Monday, March 13, 2023

Baroness Masham of Ilton 1935-2023

 The Baroness Masham of Ilton, DSG, DL, who died 12 March, 2023, aged 87, was the longest serving life peer, who sat on the crossbenches, and was a lifelong campaigner for the disabled, and medallist in the Paraplegic Games.

She was born 14 April, 1935, as Susan Lilian Sinclair, scion of the Sinclair baronets, daughter of Sir Ronald John Charles Udny Sinclair, 8th Baronet (1899-1952), and his wife the former Reba Blair Inglis, daughter of Anthony Inglis, of Lismore Ayr.

She was severely disabled in a rding accident in the months before her marriage, 8 Dec, 1959, to the then David Yarburgh Cunliffe-Lister (born 21 March, 1937), styled Baron Masham, 1st son and heir of Maj John Yarburgh Cunliffe-Lister (1913-43), and his wife the former Anne Irvine Medlicott (d 28 May, 1961), and grandson paternally of the 1st Earl of Swinton, PC, GBE, CH, MC (1884-1972).

Her husband succeeded his grandfather, 27 July, 1972, as 2nd Earl of Swinton, Baron Masham of Ellington, co York, and Viscount Swinton, of Masham.

She was raised to the peerage for life, 12 Feb, 1970, as Baroness Masham of Ilton, of Masham in the North Riding of the County of York, and sat in the House of Lords for over 52 years. From 1972 she was also Countess of Swinton, as wife of the 2nd Earl, and from her husband's death, 26 March, 2006, she was the Dowager Countess of Swinton, but known by her life peerage.

She was an active member of the House of Lords, where she continued to be known as the Baroness Masham of Ilton, a title she held in her own right. She took a particular interest in issues surrounding disability, health and penal reform. 

She and her husband had two adopted children, John Charles Yarburgh (born 10 May, 1967), and Clare Caroline (born 30 June, 1965).


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