DateLine: 18th October 2008
Lord Brackley was born Hon John Francis Granville Scrope Egerton, with a courtesy title (as the first son of an earl) of Viscount Brackley. He was educated at Eton, but seems not to have been in the Eleven. He is best known in cricket circles for taking a touring side to the West Indies in 1904/05; the side played twenty games, of which ten are treated as first-class. Usually opening the batting, Brackley himself played in nine of the latter matches with a top score of 34. His only first-class match before this was for MCC against Nottinghamshire at Lord’s in 1898, a rain affected match in which only 21 overs were delivered, all on the first day, when he neither batted nor bowled. Shortly after returning from the tour he married Lady Violet Lambton, the eldest daughter of the fourth Earl of Durham. He played two more first-class matches for MCC in 1905 and went on MCC’s tour of Egypt in 1909. He was appointed MVO in 1909, an honour in the personal gift of the sovereign. He served as an officer in the Scots Guards in the Boer War and the Great War. He succeeded his father as the fourth Earl of Ellesmere in 1914, inheriting country estates at Brackley in Northamptonshire and in Berwickshire, and industrial estates in Lancashire and Cheshire with collieries, coke works and wharves. He was MCC president in 1920 and later a senior steward of the Jockey Club, being a well-known racehorse owner of his day. The family owned a house in Bayswater, with a picture gallery which included several Raphaels, Titians and Rembrandts. This was damaged twice by enemy action in 1941, but by then many of the pictures had been removed elsewhere. When he died in 1944, he was succeeded by his son who was in a German prisoner-of-war camp at the time.