THE former High Sheriff of Dorset, Mary Marten, has passed away aged 80.

Mary Anna Sibell Elizabeth Sturt was born in September 1929, the daughter of the third and final Lord Alington of Crichel, Wimborne.

After joining the Brownies alongside Princess Marg-aret, Miss Sturt went to school in Lancaster Gate and later attended Cheltenham Ladies College.

Miss Sturt met her future husband, Toby Marten, at Somerville College, Oxford, where she studied history.

The couple later married in Brompton in the presence of George VI and his wife, the future Queen Mother – who was also Mrs Marten’s godmother – and Princess Margaret.

The Martens lived in a farmhouse on the Crichel Estate before moving into Crichel House in 1962, undertaking major reno-vation work at the stately home. Mrs Marten became a patron of numerous charities and was part of the appeal committee for the spire of Salisbury Cathedral.

After her children had grown up, Mrs Marten became a trustee of the British Museum, meeting Sir David Attenborough at one event.

Mrs Marten was appointed as High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset in 1989 and OBE in 1980.

During her time in the roles she received a crown court commendation and made an official visit to Portland’s Young Offenders Institution and The Verne prison.

Mrs Marten also became a trustee of the Dorset Historic Churches Trust in 1986 and was a former chairman and president of the North Dorset Conserv-ative Association.

She is survived by her five daughters and one son.