Uchter John Mark,
K.C.M.G., Earl of Ranfurly, Viscount Northland, and Baron Welles, of Duncannon, County Tyrone, Ireland, and Baron Ranfurly, of Ramphorlie, County Renfrew, United Kingdom, was born at Guernsey
on the 14th of August, 1856. Lord Ranfurly is the second son of Thomas, third Earl of Ranfurly, by his wife Harriet, daughter of John Rimmington, Esq., of Broomhead Hall, County York. Becoming a cadet on board H.M.S. “Britannia,” he passed for the Royal Navy, but, giving up a naval career, entered Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of eighteen. His Excellency, who is fifth Earl, succeeded his brother, who died on the 10th of May, 1875, while on a shooting expedition in Abyssinia. On the 10th of February, 1880, he was married to the Hon. Constance Elizabeth Caulfield, only child of James Alfred, seventh Viscount Charlemont, C.B., and has one son — Viscount Northland, born in 1882, and two daughters — the Ladies Constance and Eileen Knox. The title of Viscount Northland dates back to 1791, and that of Baron Welles ten years earlier. Lord Ranfurly holds a seat in the House of Lords as Baron Ranfurly, of the United Kingdom. The blood of the Royal House of Scotland flows in the veins of His Excellency, for his ancestor Uchtred, who flourished late in the twelfth century, married Princess Adama, daughter of the Earl of Huntingdon, their son being granted the barony of Knox. The family assumed this name, the famous reformer. John Knox, being one of its descendants. It is interesting to know that Lord Ranfurly is a lineal descendant, on the grand-maternal side, of the great Quaker. William Penn, of whom there are many fine relies at Northland House. His Excellency became a Lord-in-Waiting to Her Majesty the Queen in 1895, which honourable position he retained till his appointment as Governor of New Zealand in 1897. In recognition of her Diamond Jubilee, Her Majesty presented the Earl of Ranfurly and the rest of her Household with a medal, and conferred on him the additional honour of Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George. He is also a Knight of Justice of the order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem—an order to which he has for many years belonged, and whose chief work in these modern times is the St. John's Ambulance Association, which has branches all over England, and in many of the colonies, including New Zealand. At grand functions such as that of Jubilee Day, this association has several corps at work along the most crowded routes, and their temporary hospital tents prove, from the number of cases they have to treat, that this branch is most useful to the public. The headquarters of the order are at St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell—the same spot where in 1381 the ancient “Hospital” was burned at Wat Tyler's insurrection, which the Knights immediately rebuilt. The order, which was established to defend the Holy Sepulchre, was the great bulwark of Christendom against the invasion of the Turks. His Excellency is a member of the following well-known London clubs:—Carlton. Bachelors', and Travellers'; also of the Royal Yacht Squadron (Cowes) — the only club permitted to fly the white ensign,
Northland House, Ireland.
as in Her Majesty's navy. His seat is know as Northland House, Dungannon, Tyrone, Ireland. Northland House—a stately, rambling pile of buildings of the Georgian period—was completed by the Governor's grandfather in 1841, previously to which the family residence had been Dungannon Park—a smaller but picturesque building, since used as a farm house. This mansion—Northland House—is full of objects of interest, including a painting by Peter Vandyke of Sir Thomas and Lady Juliana Penn (Lord Ranfurly's great-great-grand-parents, and son and daughter-in-law of the celebrated William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania). Viscountess Pery, as Mary Queen of Scots (His Lordship's great-great-grandmother), Mrs. Stuart (daughter of Sir T. Penn). Lady Lonsdale (an aunt of Mary Juliana, Countess of Ranfurly), and many others, besides a large quantity of lovely Chelsea. Mandarin-Worcester, and Berlin china. The park itself is a beautifully wooded, undulating stretch of country, possessing a superb avenue of beeches, a fine laured drive of a mile in length, a lovely lake where first rate skating may be enjoyed in winter, and an eighteen hole golf course. The Earl is greatly esteemed by his tenantry at Dungannon, and it may be remarked that evictions are almost unknown on his estates. On two occasions prior to his appointment to New Zealand, Lord Ranfurly passed through the Colony as a tourist, and was greatly impressed with the beauty of its scenery. At Mildura, in the colony of Victoria, the Governor possesses a fine orchard—chiefly oranges and lemons—which is admitted to be one of the best in the colonies. It is not a part of the Chaffey Bros. Irrigation Colonies, but has an irrigation plant of its own. His Lordship—who spent some time on this estate—is considered to be an authority on fruit-growing. He has also long been interested in mining matters—not as a speculator, but as a student at the Geological Institute, Jermyn Street, where he went through several courses in treating ores and minerals, which he followed up by taking a few practical field excursions. Speaking of the appointment of His Excellency, who arrived at Wellington on the 10th of August, 1897, a London paper says, “Lord Ranfurly's statesmanlike capacity, bonhomie, love of sport, and charm of manner, mark him out as especially suited to the post.” He is six feet in height, rather youthful in appearance, and possesses a characteristic affability which is most pleasing.