Baron Acton

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Barony of Acton
Arms of Baron Acton.svg
Creation date 11 December 1869
Monarch Queen Victoria
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
First holder Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Baronet
Present holder John Charles Ferdinand Harold Lyon-Dalberg-Acton, 5th Baron Acton
Heir presumptive Reverend Canon Dr John Charles Lyon-Dalberg-Acton[1]
Remainder to the 1st Baron's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.
Subsidiary titles Baronet Acton of Aldenham

Baron Acton, of Aldenham in the County of Shropshire, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[2] It was created on 11 December 1869 for the prominent historian and Liberal Member of Parliament Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Baronet.[3]

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton

His son, the second Baron, was a diplomat and also held minor office in the Liberal administrations of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith. In 1919 he assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Lyon, which was that of his father-in-law. His son, the third Baron, sold the family home in 1947 and settled in Rhodesia. The fourth Baron, who succeeded his father in 1989, lost his seat in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999. However, on 17 April 2000 he was created a life peer as Baron Acton of Bridgnorth, of Aldenham in the County of Shropshire. Consequently, Lord Acton was able to return to the House of Lords where he sat on the Labour benches. As of 2014 the titles are held by his son, the fifth Baron, who succeeded in 2010.

The Acton Baronetcy, of Aldenham in the County of Shropshire, was created in the Baronetage of England on 17 January 1644 for Edward Acton. He represented Bridgnorth in both the Short Parliament and the Long Parliament and was a supporter of Charles I during the Civil War. His son, the second Baronet, grandson, the third Baronet, and great-grandson, the fourth Baronet, all sat as Members of Parliament for Bridgnorth. On the death of the latter's son, the fifth Baronet, the line of the eldest son of the second Baronet failed.

The title was inherited by the late Baronet's second cousin once removed, the sixth Baronet. He was the son of Edward Acton, who had settled in Besançon in France as a physician; Edward (of Besançon) was the son of another Edward, son of Walter, second son of Sir Walter Acton second Baronet. He served as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Naples. Acton married his niece Mary Anne Acton. Their second son Charles Januarius Edward Acton, known as Cardinal Acton, was a prominent clergyman in the Catholic Church. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son, the seventh Baronet. In 1832 he married Marie Louise Pelline von Dalberg, only child and heiress of Emmerich Joseph von Dalberg, Duke of Dalberg, a member of an ancient German aristocratic family. In 1833 he assumed by Royal licence the surname of Dalberg-Acton. He was succeeded by his son, the eighth Baronet, who in 1869 was elevated to the peerage as Baron Acton.

The family seat was Aldenham Park, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire, which was sold in 1947.

As of 31 December 2013 the present Baronet has not successfully proven his succession and is therefore not on the Official Roll of the Baronetage, with the baronetcy considered dormant.[4]

Coat of arms[edit]

The heraldic blazon for the coat of arms of the barony is: Quarterly: 1st and 4th, gules, semée of cross crosslets fitchée or two lions passant guardant in pale argent (for Acton); 2nd, quarterly: 1st and 4th, azure, six fleurs-de-lis three two and one argent, a chief dancetty of the last; 2nd and 3rd, or, a cross patonce gules; over all an escutcheon gules thereon a tower argent, a chief dancetty of the last (for Dalberg); 3rd, azure, a lion passant or between three plates each charged with a griffin's head erased sable (for Lyon).

Acton baronets, of Aldenham (1644)[edit]

Barons Acton (1869)[edit]

The heir presumptive is the present holder's uncle Hon. Robert Peter Lyon-Dalberg-Acton (b. 1946).
The heir presumptive's heir presumptive's heir apparent is his son Christopher Richard Henri Lyon-Dalberg-Acton (b. 1977). He is a partner at Macfarlanes.[5]
The heir presumptive's heir presumptive's heir apparent's heir apparent is his son John Edward Roger Lyon-Dalberg-Acton (b. 2010).[6]