The Directors and the Governor
Brief History of the Directors
Lord Radnor with the Directors
Poor and infirm Huguenots were relieved by the Royal Bounty, which was distributed by the French Committee, 38 fellow refugees, of all classes, who had prospered, and who made up the court of The French Hospital on its foundation. These Huguenots gave aid and support to their fellow refugees in need - a tradition continuing among their descendants to this day. Of approximately 38 of today's directors about half serve on the Quarterly Committee-the Trustees-which meets monthly at La Providence to advise on and scrutinise the work of the officers (Deputy Governor, Treasurer, Secretary) and 'servants' (Clerk, Chaplain, Surveyor, Accountant and Solicitor). Before each meeting a number of directors call on residents, in the Visite de la Maison, and report what they are told to the meeting, thus keeping carers and cared for in close touch.
Under a new charter granted by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the direction of "La Providence" remains in the hands of a Governor, Deputy Governor and Directors, who were permitted to acquire land of far greater value than was permitted in the Royal Charter of 1718. They are honoured to maintain this "monument to the piety of their ancestors".
Earl of Radnor, [Governor]
On 4th October 2008, William, the 9th Earl of Radnor was elected to be the new Governor of the French Hospital.
William 9th Earl of Radnor is the elder son of Jacob, 8th Earl of Radnor, born in 1955, educated at Harrow and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, William Pleydell-Bouverie, then Viscount Folkestone, developed his knowledge of the great art collection and the other treasures at the family seat at Longford, as a furniture specialist at Christie's, later becoming the firm's representative in Wiltshire.
He married Melissa Stanford in 1996 and they are now the parents of four sons and two daughters. The family have long-held, major property interests in Kent, notably in Folkestone, and Lord Radnor is deeply involved in the developments there, and is a Trustee of the Metropolitan Art Centre Trust, organisers of the major Triennial Exhibition.
His time will now be even more taken up with the great estate of Longford Castle. As family man, businessman and a landed proprietor, he is to be especially welcomed as Governor of the French Hospital, since he agreed to be proposed for election out of a sense of duty to the institution which his family have served for so long, with perhaps a measure of filial piety. As he has written "I look forward to seeing more of you in the future, and although I am aware that my father will be a hard act to follow I will do my best". It is most pleasing to all of us that he will be with us for so many years to come.