Earl of Dudley

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Earldom of Dudley
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
COA - Ward, Earl of Dudley.svg
Ward arms: chequy, or and azure, a bend, ermine
Creation date 17 February 1860 (second creation)[1]
Monarch Queen Victoria
Peerage Peerage of the United Kingdom
First holder William Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley
Present holder David Ward, 5th Earl of Dudley
Heir presumptive Hon. Leander Grenville Dudley Ward
Remainder to First earl's heirs male of the body, lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles Viscount Ednam
Baron Ward
Former seat(s) Dudley House
Witley Court
Himley Hall
Dudley Castle
Armorial motto Comme je fûs ("As I was")[1]

Earl of Dudley, of Dudley Castle in the County of Stafford, is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, both times for members of the Ward family.

History[edit]

The Dudley name was first ennobled on 25 March 1341/42 for John Sutton, first Lord Dudley of Dudley Castle. The male line failed at the 10th Baron, Sir Ferdinando Dudley, and Dudley Castle passed to his daughter, Frances Dudley, Baroness Dudley (1611–1697).[1] She married Sir Humble Ward, the son of a wealthy goldsmith and jeweller to King Charles I (see Baron Dudley for more history of the Sutton family). Frances was given away in marriage by her grandfather Lord Dudley in order for him to be able to redeem the heavily mortgaged estates around Dudley, whose mineral resources were the foundation of the family's great wealth.

In 1644, Frances's husband Sir Humble Ward was raised to the Peerage of England in his own right as Baron Ward, of Birmingham in the County of Warwick.[1] In contrast to the barony of Dudley, which had been created by writ, this peerage was created by letters patent and with remainder to heirs male. Lady Dudley and Lord Ward were both succeeded by their son Edward, the seventh and second Baron, respectively. He was styled Lord Dudley and Ward. He was succeeded by his grandson, the eighth and third Baron. He was the son of the Hon. William Ward. On Lord Dudley and Ward's early death the titles passed to his posthumous son, the ninth and fourth Baron. He died unmarried at an early age and was succeeded by his uncle, the 10th and fifth Baron.[1]

On his death in 1740, the two baronies separated. The barony of Dudley, which could pass through female lines, was inherited by the late Baron's nephew Ferdinando Dudley Lea (see the Baron Dudley for later history of this title).[1] He was succeeded in the barony of Ward, which could only pass through male lines, by his second cousin John Ward, who became the sixth Baron Ward. He was the grandson of the Hon. William Ward (d. 1714), second son of the first Baron. Lord Ward had earlier represented Newcastle under Lyme in the House of Commons. In 1763 he was created Viscount Dudley and Ward, of Dudley in the County of Worcester, in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was succeeded by his son from his first marriage, the second Viscount. He sat as Member of Parliament for Marlborough and for Worcestershire. He was childless and on his death the titles passed to his half-brother, the third Viscount. He was also Member of Parliament for Worcestershire. He was succeeded by his son, the fourth Viscount. He was a politician and served as Foreign Secretary from 1827 to 1828. In 1827 he was honoured when he was created Viscount Ednam, of Ednam in the County of Roxburgh, and Earl of Dudley, of Dudley Castle in the County of Stafford. Both titles were in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[1]

Lord Dudley was childless and on his death in 1833, the two viscountcies and earldom became extinct. He was succeeded in the barony of Ward by his second cousin Reverend William Humble Ward, the 10th Baron. He was the grandson of Reverend William Ward, younger brother of the first Viscount Dudley and Ward. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the 11th Baron.[1]

In 1860, the viscountcy of Ednam and earldom of Dudley were revived when the 11th baron was created Viscount Ednam, of Ednam in the County of Roxburgh, and Earl of Dudley, of Dudley Castle in the County of Stafford. Both titles are in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. On his death the titles passed to his eldest son, the second Earl. He was a Conservative politician and served as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland from 1902 to 1905 during the Irish Reform Association's plan for devolution in Ireland, and as Governor-General of Australia from 1908 to 1911. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the third Earl of Dudley, who represented Hornsey and Wednesbury in the House of Commons as a Conservative. The Third Earl died in Paris on 26 December 1969[2] and was succeeded by his eldest son, the fourth Earl, who held the titles until his death on 16 November 2013, when was succeeded by his son, the fifth Earl.[1]

Several other members of the Ward family have also gained distinction. William Dudley Ward, grandson of the Hon. Humble Dudley Ward, second son of the 10th Baron Ward, was a Liberal politician. He married the socialite Freda May Birkin. Their daughter Penelope Dudley-Ward was a well-known actress. The Hon. Sir John Hubert Ward (1870–1938), second son of the first Earl, was a major in the army and courtier. His son John Ward (1909–1990) was a colonel in the Life Guards. The Hon. Robert Ward, third son of the first Earl, was Conservative Member of Parliament for Crewe. The Hon. Edward Frederick Ward (1907–1987), third son of the second Earl, was a Group Captain in the Royal Air Force. The Hon. George Ward, fourth and youngest son of the second Earl, was a Conservative politician and was created Viscount Ward of Witley in 1960. The actress Rachel Ward and her sister the environmental campaigner Tracy Louise Ward are both daughters of the Hon. Peter Alistair Ward, third son of the third Earl.

Barons Ward (1644) of Birmingham[edit]

Viscounts Dudley and Ward (1763)[edit]

Earls of Dudley, First Creation (1827)[edit]

Barons Ward (1644; Reverted)[edit]

Earls of Dudley, Second Creation (1860)[edit]

The heir presumptive is the present holder's half-brother Hon. Leander Grenville Dudley Ward (b. 1971).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. Burke's Peerage Limited. 1914. p. 658. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Raybould, T. J. "Lord Dudley and the Making of the Black Country". The Blackcountryman. 3 (2). Retrieved 12 March 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]