Sneha Girap (Editor)

Annie Henrietta Yule

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Annie Yule


Andrew Yule

Annie Henrietta Yule, Lady Yule (1874 – 25 July 1950) was a British film financier and a breeder of Arabian horses.


Early life and marriage

She was the only daughter (one son) of the entrepreneur Andrew Yule and his wife Emma Porter of Calcutta, India. Her father founded the conglomerate bearing his name, now owned by the Indian government, and (indirectly) Yule Catto & Co, now known as Synthomer plc. She married her cousin Sir David Yule (1858-1928), who had come out from Britain to join the family business. They had one child, a daughter called Gladys Yule (1903-1957).

Soon after the wedding, the couple moved to England; she refused to live in India after an attack of malaria, although her husband's business interests remained there, and so he was unable to spend much time in the UK. They purchased Hanstead, a country house estate in Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, five miles from St Albans and not far from London. Lady Yule and her daughter lived there for the rest of their lives. In 1925 the Yules commissioned a new house for the site, designed to appear Georgian.

Widowhood and wealth

Sir David died in 1928, leaving his widow and daughter wealthy women. Indeed, at one point Lady Yule was known as the richest woman in the UK, even surpassing Lucy, Lady Houston, but on her death left only $1.6 million.

Lady Yule and Gladys were world travellers. Lady Yule ordered three private motor yachts in 1929 from John Brown & Company of Clydebank, Glasgow; Nahlin was sold to Carol II of Romania on the eve of World War II.

The mother and daughter reportedly shared an interest in big game hunting: Hanstead House was said to have been adorned by a large stuffed bear which they had killed in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. In the grounds they kept a seal, penguins, and wallabies.

Film financing

Her biographer in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, historian Richard Davenport-Hines, describes her as "restless and easily bored" and suggests she joined the film industry "as a diversion" from her widowhood, as her "commitment to filming was spasmodic". According to the 1986 autobiography of the director Michael Powell, A Life in Movies, "she was casual, patriotic, and somewhat eccentric and saw in films a possible way to promote the British way of life." (Davenport-Hines also said she had "strong religious opinions, a sharp tongue, and imperious habits.") She co-founded British National Films Company with J. Arthur Rank and producer John Corfield in 1934, and was one of the first investors in Pinewood Film Studios, although she left the management of these investments to others.

Horse breeding

Lady Yule was more hands-on in the breeding farm she set up with her daughter at their home. They bred prize-winning cattle, and in 1925 turned their attention to Arabian horses. The Hanstead Stud became of national and international significance, "second only in importance to" Crabbet Arabian Stud. She showed more kindness to animals than to people, equipping her stables with mechanical drinking-troughs but expecting her staff to abstain from alcohol, as she did herself (though she was a heavy smoker). In 1927 she purchased Balaton Lodge, a racing stable in Newmarket, the centre of thoroughbred breeding. In 1947 she handed that property over to the Veterinary Educational Trust (later the Animal Health Trust), which operated there until 1999. The lodge and stable courtyard have been renovated, and are now separate dwellings.


Annie Henrietta Yule Wikipedia

Similar Topics