Earl of Ilchester

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Earldom of Ilchester
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Arms of Fox-Strangways: Quarterly of four: 1st & 4th: Sable, two lions passant paly of six argent and gules (Strangways); 2nd & 3rd: Ermine, on a chevron azure three fox's heads and necks erased or on a canton of the second a fleur-de-lys of the third (Fox).[1]
Creation date1756
MonarchGeorge II
PeeragePeerage of Great Britain
First holderStephen Fox-Strangways, 1st Earl of Ilchester
Present holderRobin Maurice Fox-Strangways, 10th Earl of Ilchester
Heir presumptivePaul Andre Fox-Strangeways
Subsidiary titlesBaron Ilchester
Baron Ilchester and Stavordale
Former seat(s)Melbury House
Holland House

Earl of Ilchester is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1756 for Stephen Fox, 1st Baron Ilchester, who had previously represented Shaftesbury in Parliament. He had already been created Baron Ilchester, of Ilchester in the County of Somerset in 1741, and Baron Ilchester and Stavordale, of Redlynch, in the County of Somerset, in 1747. These titles were also in the Peerage of Great Britain. All three peerages were created with remainder, failing heirs male of his own, to his younger brother Henry Fox, who was himself created Baron Holland in 1763. The brothers were the only sons from the second marriage of the politician Sir Stephen Fox.

In 1758 the first Earl assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Strangways, which was the maiden name of his wife's maternal grandmother. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He represented Midhurst in Parliament. His eldest son, the third Earl, served as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard from 1835 to 1841 in the Whig administration of Lord Melbourne and was also Lord Lieutenant of Somerset from 1837 to 1839. Lord Ilchester survived both his sons and was succeeded by his half-brother, the fourth Earl. He was Ambassador to the German Confederation from 1840 to 1849. His nephew, the fifth Earl, was Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms from 1873 to 1874 in the Liberal government of William Ewart Gladstone and also served as Lord Lieutenant of Dorset from 1885 to 1905. On the death in 1964 of his grandson, the seventh Earl, the line of the eldest son of the first Earl failed. The seventh Earl was succeeded by his fourth cousin, the eighth Earl. As of 2014 the titles are held by his grandson, the tenth Earl, who succeeded his uncle in 2006.

The family seat was Melbury House, near Evershot, Dorset. The family, through Ilchester Estates, owns and manages large portions of land in the county of Devon and the Holland House estate west of Holland Park in Kensington, London.[2] The family inherited much land in the 17th century from the Wadham family of Merryfield, Ilton in Somerset and of Edge, Branscombe in Devon, and in 1874 from their distant cousins the Fox family of Holland House, Kensington.

Earls of Ilchester (1756)[edit]

The heir presumptive and last in line to the earldom is the present holder's younger brother Paul Andre Fox-Strangeways (b. 1950)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Montague-Smith 1968, p. 607.
  2. ^ "Ilchester Estates". Archived from the original on 25 December 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.

Work cited[edit]