Earl of Bradford

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Earl of Bradford is a title that has been created twice, once in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was first created in 1694 for Francis Newport, 2nd Baron Newport. However, all the Newport titles became extinct on the death of the fourth Earl in 1762. The Earldom was revived in 1815 for Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Baron Bradford. The Bridgeman family had previously succeeded to the Newport estates. The title of the peerage refers to the ancient hundred of Bradford in Shropshire, and not, as might be assumed, to the city of Bradford, Yorkshire.

Newport creation[edit]

Earldom of Bradford
1st Creation
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Bradford Escutcheon.png
Arms: Argent, a Chevron Gules, between three Leopard's Heads Sable. Crest: A Unicorn's Head erased Argent, armed and ducally gorged Or. Supporters: On either side a Leopard guardant proper.
Creation date 11 May 1694
Creation First
Monarch King William III
and Queen Mary II
Peerage Peerage of England
First holder Francis Newport, 1st Viscount Newport
Last holder Thomas Newport, 4th Earl
Remainder to the 1st Earl's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.
Subsidiary titles Viscount Newport
Baron Newport
Status Extinct
Extinction date 18 April 1762
Armorial motto NE SUPRA MODUM SAPERE
(Not beyond the limits of the wise)
Francis Newport,
1st Earl of Bradford.

The Newports were an ancient Shropshire family. One member of the family, Richard Newport, represented Shropshire and Shrewsbury in Parliament and was a supporter of King Charles I during the Civil War. In 1642 he was raised to the Peerage of England as Baron Newport, of High Ercall in the County of Shropshire. His son Francis, the second Baron, represented Shrewsbury in the Long Parliament and fought as a Royalist in the Civil War. After the Restoration he served as Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, as Comptroller of the Household and as Treasurer of the Household. In 1676 Newport was created Viscount Newport, of Bradford in the County of Shropshire, and on 11 May 1694 he was further honoured when he was made Earl of Bradford, in the County of Shropshire. Both titles were in the Peerage of England.

Lord Bradford was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He sat as a Whig Member of Parliament for Shropshire and served as Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. In 1681 Lord Bradford married Mary Wilbraham, daughter of Sir Thomas Wilbraham, Bt, and Elizabeth Mytton. Through this marriage Weston Park in Shropshire came into the Newport family. Their eldest son, the third Earl, represented Bishop's Castle and Shropshire in the House of Commons and was also Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire. He had no legitimate children and on his death the peerages passed to his younger brother, the fourth Earl. When he died in 1762 all the Newport titles became extinct. The family estates, including Weston Park, were inherited by his nephew, Sir Henry Bridgeman, 5th Baronet, of Great Lever (see below).

The Hon. Thomas Newport, younger son of the first Earl, was created Baron Torrington in 1716.

Bridgeman creation[edit]

Earldom of Bradford
2nd Creation
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Arms of Bridgeman, Earl of Bradford
Arms of Bridgeman: Sable, ten Plates, four, three, two and one, on a Chief Argent, a Lion passant Ermines. Crest: A Demi-Lion rampant Argent, holding between the paws a Wreath of Laurel proper. Supporters: On either side a Lion guardant Gules pellettée.
Creation date 30 November 1815
Creation Second
Monarch The Prince Regent (acting on behalf of his father King George III)
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
First holder Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Baron Bradford
Present holder Richard Bridgeman, 7th Earl
Heir apparent Alexander Bridgeman, Viscount Newport
Remainder to the 1st Earl's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.
Subsidiary titles Viscount Newport
Baron Bradford
Baronet Bridgeman of Great Lever
Status Extant
Armorial motto NEC TEMERE NEC TIMIDE
(Neither rashly nor timidly)
George Bridgeman, 2nd Earl of Bradford, by Sir George Hayter

The Bridgeman family originally stems from Devon. One member of the family, John Bridgeman, grandson of Edward Bridgeman, served as Bishop of Chester from 1619 to 1652. His son, Orlando Bridgeman, was a prominent lawyer and politician. In 1660 he was created a baronet, of Great Lever in the County of Lancaster, in the Baronetage of England. His great-grandson, the fourth Baronet, represented Shrewsbury in Parliament. In 1719 he married Lady Anne Newport, daughter of Richard Newport, 2nd Earl of Bradford. Their son, the fifth Baronet, was a Member of Parliament for Ludlow and Wenlock for over forty years. In 1762 he succeeded through his mother to the Newport estates, including Weston Park, on the death of his uncle, the fourth Earl of Bradford (see above). After Bridgeman's retirement from the House of Commons in 1794, the Bradford title held by his mother's family was revived when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Bradford, of Bradford in the County of Shropshire.[1]

His son, the second Baron, represented Wigan in Parliament. In 1815 the Earldom of Bradford was revived when he was created Viscount Newport, in the County of Shropshire, and Earl of Bradford, in the County of Shropshire.[2] His grandson, the third Earl, was a Conservative politician and notably served as Lord Steward of the Household and as Master of the Horse. He was also Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. His eldest son, the fourth Earl, represented North Shropshire in Parliament as a Conservative. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the fifth Earl. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the army and fought in the Boer War and in the First World War. Lord Bradford was also Private Secretary to both Prime Minister Lord Salisbury and to Prime Minister Arthur Balfour and held office as a Government Whip in the House of Lords from 1919 to 1924. The present holder of the titles is his grandson, the seventh Earl, who succeeded in 1981.

Another member of the Bridgeman family was the Conservative politician William Bridgeman, 1st Viscount Bridgeman. He was the son of Reverend the Hon. John Robert Orlando Bridgeman, third son of the second Earl of Bradford.

Family seats[edit]

John Bridgeman, 2nd Baronet, by Johann Closterman

The family seat is Weston Park in Staffordshire. They also held Castle Bromwich Hall, a manor in Warwickshire, along with the adjoining Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. The Hall is now a hotel, and its gardens have been restored by a Trust and are open to the public.

Weston Park was held by the family until 1986. Gerald, the 6th Earl of Bradford, who had succeeded to the title in 1957, died in 1981, leaving the family with large death duties. After five years of negotiations with the Treasury, Weston Park was donated to the nation via a Foundation established in 1986.

Since then, a G8 Summit Retreat was held at Weston Park in 1998 with the heads of State or Government present including US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin and, since 1999, the grounds of Weston Park have been used as one of the sites of the annual dual-site Virgin sponsored V Festival. While the Family of the 7th Earl of Bradford has no remaining claim to Weston Park, much of the artwork (including works by van Dyck and others) remains privately held.

Barons Newport (1642)[edit]

Earls of Bradford, first creation (1694)[edit]

Bridgeman baronets, of Great Lever (1660)[edit]

Arms of Bridgeman: Sable, ten plates on a chief argent a lion passant ermines
  • Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st Baronet (1609–1674), son of John Bridgeman, Bishop of Chester.
  • Sir John Bridgeman, 2nd Baronet (16 August 1631 – 24 August 1710). Bridgeman was the son of the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st Baronet, of Great Lever, and Judith Kynaston, and older brother of Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st Baronet, of Ridley, he was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1646 and called to the Bar in 1654,[3] though given his father's expression of regret in his will that none of his sons followed him into the legal profession, one must infer that he never practiced.[4] John succeeded to his father's baronetcy on 25 June 1674. He was married to Mary Cradock, daughter of George Cradock of Caverswall Castle. They had two children: Orlando Bridgeman, married Katherine Bridgeman, daughter of William Bridgeman; Sir John Bridgeman, 3rd Baronet. Bridgeman died, aged 79, in Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire and was buried in Aston.
Funeral monument in St Michael the Archangel, Llanyblodwel to John Bridgeman, 3rd Baronet
  • Sir John Bridgeman, 3rd Baronet (9 August 1667 – 21 July 1747). Bridgeman was the second son of Sir John Bridgeman, 2nd Baronet, and Mary Cradock, and was educated at Oriel College, Oxford. In 1689, he was called to the Bar, Inner Temple. On 24 January 1710, Bridgeman succeeded in his father's baronetcy. He married Ursula Matthews, daughter of Roger Matthews in 1694. They had two children: Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 4th Baronet; Ursula Bridgeman, married Hugh Williams. Bridgeman died, aged 79, and was buried in Blodwell, Shropshire.
  • Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 4th Baronet (1695–1776)
  • Sir Henry Bridgeman, 5th Baronet (1725–1800) (created Baron Bradford in 1794)

Barons Bradford (1794)[edit]

Earls of Bradford, second creation (1815)[edit]

Created by George III of the United Kingdom
# Name Period Spouse Notes Other titles
1 Orlando Bridgeman
(1762–1825)
1815–1825 Previously styled as Barons Bradford
2 George Bridgeman
(1789–1865)
1825–1865 Son of the preceding
3 Orlando Bridgeman
(1819–1898)
1865–1898 Son of the preceding
4 George Bridgeman
(1845–1915)
1898–1915 Son of the preceding
5 Orlando Bridgeman
(1873–1957)
1915–1957 Son of the preceding
6 Gerald Bridgeman
(1911–1981)
1957–1981 Son of the preceding
7 Richard Bridgeman
(b.1947)
1981– Son of the preceding

Line of succession[edit]

  1. Alexander Bridgeman, Viscount Newport (b.1980), elder son of the 7th Earl
  2. The Hon. Henry Bridgeman (b.1982), second son of the 7th Earl
  3. The Hon. Benjamin Bridgeman (b.1987), third and last son of the 7th Earl
  4. The Hon. Charles Bridgeman (b.1954), second and last son of the 6th Earl
  5. James Bridgeman (b.1978), elder son of Charles Bridgeman, grandson of the 6th Earl
  6. Robert Bridgeman (b.1983), second son of Charles Bridgeman, grandson of the 6th Earl
  7. Nicholas Bridgeman (b.1991), third and last son of Charles Bridgeman, grandson of the 6th Earl
  8. Mark Bridgeman (b.1968), elder son of Peter Bridgeman, great-grandson of the 4th Earl
  9. Ned Bridgeman (b.2000), elder son of Mark Bridgeman, 2xgreat-grandson of the 6th Earl
  10. Benedict Bridgeman (b.2005), second and last son of Mark Bridgeman, 2xgreat-grandson of the 6th Earl
  11. John Bridgeman (b.1938), second and last son of Peter Bridgeman, great-grandson of the 4th Earl
  12. Henry Bridgeman (b.1946), second and last son of Reginald Bridgeman, great-grandson of the 3rd Earl
  13. Francis Bridgeman (b.1929), only son of Francis Bridgeman, great-grandson of the 3rd Earl
  14. Leopold Bridgeman (b.1968), eldest son of Richard Bridgeman, 3xgreat-grandson of the 2nd Earl
  15. Constantine Bridgeman (b.1970), second and last son of Richard Bridgeman, 3xgreat-grandson of the 2nd Earl
  16. Hector Bridgeman (b.2006), eldest son of Constantine Bridgeman, 4xgreat-grandson of the 2nd Earl
  17. Orland Bridgeman (b.2008), second and last son of Constantine Bridgeman, 4xgreat-grandson of the 2nd Earl
  18. The 3rd Viscount Bridgeman (b.1930)
  19. The Hon. Luke Bridgeman (b.1971), second son of the 3rd Viscount
  20. Felix Bridgeman (b.2002) only son of Luke Bridgeman
  21. The Hon. Esmond Bridgeman (b.1974), third son of the 3rd Viscount
  22. The Hon. Orlando Bridgeman (b.1983), fourth and last son of the 3rd Viscount

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No. 13692". The London Gazette. 9 August 1794. p. 818.
  2. ^ "No. 17066". The London Gazette. 30 September 1815. p. 1997.
  3. ^ http://www.innertemplearchives.org.uk/detail.asp?id=13480
  4. ^ http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/3392?docPos=1

External links[edit]