Prime Minister Lord North had three sons and they became the third, fourth and fifth Earls of Guilford. Frederic North, the fifth Earl, built the Guilford Library in the early 19th Century. The Guilford Library has been attributed to Sydney Smirke, the younger brother of Sir Robert Smirke, best known for his design of the British Library. There being no male heir, the Earldom of Guilford was passed to a cousin while the Barony of North was devolved by order of the House of Lords in 1837, upon the third earl’s daughter, Susan. To perpetuate the family line, her Irish husband, Lieutenant John Doyle, took the name of North in 1838.

Susan and John North built the South Wing in 1859 which now houses the seminar rooms. They also collected wood carvings and paneling for the Reading Room and for other parts of the Abbey.

Their son, William, the eleventh Baron North did not inherit the Wroxton property until 1894. A keen sportsman, he died in 1932 at the age of 96 and is remembered with great affection in Wroxton and Banbury. All the North effects were sold at a public sale in 1933 and the North family relinquished the lease of Wroxton Abbey.

Lord and Lady North in 1908
Four Generations: The North family in 1921