Edward Bligh, 5th Earl of Darnley

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Arms of Bligh: Azure, a griffin segreant or armed and langued gules between three crescents argent[1]

Edward Bligh, 5th Earl of Darnley, FRS (25 February 1795 – 12 February 1835), styled Lord Clifton until 1831, was a British peer and politician.


Darnley was the second but eldest surviving son of John Bligh, 4th Earl of Darnley, and Elizabeth Brownlow, 3rd daughter of the Rt Hon. William Brownlow.[2][3] He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford, matriculating on 22 October 1812, where he took degrees of Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 1816, proceeding Master of Arts (MA) in 1819.[4][5]

Political career[edit]

Darnley was returned to the House of Commons representing Canterbury in 1818, a seat he held until 1830[6] for the Whig Party.[5] In 1831 he succeeded his father in the earldom and took his seat in the House of Lords. He also served as Lord Lieutenant of County Meath between 1831 and 1835,[3][7] and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1833.[5]


Engraving after Sir Thomas Lawrence of The Hon. Emma Jane Parnell (later Countess of Darnley).

Lord Darnley married the Hon. Emma Jane, daughter of Henry Parnell, 1st Baron Congleton, in 1825. They had three sons and two daughters:[8]

Darnley died of lockjaw after an axe injury when felling timber on his estate at Cobham Hall, Kent, in February 1835, aged 39, and was buried at Cobham.[5] He was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son, John.

His wife, Emma, Dowager Countess of Darnley, died on 15 March 1884.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.322
  2. ^ http://www.proni.gov.uk/introduction__bath_and_brownlow_estate.pdf
  3. ^ a b "Edward Bligh, 5th Earl of Darnley". The Peerage. 22 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Foster, Joseph, ed. (1891). Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886. A–D. Oxford. p. 123. 
  5. ^ a b c d The Complete Peerage, Volume III. St Catherine's Press. 1916. p. 85. 
  6. ^ leighrayment.com
  7. ^ leighrayment.com
  8. ^ a b Burke, Sir Bernard; Burke, Ashworth P. (1914). Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. London: Harrison & Sons. p. 571. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Baker
Stephen Rumbold Lushington
Member of Parliament for Canterbury
With: Stephen Rumbold Lushington
Succeeded by
Richard Watson
Viscount Fordwich
Honorary titles
New office Lord Lieutenant of Meath
Succeeded by
The Lord Dunsany
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
John Bligh
Earl of Darnley
Succeeded by
John Stuart Bligh