Earl of Lincoln

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Edward Clinton (1512-1585)
1st Earl of Lincoln
(Eight Creation of the title)

Earl of Lincoln is a title that has been created eight times in the Peerage of England.

Earls of Lincoln, First Creation (1143)[edit]

The Earldom was created for the first time probably around 1143 as William d'Aubigny, 1st Earl of Arundel, is mentioned as Earl of Lincoln in 1143 in two charters for the Abbey of Affligem, representing his wife Adeliza of Louvain, former wife of King Henry I.

Earls of Lincoln, Second Creation (after 1143)[edit]

The Earldom was created for a second time by King Stephen sometime after 1143 for William de Roumare. However, in 1149 or 1150, as William had gone over to the side of Empress Matilda, the King Stephen took the earldom off him and elevated Gilbert de Gant as Earl of Lincoln.

Earls of Lincoln, Third Creation (about 1149)[edit]

The Earldom was created for a third time by King Stephen in 1149 or 1150 for Gilbert de Gant, but on his death in 1156 it reverted to the Crown.

Earls of Lincoln, Fourth Creation (1217)[edit]

The Earldom was created for a fourth time in 1217 for Ranulph de Blondeville. He had no issue. In April 1231, with the consent of the King, before his death he passed the Earldom to his sister Hawise of Chester, and she was formally invested by King Henry III in October 1232. Royal consent was needed for this, because the Earldom would otherwise have reverted to the crown in the absence of a legitimate male heir. She in turn passed the Earldom, again with the consent of the King, to her daughter Margaret de Quincy suo jure, and her son-in-law John de Lacy, Baron of Pontefract. They were formally invested by Henry III in November 1232. Their grandson, the third Earl, married Margaret Longespee. Their daughter Alice inherited the earldom. She was the wife of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster. They had no children and the earldom reverted to the Crown on Alice's death in 1348.

The above list does not contain the men who became Earl of Lincoln by right of their wives who were Countess of Lincoln suo jure, except for John de Lacy, 2nd Earl of Lincoln. He is included in the above list because he was created Earl of Lincoln by Royal Charter (together with his wife Margaret de Quincy, Countess of Lincoln). The other men who became Earl of Lincoln by right of their wives were:

As Earl of Lincoln these husbands had immense power with the right to control the estates of their wives.

The above list also does not include Margaret Longespee, the lady who was titled Countess of Lincoln by right of her husband Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln.

Earls of Lincoln, Fifth Creation (1349)[edit]

The Earldom was created for a fifth time in the following year, 1349, when it was revived for Alice's nephew-in-law Henry of Grosmont, who was later created Duke of Lancaster. It became extinct on his death in 1361.

Earls of Lincoln, Sixth Creation (1467)[edit]

The Earldom was created for a sixth time in 1467 for John de la Pole. He was the eldest son of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and Elizabeth of York. He predeceased his father and the title became extinct on his death in 1487.

Earls of Lincoln, Seventh Creation (1525)[edit]

The Earldom was created for the seventh time in 1525 for Henry Brandon. He was the only son of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, by his wife Mary Tudor. He died at the age of eleven in 1534 when the title became extinct.

Earls of Lincoln, Eighth Creation (1572)[edit]

Arms of de Clinton, Barons Clinton and Earls of Lincoln:
Argent, six crosses crosslet fitchée sable three two and one on a chief azure two mullets or pierced gules

This creation of the Earldom was made for the eighth time in 1572 for the naval commander Edward Clinton, 9th Baron Clinton (see the Baron Clinton for earlier history of the family). He served as Lord High Admiral under Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He represented Launceston and Lancashire in the House of Commons. His son, the third Earl, sat as Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby and Lincolnshire. In 1610 he was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Clinton.

His great-grandson, the fifth Earl, died without surviving issue in 1692 when the earldom and barony separated. The barony fell into abeyance between his aunts (see the Baron Clinton for further history of this title). He was succeeded in the earldom by his second cousin once removed, the sixth Earl. He was the grandson of Sir Edward Clinton, second son of the second Earl. His son, the seventh Earl, served as Paymaster of the Forces, as Constable of the Tower and as Cofferer of the Household. Lord Lincoln married Lucy Sydney (d. 1736), daughter of Robert Sydney, 2nd Earl of Leicester (see the Earl of Chichester for earlier history of the Pelham family).

His eldest son, the eighth Earl, died as a child and was succeeded by his younger brother, the ninth Earl. He was Cofferer of the Household and Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and Cambridgeshire. He married his first cousin Catherine Pelham (d. 1760), daughter and heiress of Henry Pelham. In 1756 his uncle the Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne was created Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne, with remainder to his nephew Lord Lincoln, and on the Duke's death in 1768 Lincoln succeeded as second Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne according to the special remainder. He assumed by Royal Licence the additional surname of Pelham the same year.

The Duke's two elder sons, George Pelham-Clinton, Lord Clinton, and Henry Pelham-Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, both predeceased him. He was therefore succeeded by his third son, the third Duke. He was a Major-General in the Army. On his early death the titles passed to his son, the fourth Duke. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire from 1809 to 1839. He was succeeded by his son, the fifth Duke. He was a prominent politician and held office as Chief Secretary for Ireland, as Secretary of State for the Colonies and as Secretary of State for War. His eldest son, the sixth Duke, briefly represented Newark in the House of Commons. The Duke married Henrietta Adele, the wealthy heiress and daughter of Henry Thomas Hope.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, the seventh Duke, who died childless and was succeeded by his younger brother. In 1881 the eighth Duke assumed by Royal Licence the additional surname of Hope on inheriting the substantial Hope estates through his paternal grandmother. On his death the titles passed to his only son, the ninth Duke. He had two daughters but no sons and was succeeded by his third cousin, the tenth Duke. He was the great-grandson of Lord Charles Pelham-Clinton, second son of the fourth Duke. He died unmarried in December 1988, having held the titles for only a month. On his death the dukedom became extinct while he was succeeded in the earldom by his distant relative, the eighteenth Earl, a descendant in the tenth-generation of The Hon Sir Henry Fynes-Clinton, third son of the second Earl. Lord Lincoln lived all his life in Australia, and reportedly learned of his succession from a British newspaper. He wrote a book: Memoirs of an Embryo Earl. The eighteenth Earl died in 2001 and was succeeded by his grandson, whose father had died in 1999. The nineteenth Earl is a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, and still lives in Australia.

Several other members of the Clinton family have also gained distinction. Edward Clinton, Lord Clinton, son of the fourth Earl, was Member of Parliament for Callington. The Honourable George Clinton, youngest son of the sixth Earl, was a Naval Commander, politician and Colonial administrator. His son General Sir Henry Clinton was Commander-in-Chief of the British in North America from 1778 to 1782. His sons General Sir William Henry Clinton and Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton were also successful military commanders. Lord Edward Pelham-Clinton GCVO, second son of the fifth Duke, was a soldier and courtier.

The seat of the Dukes of Newcastle was Clumber House near Worksop, Nottinghamshire. However, the house was demolished in 1938. The surrounding estate was sold to the National Trust in 1946 and is now a country park featuring a noteworthy Walled Kitchen Garden open to the public.

An extensive collection of papers of the Pelham-Clinton Dukes of Newcastle-under-Lyne has been deposited at the department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham.

The heir presumptive to the title is the present holder's younger brother The Honourable William Roy Howson (b. 1980). He assumed by Government Licence in 1996 the surname of Howson in lieu of Fiennes-Clinton. The eventual heir is his son Jordan Ryder Howson (b. 2004).

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