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Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale

1854 - 1925

This person is the subject of ongoing research. We have started by researching their relationship to the enslavement of people.

Biographical notes

Politician and huntsman.

National Gallery Trustee (1909–1924).

Slavery connections

For a period, he was responsible for guarding the Sudanese slave trader Zubayr Pasha (1830–1913) during his incarceration on Gibraltar and seems to have liked him personally (see Zachary S. Berman, ‘Owing and Owning: Zubayr Pasha, Slavery, and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Sudan’, CUNY Academic Works [online], 2017, <> accessed 5 August 2021). In 1886, he discussed the effects of Zubayr Pasha’s detention (without trial) in the House of Lords, arguing for more favourable treatment, partly for reasons of geo-political expediency: ‘the presence of Zehehr Pasha in the Sûdan might prove valuable in the interests of Egypt and the pacification of the Sûdan provinces’ (Hansard HL Deb. vol.305 col.711, 5 April 1886 [online], <> accessed 5 August 2021.) He published his Conversations with Zobeir Pasha at Gibraltar in 1908.

Abolition connections

No known connections with abolition.

National Gallery painting connections

Former owner: NG purchased in 1873: NG1043 (now at Tate, N01043). The full title of the painting, a landscape by James Ward, explains its connection with Lord Ribblesdale: Gordale Scar (A View of Gordale, in the Manor of East Malham in Craven, Yorkshire, the Property of Lord Ribblesdale).

Sitter: Lord Ribblesdale is the subject of a portrait by John Singer Sargent, which was presented to the NG in 1916: NG3044.


History of Parliament Trust (ed.), The History of Parliament: British Political, Social & Local History, London 1964-,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website

M. Pottle, 'Lister, Thomas, fourth Baron Ribblesdale', in C. Matthew et al. (eds), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford 1992-,
Checked and foundItem on publisher's website

J. Turner et al. (eds), Grove Art Online, Oxford 1998-,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website

UCL Department of History (ed.), Legacies of British Slave-ownership, London 2020,
Checked and not foundItem on publisher's website