Earl Sydney, of Scadbury in the County of Kent, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1874 for the Liberal politician John Townshend, 3rd Viscount Sydney. He notably served as Lord Chamberlain of the Household and as Lord Steward of the Household. On his death in 1890 all his titles became extinct. The titles of Baron Sydney, of Chiselhurst in the County of Kent, and Viscount Sydney were created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1783 and 1789, respectively, for the politician Thomas Townshend. He served as Home Secretary and Leader of the House of Lords. Townshend was the son of the Hon. Thomas Townshend, second son of Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend, whose eldest son Charles Townshend, 3rd Viscount Townshend is the ancestor of the Marquesses of Townshend. Townshend was also a female-line great-great-grandson of Lady Lucy Sydney, daughter of Robert Sydney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, hence his choice of title.
Lord Sydney was succeeded by his son, the second Viscount. He represented Newport and Whitchurch in the House of Commons. On his death the titles passed to his son, the aforementioned third Viscount, who was created Earl Sydney in 1874.
The Australian city of Sydney is named after the first Viscount Sydney, as is the Canadian city of Sydney, in the province of Nova Scotia.
Viscounts Sydney (1789)
- Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney (1733–1800)
- John Thomas Townshend, 2nd Viscount Sydney (1764–1831)
- John Robert Townshend, 3rd Viscount Sydney (1805–1890) (created Earl Sydney in 1874)
Earls Sydney (1874)
- John Robert Townshend, 1st Earl Sydney (1805–1890)