SIR MORGAN & LADY
No: (GP)(L) 5064
George Crofton, 6th Bt., of Mohill (1879-1958); 2nd Life Guard; served
in S. Africa 1899-1902 (severely wounded at the relief of Ladysmith),
1914-18 War (DSO) and in 1939-45 War.
née Frances Margaret Irby (d. 1950); only daughter of Lt.-Col. Leonard
Howard Lloyd Irby; m. (1905) (as first wife) Sir Morgan George Crofton,
6th Bt. of Mohill [div. 1910].
In 1906, due to the death of Queen Alexandra’s father, King Christian IX of Denmark, at the end of January, presentations at Court were postponed, and the Court held on 1 June was the first of the Season.
In this portrait, Sir Morgan George Crofton, 6th Bt., of Mohill (1879-1958) is seen in Levee Dress, Lieutenant 2nd Life Guards with the Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902.
Before acceding to the baronetcy he had fought in the Boer War in South Africa where he was severely wounded. Sir Morgan’s coat was of red scarlet, with plaited gold cords on each shoulder and collar and cuffs decorated with gold bullion embroidery. He wears white leather gloves and wellington boots with box spurs, and on the studio chair to his side his metal, leather and horsehair helmet can be seen.
Presented at Court in connection with her recent marriage, the Court gown of Lady Crofton (née Frances Margaret Irby) (1884-1950) is beautifully decorated with sequins, bugles and large amounts of lace, both on her train and forming trails of flowers at the lower part of her dress. She also wears a pearl necklace, pearl drop earrings and a pearl and diamond pinnacle tiara. In this pose, one can see clearly how the train divides into two and is attached to the back of Lady Crofton’s corsage.
Lady Crofton however was a woman whose marriages did not seem to last very long. Four years after this image, the couple were divorced, and Lady Crofton went on to scandalize society by going to live with her second husband before her divorce was finalised. Her second marriage ended in 1921 and she ended her life as the widowed Countess of Kimberley after her third husband was killed in London during the Blitz.
1 June 1906.
The Court, 1 June 1906: Lady Crofton presented by Lady de Blaquiere.
The Lafayette Studio, 179 New Bond Street, London, W.
(Sir M. Crofton) Levée Dress, Lieutenant 2nd Life Guards;
(Lady Crofton) Court dress.
Decorations & Medals: (Sir M. Crofton) Queen's
South Africa Medal 1899-1902.
& Props: Painted backdrop; photographer's chair with detachable
Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London. Evidence
of photographer at work: -
of poses: 2.
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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.
Burke's Peerage; Who's Who.
The Times, 2 June 1906, p 9a & 4 June 1906, p 11e; A.C. Fox-Davies
(ed.), Their Majesties Court, 1906, London, 1907, p 125.
(Sir M. Crofton) Dress Regulations for the Army,
Decorations & Medals: A.R. Litherland & B.T. Simpkin,
Spinks Standard Catalogue of British and Associated Orders, Decorations
& Medals, London, 1990.
(version with Lady Crafton only) A.C. Fox-Davies (ed.), Their Majesties'
Court, 1906, London, 1907, plate 185.