Henry Shirley, 3rd Earl Ferrers

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Henry Shirley, 3rd Earl Ferrers (14 November 1691– 6 August 1745), known as Hon. Henry Shirley until 1729, was an English nobleman and lunatic.

Shirley was the ninth, but second surviving, son of Robert Shirley, 1st Earl Ferrers. His mental disorder led his younger brother, Laurence, to obtain a commission of lunacy against him. However, Henry's condition improved and he regained control of his estates in October 1730, the year after he succeeded his brother Washington in the earldom.[1] While well enough to accept the offices of Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of Staffordshire in 1731,[2] he again relapsed into insanity, although he was not removed from office until 1742. He was confined during the last years of his life, and died in Kensington Gore in 1745. He was succeeded by his nephew Laurence.


  1. ^ Welch, Edwin (1995). Spiritual Pilgrim: A Reassessment of the Life of the Countess of Huntingdon. University of Chicago Press. p. 30. 
  2. ^ Doyle, James William Edmund (1886). The Official Baronage of England. 1. London: Longmans, Green. p. 741. 
Honorary titles
Title last held by
The Earl Ferrers
Lord Lieutenant and
Custos Rotulorum of Staffordshire

Succeeded by
The Lord Gower
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Washington Shirley
Earl Ferrers
Succeeded by
Laurence Shirley