Mr. Francis Egerton Harding, of Old Springs, Market Drayton, a magistrate for Staffs and for Salop, died on May 13 at the age of eighty-one. By his death there is lost a generous layman, a convert-to the faith, whose help to his fellow-Catholics will he gratefully remembered. In his domestic chapel Mass has been celebrated weekly for a long time past, served from Market Drayton, where the parish church has a secondary patron in St. Stephen Harding.
Old Springs has long been the home of the Haralings. Egerton William Harding, 1.13., of that house, was the father of Francis Harding now dead, whose mother was Harriet Georgina, daughter of Sir William H. Mulcaster, C.B., K.C.H. After education at Eton. Francis served for a time as a Lieutenant in the 94th Regiment. As a young man he was drawn towards the Church, and in 1882 he became a Catholic.
Mr. Harding was twice married. His first wife, who died fifty years ago, was Frances Pauline Somers, daughter of the Hon. John Somers-Cocks; and in 1889 he married the Hon. Emma Clifford, daughter of the eighth Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. Egerton Stephen Somers Harding, 0.B.E., K.C.S.G., formerly (1922-4) general secretary of the Catholic Truth Society, is his eldest son.