Thomas Anson II
Thomas Anson died unmarried and with no children in 1773. This meant that Shugborough Estate passed, firstly to his nephew George Adams under the condition he changed his name to Anson, and then in 1789 to George’s son Thomas Anson II.
This was the beginning of more major and highly significant stage in the development of the estate, which took place in two distinct phases over the turn of the century.
The new development was probably precipitated in part by Thomas Anson II’s marriage in 1794 to Anne Coke, 2nd daughter of Thomas William Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester of Holkham but also in 1806 when he was created Viscount Anson.
Thomas Anson II set about completely redeveloping the park, spurred on by a flood on the River Sow in February 1795 which destroyed many of the original Rococo park features.
Together with altering the landscape, Thomas Anson II also reworked his agricultural estate, adopting similar methods to those used by his father-in-law, Thomas Coke of Holkham, the pioneering agricultural improver. Anson also employed Nathaniel Kent one of the first, and highly influential, agricultural advisers. In common with a number of neighbouring Staffordshire landowners at the end of the 18th century, Anson transformed the management of his land by adopting new techniques of production and animal husbandry. This far exceeded all others in the county in terms of both quality and scale.