Edward Fiennes-Clinton, 18th Earl of Lincoln

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The Earl of Lincoln
Lord Lincoln's arms
Born (1913-02-23)23 February 1913
Australia Melbourne, Australia
Died 7 July 2001(2001-07-07) (aged 88)
Alma mater Hale School
Title The Earl of Lincoln
Term 25 December 1988 – 7 July 2001
Spouse(s) Lelia Ruth Millen
Linda Alice Creed
Children Lady Patricia Elrick
Edward Gordon Fiennes-Clinton, Lord Fynes
Parent(s) Edward Henry Fiennes-Clinton
Edith Annie Guest

Edward Horace Fiennes-Clinton, 18th Earl of Lincoln (23 February 1913 – 7 July 2001) was an Australian engineer. In 1988, on the death of the 10th and last Duke of Newcastle, a very distant patrilineal cousin, he succeeded to the ancient earldom of Lincoln.


Fiennes-Clinton was born at Melbourne, Australia, in 1913, Fiennes-Clinton was the son of Edward Henry Fiennes-Clinton, a shipmate in the British Merchant Navy who had emigrated to Australia in 1912, returning to Europe to serve with the 51st Battalion the Australian Imperial Force in the First World War and being killed in action on 17 August 1916.[1] Fiennes-Clinton was therefore brought up by his mother, Edith Annie, daughter of Captain Horace Guest, who in 1923 married secondly Robert Johnston Lynn.[2][3]

He was educated at Hale School, an independent Anglican boarding school in Perth, Western Australia, but went on to work as a boilermaker, a welder's and machine-minder's assistant, as well as a butcher at the Kalgoorlie Gold Mine in Kalgoorlie.[4]

In 1940, Fiennes-Clinton married Leila Ruth Fitzpatrick, née Millen, and they had two children, Patricia Ruth Fiennes-Clinton (born 1 February 1941, from 1988 Lady Patricia Elrick), and Edward Gordon Fiennes-Clinton (7 February 1943 – 12 January 1999, also known as Lord Fynes, the courtesy title used by the heir apparent to the earldom). His first wife died on 19 July 1947, and on 3 December 1953 Fiennes-Clinton married secondly Linda Alice Creed; they had no children.[4][5]

On the death on Christmas Day 1988 of his remote kinsman, Edward Pelham-Clinton, 10th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne (1920–1988), Fiennes-Clinton inherited the earldom of Lincoln, although not the dukedom which for ten generations had gone with it. That was because he was the senior male heir to the title through his ancestor Sir Henry Clinton, of Kirkstead, Lincolnshire, third son of the 2nd Earl of Lincoln, who died in 1616, but he was not descended from the first Duke of Newcastle.[5] His ancestors had served in public life since John de Clinton, 1st Baron Clinton had been summoned to Parliament in 1299, and in the 18th century one predecessor had twice served as Prime Minister.[6] The barony of Clinton is also extant, but as is customary with titles created by writ of summons, it can pass through the female line, and today is held by another distant branch of the family.

Fiennes-Clinton learnt of his succession to the title during a telephone call from a journalist on The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London, who began "Lord Lincoln, if I may be the first to address you so..." Fiennes-Clinton said he had known he might one day inherit the title, but had forgotten about it. On the journalist commenting that he seemed unexcited, Lincoln replied: "Young man, I have lived for seventy-five years and I have learned to take things as they come". However, he was sorry to hear there was little else to inherit apart from the title itself.[7]

The Australian press was very much more excited at the news, and three camera crews appeared outside the new peer's block of flats at Elanora Villas, Bunbury, before more reporters arrived by helicopter. Soon after inheriting the Earldom, the new peer travelled to England, where he was warmly received by (among others) leading citizens of the city of Lincoln. The story was soon fictionalized as a storyline in the Australian soap opera Neighbours.[7]

Lord Lincoln later wrote an autobiography called Memoirs of an Embryo Earl, published in 1992.[4] Although he began the formal legal procedures to establish his right to the title and thus to claim a seat in the House of Lords, these processes were never completed.[7] On a visit to England he visited the College of Arms and was briefed on the working of the Upper House by Lord Deedes, stating his intention to sit on the Tory benches there.[7] However, as a result of the House of Lords Act 1999, an automatic seat no longer awaited him, as all but 92 hereditary peers were thereby removed from Parliament. He died in Australia on 7 July 2001.

Lord Lincoln's grandson Robert Edward Fiennes-Clinton (born 19 June 1972) is the present and 19th Earl;[5] he is the elder son of the late Edward Gordon Fiennes-Clinton, Lord Fynes, who predeceased his father in 1999, by his wife, Julia Eleanor née Howson. The present Earl, Robert, is a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and lives in Perth.


  1. ^ Edward Henry Fiennes-Clinton at thepeerage.com
  2. ^ Edith Annie Guest at thepeerage.com
  3. ^ Charles Mosley, ed., Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage (107th edition, 2003), vol. 2, p. 2340
  4. ^ a b c Lundy, Darryl. "Edward Horace Fiennes-Clinton, 18th Earl of Lincoln". The Peerage. , www.thepeerage.com
  5. ^ a b c The Earldom of Lincoln at nottingham.ac.uk
  6. ^ Charles Kidd & David Williamson (eds.), Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (New York: St Martin's Press, 1990 edn),[page needed]
  7. ^ a b c d Obituary, The Earl of Lincoln in The Daily Telegraph dated 20 July 2001, online

External links[edit]

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Edward Pelham-Clinton
Earl of Lincoln
Succeeded by
Robert Edward Fiennes-Clinton