The family of Fox, which is of ancient descent, ranked amongst the most influential and opulent in the north of England.
WILLIAM FOX, living in the reign of EDWARD IV, acquired by marriage with Sybil, daughter of John de Grete, the lands of Grete, Yardley, Worcestershire. He was succeeded by his son,
JOHN FOX, of Grete, living in 1523, father by alice his wife of
JOHN FOX, of Grete, who married and left issue, his son,
THOMAS FOX, of Grete, who, by his wife, had issue, the youngest son,
EDMUND FOX, of Birmingham, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Hugh Grossbrooke, and had issue, the 3rd son,
JOSEPH FOX ESQ, born in 1617, who held a major's commission in the army serving in Ireland.
He married the Hon Thomasine Blayney, widow of Sir Henry Pierce Bt and daughter of Henry, 2nd Lord Blayney, by Jane his wife, daughter of Gerald, Viscount Drogheda. His son and successor,
HENRY FOX ESQ, who married secondly, in 1691, THE HON FRANCES LANE, daughter of Sir George Lane, of Tuske, County Roscommon, principal secretary of state in Ireland, created Viscount Lanesborough, who died in 1724. His heir,
GEORGE FOX ESQ, MP for the city of York, who inherited by will the great estates of Lord Lanesborough, and assumed, by act of parliament, in 1750, in accordance with the testator's injunction, the additional surname and arms of LANE.
He wedded, in 1731, Harriet, daughter and sole heiress of the Rt Hon Robert Benson, Lord Bingley; and was created, on the extinction of his father-in-law's peerage, in 1762,
BARON BINGLEY (2nd creation), of Bingley, Yorkshire. His only son,
ROBERT, 2nd Baron, born in 1732, wedded secondly Lady Brigit Henley, eldest daughter of Robert, Earl of Northington, Lord Chancellor of England; but predeceased his father, issueless, in 1768.
Lord Bingley died in 1772, and having survived his only child, devised his great estates in England and Ireland to his nephew,
JAMES LANE-FOX ESQ, of Bramham Park, Yorkshire, MP for Horsham.
This gentleman wedded, in 1789, the Hon Mercia Lucy Pitt, youngest daughter of George, Lord Rivers.
Mr Lane-Fox died in 1825, leaving his very extensive estates strictly entailed upon his eldest son,
GEORGE LANE-FOX ESQ, of Bramham Park.
He devised £300,000 first to his widow and then to his younger children, in addition to their marriage settlements.
He was a gentleman so highly respected in Yorkshire, where he resided with princely hospitality, that during his last illness, the newspapers of Leeds were stopped to announce his state of health.
He lived upon habits of intimacy with His Majesty, GEORGE III, who, when Prince of Wales, frequently sojourned at Bramham at hunting parties.
There is still preserved at Bramham, a correspondence between Mr Pitt and Mr Fox-Lane, wherein the minister offers to renew the Bingley peerage; and Mr Fox-Lane replies that "he being one of the very few old English families - a commoner (not a trader) of high birth and fortune, piqued himself upon that".
Mr Lane-Fox was succeeded by his son,
GEORGE LANE-FOX ESQ (1793-1848), of Bramham Park, who wedded, in 1816, Georgiana Henrietta, daughter of Edward Percy Buckley Esq, by Lady Georgiana West, his wife, daughter of John, Earl De La Warr, and had issue, his son,
GEORGE LANE-FOX ESQ, for whom The Duke of York and the Duchess of Rutland stood sponsors.
He was a great character and sportsman, known to all and sundry in Yorkshire as ‘The Squire'. He married Katherine Stein in 1837.
His life was not made any easier by inheriting debts of over £175,000 from his father. In due course he managed to pay these off, but did not have, at the same time, the means to rebuild his family home. He was very popular with his tenants and his portrait was presented to his wife by his tenants ‘as a memorial to their landlord's generosity'.
He was also one of the finest amateur coachmen in England, having learned on the long journey south to school at Eton College.
The four-in-hand, which he drove with such skill, is to be seen in the Castle Museum in York.
The Squire's elder son, George, had a vocation for the priesthood and father and son agreed that he would not succeed to the Estate.
His lineal descendant,
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL THE RT HON GEORGE RICHARD LANE-FOX (1870-1947), who, in 1903, married Agnes, daughter of 2nd Viscount Halifax.
The combination of her wealth, his determination and the compulsory purchase of the family's Irish estates, allowed George to honour a promise he had made to his grandfather, The Squire, to rebuild the House. The family reoccupied in 1907.
George was wounded in the First World War, serving with the Yorkshire Hussars, a regiment he later commanded. He had been elected to Parliament in 1906 and held several government posts including Secretary of State for Mines in 1923.
In 1933 he was created BARON BINGLEY (3rd creation); however, he had four daughters and, on his death, the title again became extinct.
THE FAMILY continues to live at their ancestral seat, Bramham Park, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, where their estate comprised 15,000 acres.
The Lane-Foxes had estates in Yorkshire, Dorset, and near Lanesborough, in Ireland.
Their town residence was at 12 Albemarle Street, London, presumably the site of The Lanesborough Hotel.
IN 1666, GEORGE LANE (1620-83) was granted lands in counties Dublin, Meath, Kilkenny, Longford, Waterford and Cork.
This George was the son of Richard Lane, of Tulsk, County Roscommon, and was created Viscount Lanesborough in 1676.
He acquired lands in the baronies of Roscommon and Ballintober, County Roscommon, and in County Longford, in 1678 and 1679 respectively.
These grants were further augmented by the purchase of the Duke of Buckingham's Irish estates in 1710.
In 1724, the Lanesborough title became extinct. The Lanesborough estates in England and Ireland were inherited by the 2nd Viscount's sister, who was married to Henry Fox.
Though the Longford and Roscommon properties were sold to Luke White in 1819, the Lane-Fox family continued to hold substantial property in both counties Leitrim and Waterford.
For the most part they were absentee landlords, their estates being managed by a succession of stewards, including Joshua Kell, who was a member of the Grand Jury for Leitrim, in 1851.
The family sold the bulk of their remaining estates to the Irish Land Commission in the early years of the 20th century.