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Viscountess Ridley dies at age of 77; Served as naval volunteer.

Byline: By Chloe Griffiths

LADY Anne Katharine, wife of the 4th Viscount Ridley, has died aged 77.

A keen supporter of the Red Cross and a former crack shot, Viscountess Ridley, died on October 16.

She had been married to Matthew White Ridley, the 4th Viscount, for 53 years and the couple lived on the family's 7,000-acre Blagdon Estate at Seaton Burn, near Stannington, Northumberland.

None of her family was at home for comment last night.

Her funeral will be held at St Mary's Church, Stannington on October 26.

The family have asked for donations to the British Red Cross, the Prayer Book Society and the Newcastle branch of the Injured Jockeys' Fund.

Born on November 16, 1928, Lady Anne Katharine Gabrielle Lumley was the daughter of Sir Lawrence Roger Lumley, the 11th Earl of Scarborough and Katherine Isobel McEwen, and had three sisters and one brother.

She married the Honourable Matthew White Ridley on January 3, 1953. He had studied at Eton College, before attending Oxford. He went on to serve as aide-de-camp for the Governor of Kenya before joining the army - reaching the rank of brevet colonel in the Northumberland Hussars.

He became the 4th Viscount after his father died in 1964, and also served as the Chancellor of Newcastle University and was Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland for 16 years.

The Viscountess also served the forces - joining Newcastle's Women's Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve Unit, where she was a Third Officer and was known as a crack shot.

In July 1958, she competed in the National Rifle Association's annual Bisley fortnight, just five months after she had given birth to the couple's only son, also Matthew White Ridley. He now occupies one side of the family ancestral home with his wife, Texas-born Anya Hurlbert, who he met in America, and the couple's two children, Matthew and Iris.

Mr Ridley was both the chairman and a driving force behind the International Centre of Life in Newcastle, as well as writing books on the subject of genetics, such as Nature via Nurture, Genome and The Origins of Virtue.

The couple also had three daughters, Mary Victoria, Cecilia Anne and Rose Emily.

The family regularly opened their magnificent grounds to the public to raise money for the British Red Cross, with the first event taking place in 1932.

Visitors have also been welcomed by the Viscountess on to the 7,000-acre private estate in aid of other charities, including the National History Society and Newcastle University Alumni Association.

The Ridley name has now been carried through nine generations, for more than 300 years.

CAPTION(S):

AT HOME: Lord and Lady Ridley.' ACTION-PACKED: Above, Lady Ridley pictured at the National Rifle Association's Bisley fortnight in 1958. Right, at home during a Northumberland spring in 1993.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Oct 19, 2006
Words:463
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