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Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde

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Title: Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde  
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Subject: Baron Ashton of Hyde, Luton (UK Parliament constituency), Textile manufacturers of the United Kingdom, Beatrix Potter, Cecil Harmsworth, 1st Baron Harmsworth
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Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde

The 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde
Thomas Ashton
Ashton in 1895
Spouse(s) Eva Margaret James
Full name
Thomas Gair Ashton
Father Thomas Ashton
Mother Elizabeth Gair
Born (1855-02-05)5 February 1855
Died 1 May 1933(1933-05-01) (aged 78)

Thomas Gair Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde (5 February 1855 – 1 May 1933) was a British industrialist, philanthropist, Liberal politician, and peer.


  • Early life and career 1
  • Family 2
  • Death 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and career

Ashton was born at Fallowfield, Manchester, Lancashire, the son of Thomas Ashton (died 1898) and Elizabeth Gair, daughter of Samuel Stillman Gair of Rhode Island. The Ashton family had been prominent in the cotton and cloth manufacturing industry for many years. He was educated at Rugby and University College, Oxford, and later managed the family business. Ashton was elected to the House of Commons for Hyde in 1885, but lost his seat the following year. He unsuccessfully contested the same seat again in 1892, but in 1895 he was returned for Luton, seat he held until 1911. The latter year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ashton of Hyde, in the County of Chester. During the First World War he served as Chairman of the Cotton Exports Committee. Apart from his political career Ashton was a Justice of the Peace for Cheshire and Sussex and was invested as an Honorary Fellow of Oxford University in 1923.


Two of Lord Ashton's sisters married Lupton brothers; Sir Charles Lupton to Katharine and Arthur Lupton to Harriet. Lord Ashton's first cousin, Helen Potter (née Leech), was the mother of Beatrix Potter.[1] The Lupton family are the paternal ancestors of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.[2] Ashton married Eva Margaret James, daughter of John Henry James and his wife Jane Ramsden Ashworth, in 1886. They had four children, two sons and two daughters:

  • Thomas Henry Ashton (8 October 1887 - 20 September 1897)
  • Hon. Marion Evelyn Ashton (born 1890); married Major Robert Wood.
  • Hon. Margaret Joan Ashton (born 1893); married Hugh Whistler.
  • Thomas Henry Raymond Ashton (2 October 1901 - 21 March 1983); succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Ashton of Hyde.


He died in May 1933, aged 78, and was succeeded in the title by his second but eldest surviving son Thomas Henry Raymond Ashton. Lady Ashton of Hyde died in 1938.


  1. ^
  2. ^


  • Legg, L. G. Wickham Legg (editor). The Dictionary of National Biography, 1931-1940. Oxford University Press, 1949.
  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,
  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Thomas Ashton
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Hyde
Succeeded by
Joseph Watson Sidebotham
Preceded by
Samuel Howard Whitbread
Member of Parliament for Luton
Succeeded by
Cecil Harmsworth
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Ashton of Hyde
Succeeded by
Thomas Henry Raymond Ashton
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