Earl of Chichester

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Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle

Earl of Chichester is a title that has been created three times in British history.

First creation[edit]

It was created for the first time in the Peerage of England in 1644 when Francis Leigh, 1st Baron Dunsmore, was made Earl of Chichester, in the County of Sussex, with remainder to his son-in-law Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton (the husband of his daughter Elizabeth). He had already been created a baronet, of Newnham in the County of Warwick, in 1618 (in the Baronetage of England),[1] with remainder to the male heirs of his body, and Baron Dunsmore, in the County of Warwick, in 1628 (in the Peerage of England), with remainder to his stepson John Anderson (the son of his second wife the Hon. Audrey Boteler by her first husband Sir Francis Anderson). Lord Chichester had no sons and on his death in 1653 the baronetcy became extinct. The barony of Dunsmore also became extinct as his stepson John (who had been created a baronet in 1629) had died childless in 1630. The earldom was passed on according to the special remainder to his son-in-law Lord Southampton (see the Earl of Southampton for earlier history of this title). However, he had no male issue and on his death in 1667 both earldoms became extinct. Francis Leigh, 1st Earl of Chichester, was the grandson of Sir William Leigh, third son of Sir Thomas Leigh (c. 1504–1571), Lord Mayor of London in 1558. Sir Thomas's eldest son Rowland Leigh was the ancestor of the Barons Leigh of the 1838 creation while his second son Sir Thomas Leigh, 1st Baronet, of Stoneleigh, was the ancestor of the Barons Leigh of the 1643 creation.

Second creation (1675)[edit]

The title was created for the second time in the Peerage of England in 1675 as a subsidiary title of the dukedom of Southampton created in that year for Charles II's illegitimate son Charles Fitzroy. See the Duke of Southampton for more information on this creation of the earldom.

Third creation (1801)[edit]

The title was created for the third time in 1801 in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in favour of Thomas Pelham, 2nd Baron Pelham of Stanmer. The Pelham family descends from Thomas Pelham of Laughton, Sussex, who represented Lewes and Sussex in the House of Commons. In 1611 he was created a baronet, of Laughton in the County of Sussex, in the Baronetage of England.[2] He was succeeded by his son, the second Baronet. He sat as Member of Parliament for East Grinstead and Sussex. His son, the third Baronet, represented Hastings and Sussex in Parliament for many years. He was succeeded by his son, the fourth Baronet. He was Member of Parliament for East Grinstead, Lewes and Sussex and served as a Commissioner of Customs and as a Lord of the Treasury. In 1706 he was raised to the Peerage of England as Lord Pelham, Baron of Pelham, of Laughton in the County of Sussex. He married as his second wife Lady Grace Holles, daughter of Gilbert Holles, 3rd Earl of Clare (see the Earl of Clare for more information on this family). Their second son was the prominent statesman the Hon. Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1743 to 1754.

Lord Pelham was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Baron. Like his younger brother he was an influential statesman and served as Prime Minister from 1754 to 1756 and from 1757 to 1762. Pelham inherited immense estates on the death of his uncle John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1662–1711) (his mother's brother) and assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Holles in 1711. In 1714 the earldom of Clare was revived when he was created Viscount Houghton, in the County of Nottingham, and Earl of Clare, with remainder to his younger brother Henry. The following year the dukedom was also revived when he was made Marquess of Clare and Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with similar remainder to his younger brother Henry (all titles were in the Peerage of Great Britain). Over 40 years later, in 1756 (when Henry Pelham had died without male issue and it was apparent that the Duke was to have no children of his own), he was created Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne, with remainder to his nephew Henry Pelham-Clinton, 9th Earl of Lincoln (the son of his sister the Hon. Lucy Pelham, wife of Henry Clinton, 7th Earl of Lincoln), who was married to his niece Catherine Pelham, daughter of Henry Pelham. In 1762 he was also made Baron Pelham of Stanmer, in the County of Sussex, with remainder to his first cousin once removed Thomas Pelham. These titles were also in the Peerage of Great Britain.

The Duke was childless and on his death in 1768 the barony of Pelham and the creations of 1714 and 1715 became extinct. The dukedom of 1756 was passed on according to the special remainder to his nephew the Earl of Lincoln (see this title for further history of the dukedom). The Duke was also succeeded in the baronetcy and in the barony of Pelham of Stanmer (in the barony according to the special remainder) by his first cousin once removed Thomas Pelham, the second Baron. He was the son of Thomas Pelham, Member of Parliament for Lewes, son of Henry Pelham, third son of the third Baronet. Like his cousins he was also a politician. He represented Rye and Sussex in the House of Commons and served as a Commissioner of Trade and Plantations, as a Lord of the Admiralty and as Comptroller of the Household. In 1801 he was honoured when he was created Earl of Chichester in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He was also an influential politician and held office as Chief Secretary for Ireland, as Home Secretary and as Postmaster General. In 1801, during his father's lifetime, he was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Pelham of Stanmer. His eldest son, the third Earl, was Lord Lieutenant of Sussex from 1860 to 1886. On his death the titles passed to his eldest son, the fourth Earl. He sat as Liberal Member of Parliament for Lewes. He died childless and was succeeded by his younger brother, the fifth Earl. He was a clergyman and served as Rector of Lambeth. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the sixth Earl. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Sussex. His eldest son, the seventh Earl, died at a young age and was succeeded by his younger brother, the eighth Earl. He was killed in a road accident while on active service in the Second World War. As of 2010 the titles are held by his posthumous son, the ninth Earl, who succeeded on his birth in April 1944 (two months after his father's death); Lord Chichester has served as board member in several music institutions.

Several other members of the Pelham family have gained distinction. The Right Reverend the Hon. George Pelham, third son of the first Earl, was Bishop of Bristol, Exeter and Lincoln. The Hon. Frederick Thomas Pelham, second son of the second Earl, was a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. The Right Reverend the Hon. John Thomas Pelham, third son of the second Earl, was Bishop of Norwich. His eldest son Henry Francis Pelham was Camden Professor of Ancient History at Oxford University.

The Pelham family created the present-day Stanmer Park and built Stanmer House. After the Second World War the then Earl sold the Stanmer property to Brighton Corporation. The present family seat is Little Durnford Manor, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Earls of Chichester, first creation (1644)[edit]

Earls of Chichester, second creation (1675)[edit]

Pelham baronets, of Laughton (1611)[edit]

Barons Pelham, (of Laughton) (1706)[edit]

Dukes of Newcastle and Barons Pelham of Stanmer (1715/1756/1762)[edit]

Barons Pelham of Stanmer (1762)[edit]

Earls of Chichester, third creation (1801)[edit]

The heir presumptive is the present holder's second cousin Richard Anthony Henry Pelham (b. 1952). He is the grandson of the Hon. Henry George Godolphin Pelham, second son of the fifth Earl.

The heir presumptive's heir apparent is his eldest son Duncan James Bergengren Pelham (b. 1987)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Leke baronets
Ulster.svg
Pelham baronets

22 May 1611
Succeeded by
Hoghton baronets