Last updated 17/06/2022
Date Rank Order Name Born Died  Age
24 Dec 1264 B 1 Ralph Basset c 1282
Summoned to Parliament as Baron
Basset de Sapcote 24 Dec 1264
c 1282 2 Simon Basset c 1300
c 1300 3 Ralph Basset 1326
1326 4 Simon Basset c 1360
c 1360 5 Ralph Basset 1378
to     Peerage fell into abeyance on his death
6 Feb 1299 B 1 Richard Basset c Jul 1314
  Summoned to Parliament as Baron
  Basset de Weldon 6 Feb 1299
c Jul 1314 2 Ralph Basset 27 Aug 1300 c Apr 1341
c Apr 1341 3 Ralph Basset c 1325 after 1368
after 1368 4 Ralph Basset 6 Jun 1385
6 Jun 1385 5 Richard Basset Jan 1409
to     On his death the perage fell into abeyance
Jan 1409
30 Nov 1797 B 1 Francis Bassett,1st Baron de Dunstanville 9 Aug 1757 14 Feb 1835 77
Created Baron Basset of Stratton
30 Nov 1797
For details of the special remainder included in the
creation of this peerage,see the note at the 
foot of this page
MP for Penryn 1780-1796
14 Feb 1835 2 Frances Bassett 30 Apr 1781 22 Jan 1855 73
to     Peerage extinct on her death
22 Jan 1855
12 Jul 1725 V[I] 1 William Bateman c 1695 Dec 1744
Created Baron Culmore and Viscount
Bateman 12 Jul 1725
MP for Leominster 1721-1722  and 1727-1734
Dec 1744 2 John Bateman Apr 1721 2 Mar 1802 80
to     MP for Orford 1746-1747,Woodstock 1747-1768
2 Mar 1802 and Leominster 1768-1784. Lord Lieutenant 
Hereford 1747-1802.  PC 1756
Peerage extinct on his death
30 Jan 1837 B 1 William Hanbury Bateman 24 Jun 1780 22 Jul 1845 65
Created Baron Bateman 30 Jan 1837
MP for Northampton 1810-1818. Lord
Lieutenant Hereford 1841-1845
22 Jul 1845 2 William Bateman Bateman-Hanbury 28 Jul 1826 30 Nov 1901 75
Lord Lieutenant Hereford 1852-1901
30 Nov 1901 3 William Spencer Bateman-Hanbury 30 Sep 1856 4 Nov 1931 75
to     Peerage extinct on his death
4 Nov 1931
30 Jun 2008 B[L] 1 Michael Walton Bates 26 May 1961
Created Baron Bates for life 30 Jun 2008
MP for Langbaurgh 1992-1997. Paymaster-General
1996-1997. PC 2015
6 Jan 1486 E 1 Philibert de Chandee after 1486
to     Created Earl of Bath 6 Jan 1486
after 1486 Peerage presumed to have become extinct
on his death
9 Jul 1536 E 1 John Bourchier c 1470 30 Apr 1539
Created Earl of Bath 9 Jul 1536
30 Apr 1539 2 John Bourchier 1499 10 Feb 1561 61
Lord Lieutenant Dorset,Devon and Cornwall
10 Feb 1561 3 William Bourchier before 1557 12 Jul 1623
Lord Lieutenant Devon 1587
12 Jul 1623 4 Edward Bourchier Feb 1590 2 Mar 1637 47
2 Mar 1637 5 Henry Bourchier c 1593 16 Aug 1654
to     Lord Privy Seal 1644
16 Aug 1654 Peerage extinct on his death
20 Apr 1661 E 1 John Granville (formerly Grenville) 29 Aug 1628 22 Aug 1701 72
Created Baron Granville,Viscount
Granville of Lansdown and Earl of Bath 
20 Apr 1661
Lord Lieutenant Cornwall 1660-1696 and Devonshire
1670-1675 and 1685-1696  PC 1679
22 Aug 1701 2 Charles Granville 31 Aug 1661 4 Sep 1701 40
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of
Acceleration as Baron Granville 16 Jul 1689
MP for Launceston 1680-1681, Cornwall
1685-1689. Lord Lieutenant Cornwall and
Devon 1691-1693
4 Sep 1701 3 William Henry Granville 30 Jan 1692 17 May 1711 19
to     Peerage extinct on his death
17 May 1711
14 Jul 1742 E 1 William Pulteney 29 Mar 1684 8 Jul 1764 80
to     Created Baron Hedon,Viscount
8 Jul 1764 Pulteney and Earl of Bath 14 Jul 1742
MP for Hedon 1705-1734 and Middlesex
1734-1742. Secretary at War 1714-1717
Lord Lieutenant E Riding Yorkshire 1721-
1728 and Shropshire 1761-1764.  PC 1716
Peerage extinct on his death
26 Oct 1803 E 1 Henrietta Laura Pulteney 26 Dec 1766 14 Jul 1808 41
to     Created Baroness of Bath 26 Jul 1792
14 Jul 1808 and Countess of Bath 26 Oct 1803
Peerages extinct on her death
18 Aug 1789 M 1 Thomas Thynne,3rd Viscount Weymouth 13 Sep 1734 19 Nov 1796 62
Created Marquess of Bath 18 Aug 1789
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1765. 
Secretary of State 1768-1770 and 
1775-1779. PC 1765, KG 1778
19 Nov 1796 2 Thomas Thynne 25 Jan 1765 27 Mar 1837 72
MP for Weobley 1786-1790 and Bath
1790-1796. Lord Lieutenant Somerset 1819-1837
KG 1823
27 Mar 1837 3 Henry Frederick Thynne 22 May 1797 24 Jun 1837 40
MP for Weobley 1824-1826 and 1828-1832
24 Jun 1837 4 John Alexander Thynne 1 Mar 1831 20 Apr 1896 65
Lord Lieutenant Wiltshire 1889-1896
20 Apr 1896 5 Thomas Henry Thynne 15 Jul 1862 9 Jun 1946 83
MP for Frome 1886-1892 and 1895-1896. 
Lord Lieutenant Somerset 1904-1946
KG 1917  PC 1922
9 Jun 1946 6 Henry Frederick Thynne 26 Jan 1905 30 Jun 1992 87
MP for Frome 1931-1935
30 Jun 1992 7 Alexander George Thynne 6 May 1932 4 Apr 2020 87
For further information on this peer, see the 
note at the foot of this page.
4 Apr 2020 8 Caewlin Henry Laslo Thynne 6 Jun 1974
27 Aug 1772 E 1 Allen Bathurst 16 Nov 1684 16 Sep 1775 90
Created Baron Bathurst 1 Jan 1712 and
Earl  Bathurst 27 Aug 1772
MP for Cirencester 1705-1712. PC 1742
16 Sep 1775 2 Henry Bathurst 20 May 1714 6 Aug 1794 80
Created Baron Apsley 24 Jan 1771
MP for Cirencester 1735-1754. Lord
Chancellor 1771-1778. PC 1771
6 Aug 1794 3 Henry Bathurst 22 May 1762 27 Jul 1834 72
MP for Cirencester 1783-1786 and 1790-
1794. Commissioner for India 1793-1802.
Master of the Mint 1804-1806 and 1807-1812.
President of the Board of Trade 1807-1812.
Foreign Secretary 1809. Secretary of War 
and Colonies 1812-1827. Lord President of
the Council 1828-1830. PC 1793, KG 1817
27 Jul 1834 4 Henry George Bathurst 24 Feb 1790 25 May 1866 76
MP for Weobly 1812 and Cirencester
25 May 1866 5 William Lennox Bathurst 14 Feb 1791 24 Feb 1878 87
MP for Weobly 1812-1816
24 Feb 1878 6 Allen Alexander Bathurst 19 Oct 1832 2 Aug 1892 59
MP for Cirencester 1857-1878
2 Aug 1892 7 Seymour Henry Bathurst 21 Jul 1864 21 Sep 1943 79
21 Sep 1943 8 Henry Allen John Bathurst 1 May 1927 16 Oct 2011 84
16 Oct 2011 9 Allen Christopher Bertram Bathurst 11 Mar 1961
5 Sep 1892 B 1 Cyril Flower 30 Aug 1843 27 Nov 1907 64
to     Created Baron Battersea 5 Sep 1892
27 Nov 1907 MP for Brecknock 1880-1885 and Luton
Peerage extinct on his death
10 Feb 1983 B[L] 1 Peter Thomas Bauer 6 Nov 1915 3 May 2002 86
to     Created Baron Bauer for life 10 Feb 1983
3 May 2002 Peerage extinct on his death
8 Jan 1313 B 1 Roger Bavent c 1335
to     Summoned to Parliament as Lord
c 1335 Bavent 8 Jan 1313
he was attainted 1322 but restored 1327
Peerage extinct on his death
18 Jun 1929 B 1 Sir Robert Arthur Sanders,1st baronet 20 Jun 1867 24 Feb 1940 72
to     Created Baron Bayford 18 Jun 1929
24 Feb 1940 MP for Bridgewater 1910-1923 and Wells
1924-1929. Minister of Agriculture and
Fisheries 1922-1924. PC 1922
Peerage extinct on his death
13 May 1786 V 1 Sir Charles Pratt 21 Mar 1714 18 Apr 1794 80
Created Viscount Bayham and Earl
Camden 13 May 1786
See "Camden"
17 Mar 1674 V[L] 1 Anne Murray 23 Apr 1619 Oct 1678 59
to     Created Viscountess Bayning of
Oct 1678 Foxley for life 17 Mar 1674
Peerage extinct on her death
20 Oct 1797 B 1 Charles Townshend 27 Aug 1728 19 May 1810 81
Created Baron Bayning 20 Oct 1797
MP for Yarmouth 1756-1784 and 1790-1796
Treasurer of the Navy 1783.  PC 1777
19 May 1810 2 Charles Frederick Powlett 26 Sep 1785 2 Aug 1823 37
MP for Truro 1808-1810
2 Aug 1823 3 Henry William Powlett 8 Jun 1797 5 Aug 1866 69
to     Peerage extinct on his death
5 Aug 1866
27 Feb 1628 B 1 Sir Paul Bayning,1st baronet 28 Apr 1588 29 Jul 1629 41
Created Baron Bayning of Horkesley
27 Feb 1628 and Viscount Bayning of
Sudbury 8 Mar 1628
See "Bayning of Sudbury" below
8 Mar 1628 V 1 Sir Paul Bayning 28 Apr 1588 29 Jul 1629 41
Created Baron Bayning of Horkesley
27 Feb 1628 and Viscount Bayning of
Sudbury 8 Mar 1628
29 Jul 1629 2 Paul Bayning 4 Mar 1616 11 Jun 1638 22
to     Peerage extinct on his death
11 Jun 1638
30 Nov 1868 V 1 Mary Anne D'Israeli 15 Dec 1872
to     Created Viscountess Beaconsfield
15 Nov 1872 30 Nov 1868
Peerage extinct on her death
21 Aug 1876 E 1 Benjamin D'Israeli 21 Dec 1804 19 Apr 1881 76
to     Created Viscount Hughenden and
19 Apr 1881 Earl of Beaconsfield 21 Aug 1876
MP for Maidstone 1837-1841, Shrewsbury
1841-1847 and Buckinghamshire 1847-1876.
Chancellor of the Exchequer 1852, 1858-
1859 and 1866-1868. Prime Minister 1868
and 1874-1880. Lord Privy Seal 1876-1878
PC 1852, KG 1878
Peerage extinct on his death
16 Jun 1925 V 1 Sir Marcus Samuel,1st baronet 5 Nov 1853 17 Jan 1927 73
Created Baron Bearsted 15 Jun 1921
and Viscount Bearsted 16 Jun 1925
For further information on this peer,see the
note at the foot of this page
17 Jan 1927 2 Walter Horace Samuel 13 Mar 1882 8 Nov 1948 66
8 Nov 1948 3 Marcus Richard Samuel 1 Jun 1909 15 Oct 1986 77
15 Oct 1986 4 Peter Montefiore Samuel 9 Dec 1911 9 Jun 1996 84
9 Jun 1996 5 Nicholas Alan Samuel 22 Jan 1950
27 Sep 1919 E 1 Sir David Beatty 17 Jan 1871 11 Mar 1936 65
Created Baron Beatty,Viscount
Borodale and Earl Beatty 27 Sep 1919
Admiral of the Fleet 1919. OM 1919  PC 1927
11 Mar 1936 2 David Field Beatty 22 Feb 1905 10 Jun 1972 67
MP for Peckham 1931-1936
10 Jun 1972 3 David Beatty 21 Nov 1946
1 Dec 1815 E 1 William Lygon 25 Jul 1747 21 Oct 1816 69
Created Baron Beauchamp 26 Feb 1806,
and Viscount Elmley and Earl 
Beauchamp 1 Dec 1815
MP for Worcestershire 1775-1806
21 Oct 1816 2 William Beauchamp Lygon 1782 12 May 1823 40
MP for Worcestershire 1806-1816
12 May 1823 3 John Reginald Pindar Lygon 1784 22 Jan 1853 68
22 Jan 1853 4 Henry Beauchamp Lygon 5 Jan 1784 8 Sep 1863 79
MP for Worcestershire 1816-1831 and 
Worcestershire West 1832-1853
8 Sep 1863 5 Henry Lygon 13 Feb 1829 4 Mar 1866 37
MP for Worcestershire West 1853-1863
4 Mar 1866 6 Frederick Lygon 10 Nov 1830 19 Feb 1891 60
MP for Tewkesbury 1857-1863 and
Worcestershire West 1863-1866. Lord
Lieutenant Worcestershire 1876-1891
PC 1874
19 Feb 1891 7 William Lygon 20 Feb 1872 15 Nov 1938 66
Governor of NSW 1899-1901. First
Commissioner of Works 1910-1914. Lord
Warden of the Cinque Ports 1913-1934
Lord President of the Council 1910 and
1914-1915. Lord Lieutenant Gloucester
1911-1931. PC 1906, KG 1914
For further information on this peer,see the note
at the foot of this page
15 Nov 1938 8 William Lygon 3 Jul 1903 3 Jan 1979 75
to     MP for Norfolk East 1929-1938
3 Jan 1979 Peerages extinct on his death
29 Dec 1299 B 1 John Beauchamp 25 Jul 1274 c Nov 1336 62
Summoned to Parliament as Lord
Beauchamp de Somerset 29 Dec 1299
c Nov 1336 2 John Beauchamp c 1305 19 May 1343
19 May 1343 3 John Beauchamp 20 Jan 1330 7 Oct 1361 31
to     On his death peerage fell into abeyance
7 Oct 1361 For information on a claim made for co-heirship
in 1924,see the note at the foot of this page
25 Nov 1350 B 1 John Beauchamp 2 Dec 1360
to     Summoned to Parliament as Lord
2 Dec 1360 Beauchamp de Warwick 25 Nov 1350
KG 1348
Peerage extinct on his death
1 Jun 1363 B 1 Roger Beauchamp 3 Jan 1380
to     Summoned to Parliament as Lord
3 Jan 1380 Beauchamp 1 Jun 1363
Peerage extinct on his death
5 Jun 1536 V 1 Sir Edward Seymour c 1500 22 Jan 1552
to     Created Viscount Beauchamp of Hache
1552 5 Jun 1536
He was subsequently created Duke of
Somerset (qv) in 1547. Peerage forfeited
in 1552
13 Jan 1559 B 1 Edward Seymour 12 Oct 1537 6 Apr 1621 83
Created Baron Beauchamp of Hache and
Earl of Hertford 13 Jan 1559
See "Hertford"
Feb 1621 William Seymour 1588 24 Oct 1660 72
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of
Acceleration as Baron Beauchamp in Feb 1621.
He succeeded as Earl of Hertford 6 Apr 1621, was
created Marquess of Hertford 3 Jun 1640 and was
restored to the Dukedom of Somerset 13 Sep 1660
3 Aug 1750 V 1 Francis Seymour-Conway,2nd Baron Conway 5 Jul 1718 14 Jun 1794 75
Created Viscount Beauchamp of Hache
and Earl of Hertford 3 Aug 1750
See "Hertford"
10 Oct 1387 B 1 Sir John de Beauchamp 1319 12 May 1388 68
to     Created Lord de Beauchamp,Baron 
12 May 1388 of Kidderminster 10 Oct 1387 (the
first instance of a peerage creation by 
patent,as opposed to a writ of summons)
He was attainted and executed when
the peerage was forfeited
1398 2 John de Beauchamp 1378 Sep 1420 42
to     He obtained a reversal of the attainder in
1400 1398. However the attainder was confirmed 
in 1400 when the peerage was again
2 May 1447 B 1 Sir John Beauchamp Apr 1475
Created Baron Beauchamp of Powyk
2 May 1447
KG 1441
Apr 1475 2 Richard Beauchamp 1435 19 Jan 1503 67
to     Peerage extinct on his death
19 Jan 1503
2 Dec 1682 D 1 Henry Somerset,3rd Marquess of Worcester 1629 21 Jan 1700 70
Created Duke of Beaufort 2 Dec 1682
MP for Monmouth 1654-1655 and 1660-1667.
Lord Lieutenant Gloucester,Hereford and
Monmouth 1660-1689.and Glamorgan 1672-1689
KG 1672  PC 1679
21 Jan 1699 2 Henry Somerset 2 Apr 1684 24 May 1714 30
Lord Lieutenant Hampshire 1710-1714 and
Gloucester 1712-1714. PC 1710, KG 1712
24 May 1714 3 Henry Scudamore 26 Mar 1707 24 Feb 1745 37
24 Feb 1745 4 Charles Noel Somerset 12 Sep 1709 28 Oct 1756 47
MP for Monmouthshire 1731-1734 and
Monmouth 1734-1745
28 Oct 1756 5 Henry Somerset 16 Oct 1744 11 Oct 1803 58
The abeyance of the Barony of Botetourt (qv)
was terminated in his favour in 1803.
Lord Lieutenant Monmouth 1771-1803, Brecknock
1787-1803 and Leicester 1787-1799. KG 1786
11 Oct 1803 6 Henry Charles Somerset 22 Dec 1766 23 Nov 1835 68
MP for Monmouth 1788-1790, Bristol 1790-
1796 and Gloucestershire 1796-1803.
Lord Lieutenant Monmouth and Brecknockshire
1803-1835 and Gloucester 1810-1835. KG 1805
23 Nov 1835 7 Henry Somerset 5 Feb 1792 17 Nov 1853 61
MP for Monmouth 1813-1832 and 
Gloucestershire West 1835. KG 1842
17 Nov 1853 8 Henry Charles FitzRoy Somerset 1 Feb 1824 30 Apr 1899 75
MP for Gloucestershire East 1846-1853.
Lord Lieutenant Monmouth 1867-1899. PC 1858
KG 1867
30 Apr 1899 9 Henry Adelbert Wellington FitzRoy
Somerset 19 May 1847 27 Nov 1924 77
27 Nov 1924 10 Henry Hugh Arthur FitzRoy Somerset 4 Apr 1900 5 Feb 1984 83
Lord Lieutenant Gloucester 1931-1984.  PC 1936
KG 1937
On his death the Barony of Botetourt fell into
5 Feb 1984 11 David Robert Somerset 23 Feb 1928 16 Aug 2017 89
16 Aug 2017 12 Henry John FitzRoy Somerset 22 May 1952
8 Jul 1784 E 1 Sir Edward Hussey-Montagu 1721 25 Nov 1802 81
to     Created Baron Beaulieu 11 May 1762
25 Nov 1802 and Earl of Beaulieu 8 Jul 1784
MP for Tiverton 1758-1762
Peerages extinct on his death
4 Mar 1309 B 1 Henry Beaumont 10 Mar 1340
Summoned to Parliament as Lord
Beaumont 4 Mar 1309
10 Mar 1340 2 John Beaumont 1318 May 1342 23
May 1342 3 Henry Beaumont 1340 17 Jun 1369 28
17 Jun 1369 4 John Beaumont 1361 9 Sep 1396 35
Warden of the Cinque Ports 1392  KG 1393
9 Sep 1396 5 Henry Beaumont 1380 Jun 1413 32
Jun 1413 6 John Beaumont 1409 19 Jul 1460 51
12 Feb 1440 1 Created Viscount Beaumont 12 Feb 1440
(the first creation of a viscountcy)
KG 1441
19 Jul 1460 7 William Beaumont 23 Apr 1438 19 Dec 1507 69
to     2 Attainted 1461 but restored 1470. Again
19 Dec 1507 attainted 1471 but again restored 1485.
Viscountcy became extinct on his death, and 
the Barony fell into abeyance
14 Oct 1840 8 Miles Thomas Stapleton 4 Jun 1805 16 Aug 1854 49
Summoned to Parliament as Lord
Beaumont 14 Oct 1840 thus terminating
the abeyance
16 Aug 1854 9 Henry Stapleton 11 Aug 1848 23 Jan 1892 43
23 Jan 1892 10 Miles Stapleton 7 Jul 1850 16 Sep 1895 45
to     On his death peerage fell into abeyance
16 Sep 1895 For further information on the death of this
peer, see the note at the foot of this page
1 Jun 1896 11 Mona Josephine Tempest Fitzalan-Howard 1 Aug 1894 31 Aug 1971 77
Abeyance terminated in her favour 
1 Jun 1896
For information on the termination of the
abeyance, see the note at the foot of this page
31 Aug 1971 12 Miles Francis Fitzalan-Howard 21 Jul 1915 24 Jun 2002 86
He succeeded as 4th Baron Howard of Glossop in
1972 and as 17th Duke of Norfolk in 1975 into which 
title this peerage then merged
20 May 1622 V[I] 1 Sir Thomas Beaumont,1st baronet 22 May 1625
Created Viscount Beaumont of
Swords 20 May 1622
22 May 1625 2 Sapcote Beaumont 10 May 1614 1658 44
1658 3 Thomas Beaumont 10 Apr 1634 11 Jun 1702 68
to     Peerage extinct on his death
11 Jun 1702
6 Dec 1967 B[L] 1 Timothy Wentworth Beaumont 23 Nov 1928 9 Apr 2008 79
to     Created Baron Beaumont of Whitley for life
9 Apr 2008 6 Dec 1967
Peerage extinct on his death
20 Apr 1839 B 1 Frederick James Lamb 17 Apr 1782 29 Jan 1853 80
to     Created Baron Beauvale 20 Apr 1839
29 Jan 1853 He subsequently succeeded as 3rd Viscount
Melbourne (qv) in 1848. Peerages extinct on his
2 Jan 1917 B 1 Sir William Maxwell Aitken,1st baronet 25 May 1879 9 Jun 1964 85
Created Baron Beaverbrook 2 Jan 1917
MP for Ashton under Lyne 1910-1916.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
and Minister for Information 1918-1919
Minister for Aircraft Production 1940-1941
Minister of Supply 1941-1942. Lord Privy 
Seal 1943-1945.  PC 1918
9 Jun 1964 2 John William Maxwell Aitken 15 Feb 1910 30 Apr 1985 75
to     MP for Holborn 1945-1950
12 Jun 1964 He disclaimed the peerage for life
12 Jun 1964
30 Apr 1985 3 Maxwell William Humphrey Aitken 29 Dec 1951
24 Oct 1766 E[I] 1 Thomas Taylour,1st Viscount Headfort 20 Oct 1724 14 Feb 1795 71
Created Earl of Bective 24 Oct 1766
KP 1783  PC [I] 1785
14 Dec 1795 2 Thomas Taylour 18 Nov 1757 24 Oct 1829 71
He was created Marquess of Headfort (qv)
29 Dec 1800 into which title this peerage
then merged
1138 E 1 Hugh de Bello Monte after 1142
to     Created Earl of Bedford 1138
c 1142 He appears to have been degraded from his
peerage three or four years after creation
11 May 1366 E 1 Enguerrand de Couci 1340 18 Feb 1397 56
to     Created Earl of Bedford 11 May 1366
1377 On the accession to the throne of Richard 
II,he resigned the peerage to the Crown
KG 1365
16 May 1414 D 1 John Plantagenet 20 Jun 1389 14 Sep 1435 46
to     Created Earl of Kendal and Duke of
14 Sep 1435 Bedford 16 May 1414, and Earl of
Richmond 24 Nov 1414
Third son of Henry IV. KG c 1400
Peerage extinct on his death
5 Jan 1470 D 1 George Nevill c 1457 4 May 1483
to     Created Duke of Bedford 5 Jan 1470
1477 He was degraded from his peerage 1477
27 Oct 1485 D 1 Jasper Tudor,1st Earl of Pembroke c 1430 21 Dec 1495
to     Created Duke of Bedford 27 Oct 1485
21 Dec 1495 Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1486-1494
KG 1459
Peerage extinct on his death
19 Jan 1550 E 1 John Russell,1st Baron Russell c 1485 14 Mar 1555  
Created Earl of Bedford 19 Jan 1550
MP for Buckinghamshire 1529-1536. Lord
Privy Seal 1543-1547 and 1547-1553. Lord
Lieutenant Devon,Cornwall,Somerset and
Dorset 1552. PC 1538, KG 1539
14 Mar 1555 2 Francis Russell 1527 28 Jul 1585 58
MP for Buckinghamshire 1547-1552,
Northumberland 1553. Lord Lieutenant
Devon,Dorset and Cornwall. PC KG 1564
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of 
Acceleration as Baron Russell 1 Mar 1553
28 Jul 1585 3 Edward Russell 20 Oct 1574 3 May 1627 52
3 May 1627 4 Francis Russell,2nd Baron Russell of Thornhaugh 1593 9 May 1641 57
PC 1641
9 May 1641 5 William Russell 1613 7 Sep 1700 87
11 May 1694 D 1 Created Marquess of Tavistock and
Duke of Bedford 11 May 1694,and
Baron Howland of Streatham 
13 Jun 1695
MP for Tavistock 1640. Lord Lieutenant
Devon and Somerset 1642, Bedford and
Cambridge 1689,and Middlesex 1692-1700.
KG 1672, PC 1689
7 Sep 1700 2 Wriothesley Russell 1 Nov 1680 26 May 1711 30
Lord Lieutenant Bedford,Cambridge and
Middlesex 1701-1711.  KG 1702
26 May 1711 3 Wriothesley Russell 25 May 1708 23 Oct 1732 24
23 Oct 1732 4 John Russell 30 Sep 1710 15 Jan 1771 60
First Lord of the Admiralty 1744. Lord
Lieutenant Bedford 1745-1771. Secretary of
State 1748-1751. Lord Lieutenant Devon 
1751-1771. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1756-1761.
Lord Privy Seal 1761-1763. Lord President
of the Council 1763-1765. PC 1744, KG 1749
14 Jan 1771 5 Francis Russell 23 Jul 1765 2 Mar 1802 36
2 Mar 1802 6 John Russell 6 Jul 1766 20 Oct 1839 73
MP for Tavistock 1788-1802. Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland 1806-1807. PC 1806
KG 1830
20 Oct 1839 7 Francis Russell 13 May 1788 14 May 1861 73
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of
Acceleration as Baron Howland of Streatham
15 Jan 1833
MP for Peterborough 1809-1812 and
Bedfordshire 1812-1832. PC 1846, KG 1847
Lord Lieutenant Bedford 1859-1861
14 May 1861 8 William Russell 1 Jul 1809 27 May 1872 62
MP for Tavistock 1830-1831 and 1832-1841
17 May 1872 9 Francis Charles Hastings Russell 16 Oct 1819 14 Jan 1891 71
MP for Bedfordshire 1847-1872. Lord
Lieutenant Huntingdon 1884-1891
KG 1880
14 Jan 1891 10 George William Francis Sackville Russell 16 Apr 1852 22 Mar 1893 40
MP for Bedfordshire 1875-1885
22 Mar 1893 11 Herbrand Arthur Russell 19 Feb 1858 27 Aug 1940 82
Lord Lieutenant Middlesex 1898-1926
KG 1902
27 Aug 1940 12 Hastings William Sackville Russell 21 Dec 1888 9 Oct 1953 64
For further information on this peer, see the note
at the foot of this page.
9 Oct 1953 13 John Robert Russell 24 May 1917 25 Oct 2002 85
25 Oct 2002 14 Henry Robin Ian Russell 21 Jan 1940 13 Jun 2003 63
13 Jun 2003 15 Andrew Ian Henry Russell 30 Mar 1962
20 Jul 2010 B[L] 1 Sir Jeremy Hugh Beecham 17 Nov 1944
Created Baron Beecham for life 20 Jul 2010
7 Jul 1965 B[L] 1 Richard Beeching 21 Apr 1913 23 Mar 1985 71
to     Created Baron Beeching for life 7 Jul 1965
23 Mar 1985 Peerage extinct on his death
19 Oct 2015 B[L] 1 Sir Alan James Beith 20 Apr 1943
Created Baron Beith for life 19 Oct 2015
MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed 1973-2015. PC 1992
23 Jun 1295 B 1 John Beke 1304
Summoned to Parliament as Lord Beke
23 Jun 1295
1304 2 Walter Beke 1310
to     On his death the peerage fell into abeyance
1 Apr 1674 B[L] 1 Susan Belasyse 6 Mar 1713
to     Created Baroness Belasyse for life 1 Apr 1674
6 Mar 1713 Peerage extinct on her death
27 Jan 1645 B 1 John Belasyse 24 Jul 1614 10 Sep 1689 75
Created Baron Belasyse 27 Jan 1645
Lord Lieutenant East Riding of Yorkshire 1660-1673
PC 1686
10 Sep 1689 2 Henry Belasyse 26 Aug 1691
to     Peerage extinct on his death
26 Aug 1691
27 Jun 1791 E[I] 1 Arthur Chichester,5th Earl of Donegall 13 Jun 1739 5 Jan 1799 59
Created Earl of Belfast and Marquess
of Donegall 27 Jun 1791
See "Donegall"
5 Oct 1751 V[I] 1 Robert Rochfort 26 Mar 1708 Apr 1772 64
Created Baron Belfield 16 Mar 1738,
Viscount Belfield 5 Oct 1751 and
Earl of Belvidere 29 Nov 1756
See "Belvidere"
5 Jul 1784 V 1 Richard Grosvenor,1st Baron Grosvenor 18 Jun 1731 5 Aug 1802 71
Created Viscount Belgrave and Earl
Grosvenor 5 Jul 1784
See "Grosvenor"
24 Jun 1633 V[S] 1 Sir Robert Douglas 1573 14 Jan 1639 65
to     Created Viscount of Belhaven
14 Jan 1639 24 Jun 1633
Peerage extinct on his death
15 Dec 1647 B[S] 1 Sir John Hamilton,2nd baronet 17 Jun 1679
Created Lord Belhaven and Stenton 15 Dec 1647
17 Jun 1679 2 John Hamilton 5 Jul 1656 21 Jun 1708 52
21 Jun 1708 3 John Hamilton 27 Nov 1721
27 Nov 1721 4 John Hamilton 28 Aug 1764
28 Aug 1764 5 James Hamilton 25 Jan 1777
On his death the peerage became dormant
[25 Jan 1777] 6 Robert Hamilton 3 May 1731 27 Mar 1784 52
[27 Mar 1784] 7 William Hamilton 13 Jan 1765 29 Oct 1814 49
25 Apr 1799 Peerage decided in his favour 25 Apr 1799
29 Oct 1814 8 Robert Montgomery Hamilton 1793 22 Dec 1868 75
Lord Lieutenant Lanarkshire 1863-1868. KT 1861
Created Baron Hamilton of Wishaw 10 Sep 1831
(extinct on his death)
On his death the peerage again became dormant
[22 Dec 1868] 9 James Hamilton 29 Aug 1822 6 Sep 1893 71
2 Aug 1875 Peerage decided in his favour 2 Aug 1875
For further information regarding the two periods
of dormancy,see the note at the foot of this page
6 Sep 1893 10 Alexander Charles Hamilton 3 Jul 1840 31 Oct 1920 80
31 Oct 1920 11 Robert Edward Archibald Hamilton-Udny 8 Apr 1871 26 Oct 1950 79
26 Oct 1950 12 Robert Alexander Benjamin Hamilton 16 Sep 1903 10 Jul 1961 57
10 Jul 1961 13 Robert Anthony Carmichael Hamilton 27 Feb 1927 2 Dec 2020 93
2 Dec 2020 14 Frederick Carmichael Arthur Hamilton 27 Sep 1953
31 Jul 1998 B[L] 1 Sir Timothy John Leigh Bell 18 Oct 1941 25 Aug 2019 77
to Created Baron Bell for life 31 Jul 1998
25 Aug 2019 Peerage extinct on his death
14 Jun 2022 B[L] 1 Sir Christopher William Bellamy 25 Apr 1946
Created Baron Bellamy for life 14 Jun 2022
4 Sep 1767 E[I] 1 Charles Coote  6 Apr 1738 20 Oct 1800 62
to     Created Earl of Bellamont 4 Sep 1767
20 Oct 1800 Lord Lieutenant Cavan 1780-1800. 
PC [I] 1766
Peerage extinct on his death
25 Aug 1768 V[I] 1 Ralph Gore,1st Baron Gore 23 Nov 1725 1802 76
to     Created Viscount Belleisle 25 Aug 
1802 1768 and Earl of Ross 4 Jan 1772
See "Ross"
10 Jun 1661 B[S] 1 Sir William Bellenden c 1605 6 Sep 1671
Created Lord Bellenden 10 Jun 1661
He resigned the peerage in favour of -
14 Apr 1671 2 John Ker Mar 1707
Mar 1707 3 John Bellenden 1685 16 Mar 1741 55
16 Mar 1741 4 Ker Bellenden 22 Oct 1725 13 Mar 1754 28
13 Mar 1754 5 John Ker Bellenden 22 Aug 1751 20 Oct 1796 45
20 Oct 1796 6 Robert Bellenden 7 Apr 1734 18 Oct 1797 63
18 Oct 1797 7 William Bellenden 20 Oct 1728 22 Oct 1805 77
to     On his death the peerage became either
22 Oct 1805 extinct or dormant
17 Jul 1848 B[I] 1 Sir Patrick Bellew,7th baronet 29 Jan 1798 10 Dec 1866 68
Created Baron Bellew 17 Jul 1848
MP for Louth 1831-1832 and 1834-1837. Lord 
Lieutenant Louth 1831-1866. PC [I] 1838
10 Dec 1866 2 Edward Joseph Bellew 3 Jun 1830 28 Jul 1895 65
28 Jul 1895 3 Charles Bertram Bellew 19 Apr 1855 15 Jul 1911 56
Lord Lieutenant Louth 1898-1911
15 Jul 1911 4 George Leopold Bryan Bellew-Bryan 22 Jan 1857 15 Jun 1935 78
15 Jun 1935 5 Edward Henry Bellew 6 Feb 1889 8 Aug 1975 86
8 Aug 1975 6 Bryan Bertram Bellew 11 Jun 1890 7 Sep 1981 91
7 Sep 1981 7 James Bryan Bellew 5 Jan 1920 3 Aug 2010 90
3 Aug 2010 8 Bryan Edward Bellew 19 Mar 1943
29 Oct 1686 B[I] 1 Sir John Bellew 12 Jan 1693
Created Baron Bellew of Duleek
29 Oct 1686
12 Jan 1693 2 Walter Bellew 1694
1694 3 Richard Bellew after 1664 22 Mar 1715
MP for Steyning 1712
22 Mar 1715 4 John Bellew 1702 18 Aug 1770 68
to     Peerage extinct on his death
18 Aug 1770
5 Nov 2020 B[L] 1 Sir Henry Campbell Bellingham 29 Mar 1955
     Created Baron Bellingham for life 5 Nov 2020
18 Jul 1645 V[I] 1 Sir Henry Bard,1st baronet c 1616 20 Jun 1656
to     Created Baron Bard of Dromboy and
20 Jun 1656 Viscount Bellomont 18 Jul 1645
Peerage extinct on his death
9 Dec 1680 E[I] 1 Charles Henry Kirkhaven 5 Jan 1683
to     Created Baron Wotton 31 Aug 1650
5 Jan 1683 and Earl of Bellomont 9 Dec 1680
Peerage extinct on his death
2 Nov 1689 E[I] 1 Richard Coote,2nd Baron Coote of Coloony c 1655 5 Mar 1701
Created Earl of Bellomont 2 Nov 1689
MP for Droitwich 1689-1695. Governor of 
New York 1695
5 Mar 1701 2 Nanfan Coote 1681 14 Jun 1708 26
14 Jun 1708 3 Richard Coote 1682 10 Feb 1766 83
to     Peerage extinct on his death
10 Feb 1766
21 May 1979 B[L] 1 Irwin Norman Bellow 7 Feb 1923 11 Feb 2001 78
to     Created Baron Bellwin for life 21 May 1979
11 Feb 2001 Peerage extinct on his death
20 Nov 1797 E[I] 1 Armar Lowry-Corry 7 Apr 1740 2 Feb 1802 61
Created Baron Belmore 6 Jan 1781,
Viscount Belmore 6 Dec 1789 and
Earl of Belmore 20 Nov 1797
2 Feb 1802 2 Somerset Lowry-Corry 11 Jul 1774 18 Apr 1841 66
Governor of Jamaica
18 Apr 1841 3 Armar Lowry-Corry 28 Dec 1801 17 Dec 1845 43
MP for Fermanagh 1823-1831
17 Dec 1845 4 Somerset Richard Lowry-Corry 9 Apr 1835 6 Apr 1913 77
Lord Lieutenant Tyrone 1892-1913. Governor
of NSW 1868-1872  PC [I] 1867
6 Apr 1913 5 Armar Lowry-Corry 5 May 1870 12 Feb 1948 77
12 Feb 1948 6 Cecil Lowry-Corry 20 Mar 1873 2 Mar 1949 75
2 Mar 1949 7 Galbraith Armar Lowry-Corry 14 Apr 1913 20 Jul 1960 47
20 Jul 1960 8 John Armar Lowry-Corry 4 Sep 1951
26 May 1981 B[L] 1 Sir Max Beloff 2 Jul 1913 22 Mar 1999 85
to     Created Baron Beloff for life 26 May 1981
22 Mar 1999 Peerage extinct on his death
29 Aug 1856 B 1 Edward Strutt 26 Oct 1801 30 Jun 1880 78
Created Baron Belper 29 Aug 1856
MP for Derby 1830-1848, Arundel 1851-1852
and Nottingham 1852-1856. Chancellor of
the Duchy of Lancaster 1852-1854. PC 1846
Lord Lieutenant Nottinghamshire 1864-1880
30 Jun 1880 2 Henry Strutt 20 May 1840 26 Jul 1914 74
MP for Derbyshire East 1868-1874 and
Berwick 1880  PC 1895
For information on the death of his eldest son and
heir,see the note at the foot of this page
26 Jul 1914 3 Algernon Henry Strutt 6 May 1883 20 Mar 1956 72
20 Mar 1956 4 Alexander Ronald George Strutt 23 Apr 1912 23 Dec 1999 87
23 Dec 1999 5 Richard Henry Strutt 24 Oct 1941
27 Jan 1938 B 1 Sir Francis John Childs Ganzoni,1st baronet 19 Jan 1882 15 Aug 1958 76
Created Baron Belstead 27 Jan 1938
MP for Ipswich 1914-1923 and 1924-1938
15 Aug 1958 2 John Julian Ganzoni 30 Sep 1932 3 Dec 2005 73
to     Created Baron Ganzoni (qv) for life 
3 Dec 2005 17 Nov 1999
Lord Lieutenant Suffolk 1994-2003  PC 1983
Peerages extinct on his death
29 Nov 1756 E[I] 1 Robert Rochfort 26 Mar 1708 Apr 1774 66
Created Baron Belfield 16 Mar 1738,
Viscount Belfield 5 Oct 1751 and
Earl of Belvidere 29 Nov 1756
PC [I] 1749
For further information on this peer, see the note
at the foot of this page.
Apr 1774 2 George Rochford 12 Oct 1738 12 May 1814 75
to     Peerage extinct on his death
12 May 1814
13 Aug 1677 B[S] 1 John Campbell,Earl of Caithness c 1635 28 Mar 1717  
Created Lord Glenurchy,
Benederaloch,Ormelie and Weick,
Viscount of Tay and Paintland,and
Earl of Breadalbane and Holland
13 Aug 1681
See "Breadalbane and Holland"
3 Apr 1360 B 1 Sir Robert de Benhale after 1369
to     Summoned to Parliament as Lord
after 1369 Benhale 3 Apr 1360
On his death the peerage probably became
26 Jun 2010 B[L] 1 Floella Karen Yunies Benjamin 23 Sep 1949
Created Baroness Benjamin for life 26 Jun 2010
16 Jul 1941 V 1 Richard Bedford Bennett 3 Jul 1870 27 Jun 1947 76
to     Created Viscount Bennett 16 Jul 1941
27 Jun 1947 Prime Minister of Canada 1930-1935. PC 1930
Peerage extinct on his death
7 Oct 2019 B[L] 1 Natalie Louise Bennett 10 Feb 1966
     Created Baroness Benett of Camden for life 7 Oct 2019
1 Jul 1953 B 1 Sir Peter Frederick Blaker Bennett 16 Apr 1880 27 Sep 1957 77
to     Created Baron Bennett of Edgbaston
27 Sep 1957 1 Jul 1953
MP for Edgbaston 1940-1953
Peerage extinct on his death
2 Feb 1981 B[L] 1 Sir Henry Alexander Benson 2 Aug 1909 5 Mar 1995 85
to     Created Baron Benson for life 2 Feb 1981
5 Mar 1995 Peerage extinct on his death
29 Jan 2021 B[L] 1 Richard Henry Ronald Benyon 21 Oct 1960
     Created Baron Benyon for life 29 Jan 2021
The special remainder to the Barony of Basset of Stratton
From the "London Gazette" of 4 November 1797 (issue 14062, page 1051)
"The King has been pleased to grant the Dignity of a Baron of the Kingdom of Great Britain unto
the Right Honorable Francis Baron De Dunstanville, by the Name, Style and Title of Baron Basset,
of Stratton in the County of Cornwall, with Remainder to Frances Basset, only Daughter of the 
said Francis Baron De Dunstanville, by Frances Susanna, Baroness De Dunstanville, his Wife, and
the Heirs Male of the Body of the said Frances Basset lawfully begotten."
Alexander George Thynne, 7th Marquess of Bath
The 7th Marquess is known as "The Loins of Longleat' (the play on words deriving from Bath's
advocacy of free love, involving 'wifelets', and the wild animals in the grounds of his stately
home). He inherited the title in 1992 on the death of his father, a noted eccentric who had 
admired Hitler and who, with the assistance of circus proprietor, Jimmy Chipperfield, had built
Longleat's famous safari park.
After being educated at Eton and Oxford University and completing national service in the Life
Guards, Bath travelled extensively in South America in a Jaguar and in the company of a
Hungarian actress named Anna Gyarmathy (later to achieve some success in French films 
under the name Anna Gael). In 1966 he gained some notoriety by contracting what he called
an 'anti-marriage' with a girl from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). However, the match was unsuccessful
and she moved to Rome in 1968. In 1972, he married Anna Gyamarthy in order to legitimize the 
son and heir, Ceawlin, to whom she was about to give birth (Ceawlin is now known by the 
courtesy title Viscount Weymouth and will succeed to the Marquessate on the death of his
During this period, Bath was able to complete The Ages of History Mural, The Heaven and Hell
Mural and the Kama Sutra Mural at Longleat. In the February 1974 general election he stood 
as the candidate of the Wessex Regionalist Party on a platform of Home Rule for the Wessex
In 1987, Bath started work on his autobiography, Strictly Private, an expurgated version of
which can be found on the Marquess's webpage at
Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted
Samuel was one of the co-founders of the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell. The following biography
is taken from the Australian monthly magazine "Parade" in its issue for November 1965:-
'By mid-1915 British Government officials, although the war was going against them, were tired
of the sight, sound and handwriting of Marcus Samuel, a Jewish oil magnate, who pestered
them with the claim that he could solve the Allied shortage of the explosive TNT. But stalling 
tactics had no effect upon the hard-headed millionaire. He bombarded the Government at every
opportunity and, when he lost patience, offered the idea to the French. That was enough. A
few weeks later the British saw reason and soldiers crouching in trenches cursing their artillery,
till then starved of shells, heard an increasing tempo in the thunder of their guns. Britain was on
her way to winning the war.
'The man who brought about this transformation, Marcus Samuel, later Viscount Bearsted, 
started work in a small fancy goods business in London and rose to command one of the greatest
oil empires in the world. When the shortage of TNT brought Britain to the verge of defeat he
bulldozed the Government into importing thousands of tons of Borneo oil and shipped a whole
refinery across U-boat infested waters from Rotterdam to Bristol to extract the precious toluol,
one of the main components of TNT.
'Marcus Samuel was born in humble Whitechapel in 1853, second son of a small Jewish trader.
Samuel senior made and sold fancy goods including shell-covered boxes inscribed "A Present from
Margate," and "A Souvenir of Yarmouth." The business prospered. The family could afford to
send young Marcus to Brussels to complete his education. Meanwhile the boy's father began to
import tea, jute, rice, shells and curios from the Orient.
'When he was 19 Marcus went to Japan to arrange supplies for the family business. On the way
he heard that India was threatened by one of her periodical famines. He bought large stocks of
rice on credit and had it shipped to India. The life saving rice arrived at the peak of the famine
and the peak of the market. Young Samuel returned home with full knowledge of the vast
opportunities opening in Japan. Japan had just come through a revolution. Her feudal system
had been overthrown. The first railway was being built and the foundations of a national army
and navy were being laid. From being a closed country, Japan was at last anxious for trade
with the rest of the world.
'Marcus Samuel saw the vast opportunities. He sought some product with which to flood the
Japanese and other eastern markets. He picked on kerosene, boosted by Americans at the time
as a cheap "illuminant." When his father died in 1874 young Marcus decided to flood Japan with
it. He went to Russia only to find an American oil company, backed by the Rockefellers, had
grabbed major concessions. He also found that another company, started by the Swedish
brothers Robert and Ludvig Nobel, was already sending kerosene overland to the east. Samuel
visited the Nobel brothers. On the land-locked waters of the Caspian Sea, he saw a ship of
revolutionary design the Nobels had built specially for the oil trade.
'Till then oil had been carried in wooden barrels or tanks stowed in ordinary trading ships. The
new ship, the Zoroaster, was the prototype of the modern tanker. She carried lamp oil in
cylindrical cisterns fitted into her holds. The engines were placed aft to minimise fire risk. The
ship fascinated Samuel. He decided then that soon he would have one. Samuel's principal need
was capital to fight the Rockefeller oil interests. This he obtained through the House of 
Rothschild, which also guaranteed the young live-wire a supply of kerosene from wells they
controlled at the Black Sea port of Batum. All he needed now was a ship to get the kerosene
to India, the Malay States, China and Japan.
'In May 1892 his first tanker (5000 tons) was launched. Marcus Samuel christened it Murex
after a seashell his father once sold. Meanwhile Samuel had become an alderman of the City
of London against the wishes of some members of the board who thought him "too poor and
'In succeeding years Samuel thrived. He acquired oil concessions in Borneo, and built a
refinery at Balik Papan. He was knighted [1898] when he sent two of his ships to the rescue
of HMS Victorious, which ran aground near Port Said. He was made Lord Mayor of London in
1902. His great Shell oil company, so named after the shells he and his father once sold,
controlled supplies in the United States, Russia and the East Indies. The merger of the company
with the Royal Dutch Group in 1907, to meet the threat of Russian competition, was hailed as a
master stroke. 
'Oil was booming under the impact of the motor car when war flared in 1914. Britain was
unprepared. Her supplies of high explosives, particularly TNT, were dangerously low. Toluol, a
component of TNT, could be extracted from oil and Borneo oil held the highest percentage of
toluol, so Samuel offered the British Government all the toluol it wanted, only to be snubbed
because Borneo was such a long way from the front. Samuel raged at the stupidity. He bomb-
arded the Government in official letters and with personal interviews. Nothing would move them
till the French, also desperate for explosives, jumped at his offer. Diehards then complained
there were not enough tankers to bring the oil they needed, anyhow. Samuel, now backed by
Lord Fisher, dynamic First Sea Lord, defeated them and made up for the disastrous loss of
tankers at sea by sending it also in the double bottoms or ballast tanks of ordinary steamers.
'The Blimps then pointed out they had no way of refining it, but Samuel had the answer to that
too. Within hours workers were dismantling a Royal Dutch-Shell refinery in Rotterdam. They
loaded it into a mystery ship which ran the gauntlet of the U-boat infested North Sea to the
Port of London. Hundreds more men were waiting to unload the cargo of retorts and pipes on
to lighters, which were towed to Brentford, where a long string of railway trucks waited. The
dismantled refinery was loaded again, and the line was cleared all the way to Bristol, where
foundations had already been poured and cranes stood ready. Six weeks later the first drop of
toluol passed through the refinery that once stood in Rotterdam. And soon afterwards British
soldiers in Belgium heard the barrage step up and knew the shell famine was over.
'In his war memoirs Lord Fisher wrote of Samuel: "Where should we have been in this war but
for this prime mover? Oil is one of the things that won us the war." In 1921 Marcus Samuel was
created a baron. He was the owner of Mote Park at Maidstone, with a 600-acre deer park, and
had one of the finest libraries in England, many pictures by famous artists and valuable antique
furniture. He paid a colossal sum for the Berkeley estate of 20 acres in the heart of Mayfair.
Honoured by many nations, he was created a viscount by King George V in 1925. He took the
name of Viscount Bearsted.
'Theoretically he had retired from active business and spent much of his time fishing and
reading. But it was a brave man in the massive Samuel oil empire who would make a big decision
without first consulting the ageing man at Maidstone. On January 16, 1927, Marcus Samuel's
wife died. They had lived happily together for 45 years. He could not believe she had gone. Their
separation did not last long. Less than 24 hours after her death, Marcus Samuel died. They were
buried together in the Jewish cemetery at Willesden. Samuel had disposed of much of his wealth
in charity before he died. When his will was read he still had more than £4,000,000.'
The claim to the co-heirship of the barony of Beauchamp de Somerset made in 1924
An attempt was made in 1924 by an alleged descendant of the Lords Beauchamp de Somerset
to have himself declared a co-heir to the peerage. The hearing of this matter was reported in
"The Manchester Guardian" of 30 July 1924:-
'The Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords decided yesterday to report against the
petition of Colonel Ulric Oliver Thynne, of Muntham Court, Worthing, to be declared a co-heir to
the barony of Beauchamp de Somerset in the peerage of England. The petition was heard on 
July 9, when the decision was reserved.
'Lord Atkinson, as Senior Law Lord on the Committee, read the opinion of the Committee. He said
that in this case no patent was given in evidence and no statute referred to conferring upon the
ancestors through whom the petitioner claimed, or any of them, a barony or other peerage
descendible to his heirs general. Writs of summons directed to some of those ancestors to attend
Parliament were proved, but no proof was adduced to show that any of them - at least at the
crucial periods - sat in the House of Peers as a member of it in the sense conveyed by that
'The earliest ancestor of the petitioner mentioned in this connection was John Beauchamp of
Hache, who was summoned in 1283 to attend an alleged Parliament at Shrewsbury for the trial 
of David of Wales [i.e. Dafydd ap Gruffydd, the last independent ruler of Wales, and the first
prominent person in history to be hanged, drawn and quartered]. Whatever might have been the
true character of those proceedings, they certainly did not amount to a trial of one peer of the
realm by other peers of the realm.
'Having regard to the nature of that assembly and the absence of all proof that the petitioner's
ancestor took part in its proceedings in fact as a peer, the Committee thought the mere
attendance in obedience to the writ served upon the petitioner's ancestor was not sufficient to
enable them to infer that it was intended by the Sovereign thereby to create him a peer or
that he was thereby created a peer. [This reasoning does not appear to have invalidated the
creations of the baronies of Mowbray and Segrave, both of which date from this Parliament].
'In the year 1300 [1299] a writ was directed to John de Beauchamp (28 Edward I), summoning
him to a Parliament to be held at Lincoln. The question whether he attended this Parliament
raised the question raised in the Fauconberg peerage [in 1903], namely, whether a letter sent
by the Barons of England to the Pope Boniface the Eighth amounted, under the circumstances
in which it was sent, to a proceeding in the Parliament of Lincoln. After the battle of Falkirk had
been fought in the war between Scotland and England [22 July 1298], Scotland was for the 
time being in a condition of subjection to England. The Scots appealed to this Pope in the fifth
year of pontificate, 1299, and he framed a Bull directed to King Edward, in which, after 
contesting the claim of the King to the crown of Scotland, he concluded by asserting that he
himself, the Pope, was the liege lord of Scotland. [The Bull is dated 27 June 1299, and is known
as "Scimus, Fili ("We know, my son")].
'The transmission of this Bull to England was greatly delayed. It was held in reserve for some
time by the Archbishop of Canterbury [Robert Winchelsey], to whom it was directed. Ultimately
he presented it to the King. This caused great commotion. The King at once summoned a 
Parliament to meet at Lincoln. The writs of summons did not, as did the writs issued in the case
of Shrewsbury [in 1283], state what was the subject to be considered, but having regard to
the nature of the proceedings which took place at the meeting, there could be little doubt that
what was to be considered was the claim put forward by the Pope in his Bull.
'A letter was drawn up, addressed to the Pope, embodying a strong assertion of the rights of the
King of England and a repudiation of the claims of the Pope. One of the seals attached to the 
letter was undoubtedly that of John de Beauchamp. The Committee were of opinion that the
Assembly at Lincoln was not so duly and legally constituted as a Parliament, that the compo-
sition, adoption, signature and sealing of the letter addressed to the Pope was a proceeding
properly so-called in Parliament, and that the service upon John Beauchamp de Somerset of a
writ of summons to attend it, plus his subsequent attendance, his participation in the adoption
of the letter and his sealing of it, did not afford sufficient evidence that he was then created
or had become a peer of the realm.
'On the motion of Lord Atkinson, the Committee passed the following resolution:- "That in the
opinion of the Committee the evidence produced by the petitioner, Colonel Ulric Oliver Thynne,
is insufficient to prove that any of his ancestors ever sat in Parliament as Baron Beauchamp."
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp
Beauchamp was Governor of New South Wales between 1899 and 1901. The following biography,
which limits itself to that period, appeared in the December 1963 issue of the Australian monthly
magazine "Parade":-
'A motley crowd converged on Sydney's Government House one night in 1899. Some sported 
ancient dress suits bursting at the seams. Others were decked in odd coats and trousers that 
fitted where they touched. A few struck a novel note with tailcoats and nondescript tweed 
trousers, or white waistcoats and anything else they happened to fancy. They were Sydney's
Bohemians, attending a reception at the special invitation of His Excellency Earl Beauchamp, 
Governor of New South Wales. 
'Every artist, writer, poet and musician in the city had received a blue-tinted card requesting the
pleasure of his company. White invitation cards had been issued to the local aristocracy, who 
were due to arrive later. No matter how the visitors were clad, the Governor welcomed them as 
old friends. Thus by the time the white­ticket contingent showed up they found the reception 
rooms filled with the oddest collection of guests ever seen In Government House. Since there 
was plenty to eat and drink the Bohemians enjoyed themselves greatly, although the socialites 
were not so pleased with the company they were forced to keep. Because of the colour of the 
tickets the function became historic as the "Seidlitz powder" levee [Seidlitz powder is a mild 
cathartic]. But it was only one of many things which made Governor Beauchamp the most talked-
of man in NSW and his brief regime a singular one. 
'This intriguing slice of vice-regal history began in December 1898 when the Secretary of State 
for the Colonies [Joseph Chamberlain] astonished British official circles by appointing Beauchamp 
Governor of New South Wales. A bachelor and the youngest man ever nominated for such a post,
Lord Beauchamp was so little known that few people outside the English Midlands had ever heard
of him. Australians were completely in the dark. When they discovered he pronounced his name
"Beecham," erroneous reports spread that he was associated with a brand of pills. Sydneysiders,
however, gathered that he was a young man of exceptional capacity, with a glittering political
future ahead of him. Socialites were reassured to hear that he was the best-looking member of
the House of Lords and one of the most eligible bachelors in England.
'Few Australian governors have had better intentions than Beauchamp. Fewer still have started
so badly and made so many blunders. Appointed for five years, he was glad to leave at the end
of 18 months. He never recovered the prestige he so ignominiously lost. His promising career
virtually began and ended in Sydney. 
'William Lygon, Viscount Elmley and 7th Earl Beauchamp, was born in Malvern, Worcestershire,
and inherited his title at the age of 19 while an Oxford undergraduate. At the university he
distinguished himself by his powers of oratory and his interest in education, literature, art and
classical music. He was a serious-minded young man with an unusually democratic outlook and
the frivolities of the Gay 'Nineties had no appeal to him. Resolved to devote his life to the public
welfare he began by becoming mayor of the city of Worcester at the age of 22.
'His abrupt elevation from a provincial mayoralty to the post of Queen's representative in so
important a dominion as NSW became the talk of London clubs and drawing-rooms. Veteran
administrators who had spent their lives in such remote outposts as Sierra Leone, St.Helena and
the Falkland Islands resented his appointment to a post worth £7,000 a year with allowances.
Expressing grave doubts about the wisdom of Chamberlain's choice, the London Times pointed 
out that his youth scarcely fitted him to preside over a colony where political enthusiasm was
notoriously liable to become overheated. Other newspapers referred to him as the "boy governor."
One cartoonist depicted him as an urchin in short pants being carried ashore by George Reid, 
then Premier of NSW. 
'The sensation caused by Beauchamp's appointment even reached the United States, where no
Australian governor had made the front page before. The New York Times described Beauchamp
as a "unique character in English politics who had walked out of his Mayfair mansion to spread
light and culture in the London slums." The newspaper's imaginative report went on to say that
his Lordship had fallen in love with his mother's maid and had sent her to France to be educated.
Considering this was carrying democracy too far, the outraged dowager had appealed to Queen
Victoria to send her son to the colonies immediately, the paper claimed. Her Majesty obligingly
had a word with the Colonial Secretary, who dispatched the lovesick peer to the wilds of NSW.
Although the story was wrong, it gained considerable credence, especially among the young 
'Beauchamp's home county gave him a series of encouraging but tactless farewells. Worcester-
shire nobles all expatiated on the good fortune which had befallen NSW, but their ideas of the
country were a century out of date. They still referred to it as a penal settlement, and jokingly
sympathised with his Lordship for having to open his administrative career in a thieves' kitchen.
The Rev. Septimus Marsh, of Worcester, said that he looked forward to the time Lord Beauchamp
would return on a ticket-of-leave and assured the nobleman that if he behaved himself at Botany
Bay England would be glad to have him back.
'Although the speeches were made in jest, the remarks were cabled to Australia and aroused
great indignation amongst Sydneysiders. Even before he reached NSW the new Governor would
not have topped a popularity poll and his very first action put him into deeper disfavour. At that
time Albany [in Western Australia] was the first port of call for mail steamers from Europe. When
his ship, the Himalaya, dropped anchor in King George's Sound she was boarded by a party of
reporters seeking an interview. Instead of meeting them the ill-advised Beauchamp deputed his
dapper secretary to distribute copies of a written statement. The new Governor's sentiments 
were elegantly expressed, but, under the impression he was paying Sydney a compliment, he
quoted several lines from a Rudyard Kipling poem. In these verses, Kipling referred to Sydney as a 
town which had succeeded in living down its "birthstains." By the time Beauchamp reached NSW
Sydneysiders had dubbed their new viceroy "Birthstains Beauchamp." It stuck until it was 
superseded by even less respectful nicknames. 
'His Excellency made his official entry into Sydney on May 18, 1899. While a 17-gun salute 
boomed from the flagship of the Australian squadron, HMS Royal Arthur, Beauchamp landed at 
Sydney Cove. He was welcomed by the Lieutenant­Governor, Chief Justice Sir Frederick Darley, 
and the plump and monocled Premier, George Houston Reid. Headed by the bands of the Sydney
Lancers and the NSW Horse Artillery, a procession was formed. But the Earl and the Premier had 
a very mixed reception on their progress round the city to Government House. Wherever women
predominated, the handsome young peer was greeted with tremendous applause. But when the
equipage passed groups of men there were more catcalls than hoorays. A case-hardened 
politician, Reid told the Governor that the jeers and groans were merely Sydney's characteristic
way of hailing the first minister. Despite this assurance Beauchamp looked relieved when the 
gates of Government House closed behind him.
'He was so eager to do his job that he would soon have lived down his reference to birthstains
had it not been for his capacity for saying the wrong thing in the frankest manner. Told that his
youth and bachelor status excited considerable interest in top social circles, his Excellency 
countered by publicly announcing that he had no intention of marrying while in Australia. After
that gaffe, which was construed into an insult by aspiring socialites, a newspaper dubbed him
"Billy Bigchump."
'The governor immediately lived up to this new title by becoming embroiled with the French 
consul. At that time the civilised world was agitated by the notorious case of Captain Alfred
Dreyfus, a French military officer consigned to Devil's Island on a charge of treason. Like many
other people, Beauchamp correctly believed Dreyfus had been framed. He was naive enough to
say so in a public speech at Cobar. Everyone applauded when he made scathing references to
French justice and congratulated his audience on living under the British flag. The French consul
took exception to this statement by Queen Victoria's official representative and reported the 
matter to his government. As a result Beauchamp was severely reprimanded by the Colonial 
Office and ordered to call on the consul and apologise. The "Cobar Incident" settled "Billy
Bigchump's" chances of becoming the first Governor-General of the Australian Commonwealth.
'His friendship with the poet Victor Daley [1858-1905] and Sydney's other turn-of-the-century
Bohemians led to the famous "Seidlitz powder" levee, which did not enhance his popularity in
orthodox circles. Little more successful was his bizarre attempt to bridge religious differences
by giving a dinner for clergymen of every conceivable denomination from Anglican prelates to
Jewish rabbis and Mormon missionaries. To his Excellency's surprise they did not mix well. In the
country he showed at his best. A good judge of dogs and horses, he enjoyed wandering about
country shows and finishing the day at a bush dance in a kerosene-lit hall. 
'It became a standing joke in the city that his Excellency must have come to Australia on a
travelling scholarship. The anti-Beauchampites were given fresh ammunition when the Governor's
carriage knocked down a little girl on her way to Redfern station. Beauchamp was at Moss Vale
[75 miles from Sydney] at the time but that made no difference to his opponents. They said
this was merely another example of the way English aristocrats behaved in the colonies. "The
Blunders of Beauchamp" became a standing heading in one Sydney newspaper.
'At length, after having served 18 months of his five-year term, Beauchamp resigned. He left
before the end of 1900 after collecting the balance of his second year's salary. One outspoken
parliamentarian remarked that it was worth £3500 to get rid of him.'
Although Beauchamp never received another vice-regal appointment, he was a member of a 
number of administrations between 1905 and 1915. He was appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque
Ports in 1913 and was leader of the Liberal peers in the House of Lords between 1924 and 1931.
While it was an open secret that Beauchamp was homosexual, or, given that he married and 
fathered seven children, that he was bisexual, no action was taken against him by his political
opponents until 1931, when he was "outed" by his brother-in-law, the 2nd Duke of Westminster.
The story of such "outing" was told by Simon Blow in the London "Sunday Telegraph" of 19
November 1989:-
'The death last Monday of Countess Beauchamp, at the age of 94, has ended a direct link with
the English Upper class's greatest homosexual scandal of this century. She married Lord Elmley,
heir to the 7th Earl Beauchamp. And that 7th Earl was hounded from this country by his own
brother-in-law, Bendor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, on charges of indecency with his footmen.
'But why on earth should the Duke of Westminster have wished to make public his brother-in-
law's activities and thereby bring about the breakup of his own sister's family? Bendor West-
minster had his own unpleasant reasons.
'First, he had resented Lord Beauchamp's producing two sons. He himself, though on his third
marriage had no heir. Second, Lord Beauchamp held numerous distinguished posts. He was a Privy
Councillor. At the age of 27, he was sent by the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, to govern New
South Wales. Later he became a Liberal politician, reaching Cabinet rank as Lord President of the
Council. In that capacity, he was the only minister present at Buckingham Palace at the special
Privy Council held by George V formally to declare war on Germany after the Prime Minister and
the Cabinet had taken their decision. In 1924 he became Liberal leader in the Lords, and in 1929
Chancellor of London University. At the time of the scandal he was Lord Warden of the Cinque
'Bendor was merely the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire [not correct - he had relinquished this post
in 1920]. The cut of envy was deep, which [was] why he exposed his brother-in-law's homo-
sexual acts.
'Bendor had an unbalanced hatred of homosexuality. And the world in which he was brought up
was highly charged sexually. He had been sent to a finishing school in France, run by a homo-
sexual Count who had sexually assaulted him. Horrified, Bendor sent for his step-father, George
Wyndham, Chief Secretary for Ireland in a Conservative cabinet at the beginning of the century
[1900-1905], to rescue him. Wyndham was widely considered the handsomest man in England,
but also the vainest. In 1913, while his mistress, Lady Plymouth, one of the aristocratic group
known as "the Souls", waited for him at the Hotel Loti in Paris, he died in a nearby brothel. (The
venue of the death was concealed from her.)
'In deciding to ruin his brother-in-law, Bendor failed to put in the balance his own frequent
seductions of 15-year-old girls, and the £20,000 he had to pay the family of one these girls to
hush them (my source for that is the Westminster family papers). Despite his own moral failings,
Bendor nonetheless went about his work of destroying someone else for what he saw as moral
turpitude. He was bigoted and simple-minded.
'Bendor decided to go to the King. After all, Beauchamp had carried the Sword of State at George
V's coronation, and was a Knight of the Garter. Around 1930, Bendor was received at Buckingham
Palace, where he informed the King of his brother-in-law's behaviour with male servants. Yet it is
significant that, according to the social code of the time, Bendor could meet the monarch only
in private. This was because he was a divorced man and as such was not himself permitted to
attend Court. It was at this meeting George V made his sadly limited comment: "Good God, I
thought men like that shot themselves."
'Under no circumstances, the King considered, must a scandal of this nature surround the Court,
and Beauchamp was an important courtier. But Beauchamp was married. His wife was the former 
Lady Lettice Grosvenor. It turned out that she had no idea what homosexuality was, nor of her
husband's indulgence in it. When told by her brother, Westminster, that her husband was a 
"bugger", the word so mystified her that she thought her husband had become "a bugler". It is
said that, when diagrams were drawn for her to show what happened, she had an immediate
nervous breakdown.
'Bendor incited his sister to divorce her husband on grounds of homosexuality. He arranged for 
evidence to be collected from Beauchamp's servants. He asked his nieces to testify in court
against their father if necessary. They refused. He succeeded in persuading his sister to institute
divorce proceedings. Since she was suffering from a breakdown, it is unlikely that she realised
what she was consenting to. But Sir Patrick Hastings, one of the two leading advocates of the
day, was retained by Bendor on his sister's behalf. Beauchamp said he would fight. He retained
the other leading advocate, Sir Norman Birkett. 
'So far the public knew nothing. The case never got into the newspapers. That it never did was
the result of the personal intervention of the King. The King realised that, if the case went 
forward, Beauchamp as a peer had the ancient right to trial by his peers in the Lords - not just
by the law lords, but by all the peers. And he might well exercise that right. The King decided
that at all costs the affair must not become public.
'He told the Home Secretary that Beauchamp must surrender all posts and leave the country,
and he gave the reason why. So, unless Beauchamp left the country quickly, the Home Secretary
would have to tell the police, and Beauchamp would have been arrested. The King deputed a
trio of Beauchamp's social equals to call on him.
'So, in the summer of 1931, Beauchamp was visited by the former Lord Chancellor, Lord 
Buckmaster, Lord Chesterfield, a fashionable Tory, and Lord Crewe, the Liberal elder statesman.
They advised him to leave the country at once or meet his fate in the criminal courts. "They
would never do that to me," he in effect told them. But a few stern words convinced [him].
That evening, he signed a deed promising to leave England and never return. All "society" -
though not the wider public - knew the reason. He went in disgrace, deserted by former friends,
except for Stanley Baldwin, who stood by him. Without ever seeing him again, his broken wife
died in 1936.
'Yet what, one asks, of Beauchamp's own personality? How could a man in his position have
allowed this to happen? The answer is that he had let his behaviour become thoroughly 
indiscreet. He was throwing open homosexual parties at Madresfield Court - his country seat in
Worcestershire. He was equally open at his London house in Belgrave Square. When interviewing
footmen he would pass his hands over their buttocks, making a hissing noise similar to those
made by stable lads when rubbing down horses. If the young man was pleasant, "He'll do well.
Very nice indeed" would be the Earl's comment. One day a heterosexual servant, finding the
drawing room door in Belgrave Square locked, peeped through the keyhole to see Earl Beauchamp
and his doctor sexually engaged on the sofa. 
'The writer, diarist and minor politician, Harold Nicolson, used privately to tell the story of how,
after dinner at Madresfield, he was asked by an astonished fellow guest: "Did I hear Beauchamp
 'je t'adore'?" "Nonsense," replied Nicolson, "he said 'shut the door.' "
'There is no knowledge of any homosexuality prior to Beauchamp's marriage in 1902. Far from it.
He had fathered six children between 1902 and 1912. Born in 1872, Beauchamp, therefore, quite
possibly did not practise his latent homosexuality until around the age of 45. He needed to cover
a lot of lost ground. That would account for his increasing indiscretion. And, like many a public
man, he was blind to the obvious danger. Like Oscar Wilde's, Beauchamp's audacious behaviour
could only be the precursor to a dramatic fall - brought about this time not by a Marquess, but
by a Duke.
'The exiled Beauchamp wandered the world. He was often in Italy. In Rome he would stay in the
house of the eccentric, talented and homosexual Lord Berners, the author of a once-renowned
joke in the days when grand people announced their movements in the Court Circular in The
Times. ("Lord Berners has recently left the Isle of Man for the Isle of Lesbos.")
'Beauchamp, particularly when safe in Italy, let his sexual appetites run free. To the visiting
heterosexual Sir Richard Sykes, then a fast young thing, Beauchamp suddenly announced one
day at the Lido in Venice: "Sykes, will you please lower your costume?" The startled young
baronet fled.
'At home English Society continued to vilify Beauchamp for what is now commonly known as
"a sexual preference." When, in July 1936, he landed at Dover to attend his wife's funeral, he
was turned back by representatives of the Home Office. A month later, when his second son
Hugh died in an accident, he was allowed in for the funeral - but grudgingly. It was made clear
that England was no longer his home. After that, he never saw Madresfield again. While Bendor
Westminster, believing he had rid society of a foul pervert, delighted in referring to his brother-
in-law as "my bugger-in-law."
The family from which Beauchamp came - the Lygons - have become glamorised through Evelyn
Waugh's modelling of characters on them in Brideshead Revisited. Lord Beauchamp was the model
for Lord Marchmain, and Hugh - the son who died early - was a model for Lord Sebastian Flyte.
There was in the end no divorce between Lord and Lady Beauchamp, but the daughters took the
side of their father and the sons sided with their mother. And so, to preserve British respectability,
English society and the Court had quietly smashed a family into pieces.
'In 1937 a new king was on the throne. The Home Office had lifted its objection to Beauchamp's
returning. He was told that he could come back to the country which had once laden him with
offices and honours. He would see the beautiful house of Madresfield again. But first he set out on
a trip around the world. In New York, in 1938, he died aged 66. The scandal had worn him out.
The brother-in-law who in effect killed him lived on and died in England in 1953 while married to
his fourth wife.'
Miles Stapleton, 10th Lord Beaumont
The following (in places somewhat gruesome) account of the death of the 10th Lord Beaumont
is taken from the "Leeds Mercury" of 17 September 1895:-
'The tenantry on the Carlton Towers estate, near Selby [in Yorkshire], have lost a kindly
landlord by the lamentable shooting accident which took place yesterday, almost within sight
of the Towers.
'Lord Beaumont, the tenth Peer of that name, and the son of the eighth bearer of the title,
succeeded to the Peerage within a comparatively recent period. He was married about two
years ago to the daughter of the late Sir Charles Tempest, of Broughton Hall, Skipton, and the
rejoicings on the estate were particularly animated, because of the fact that for some years
previously the Towers had been practically untenanted, with the exception of a brief period
during which the deceased Earl's [sic] immediate predecessor, having married the daughter of
Mr Wootton Isaacs, M.P., made the Towers his residence. It was only last week that Lord
Beauchamp took farewell of his old regiment, the 20th Hussars, on their embarkation at 
Portsmouth for India, he having previously relinquished the post of Colonel.
'As to how the lamentable accident occurred one can only rely on what may be inferred from
the position in which his Lordship's body was found. Our representative had an interview
with a workman who was near the spot where the accident took place, and from what he stated
it appears that his Lordship yesterday morning saw the head gamekeeper, and expressed to him
his intention of going out partridge shooting, at the same time requesting the man to provide
him with a retriever dog. This done, Lord Beaumont told the keeper that he should not require
his services, and went out alone. He was not again seen alive. About noon, Mr James Hensley,
a local farmer, was walking past Carlton Grange, some three-quarters of a mile away from the
Towers, when his attention was attracted by a man clinging to a gate. He went up to the gate,
and was horrified to find that it was the body of Lord Beaumont, and that life was quite extinct. 
The terrible nature of the injuries, which were noticeable some yards away, made this beyond 
doubt. As he afterwards described it, the top of the deceased's head was blown completely
off, and one eye had also been cut away by the shot. The position of the deceased and that
of his gun made it easy to infer how the sad occurrence came about. His Lordship's left foot
was fixed in the angle between one of the bars and the diagonal bar which runs from one corner
to the other of the gate. It was clear that he had been in the act of crossing into the
adjoining turnip field when he met his death. He had stepped onto the gate with his left foot,
and had put his right foot over to the other side, when he found his left inextricable, and had
then, in order to free himself, drawn his right foot back again. In doing so he had forgotten the
dangerous position in which he had left his gun. The gun, a double-barrelled one, with the 
trigger drawn, had been reared, muzzle upwards, against the gate, and, thinking he was
replacing his foot on one of the bars, he alighted instead on the trigger. The contents of one
of the barrels, a charge of small shot, were at once discharged, and they lodged in his brain.
'The dreadful character of the accident is evident from the fact that portions of the brains
were found at fifteen yards' distance from the scene. Mr Hensley at once proceeded to the
Towers for assistance, and it is one of the most pathetic incidents in this tragic story that the
faithful retriever, which had accompanied his Lordship, refused to move from his master's side,
moreover would not, until forcibly driven away, allow any one to approach him. The body,
remarkable to relate, was allowed to remain in the position in which it was found for fully two
hours, there being an indisposition on the part of the men about to interfere until a policeman
had arrived. Afterwards the body was conveyed to the Towers.'
At the subsequent inquest, the jury's verdict was one of accidental death, in accordance with
the medical evidence.
Mona, Baroness Beaumont in her own right (11th in line)
Following the death of Miles Stapleton, 10th Lord Beaumont, the title fell into abeyance, since he
left no sons and two daughters (one of whom was born posthumously). The abeyance did not,
however, last for a long period, since, less than 9 months later, the following notice appeared in 
London Gazette of 2 June 1896 (issue 26745, page 3245) :-
'The Queen has been pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date the 1st June, 1896, to declare that Mona Josephine 
Tempest Stapleton (commonly called the Honourable Mona Josephine Tempest Stapleton), the
elder of the two daughters and coheirs of Miles Stapleton, last Baron Beaumont, is and shall be
Baroness Beaumont: and to give, grant, and confirm the said Barony of Beaumont to the said
Mona Josephine Tempest Stapleton: to have and to hold said barony, together with all the rights,
privileges, pre-eminences, immunities, and advantages, and the place and precedence due and
belonging thereto, to her and to the heirs of her body lawfully begotten and to be begotten, in
as full and ample a manner as the said Miles Stapleton, Baron Beaumont, or any of his ancestors
Barons Beaumont, held and enjoyed the same.'
Hastings William Sackville Russell, 12th Duke of Bedford
During World War II, Bedford was accused of being a Fascist. In 1939 he became Chairman of
the British People's Party, the membership of which was primarily made up of ex-members of Sir
Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. It is said that Bedford was placed on the list of those
to be interned in the event of a German invasion. After the war, however, he seems to have 
done an about-face and converted to socialism. In 1952 the Duke spoke in the House of Lords in 
defence of Dr Hewlett Johnson (known as the 'Red Dean' of Canterbury), who was an apologist 
for the Soviet Union. Bedford suggested to his fellow peers that 'if every man in the country
went to work for ten seconds a day he would produce the country's total requirements'. 
Alternatively, the country could abolish money and return to the barter system. Not surprisingly, 
neither suggestion was adopted.
Bedford was a respected naturalist and ornithologist. He inherited these interests from his 
father, with whom he was on poor terms. The 11th Duke became a recluse after World War I,
where he devoted himself to the study of rare animals and birds. Possibly due to his son's
pacifism, the 11th Duke quarrelled with his son and they did not speak, or communicate in any
way, for 20 years. The 13th Duke did not know of his grandfather's existence, or that he was
the eventual heir to the dukedom, until he was 16, when a servant accidentally let the
information slip.
The 12th Duke developed a strain of homing budgerigars and wrote a piece in Country Life on
the subject, illustrated by a photograph of himself surrounded by 3,000 birds. Birds eventually
caused his death: he shot himself when aiming at a hawk that was threatening one of his
budgerigars. According to Nancy Mitford in her book The English Aristocracy he also kept a 
pet spider to which he would regularly feed roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
For further reading on the 12th Duke, and on the Dukes of Bedford in general, see "A Silver-
Plated Spoon" by John, (13th) Duke of Bedford (World Books, London 1959 and Doubleday, New
York 1959). This book includes a photograph of the 12th Duke with the caption "This is my 
father, the twelfth Duke (1888-1953), the loneliest man I ever knew, incapable of giving or
receiving love, utterly self-centred and opinionated. He loved birds, animals, peace, monetary
reform, the Park, and religion. He also had a wife and three children."
James Hamilton, 9th Lord Belhaven and Stenton
This peerage has twice become dormant, in 1777 and again in 1868. In both cases, the rightful
heir did not assume the title until he had successfully petitioned the House of Lords. The 7th
Lord Belhaven and Stenton became entitled to the peerage in 1784, but did not assume the
title until 1799, when the House of Lords decided that he was so entitled. Similarly, the 9th Lord
Belhaven and Stenton became entitled to the peerage in December 1868, but he did not assume
the title until August 1875, after the House of Lords determined that he was the rightful heir. The
following article, which appeared in 'The Glasgow Herald' on 17 June 1875, discusses the history
of this peerage:-
'The claim of Mr. James Hamilton to this peerage having lately come before the House of Lords, 
and being likely to demand their Lordships' attention soon again, it may interest our readers if we
trace the title from its creation in 1647 to the death of its last possessor; and we shall find it a
rather complicated matter all through, as it still seems to be.
'The first Lord Belhaven and Stenton was Sir John Hamilton of Broomhill. The Hamiltons of 
Broomhill were a branch of the ducal house, sprung from them while they were as yet only Lords
Hamilton, but accounts vary considerably as to the point at which they branched off from the
main stem, and also as to whether they were legitimate, or legitimated. Be these things as they
may, the Sir John Hamilton of whom we speak was the fifth in regular descent and the sixth in
succession from the first Hamilton of Broomhill, who was a son of the Lord Hamilton (of Cadzow).
'Sir John, who was a Royalist, and a favourite of King Charles I, was raised to the peerage as 
Lord Belhaven and Stenton on the 18th December 1647. We presume that the patent limited
the succession to heirs male lawful of the body. Perhaps, however, it extended the limitation to
heirs female. But in neither of these events could the peerage have descended as he ultimately
wished it to descend. John, 1st Lord Belhaven, had, only, three daughters. The eldest was Lady
Baillie of Lamington; and could she have succeeded the title would have gone into the Baillie
family. The youngest was the Viscountess Kingston; while the second daughter (Anne) was the
wife of Sir Robert Hamilton, of Silvertounhill (a cadet of his own family); and their only child,
Margaret, was married (in Lord Belhaven's lifetime) to Sir John Hamilton of Biel. Desirous, no
doubt, that the title should be perpetuated in the Hamilton name and family (for Biel was his
cousin and Silvertounhill his kinsman), and, if possible, among his own descendants, Lord
Belhaven resigned his estate and honours into the King's hands, and obtained from King Charles
II a new patent and charter, in 1675, in favour, after his own decease, of his cousin, Sir John
Hamilton of Biel, the husband of his granddaughter. Had it not been for this new patent the
title of Belhaven and Stenton would have been extinct two centuries ago [i.e. on the death of
the 1st Lord in 1679].
'As it was, it was now to leave the family of Broomhill and to go (through Silvertounhill) to 
Hamilton of Biel. John, first Lord Belhaven and Stenton, married Margaret, (natural) daughter of
James, second Marquess of Hamilton, and died anno 1679, when he was succeeded by his
grandson-in-law and cousin, Sir John Hamilton of Biel, as second Lord Belhaven and Stenton.
This nobleman was the son of Sir Robert Hamilton of Pressmanan (of the family of Udston, a
branch of Cadzow), a Judge or Senator of the College of Justice, with the title of Lord
Pressmanan. He does not appear to have been at first loyal to the family of the Sovereign, who
granted the Peerage, or of his son who granted the extended patent by which alone he
succeeded to it, for he did all he could in favour of the Prince of Orange. He violently opposed
the Union, however, and was committed to the Tower as a supposed adherent of the Chevalier
St. George, while his biographer states that posterity "celebrate his name with honour as a 
patriot as well as an orator." Dying in 1708, he was succeeded by his elder son John, third Lord
Belhaven and Stenton (representative peer, and Lord of the Bedchamber to George II when 
Prince of Wales), who, after fighting at Sheriffmuir, was appointed Governor of Barbadoes in
1721, but was unfortunately drowned at sea at the beginning of his voyage thither. Lady 
Belhaven, his wife, was the daughter of Andrew Bruce, a merchant in Edinburgh (of the family
of Earlshall), and their eldest son, John, succeeded as fourth Lord Belhaven and Stenton, who
was General of the Mint, etc., and who, dying unmarried in 1764, was succeeded by his brother
James, fifth Lord Belhaven and Stenton, the last Lord of the Biel family, and the last Lord 
Belhaven, whose residence was at Biel. James Lord Belhaven died unmarried in 1777, when the
peerage became DORMANT.
'Before tracing the subsequent course of the title, we may pause for a moment to see what 
became of the Biel and other estates in Haddingtonshire of the family. But first let us observe
two apparent discrepancies in the accounts of this branch. In Burke's Extinct Baronetage we find
it stated Sir James Hamilton of Broomhill was created a baronet in 1635. We find no corroboration
of this in any other account of the family. [Notwithstanding, he was created a baronet as 
stated]. Again [Sir Robert] Douglas states that Anne, daughter of the first Lord Belhaven, and 
her husband, Sir Robert Hamilton of Silvertounhill, had only one child, Margaret, whose husband,
Sir John Hamilton of Biel, became second Lord Belhaven, as we have seen; while Burke states
that they had several children, or at least one other child, a son, who succeeded as second
baronet of Silvertounhill, and was ancestor of the present baronet of that title. When the 
peculiar settlement of the Belhaven title is considered, it is somewhat difficult to reconcile
these two statements, or rather to recognise the latter as accurate.
'The second Lord Belhaven having executed an entail in 1701, confirmed by the last Lord in 
1765, by which the husbands of heirs female were excluded from inheriting the Belhaven property
(Biel, etc.), and the male descendants of the second Lord's father having failed, the very 
valuable estates of the family devolved upon Mrs. Mary Hamilton Nisbet, of Pentcaitland (co.
Haddington), who was served heir in 1783. In 1799 Miss Hamilton Nisbet of Dirleton and Biel, the
heir of the family, married Thomas, 7th Earl of Elgin. By this marriage, Lord Elgin had a son (Lord
Bruce, who died unmarried) and three daughters, of whom the second was the late Lady Matilda
Maxwell of Pollok, and the youngest the wife of Mr. Grant of Kilgraston (brother of Sir Hope Grant
and Sir Francis Grant); while the eldest, who eventually inherited the Dirleton estates, married
Mr. Robert Adam Dundas of Bloxholm, county Lincoln. Mr. Dundas (now Mr. Christopher-Nisbet-
Hamilton) is a member of one of the branches of the great house of Dundas, being the elder son
of the late Mr. Philip Dundas, Governor of Prince of Wales Island, who was fourth son of Robert
Dundas of Arniston, elder brother of the first Viscount Melville. He first changed his name to 
"Christopher," in compliance will the will of George Manners, Esq., of Bloxholm, in Lincolnshire, to
whose estates he succeeded; and subsequently, in 1855, assumed the additional surnames of 
Nisbet-Hamilton on his wife's accession to the Haddingtonshire estates of her mother's family.
Mr. Christopher-Nisbet-Hamilton is a member of the Faculty of Advocates, a Privy Councillor,
and was formerly Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He is described in address books as 
residing at Biel House. In the list of owners of lands and heritages in Scotland, lately published,
the trustees of the late William Hamilton Nisbet of Biel are entered as owning 2321 acres, of the
annual value of £4003. This is, of course, only one of the estates of the family. So much for
Biel, the residence of the earlier Lords Belhaven. We must now return to the title of Belhaven,
and see how it came to the family of Hamilton of Wishaw. When the first Lord obtained the new
patent which extended the limitation to his grandson-in-law, the second Lord, the said patent
was in favour of heirs male of the latter. The heirs male of his body terminated on the death
of the fifth Lord, as we have seen; but as the descent of the title was not limited to the heirs
male of his body, the nearest heir male became Lord Belhaven at once. Who was the nearest
heir male became a matter of dispute, which was not finally settled till 1799, the title being
unused (at least by those who the right to it) for 22 years.
'Not only had the heirs male of the body of the second Lord failed, but the whole male descend-
ants of his father (Lord Pressmanan) had failed; and more, the whole male descendants of James
Hamilton of Barncleuth (from whom the second Lord had sprung) had also failed. It was therefore
necessary to go further back to find the line of the heir male who was now entitled to succeed
to the Belhaven title, and he is traced as follows: - The first Hamilton of Coltness, the first 
Hamilton of Barncleuth (ancestor of the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th Lords Belhaven), and the first
Hamilton of Wishaw, were the sons of John Hamilton of Udston. All the male Barncleuths having
failed, the collateral heir male must be found either in Coltness or in Wishaw. One would naturally
think that the family of Coltness being the eldest branch, would succeed; but it is not so, for by
the law of descent in Scotland it is settled that in the case of three brothers, should the middle
brother fail, the younger, and not the elder, is entitled to succeed as heir male. Under this rule
Robert Hamilton of Wishaw, in the county of Lanark, became de jure sixth Lord Belhaven and
Stenton in the county of Haddington, but he died before the question was settled, and never
assumed the title; indeed, during his lifetime, Captain William Hamilton, of the 44th Regiment, 
lineal descendant and heir male of John Hamilton of Coltness (the eldest of the three brothers
above alluded to) assumed the title, and afterwards actually voted [in the election of Scottish
Representative Peers] as Lord Belhaven.
'Mr. Robert Hamilton of Wishaw (sixth Lord Belhaven), died in 1784, and was succeeded by his
eldest son, William, who in 1799 had his claim confirmed, and became seventh Lord. William, Lord
Belhaven, married a daughter of Macdonald of Clanranald, and dying in 1814, was succeeded by
his eldest son, Robert Montgomery Hamilton, eighth Lord Belhaven and Stenton, who in 1831 was 
created a peer of the United Kingdom by the style and title of his own branch of the family - viz.,
Lord Hamilton of Wishaw. Lord Belhaven and Hamilton, who was Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire,
had no family, and on his death in 1868 the barony of Belhaven and Stenton became again 
dormant, while the title of Hamilton of Wishaw became extinct.
'As on the former occasion, there is undoubtedly a Lord Belhaven at present. The point to be
settled is "who is the nearest heir male?" and the gentleman who can prove himself to be so will
be entitled to succeed. The claim which lately came before the House of Lords is that of Mr.
James Hamilton, who claims descent from the Hamiltons of Stevenson, an undoubted branch (only 
a few generations back) of the Wishaw family; and if Mr. Hamilton establishes his claim he will
succeed to the Belhaven peerage as the heir male of the Hamiltons of Wishaw, so that the title
will still remain in the Wishaw branch.
'Although the Hamiltons of Wishaw are not descended from the Lord Belhaven of the first, or the
Lord Belhaven of the second patents, they well sustained the honours of the family and of the
peerage, and advanced the "Belhaven" interest to greater honours than had been borne by any
their predecessors since the Union - the Lord Lieutenancy of the principal county in Scotland, 
and the British peerage with its seat in the House of Lords, being distinctions not attained by the 
other and older branches. It will also be observed that the late Lord's title of Lord Hamilton
ennobled the family of Wishaw independently of their possession of the Belhaven title. Suppose
some "claimant" had arisen and succeeded in establishing his claim to the latter title, the late
Lord would still have been Lord Hamilton of Wishaw. Two volumes are before us as we write,
which carry us back to the times of which we have spoken. One is Sir Robert Douglas' Peerage,
at the time of the publication of which the fourth Lord Belhaven was alive, and the chief seats of
the family then were (as described therein), "at Biel, near Dunbar, in East-Lothian, and Press-
manan, in the same county." The other is Hamilton of Wishaw's account of Lanark and Renfrew-
shires, written early in the last century; and we doubt not that the worthy gentleman who wrote 
it had but little idea that before the end of the century his descendants would inherit a title long
connected with so different a part of the country.
'The Belhaven family have always been Hamiltons by name, for there were none of the changes
of or additions to surname which are now so common, especially when a title leaves the original
family and goes to another; and it may not be uninteresting to notice how thoroughly "Hamilton"
they were, through numerous marriages with other families of the name. Let us take the descent
of the first and second Lords:- John Hamilton of Broomhill married a daughter of Hamilton of
Torrance; the next married a daughter of Hamilton of Dalserf, the next, a daughter of Hamilton 
of Udston; the next, a daughter of Hamilton of Kilbrachmont, in Fife; the next,  daughter of
Hamilton of Udston; and the next, who was the first Lord Belhaven (fourth in descent from the
first named), a daughter of the Marquess of Hamilton. His daughter married Sir Robert Hamilton
of Silvertounhill; and their daughter married Sir John Hamilton of Biel, who became second Lord
Belhaven. So it is nothing but a record of Hamiltons.
'In concluding this sketch of the Belhaven barony we may again point out that it has been in 
three families - Broomhill, Biel, and Wishaw, all Hamiltons and all kindred, but quite distinct; that
the Wishaw branch acquired a new title of their own, which is now extinct; and that if the 
present claimant succeeds it will be because he is a branch of the family of Hamilton of Wishaw,
to whose title in the British Peerage, he cannot, however, succeed, as it expired with the late
Lord Belhaven. It will also be remembered that there was one spurious "Lord Belhaven" who voted
under that title, and that the village of Belhaven had given the title of Viscount in earlier days
to a Douglas of the family of Mains.'
The House of Lords, on 2 August 1875, resolved that James Hamilton had proved his claim to the
William Strutt, eldest son of Henry Strutt, 2nd Baron Belper (8 Feb 1875-5 Oct 1898)
William Strutt was the eldest son and heir of the 2nd Baron Belper. He drowned in his bath in 
St. Louis while on a visit to America. The following report is taken from the "Leicester Chronicle"
of 8 October 1898:-
'The Hon. William Strutt, elder son of Lord Belper, was found dead on Wednesday in his bath at
the Hotel St. Louis, at which he was stopping. The body was completely covered by water. Mr.
Strutt was last seen alive on Monday. He was born in 1875, and was educated at Trinity College,
Cambridge, taking his B.A. degree in 1896.
'A "New York Herald" despatch from St. Louis says that the Hon. William Strutt, when found, was
lying headforemost in three feet of water, and decomposition had set in. It was at first supposed
that he had committed suicide. Mr. Strutt's aunt, Lady Dunmore, says, however, that her nephew
was subject to fainting fits, and that he probably swooned, and fell into the bath, and was
drowned. Mr. Strutt went to America about six weeks ago, with his aunt and her two daughters,
on a visit to friends there. He went to St. Louis ten days ago. Mr. Strutt, according to the 
"Herald," was 25 years old [sic], and of very amiable character. He was last seen alive on 
Monday, and it is believed that his body had been in the bath since the afternoon of that day.'
Robert Rochfort, 1st Earl of Belvidere
For the sake of simplicity, I have referred to this peer as 'Belvidere' throughout, notwithstanding
that his title was Baron Belfield between 1738 and 1751, and then Viscount Belfield between
1751 and 1756.
After his first wife had died of smallpox, Belvidere married Mary, the 16-year-old daughter of
Viscount Molesworth. At first, Belvidere's rages so frightened Mary that she escaped at night
to her father's house, only to be sent back by her father (by all accounts as big a brute as her
husband) in the morning. She settled down eventually and produced several children.
Around 1743, Belvidere, while visiting London, was sent anonymously an exchange of love letters
between his wife and his brother, Arthur Rochfort. When confronted, Lady Belvidere admitted
everything, including the fact Belvidere's youngest son was in fact his nephew. Belvidere sought
the advice of Lord Molesworth, who suggested that his daughter be transported to the West 
Indies as a vagabond, but Belvidere's choice of punishment proved to be even harsher - he
imprisoned his wife in the family home for the next 30 years. She was allowed servants, to whom
she could give orders, but they were not allowed to speak to her. She could walk in the grounds,
preceded by a footman who rang a bell to keep everyone away, but she was forbidden to leave
the estate. After being confined for 12 years, she managed to escape to her father's house in
Dublin. Her father refused to admit her, and the next day she was sent back to Belvidere's house
to resume her imprisonment.
Her lover, Arthur Rochfort, having heard that Belvidere had threatened to shoot him, escaped to
Yorkshire and then to France. Returning to Ireland 15 years later, he assumed that his brother 
would ignore him, but Belvidere immediately had him arrested and charged with £20,000 damages
for criminal conversation. When Arthur couldn't pay, Belvidere had him thrown into debtors'
prison, where he died.
While Mary remained imprisoned in the family home, her husband was living in luxury at his new
villa six miles away. Here he quarrelled with another of his brothers, George, who had established
his home within sight of Belvidere's villa. So offended by this action was Belvidere that he 
decided to block out the view by building a sham ruin between the two properties. At huge 
expense, he imported a number of Italian artists to design and build a ruined abbey, complete 
with Gothic windows, to stand between his house and his brother's.
When Belvidere died in 1774, Mary was at last released from her captivity, but her mind was 
gone. She apparently took to wandering the house and talking to portraits, as if they were real 
people, in a voice which had shrunk to a shrill whisper. She died shortly after her release.
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