Earl of Ducie

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Tortworth Court, the former seat of the Moreton family

Earl of Ducie is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1837 for Thomas Reynolds Moreton, 4th Baron Ducie. The family descends from Edward Moreton (17th century), who married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Ducie. Their son Matthew Ducie Moreton represented Gloucestershire in the House of Commons. In 1720 he was raised to the Peerage of Great Britain as Lord Ducie, Baron of Moreton, in the County of Stafford. He was succeeded by his son, the second Baron. He was also a Member of Parliament and served as Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire. In 1763 he was created Baron Ducie, of Tortworth in the County of Gloucester, with remainder to the sons of his sister Elizabeth Reynolds. This title was also in the Peerage of Great Britain.

On his death in 1770 the barony of 1720 became extinct. He was succeeded in the barony of 1763 according to the special remainder by his nephew, the second Baron. He assumed the surname of Moreton by Act of Parliament in 1771. He died childless and was succeeded by his younger brother, the third Baron. He had earlier represented Lancaster in Parliament. Lord Ducie assumed the surname of Moreton by Act of Parliament in 1786. Remote Ducie Island in the South Pacific is named after him. He was succeeded by his son, the fourth Baron. In 1837 he was created Baron Moreton, of Tortworth in the County of Gloucester, and Earl of Ducie. These titles are in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

His son, the second Earl, represented Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire East in the House of Commons. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the third Earl. He was a Liberal politician and served as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard from 1859 to 1866 under Lord Palmerston and Lord Russell. His only son Henry Reynolds-Moreton, Lord Moreton, sat as Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire West. However, he predeceased his father and on Lord Ducie's death the titles passed to his younger brother, the fourth Earl. He was a sheep and cattle farmer in Queensland, Australia, and also held several political offices in the state government. His son, the fifth Earl, was a dairy and fruit farmer in Australia. He was succeeded by his nephew, the sixth Earl. He was the son of the Hon. Algernon Howard Moreton, second son of the fourth Earl. As of 2010 the titles are held by his eldest son, the seventh Earl, who succeeded in 1991.

The Hon. Augustus Macdonald (who assumed the surname of Macdonald in lieu of Moreton), younger son of the first Earl, was a politician and writer.

The ancestral seat of the Moreton family was Tortworth Court, Gloucestershire. Another family seats was Spring Park, Gloucestershire, which was demolished and replaced with the incomplete Woodchester Mansion.

Barons Ducie, First creation (1720)[edit]

Coat of arms of the Earls of Ducie.

Barons Ducie, Second creation (1763)[edit]

Earls of Ducie (1837)[edit]

The heir apparent is the present holder's son James Berkeley Moreton, Lord Moreton (b. 1981)

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