Henry Digby, 1st Earl Digby

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Henry Digby, 1st Earl Digby (21 July 1731 – 25 September 1793) was a British peer and Member of Parliament.

Digby was the younger son of Hon. Edward Digby, son of William Digby, 5th Baron Digby. His mother was Charlotte Fox, daughter of Sir Stephen Fox. Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland, was his uncle and Charles James Fox his cousin. Digby was elected to the House of Commons for Ludgershall in 1755, a seat he held until 1761, and then represented Wells between 1761 and 1765. From 1763 to 1765, he was a Lord of the Admiralty. In 1757 he succeeded his elder brother as the 7th Baron Digby but as this was an Irish peerage it did not entitle him to sit in the British House of Lords and did not force him to resign his seat in the House of Commons. However, in 1765 Digby was created 1st Baron Digby, of Sherborne in the County of Dorset, in the Peerage of Great Britain and with remainder to the male issue of his father. From 1771 to 1793 Lord Digby served as Lord Lieutenant of Dorset. In 1790 he was further honoured when he was 1st Viscount Coleshill and 1st Earl Digby in the Peerage of Great Britain, with remainder to his heirs male.

Lord Digby married, firstly, Elizabeth Feilding, daughter of Hon. Charles Feilding, in 1763. They had one son, Hon. Edward Digby (19 June 1764 – 15 July 1764). After his first wife's death in 1765 he married, secondly, Mary Knowler, daughter of John Knowler, in 1779. They had five children:

  • Lady Charlotte Digby (18 January 1772 – 1807), married William Wingfield
  • Edward Digby, 2nd Earl Digby (1773–1856)
  • Hon. Henry Digby (12 May 1774 – 5 April 1776)
  • Hon. Rev. Robert Digby (10 April 1775 – 1830), rector of Sheldon and vicar of Coleshill
  • Hon. Stephen Digby (24 June 1776 – 1795)

Lord Digby died in September 1793, aged 62, and was succeeded in his title by his eldest son Edward. The Countess Digby died in 1794. William Wingfield married Lady Charlotte-Maria (died 1807), Digby's eldest daughter.


Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir John Bland
Thomas Hayward
Member of Parliament for Ludgershall
With: Thomas Hayward
Succeeded by
Thomas Whately
John Paterson
Preceded by
Charles Tudway
Robert Digby
Member of Parliament for Wells
With: Clement Tudway
Succeeded by
Clement Tudway
Robert Child
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Shaftesbury
Lord Lieutenant of Dorset
Succeeded by
The Lord Rivers
Peerage of Great Britain
New title Earl Digby
Succeeded by
Edward Digby
Baron Digby
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Edward Digby
Baron Digby
Succeeded by
Edward Digby