Francis Fitzherbert, 15th Baron Stafford
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Francis Melfort William Fitzherbert, 15th Baron Stafford DL (born 13 March 1954) is an English baron, who is the representative and heir of line of several older baronies of Stafford dating back to 1299.
He is notable for being the first British peer to be appointed High Sheriff since the Middle Ages. He was appointed High Sheriff of Staffordshire for 2005 having been nominated for the Appointment by a previous High Sheriff of the County, The Countess of Shrewsbury & Talbot, herself being one of very few women who have held that honour; and as such the first Peer to be a High Sheriff since 1371; the reason apparently being that while peers were members of the House of Lords, they could not also serve the Crown by being High Sheriff. .
The barony of Stafford
The first barony created in 1299 was created for Edmund de Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford in the reign of Edward I. That title was attainted when successive Dukes of Buckingham, ending in Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, fell into disfavour with their Plantagenet and Tudor royal cousins (possibly for having too much legitimate Plantagenet blood). The fourth barony of Stafford, created in 1547, was created for Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford whose wife Ursula Pole was also a Plantagenet descendant; his father, a first cousin of Henry VIII's mother, had been the ill-fated 3rd Duke of Buckingham. The Stafford male line ended in 1640 with an impoverished baron who was not allowed to take his seat by King Charles I; a new barony was created in the same year for William Howard, 1st Viscount Stafford husband of the Stafford heiress. It is this fifth and last barony created 1640 that has been inherited by Lord Stafford.
Lord Stafford, the eldest son of Basil Francis Nicholas Fitzherbert, 14th Lord Stafford by his wife Morag Nada Campbell, is married to the former Katherine Mary Codrington, and has issue 2 sons and 2 daughters. His heir is his elder son Hon.Benjamin John Basil Fitzherbert, (born 8 Nov 1983), who married,10 Dec, 2011, Georgina Rose Hewlett, a former flatmate of Miss Philippa Middleton, sister of the Duchess of Cambridge.
|Ancestors of Francis Fitzherbert, 15th Baron Stafford|
- Baron Stafford for a fuller history of this title.
For further reading
Paul Theroff. "The Descendants of King James VI & I" available online.
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