The Ditchley Foundation is a British organisation based at Ditchley House near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, which aims to promote international relations, especially Anglo-American relations, through a programme of around fifteen annual conferences on matters of international interest. The foundation was incorporated in 1958 by Sir David Wills, descendant of the tobacco importing family, W. D. & H. O. Wills of Bristol.
Ditchley is similar to Bilderberg group though transcrips of much of what they discuss are published.
Ditchley House[edit | edit source]
Ditchley House is the location of the Ditchley Foundation which owns the house.
In 1933 after the death of the 17th Viscount Dillon, Ditchley was bought by Anglo-American Ronald Tree and his wife, the celebrated decorator Nancy Lancaster. Tree and his wife Nancy were among those who saw the Nazi threat, and had invited Winston Churchill and his wife to dinner on numerous occasions from 1937. Shortly after the end of the war, Tree divorced Nancy and married Marietta Peabody Fitzgerald, an American woman he had met while working for the Ministry of Information. Eventually Tree sold Ditchley to Sir David Wills, descendant of the tobacco importing family, W. D. & H. O. Wills of Bristol; and moved with his family and butler Collins to New York.
Marietta Peabody Tree was an American socialite and political supporter, who represented the United States on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, appointed under the administration of John F. Kennedy. Mary Endicott Peabody was the only daughter of Malcolm Endicott Peabody, the rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Mary Elizabeth Parkman. Her grandfather Rev. Endicott Peabody was founder and first headmaster of Groton School where her four brothers Endicott, Samuel, George, and Malcolm were educated. Tree began a career as a fact checker, and latterly writer for Time magazine. At night she partied with the Astors, Paleys, and Warburgs; describing these years as: "a fever of happiness." Ronald Tree was then a dollar billionaire, whose mother was the daughter of retail magnate Marshall Field; while he himself was the then MP for Harborough, Leicestershire and friend of Winston Churchill.
Rev. Endicott Peabody was headmaster for Franklin Delano Roosevelt at Groton, and he officiated at Franklin's marriage to Eleanor Roosevelt. His great-grandfather was Salem shipowner and privateer Joseph Peabody who made a fortune importing pepper from Sumatra as well as opium from East-Asia. Joseph Peabody was one of the wealthiest men in the United States at the time of his death in 1844. Another of his ancestors was Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Endecott. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said of Peabody, "As long as I live his influence will mean more to me than that of any other people next to my father and mother." His family has been called Boston Brahmins.