Tuesday, 4 September 2012

T A Villiers MP

The Right Honourable Theresa Villiers MP is the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Unless I am mistaken, the family pronounces their name as in "Villerz".

Theresa Anne Villiers, born in 1968, is MP for Chipping Barnet. She was appointed as a Privy Counsellor in 2010.

Mrs Villiers was born in London, the daughter of George Edward Villiers and Anne Virginia (née Threlfall).

On her father's side she is a descendant of the Hon Edward Ernest Villiers, brother of George, 4th Earl of Clarendon, Charles Pelham Villiers and Henry Villiers.

She is also a distant relative of the actor James Villiers.

Growing up in north London, she was educated at the independent Francis Holland School; gained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree with first class honours in 1990 from the University of Bristol, and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) from Jesus College, Oxford, in 1991.

After graduating she worked as a barrister and as a lecturer at King's College London (1994–99);  married fellow lawyer Sean Wilken in 1997; and the couple wrote an academic legal book. They have since divorced.


Anonymous said...

You are correct that Theresa Villiers is a descendant of the 1st Earl of Clarendon and of Sir Edward Villiers (ancestor of both of the existing Villiers Earldoms of Clarendon and Jersey) the elder half-brother of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, who had close links with Ireland in the early seventeenth century. In that era Buckingham established a monopoly over appointments to high office in Ireland, encouraged James the First to expand the Irish peerage, received a substantial part of the Irish Customs as personal income, owned extensive lands in Ossory and Leitrim and saw his half-brother Sir Edward Villiers appointed President of Munster in January 1625. So, the Villiers family links with Irish politics span some three centuries now.

Anonymous said...

Earlier message should have read span of some four centuries (rather than three) - if you could kindly amend, if you wish to publish the historical comment regarding Villiers family link with Irish politics.

Anonymous said...

Another tour needed here. This time, near Charing Cross Station in London where you will find four streets named after George,Villiers,Duke and Buckingham. Amazingly, there was once also an 'Of Alley' which covered the missing word in the landowner's title.

R Wombat (Chelsea)

Rex Hunter said...

a further link with Ulster is that the widow of the First Duke of Buckingham re-married one of the McDonnells and came to live in Dunluce Castle, circa 1640. (George Villiers was stabbed to death by a a veteran of one of the disastrous expeditions he mounted to the Continent.) I think without checking she was Katharine Manners from the landed family in the midlands.

Anonymous said...

How about writing to the new Sec of State? You could:

1) Welcome her to NI.
2) Advise her of her unusual Dunluce link mentioned by R Hunter above.
3) Congratulate her on being the most attractive SoS to date.

R Wombat

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with R. Wombat (Chelsea) Theresa Villiers is most easy on the eye. The new Secretary of State has inherited the good looks which attracted King Charles II to her kinswoman Barbara Villiers (created Duchess of Cleveland in 1670) and, a few years later, King William III to Elizabeth Villiers, Countess of Orkney (a cousin of the aforementioned Barbara)who was the Maid-of-Honour to Queen Mary II whilst simultaneously mistress to the latter's husband.