Oriel Ross, 1907-1994
Portrait of Richard Henry Brinsely "6th Lord Grantley, Baron of Markenfield" 1892-1954
Richard Henry Brinsely "6th Lord Grantley

 " Oriel Ross"  and isncribed "Richard Norton"

34 x 24 cm 13.1/4 x 9.3/4 in.


from the artist's estate


He married Jean Mary Kinloch, daughter of Brig.-Gen. Sir David Alexander Kinloch of Gilmerton, 11th Bt. and Elinor Lucy Davenport, on 3 April 1919. He died on 17 July 1954 at age 62. He fought in the First World War, where he was wounded. He was Staff Captain, War Office in 1915. He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the Scots Guards SR. He succeeded to the title of 6th Lord Grantley, Baron of Markenfield, co. York on 5 August 1943. Achived notoriety in his youth for running up debts to the tune of £40,000 , he was wel know for his motor racing stunts. As soon as he went into film he was very good at managing and keeping staff in work, he came up with an ingenious way of keeping the studios busy and technicians employed by setting up a subsiduary called "Pinebrook" which specialized in making low budget films when there were gaps In the calender bookings for feature films. He introduced the "Norton formua" which saw employees invest a percentage of their wage into films, this was good for cash flow and meant that employees woud reep the benefits if the films did well. Pinebrook consequently never lost money. Nortons background in banking undoubtedy helped J Arthur Rank build up the British film industry into very successful enterprise.

Manager European Merchant Banking Co. Ltd, bankers, 1922–31; entered film business with United Artists Co., 1931;
Director of British and Dominions Film Corporation Ltd;
Director Pinewood Studios Ltd;
Executive Director D & P Studios Ltd;
Chairman British Film Production Association, 1939;
Member of the Board of Trade Films Council, 1938–40

Children of Richard Henry Brinsley Norton, 6th Lord Grantley, Baron of Markenfield and Jean Mary Kinloch

•Hon. Sarah Kathleen Elinor Norton b. 20 Jan 1920 for her husband William Waldorf 3rd Visount Astor

•John Richard Brinsley Norton, 7th Lord Grantley, Baron of Markenfield b. 30 Jul 1923, d. 1995

In 1945, Sarah Kathleen Elinor Norton married William Waldorf Astor [1907 - 1966], a British businessman and Conservative Party politician and a member of the prominent Astor family. Lord Astor died in Nassau, Bahamas at age 58 from a heart attack. She married, secondly, Lt.-Col. Thomas Michael Baring, son of Major Edward Thomas Baring and Virginia Ryan, on 17 April 1953. She and Lt.-Col. Thomas Michael Baring were divorced in 1965.

... At the timeSarah Norton met HRH Prince Philip, Osla was working at the Hawker-Siddeley aircraft factory in Slough and living in a cottage nearby with Sarah Norton and her father, Lord Grantley, the film-maker and raconteur. Grantley found Philip "the best of company" and was impressed by his forceful intellect. "He seemed to be interested in everything; and when asking me questions about films, for instance, he did not want to know about the stars but about the technicalities of how films were made."

Sir Anthony Havelock-Allan describes his friends character.

Richard Norton plays a big part in my story. He was a descendant of the playwright Sheridan and his father was Lord Grantley. He was known as the Wicked Uncle because of his hunched back. This was an old war injury which had been caused when he was blown up by a shell and, as Richard put it, fell on ‘the only bit of dry land in Flanders’.He was one of the most quintessentially aristocratic men I have ever known. He had dark bright eyes, long, thin-boned ankles and an eye glass that was not in the least comical.Once when Richard was managing director of Denham studios there was an industrial dispute, and Richard had to negotiate with the union leaders. It was resolved peacefully, but shortly afterwards the caretaker asked if he could have a word with Richard.‘I thought I ought to tell you, that among the graffiti in the men’s lavatory someone has written, ‘Captain Norton is a Bastard.’‘That’s all right,’ said Richard. ‘It’s nice for the men to have somewhere where to express their feelings. I think we ought to leave it.’A year went by. Richard’s elderly father died and he succeeded to the title of Lord Grantley. When the caretaker next came by to report, he asked him, ‘Is that inscription in the lavatory which you told me about a year ago still up there?’
‘Yes, it is.’‘Well, would you do me a favour. When no one’s looking, would you rub out “Captain Grantley” and put “Lord Grantley” instead. I like to keep up to date.’Like many people who had survived the first war Richard gave a high priority to the pursuit of fun. He loved to go out with frivolous blondes, had a yacht called Snip and was a keen racing driver. He held a high speed endurance record for driving a Bentley for twelve hours non-stop, never dropping beneath 120 miles an hour. His wife, Jean, who was very beautiful, had been part of the Prince of Wales’s set because her first cousin, Piers Leigh, was controller of the Prince’s household. Later, Jean would fall in love with Lord Beaverbrook and had a house on his estate, but she and Richard continued on good terms, and Beaverbrook always accepted that Richard came first in her hierarchy of things. Richard and I often used to spend weekends with him at Chertley. It is very rare for men to cry publicly, but when Richard died Beaverbrook was one of two men who were in floods of tears at his funeral.

Artist biography

Actress. Born Muriel Swinstead, she trained at the Royal College of Music and made her debut on stage at sixteen in Karel Capek's The Insect Play in 1923. In 1928 she appeared as Nature in Diaghilev 's Ballet Ode and then went to New York, where she appeared on Broadway and in revue and cabaret. She returned to London in 1931 and was in work throughout the 1930s and 40s, when she was a member of Lilian Baylis's Old Vic Company. She was married to the 8th Earl Poulett from 1935 to 1941.