Viscount Bolingbroke

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Viscountcy of Bolingbroke
Coronet of a British Viscount.svg
Arms of Viscount Bolingbroke
Arms of St John: Argent, on a chief gules two mullets or
Creation date 7 July 1712
Monarch Queen Anne
Peerage Peerage of Great Britain
First holder Henry St John
Present holder Nicholas Alexander Mowbray St John, 9th Viscount Bolingbroke, 10th Viscount St John
Remainder to the 1st Viscount's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten, with remainder, failing his own male issue, to his father and the heirs male of his body.
Subsidiary titles Viscount St John
Baron St John of Lydiard Tregoze
Baron St John of Battersea
St John baronets, of Lydiard Tregoze

Viscount Bolingbroke is a current title in the Peerage of Great Britain created in 1712 for Hon. Henry St John. He was simultaneously made Baron St John, of Lydiard Tregoze in the County of Wilts so as to have a courtesy title to accord to his heir apparent. Since 1751 the titles are merged with the titles of Viscount St John and Baron St John in the same Peerage.

Henry St John,
1st Viscount Bolingbroke

Family background[edit]

Medieval notable family members

John St John (died 1648) was the great-great-great-grandson of Oliver St John (died 1497) (whose elder brother Sir John St John (died c. 1488) was the ancestor of the Barons St John of Bletsoe and Earls of Bolingbroke), second son of Sir Oliver St John (died 1437), the first husband of Margaret Beauchamp of Bletso, great-great-granddaughter of Roger de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp of Bletshoe (died 1380). Margaret was maternal grandmother of Henry VII (through her second marriage).

Uncle of first Baronet

A paternal uncle of the first Baronet was Oliver St John, 1st Viscount Grandison (1559-1630), a title now held by the Earl of Jersey. He was lord deputy governor of Ireland (1616-1622).

Grants of Titles[edit]

Baronetcy in 1611[edit]

John St John later represented Wiltshire in Parliament and was a strong royalist during the Civil War. On 22 May 1611 he was created a Baronet, of Lydiard Tregoze in Wiltshire, in the Baronetage of England.[1]

Baronies and Viscountcies[edit]

A younger son of John St John, 3rd Baronet, was elected for Wiltshire and Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire equally his son in turn (4th Baronet). In 1716 the latter was created Baron St John, of Battersea[2] in the County of Surrey, and Viscount St John, with remainder to his second son (who inherited) and in default third son, as his eldest son Henry St John had already been created Baron St John, of Lydiard Tregoze, and Viscount Bolingbroke in 1712 see below). He also represented Wootton Bassett in Parliament. In 1751 his son, the 3rd Viscount, succeeded his uncle as 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke and 2nd Baron St John according to a special remainder in the letters patent.

The titles have remained united since. The son of the "second son" mentioned, the 3rd and 4th Viscount, was elected briefly for Cricklade, Wiltshire. As of 2014 the titles are held by his great-great-great-great-grandson, the 8th Viscount Bolingbroke and 9th Viscount St John. He lives in New Zealand. As of 28 February 2014 the present Baronet has not successfully proven his succession and is therefore not on the Official Roll of the Baronetage, with the baronetcy considered dormant since 1974.[3]

The titles Baron St John, of Lydiard Tregoze in the County of Wilts, and Viscount Bolingbroke were created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1712 for the politician and orator the Hon. Henry St John, the eldest son of Henry St John, 1st Viscount St John. The peerages were created with remainder to his father and his male heirs. Lord Bolingbroke died childless and was succeeded according to the special remainder by his nephew, the second Viscount, who had already succeeded as third Viscount St John in 1749 (see above).


The titles are pronounced /bʊlɪŋbrʊk/ and /sindjən/.

Family seats and abodes[edit]

Extract from Gentleman's Magazine: Map of London & Environs, 1764; Lord Bolingbroke is noted in this part of today's London.

An established family seat was, from 1420 until sale in 1943, Lydiard House, near Lydiard Tregoze, Wiltshire.

From 1648 unti 1765 the family had a house near to London namely the forerunner to the wider Battersea Park area, Bolingbroke House, which was then in the county of Surrey.[2] This became the de facto seat of the lord of the manor title inherited from the 1st Baronet from Viscount Grandison, buried there with great pomp in 1648.[2] In 1742 the then Lord Bolingbroke, who, in spite of his attainder, had been enabled to inherit the estate by an Act of 1725, lent the manor house to his friend Hugh Hume, 3rd Earl of Marchmont.[2] Later he settled there himself, either in 1743 or early in the following year and there spent the remainder of his life.[2] He was buried in the family vault in Battersea Church in 1751. His nephew and heir Frederick, second Viscount Bolingbroke, sold the Battersea estate about 1763. It was purchased by John Viscount Spencer, created Earl Spencer in 1765.[2]

Coat of arms[edit]

Armorial bearings of the Viscounts Bolingbroke

The heraldic blazon for the armorials of the St John family is: Argent, on a chief gules two mullets or. This can be translated as: a white shield with a red rectangle at the top holding two golden stars.

St John Baronets, of Lydiard Tregoze (1611)[edit]

Viscounts St John (1716)[edit]

The heir presumptive is the present holder's second cousin twice removed, Walter Warren St John (born 1921).[4]
The heir presumptive's heir apparent is Henry William St John (born 1952).
The latter's heir apparent is German Andres St John (born 1980).

Viscounts Bolingbroke (1712)[edit]

see above for further succession

See also[edit]


  1. ^ George Edward Cokayne Complete Baronetage 1900
  2. ^ a b c d e f A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4 at para 8 of Battersea with Penge pp. 8-17; editor H E Malden (London, 1912), British History Online Accessed 27 September 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Bolingbroke, Viscount (GB, 1712)". Cracroft's Peerage. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 

External links[edit]