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Hugh Dawnay, 8th Viscount Downe.jpg

Lord Downe (seated second) returning from the Boer War on the RMS Dunottar Castle, July 1900.[1] Standing L-R: Sir Byron Leighton, Claud Grenfel, Major Frederick Russell Burnham, Captain Gordon Forbes, Abe Bailey (his son John would marry Diana Churchill in 1932), next two unidentified, John Weston Brooke. Seated L-R: Major Bobby White, Lord Downe, General Sir Henry Edward Colville (a year later Churchill as MP would demand an inquiry over his dismissal from South Africa), Major Harry White, Major Joe Laycock, Winston Churchill, Sir Charles Bentinck. Sitting L-R: unidentified, Col. Maurice Gifford (who had lost his arm in the Second Matabele War).

Major-General Hugh Richard Dawnay, 8th Viscount Downe KCVO, CB, CIE (20 July 1844 - 21 January 1924) was a British Army general and President of the MCC.

Dawnay was the second son of William Dawnay, 7th Viscount Downe and his wife Mary Isabel Bagot, daughter of Richard Bagot, Bishop of Bath and Wells. He fought in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879, where he was mentioned in despatches. He was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 10th Hussars between 1887 and 1892. He fought in the Second Boer War between 1899 and 1901, where he was mentioned in despatches twice. In July 1901 he was promoted to the temporary rank of Brigadier general on the Staff to command the Cavalry Brigade at the Curragh,[2] where training for fighting in South Africa took place. He retired from the army in 1902, with the rank of Major-General.

In early 1901 Lord Downe was asked by King Edward to take part in a special diplomatic mission to announce the King´s accession to the governments of Belgium, Bavaria, Italy, Württemberg, and The Netherlands.[3]

A cricketer he played for I Zingari and the MCC, playing in the Aborigines v MCC test at Lord's in 1868 in the first tour of England by an Australian team.[4][5] He became President of the MCC in 1872[6]

Downe was created Baron Dawnay, of Danby in the North Riding of the County of York, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, on 24 July 1897 and subsequently sat in the House of Lords. He was invested as a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in 1886, a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1900, a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in November 1902 and a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in December 1902. His son, Major Hon. Hugh Dawnay, was killed in action in World War I.[7] His brother, Lewis Payn Dawnay, was MP for Thirsk.


  1. "FinestHour" (pdf). Journal of the Churchill Center and Societies, Summer 2005. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  2. "No. 27340". 2 August 1901. 
  3. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 23 March 1901. 
  4. Cricinfo
  5. State Library of New South Wales
  6. Wisden 1874
  7. CWGC entry

External links[]


Military offices
Preceded by
Lord Ralph Drury Kerr
Colonel of the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own)
Succeeded by
The Lord Byng of Vimy
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Dawnay
Succeeded by
John Dawnay
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William Dawnay
Viscount Downe
Succeeded by
John Dawnay

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Category:Presidents of the Marylebone Cricket Club