Austin House, Broadway, Lord and Lady Lifford

James Wilfrid Hewitt, 5th Viscount Lifford (1837-1913)

James Wilfrid Hewitt, the eldest son of the 4th Lord Lifford and Lady Acheson (the daughter of the second Earl of Gosford) was born on 12th October 1837 at Astley, Coventry, Warwickshire. He was baptised on 10 December 1837 in Astley. He was educated at Rugby School, Rugby, Warwickshire.

In 1856 he joined the 4th Foot and as an Ensign moved to the 3rd Foot the following year, retiring as a Lieutenant. Afterwards he was appointed Hon. Colonel of the Donegal Royal Field Reserve Artillery. On 20 November 1887 he succeeded his father in the title of Viscount and Baron in the Peerage of Ireland.

He married Annie Frances, the eldest daughter of the late Sir Arthur Hodgson KCMG of Eastwood Lodge, Leamington Spa and Eton Vale, Darling Downs, Queensland, on 4 July 1867 in Lillington, Warwickshire.

Lord Lifford’s Irish residence was Meenglass House, near Stranorlar, County Donegal, where he was a JP, and he moved to Broadway in the 1880s. Lord Lifford was a Conservative politician and a member of Worcestershire County Council for many years and in the 1890s, Chairman of Broadway Parish Council.

In 1902 he was painted by Francis Davis ‘Frank’ Millet reading the Proclamation of the King on the village green.

Lord Lifford of Austin House, died aged 75, on Thursday 20 March 1913 at his home, Austin House. His funeral took place at St Eadburgha’s Church the following Tuesday, conducted by the Archdeacon of Warwick Rev F.H. Hodgson and Rev F.T. Snow, the Vicar of Broadway.

Lord Lifford died without issue and the title passed to his brother, the Hon. Archibald Robert Hewitt, Captain Royal Navy retired. His widow, Viscountess Lifford died, aged 84, at Austin House, Broadway in 1927.

The Lifford Memorial Hall, Lower Green, Broadway, was erected in 1915 by friends of Lord Lifford’s in his memory. 

Meenglas House, County Donegal
Lifford Memorial Hall, Broadway