Earl of Mansfield

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Earldom of Mansfield
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Earl of Mansfield COA.svg
Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. three stars within a double tressure flory counterflory with fleurs-de-lis (for Mansfield); 2nd and 3rd gu. three crosses patté or, two and one (for Barclay, of Balvaird)[1]
Creation date 1776 and 1792
Monarch George III
Peerage Peerage of Great Britain
First holder William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, 1st Earl of Mansfield
Present holder William Murray, 8th Earl of Mansfield, 7th Earl of Mansfield
Heir apparent William Murray, Viscount Stormont
Subsidiary titles Viscount Stormont
Master of Stormont
Seat(s) Scone Palace
Armorial motto Uni aequus virtuti
Spero meliora[1]
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield

Earl of Mansfield, in the County of Nottingham, and Earl of Mansfield, in the County of Middlesex, are two titles in the Peerage of Great Britain that have been united under a single holder since 1843. They were created in 1776 and 1792 respectively for the Scottish lawyer and judge William Murray, 1st Baron Mansfield, fourth son of David Murray, 5th Viscount of Stormont (see Viscount Stormont for the earlier history of the family). He was Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench from 1756 to 1788. Murray had already been created Baron Mansfield, in the County of Nottingham, in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1756, with normal remainder to the heirs male of his body. The two earldoms were created with different remainders. The 1776 earldom was created with remainder to Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Viscountess Stormont (daughter of Charles Schaw Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart), second wife of his nephew David Murray, 7th Viscount Stormont, while the 1792 earldom, referring to a fictitious Mansfield in Middlesex to differentiate it from the first earldom[2], was created with remainder to his nephew the Viscount Stormont.

Lord Mansfield was childless and on his death in 1793 the barony became extinct. He was succeeded in the 1776 earldom according to the special remainder by his nephew's wife Louisa, the second Countess, and in the 1792 earldom according to the special remainder by his nephew Lord Stormont, who became the second Earl. The latter was a noted politician in his own right and served as Lord Justice General, Secretary of State for the Northern Department and Lord President of the Council. He was succeeded by his and the Countess of Mansfield's son, the third Earl (of the 1792 creation). He was Lord Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire. On his death the title passed to his son, the fourth Earl (of the 1792 creation). He was a Tory politician and served as a Lord of the Treasury from 1834 to 1835 in the first administration of Sir Robert Peel. In 1843 he succeeded his grandmother the Countess of Mansfield (who had outlived her husband by forty-seven years) and became in addition the third Earl of Mansfield of the 1776 creation.

He was succeeded by his grandson, the fifth and fourth Earl. He was the eldest son of William David Murray, Viscount Stormont. He died unmarried and was succeeded by his younger brother, the sixth and fifth Earl. His son, the seventh and sixth Earl, represented Perth in the House of Commons and served as Lord Lieutenant of Perthshire. As of 2014 the titles are held by his only son, the eighth Earl of Mansfield of the 1792 creation and the seventh Earl of Mansfield of the 1776 creation. He is also the fourteenth Viscount Stormont, the fourteenth Lord Scone and the twelfth Lord Balvaird. He also holds the titles of Earl of Dunbar, Viscount of Drumcairn and Lord Halldykes in the Jacobite peerage (see the Viscount Stormont for the background to these titles). Lord Mansfield held office in the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher as a Minister of State at the Scottish Office from 1979 to 1983 and at the Northern Ireland Office from 1983 to 1984.

The family seat is Scone Palace, near Scone, Perthshire.

Earls of Mansfield, in the County of Nottingham (1776)[edit]

The heir apparent is the present holder's son William Philip David Mungo Murray, Viscount Stormont (b. 1988).

Earls of Mansfield, of Caen Wood in the County of Middlesex (1792)[edit]


  1. ^ a b Burke, Bernard (2007). The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, Comprising a Registry of Armorial Bearings from the Earliest to the Present Time. Heritage Books (reprint). p. 717. 
  2. ^ The Complete Peerage, vol. viii, p. 388, footnote (d)

Dramatic recreations[edit]