William Jennings Capell

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William Jennings "Bill" Capell (born 9 August 1952), a retired grocery clerk from Yuba City, California, is the heir presumptive to the Earldom of Essex. He will be the 12th Earl if the current earl, Paul Capell, 11th Earl of Essex (currently 71 and unmarried), dies without legitimate male issue. He had considered renouncing the earldom if it would require him to give up his United States citizenship. (Under the United Kingdom's Peerage Act 1963, a person may disclaim a hereditary peerage.) United States law requires only government officeholders without Congressional authorization and persons wishing to become naturalized citizens, however, to renounce titles of nobility. As Mr. Capell is in neither category, there would be no legal impediment to his use of the title as a U.S. citizen; indeed there is precedent in the case of the Earl of Wharncliffe, currently a Maine construction worker.

Like the sixth and later Earls of Essex, William Capell is descended from the younger son of the fourth Earl. His father Bladen Horace Capell claimed the title after the ninth Earl died in 1981, but Robert de Vere Capell (1920–2005) eventually proved that his ancestor Algernon was older than Bladen's ancestor Adolphus and thus took his seat in the House of Lords in 1989.

(Frances Hanbury Williams, d.1759)
William Anne Capell, 4th Earl
Harriet Bladen d.1821
George Capell, 5th Earl
The Hon. John Capel
m. Lady Caroline Paget
Arthur Capell, 6th Earl
m. Lady Caroline Beauclerk
The Hon. Algernon Capell
m. Caroline Paget
The Hon. Adolphus Capell
m. Charlotte Maynard
Arthur de Vere Capell, Viscount Malden
m. Emma Meux
Charles Capell
m. Alice Bellairs
Rev. Horatio Bladen Capell
m. Ada Augusta Howkins
George de Vere Capell, 7th Earl
m. Eleanor Hartford
Arthur de Vere Capell
m. Alice Currie
Horace Capell
m. Clara Jackson
Algernon de Vere Capell, 8th Earl
m. Mary Stewart Freeman
Robert de Vere Capell, 10th Earl
m. Doris Tomlinson
Bladen Ozro Capell
m. Madge Crawford
Reginald de Vere Capell, 9th Earl
Paul de Vere Capell, 11th Earl
Bladen Horace Capell
m. Mae Walley
William Jennings Capell
Kevin Capell

In 2005, Capell made his first visit to England with his wife, daughter, and son-in-law. The visit was televised on the tabloid show Inside Edition.

He has two children:

  • Jennifer Elaine Capell (b. 1974), married Alfred Cabrera in 2004
  • Kevin Devereux Capell (b. 1982)

If William succeeds to the earldom, Kevin will acquire the courtesy title Viscount Malden, and Jennifer will become The Lady Jennifer Cabrera.

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