Earl of Coventry
Earl of Coventry is a title, created twice in the Peerage of England. The first creation for the Villiers family was created in 1623 and took its name from the city of Coventry, it became extinct in 1687. A decade the second creation was for the Coventry family and is still extant; the earldom of Coventry was created for the first time in 1623, in the Peerage of England, in favour of George Villiers, 1st Marquess of Buckingham. He was made Duke of Buckingham at the same time; the title became extinct in 1687 upon the death of the George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. The earldom of Coventry was created a second time in 1697, again in the Peerage of England, in favour of Thomas Coventry, 5th Baron Coventry; the Coventry family descends from John Coventry who served as Lord Mayor of London in 1426. His descendant Sir Thomas Coventry was politician, he served as Attorney General and as Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. In 1628 he was raised to the Peerage of England as Baron Coventry, of Aylesborough in the County of Worcester.
He was succeeded by his son from the second Baron. He represented Worcester in the House of Commons, his eldest son, the third Baron, served as Custos Rotulorum of Worcestershire. His son, the fourth Baron, died unmarried and was succeeded by his uncle, the aforementioned fifth Baron, he sat as Member of Parliament for Droitwich and Warwick. In 1697 he was made Viscount Deerhurst, of the hundred of Deerhurst in the County of Gloucester, Earl of Coventry, with remainder, failing heirs male of his own, to 1) the heirs male of his deceased uncle the Hon. Francis Coventry, failing which to 2) his three second cousins William Coventry, Thomas Coventry and Henry Coventry, grandsons of his deceased great-uncle Walter Coventry, younger brother of the first Baron Coventry; the titles were in the Peerage of England. He was succeeded by the second Earl, he was Custos Rotulorum of Worcestershire. His son, the third Earl, was succeeded by his uncle, the fourth Earl, he had no sons and on his death in 1719 the barony of Coventry became extinct.
He was succeeded in the viscountcy and earldom according to the special remainders by his second cousin once removed William Coventry, the fifth Earl. He was the grandson of youngest brother of the first Baron. Lord Coventry had earlier represented Bridport in Parliament and served as Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, he was succeeded by the sixth Earl. He sat as Tory Member of Parliament for Bridport and for Worcestershire and served as Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, his son from his first marriage, the seventh Earl, was Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire. On his death the titles passed to the eighth Earl, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire. He was succeeded by the ninth Earl, who held the title for 87 years, he was the son of Viscount Deerhurst. Lord Coventry was a Conservative politician and held office under Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Salisbury as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms and as Master of the Buckhounds, he held the honorary post of Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire.
He was succeeded by his grandson, the tenth Earl, the son of George William Coventry, Viscount Deerhurst, eldest son of the ninth Earl. Lord Coventry was killed in action in the Battle of Wytschaete on 27 May 1940, during the BEF's retreat to Dunkirk, he is buried in the cemetery at Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée. He was succeeded by his only son, the eleventh Earl, who had a varied career and despite four marriages, died without surviving male issue in 2002, he was succeeded by his 89-year-old first cousin once removed, the twelfth Earl. He was the second but eldest surviving son of Colonel the Hon. Charles John Coventry, second son of the ninth Earl, he had one daughter but no sons and the direct male line of descent from the eighth Earl failed upon his death in 2004. He was succeeded by the thirteenth and present holder of the titles, he is the great-great-grandson of the Hon. William James Coventry, the younger son of the seventh Earl. Lord Coventry lives in Canada. Several other members of the Coventry family may be mentioned.
The Hon. Henry Coventry, a son from the second marriage of the first Baron, was Member of Parliament for Droitwich. Another son from the second marriage of the first Baron, Sir William Coventry, represented Great Yarmouth in the House of Commons and became an influential politician. Sir John Coventry, son of the Hon. John Coventry, a son from the second marriage of the first Baron, sat as Member of Parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. Thomas Henry Coventry, Viscount Deerhurst, eldest son and heir apparent of the fifth Earl represented Bridport in Parliament before his premature death; the ancestral seat of the Coventry family is Croome Court, near Pershore in Worcestershire. Croome Court was sold in 1949 and the family moved to the smaller, half-timbered, somewhat confusingly named Earls Croome Court on the estate, while still retaining most of the 15,000 acres Coventry agricultural and forestry estate. Earls Croome Court remained as the seat of the family until 2007, when it was sold by Rachel, Countess of Coventry, the widow of the 11th Earl who died in 2002.
The park at Croome Court was handed over to the National Trust in 1996 but the house itself remains private and is now owned by the Croome Heritage Trust. The National Trust now opens it to the public. George Villiers, 1st Duke o
Earl of Winchilsea
Earl of Winchilsea is a title in the Peerage of England held by the Finch-Hatton family. It has been united with the title of Earl of Nottingham under a single holder since 1729; the Finch family is believed to be descended from Henry FitzHerbert, Lord Chamberlain to Henry I. The name change to Finch came in the 1350s after marriage to an heiress by a member of the Finch family. In 1660 the 3rd Earl of Winchilsea was created Baron FitzHerbert of Eastwell, Kent, in recompense for his efficient aid in the Restoration of the Monarchy; the Herbert family of Wales, Earls of Pembroke, bear differenced arms. A member of the family, Sir William Finch, was knighted in 1513, his son Sir Thomas Finch, was knighted for his share in suppressing Sir Thomas Wyatt's insurrection against Queen Mary I, was the son-in-law of Sir Thomas Moyle, some of whose lands Finch's wife inherited. Thomas's eldest son Moyle Finch represented Weymouth and Winchelsea in the House of Commons. In 1611 he was created a baronet, of Eastwell in the County of Kent.
Sir Moyle Finch, 1st Baronet of Eastwell married Elizabeth Heneage, only daughter of Sir Thomas Heneage, Vice-Chamberlain of the Household to Queen Elizabeth I. After Sir Moyle's death in 1614 Elizabeth and her sons made considerable efforts to have the family's status elevated. On 8 July 1623 Elizabeth was raised to the Peerage of England as Viscountess Maidstone, on 12 July 1628 she was further honoured when she was made Countess of Winchilsea. Lady Winchilsea and Sir Moyle Finch's youngest son the Hon. Sir Heneage Finch served as Speaker of the House of Commons and was the father of Heneage Finch, created Earl of Nottingham in 1681. Sir Moyle Finch was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son Theophilus, the 2nd Baronet, he sat as Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth but died childless in circa 1619. He was succeeded by the 3rd Baronet, he represented Kent in the House of Commons. In 1634 he succeeded his mother as 2nd Earl of Winchilsea, his son, the 3rd Earl, supported the Restoration in 1660 and was thanked for his efforts the same year when he was created Baron FitzHerbert of Eastwell, in the County of Kent, in the Peerage of England.
He was succeeded by the 4th Earl. He was the son of Viscount Maidstone, eldest son of the 3rd Earl. Lord Winchilsea served as Lord Lieutenant of Kent, his wife Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, was a well-known poet. However, they had no children and Winchilsea was succeeded by his uncle, the 5th Earl, he had earlier represented Hythe in Parliament. He was succeeded by his half-brother, the 6th Earl, he never married and on his death in 1729 the Barony of FitzHerbert of Eastwell became extinct. He was succeeded in the remaining titles by his second cousin the 2nd Earl of Nottingham, who became the seventh Earl of Winchilsea as well, he was a noted statesman and served as First Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State for the Southern Department, Secretary of State for the Northern Department and as Lord President of the Council. On his death the titles passed to the 8th Earl of Winchilsea, he was a politician and held office as First Lord of the Admiralty and as Lord President of the Council. He was succeeded by his nephew, the 9th Earl.
He was the son of second son of the 2nd Earl of Nottingham. The 9th Earl was Lord Lieutenant of Rutland for many years and was an influential figure in the history of cricket, he was succeeded by his first cousin once removed, the 10th Earl. He was the son of George Finch-Hatton, son of the Hon. Edward Finch, fifth son of the 2nd Earl of Nottingham and his wife the Hon. Anne Hatton, the daughter of Christopher Hatton, 1st Viscount Hatton and a relation of the famous Sir Christopher Hatton; the 10th Earl is famous for his duel with the Duke of Wellington, Prime Minister at the time. The duel, over the issue of Catholic emancipation and related to insulting remarks made by the Earl, took place at Battersea Fields on 21 March 1829. Both men deliberately aimed wide and Winchilsea apologised, he was succeeded by his son, the 11th Earl. He represented Northamptonshire North in Parliament as a Tory, he was succeeded by his half-brother, the 12th Earl. He sat as Conservative Member of Parliament for Lincolnshire South and for Spalding.
He was succeeded by the 13th Earl. As of 2017 the titles are held by his great-great-grandson, the 17th Earl of Winchilsea and 12th Earl of Nottingham, who succeeded in 1999; the Hon. Sir Heneage Finch was the Countess of Winchilsea, he served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1625 to 1628. His son Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham was a prominent lawyer and politician and served as Lord Chancellor of England from 1675 to 1682, he was created a baronet, of Raunston in the County of Buckingham, in the Baronetage of England in 1660 and in 1673 he was raised to the Peerage of England as Baron Finch of Daventry in the County of Northampton. In 1681 he was further honoured when he was made Earl of Nottingham in the Peerage of England, he was succeeded by his son, Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, who in 1729 succeeded his second cousin as the seventh Earl of Winchilsea. See above for further history of the titles. Several other members of the Finch family have gai
Earl of Shrewsbury
Earl of Shrewsbury is a hereditary title of nobility created twice in the Peerage of England. The second earldom dates to 1442; the holder of the Earldom of Shrewsbury holds the title of Earl of Waterford in the Peerage of Ireland and Earl Talbot in the Peerage of Great Britain. Shrewsbury and Waterford are the oldest earldoms in their peerages held by someone with no higher title, as such the Earl of Shrewsbury is sometimes described as the premier earl of England and Ireland; the first creation occurred in 1074 for Roger de Montgomerie, one of William the Conqueror's principal counselors. He was one of the Marcher Lords, with the Earl of Hereford and the Earl of Chester, a bulwark against the Welsh. Roger was succeeded in 1094 by his younger son Hugh, his elder son Robert of Bellême succeeding to his lands in Normandy. On Hugh’s death in 1098 the earldom passed to his brother Robert; the title was forfeit in 1102 after the 3rd Earl, rebelled against Henry I and joined Robert Curthose's invasion of England in 1101.
These earls were sometimes styled Earl of Shropshire. The title was created for a second time in 1442 when John Talbot, 7th Baron Talbot, an English general in the Hundred Years' War, was made Earl of Shrewsbury in the Peerage of England, he was made hereditary Lord High Steward of Ireland and, in 1446, Earl of Waterford in the Peerage of Ireland. John Talbot, the first Earl, was succeeded by his son John, the second Earl, who had succeeded as seventh Baron Furnivall on his mother's death in 1433. Lord Shrewsbury served as both Lord Chancellor of Lord High Treasurer of England, he was killed at the Battle of Northampton in 1460 during the Wars of the Roses. His grandson, the fourth Earl, was Lord Steward of the Household between 1509 and 1538, his son, the fifth Earl, was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration as Lord Talbot in 1533, five years before he succeeded his father. On his death the titles passed to the sixth Earl, he was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration as Lord Talbot in 1553.
Lord Shrewsbury was entrusted with the custody of Mary, Queen of Scots, served as Earl Marshal from 1572 to 1590. He married as his second wife the famous Bess of Hardwick. Shrewsbury was succeeded by his son from his first marriage to Lady Gertrude Manners, the seventh Earl, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire. He had no sons and on his death in 1616 the baronies of Talbot, Strange of Blackmere and Furnivall fell into abeyance between his three daughters, he was succeeded in the earldoms by the eighth Earl. He was Member of Parliament for Northumberland, he was succeeded by his distant relative, the ninth Earl. He was the great-great-grandson of third son of the second Earl of Shrewsbury; the family bought Barlow Woodseats Hall in 1593 as part of the estate. He was succeeded by his nephew, the tenth Earl and Lord of Grafton, he was the son of John Talbot of Grafton. On his death the titles passed to the eleventh Earl, he was killed in a duel with George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. His son, the twelfth Earl, was a prominent statesman.
He was one of the Immortal Seven who in 1688 invited William of Orange to invade England and depose his father-in-law James II and served under William and Mary as Secretary of State for the Southern Department and Secretary of State for the Northern Department. In 1694 he was created Marquess of Duke of Shrewsbury in the Peerage of England; the Duke was childless and on his death in 1718 the marquessate and dukedom became extinct. He was succeeded in his other titles by the thirteenth Earl, he was the son of second son of the tenth Earl. Lord Shrewsbury was in the Holy Orders of the Church of Rome. On his death the titles passed to the fourteenth Earl, he was succeeded by his nephew Charles, the fifteenth Earl. He began in 1812 the creation of the extensive gardens at Alveton Lodge, Staffordshire which estate had been in the family since the 15th century; when he died the titles were inherited by his nephew John, the sixteenth Earl, the son of the Hon. John Joseph Talbot; when in 1831 the principal home of the family at Heythrop, Oxfordshire was destroyed by fire he moved the family seat to Alton Towers.
The sixteenth Earl was a noted patron of A W N Pugin. He was succeeded by Bertram, his second cousin once removed, the seventeenth Earl, the great-grandson of the Hon. George Talbot, younger son of the aforementioned Gilbert Talbot, second son of the tenth Earl. Bertram died unmarried at an early age in 1856. By his will he left his estates to Lord Edmund Howard, son of the Duke of Norfolk, but the will was contested by three distant relatives and after a long and expensive legal case the House of Lords ruled in 1860 in favour of Henry John Chetwynd-Talbot, 3rd Earl Talbot, who thus became the eighteenth Earl of Shrewsbury and Waterford, he was a descendant of the aforementioned the Hon. Sir Gilbert Talbot, third son of the second Earl of Shrewsbury (see the Earl Tal
Frederick, Prince of Wales
Frederick, Prince of Wales, KG, was heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death from a lung injury at the age of 44 in 1751. He was the eldest but estranged son of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach, the father of King George III. Under the Act of Settlement passed by the English Parliament in 1701, Frederick was fourth in the line of succession to the British throne at birth, after his great-grandmother, paternal grandfather and father, he moved to Great Britain following the accession of his father, was created Prince of Wales. He predeceased his father and upon the latter's death on 25 October 1760, the throne passed to Prince Frederick's eldest son, George III. Prince Frederick Lewis was born on 1 February 1707 in Hanover, Holy Roman Empire, as Duke Friedrich Ludwig of Brunswick-Lüneburg, to Prince George, son of George, Elector of Hanover, one of Frederick's two godfathers; the Elector was the son of Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of James VI and I and first cousin and heir presumptive to Queen Anne of Great Britain.
However, Sophia died before Anne at age 83 in June 1714, which elevated the Elector to heir-presumptive. This made Frederick's father the new Prince of Wales and first-in-line to the British throne and Frederick himself second-in-line. Frederick's other godfather was his grand-uncle Frederick I, King in Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg-Prussia. Frederick was nicknamed "Griff" within the family. In the year of Anne's death and the coronation of George I, Frederick's parents, Prince of Wales, Caroline of Ansbach, were called upon to leave Hanover for Great Britain when their eldest son was only seven years old, he was left in the care of his grand-uncle Ernest Augustus, Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück, did not see his parents again for 14 years. In 1722, the 15-year-old Frederick was inoculated against smallpox by Charles Maitland on the instructions of his mother Caroline, his grandfather, George I, created him Duke of Edinburgh, Marquess of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Eltham in the county of Kent, Viscount of Launceston in the county of Cornwall, Baron of Snaudon in the county of Carnarvon, on 26 July 1726.
The latter two titles have been interpreted differently since: the ofs are omitted and Snaudon rendered as Snowdon. Frederick arrived in England in 1728 as a grown man, the year after his father had become King George II. By George and Caroline had had several younger children, Frederick, himself now Prince of Wales, was a high-spirited youth fond of drinking and women; the long separation damaged their relationship, they would never be close. 1728 saw the foundation of Fredericksburg, named after him—his other namesakes are Prince Frederick, Fort Frederick, Fort Frederick, South Carolina, Fort Frederick, New York and Fort Frederica, while Fort Frederick, Point Frederick, Fort Frederick and Fort Frederick, New Brunswick were named after him posthumously. The motives for the ill-feeling between Frederick and his parents may include the fact that he had been set up by his grandfather as a small child, as the representative of the House of Hanover, was used to presiding over official occasions in the absence of his parents.
He was not permitted to go to Great Britain until after his father took the throne as George II on 11 June 1727. Frederick had continued to be known as Prince Friedrich Ludwig of Hanover after his father had been created Prince of Wales. In 1728, Frederick was brought to Britain and was created Prince of Wales on 8 January 1729, he served as the tenth Chancellor of the University of Dublin from 1728 to 1751, a portrait of him still enjoys a commanding position in the Hall of the Trinity College, Dublin. He sponsored a court of'opposition' politicians. Frederick and his group supported the Opera of the Nobility in Lincoln's Inn Fields as a rival to Handel's royally sponsored opera at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket. Frederick was a lover of music who played the cello, he enjoyed the natural sciences and the arts, became a thorn in the side of his parents, making a point of opposing them in everything, according to the court gossip Lord Hervey. At court, the favourite was Frederick's younger brother, Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, to the extent that the king looked into ways of splitting his domains so that Frederick would succeed only in Britain, while Hanover would go to William.
Hervey and Frederick wrote a theatrical comedy together, staged at the Drury Lane Theatre in October 1731. It was panned by the critics, the theatre's manager thought it so bad that it was unlikely to play out the first night, he had soldiers stationed in the audience to maintain order, when the play flopped the audience was given their money back. Hervey and Frederick shared a mistress, Anne Vane, who had a son called FitzFrederick Vane in June 1732. Either of them or William Stanhope, 1st Earl of Harrington, another of her lovers, could have been the father. Jealousy between them may have contributed to a breach, their friendship ended. Hervey wrote bitterly that Frederick was "false... never having the least hesitation in telling any lie that served his present purpose." A permanent result of Frederick's patronage of the arts is "Rule, Britannia!", one of th
Earl of Mar
The title Mormaer or Earl of Mar has been created several times, all in the Peerage of Scotland. Owing to a 19th-century dispute, there are two Earls of Mar as both the first and seventh creations are extant; the first creation of the earldom was the provincial ruler of the province of Mar in north-eastern Scotland. First attested in the year 1014, the "seat" or "caput" became Kildrummy Castle, although other sites like Doune of Invernochty were just as important; the title evolved into a peerage title, was made famous by John Erskine, the 23rd/6th Earl of Mar, an important Jacobite military leader during the 1715 Jacobite rising. Margaret of Mar, 31st Countess of Mar holds the first creation, James Erskine, 14th Earl of Mar and 16th Earl of Kellie holds the seventh; the Earl of Mar and Kellie is the hereditary Clan Chief of Clan Erskine. The Earldom of Mar, one of the seven original Scottish earldoms, is thought to be the oldest peerage in Great Britain, Europe; the family seat of Earl of Mar is St Michael's Farm, near Great Witley, of Earl of Mar is Hilton Farm, near Alloa, Clackmannanshire.
The first Mormaer of Mar is regarded as Ruadrí, mentioned in the Book of Deer. Some modern sources give earlier mormaers, i.e. Muirchertach and Gartnait, mentioned in charters of the reigns of king Máel Coluim III and king Alexander I, though in these cases certain identification with a particular province is difficult; the accounts of the Battle of Clontarf in some of the Irish annals name "Domnall son of Eimen son of Cainnech", Mormaer of Mar in Alba", as among those killed in 1014 alongside Brian Boru. The Mormaerdom comprised the larger portion of modern Aberdeenshire, extending from north of the River Don southward to the Mounth hills, its principal seats were Doune of Invernochty. The Mormaerdom may have alternated between two kin-groups, represented by Morggán, by Gille Críst. Gilchrist succeeded Morgund, but was himself succeeded by Donnchadh, son of Morgund. On the other hand, we do not know Gilchrist's parentage, chronologically he could have been an elder brother of Donnchadh. No definite succession of earls appears till the 13th century, from the middle of the 13th century the earls were recognized as among "the seven earls of Scotland".
There was a settlement in around 1230 between Donnchadh and Thomas Durward, grandson of Gilchrist, by which Durward had, it is said, £300 of land, a large amount, scattered around the earldom at Fichlie, near Kildrummy, Lumphanan in the lowland area. He had Urquhart, but that had nothing to do with the earldom. Donnchadh got the title of Mormaer and the wealthier and militarily more useful upland parts of Mar. Earl Thomas died childless in 1374, but the earldom passed via Donnchadh's daughter Margaret to her husband William, Earl of Douglas. While the eleventh holder of the title and Margaret's daughter Isabel Douglas, Countess of Mar, was alone at the Kildrummy Castle, Alexander Stewart entered it and forced her to sign a charter on 12 August 1404 yielding the earldom to him and his heirs, she revoked the charter that year, but on marrying him, she gave him the earldom for life with remainder to her heirs. The King confirmed her last action the next year. In 1426, Stewart resigned the title so that he could be granted a new one by the King, the new title being more "legitimate".
The King did so, but specified that the earldom and associated lands would revert to the Crown upon the death of the Earl. In 1435, the Earl died, Robert, Lord Erskine claimed the title, but the King claimed its lands under the specifications of reversion made in the patent; the issue remained unresolved until 1457, when James II obtained a court order declaring the lands as crown possessions. Thereafter, he bestowed the title on his son John, who died without heirs in 1479, it was next granted to James' other son, Duke of Albany, but the title was declared forfeit because of Alexander's alliances with the English. James III created his son John Earl of Mar in 1486, upon whose death in 1503 the title became extinct again; the title was once again created in 1562, for James, Earl of Moray, son of James V, but he, could not produce a qualified heir. Moray rebelled in 1565 in protest at the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Queen Mary restored the earldom of Mar for John, Lord Erskine, heir to the Lord Erskine, heir of the ancient Earls through a cousin of Isabel, who quarrelled with James II about the Earldom.
His son named John, recovered the Mar estates, alienated by the Crown during the long period that his family had been out of possession. John, the 23rd was attainted for rebellion in 1716, the Earldom remained forfeit for over a century. In 1824, the Earldom was restored by Act of Parliament to John Francis Erskine, the heir of the attainted Earl, in his 83rd year, his grandson, the ninth Earl claimed inheritance the earldom of Kellie and associated titles in 1835. At the death of the 26th Earl of Mar and eleventh Earl of Kellie in 1866, the Earldom of Kellie and the family's estates passed to Walter Erskine, the cousin
George I of Great Britain
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698 until his death in 1727. George was born in Hanover and inherited the titles and lands of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg from his father and uncles. A succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime, in 1708 he was ratified as prince-elector of Hanover. At the age of 54, after the death of his second cousin Anne, Queen of Great Britain, George ascended the British throne as the first monarch of the House of Hanover. Although over 50 Roman Catholics were closer to Anne by primogeniture, the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the British throne. In reaction, Jacobites attempted to depose George and replace him with Anne's Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward Stuart, but their attempts failed. During George's reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister.
Towards the end of his reign, actual political power was held by Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain's first de facto prime minister. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, he was the last British monarch to be buried outside the United Kingdom. George was born on 28 May 1660 in the city of Hanover in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire, he was the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, his wife, Sophia of the Palatinate. Sophia was the granddaughter of King James I of England through Elizabeth of Bohemia. For the first year of his life, George was the only heir to the German territories of his father and three childless uncles. George's brother, Frederick Augustus, was born in 1661, the two boys were brought up together, their mother was absent for a year during a long convalescent holiday in Italy, but corresponded with her sons' governess and took a great interest in their upbringing more so upon her return. Sophia bore Ernest Augustus a daughter.
In her letters, Sophia describes George as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his younger brothers and sisters. By 1675 George's eldest uncle had died without issue, but his remaining two uncles had married, putting George's inheritance in jeopardy as his uncles' estates might pass to their own sons, should they have had any, instead of to George. George's father took him hunting and riding, introduced him to military matters. In 1679 another uncle died unexpectedly without sons, Ernest Augustus became reigning Duke of Calenberg-Göttingen, with his capital at Hanover. George's surviving uncle, George William of Celle, had married his mistress in order to legitimise his only daughter, Sophia Dorothea, but looked unlikely to have any further children. Under Salic law, where inheritance of territory was restricted to the male line, the succession of George and his brothers to the territories of their father and uncle now seemed secure. In 1682, the family agreed to adopt the principle of primogeniture, meaning George would inherit all the territory and not have to share it with his brothers.
The same year, George married his first cousin, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, thereby securing additional incomes that would have been outside Salic laws. The marriage of state was arranged as it ensured a healthy annual income and assisted the eventual unification of Hanover and Celle, his mother was at first against the marriage because she looked down on Sophia Dorothea's mother, because she was concerned by Sophia Dorothea's legitimated status. She was won over by the advantages inherent in the marriage. In 1683, George and his brother, Frederick Augustus, served in the Great Turkish War at the Battle of Vienna, Sophia Dorothea bore George a son, George Augustus; the following year, Frederick Augustus was informed of the adoption of primogeniture, meaning he would no longer receive part of his father's territory as he had expected. It led to a breach between father and son, between the brothers, that lasted until Frederick Augustus's death in battle in 1690. With the imminent formation of a single Hanoverian state, the Hanoverians' continuing contributions to the Empire's wars, Ernest Augustus was made an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692.
George's prospects were now better than as the sole heir to his father's electorate and his uncle's duchy. Sophia Dorothea had a second child, a daughter named after her, in 1687, but there were no other pregnancies; the couple became estranged—George preferred the company of his mistress, Melusine von der Schulenburg, Sophia Dorothea, had her own romance with the Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck. Threatened with the scandal of an elopement, the Hanoverian court, including George's brothers and mother, urged the lovers to desist, but to no avail. According to diplomatic sources from Hanover's enemies, in July 1694 the Swedish count was killed with the connivance of George, his body thrown into the river Leine weighted with stones; the murder was claimed to have been committed by four of Ernest Augustus's courtiers, one of whom was paid the enormous sum of 150,000 thalers, about one hundred times the annual salary of the highest paid minister. Rumours supposed t
Earl of Abingdon
Earl of Abingdon is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created on 30 November 1682 for James Bertie, 5th Baron Norreys of Rycote, he was the eldest son of Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey by his second marriage to Bridget, 4th Baroness Norreys de Rycote, the younger half-brother of Robert Bertie, 3rd Earl of Lindsey. His mother's family descended from Sir Henry Norris, who represented Berkshire and Oxfordshire in the House of Commons and served as Ambassador to France. In 1572 he was summoned by writ to Parliament as Lord Norreys de Rycote, he was succeeded by the second Baron. In 1621 he was created Viscount Earl of Berkshire in the Peerage of England, he had no sons and on his death in 1624 the viscountcy and earldom became extinct. He was succeeded in the barony by the third holder of the title. On her death the title passed to her daughter, the aforementioned Bridget, the fourth Baroness, second wife of the second Earl of Lindsey, her son, the aforementioned fifth Baron, was summoned to the House of Lords as Lord Norreys of Rycote on 13 April 1675.
He was Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and in 1682 he was honoured when he was made Earl of Abingdon. He was succeeded by the second Earl, he sat as Member of Parliament for Berkshire and Oxfordshire and served as Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. In 1687 Lord Abingdon assumed by Royal licence the additional surname of Venables, that of his father-in-law, he was succeeded by his nephew, the third Earl. He was the son of second son of the first Earl, his grandson, the fifth Earl, was Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire. His son, the sixth Earl, represented Oxford and Abingdon in the House of Commons and served as Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, his great-grandson, the eighth Earl, succeeded his distant relative the twelfth Earl of Lindsey in the earldom of Lindsey in 1938. However, it was not until 1951. Another member of the Bertie family was the Hon. Francis Bertie, the second son of the sixth Earl of Abingdon, he served as British Ambassador to Italy and France and was created Viscount Bertie of Thame in 1918.
Henry Norris, 1st Baron Norreys of Rycote Francis Norris, 1st Earl of Berkshire, 2nd Baron Norreys of Rycote Elizabeth Wray, 3rd Baroness Norreys of Rycote Bridget Bertie, 4th Baroness Norreys of Rycote James Bertie, 5th Baron Norreys of Rycote James Bertie, 1st Earl of Abingdon Montagu Venables-Bertie, 2nd Earl of Abingdon Willoughby Bertie, 3rd Earl of Abingdon Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon Montagu Bertie, 5th Earl of Abingdon Montagu Bertie, 6th Earl of Abingdon Montagu Arthur Bertie, 7th Earl of Abingdon Montagu Henry Edmund Towneley-Bertie, 8th Earl of Abingdon Richard Henry Rupert Bertie, 14th Earl of Lindsey, 9th Earl of Abingdon The heir apparent is the present holder's son Henry Mark Willoughby Bertie, Lord Norreys. The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son Hon. Willoughby Henry Constantine St Maur Bertie. Earl of Lindsey Baron Willoughby de Eresby Viscount Bertie of Thame Andrew Bertie Cokayne, George E.. Gibbs, Vicary, ed; the complete peerage of England, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extinct, or dormant.
I, Ab-Adam to Basing. London: St. Catherine Press. Pp. 45–49. Kidd, Williamson, David. Debrett's Baronetage. New York: St Martin's Press, 1990, Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages Lundy, Darryl. "FAQ". The Peerage