In 2009, the Cowdray Estate celebrated 100 years of family ownership. It was way back in 1909 that the Pearson family purchased the Estate.
Sir Weetman Dickinson Pearson was the first owner and he was created Baron Cowdray of Midhurst in 1910, and was later advanced to Viscount in 1917.
The First Viscount Cowdray was a highly successful engineer and businessman. He carried through vast projects which included the construction of the Blackwall Tunnel under the Thames and Southampton Docks. He also undertook large scale projects in Mexico.
In 1927, his son Weetman Harold Miller Pearson took over as the Second Viscount Cowdray. A liberal MP for Suffolk, both he and his father were in the House of Commons. He died in 1933.
Weetman John Churchill Pearson became the Third Viscount Cowdray in 1933.
While maintaining the far-flung business interests of the Pearsons, he is probably best remembered for his passionate love of polo. He died in 1995.
Continuity and commitment
The current and Fourth Viscount Cowdray – Michael Orlando Weetman Pearson – took over when his father died and continues with the family commitment to the Estate.