BLIGH, Hon. Ivo Francis Walter.
Born at Westminster, London, 13th March 1859.
Died at Puckle Hill House, Shorne, Kent, 10th April 1927.
The second son of John Stuart, the 6th Earl of Darnley, of Cobham Hall, and brother of Edward Henry Stuart, the 7th Earl of Darnley, of Cobham Hall, Kent. He was educated at Eton, where he was in the cricket eleven 1876-77, went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he got his cricket blue 1878-81. He played in 47 matches for Kent 1877-83 and led at team that toured Australia 1882-3, playing in all four Test Matches. He also represented Cambridge at tennis and rackets. He was President of Kent CCC in 1892 and of the M.C.C. in 1900. He succeeded as the 8th Earl of Darnley in 1900. He was a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for Kent, and from 1902 Hon.Colonel of the 4th Volunteer Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment. He married Florence Rose, daughter of John Stephen Morphy, of Beechworth, Victoria, Australia.
He gave up his sporting activities early due to a break down in health.
His great-grandfather, the 4th Earl of Darnley played for Kent in 1790.
The 1881 Census shows him as Walter Ivo Francis Bligh, aged 22, an undergraduate, resident at Cobham Hall with his sisters Mary Rose Florence, aged 12 and Constance Violet Lucy, aged 11. Guellie Fredericka Neiusich is a 39 year old German governess and there are fifteen domestic servants.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Don Ambrose)