaven’s mother, Cara Leland Rogers Broughton (Lady Fairhaven) carried on her father’s generous support of the town of Fairhaven. Following the family move back to England, she supported the Bethnal Green Military Hospital and gave parties for wounded soldiers at her family home during the First World War.
Lord Fairhaven’s brother, Henry Rogers Broughton, was a great collector and amassed one of the finest collections of 17th-19th Century Dutch, Flemish and French flower paintings, drawings and watercolours. On his death he gave this collection of over 1000 items to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Supporting Cambridge civic life

Lord Fairhaven was drawn to Cambridgeshire by his love of horseracing and country pursuits but he also loved the historic city of Cambridge.  He supported many Cambridge charities, acting as patron for Cambridge Victoria Homes and Cambridge Residential Home for Old People, as well as being President of the Cambridge General Benefit Society.
At the end of World War II in celebration of the cessation of hostilities, he purchased Abbey House (built on the site of Barnwell Priory and the oldest inhabited house in Cambridge. He gave it to the Folk Museum, which is now the Museum of Cambridge.
He also donated a collection of over sixty 14th and 15th-century documents to Cambridge University Library and supported local artisans, such as the Cambridge Tapestry Company by commissioning works and investing money to keep the company going after the war.

Anglesey Abbey and Downing College

It's believed Sir George Downing, whose estate went to found Downing College, had owned Anglesey Abbey during the early 18th Century. Perhaps because of this link, Lord Fairhaven became a great supporter of the college and was involved in fundraising appeals for their 150th anniversary. For his generous support of Cambridge University he was awarded an honorary degree in 1950.

Supporting the local village

Lord Fairhaven was a prominent member of the local community and was a responsible landowner and employer. In changing times he was keen to preserve village life and a sense of community. 
In Lode, Lord Fairhaven was Chairman of Governors of Lode Village School, a church warden and President of the Lode Sports Club. He built Broughton Hall in memory of his Father, for use as a village hall, in addition to building housing in the village for his staff. 

Saving Runnymede for the nation

In the early 20th century, Runnymede in Surrey, where King John signed the Magna Carta was under threat from development. 
His father, Urban Broughton, purchased Runnymede in 1929 to save it from development, before dying later that year. In 1931 the Fairhaven's presented Runnymeade to the National Trust in his memory. 


Supporting the war effort

In August 1940 Lord Fairhaven and his brother each gave £5000 towards the purchase of aircraft for the nation.  A contribution of this size allowed donors to name the aircraft. Lord Fairhaven’s gift helped purchase Spitfire P7736 ‘Cambridgeshire’.

This plane served with 65, then 615 Squadron at RAF Tangmere, West Sussex. On 24th February 1941 it was shot down during an attack on the airfield at Maupertas, near Cherbourg.