Yesterday Stella Creasy tweeted at Guido that there was “no Downton Abbey in my family“. This is despite the best efforts of her father, an opera singer, pictured above looking very fetching in his powdered wig. Her mother’s side of the family is a different story – the sort that makes Downton look like Keeping Up Appearances.
Stella’s mum is Corinna Frances Avril Martin, the daughter of Sheelagh Vereker. Vereker was the fifth child of Lt. Colonel John Cayzer Medlicott Vereker. The name “Cayzer” comes from his mother, Mary Agnes Cayzer – a member of the almost incalculably wealthy Cayzer family. The Cayzers hold a Baronetcy, making Stella a cousin of the sixth Baron Cayzer. Mary Agnes was married to John Medlicott Vereker, who was the son of John Prendergast Vereker, who was the son of the third Viscount Gort – a noble lineage that began in the town of Gort, County Galway. At the end of the seventeenth century the local Ó Seachnasaigh* clan’s lands were confiscated and granted to the English Sir Thomas Prendergast, first Baronet, whose grandson was John Prendergast Smyth, first Viscount Gort. In 1831 the town had a population of 3,627, the famine in Gort of the mid-1840s saw a quarter of them die. Understandably the family moved away from Ireland when it became a free state, and the current Viscount – Stella’s distant cousin – resides in the tax haven of the Isle of Man.
Stella is the fourth parliamentarian in her family. The third Viscount Gort represented the constituency of Limerick, as did his father, and his father before him. Politics is in her posh blue blood…