George Charles Henry Victor Paget, 7th Marquess of Anglesey, who has died aged 90, was a soldier, historian and conservationist.
After serving with the Royal Horse Guards during the Second World War he succeeded to the marquessate of Anglesey in 1947. Substantial inheritance tax liabilities soon forced the reduction of the family landholdings from 650,000 acres to 40,000 acres.
Lord Anglesey became a military historian, writing a biography of his famous ancestor William Paget, Lord Uxbridge and later 1st Marquess of Anglesey, a dashing Napoleonic-era cavalry commander.
Lord Uxbridge played a crucial part in the battle of Waterloo. As he was riding off the field with the Duke of Wellington his leg was smashed by grapeshot, causing him to remark with characteristic understatement: ‘By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg!’ – to which Wellington responded, with equal sang froid: ‘By God, sir, so you have!’ Uxbridge’s pioneering wooden leg is still at the family’s ancestral seat, Plas Newydd.
The 7th Marquess’s magnum opus was an eight-volume History of the British Cavalry, 1816-1919, which received increasingly laudatory reviews as the individual volumes were published.
Lord Anglesey was also active in conservation, serving variously as founding president of the Friends of Friendless Churches, president of the National Museums of Wales, chairman of the Historic Buildings Council for Wales, vice-chairman of the Welsh Committee of the National Trust, member of the Royal Fine Arts Commission, trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. In 1976 he donated Plas Newyd and 169 acres of surrounding land along the Menai Strait to the National Trust, although he continued to maintain an apartment in the house.