John Bowes-Lyon

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John Herbert "Jock" Bowes-Lyon (1 April 1886 – 7 February 1930) was the second son of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and the Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and the brother of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Elizabeth.[1] He was an uncle to Queen Elizabeth II, although he died when she was a small child, and before Princess Margaret was born.

Early life[edit]

John Bowes-Lyon was educated at Eton and New College, Oxford,[2] where he played first-class cricket for the university side in three matches in 1906 and 1907, playing as a fast-medium bowler.[3]

Marriage and children[edit]

On 29 September 1914, Bowes-Lyon married the Hon. Fenella Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis (19 August 1889 – 19 July 1966), the younger daughter of Charles Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis, 21st Baron Clinton. They had five daughters:

World War I[edit]

Before the outbreak of World War I, Bowes-Lyon worked as a stockbroker in the City of London for the firm Rowe and Pitman.[1] In 1915, he was posted with the Black Watch. Just prior to the Battle of Aubers Ridge in that year, he accidentally shot himself in his left forefinger; it was amputated the following day. While receiving treatment in the UK, he admitted having experienced a nervous breakdown in 1912 and also suffered from neurasthenia. Late that year, he was posted to the Ministry of Munitions and then in the Territorial Army in 1916. After the war, he was twice threatened with courts-martial after having failed to show on parade for demobilisation. He later returned to his job in the city. On 19 June 1920, he was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Forfarshire.[6]


The Hon. John Bowes-Lyon died at the family home of Glamis Castle just after midnight on the morning of 7 February 1930 of pneumonia, aged 44, leaving his widow to care for their four young children. (Two of them, Nerissa and Katherine, were severely mentally disabled.)[7] Three days later he was buried at St Paul's Walden Bury.[8]

His widow was a leading guest at the 1947 wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[9] She outlived him by thirty-six years and died on 19 July 1966, aged 76.


  1. ^ a b Andrew Morton, "Theirs is the kingdom: the wealth of the British royal family", Publisher Summit Books, 1989, page 86)
  2. ^ BOWES-LYON, Hon. John, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2016 (online edition, Oxford University Press, 2014)
  3. ^ "Player Profile: John Bowes-Lyon". CricketArchive. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  4. ^ As per the inscription on the tombstone marker of her grave in Redstone cemetery
  5. ^ "Peace at last for the Queen's cousin". at The Telegraph
  6. ^ "No. 31953". The London Gazette. 25 June 1920. p. 6879.
  7. ^ "Queen Mother's niece by marriage has pauper's funeral". Telegraph, By Chris Hastings, David Bamber and Susan Bisset. 14 April 2002
  8. ^ Vickers, Hugo, Elizabeth: The Queen Mother (Arrow Books/Random House, 2006) p.112
  9. ^ Royal Collection: Seating plan for the Ball Supper Room [1]