Doreen Knatchbull, Baroness Brabourne

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Doreen Knatchbull, Dowager Lady Brabourne, CI (29 May 1896 – 28 August 1979) was an Anglo-Irish aristocrat, socialite and victim of the Provisional IRA.

Family life

Doreen, Dowager Lady Brabourne was born The Lady Doreen Geraldine Browne, the third daughter of George Ulick Browne 6th Marquess of Sligo and Agatha Stewart Hodgson, granddaughter of William Forsyth QC. On 22 January 1919, she married Hon. Michael Knatchbull, a son of Cecil Knatchbull-Hugessen, 4th Baron Brabourne and his eventual successor.

They had two children:

On 15 February 1933, her husband succeeded his father as 5th Baron Brabourne and Doreen became The Lady Brabourne.


On 27 August 1979, the Dowager Lady Brabourne was seriously injured in an explosion which killed Lord Mountbatten (the father of her younger son's wife), their grandson Nicholas, and a local fishing boy Paul Maxwell, on Donegal Bay, County Sligo. A bomb had been planted in Lord Mountbatten's fishing boat by a member of the Provisional IRA. Lady Brabourne died the next day.


Her name is commemorated by the eponymous Lady Brabourne College, which was established in 1939 as the first women's college for Muslim women in Calcutta, India. She took the initiative in establishing this institution following complaints from Muslim girls that they were discriminated against by the Hindu establishment at the elite Bethune College, which is incidentally the first women's college in India.


  • Peerage website
  • - Tribute & Memorial web-site to Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
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