Lady Anne Evelyn Beatrice Tree

Is your surname Tree?

Research the Tree family

Lady Anne Evelyn Beatrice Tree's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Anne Evelyn Beatrice Tree (Cavendish)

Birthdate: (82)
Death: August 9, 2010 (82)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire and Mary Alice Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
Wife of Michael Lambert Tree
Mother of Private
Sister of William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington; Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire; Mary Cavendish and Lady Elizabeth Cavendish

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Lady Anne Evelyn Beatrice Tree

Lady Anne Evelyn Beatrice Tree (née Cavendish, 6 November 1927 – 9 August 2010) was a British philanthropist, prison visitor, prisoner rights activist, and the founder of the charity Fine Cell Work, which gives prisoners the opportunity to do worthwhile work and acquire useful job skills for life after prison.

Early life

She was born Lady Anne Evelyn Beatrice Cavendish on 6 November 1927 at 2 Upper Belgrave Street, London, the third daughter of Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire (1895–1950), and his wife, Lady Mary Gascoyne-Cecil (1895–1988), granddaughter of Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.


She first wanted to be a prison visitor at the age of 14, and took up this role from 1949 until 1974, although she struggled at first to gain access to women's prisons, so resorted to extensive letter writing and using her wide network of friends and relations. One of the prisoners she regularly visited was Myra Hindley, and introduced Lord Longford to her.

Lady Tree became very aware of how boring and pointless life in prison could seem, and founded the charity Fine Cell Work, which gives men and women in prison the opportunity to create intricately-detailed cushion covers, wall hangings and rugs. She was keen on embroidery and needlework herself, and was confident that men would enjoy it too. The designs are created by leading fashion designers, and the skilled work can be rewarding, and may lead to paid work on release.

Personal life

On 3 November 1949, she married the artist Michael Lambert Tree (1921–1999), son of the politician Ronald Tree, and his wife Nancy Lancaster, a partner in the furnishings company Colefax and Fowler. They had two adopted daughters.

After the death of his uncle, Peter Beatty, on 26 October 1949, Tree inherited Mereworth Castle, Kent, where they lived subsequently.

Later life

On 9 August 2010, she died of lung cancer at her home, Lower Lane House in Compton Abbas, Dorset, and was survived by her two daughters.

view all

Lady Anne Evelyn Beatrice Tree's Timeline

November 6, 1927
August 9, 2010
Age 82