William Capell, 4th Earl of Essex

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William Anne Holles Capell, 4th Earl of Essex (7 October 1732 – 4 March 1799), was a British landowner and peer, a member of the House of Lords.

Early life[edit]

Capell was the son of William Capell, 3rd Earl of Essex (1696–1743), by his marriage to Lady Elizabeth Russell, a daughter of Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford (1680–1711). He was born in 1732 in Turin.

In January 1743, at the age of ten, he inherited his father's titles and estates. In 1753, at the age of twenty-one, he took his seat in the House of Lords.[1]

In 1770 he was made the last Master of the Staghounds.


The Earl of Essex married firstly Frances Hanbury-Williams the daughter of Charles Hanbury Williams (1709–1757) of Coldbroke, Monmouthshire) and of Lady Francis Coningsby (1707–1781) of Hampton Court, Herefordshire. Several years after her death in 1759 he married secondly Harriet Bladen (1735–1821), the daughter of Colonel Thomas Bladen of Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset.[1]

By his first wife he had three children: Elizabeth (1755–1834), who married John Monson, 3rd Lord Monson; George (1757–1839), who married three times; and finally Frances (14–19 July 1759), who died shortly after her mother gave birth to her in 1759.[1] George and his sister Elizabeth were painted in a double-portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1768, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

By his second wife, he had four children: John Thomas (1769–1819); Thomas Edward (1770–1855); William Robert (1775–1854); and Bladen Thomas (1776–1853).[1]

Essex died on 4 March 1799 at St James's Palace, Westminster.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Charles Mosley, ed., Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, (107th edition, 2003), vol. 1, p. 1348

Further reading[edit]

  • Debrett's Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland. revised, corrected and continued by G. W. Collen
  • Official Baronage by Doyle
  • The Earls of Essex, their wives and children at Cassiobury House, Cassiobury Collection, Watford Museum
  • Visitation of Worcestershire
Peerage of England
Preceded by
William Capell
Earl of Essex
Succeeded by
George Capell
Political offices
Preceded by
William Monckton-Arundell, 2nd Viscount Galway
Master of the Staghounds
Succeeded by
post abolished