David Bertram Ogilvy Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale
, (13 March 1878 – 17 March 1958), was an English landowner and was the father of the Mitford sisters
, in whose various novels and memoirs he is depicted.
Redesdale was the second son of Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale
and Lady Clementine Gertrude Helen Ogilvy. The Mitfords are a family of Northumberland landed gentry
, dating back to the 14th century; Redesdale's great-great-grandfather was the historian William Mitford
. His father, Bertram, called Bertie, was a diplomat, politician and author, with large inherited estates in Gloucestershire
as well as Northumberland. He was raised to the peerage in 1902, and thus his son then became known as The Hon David Freeman-Mitford
, although the surname Mitford was more commonly used.Biographical information from Selina Hastings, Nancy Mitford
(Hamish Hamilton 1985), chapter 1.
Mitford's legendary eccentricity was evident from an early age. As a child he was prone to sudden fits of rage. He was totally uninterested in reading or education, wishing only to spend his time riding. (He later liked to boast that he had read only one book in his life, Jack London
's novel White Fang
, although in fact he read most of his daughters' books.) His lack of academic aptitude meant that he was not sent to Eton
with his older brother, but rather to Radley
, with the intention that he should enter... Read More