Viscount Powerscourt (// PORZ-kort) is a title that has been created three times in the Peerage of Ireland, each time for members of the Wingfield family. It was created first in 1618 for the Chief Governor of Ireland, Richard Wingfield. However, this creation became extinct on his death in 1634. It was created a second time in 1665 for Folliott Wingfield. He was the great-great-grandson of George Wingfield, uncle of the first Viscount of the 1618 creation. However, the 1665 creation also became extinct on the death of its first holder in 1717.
It was created for a third time in 1744 for Richard Wingfield, along with title of Baron Wingfield, of Wingfield in the County of Wexford. He was the grandson of Lewis Wingfield, uncle of the first Viscount of the 1665 creation. Richard Wingfield had earlier represented Boyle in the Irish House of Commons. His eldest son, the second Viscount, represented Stockbridge in the British House of Commons. He was succeeded by his younger brother, the third Viscount. The latter's grandson, the fifth Viscount, sat in the House of Lords as an Irish Representative Peer from 1821 to 1823. His son, the sixth Viscount, sat as a Member of Parliament for Bath. On his death the titles passed to his son, the seventh Viscount, who was an Irish Representative Peer from 1865 to 1885. The latter year he was created Baron Powerscourt, of Powerscourt in the County of Wicklow, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. This peerage gave him and his descendants an automatic seat in the House of Lords until the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999. His son, the eighth Viscount, served as Lord Lieutenant of County Wicklow and was a member of the short-lived Senate of Southern Ireland. As of 2012[update] the titles are held by his grandson, the tenth Viscount, who succeeded his father in 1973.
The ancestral seat of the Viscounts Powerscourt was the once vast Powerscourt Estate, near Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, in the Republic of Ireland. The 4,000-acre (16 km2) estate was sold by the 9th Viscount in 1961 to the Slazenger family, which still owns it to this day (2012). Wendy Slazenger, daughter of the late Ralph Slazenger, married the 10th Viscount in 1962 as his first wife. Through her children, the Hon. Anthony Wingfield (born 1963) and the Hon. Julia Wingfield (born 1965), there remains a strong family connection between the two families and the Powerscourt Estate.
Viscounts Powerscourt, First Creation (1618)
- Richard Wingfield, 1st Viscount Powerscourt (1550–1634)
Viscounts Powerscourt, Second Creation (1665)
- Folliott Wingfield, 1st Viscount Powerscourt (1642–1717)
Viscounts Powerscourt, Third Creation (1744)
- Richard Wingfield, 1st Viscount Powerscourt (1697–1751)
- Edward Wingfield, 2nd Viscount Powerscourt (1729–1764)
- Richard Wingfield, 3rd Viscount Powerscourt (1730–1788)
- Richard Wingfield, 4th Viscount Powerscourt (1762–1809)
- Richard Wingfield, 5th Viscount Powerscourt (1790–1823)
- Richard Wingfield, 6th Viscount Powerscourt (1815–1844)
- Mervyn Wingfield, 7th Viscount Powerscourt (1836–1904)
- Mervyn Richard Wingfield, 8th Viscount Powerscourt (1880–1947)
- Mervyn Patrick Wingfield, 9th Viscount Powerscourt (1905–1973)
- Mervyn Niall Wingfield, 10th Viscount Powerscourt (born 1935)
The heir apparent is the present holder's son the Hon. Mervyn Anthony Wingfield (born 1963)
- G.M. Miller, BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (London: Oxford UP, 1971), p. 120.
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]