The Sitwell Baronetcy was created in 1808. The Sitwell family had been ironmasters and landowners in Eckington, Derbyshire, for many centuries and lived at Renishaw Hall, built by a family member in 1653. The hall is said to have inspired DH Lawrence when he wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
The first Baronet was Sir Sitwell Sitwell, a member of parliament. Legend has it that he was ennobled after building a splendid new ballroom at Renishaw Hall and inviting the Prince of Wales to a ball. The Prince was unable to accept such an invitation from a commoner.
The fourth Baronet, the eccentric Sir George Rereseby Sitwell (father of Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell) was an historian and politician known as “Ginger”. In 1909, he purchased and restored a castle at Montegufoni near Florence and lived there from 1925 to the outbreak of World War II, complaining that he could not afford the taxes in England. Ginger died in Switzerland in 1943. He is vividly recalled in the autobiography of his son, Osbert, the fifth Baronet, who divided his time between Renishaw and Montegufoni.
On the death of Osbert in 1969 the Baronetcy passed to his younger brother Sachie, already established at Weston Hall. Sachie’s elder son, Reresby, inherited Renishaw and Montegufoni, and became the seventh Baronet in 1988. Montegufoni was sold in the 1970s and is now a luxury hotel.
Sachie’s younger son, Francis, acquired Weston Hall from a family member and restored it with his wife, Susanna, where they lived with their children George, William and Henrietta. Sir Reresby Sitwell died in 2009, leaving Renishaw Hall to his daughter, Alexandra. The Baronetcy passed to his nephew, George, who is the eighth Baronet.