Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford

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Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford (13 April 1704 – 4 August 1790), of Wroxton Abbey, Oxfordshire, known as The Lord Guilford between 1729 and 1752, was a British Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1727 until 1729 when he succeeded to the peerage as Baron Guildford.

Early life[edit]

Wroxton Abbey

North was the son of Francis North, 2nd Baron Guilford, and his wife Alice Brownlow, daughter of Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Baronet, of Humby, Lincolnshire.[1] He was educated at Eton College in 1718 and matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford on 25 March 1721, aged 16.[2] He undertook a Grand Tour in about 1722.[1]


At the 1727 British general election, North was returned unopposed as Whig Member of Parliament for Banbury on the family interest. When he succeeded his father as third Baron Guilford on 17 October 1729, he vacated his seat in the House of Commons and entered the House of Lords. He became Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Frederick, Prince of Wales in October 1730. In 1734 he succeeded his cousin William North, 6th Baron North as seventh Baron North. He was appointed governor to Prince George, later George III, in September 1750 which lasted until April 1751 and also gave up his other court position in 1751. On 8 April 1752 he was created Earl of Guilford in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was appointed High Steward of Banbury for life in 1766. In December 1773 he was appointed treasurer to Queen Consort for life.[1]


North married Lady Lucy Montagu, daughter of George Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, in 1728. She died in 1734, and he married as his second wife Elizabeth Kaye, daughter of Arthur Kaye, 3rd Baronet, in 1736. After her death in 1745 he married as his third wife Catherine Furnase, daughter of Robert Furnese, 2nd Baronet, in 1751.[3] She died in 1776.

Death and legacy[edit]

Lord Guilford survived his third wife by fourteen years and died in August 1790, aged 86. He was succeeded by his son from his first marriage, Frederick, who had previously served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. His stepson Lord Dartmouth also served in government.

The Lord Guilford is the namesake of Guilford County, North Carolina.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "NORTH, Hon. Francis (1704-90), of Wroxton Abbey, Oxon". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  2. ^ Foster, Joseph. "Alumni oxonienses: the members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886". University of Oxford. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  3. ^ Hasted, Edward (1798). "Parishes". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Institute of Historical Research. 6: 499–531. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 146.
  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Monoux Cope
Member of Parliament for Banbury
Succeeded by
Toby Chauncy
Court offices
Preceded by
Andrew Stone
Treasurer to Queen Charlotte
Title next held by
The Earl of Ailesbury
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Earl of Guilford
Succeeded by
Frederick North
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Francis North
Baron Guilford
Succeeded by
Frederick North
Preceded by
William North
Baron North