William Vanneck, 5th Baron Huntingfield
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William Vanneck, 5th Baron Huntingfield

Lord Huntingfield

Lord huntingfield.jpg
17th Governor of Victoria

14 May 1934 - 4 April 1939
MonarchGeorge V (1934-36)
Edward VIII (1936)
George VI (1936-39)
Lord Somers
Sir Winston Dugan
Personal details
Born(1883-01-03)3 January 1883
Gatton, Queensland
Died20 November 1969(1969-11-20) (aged 86)
Hove, East Sussex, England
Alma materWellington College

William Charles Arcedeckne Vanneck, 5th Baron Huntingfield, (3 January 1883 - 20 November 1969) was a British Conservative Party politician, Governor of Victoria, and Administrator of Australia. He was the first Australian-born governor of an Australian state.

Early life

Born in Gatton, Queensland, Vanneck was the son of Hon. William Arcedeckne Vanneck and Mary Armstrong, sister of William Drayton Armstrong (a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly and its Speaker for many years). Vanneck grew up near Gatton (now the modern locality of Adare) until he was 14 years old when he went to England.[1] He was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, whereafter he joined the 13th/18th Hussars, reaching the rank of captain. He succeeded his uncle in 1915 as the 5th Baron Huntingfield of Heveningham Hall and 7th Baronet Vanneck of Putney.

Vanneck married American-born Margaret Eleanor Crosby, the daughter of Ernest Howard Crosby, a descendant of Declaration of Independence signer William Floyd, and Fanny Kendall Schieffelin.[2] From her paternal grandmother Margaret Evertson Givan, Crosby was descendant from Dutch, French Canadian and Scandinavian ancestors who settled in North America.

They had four children:

Political career

Between 1923 and 1929 Vanneck was member for Eye, Suffolk in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. He was successively Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of the Home Office 1926-27, and then to the President of the Board of Trade between 1927-28.


In 1934 Huntingfield became the Governor of Victoria, Australia, being the first Australian-born governor of an Australian state (although he was always considered British).[3] (Despite this, Victoria was the last of the states to appoint an Australian as governor, Sir Henry Winneke in 1974.) His term expired in 1939. He served as Administrator of Australia between March and September 1938.

Although Vanneck was offered the post of Governor of Southern Rhodesia in 1942, he did not take up the position due to ill-health.[4]


Vanneck was a freemason. He was initiated to the craft in 1919, in the United Lodge No. 1629. He became a member of the United Service Lodge No. 330 in Victoria as a Past Master in 1934. Shortly after that, in 1935, he became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Victoria. After his return to England, in 1940, he was appointed Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England.[5]

Honours and later life

Vanneck was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1934. He was Colonel of the 58th Battalion, Company of London Home Guard during the Second World War. He was given the rank of Honorary Air Commodore in No. 21 (City of Melbourne) Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force. Finally he was invested as a Knight of Grace Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

After Vanneck's first wife having died in 1943, he married Muriel Mary Georgina Duke (d. 13 May 1953) and had one daughter:

  • Hon. Katherine Grace Vanneck (b. 10 August 1954), married Nicholas John Bacon on 2 December 1976 and had issue


  1. ^ "LATER HOME FOR LORD HUNTINGFIELD". Sunday Mail (567). Queensland, Australia. 8 April 1934. p. 1. Retrieved 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ ThePeerage.compage 14879 http://www.thepeerage.com/p14879.htm#i148781 Accessed August 27, 2015
  3. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography Huntingfield, fifth Baron (1883-1969). Retrieved 4 September 2015
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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