Bowes-Lyon, Claude George, in the peerage of Scotland fourteenth and in the peerage of the United Kingdom first Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne 1855-1944, was born at Glamis 14 March 1855, the eldest son of Claude Bowes-Lyon, who succeeded his brother as thirteenth Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in 1865, by his wife, Frances Dora, daughter of Oswald Smith, of Blendon Hall, Kent. He succeeded his father as fourteenth earl, 16 February 1904, and thereby also became the twenty-second Lord Glamis in the peerage of Scotland, and in the peerage of the United Kingdom the second Baron Bowes, of Streatlam Castle, in the county of Durham, and Lunedale, in Yorkshire. He was educated at Eton and was given a commission in the 2nd Life Guards, which he resigned in 1882 after his marriage in the previous year to Nina Cecilia (G.C.V.O., died 23 June 1938), daughter of the Rev. Charles William Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck, grandson of the third Duke of Portland [qv.]. Of his six sons the eldest, Patrick (1884-1949), succeeded to the title, the fourth, a captain in the Black Watch, was killed in action, 27 September 1915; and of his four daughters, the second, Mary Frances, married Sidney, sixteenth Baron Elphinstone, the third, Rose Constance, married William Spencer Leveson-Gower, afterwards fourth Earl Granville, and the youngest, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite, married, 26 April 1923, Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, Duke of York, afterwards King George VI.
Lord Strathmore was decorated with the grand cross of the Royal Victorian Order in 1923, and subsequently he received from King George V the Order of the Thistle in 1928 and the Garter in 1935. In 1937 he was created Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in the peerage of the United Kingdom, and, in order to commemorate the fact that a daughter of the house of Strathmore had become Queen-Consort, King George VI, after consulting the Lord Lyon, granted to Lord Strathmore in 1938 the issue of a warrant to add the following royal augmentation to the arms of the earl and his successors in that title, viz. An inescutcheon en surtout azure, thereon a rose argent, barbed vert, seeded or, ensigned with an imperial crown proper, within a double tressure flory-counter-flory of the second, the latter to indicate the earl's double royal descent from King Robert II through his two daughters (1) Jean, who married Sir John Lyon, first of Glamis, and (2) Euphemia, Countess Palatine of Strathearn, daughter of David, Earl of Strathearn (son of the said King Robert) and her husband, whose daughter married her cousin Sir John Lyon, second of Glamis.
Lord Strathmore was of a retiring disposition, but was a very popular landlord, taking a strong personal interest in the welfare of his tenantry, and in the management of his estates. On these there were many small-holdings, a form of tenancy which he encouraged, and he probably had more of these than any other proprietor in the district south and east of Aberdeenshire and Argyll. Interest in forestry led him to take an active part in the development of his plantations, especially of larch, and he was one of the first to rear larch from seed brought over by him from Norway. In 1904 he was appointed lord lieutenant of Angus in succession to his father, but he resigned in 1936; he was also president of the Territorial Association of the county. He died at Glamis 7 November 1944.
Register of Arms, Lyon Office
Contributor: Francis J. Grant.