Earl of Bedford

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Arms of Enguerrand de Coucy, 1st Earl of Bedford. The arms in the 1st & 4th quarters Barry of six vair and gules are the same as those used by the ancient Beaumont family of Shirwell in Devon, which manor had been held as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 by Robert de Beaumont. The Devon Beaumont family, which was seated at Youlston in their manor of Shirwell until the 16th century is believed to have descended from Hugh de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Bedford, 3rd son of Robert de Beaumont[1]

Earl of Bedford is a title that has been created three times in the Peerage of England. The first creation came in 1138 in favour Hugh de Beaumont. He appears to have been degraded from the title three or four years after its creation. The existence of the title altogether has been doubted. It is discussed by R. H. C. Davis on the basis of the chronicle evidence.[2] However, it now appears to be accepted by historians that Hugh did receive the earldom of Bedford in 1138.[3]

The second creation came in 1366 in favour of the French nobleman Enguerrand VII, Lord of Coucy. After Richard II came to the throne in 1377, Bedford resigned the title to the Crown. The third creation came in 1550 in favour of John Russell, 1st Baron Russell. For more information on this creation, see Duke of Bedford (1694 creation).

Earls of Bedford, first creation (1138)[edit]

Earls of Bedford, second creation (1366)[edit]

Earls of Bedford, third creation (1551)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beaumont, Edward T., The Beaumonts in History. A.D. 850-1850. Oxford, c. 1929, p.58
  2. ^ King Stephen (1967), p.135.
  3. ^ Crouch, David (1986). The Beaumont Twins: The Roots and Branches of Power in the Twelfth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 41. ISBN 9780521090131.