John Fane, 7th Earl of Westmorland

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The dedication page on the first edition of William Blackstone's work The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest (1759),[1] which was published by the Clarendon Press at the University of Oxford when Westmorland was Chancellor of the University. Blackstone dedicated the book to Westmorland, calling him "The Assertor of those Liberties" set down in the Magna Carta and other charters "[o]f which his Ancestors Witnessed the Confirmation".

John Fane, 7th Earl of Westmorland (24 March 1685 – 26 August 1762) was an English nobleman, styled The Honourable John Fane from 1691 to 1733 and Lord Catherlough from 1733 to 1736.

John Fane was the son of Vere Fane, 4th Earl of Westmorland and his wife Rachel Bence. He was admitted at Lincoln's Inn in 1703, and entered as a fellow commoner at Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1703/4.[2] He was MP for Hythe from 1708 to 1711, and MP for Kent from 1715 to 1722.[2]

Fane served in the British Army, reaching the rank of colonel in the 1st Troop, Horse Guards. He was created 1st Baron Catherlough of Catherlough in Ireland on 4 October 1733 and succeeded his elder brother as 7th Earl of Westmorland in 1736. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Buckingham from 1727 to 1734. He is also notable for being the patron of Colen Campbell's Palladian Mereworth Castle.

When the 7th Earl, died without issue, in 1762, his Irish barony became extinct, the barony of Le Despencer, being a barony in fee, devolved upon his nephew Sir Francis Dashwood, bart.; and the earldom of Westmorland went to the male heir, Thomas Fane of Bristol, merchant, son of Henry Fane, (d. 1726,) attorney at law, grandson of Sir Francis Fane, K.B. and great grandson of Sir Francis Fane, of Fulbeck, co. Lincoln, K.B. the third son of Francis Fane, 1st Earl of Westmorland.[3]


  1. ^ William Blackstone (1759), The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest, with other Authentic Instruments: To which is Prefixed an Introductory Discourse, Containing the History of the Charters. By William Blackstone, Esq; Barrister at Law, Vinerian Professor of the Laws of England, and D.C.L., Oxford: Clarendon Press, OCLC 4547269 .
  2. ^ a b "Fane, John (FN703J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ Debrett 1820, 160


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Debrett's Correct Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland" by John Debrett
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Philip Boteler, Bt
John Boteler
Member of Parliament for Hythe
with John Boteler 1708–1710
The Viscount Shannon 1710–1711
George Chamberlayne 1728

Succeeded by
John Boteler
William Berners
Preceded by
Mildmay Fane
William Delaune
Member of Parliament for Kent
with William Delaune

Succeeded by
Sir Edward Knatchbull, Bt
Sir Thomas Twisden, Bt
Preceded by
Richard Grenville
William Heathcote
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
with William Heathcote 1727
Thomas Lewis 1727–1728
George Chamberlayne 1728

Succeeded by
George Chamberlayne
Richard Grenville
Military offices
Preceded by
William Windress
Colonel of John Fane's Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Viscount Hinchingbrooke
Preceded by
Lord Lumley
Captain and Colonel of the
1st Troop Horse Grenadier Guards

Succeeded by
Sir Robert Rich, Bt
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Captain and Colonel of
His Majesty's Own Troop of Horse Guards

Succeeded by
The Duke of Montagu
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Arran
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by
The Earl of Lichfield
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Fane
Earl of Westmorland
Succeeded by
Thomas Fane
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Catherlough