Marquess of Ailesbury
|Marquessate of Ailesbury|
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, or a saltire and chief gules on a canton argent a lion rampant azure (for Bruce); 2nd and 3rd, argent a chevron gules between three chapeaux to the sinister azure (for Brudenell).
|Creation date||17 July 1821|
|Monarch||King George IV|
|Peerage||Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|First holder||Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury|
|Present holder||Michael Brudenell-Bruce, 8th Marquess of Ailesbury|
|Heir apparent||David Brudenell-Bruce, Earl of Cardigan|
|Remainder to||the 1st Marquess's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.|
|Subsidiary titles||Earl of Cardigan
Earl of Ailesbury
Baronet of Deene
Hereditary Warden of Savernake Forest
|Former seat(s)||Tottenham House|
|Armorial motto||"Think and Thank"|
On 18 March 1664, Robert Bruce, 2nd Earl of Elgin in the Peerage of Scotland was created Baron Bruce, of Skelton in the County of York, Viscount Bruce, of Ampthill in the County of Bedford, and Earl of Ailesbury, in the County of Buckingham, all in the Peerage of England. His son, Charles, the 3rd Earl of Ailesbury (and 4th Earl of Elgin), was created Baron Bruce, of Tottenham in the County of Wilts, on 17 April 1746, in the Peerage of Great Britain, with a special remainder to his nephew, the Honourable Thomas Brudenell, fourth and youngest son of George Brudenell, 3rd Earl of Cardigan, by Lady Elizabeth Bruce, sister of the 3rd Earl of Ailesbury. On Lord Ailesbury's death in 1747, his English titles became extinct, except for the 1746 Barony of Bruce, which was inherited by his nephew, Robert, according to the special remainder. His Scottish titles passed to his kinsman, Charles Bruce, 5th Earl of Elgin.
Thomas Brudenell, 2nd Baron Bruce, assumed the additional surname of Bruce by Royal licence in 1767. On 10 June 1776 he was created Earl of Ailesbury, in the County of Buckingham, in the Peerage of Great Britain, a revival of the title which had become extinct on his uncle's death 29 years earlier. His son, Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury was created Viscount Savernake, of Savernake Forest in the County of Wilts, Earl Bruce, of Whorlton in the County of York, and Marquess of Ailesbury, in the County of Buckingham, on 17 July 1821, all in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. In 1838 his eldest son, George Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Marquess of Ailesbury, was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Bruce. In 1868 the 2nd Marquess also inherited the Earldom of Cardigan from his kinsman the 7th Earl of Cardigan, and so the Marquesses of Ailesbury now also hold the titles Earl of Cardigan (1661) and Baron Brudenell, of Stonton in the County of Leicester (1628), in the Peerage of England, as well as being Baronets of England, styled "of Deene in the County of Northampton".
The 2nd Marquess was succeeded by his younger brother, Ernest Brudenell-Bruce, 3rd Marquess of Ailesbury, who had previously sat in the House of Commons for 46 years under the name of Lord Ernest Bruce. The 3rd Marquess was succeeded by his grandson, George Brudenell-Bruce, 4th Marquess of Ailesbury, the only son of George John Brudenell-Bruce. The 4th Marquess died bankrupt at an early age and was succeeded by his uncle, Henry Brudenell-Bruce, 5th Marquess of Ailesbury, who had previously represented Chippenham in Parliament under the name of Lord Henry Bruce. As of 2013 the titles are held by the 5th Marquess's great-grandson, Michael Brudenell-Bruce, 8th Marquess of Ailesbury, the titles having descended from father to son.
The heir apparent to the Marquessate bears the courtesy title Earl of Cardigan, and his heir apparent bears the title Viscount Savernake. Between 1776 and 1821 the heir apparent to the earldom of Ailesbury bore the courtesy title Lord Bruce. Between 1821 and 1868 the heir apparent to the marquessate bore the courtesy title Earl Bruce while Earl Bruce's heir apparent bore the title Viscount Savernake. The county town of Buckinghamshire to which the title refers is spelt "Aylesbury", but the letter from the King confirming the new title wrongly spelled it "Ailesbury", and nobody wanted to correct the King.
Ever since Thomas Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury succeeded his father in 1685, every Earl and Marquess of Ailesbury has also been a Hereditary Warden of Savernake Forest. This explains the usage of the title Viscount Savernake within the family. Although not an earl until 1685, Thomas Bruce had already inherited the Wardenship through his marriage to Lady Elizabeth Seymour in 1676, as the Wardenship had previously been in the Seymour family. The current Lord Ailesbury was the 30th such Warden, until he retired in 1987, at which time his son David Brudenell-Bruce, Earl of Cardigan became the 31st Warden.
Lord Charles Bruce, youngest son of the 1st Marquess, was a Liberal politician. Lady Catherine Anna Brudenell-Bruce, better known under her stage name Bo Bruce, daughter of the Earl of Cardigan, the present heir to the marquessate, is a musician. A descendant of the 3rd Marquess is the model Florence Brudenell-Bruce.
The family seat was Tottenham House, near Marlborough, Wiltshire. The family last lived in the house in 1945, after which it became a school. The estate is held in a trust, with 49 percent controlled by the family. In 2013, the heir to the marquessate, Earl of Cardigan, filed a lawsuit against the trustees, alleging mismanagement.
Coat of arms
The heraldic blazon for the coat of arms of the marquessate is: Quarterly: 1st and 4th, or a saltire and chief gules on a canton argent a lion rampant azure (for Bruce); 2nd and 3rd, argent a chevron gules between three chapeaux to the sinister azure (for Brudenell). This can be translated as: a shield divided into quarters, the top left and bottom right quarters being gold, with a red saltire over the gold field, and the top part of the shield also being red. In addition, there is a white square in the top left corner of the shield with a blue lion rampant (for the Bruce family); the top right and bottom left quarters are white with a red chevron between three blue caps of state that are turned to face to the viewer's right (for the Brudenell family).
Earls of Ailesbury; First creation (1664)
- Robert Bruce, 2nd Earl of Elgin, 1st Earl of Ailesbury (1627–1685)
- Thomas Bruce, 3rd Earl of Elgin, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury (1656–1741)
- Charles Bruce, 4th Earl of Elgin, 3rd Earl of Ailesbury (1682–1747)
Barons Bruce (1746)
- Charles Bruce, 4th Earl of Elgin, 3rd Earl of Ailesbury, 1st Baron Bruce (1682–1747)
- Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Baron Bruce (1739–1814) (Younger nephew, created Earl of Ailesbury in 1776)
Earls of Ailesbury; Second creation (1776)
- Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury (1729–1814)
- George Bruce-Brudenell, Lord Bruce (1762–1783)
- Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury (1773–1856) (created Marquess of Ailesbury in 1821)
Marquesses of Ailesbury (1821)
- Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 1st Marquess of Ailesbury (1773–1856)
- George William Frederick Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Marquess of Ailesbury (1804–1878)
- Ernest Augustus Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 3rd Marquess of Ailesbury (1811–1886)
- George John Brudenell-Bruce (1839–1868)
- George William Thomas Brudenell-Bruce, 4th Marquess of Ailesbury (1863–1894)
- Henry Augustus Brudenell-Bruce, 5th Marquess of Ailesbury (1842–1911)
- George William James Chandos Brudenell-Bruce, 6th Marquess of Ailesbury (1873–1961)
- Chandos Sydney Cedric Brudenell-Bruce, 7th Marquess of Ailesbury (1904–1974)
- Michael Sydney Cedric Brudenell-Bruce, 8th Marquess of Ailesbury (b. 1926)
The heir apparent is the present holder's son David Michael James Brudenell-Bruce, Earl of Cardigan (b. 1952).
The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son Thomas James Brudenell-Bruce, Viscount Savernake (b. 1982).
- Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. pp. 51–53. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
- "No. 10793". The London Gazette. 26–29 December 1767. p. 2.
- Chandos Brudenell-Bruce. The Wardens of Savernake Forest, pp. 271. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1949
- Official Website. "Savernake Estate", Retrieved on 20-4-2011.
- Burke, Bernard (1866). A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire: Harrison. p. 81.
- Brudenell-Bruce, 1949, p. 209
- Lusher, Adam (3 February 2013). "The Earl of Cardigan and the battle of the Savernake Estate". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2017.