Last updated 27/11/2018
Date Rank Order Name Born Died  Age
1 May 2000 B[L] 1 Matthew Alan Oakeshott              10 Jan 1947
Created Baron Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay
for life 1 May 2000                     
10 Sep 1831 B 1 George Cadogan 5 May 1783 15 Sep 1864 81
Created Baron Oakley of Caversham
10 Sep 1831
See "Cadogan" with which title this peerage
remains merged                             
13 Jan 1947 B 1 Geoffrey Lawrence 2 Dec 1880 28 Aug 1971 90
Created Baron Oaksey 13 Jan 1947
He succeeded to the Barony of Trevethin in
1959 - see "Trevethin"          
21 Aug 1964 B[L] 1 Sir Hendrie Dudley Oakshott,1st baronet 8 Nov 1904 1 Feb 1975 70
to     Created Baron Oakshott for life
1 Feb 1975 21 Aug 1964
MP for Bebington 1950-1964
Peerage extinct on his death
5 Oct 2015 B[L] 1 Jonathan Oates 28 Dec 1969
Created Baron Oates for life 5 Oct 2015
21 Oct 1654 B[I] 1 Murrough O'Brien c 1618 9 Sep 1674
Created Baron O'Brien and Earl of
Inchiquin 21 Oct 1654
See "Inchiquin" - extinct 1855
16 Jun 1900 B 1 Sir Peter O'Brien,1st baronet 29 Jun 1842 7 Sep 1914 72
to     Created Baron O'Brien 16 Jun 1900
7 Sep 1914 Solicitor General [I] 1887-1888. Attorney
General [I] 1888-1889. Lord Chief Justice
[I] 1889-1913. PC [I] 1888
Peerage extinct on his death
14 Mar 1973 B[L] 1 Sir Leslie Kenneth O'Brien 8 Feb 1908 24 Nov 1995 87
to     Created Baron O'Brien of Lothbury for life
24 Nov 1995 14 Mar 1973
Governor of the Bank of England 1966-1973
PC 1970
Peerage extinct on his death
21 Jun 1991 B[L] 1 Detta O'Cathain 3 Feb 1938
Created Baroness O'Cathain for life
21 Jun 1991
15 Mar 1543 B[S] 1 Andrew Stewart,2nd Lord Avandale  1548
He exchanged the peerage of Lord
Avandale for that of Lord Ochiltree
15 Mar 1543
1548 2 Andrew Stewart c 1521 1591
1591 3 Andrew Stewart c 1560 after 1615
He resigned the peerage in favour of -
27 May 1615 4 James Stewart 1659
1659 5 William Stewart 12 Feb 1675
to     On his death the peerage became either
12 Feb 1675 extinct or dormant
30 Jun 1838 V 1 William King-Noel 21 Feb 1805 29 Dec 1893 88
Created Viscount Ockham and Earl of
Lovelace 30 Jun 1838
See "Lovelace"
9 Apr 1689 B 1 George,Prince of Denmark 2 Apr 1653 28 Oct 1708 55
to      Created Baron Ockingham,Earl of
28 Oct 1708 Kendal and Duke of Cumberland
9 Apr 1689
Husband of Queen Anne. KG 1684  PC 1685
Peerages extinct on his death
10 Jan 2012 B[L] 1 Sir Augustine Thomas O'Donnell 1 Oct 1952
Created Baron O'Donnell for life 10 Jan 2012
1537 B[I] 1 Edmond Fitzmaurice,11th Baron Kerry 1541
Created Baron Odorney and Viscount
Kilmaule 1537
Peerages extinct on his death
13 May 1554 B[I] 1 Gerald Fitzgerald 28 Feb 1525 16 Nov 1585 60
Created Baron Offaly and Earl of
Kildare 13 May 1554
See "Kildare" - extinct 1599
29 Jul 1620 B[I] 1 Lettice Digby c 1578 1 Dec 1658
Created Baroness Offaly 29 Jul 1620
For further information on the Baroness,see the
note at the foot of this page
1 Dec 1658 2 George Fitzgerald 23 Jan 1612 1660 48
He had previously succeeded to the Earldom
of Kildare (qv) in 1620 with which title
this peerage then merged and so remains
3 Mar 1761 E[I] 1 James Fitzgerald 29 May 1722 19 Nov 1773 51
Created Viscount Leinster 21 Feb 1747,
Earl of Offaly and Marquess of
Kildare 3 Mar 1761 and Duke of 
Leinster 26 Nov 1766
See "Leinster"
24 Jun 1698 B[S] 1 James Ogilvy 11 Jul 1663 19 Aug 1730 67
Created Lord Ogilvy of Cullen and 
Viscount of Seafield 24 Jun 1698 and 
Earl of Seafield 24 Jun 1701
See "Seafield"
4 Oct 1616 B[S] 1 Walter Ogilvy c 1626
Created Lord Ogilvy of Deskford
4 Oct 1616
c 1626 2 James Ogilvy c 1653
He was created Earl of Findlater (qv) 
in 1638 with which title this peerage then
merged until peerages became dormant 
in 1811
26 Jul 1461 B 1 Robert Ogle c 1406 1 Nov 1469
Summoned to Parliament as Lord
Ogle 26 Jul 1461
1 Nov 1469 2 Owen Ogle c 1440 c 1486
c 1486 3 Ralph Ogle 7 Nov 1468 16 Jan 1512 43
16 Jan 1512 4 Robert Ogle c 1490 1540
1540 5 Robert Ogle 6 Mar 1545
6 Mar 1545 6 Robert Ogle c 1526 13 Aug 1562
13 Aug 1562 7 Cuthbert Ogle c 1540 16 Mar 1597
to     On his death the peerage fell into abeyance
16 Mar 1597
Dec 1626 8 Catherine Cavendish 18 Apr 1629
She became entitled to the peerage Dec 1626.
Her entitlement was confirmed by special letters
patent dated 4 December 1628
18 Apr 1629 9 William Cavendish,1st Earl of Newcastle 16 Dec 1593 25 Dec 1676 83
16 Mar 1665 E 1 Created Earl of Ogle and Duke of
Newcastle 16 Mar 1665
25 Dec 1676 10 Henry Cavendish,2nd Duke of Newcastle 24 Jun 1630 26 Jul 1691 61
to     2 On his death the Earldom became extinct
26 Jul 1691 and the Barony again fell into abeyance
23 Dec 1645 V[I] 1 William Ogle c 1600 14 Jul 1682
to     Created Viscount Ogle of Catherlough
14 Jul 1682 23 Dec 1645
MP for Winchester 1640-1643
Peerage extinct on his death
10 Jul 1950 B 1 David Rees Rees-Williams 22 Nov 1903 30 Aug 1976 72
Created Baron Ogmore 10 Jul 1950
MP for Croydon South 1945-1950. Minister
of Civil Aviation 1951.  PC 1951
30 Aug 1976 2 Gwilym Rees Rees-Williams 5 May 1931 9 Nov 2004 73
9 Nov 2004 3 Morgan Rees-Williams 19 Dec 1937
28 Jan 1831 B[I] 1 Standish O'Grady 1766 21 Apr 1840 73
Created Baron O'Grady and Viscount
Guillamore 28 Jan 1831
See "Guillamore"
14 Jun 1870 B 1 Thomas O'Hagan 29 May 1812 1 Feb 1885 72
Created Baron O'Hagan 14 Jun 1870
MP for Tralee 1863-1865. Solicitor General
[I] 1860-1861. Attorney General [I] 1861-
1865. Lord Chancellor [I] 1868-1874 and
1880-1881.  PC [I] 1861  KP 1882
1 Feb 1885 2 Thomas Towneley O'Hagan 5 Dec 1878 13 Dec 1900 22
13 Dec 1900 3 Maurice Herbert Towneley Townley-O'Hagan 20 Feb 1882 18 Dec 1961 79
18 Dec 1961 4 Charles Towneley Strachey 6 Sep 1945
MEP for the UK 1973-1975 and Devon 1979-1994
26 Oct 1409 B 1 John Oldcastell c 1360 25 Dec 1417
to     Summoned to Parliament as Lord
25 Dec 1417 Oldcastell 26 Oct 1409
The peerage was forfeited in 1417
For further information on this peer,see the
note at the foot of this page
c 1456 B[S] 1 Laurence Oliphant c 1498
Created Lord Oliphant c 1456
c 1498 2 John Oliphant 1516
1516 3 Laurence Oliphant c 1505 26 Mar 1566
26 Mar 1566 4 Laurence Oliphant c 1527 16 Jan 1593
16 Jan 1593 5 Laurence Oliphant 24 Mar 1583 1631 48
to     Peerage extinct on his death
1633 B[S] 1 Patrick Oliphant c 1680
Created Lord Oliphant 1633
c 1680 2 Charles Oliphant c 1709
c 1709 3 Patrick Oliphant 14 Jan 1721
14 Jan 1721 4 William Oliphant 27 Dec 1728
27 Dec 1728 5 Francis Oliphant c 1715 19 Apr 1748
to     Peerage extinct on his death
19 Apr 1748
31 Jan 1986 B[L] 1 Sir Peter Raymond Oliver 7 Mar 1921 17 Oct 2007 86
to     Created Baron Oliver of Aylmerton for life
17 Oct 2007 31 Jan 1986
Lord Justice of Appeal 1980-1986. Lord
of Appeal in Ordinary 1986-1992. PC 1980
Peerage extinct on his death
9 Feb 1924 B 1 Sir Sydney Haldane Olivier 16 Apr 1859 15 Feb 1943 83
to     Created Baron Olivier 9 Feb 1924
15 Feb 1943 Governor of Jamaica 1907-1913. Secretary
of State for India 1924. PC 1924
Peerage extinct on his death
5 Mar 1971 B[L] 1 Sir Laurence Kerr Olivier 22 May 1907 11 Jul 1989 82
to     Created Baron Olivier for life 5 Mar 1971
11 Jul 1989 OM 1981
Peerage extinct on his death
11 Sep 2009 B[L] 1 Dame Nuala Patricia O'Loan 20 Dec 1951
Created Baroness O'Loan for life 11 Sep 2009
3 Oct 1795 V[I] 1 John O'Neill 16 Jan 1740 18 Jun 1798 58
Created Baron O'Neill 30 Nov 1793
and Viscount O'Neill 3 Oct 1795
PC [I] 1781
For further information on the death of this
peer,see the note at the foot of this page
18 Jun 1798 2 Charles Henry St.John O'Neill 22 Jan 1779 25 Mar 1841 62
Aug 1800 E[I] 1 Created Viscount Raymond and Earl 
to     O'Neill Aug 1800
25 Mar 1841 Lord Lieutenant Antrim 1831-1841  KP 1809 
PC [I] 1809
On his death the creations of 1800 became
extinct whilst the Viscountcy and Barony
passed to -
25 Mar 1841 3 John Bruce Richard O'Neill 30 Dec 1780 12 Feb 1855 74
to     MP for Antrim 1802-1841
12 Feb 1855 Peerage extinct on his death
18 Apr 1868 B 1 William O'Neill 4 Mar 1813 18 Apr 1883 70
Created Baron O'Neill 18 Apr 1868
18 Apr 1883 2 Edward O'Neill 31 Dec 1839 19 Nov 1928 88
MP for Antrim 1863-1880
19 Nov 1928 3 Shane Edward Robert O'Neill 6 Feb 1907 24 Oct 1944 37
Lord Lieutenant Antrim 1938-1944
24 Oct 1944 4 Raymond Arthur Clanaboy O'Neill 1 Sep 1933
Lord Lieutenant Antrim 1994-2008
25 Feb 1999 B[L] 1 Onora Sylvia O'Neill 23 Aug 1941
Created Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve
for life 25 Feb 1999
CH 2014
14 Jun 2005 B[L] 1 Martin John O'Neill 6 Jan 1945
Created Baron O'Neill of Clackmannan
for life 14 Jun 2005
MP for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire 1979-
1983,Clackmannan 1983-1997 and Ochil 1997-2005
28 May 2015 B[L] 1 Terence James O'Neill 17 Mar 1957
Created Baron O'Neill of Gatley for life 
28 May 2015
23 Jan 1970 B[L] 1 Terence Marne O'Neill 10 Sep 1914 12 Jun 1990 75
to     Created Baron O'Neill of the Maine for life
12 Jun 1990 23 Jan 1970
Prime Minister of Northern Ireland 1963-
1969.  PC [NI] 1956
Peerage extinct on his death
30 Jul 1776 B[I] 1 Robert Henley-Ongley c 1721 23 Oct 1785
Created Baron Ongley 30 Jul 1776
MP for Bedford 1754-1761 and Bedfordshire
1761-1780 and 1784-1785
23 Oct 1785 2 Robert Henley-Ongley 3 Oct 1771 20 Aug 1814 42
20 Aug 1814 3 Robert Henley-Ongley 9 May 1803 21 Jan 1877 73
to     Peerage extinct on his death
21 Jan 1877
19 Jun 1716 B 1 Sir Richard Onslow,2nd baronet 23 Jun 1654 5 Dec 1717 63
Created Baron Onslow 19 Jun 1716
The creation of this peerage contained a special
remainder,failing heirs male of his body,to his uncle
Denzil Onslow and his heirs male, and ultimately to 
the heirs male of the body of the grantee's father
MP for Guildford 1679-1689, Surrey 1689-
1710 and 1713-1715, and St.Mawes 1710-
1713. Speaker of the House of Commons
1708-1710. Chancellor of the Exchequer
1714-1715. Lord Lieutenant Surrey 1716-
1717.  PC 1710
5 Dec 1717 2 Thomas Onslow 27 Nov 1679 5 Jun 1740 60
MP for Gatton 1702-1705, Chichester 1705-
1708, Bletchingley 1708-1715 and Surrey
1715-1717. Lord Lieutenant Surrey 1717-40
5 Jun 1740 3 Richard Onslow 1713 8 Oct 1776 63
MP for Guildford 1734-1740. Lord 
Lieutenant Surrey 1740-1776
8 Oct 1776 4 George Onslow 13 Sep 1731 17 May 1814 82
19 Jun 1801 E 1 Created Baron Cranley 20 May 1776,
and Viscount Cranley and Earl of
Onslow 19 Jun 1801
MP for Rye 1754-1761 and Surrey 1761-1774
Lord Lieutenant Surrey 1776-1814.  PC 1767
17 May 1814 2 Thomas Onslow 15 Mar 1754 22 Feb 1827 72
MP for Rye 1775-1784 and Guildford 1784-
22 Feb 1827 3 Arthur George Onslow 25 Oct 1777 24 Oct 1870 92
24 Oct 1870 4 William Hillier Onslow 7 Mar 1853 23 Oct 1911 58
Governor of New Zealand 1888-1892. 
President of the Board of Agriculture 
1903-1905.  PC 1903
23 Oct 1911 5 Richard William Alan Onslow 23 Aug 1876 9 Jun 1945 68
Paymaster General 1928-1929. PC 1926
9 Jun 1945 6 William Arthur Bampfylde Onslow 11 Jun 1913 3 Jun 1971 57
3 Jun 1971 7 Michael William Coplestone Dillon Onslow  [Elected 28 Feb 1938 14 May 2011 73
hereditary peer 1999-2011]
14 May 2011 8 Rupert Charles William Bullard Onslow 16 Jun 1967
31 Oct 1997 B[L] 1 Sir Cranley Gordon Douglas Onslow 8 Jun 1926 13 Mar 2001 74
to     Created Baron Onslow of Woking for life
13 Mar 2001 31 Oct 1997
MP for Woking 1964-1997. Minister of State,
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1982-
1983.  PC 1988
Peerage extinct on his death
9 Feb 1989 B[L] 1 Sally Oppenheim-Barnes 26 Jul 1928
Created Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes for life
9 Feb 1989
MP for Gloucester 1970-1987. Minister of
State for Consumer Affairs 1979-1982.
PC 1979
22 Jan 1976 B[L] 1 Albert Edward Oram 13 Aug 1913 4 Sep 1999 86
to     Created Baron Oram for life 22 Jan 1976
4 Sep 1999 MP for East Ham South 1955-1974
Peerage extinct on his death
4 May 1836 B[I] 1 Dominick Browne 28 May 1787 30 Jan 1860 72
Created Baron Oranmore and Browne
4 May 1836
MP for Mayo 1814-1826 and 1830-1836
Lord Lieutenant Mayo 1834-1842. PC [I] 1834
30 Jan 1860 2 Geoffrey Dominick Augustus Frederick
Guthrie-Browne 8 Jun 1819 15 Nov 1900 81
15 Nov 1900 3 Geoffrey Henry Browne 6 Jan 1861 30 Jun 1927 66
Created Baron Mereworth 19 Jan 1926
KP 1918  PC [I] 1921
For information on the death of this peer,see
the note at the foot of this page
30 Jun 1927 4 Dominick Geoffrey Edward Browne  (also 2nd
Baron Mereworth) 21 Oct 1901 7 Aug 2002 100
7 Aug 2002 5 Dominick Geoffrey Thomas Browne  (also 3rd
Baron Mereworth) 1 Jul 1929
7 May 1697 E 1 Edward Russell 1653 26 Nov 1727 74
to     Created Baron of Shingay,Viscount
26 Nov 1727 Barfleur and Earl of Orford 
7 May 1697
MP for Launceston 1689-1690, Portsmouth
1690-1695 and Cambridgeshire 1695-1697.
Treasurer of the Navy 1689-1699. First Lord
of the Admiralty 1694-1699, 1709-1710 and
1714-1717. Lord Lieutenant Cambridge
1715-1727.  PC 1689
Peerages extinct on his death
6 Feb 1742 E 1 Robert Walpole 26 Aug 1676 18 Mar 1745 68
Created Baron Houghton,Viscount
Walpole and Earl of Orford 6 Feb 1742
MP for Castle Rising 1701-1702 and Kings
Lynn 1702-1742. Secretary at War 1708-1710
Treasurer of the Navy 1710. Prime Minister 
and Chancellor of the Exchequer 1715-
1717 and 1721-1742. PC 1714  KG 1726
18 Mar 1745 2 Robert Walpole 1701 31 Mar 1751 49
Lord Lieutenant Devon 1733-1751
31 Mar 1751 3 George Walpole 2 Apr 1730 5 Dec 1791 61
Lord Lieutenant Norfolk 1757-1791
5 Dec 1791 4 Horatio Walpole 5 Oct 1717 2 Mar 1797 79
to     MP for Callington 1741-1754, Castle Rising
2 Mar 1797 1754-1757 and Kings Lynn 1757-1768.
Peerage extinct on his death
10 Apr 1806 E 1 Horatio Walpole,4th Earl of Orford 12 Jun 1723 24 Feb 1809 85
Created Earl of Orford 10 Apr 1806
MP for Kings Lynn 1747-1757
24 Feb 1809 2 Horatio Walpole 13 Jun 1752 15 Jun 1822 70
MP for Wigan 1780-1784 and Kings Lynn
15 Jun 1822 3 Horatio Walpole 14 Jun 1783 29 Dec 1858 75
MP for Kings Lynn 1809-1822
29 Dec 1858 4 Horatio Walpole 18 Apr 1813 7 Dec 1894 81
MP for Norfolk East 1835-1837
7 Dec 1894 5 Robert Horace Walpole 10 Jul 1854 27 Sep 1931 77
to     Peerage extinct on his death
27 Sep 1931 For information on an incident early in this peer's
life,see the note at the foot of this page
22 Nov 1797 B[I] 1 Margaretta Amelia Foster 1736 20 Jan 1824 87
Created Baroness Oriel of Collon
5 Jun 1790 and Viscountess Ferrard
22 Nov 1797
20 Jan 1824 2 Thomas Henry Skeffington c 1772 18 Jan 1843
MP for Drogheda 1807-1812 and Louth
1821-1826. PC [I] 1809
18 Jan 1843 3 John Skeffington
He succeeded to the Viscountcy of 
Massereene (qv) in 1831 with which title
this peerage then merged
17 Jul 1821 B 1 John Foster 28 Sep 1740 16 Aug 1828 87
Created Baron Oriel 17 Jul 1821
MP for Louth 1800-1821. Chancellor of the
Exchequer [I] 1784-1785,1804-1806 and 
1807-1811. Speaker of the House of
Commons [I] 1785-1800. PC [I] 1779  PC 1786
16 Aug 1828 2 Thomas Henry Skeffington c 1772 18 Jan 1843
MP for Drogheda 1807-1812 and Louth
1821-1826. PC [I] 1809
18 Jan 1843 3 John Skeffington
He succeeded to the Viscountcy of 
Massereene (qv) in 1831 with which title
this peerage then merged
1379 E[S] 1 Henry Sinclair c 1400
Recognized as Earl of Orkney 1379
c 1400 2 Henry Sinclair 1418
1418 3 William Sinclair,later [1455] 1st Earl of Caithness 1476
to     He resigned the Earldom of Orkney in 1470
12 May 1567 D[S] 1 James Hepburn,Earl of Bothwell c 1535 14 Apr 1578
to     Created Marquess of Fife and Duke of
29 Dec 1567 Orkney 12 May 1567
Peerages forfeited 29 Dec 1567
28 Oct 1581 E[S]  1 Lord Robert Stewart 1533 4 Feb 1593 59
Created Earl of Orkney 28 Oct 1581
Illegitimate son of James V of Scotland
4 Feb 1593 2 Patrick Stewart c 1569 6 Feb 1614
to     The peerage was forfeited in 1614
6 Feb 1614
3 Jan 1696 E[S] 1 Lord George Hamilton 9 Feb 1666 29 Jan 1737 70
Created Lord Dechmont,Viscount of
Kirkwall and Earl of Orkney 3 Jan 1696
Governor of Virginia 1714-1737. KT 1704  PC 1711
Field Marshal. Lord Lieutenant Lanark
29 Jan 1737 2 Anne O'Brien 6 Dec 1756
6 Dec 1756 3 Mary O'Brien c 1721 10 May 1791
For further information on this peeress, see the
note at the foot of this page.
10 May 1791 4 Mary Fitzmaurice 4 Sep 1755 20 Dec 1831 76
20 Dec 1831 5 Thomas John Hamilton Fitzmaurice 8 Aug 1803 16 May 1877 73
16 May 1877 6 George William Hamilton Fitzmaurice 6 May 1827 21 Oct 1889 62
21 Oct 1889 7 Edmond Walter Fitzmaurice 24 May 1867 21 Aug 1951 84
21 Aug 1951 8 Cecil O'Bryen Fitzmaurice 3 Jul 1919 5 Feb 1998 78
5 Feb 1998 9 Oliver Peter St.John 27 Feb 1938
16 Apr 1868 B 1 Sir John Benn Walsh,2nd baronet 9 Dec 1798 3 Apr 1881 82
Created Baron Ormathwaite 16 Apr 1868
MP for Sudbury 1830-1834 and 1838-1840
and Radnorshire 1840-1868. Lord
Lieutenant Radnorshire 1842-1875
3 Apr 1881 2 Arthur Walsh 14 Apr 1827 27 Mar 1920 92
MP for Leominster 1855-1868 and 
Radnorshire 1868-1880. Lord Lieutenant
Radnorshire 1875-1895
27 Mar 1920 3 Arthur Henry John Walsh 10 Apr 1859 13 Mar 1937 77
MP for Radnorshire 1885-1892. Lord
Lieutenant Radnorshire 1918-1922
13 Mar 1937 4 George Harry William Walsh 3 Dec 1863 27 Oct 1943 79
27 Oct 1943 5 Reginald Walsh 17 Jul 1868 13 Feb 1944 75
13 Feb 1944 6 John Arthur Charles Walsh 25 Dec 1912 8 Mar 1984 71
to     Peerage extinct on his death
8 Mar 1984
21 Oct 1997 B[L] 1 Stanley Orme 5 Apr 1923 27 Apr 2005 82
to     Created Baron Orme for life 21 Oct 1997
27 Apr 2005 MP for Salford West 1964-1983 and 
Salford East 1983-1997. Minister of State,
Northern Ireland 1974-1976. Minister of
State,Health and Social Security 1976. 
Minister for Social Security 1976-1979.
PC 1974
Peerage extinct on his death
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"
12 Sep 1831 E 1 John Campbell,4th Earl of Breadalbane 30 Mar 1762 29 Mar 1834 71
Created Baron Breadalbane 13 Nov 1806
and Earl of Ormelie and Marquess of
of Breadalbane 12 Sep 1831
See "Breadalbane" - extinct 1862
11 Jul 1885 E 1 Gavin Campbell,7th Earl of Breadalbane 9 Apr 1851 19 Oct 1922 71
to     Created Baron Breadalbane 25 Mar 1873
19 Oct 1922 and Earl of Ormelie and Marquess of
Breadalbane 11 Jul 1885
On his death the creations of 1873 and 1885
became extinct
1445 E[S] 1 Hugh Douglas 1 May 1455
to     Created Earl of Ormond 1445
1 May 1455 He was attainted and the peerage forfeited
29 Jan 1488 M[S] 1 James Stewart Mar 1476 17 Jan 1504 27
to     Created Lord of Brechin,Navar and
17 Jan 1504 Ardmannoch and Earl of Ross 23 Jan 
1481,and Lord Brechin and Navar,Earl
of Edirdale,Marquess of Ormond and
Duke of Ross 29 Jan 1488
Second son of James III of Scotland
Peerages extinct on his death
23 Dec 1600 M[S] 1 Charles Stuart 19 Nov 1600 30 Jan 1649 48
to     Created Lord Ardmannoch,Earl of
27 Mar 1625 Ross,Marquess of Ormond and Duke
of Albany 23 Dec 1600
He succeeded to the throne of England
in 1625,when the peerage merged with the
3 Apr 1651 E[S] 1 Archibald Douglas c 1609 15 Apr 1655
Created Lord Bothwell and Hartside,
and Earl of Ormond 3 Apr 1651
15 Apr 1655 2 Archibald Douglas
He was created Earl of Forfar (qv) in 1661
with which title these peerages then merged
2 Nov 1328 E[I] 1 James Butler c 1305 6 Jan 1337
Created Earl of Ormonde 2 Nov 1328
6 Jan 1337 2 James Butler 4 Oct 1331 13 Oct 1382 51
Chief Governor of Ireland 1359,1360,1364
and 1376-1378
13 Oct 1382 3 James Butler 7 Sep 1405
Chief Governor of Ireland 1384, 1392 and
7 Sep 1405 4 James Butler c 1392 22 Aug 1452
Chief Governor of Ireland 1407,1419-1423,
and 1453
22 Aug 1452 5 James Butler 24 Nov 1420 1 May 1461 40
to     Created Earl of Wiltshire 8 Jul 1449
1 May 1461 Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1453-1456.
KG 1459
He was attainted and the peerage forfeited
1476 6 John Butler c 1422 14 Oct 1478
Attainder reversed 1476
14 Oct 1478 7 Thomas Butler c 1424 8 Aug 1515
to     On his death the peerage lapsed to the 
8 Aug 1515 Crown
8 Dec 1529 E[I] 1 Thomas Boleyn 1477 13 Mar 1539 61
to     Created Viscount Rochford 18 Jun
13 Mar 1539 1525,Earl of Ossory 23 Feb 1528, Earl of 
Wiltshire and Earl of Ormonde  8 Dec 1529
Lord Privy Seal 1530-1536.  KG 1523
Peerage extinct on his death
22 Feb 1538 E[I] 8 Piers Butler c 1467 26 Aug 1539
Restored as Earl of Ormonde 22 Feb 1538
22 Aug 1539 9 James Butler c 1490 28 Oct 1546
Created Viscount Thurles 2 Jan 1536
28 Oct 1546 10 Thomas Butler 1532 22 Nov 1614 82
KG 1588
22 Nov 1614 11 Walter Butler 1569 24 Feb 1633 63
24 Feb 1633 12 James Butler 19 Oct 1610 21 Jul 1688 77
30 Aug 1642 M[I] 1 Created Marquess of Ormonde 30 Aug
30 Mar 1661 D[I] 1 1642,Baron Butler and Earl of 
Brecknock 20 Jul 1660,Duke of 
9 Nov 1682 D  1 Ormonde [I] 30 Mar 1661 and Duke of
Ormonde [E] 9 Nov 1682
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1643-1647,
1648-1650, 1662-1669 and 1677-1685. Lord
Lieutenant Somerset 1660-1672  KG 1649 
PC [I] 1660  PC 1682
21 Jul 1688 13 James Butler 29 Apr 1665 16 Nov 1745 80
to     2 Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1703-1707 and
20 Aug 1715 1710-1713. Lord Lieutenant Somerset 1691-1714
Warden of the Cinque Ports 1712. Lord Lieutenant
Norfolk 1713-1714  PC [I] 1690  KG 1688
He was attainted and his English peerages
16 Nov 1745 14 Charles Butler 4 Sep 1671 17 Dec 1758 87
to     3 On his death the Irish Dukedom and 
17 Dec 1758 Marquessate became extinct whilst the
Irish Earldom passed to -
17 Dec 1758 15 John Butler 24 Jun 1766
24 Jun 1766 16 Walter Butler 10 Jun 1703 2 Jun 1783 79
For further information on this peer's daughter,
see the note at the foot of this page.
2 Jun 1783 17 John Butler 10 Dec 1740 30 Dec 1795 55
Although he succeeded to the peerage in 1783
his succession was not confirmed until 1791
30 Dec 1795 18 Walter Butler 4 Feb 1770 10 Aug 1820 50
Jan 1816 M[I] 1 Created Baron Butler of Lanthony 
to     20 Jan 1801 and Marquess of Ormonde
10 Aug 1820 Jan 1816
KP 1798   PC [I] 1797
On his death the Marquessate became 
extinct whilst the Earldom passed to -
10 Aug 1820 19 James Wandesford Butler 15 Jul 1774 18 May 1838 63
5 Oct 1825 M[I] 1 Created Baron Ormonde [UK] 17 Jul 1821 
and Marquess of Ormonde 5 Oct 1825
For details of the special remainder included in the
creation of the Barony of 1821,see the note at the 
foot of this page
MP for Kilkenny 1801-1820.  KP 1821
Lord Lieutenant Kilkenny 1831-1838
18 May 1838 20 John Butler 24 Aug 1808 25 Sep 1854 46
MP for Kilkenny 1820-1832.  KP 1845
25 Sep 1854 21 James Edward William Theobald Butler 5 Oct 1844 26 Oct 1919 75
Lord Lieutenant Kilkenny 1878-1919  KP 1888 
PC [I] 1902
26 Oct 1919 22 James Arthur Wellington Foley Butler 23 Sep 1849 4 Jul 1943 93
4 Jul 1943 23 James George Anson Butler 18 Apr 1890 21 Jun 1949 59
21 Jun 1949 24 James Arthur Norman Butler 25 Apr 1893 17 Apr 1971 77
17 Apr 1971 25 James Hubert Theobald Charles Butler 19 Apr 1899 25 Oct 1997 98
to     On his death the Marquessate and the Barony of 
25 Oct 1997   1821 became extinct,whilst the Earldom became 
dormant. For information as to who should succeed 
to the title,the reader is advised to go to the 
following webpage:-
19 Oct 1706 B[S] 1 Archibald Campbell,3rd Duke of Argyll    Jun 1682 15 Apr 1761 78
Created Lord Oransay,Dunoon and
Arase,and Viscount and Earl of Ilay
19 Oct 1706
See "Argyll"
4 Mar 1309 B 1 John de Orreby Mar 1329
Summoned to Parliament as Lord
Orreby 4 Mar 1309
Mar 1329 2 John de Orreby 1318 Jan 1354 35
Jan 1354 3 Joan de Orreby c 1350 30 Jul 1369
30 Jul 1369 4 Mary de Orreby 12 Mar 1368 25 Aug 1394 26
to     Peerage extinct on her death
25 Aug 1394
5 Sep 1660 E[I] 1 Roger Boyle,1st Baron Boyle of Broghill 25 Apr 1621 16 Oct 1679 58
Created Earl of Orrery 5 Sep 1660
MP for Arundel 1660-1679  PC [I] 1660
16 Oct 1679 2 Roger Boyle 24 Aug 1646 29 Mar 1682 35
29 Mar 1682 3 Lionel Boyle 11 Jul 1671 24 Aug 1703 32
MP for East Grinstead 1695,1698-1701
and 1701-1702
24 Aug 1703 4 Charles Boyle 28 Jul 1674 28 Aug 1731 57
Created Baron Boyle of Marston
5 Sep 1711
MP for Huntingdon 1701-1705. KT 1705
PC 1711. Lord Lieutenant Somerset 1714-15
28 Aug 1731 5 John Boyle 13 Jan 1707 23 Nov 1762 55
He succeeded as 5th Earl of Cork (qv) in
1753 with which title this peerage continues
to be united
30 Apr 1971 B[L] 1 Sir Charles Ian Orr-Ewing,1st baronet 10 Feb 1912 19 Aug 1999 87
to    Created Baron Orr-Ewing for life 30 Apr 1971
19 Aug 1999 MP for Hendon North 1950-1970
Peerage extinct on his death
7 Apr 1762 B[I] 1 Francis Vernon c 1715 15 Oct 1783
to     Created Baron Orwell 7 Apr 1762,
15 Oct 1783 Viscount Orwell 21 Jul 1776 and Earl
of Shipbrook 8 Feb 1777
Peerages extinct on his death
26 Nov 2018 B[L] 1 Martha Otito Osamor Sep 1940
Created Baroness Osamor for life 26 Nov 2018
2 Feb 1673 V 1 Thomas Osborne 20 Feb 1632 26 Jul 1712 80
B Created Viscount Osborne 2 Feb 1673,
Baron Osborne and Viscount Latimer
15 Aug 1673,Earl of Danby 27 Jun 1674,
Marquess of Carmarthen 9 Apr 1689
and Duke of Leeds (qv) 4 May 1694
He surrendered the Viscountcy of Osborne
created in 1673 to his 2nd son, Peregrine
Osborne in August 1673
Aug 1673 V 2 Peregrine Osborne 1659 25 Jun 1729 69
He succeeded as 2nd Duke of Leeds (qv) in 1712
3 Mar 1690 Peregrine Osborne 1659 25 Jun 1729 69
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of
Acceleration as Baron Osborne 3 Mar 1690
He succeeded as 2nd Duke of Leeds (qv) in 1712
28 Jan 1713 Peregrine Hyde Osborne 11 Nov 1691 9 Apr 1731 39
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of
Acceleration as Baron Osborne 28 Jan 1713
He succeeded as 3rd Duke of Leeds (qv) in 1729
15 May 1776 Francis Godolphin Osborne 29 Jan 1751 31 Jan 1799 48
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of
Acceleration as Baron Osborne 15 May 1776
He succeeded as 5th Duke of Leeds (qv) in 1789
2 Jul 1838 Francis Godolphin D'Arcy-Osborne 21 May 1798 4 May 1859 60
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of
Acceleration as Baron Osborne 2 Jul 1838
He succeeded as 7th Duke of Leeds (qv) on 
10 Jul 1838
1 Oct 2015 B[L] 1 James Richard O'Shaughnessy 26 Mar 1976
Created Baron O'Shaughnessy for life 1 Oct 2015
13 Feb 1872 V 1 John Evelyn Denison 27 Jan 1800 7 Mar 1873 73
to     Created Viscount Ossington 13 Feb 1872
7 Mar 1873 MP for Newcastle under Lyme 1823-1826,
Hastings 1826-1830, Nottinghamshire 1831-
1832, Nottinghamshire South 1832-1837,
Malton 1841-1857 and Nottinghamshire
North 1857-1872. Speaker of the House
of Commons 1857-1872.  PC 1857
Peerage extinct on his death
23 Feb 1528 E[I] 1 Thomas Boleyn 1477 13 Mar 1539 61
Created Viscount Rochford 18 Jun
1525,Earl of Ossory 23 Feb 1528, Earl of 
Wiltshire and Earl of Ormonde  8 Dec 1529
See 'Ormonde'
8 Aug 1662 Thomas Butler 8 Jul 1634 30 Jul 1680 46
MP for Bristol 1661-1666
He was summoned to the Irish House of Lords
by a Writ of Acceleration as Earl of Ossory [I] 
8 Aug 1662,and later created Baron Butler
of Moore Park [E] (qv) in 1666
PC [I] 1660  KG 1672
He was the son and heir apparent of the 1st
Duke of Ormonde, but died before he could
succeed to that title
24 Nov 1682 B 1 John Bennet 5 Jul 1616 11 Feb 1695 78
Created Baron Ossulston 24 Nov 1682
MP for Wallingford 1663-1679
11 Feb 1695 2 Charles Bennet 1674 21 May 1722 47
He was created Earl of Tankerville (qv) in
1714 with which title this peerage then
20 May 1859 Charles Bennet 10 Jan 1810 18 Dec 1899 89
He was summoned to Parliament by a Writ of
Acceleration as Baron Ossulston  20 May 1859
He succeeded as Earl of Tankerville (qv) 25 Jun 1859
26 Jun 2001 B[L] 1 Sir Herman George Ouseley 24 Mar 1945
Created Baron Ouseley for life 26 Jun 2001
5 Mar 1850 B 1 Samuel Jones Loyd 25 Sep 1796 17 Nov 1883 87
to     Created Baron Overstone 5 Mar 1850
17 Nov 1883 MP for Hythe 1819-1826
Peerage extinct on his death
23 Jun 1893 B 1 John Campbell White 21 Nov 1843 15 Feb 1908 64
to     Created Baron Overtoun 23 Jun 1893
15 Feb 1908 Lord Lieutenant Dumbarton 1907-1908
Peerage extinct on his death
30 Jun 1992 B[L] 1 David Anthony Llewellyn Owen 2 Jul 1938
Created Baron Owen for life 30 Jun 1992
MP for Plymouth Sutton 1966-1974 and Devonport
1974-1992. Minister of State,Health and
Social Security 1974-1976 and Foreign
Office 1976-1977. Foreign Secretary 1977-
1979. PC 1976  CH 1994
27 Jul 1999 B[L] 1 Sir Ernest Ronald Oxburgh 2 Nov 1934
Created Baron Oxburgh for life 27 Jul 1999
13 Aug 1886 V 1 William John Monson,7th Baron Monson 18 Feb 1829 16 Apr 1898 69
to     Created Viscount Oxenbridge
16 Apr 1898 13 Aug 1886
Peerage extinct on his death
16 Aug 1841 B 1 John Hamilton Dalrymple,8th Earl of Stair 14 Jun 1771 10 Jan 1853 81
Created Baron Oxenfoord of Cousland
16 Aug 1841
For details of the special remainder included in the
creation of this peerage,see the note at the 
foot of this page
See "Stair"
1142 E 1 Aubrey de Vere c 1120 1194
Created Earl of Oxford 1142
1194 2 Aubrey de Vere 1163 1214 51
1214 3 Robert de Vere c 1170 25 Oct 1221
25 Oct 1221 4 Hugh de Vere c 1210 Dec 1263
Dec 1263 5 Robert de Vere c 1240 2 Sep 1296
2 Sep 1296 6 Robert de Vere Jun 1262 17 Apr 1331 68
17 Apr 1331 7 John de Vere Mar 1313 24 Jan 1360 46
24 Jan 1360 8 Thomas de Vere 1337 18 Sep 1371 34
18 Sep 1371 9 Robert de Vere,later [1386] Duke of Ireland [L] 16 Jan 1362 22 Nov 1392 30
to     KG 1384
3 Feb 1388 He was attainted and the peerages forfeited
12 Feb 1392   10 Aubrey de Vere c 1340 23 Apr 1400
He was restored as Earl of Oxford 12 Feb 1392
For information on a claim to this peerage made by
the Duke of Atholl in 1912, see the note at the
foot of this page
23 Apr 1400 11 Richard de Vere c 1386 15 Feb 1417
KG 1415
15 Feb 1417 12 John de Vere 23 Apr 1407 26 Feb 1462 54
26 Feb 1462 13 John de Vere 1443 10 Mar 1513 69
to     He was attainted and the peerage forfeited
Oct 1474 in Oct 1474 but restored Oct 1485
Oct 1485 KG 1486
10 Mar 1513 14 John de Vere 14 Aug 1499 15 Jul 1526 26
15 Jul 1526 15 John de Vere by 1490 21 Mar 1540
KG 1527
21 Mar 1540 16 John de Vere c 1512 3 Aug 1562
Lord Lieutenant Essex 1558
3 Aug 1562 17 Edward de Vere 12 Apr 1550 24 Jun 1604 54
24 Jun 1604 18 Henry de Vere 24 Feb 1593 12 Jun 1625 32
12 Jun 1625 19 Robert de Vere by 1600 17 Aug 1632
17 Aug 1632 20 Aubrey de Vere 28 Feb 1626 12 Mar 1703 77
to     Lord Lieutenant Essex 1660-1687 and 1688-
12 Mar 1703 1703.  KG 1660  PC 1681
Peerage extinct on his death
23 May 1711 E 1 Robert Harley 5 Dec 1661 21 May 1724 62
Created Baron Harley of Wigmore
and Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer
23 May 1711
These creations contained a special remainder 
failing heirs male of his body to those of his
grandfather, Sir Robert Harley
MP for Tregony 1689-1690 and Radnor
1690-1711. Speaker of the House of
Commons 1701-1705. Secretary of State
1704-1708. Chancellor of the Exchequer
1710-1711. Prime Minister 1711-1714. 
PC 1704  KG 1712
21 May 1724 2 Edward Harley 2 Jun 1689 16 Jun 1741 52
MP for Radnor 1711-1715 and 
Cambridgeshire 1722-1724
16 Jun 1741 3 Edward Harley c 1699 11 Apr 1755
MP for Herefordshire 1727-1741
11 Apr 1755 4 Edward Harley 2 Sep 1726 11 Oct 1790 64
MP for Herefordshire 1747-1755. Lord
Lieutenant Radnorshire 1766-1790
11 Oct 1790 5 Edward Harley 20 Feb 1773 28 Dec 1848 75
28 Dec 1848 6 Alfred Harley 10 Jan 1809 19 Jan 1853 44
to     Peerage extinct on his death
19 Jan 1853
9 Feb 1925 E 1 Herbert Henry Asquith 12 Sep 1852 15 Feb 1928 75
Created Viscount Asquith and Earl of
Oxford and Asquith 9 Feb 1925
MP for Fife East 1886-1918 and Paisley
1920-1924. Home Secretary 1892-1895
Chancellor of the Exchequer 1905-1908
Prime Minister 1908-1916.  PC 1892  PC [I] 1916
KG 1925
15 Feb 1928 2 Julian Edward George Asquith 22 Apr 1916 16 Jan 2011 94
Governor of the Seychelles 1962-1967
16 Jan 2011 3 Raymond Benedict Bartholomew Michael Asquith 24 Aug 1952
[Elected hereditary peer 2014-]
For information on two legends associated with
this family,see the note at the foot of this page
19 Apr 1651 V[S] 1 Sir James Makgill,1st baronet 5 May 1663
Created Lord Makgill of Cousland and
Viscount of Oxfuird 19 Apr 1651
5 May 1663 2 Robert Makgill 20 May 1651 8 Dec 1706 55
  On his death the peerage became dormant.
The descent of the peerage was as follows:-
[8 Dec 1706] 3 [David Makgill] Sep 1717
[Sep 1717] 4 [James Makgill] 26 Sep 1747
[26 Sep 1747] 5 [John Makgill] 13 Jun 1676 19 Apr 1762 85
[19 Apr 1762] 6 [Arthur Makgill] 18 May 1709 Dec 1777 68
[Dec 1777] 7 [George Makgill] 6 Sep 1723 26 Aug 1797 73
[26 Aug 1797] 8 [John Makgill] 16 Nov 1790 3 May 1817 26
[3 May 1817] 9 [George Makgill] 23 Dec 1812 21 Sep 1878 65
[21 Sep 1878] 10 [John Makgill] 6 Feb 1836 14 Nov 1906 70
[14 Nov 1906] 11 [George Makgill] 24 Dec 1868 17 Oct 1926 57
He established his claim to the Makgill baronetcy
in May 1907
[17 Oct 1926] 12 John Donald Alexander Arthur Makgill 31 Dec 1899 24 Jan 1986 86
1977 He established his claim to the peerage
in 1977
For further information see the note at the
foot of this page
24 Jan 1986 13 George Hubbard Makgill  [Elected hereditary peer 7 Jan 1934 3 Jan 2003 68
3 Jan 2003 14 Ian Alexander Arthur Makgill 14 Oct 1969
2 Jul 1681 B[I] 1 Sir Richard Parsons c 1657 30 Jan 1703
Created Baron Oxmantown and Viscount
Rosse 2 Jul 1681
See "Rosse"
25 Sep 1792 B[I] 1 Lawrence Harman Parsons 26 Jul 1749 20 Apr 1807 57
6 Oct 1795 V[I] 1 Created Baron Oxmantown 25 Sep 1792,
to     Viscount Oxmantown 6 Oct 1795 and
20 Apr 1807 Earl of Rosse 3 Feb 1806
The creations of 1792 and 1806 both contained a
special remainder,failing heirs male of his body,to
his nephew Sir Lawrence Parsons,5th baronet
See "Rosse" - Viscounty extinct 1807
Lettice Digby, Baroness Offaly in her own right
The Baroness Offaly's story is very similar to that of Lady Arundell of Wardour (qv). Both ladies
are famous for defending their homes during the English Civil War, one in England and the other
in Ireland. The following is extracted from "Chapters from Family Chests" by Edward Walford
[2 vols, Hurst & Blackett, London 1886]. From the way in which the author speaks of the 
Baroness, he obviously believed her to be an absolute paragon of virtue.
'The Lady Lettice Digby is a heroine whose name right well deserves to be held in remembrance 
along with those of Brilliana Harley, of Blanche Lady Arundell (qv) and of the Lady of Lathom, 
whose defenses of Wardour Castle and Lathom House I have told in previous papers.  Her
defense of Geashill Castle, in King's County, Ireland was one of the most spirited episodes in the
history of the Irish Rebellion in 1641. She was by birth Lettice Fitzgerald, being the only child of
Gerald, Lord Offaley, whose great-grandfather, Gerald, ninth Earl of Kildare, was an ancestor of
the ducal house of Leinster. Her mother, the Lady Katherine Knollys, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth,
was left a widow almost at birth, in 1580.
'The earldom, of course, descended in the male line, but the barony of Offaley, as a barony in 
fee, was one which it was thought could pass to females, and was therefore claimed for the 
youthful heiress while still a child. But the claim, though brought before the judges, was kept so 
long in dispute that King James I undertook to adjudicate it in person, and in the end he did so, 
being probably moved by gifts and presents, which in his day often helped to promote or to 
defeat justice. His Majesty in the end adjudged the ancient barony to the earl, but created 
Lettice Knollys Baroness Offaley for life. The King's grant, which is dated in 1619 [sic - 1620], 
and was made under the Great Seal of England, invested her with the lands of Killeagh and the 
territory and demesne of Geashill, which she brought by marriage into the Digby family.
'When the Irish rebellion of 1641 broke out, as mentioned above, the Lady Offaley was some sixty
years of age, and had been a widow for a quarter of a century. 'With the rebels she could make 
no common cause, and with the defection of the Lords of the Pale she could have no sympathy;'
she therefore proposed to resist every challenge and every overture on the part of
the insurgents, whose action she regarded as foul disloyalty. Her ladyship was residing at Geashill
with her sons and some of her grandchildren, when the forces of the enemy appeared before the 
walls of her castle, in spite of the natural defences of the bogs by which the place was 
surrounded. Henry Demsey, a brother of Lord Clanmalier, and her own kinsman, along with others
of the leaders of the rebels, sent her a summons which purported to be in the King's name, 
ordering her to at once surrender her fortress, and at the same time threatening, in case of non-
compliance, to burn it and the town which lay clustered at the foot of its walls, but promising her 
and her people a safe convoy in case she should yield.
'This missive was addressed to 'the honorable and thrice virtuous lady, the Lady Digby. But, 
aware of the men with whom she had to deal, Lady Digby was not to be dismayed by threats or
duped by promises. Castle after castle had yielded, some gained over by threats, some by siege,
and some by storm, and their helpless inmates had been butchered or driven forth homeless and
shelterless. The Lady Lettice had too much spirit to yield herself to such a fate without a 
struggle, or without fighting a blow in self-defense. She alike questioned the authority of her
enemies and distrusted their promises of mercy.
'I am,' she replied, 'as I have ever been, a loyal subject of my king. I thank you for your offer of 
a convoy which, however, I hold as of little safety. Being free from offending His Majesty, or 
doing wrong to any of you, leaving the issue to God.' Such was this noble lady's dauntless
answer to a summons sent fraudulently in the king's name, requiring her to give up her castle to
her own and the king's enemies.
'Being surrounded by extensive bogs, Geashill Castle was by no means easy of approach, as 
already mentioned; but in proportion to its strength was its possession of importance to the
rebels. 'Gesshall, in the King's County, is very necessaire to be had; it is a matter of consequence
to her Majesties service in that county' were the words of Sir Henry Sidney, when he paid a visit
to Ireland in the previous reign of Elizabeth. Sixty years later it was [an] equally valuable prize,
and the rebels determined to secure it if they could, at all cost.
'Negotiations with its high-spirited owner  being useless, they proceeded to make an assault on 
the castle; but they experienced such a warm reception on a near approach, that they were
glad to retreat. 'One of the Lady Offaley's sons, having fallen into the hands of the rebels, was
brought under the castle walls in chains, and a threat was held out that, unless she made at 
once an unconditional surrender they would strike his head off before her eyes. Nothing daunted,
she replied that she had a Roman Catholic priest as a prisoner within her walls, that she would
bring him out onto the ramparts, and that his life should be immediately forfeited if the rebels 
touched a hair of her son's head. As the rebels were Catholics, reverence for their priest induced
them to withdraw as the price of his safety.
'The siege was, however, renewed after a brief interval, and prisoners were taken on either side.
On one occasion a messenger, sent by Lady Offaley with a letter to the rebels, was detained by
I am innocent,' she wrote, 'of doing you any injury, unless you count it injury for my people to
bring back a small quantity of my own woods when they find them, and with them some men who
have done me all the ill they can devise.'
'The siege was suspended for a time, but not abandoned, an interval of two months being spent 
in making preparations for a renewed assault. A hundred and forty fragments of old iron were
collected from every quarter, and brought together, and an Irish rebel undertook the work of
fixing them, and molding them into one huge cannon. Three times were they recast before the 
the work was completed, but the lady of Geashill showed no signs of alarm. At length the engine
was brought across the bogs to the front of the castle. Hoping to intimidate its gallant defender,
Lord Clanmalier himself wrote to her announcing the arrival of this formidable piece of ordnance,
telling her that he would never leave the spot to which he had advanced, until he had gained
possession of the castle. Her answer was characteristic of womanly bravery: 'I am still of the 
same mind, my lord, and I can think no place safer that my own house; God will, I trust, take a 
poor widow into His protection, and defend her from all those who without cause have risen up 
against her.'
'Her confidence was not vain. Clanmalier ordered the cannon to be placed in the most 
commanding position, but it burst on its first discharge, injuring several of the rebel forces. The
rest, in bitter disappointment, took up their guns, and kept up a continuous fire of musketry
until the evening, but without inflicting any real damage. Lady Offaley herself watched the 
attempted assault from the window. As soon as night set in, the insurgents made off carrying
with them their unlucky cannon.
'But the respite which they allowed the lady was a brief one. Next morning Lady Offaley received 
the following letter from her rebel cousin, Lord Clanmalier:
"Madame - I received your letter, and am still tender to your good and welfare, though you give 
no credit thereunto. And, whereas you do not understand by relation that my piece of ordnance
did not prosper, I believe you will be sensible of the hazard and loss you are like to sustain 
thereby, unless you be better advised to accept of the kind offer which I mentioned to you in
my last letter unto you…..If not, expect no further favor at my hands......And so I rest, your
ladyship's loving cousin, &c."
'The fawning hypocrisy of her foe was well met by the keen and caustic reply of Lady Offaley:
"My Lord - Your second summons I have received, and shall be glad to find you tender of my 
good. For your piece of ordnance I never disputed how it prospered, presuming you would rather 
make use of it for your own defense or against your enemies that against a poor widow of your 
own blood, which, if shed, shall be required at the hands of those that seek to spill it. For my
part, my conscience tells me that I am innocent, and I wish you so too - I rest, your cousin, &c."
'In this letter true womanly feeling and thorough heroism are apparent in closest alliance. Lady 
Lettice was not ashamed of pleading her womanhood and her widowhood. Her mind was free from
arrogance and pride; she uttered no hard words; she was cautious as well as courageous. When
her danger became more imminent, and her resources grew feebler, she felt that help from 
outside was not to be rejected. At the end of April, 1642, she succeeded in informing Sir Charles 
Coote who was then at Naas, in the county of Kildare, of the straits to which she was reduced. 
He applied at once to the Earl of Ormond, who was at Dublin, for instructions, and the matter
was laid before the council at Dublin Castle. It was determined that no time should be lost in
sending assistance to Geashill. Accordingly, Philip Sydney, Lord de Lisle, son of the Lord-
Lieutenant of Ireland, was sent to King's County, with a regiment of carabineers and a company
dragoons, which he had brought with him from England. He was placed in the high command in
spite of his youth; but 'he would have belied the high name which he bore, had he not been
forward to render assistance where such claims of chivalry and humanity were put forth as at 
'Accompanied by Sir George Wentworth, Sir Charles Coote, and Lord Digby, the Lady Lettice's 
eldest son, he set off at once, and at the head of three hundred horse, and half that number of
foot-soldiers. But their active aid was scarcely needed, for, though they were slightly harassed
by some rebel skirmishers as they crossed the bog, yet on reaching Geashill it was found that
the rebels had gone off into the woods and the mountains. It appeared that Lady Offaley, weary
of waiting for help, or, at all events, unaware that it was close at hand, had despatched 
messages to some of her relatives among the FitzGeralds, asking for the loan of about fifty foot-
soldiers to protect her against the 'mixed multitude' of insurgents. This latter, however, fell into
the hands of her foes, who were on the point of returning to renew the siege, when the sudden
arrival of the royal troops scattered them one and all to the winds.
'Although repeatedly urged by her friends to retire to some place of peace and safety, this heroic
lady preferred to remain within her own castle walls, which were now well-provided from Dublin
Dublin with arms and ammunition. Having spent some months in peace and quiet, and having seen 
the last of the rebels in her own neighbourhood, Lady Lettice was at last persuaded to quit the
fortress which she had so gallantly defended, and to settle down in England for the remainder of
her days. She therefore retired to her husband's estate at Coleshill, in Warwickshire, where she 
died December 1, 1658, and she lies buried by his side in the parish church of that pleasant 
country town.'
John Oldcastell, Lord Oldcastell
Lord Oldcastell was executed in December 1417, having been found guilty of heresy. He was a
member of the Lollard religious movement founded by John Wycliffe. The Lollards' major aim was
the reform of Western Christianity, with the result that they were opposed by the established
Oldcastell is sometimes referred to as Lord Cobham (including within the article below), since 
he was married to Joan, Baroness Cobham in her own right.
Shakespeare's character Sir John Falstaff, who appears in "Henry IV, parts 1 and 2," and "The
Merry Wives of Windsor" is reputed to be based on Oldcastell, although the historical Oldcastell
bears no resemblance to the vain and boastful Falstaff.
The following is taken from "A new abridgment and critical review of the state trials and
impeachments for high treason" by Thomas Salmon [London 1738]:-
'Sir John Oldcastle had been presented by the Clergy of the Province of Canterbury, assembled in
Convocation, as the great Supporter and Encourager of several Heretics, particularly with main-
taining, 1. That in the Sacrament of the Altar, the Elements, after Consideration by a Priest, still
remained Bread and Wine: 2. That Confession to a Priest was not necessary: 3. That Images, or 
the Cross, ought not to be worshipped: 4. That the Pope, with the Bishops and Friars, 
constituted a complete Antichrist: and, 5. That it was not necessary to go on Pilgrimages.
'This Nobleman had been cited by the Archbishop to appear, and answer to the Articles: and for 
his Contumacy, in not appearing, stood excommunicated. However, depending on the King's 
Favour and Protection, he did not abscond, but remained still about the Court; till at length the
Bishops and Clergy obtained an Order from the King to apprehend Sir John, and carry him to the
'On the 23d of September, Sir John was brought by the Lieutenant of the Tower, before the 
Archbishop and his Associates, at the Chapter House of St. Pauls, when the Court let the
Prisoner know, that, notwithstanding he stood excommunicated, he might be absolved and 
admitted to a Trial, on making his Submission. But Sir John boldly avowed all the Doctrines he 
was accused of maintaining; and applying himself to the People, declined, that those who sat in
Judgment on him would seduce them, and lead them all to Hell.
The Court was so incensed at this Insult, that Sentence was pronounced against Sir John as an
obstinate Heretick and Apostate; and he was delivered over to the secular Arm to be burnt; and
a Writ issued accordingly for his Execution.
'The Prisoner afterwards escaping out of the Tower, his Enemies suggested that he was not only
an Heretick, but a Rebel and Traitor to the Government, and had appointed the Lollards to 
assemble in St. Giles's Fields on a certain Night, in order for an Insurrection, which the poor
Protestants, or Wickliffites, had given some Colour to, by assembling for their Devotions in the
Night-Time in St. Giles's Woods. The King being persuaded to come thither in person with a Body
of his Troops, on a Night when it was known they would assemble there, apprehended about four
score of the Lollards in Arms; among whom was Sir Roger Acton, a Knight of some Reputation;
which confirmed the King in the Belief that an Insurrection was intended; and Sir Roger, with
several more of the Prisoners, were tried, condemned and executed. Though it did not appear
that Sir John Oldcastle was at the Meeting in St. Giles's Fields, he was outlawed for High 
Treason, as a Promoter of that Rebellion, as it was called, and taking Refuge in the Mountains of
Wales, he defended himself against all the Force and Stratagems of his Persecutors, for three
Years, and upwards; and might have remained there much longer, possibly, if he had not given
the Clergy fresh Provocation, by defacing the Pictures and Images of the Saints wherever he
came; Of which Complaint being made in a Parliament held by the Duke of Bedford, Regent of the
Kingdom during the King's Absence in France, anno 1417, fresh Forces were sent down against 
Sir John, and a Reward offered to any Person that should take him. Whereupon the Lord Powis
surrounded the Lord Cobham and his Friends; and after a desperate Engagement, in which many
were killed on both Sides, the Lord Cobham was made Prisoner. This Service was then thought
of such Importance, that the Lord Powis received the Thanks of the Parliament for it; and Sir
John, according to our Historians, being brought before the House of Lords, was ordered to be
executed both as a Traitor, and an Heretick. In pursuance whereof it is said he was hanged by
the Middle in an Iron Chain, and burnt as an Heretick under a new Gallows erected at St. Giles's
for that Purpose; and while his Enemies cursed and reviled him, and ordered the People not to
pity, or pray for him, he gloried in his Sufferings, and was not all dismayed at the complicated
John O'Neill, 1st Viscount O'Neill
When the Irish insurrection of 1798 broke out on 23 May of that year, O'Neill, who was Governor
of the county of Antrim, called a meeting of the Antrim magistrates. O'Neill arrived in Antrim on
the 7th of June to find himself trapped between two opposing forces. Various accounts describe
what happened next - in one account, he fired his pistols at the advancing rebels, but was 
stabbed in the side by a pike which pierced his stomach. Other versions of the story state that 
the man who thrust the pike into him was O'Neill's own lodge-keeper or park-keeper who had 
failed to recognize his master.  After lingering for 11 days, O'Neill died at the house of his
neighbour, the Earl of Massereene, on 18 June 1798.
Geoffrey Henry Browne, 3rd Baron Oranmore and Browne and 1st Baron Mereworth
Lord Oranmore and Browne died from injuries received when the car in which he was travelling
collided with a bus on the road between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. His wife was killed in
the accident. The inquest was reported in "The Irish Times" of 4 July 1927:-
'Mr. H.A. Vere, Coroner, on Saturday last held an inquest at Mereworth Castle, near Maidstone, 
on the body of Lord Oranmore and Browne, who died on Thursday last from the effects of 
injuries received in a motor accident on June 7th, when Lady Oranmore and Browne was killed.
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. 
'The Coroner said that Lord Oranmore and Browne bore a very distinguished name, and his death
left a blank that could not readily be filled.
'The Hon. Dominick Geoffrey Browne, son and heir of the late peer, identified the remains, and
said that his father was 66 years of age.
'In describing the accident, the late Lord Oranmore's chauffeur (Harry Vine) said that it occurred
in a thick mist, and he added:- "I saw the 'bus in the narrow lane, and I immediately started to
pull up. I put on the hand-brake. The car went on some yards. After I had touched the foot-
brake the wheels seemed to lock. I skidded violently into the middle of the road. I thought the car
was going over, but I got it back to the near side. Immediately I got straight I changed into low
gear. To my horror, when I got straight, I sa the 'bus still coming at me. I took what I thought to
be the lesser risk, and turned to my right to get out of the way, as there was no chance of the
'bus stopping or getting through. The 'bus came on and hit me on the near mudguards."
'A juryman asked if the chauffeur had had an opportunity at the inquest on Lady Oranmore of
putting questions to the driver of the omnibus? Vine - No, I did not have an opportunity. The
Coroner - The 'bus driver said he was absolutely at a standstill. Vine - He was not. The Coroner -
There seems to be a direct conflict of evidence about this. The first jury seemed to think that
you were wrong and that the other driver was right.
'Dr. Landale Clark, Lord Oranmore's medical attendant, said that Lord Oranmore received a very
severe blow on the front part of the body. There was a time when he seemed to be recovering,
but he failed, and the cause of death was the crushing of the internal organs and internal
Robert Horace Walpole, 5th and last Earl of Orford (creation of 1806)
According to Lord Orford's obituary in 'The Times' of 28 September 1931, he had led a very
adventurous life and had seen a large part of the world. The obituary states that, after leaving
Eton, he joined the Royal Navy and was shipwrecked on St. Paul's Island, where he survived for
three months on a diet of seaweed and birds' eggs. He was in Fiji at the time of its annexation,
and was present during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877. It is with his experience on St. Paul's
Island that this note is concerned. The following article appeared in the February 1965 issue of
the Australian monthly magazine "Parade." Although it does not mention Orford, he was one of
the sailors present.
'On June 9, 1871, Chief Carpenter Henry Boryer, of the Royal Navy supply ship Megaera, 
requested permission to inform Captain Thrupp that the bottom was likely to fall out at any
moment. The captain had expected trouble ever since leaving England, but the old Megaera
had reached the middle of the Indian Ocean safely, and he had hoped she would hang together
as far as Melbourne. Once there Captain Thrupp would gladly have said farewell to his worst
command in 25 years of naval service.
'Descending to the hold with the carpenter and Lieutenant Jones, Thrupp examined the position.
He already knew that some girders were so corroded that they would hardly hold a bolt, and that
many plates had been eroded until paper-thin. Now he was dismayed to find water pouring in 
from an inaccessible leak under the coal bunkers. With the lives of 420 [other sources put the 
number at about 290] men at stake he was in a terrible dilemma. They were midway between 
Cape Town and West Australia, and even with the best of luck it was most unlikely that the 
Megaera would last the distance. If he increased speed the pounding of the worn-out engines
might tear to pieces.
'Ordering the pumps into action, Captain Thrupp altered course for the uninhabited island of St.
Paul, an extinct volcano which thrust its rugged head out of the Indian Ocean north of Kerguelen
Island. For eight tense days the ship churned slowly on, every available man helping to battle the
steadily rising water. But steam pumps, hand pumps and bucket brigades failed to check the flow.
The officers knew the corroded plates might give way and the ship sink under them like a stone
at any moment. To add to their peril, a high sea was running, and the ship was slowly sinking by
the head. Every time the screw lifted clear of the water the shuddering engines threatened to
rip away from their bed­plates. The most Thrupp could do was set enough sail to keep the vessel
'On June 17 the 1000-foot peak of St. Paul loomed through the haze. Still hoping to save the 
ship, Thrupp ran her into a bay formed by the breaking down of the old crater rim of the volcano. 
A heavy surf was running. After losing all his anchors, he drove the Megaera hard and fast on a 
sandbar some distance from the beach. Next day the weather moderated enough for a diver to
descend. His report was so gloomy that Thrupp abandoned ship. The Megaera's company toiled
to bring everything ashore that could be moved, manhandling bags of coal out of the bunkers,
heaving cases of stores out of the holds. When one exhausted seaman refused to work Thrupp's
temper exploded. The solitary mutineer landed on St. Paul with his back raw from 40 lashes.
'Hitherto inhabited only by rats and noisy colonies of seabirds, the beach soon presented almost
a civilised appearance. Tents were run up out of sailcloth and huts built with stones and sods.
Fishing parties were organised, a flag­pole erected on the peak and beacon fires lit. The only
drinkable water was in a natural reservoir high up the side of the hill. So the men rigged an
ingenious 800ft. pipeline to bring it down to their camp. A few days later a cyclone hit the island.
From the little settlement the 420 Crusoes watched the Megaera remorselessly pounded to 
pieces until little was left but the bones of her hull. The inglorious career of the Royal Navy's
most notorious coffin ship was over at last.
'An iron steamer of 2000 tons, she had long been regarded as the worst ship in the navy. She
was launched in 1849 as a sloop-of-war, but was soon found so useless for combat that her
guns were stripped off. She was relegated to transporting stores and personnel, gradually
declining in status until she was at the bottom of the fourth reserve, the most ignominious
position in the list. Because she was in and out of their hands almost continually, dockyard
officials hated the sight of her. There had been many recommendations for scrapping the vessel,
but the Admiralty had fallen into a state of inertia, and no one would take the responsibility of
sending a steam vessel to the junk yards. In 1864 £30,000 was spent on reconditioning, but
within a few years she was as unseaworthy as ever.
'As in most early iron vessels, the designer had not left enough clearance at the bottom. A 
thorough inspection would have meant removing the engines, water tanks and bunkers. Instead,
dockyard foremen deputed the examining job to undersized boys called "ferrets," who crawled
through the 18-inch space and reported when they reached the other end. On the opinion of
these urchins the ship was certified sound or otherwise. 
'In 1871 the Megaera was ordered to carry relief crews out to the frigates Blanche and Rosario,
serving on the Australian station. Her captain, Arthur Thrupp, hotly protested that she was unfit
for so long a voyage. He was supported by the Port Admiral at the Medway, who said nothing 
would persuade him to travel in such a coffin ship. Thrupp's objections were ignored. Woolwich
docks hurriedly passed the Megaera on to Sheerness, where she was patched up a bit more. At
last, loaded with stores and seamen, the ill-fated vessel sailed late in February 1871. Thrupp
was soon forced to put into Cork [Queenstown] harbour with his command leaking like a sieve.
Her main deck was awash, and the officers' cabins were ankle-deep in water. Again Thrupp
lodged a protest, in which his officers joined. As a result the Megaera was ordered into the
nearest dockyard for still another examination. Some leaking portholes were tightened and 127
tons of badly stowed cargo removed. After that the ship was optimistically pronounced fit to
last another couple of years. Thrupp could do no more. Fortunately removal of some cargo
made the ship easier to handle, and the weather was fine all the way to the Cape of Good Hope.
'After that began the trouble that eventually led to the cold and inhospitable shore of St. Paul.
There was no reason why any ship should call at the island. For all Thrupp knew, he and his men
might be there for years. It was not an inviting place on which to be marooned. A howling
westerly blew continually. Nothing grew except a little coarse grass. Apart from fish the island 
had no natural resources. 
'Assuming a long stay, Thrupp cut rations to a minimum. It was well he did, for the naval
castaways spent 80 days there. By then the stores had almost run out, and the company was
depending on boiled grass and dandelions to preserve them from the scurvy which was just
beginning to make its dread appearance.
'In mid-August, Captain Visser, of the Dutch ship Aurora, bound from Amsterdam to Batavia,
noticed an odd-looking tree on the summit of the peak of St. Paul. Standing in for a closer view
he found that the tree was a tall spar and its foliage a ragged British ensign, flying upside down.
In a few hours he established contact with the castaways. Having landed what little flour he
could spare, he took Lieutenant Jones on to Java. Barely had the Aurora dropped out of sight 
than a German collier appeared. Her skipper offered to dump his cargo overboard and take all of
the Megaera's men to Melbourne - provided the captain guaranteed him £100 per head passage
money. Not wishing to involve the Admiralty in a bill for £40,000, Thrupp rejected the suggestion.
'Arrived at Sourabaya, Lieutenant Jones telegraphed the Admiralty and the commodore 
commanding on the China Station. The steamer Malacca was immediately dispatched from Hong
Kong. Although there was now very little left of the Megaera, her malign influence persisted.
Caught by a north­wester, the Malacca was nearly wrecked while trying to take the castaways
'Captain Thrupp and some of his officers returned to England for the necessary court martial. The
rest of the Megaera's men arrived at Melbourne on September 27. The court martial, in the 
battleship Duke of Wellington, completely exonerated Captain Thrupp. But his evidence and that
of his officers was so startling that a royal commission was appointed to inquire into the history
of the ship. Reputations went overboard and jobs became vacant as a result of the commission.
'William Ladd, master shipwright at Woolwich, and Alfred Trickett, chief engineer, had a 
particularly bad time. It was proved that many of the Megaera's plates were eroded to a thick-
ness of barely 3/16 of an inch. Nevertheless, Ladd and Trickett had signed a certificate of 
seaworthiness, because, they naively declared, "it was the usual thing." The men from Sheerness
and Queentown dockyards came out of the inquiry no better. In fact, Lord Lawrence, chairman
of the commission, impatiently remarked that nobody seemed to know anything about the 
wretched ship's real condition. Nor could he discover anyone whose business it was to find out - 
unless it was the 12-year-old ferrets who were deputed to crawl round the bottom of the ship.
'Admiralty memories proved equally unreliable. Admiral [Sir Robert] Robinson, Controller of the
Navy, failed to recall Captain Thrupp's heated protests at having to sail in an unsafe ship. Mr.
Vernon Lushington, Secretary to the Admiralty, admitted blandly that he knew nothing about iron
ships, except that officers perpetually complained they were rusty. The commission's findings
were such a blistering indictment of naval methods that the name of Megaera became an evil
memory in every dockyard in the United Kingdom.'
Mary O'Brien, Countess of Orkney in her own right
Mary was deaf and dumb, and when she married her cousin, Murrough O'Brien (later 5th Earl of
Inchiquin and 1st Marquess of Thomond), her responses in the wedding ceremony were
performed in sign language.
The following anecdote concerning the Countess is included in Sir Bernard Burke's 'The Romance
of the Aristocracy' (3 vols, London, 1855).
'…..Shortly after the birth of her first child, the nurse, with considerable astonishment, saw the 
mother cautiously approach the cradle in which the infant was sleeping, evidently full of some
deep design. The Countess, having perfectly assured herself that the child really slept, took out
a large stone, which she had concealed under her shawl, and to the horror of the nurse………
seized it with an intent to fling it down vehemently. Before the nurse could interpose, the 
Countess had flung the stone - not, however, at the child, but on the floor, where, of course,
it made a great noise. The child immediately awoke and cried. The Countess, who had looked
with maternal eagerness to the result of her experiment, fell on her knees in a transport of joy.
She had discovered that her child possessed the senses that were wanting in herself.'
Lady Eleanor Butler, daughter of the 9th Earl of Ormonde (1739-1829)
and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1831)
Two ladies who became famous under the name of 'The Ladies of Llangollen' and who have
since become iconic figures in the lesbian community.
The Butler and Ponsonby families lived very close to each other in Ireland. They met for the
first time in 1768 and soon became friends. Lady Eleanor's mother despaired of Eleanor ever
marrying and, worried that they might be forced into unwanted marriages, the two ladies
ran away together in April 1778. They set up house together near the village of Llangollen,
a small town in Denbighshire, in north east Wales. The house they lived in for the rest of their
lives was named Plas Newydd (Welsh for 'new place' or 'new hall').
The ladies lived in complete seclusion with a gardener, a footman, two maids, Flirt the dog
and Mrs Tatters the cat. Neither spent a single night away from their house, or from each 
other, until Lady Eleanor died over 50 years later.
They devoted their time to private studies in literature and the arts, and to improving their
garden, which became in time a showpiece. The house attracted all manner of visitors,
mainly from writers, and included Wordsworth, Southey, de Quincey, Shelley, Byron and Scott,
as well as famous figures such as the Duke of Wellington. Queen Charlotte, wife of King George
III, asked for the plans of their garden and persuaded her husband to grant them a pension.
The house is now a museum run by the local county council. For a photo of the house and
further information regarding these remarkable ladies, see the following link:-
For a full length book on the Ladies, I recommend "The Ladies of Llangollen: A Study in Romantic
Friendship" by Elizabeth Mavor (Penguin Books, London, 1973)
The special remainder to the Barony of Ormonde created in 1821
From the "London Gazette" of 14 July 1821 (issue 17724, page 1461):-
"The King has....been pleased to direct letters patent to be passed under the Great Seal,
granting the dignity of a Baron of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland to James Earl
of Ormonde and Ossory, and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten, by the name, style, 
and title of Baron Ormonde, of Llanthony, in the county of Monmouth; with remainder, in default
of such issue male, to his brother the Honourable Charles Haward Butler Clarke, and the heirs
male of his body lawfully begotten."
The special remainder to the Barony of Oxenfoord created in 1841
From the "London Gazette" of 13 August 1841 (issue 20007, page 2072):-
"The Queen has....been pleased to direct letters patent to be passed under the....Great Seal,
granting the dignity of a Baron of the said United Kingdom to General John Earl of Stair, of that
part of the said United Kingdom called Scotland, and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten,
by the name, style, and title of Baron 0xenfoord, of Causland, in the county of Edinburgh; with
remainder in default of such issue rnale, to North Dalrymple, of Fordel and Cleland, Esq. (brother
of the said John Earl of Stair), and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten."
The attempt by the Duke of Atholl to claim the Earldom of Oxford in 1912
In 1912 the Committee for Privileges heard the claim of the Duke of Atholl to be entitled to the
Earldom of Oxford. 
The 9th Earl was attainted and his peerage forfeited in 1388, but the peerage was restored to
his uncle four years later. The question was whether this was indeed a restoration of the original
earldom, or whether the earldom was a fresh creation.
The Committee's hearings were reported in "The Scotsman" of 3 December 1912:-
'Among the numerous peerage claims which are pending in the House of Lords, not the least 
interesting is that of the Duke of Atholl, who seeks to establish his right to the Earldom of Oxford.
His petition came before the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords which met to-day.
The Committee consisted of the Earl of Donoughmore, who presided, Lords Halsbury, Ashbourne,
Mersey, Shaw, Sheffield, Sanderson, and Desart.
'The last peerage claim of the De Veres was heard in the reign of Charles I......The De Veres, who
gave warriors, courtiers, and crusaders to England, died out towards the end of the seventeenth
century in the person of Aubrey de Vere, the twentieth Earl of Oxford. For a long time the Earl-
dom has been extinct, but the present claimant says that it ought to have passed to the 
daughters of the fourteenth earl of the creation of 1142, and remained in abeyance among their
descendants. The Duke of Atholl claims to be the lineal descendant and senior co-heir of John
Neville, a son of Lady Latimer.
'Sir R. Finlay, K.C., in his argument for the Duke of Atholl, said on the attainder [in 1388] there 
was a forfeiture of the dignities of the Earldom, and although the attainder was afterwards
revoked in the 21st year of the reign of King Richard II, it remained unversed until then, and the
result was that for four years [1388-1392] there was no Earl of Oxford. Then took place the
proceedings, the effect of which was to recreate the Earldom of Oxford with limitations. The
present case, said Sir R. Finlay, was whether the document to which he would now call attention
created a new Earl of Oxford with new limitations, or whether it could be regarded as having
revived the old Earldom of Oxford, which had become forfeited on the attainder of Robert, the
ninth Earl. The question was whether until the attainder was got rid of the old Earldom remained
in abeyance, or was put an end to until the Earldom was revived. If his interpretation was 
correct, what was done in 1392 was the creation of a new Earldom of Oxford, and the old Earl-
dom remained in suspense till 1397, when the attainder of Richard II, 1388, was put an end to
and annulled, and the old Earldom of 1142 was revived, and given to Aubrey, uncle and heir to
Robert, the ninth Earl of Oxford of the 1142 creation. In the old Earldom there was a limitation
to heirs of the body, but in the new Earldom of 1392 the limitation was to heirs male for ever.
There was a second question which had to be decided, viz., whether the doctrine of the 
abeyance of a Peerage applied in the case of an Earldom as in that of a Baron. If what Parliament
intended was that the old dignity should exist in the person of Aubrey de Vere, they would have 
proceeded in a very different way. They might have reversed the attainder to Robert, in which
case the title would have gone to his uncle, or they might have enacted that the old Earldom
should rest in Aubrey de Vere: but none of these things were done.
'The Earl of Sheffield - Was there any evidence after the Act of Richard II that the Earl of Oxford
was placed in the old precedence of Henry II?
'Sir R. Finlay - There was no evidence they could find.
'Mr Geoffrey Ellis followed on the same side on the question of the two creations.
'The Attorney-General said the important question to be considered at this stage of the proceed-
ings was - Did the Act of Parliament and the charter, or either of them, create an Earldom, as
alleged by the petitioner, or did both or either continue and restore an Earldom of Oxford in new
limitations? That was a question dependent upon the interpretation which their Lordships thought
right to give to those two documents. It was a very significant fact that in neither of those two
documents did they find the essential word "create," a well-known word, frequently used, 
especially in patents, both before and after the year 1392. He submitted that the non-use of
the word "create" was fatal to the petitioner's case. Adopting the phraseology used by Lord 
Shaw, was the mind of the King set upon the creation of something new, or upon the contin-
uation and restoration of something old with new limitations. A reference to contemporary
documents showed that it had at that time become a fashion to limit dignities in the way this
statute did to heirs-male for ever, instead of as hitherto to heirs-general. Looking at the Act
of Parliament passed in 1392, there was reference to the ancestors of Aubrey de Vere, who had
been Earls of Oxford from ancient times, and the King had by special grace "restored and 
continued" the dignity, so that the state and name of Earl of Oxford should not utterly cease.
These words, "restored and continued," should be read along with the subsequent words, "given
and granted." The object of continuing and restoring was to put Aubrey de Vere in the same
position as if he had succeeded in the ordinary course. There was a new limitation to heirs-male
for ever, words which were introduced, not necessarily as a condition of the restoration, but a 
something by which the name and title were restored. It was a very remarkable fact that in the
Earldoms of Suffolk, Huntingdon, Rutland, and Wilts, the words "praeficimus et creamus," were
employed and not in the restored and continued Earldom of Oxford. The Attorney-General went
on to quote cases, such as that of the Earl of Arundel, where new limitations were made to an
old dignity.'
After the hearing had been adjourned until the next day, "The Scotsman" on 4 December 1912
reported that:-
'The Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords resumed yesterday consideration of the
petition of the Duke of Atholl, who claimed to be co-heir to the Earldom of Oxford. The Attorney-
General....submitted that there was no new creation of Peerage, but merely the restoration of
the old creation. He said that John, 4th Earl of Oxford of the 1392 creation, obtained in the
Parliament of 3 and 4 Edward IV, a final reversal of the proceedings of the Henry IV, and thus
the attainder of his ancestor, Robert, ninth Earl, having been removed, he became the thirteenth
Earl of the old creation. He was attainted in 14 Edward IV, and all his honours forfeited. In the
Henry VII he was appointed Admiral of England. All his honours were restored, and he acted as
Lord Great Chamberlain of Henry VII in which office he was again confirmed in the Henry VIII. 
Counsel went on to quote petitions to Parliament in which his uncle and heir was referred to as
having his name, estate, and dignity of Earl of Oxford restored to him. All this, he contended,
showed that the view taken at that time by Parliament was that there had been full restitution
of his estate and dignity, and it was quite inconsistent with the contention of his learned friend
(Sir Robert Finlay) that there was a new creation.
After further argument, one of the members of the Committee, Lord Halsbury, said: This case has
occupied a wide field of inquiry, and it has been extremely interesting. But as a matter of fact, 
for reasons which those who have heard the argument will appreciate, it is dependent entirely on
one simple fact, and that is evidenced by the original document to which reference is made. That
question is whether the Peerage which is now in dispute was the restored original Peerage or an
original Peerage newly created. On that subject it will be unnecessary for me to go through what
I think we are all agreed upon, but we take the view of the Attorney-General on that subject, 
that it was a restored Peerage...........
Each of the other members of the Committee in turn agreed that the events of 1392 constituted
a restoration of the Earldom, and as a result, the Duke of Atholl's claim was disallowed.
Sir John Donald Alexander Arthur Makgill, 12th baronet and later 12th Viscount Oxfuird
Sir John's successful claim to the Viscountcy of Oxfuird was heard by the House of Lords 
Committee for Privileges in 1977. The following newspaper reports are relevant to the claim.
The London "Daily Telegraph" of 14 April 1977:-
'After groping for days through a jungle of birth, marriage and death certificates and bumping 
into sharp differences between ancient English and Scottish law, the Law Lords are trying to
judge the validity of a claim by a Scottish baronet to a seat in the House of Lords empty for
more than 250 years.
'The Lord's Committee, chaired by Lord Wilberforce, was told by the baronet, Sir John Donald
Alexander Arthur Makgill, that he had a legitimate line of descent from the first Viscount of
Oxfuird and Lord Makgill of Cousland and thus claimed the Scottish title, with its appropriate
honours and dignities.
'When the peerage was created, in 1651, Charles II had not been proclaimed King of England.
He had been declared King of Scotland after his father's execution in 1649 but although he 
considered himself King, it was not until 1660 that he was restored as monarch of Great Britain
and Ireland.
'The Crown, though not opposed to the claim, was represented at the hearing to observe and
help in unravelling legal records.
According to the original letters patent under the Great Seal of 1651, the first Viscount had the
right to name an heir to the title. In fact he had a son, Robert, who inherited it. Whether Robert
also inherited the right to name his heir has since been argued. He had only daughters and named
one of them, Christian, as his heir.
'During evidence a Scottish laird, not connected with Sir John, was referred to. He had disinher-
ited his son who had murdered the boot boy and was discovered roasting him on a spit to eat him
[this is presumably James Douglas, 3rd Marquess of Queensberry]. No such skeletons were found
in the Makgill cupboard, but when Christian and her son Robert attempted to claim the title in 
1733 they were not allowed to vote at the election of Scottish peers.
'The first Viscount had died in 1663. Robert died in 1705, and thus, in the precise wording of the
lawyers, "the heirs male of the body of James, 1st Viscount of Oxfuird, became extinct."
'After Christian's unsuccessful attempt to claim the title in 1733, another member of the Makgill
family, Sir James Makgill of Rankeillor, tried two years later at the House of Lords to claim the 
title. He actually voted in the House before his claim was rejected. It is that Sir James from 
whom Sir John Makgill, the present claimant, is descended; and it is that decision, made nearly 
250 years ago, which he is now contesting. Sir John is now 77 and the oldest surviving member 
of his family.'
The London "Daily Telegraph" of 18 June 1977:-
'A 77-year-old Scottish baronet's claim to a peerage which has been dormant for 270 years is
after many years of discussion and debate, on the brink of success. After wading through a sea 
of evidence the House of Lords Committee for Privileges, headed by Lord Wilberforce, has ruled
unanimously that the claim by Sir John Donald Alexander Arthur Makgill to the Viscountcy of
Oxfuird should be upheld.
'But, before Sir John can take his seat in the House of Lords as the rightful Viscount Oxfuird the
committee's ruling has to be ratified first by his fellow peers, and finally by the Queen.
'Sir John's claim to the "appropriate honours and dignities" of the title were based on the fact 
that the first Viscount, created by Charles II in 1651 in Scotland, had the right to name an heir.
The first viscount had a son, Robert, who inherited the title, and argument since has been 
whether it can be assumed that he, too, had the right to name his heir. He died in 1705 without
male issue, having named a daughter, Christian, as heir. But when Christian and her son 
attempted to vote at the election of Scottish peers in 1733 they were overruled.
'There was one other attempt two years later by another member of the Makgill family, Sir James
Makgill of Rankeillor to assume the title. He even voted at the House of Lords before his claim
was rejected. It was that Sir James from whom the present claimant is descended. 
"British justice has triumphed in the end," said Sir John at his home in Ayrshire last night.'
The London "Daily Telegraph" of 28 June 1977:-
'The House of Lords yesterday accepted the recommendation of its committee of privileges to
revive the old Scottish Viscountcy of Oxfuird and to recognise the claim of Sir John Makgill,
the 12th baronet, to succeed the second viscount who died 272 years ago.
'While supporting a motion by Lord Wilberforce, a Lord of Appeal, that they should do so, Lord
Molson (C) argued that no similar petition should ever again be entertained by the House of
Lords. New Scottish peerages were ended by the Act of Union in 1707 but the Scottish success-
ion laws maintained a phantom existence and came back to life like a ghost from the tomb, he 
'Sir John was the collateral heir who later became the first Viscount Oxfuird. Their common 
ancestor was the first Viscount's great grandfather. A previous claim to the viscountcy in 1735
was held to be not proved. He [Lord Molson] suggested that the Lords should appoint a 
committee to consider whether the whole or part of the archaic peerage law of Scotland should
be repealed.
'Lord Keith of Kinkel, a Lord of Appeal, argued in a maiden speech that the Scottish succession
law was not arcane. It was entirely clear to those instructed in the law of Scotland about
hereditable property, a body of law which could not be repealed without upsetting the whole
basis of Scottish peerage law.
'Lord Fraser of Tullybelton, a Lord of Appeal, said that a law which raised an awkward decision 
only once in 25 years as this one had done, and that of the Earldom of Dundee 25 years ago, 
was not doing too badly. There was no question of repealing the law and to change it in a
retrospective way seemed a dangerous procedure. The Earl of Dundee said the whole subject
'The Earl of Dundee said the whole subject rested on the execution of justice. Where in the 
course of history the succession had unjustly and wrongly been interfered with it might take a 
very long time to put it right. In the case of his own peerage it took 200 years before justice 
was done. The Lords must not countenance injustice.
'Viscount Dilhorne said further consideration should be given to whether there should be future
claims of this character. For 272 years nobody had proved his title to this peerage. One might
have concluded that it had become extinct or dormant. In winning his claim to the succession
this claimant might lead to a number of other claims, Scottish and English. A previous Lords
Privileges Committee decided in 1926 that claims to English baronies would not be entertained
where these had been in abeyance for more than 100 years. It was therefore anomalous that
this viscountcy should be revived.
'Lord McCluskey, Solicitor General for Scotland, said the proposal looked like a sledgehammer to
crack a nut. But Ministers would study ways to reduce the waste of time and expense involved 
in considering such matters.'
Two legends associated with the Viscountcy of Oxfuird
The seat of the Makgill family was at Kemback, near Cupar in Fifeshire. Two interesting legends
of Kemback are worth recording.
At the gate to the estate there is reputed to be a lime tree which behaved in the same manner
as Aaron's Rod in the Bible (in Numbers, chapter 17). The first Makgill of Kemback, when courting
the woman who later became his wife, who lived at Brackmont, pulled a branch from a lime tree
at Brackmont, which he used to control the speed of his horse, presumably in the same manner
as a riding crop. When he returned home to Kemback he stuck the stick in the ground at the
entrance to his estate, where it budded and grew into a large tree which is still known as the
Another legend has it that a number of subterranean passages run underneath the River Eden 
from Kemback to Dairsie Castle. At some point hundreds of years ago, some repairs were being
made to the Kemback entrance to these passages, but no one was sure which passage was the 
correct one to follow. Just then, a wandering piper appeared on the scene and was induced to 
enter the passages and play his pipes, so that the direction of the passage might be ascertained 
from the sound of the pipes. Those listening heard the piper playing below ground until he 
reached the river's edge, but then the sounds ceased. Those above ground waited for an entire
month for the piper to reappear, keeping watch at both entrances. But when there was no sign
of the piper at the end of that period, and no one being willing to explore the passages in an
attempt to find him, both passage entrances were bricked up.
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