Charles Noel, 1st Earl of Gainsborough

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Charles Noel, 1st Earl of Gainsborough
Born 2 October 1781
Died 10 June 1866
Occupation Aristocrat, politician
Spouse(s) 4
Children 5 sons, 3 daughters
Parent(s) Sir Gerard Noel, 2nd Baronet
Diana Noel, 2nd Baroness Barham
Relatives Baptist Noel, 4th Earl of Gainsborough (paternal great-grandfather)
Sir George Grey, 1st Baronet (2nd father-in-law)
Robert Jocelyn, 3rd Earl of Roden (4th father-in-law)

Charles Noel Noel, 1st Earl of Gainsborough (2 October 1781 – 10 June 1866), known as Charles Edwardes until 1798, as Charles Noel between 1798 and 1823 and as the Lord Barham between 1823 and 1841, was a British peer and Whig politician.


Gainsborough was the eldest son of Sir Gerard Noel, 2nd Baronet, son of Gerard Anne Edwardes, illegitimate son of Lord Anne Hamilton, younger son of James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton. His paternal grandmother was Lady Jane, daughter of Baptist Noel, 4th Earl of Gainsborough. Gainsborough's mother was Diana, daughter of Admiral Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham. His father succeeded his father-in-law as second Baronet of the Navy in 1838 and his mother succeeded her father as second Baroness Barham in 1823, both according to special remainders in the letters patent. In 1798, on the death of his kinsman Henry Noel, 6th Earl of Gainsborough (on whose death the earldom became extinct), Gainsborough and the rest of the family assumed by Royal licence the surname of Noel in lieu of his patronymic.[1]

Political career[edit]

Gainsborough succeeded his father as Member of Parliament for Rutland in 1808, a seat he held until 1814.[1][2] In 1823 he succeeded his mother in the barony of Barham and entered the House of Lords, and in 1838 he also succeeded his father in the baronetcy. In 1841 he was created Earl of Gainsborough, a revival of the title held by his ancestors.[3]


Lord Gainsborough was four times married.[1]

He married firstly Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Welman, in 1809; she died Dec 1811. There were no children from this marriage.

He married secondly Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Grey, 1st Baronet, in 1817.[1] She died in September 1818, shortly after the birth of her only child, a son, Charles George Noel.

Gainsborough married thirdly Arabella, daughter of Sir James Hamlyn-Williams, 2nd Baronet, in 1820.[1] They had two sons and two daughters. She died in October 1829, shortly after the birth of her youngest child.

Gainsborough married fourthly Lady Frances, daughter of Robert Jocelyn, 3rd Earl of Roden, in 1833.[1] They had two children: Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel (27 August 1834 – 26 May 1894), a poet, and Victoria Noel (d. 8 August 1916), who married Sir Thomas Buxton, 3rd Baronet, later Governor of South Australia.[1]

Gainsborough died in June 1866, at the age of 84, and was succeeded by his son from his second marriage, Charles. His eldest son from his third marriage, Gerard, was a Conservative politician. The Countess of Gainsborough remained a widow until her death in May 1885.[1]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gerard Noel
The Lord Henniker
Member of Parliament for Rutland
1808 – 1814
With: The Lord Henniker 1808–1812
Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bt 1812–1814
Succeeded by
Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bt
Sir Gerard Noel, Bt
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Gainsborough
1841 – 1866
Succeeded by
Charles George Noel
Preceded by
Diana Noel
Baron Barham
1823 – 1866
Baronetage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Gerard Noel Noel
(of the Navy)
1838 – 1866
Succeeded by
Charles George Noel