The Wakefields were originally Quaker bankers from Kendal, whose firm Wakefield Crewdson & Co was sold in 1893 to the Bank of Liverpool, eventually to become part of Barclays. Gerald Hugo Cropper Wakefield, known from infancy as Hady, was born in India on September 15 1938 – at the Maharajah of Nabha’s residence, Stirling Castle, in the Himalayan foothills of Simla.
He was the second son of Edward Birkbeck Wakefield, a rising star of the Indian Civil Service who served as chief minister in several Indian states; Hady’s mother Lalage was a celebrated horsewoman, also born in Simla but brought up in Ireland; before her marriage she had been a society belle in Delhi, where her father Sir John Perronet Thompson was chief commissioner.
The Wakefield parents, who had survived being buried alive in the 1935 Quetta earthquake in which their elder daughter was killed, returned from India in 1947. Edward went on to become Conservative MP for West Derbyshire, treasurer of HM Household, a baronet in 1962, and finally High Commissioner to Malta.
After leaving the City, Wakefield focused with enthusiasm for the rest of his life on farming at Bramdean in Hampshire and supporting his wife’s gardening projects. Victoria, née Feilden, whom he married in 1971, was descended on her mother’s side from the Baring banking dynasty and had inherited the Bramdean estate – whose house dates from the 1740s and whose landscape features double mirror-image herbaceous borders rising through walled kitchen gardens and orchards to a distant Apple House as a focal point.
Hady Wakefield is survived by his wife and their son Edward. The Wakefield baronetcy is held by Hady’s elder brother Sir Humphry, of Chillingham Castle, Northumberland.
Hady Wakefield, born September 15 1938, died June 16 2021