The Herbert’s: Lady Violet Herbert, Countess of Powis

Violet, Countess of Powis, by Ellis Roberts. ca,1887 ©NTPL/John Hammond/Powis Estate Trustees

Violet Ida Eveline Herbert, Countess of Powis and 16th Baroness Darcy de Knayth (1 June 1865 – 29 April 1929) was a British peeress.

Hon. Violet Lane-Fox was the youngest child of the Sackville George Lane-Fox, 12th Baron Conyers, 15th Baron Darcy de Knayth, and his wife, Mary Curteis.[1] Her sister, Hon. Marcia Lane-Fox, became the Countess of Yarborough, and her brother, Hon. Sackville Fitzroy Henry Lane-Fox, died at age 18 at Durban, South Africa, unmarried.[1] Her paternal grandparents were Sackville Walter Lane-Fox and Lady Charlotte Mary Anne Georgiana Osborne (daughter of George Osborne, 6th Duke of Leeds).[1]

Lady Powis

The Countess of Powis at the coronation of Edward VII in 1902.

On 21 August 1890, she married George Herbert (who succeeded his uncle as Earl of Powis six months later) at St George’s, Hanover Square, London, England.[1] As the wife of the 4th Earl of Powis, Violet persuaded her husband to entrust the entire management of the deteriorating gardens at Powis Castle to her in 1911. Over the next 18 years, she effectively recreated the gardens of Powis into the internationally renowned form that they have today.[2]

The Edwardian Bodley Gate at Powis Castle commissioned by Lady Violet; photo by Andrew Butler

Powis Castle Gardens by Andrew Lawson.

The Earl and Countess of Powis had three children:

  • Percy Robert Herbert, Viscount Clive (1892–1916), killed at the Somme.[3]
  • Hon. Hermione Gwladys (1900 – 1995), married Roberto Lucchesi-Palli, 11th Duke della Grazia and 13th Prince di Campofranco. They had one daughter.[3]
  • Hon. Mervyn Horatio Herbert, Viscount Clive, 17th Baron Darcy de Knayth (1904–1943), father of Davina Ingrams, 18th Baroness Darcy de Knayth.[3]

Barony of Darcy de Knayth

Violet Ida Eveline Herbert nee Lane-Fox, arms as suo jure 16th Baroness Darcy de Knayth

In 1888, the countess’s father died and the Baronies of Darcy de Knayth and Conyers fell into abeyance between his two daughters. On 8 June 1892, the abeyance of the Barony of Conyers was terminated in favour of Violet’s elder sister, the Countess of Yarborough. Eleven years later, on 29 September 1903, the Barony of Fauconberg (a title which had been in abeyance since the death of the last holder, the 6th Baroness Fauconberg in 1490), was also granted to the Countess. On the same date, The House of Lords also agreed that their father had held the barony of Darcy de Knayth, which was granted to Violet in her own right.[5]

The countess died in 1929, aged 63, in a motorcar accient, and was buried in the churchyard of Christ Church, Welshpool. Her title passed to her eldest surviving son, Mervyn.

Lady Violet Ida Evelyn Lane-Fox, 16th Baroness Darcy of Nayth, Countess of Powis (1865-1929) by Mabel Emily Hankey (d.1943), National Trust Inventory Number 1180763


Ancestry of her father:

  • From Hon. Maud Vaux, daughter of Sir Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden and his second wife, Anne Green; maternal aunt of Queen Katherine Parr and thus Lady Anne Herbert, Countess of Pembroke from which Lady Powis’s husband descended.
  • Lady Powis also descended several times from Edward III via his sons Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence and John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster.
  • She even descended from Katherine Parr’s step-son, John, 4th Lord Latimer and his wife Lady Lucy Somerset.
  • She descended from Katherine Parr’s friend and guardian of her daughter, Lady Katherine Willoughby, the Dowager Duchess of Suffolk by her second husband.
  • From her ancestor Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness she was a descendant of Princess Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia; daughter of King James I of England and wife Anne of Denmark [and thus a descendant of Henry VII by his eldest daughter Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots].
  • Lady Powis also descended from Lady Henrietta Churchill, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough, niece of Arabella Churchill, Royal Mistress to James II of Great Britain.

Herbert, Violet Ida Eveline, Countess of Powis (1865 – 1929) (Stamp 1) University of Toronto; British Armorial Bindings


  1. ^ a b College of Arms. Visitation of England and Wales, Volume 13, 1905. pg 110. Google eBook
  2. ^ “The Art Fund” is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331). Violet Lane-Fox, Baroness Darcy
  3. ^ a b c Charles Mosley, editor, Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke’s Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1029.
  4. ^ The National Trust. National Trust Images, LADY VIOLET IDA EVELYN LANE-FOX, 16TH BARONESS DARCY OF NAYTH, COUNTESS OF POWIS, (1865-1929)
  5. ^ Henry Robert Addison, Charles Henry Oakes, William John Lawson, Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen. Who’s Who,” A. & C. Black, 1907.


The National Trust: Powis Castle


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