Earl of Northumberland

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Earl of Northumberland is a hereditary British title of nobility awarded five times in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of Great Britain . The title is named after the English county of Northumberland .

Awards and history of the title

The title was first created on July 16, 1377 in the Peerage of England by King Richard II after his coronation for Henry Percy 4th Baron Percy of the Percy family . He already had the title Baron Percy, created in 1299 . He and his son Henry "Hotspur" Percy († 1403) rebelled against King Henry IV , which is why he was ostracized and in 1408 his titles were stripped of his. His grandson, Hotspur's son Henry Percy , obtained both titles from King Henry V on March 16, 1416 by means of a letter's patent . Since there is no evidence of the lifting of the ostracism of the 1st Earl by Parliament, this process is formally regarded as a reassignment and not as a restoration, although this is usually not taken into account when counting the earls.

During the Wars of the Roses , his son, the 3rd Earl , stood on the side of the House of Lancaster and died in the Battle of Towton in 1461. The triumphant King Edward IV of the House of York subsequently revoked his titles for treason and confiscated his lands from the Crown . He bestowed the earl title in the third award in 1464 to John Neville, 1st Baron Montagu , whom he had raised to Baron Montagu in 1461 . When in 1470 King Henry VI. regained power from the House of Lancaster, he gave the son of the 3rd Earl, as 4th Earl of Northumberland, the titles and lands back, which for the formal recognition of the restoration of the title was finally lifted the ostracism of his father in 1484 by Act of Parliament. John Neville had to renounce his earl title in 1470 and received the title of Marquess of Montagu as compensation .

When the 6th Earl died in 1537, his heir was his nephew Thomas Percy , the eldest son of his youngest brother Sir Thomas Percy. Sir Thomas had been convicted of treason and executed a month earlier. According to the law of the time, his son was excluded from the inheritance over him, so that the title expired in 1537. On May 1, 1557, however, the above-mentioned heir Thomas Percy caused him to be reappointed the title of Earl by letter patent . The award was made with a special addition ("with the place and precedence of his ancestors, former Earls of Northumberland"), according to which he was 7th according to the protocolary hierarchy of the kingdom with reference to his ancestors, who were Earls of Northumberland. Earl is counted. Accordingly, the award also contained the special regulation that in the absence of his own male descendants, his brother Henry Percy and his male descendants could also be inherited. The title finally expired on May 31, 1670, when his descendant Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland, died without leaving any male descendants.

On October 1, 1674, the title was newly created in the fifth bestowal in the Peerage of England for George FitzRoy , along with the subordinate titles Viscount Falmouth and Baron Pontefract . He was the illegitimate son of King Charles II and his mistress Barbara Villiers, 1st Duchess of Cleveland . On April 6, 1683 he was raised to the Duke of Northumberland . Since the duke left no legitimate heirs, all of his titles expired on his death in 1716.

The title was last created on October 2, 1749 in the Peerage of Great Britain for Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset . His wife, Frances Seymour, was the maternal granddaughter of the last earl of the 1416 bestowal. Along with the earldom, he was bestowed the subordinate title of Baron Warkworth , of Warkworth Castle in the County of Northumberland. The two titles were bestowed with the special addition that, in the absence of male descendants, they could be inherited by his son-in-law Hugh Smithson . The background to the award was the fact that the only son of the Dukes of Somerset had died childless in 1744, so it was foreseeable that the Dukedom would fall to a nephew of the 5th degree, while his considerable fortune would be inherited to close relatives in the female line should. On October 3, 1749, on the same occasion, the titles Earl of Egremont and Baron Cockermouth were bestowed upon him with a special note in favor of his nephew Sir Charles Wyndham, 4th Baronet . When the duke died, Hugh Smithson inherited the titles of 2nd Earl of Northumberland and 2nd Baron Warkworth, and in the same year changed his last name to Percy with royal permission . On October 22, 1766, the 2nd Earl was also elevated to the Duke of Northumberland . Earldom and Barony have since been subordinate titles to the respective earl. The current title holder is Ralph Percy, 12th Duke of Northumberland as 13th Earl.

List of the Earls of Northumberland

Earls of Northumberland, first bestowal (1377)

Earls of Northumberland, second bestowal (1416)

Earls of Northumberland, third bestowal (1461)

Earls of Northumberland, second bestowal (1416, continued)

Earls of Northumberland, fourth bestowal (1557)

Earls of Northumberland, fifth bestowal (1674)

Earls of Northumberland, sixth bestowal (1749)

Heir apparent is the son of the current owner, George Percy, Earl Percy (* 1984).

See also


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