PREMIER BARONY OF ENGLAND
"That Peter, the ancestor of this great and noble family" said William Dugdale, "did originally assume his surname in the time of HENRY I, from that lordship in Holderness, called Ros, where he then had his residence, needeth not be doubted."
ROBERT DE ROS, who, during the reign of HENRY II, paid a thousand marks of silver to His Majesty for livery of the lands inherited by his mother from her brother, Walter Espec.
This Robert was a munificent benefactor to the knights templars.
EVERARD DE ROS, a minor, and in ward to Ranulf de Glanvill, married Rose Trusbut, of Wartre, in Holderness, and had two sons.
This gentleman must have been a very considerable personage at the period in which he lived, for we find him, in 1176, paying the then very large sum of £526 as a fine for his lands, and in four years subsequently £100 more to have possession of those which the Earl of Albemarle held.
Everard de Ros died about 1186, and was succeeded by his son,
ROBERT DE ROS, surnamed Furfan.
This feudal lord, in the time of RICHARD I, was imprisoned in Normandy, and forced to pay a considerable sum for his deliverance.
But, under King JOHN, he regained the whole barony of his great-grandfather, Walter Espec, and was soon employed as one of the commissioners to conduct WILLIAM, King of Scotland, into England.
Robert de Ros was the founder of Hamlake Castle, in Yorkshire, and of Wark Castle, in Northumberland.
During the troubles in King JOHN's reign, he espoused the baronial interests, and was a leader in the baronial army.
He wedded Isabella, daughter of WILLIAM The Lion, King of Scotland, and had issue,
WILLIAM, of Helmsley, of whom presently;Having assumed the habit of the Knights Templars, Robert de Ros died in 1227, and was buried at London, at the Temple Church.
Robert, of Wark;
His eldest son's eldest son,
ROBERT DE ROS, taking an active part against the King, was one of the chief barons, who, after the battle of Lewes, in 1264, where HENRY III and his son, Prince Edward, became prisoners, was summoned to the parliament, which was called by the barons in the King's name, as Baron de Ros, in 1264.
His lordship espoused Isabel, the great heiress of William d'Aubigny, Lord of Belvoir, in Leicestershire; and dying in 1285, was succeeded by his eldest son,
WILLIAM, 1st Baron, who was an unsuccessful competitor for the crown of Scotland in 1292, through his grandmother Isabella, daughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland.
In 1296, he obtained from EDWARD I a grant of Wark Castle, upon its forfeiture by the treason of his kinsman, Robert de Ros.
His lordship wedded Maud, daughter and co-heir of John de Vaux, and was succeeded, in 1317, by his elder son,
WILLIAM, 2nd Baron, who married Margery, eldest sister and co-heir of Giles, Lord Badlesmere, of Leeds Castle, in Kent.
This nobleman was, during the reign of EDWARD II, one of the commissioners appointed to negotiate peace with Robert Bruce, King of Scotland.
Dying in 1343, he was succeeded by his elder son,
WILLIAM, 3rd Baron, who had the glory of leading the 2nd Division of the English army at the celebrated battle of Crécy.
He married Margaret, daughter of Ralph, 2nd Baron Neville de Raby; and dying in the Holy Land without an heir in 1352, the family honours devolved upon his brother,
THOMAS, 4th Baron, who wedded Beatrice (relict of Maurice Fitzmaurice, Earl of Desmond, and daughter of Ralph, 1st Earl of Stafford); and dying in 1383, was succeeded by his eldest son,
JOHN, 5th Baron, KB, who was in the naval expedition during the reign of RICHARD II, under Richard, Earl of Arundel.
Dying in 1393, during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, at Paphos, Cyprus, and leaving no issue, he was succeeded by his brother,
WILLIAM, 6th Baron, KG; who was constituted, by HENRY IV, LORD TREASURER OF ENGLAND.
This nobleman wedded Margaret, daughter of John, 1st Baron Arundel; and dying in 1414, was succeeded by his eldest son,
JOHN, 7th Baron, who espoused Margery, daughter and heiress of Philip, 2nd Baron le Despencer, but had no issue.
He was killed in France, where he served under the Duke of Clarence, in 1421, and was succeeded by his brother,
THOMAS, 8th Baron, who married Eleanor, daughter of Richard, 13th Earl of Warwick; and dying in 1431, was succeeded by his eldest son,
THOMAS, 9th Baron, was attainted in 1464 and died in the same year.
The barony of Ros lay under the attainder until the complete triumph of the Lancastrians, by the accession of HENRY VII, when the elder son of the late baron,
EDMUND, 10th Baron, obtained an act of parliament, annulling and making entirely void, the act by which his father was attainted, and restoring to him all the estates and honours of the family.
His lordship died in 1508, unmarried, when the barony of de Ros fell into abeyance between his three sisters and co-heirs, which terminated in favour of
GEORGE MANNERS, as 11th Baron, the son and heir of Eleanor, the eldest sister, by her husband, Sir Robert Manners, knight (the two younger sisters having died without issue).
This nobleman was never summoned to parliament.
He died in 1513, and was succeeded by his son,
THOMAS, 12th Baron, KG, who was summoned to parliament in 1515, and created EARL OF RUTLAND, in 1525, being also installed a Knight of the Garter.
His lordship died in 1543, and was succeeded by his son,
HENRY, 13th Baron and 2nd Earl of Rutland (1526-63), who was succeeded by his eldest son,
EDWARD, 14th Baron and 3rd Earl (1549-87), who died without male issue, when the earldom of Rutland reverted to his brother, and the barony of de Ros descended upon his only daughter and heir,
ELIZABETH MANNERS, 15th Baroness, who espoused William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Exeter.
Her ladyship died in 1591, and the barony was confirmed to her son and heir,
WILLIAM CECIL, 16th Baron (1590-1618). His lordship died, however, two years later, without male issue (his father, Lord Exeter, still living), when the barony reverted to his cousin,
FRANCIS MANNERS, 6th Earl of Rutland, as 17th Baron de Ros (1578-1632).
This nobleman had previously contested, as heir-general, and obtained on the same day as it was confirmed to his cousin, 1616, a patent, creating himself, and his heirs male, Baron Ros of Hamlak.
KATHERINE, as 19th Baroness de Ros. This lady wedded George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and was succeeded in the barony by her eldest son,
GEORGE, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and 20th Baron de Ros (1628-87); who died without male issue, when the barony fell into abeyance between the heirs of Bridget, wife of Sir Robert Tyrwhitt Bt, and Frances, wife of Willia, Lord Willoughby, sisters of Francis, 6th Earl of Rutland.
Thus continued the line until terminated in favour of the only daughter and heir of the Hon Robert Boyle Walsingham, youngest son of Henry, 1st Earl of Shannon,
CHARLOTTE FITZGERALD (1769-1831), wife of Lord Henry FitzGerald, fourth son of James, 1st Duke of Leinster, as 21ST BARONESS DE ROS.
HENRY WILLIAM, heir;Her ladyship was succeeded by her eldest son,
Arthur John Hill;
WILLIAM LENNOX LASCELLES;
Edmund Emilius Boyle;
Charlotte; Henrietta Mabel; Olivia Cecilia; Geraldine; Cecilia.
HENRY WILLIAM, 22nd Baron (1793-1839), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,
WILLIAM LENNOX LASCELLES, 23rd Baron (1797-1874), who wedded, in 1824, the Lady Georgiana Lennox, daughter of Charles, 4th Duke of Richmond, and had issue,
DUDLEY CHARLES, his successor;His lordship was succeeded by his son,
Frances Charlotte; Blanche Arthur Georgina.
DUDLEY CHARLES, 24th Baron (1827-1907), KP, KCVO, Lieutenant-General, a Lord-in-Waiting, who espoused firstly, in 1853, the Lady Elizabeth Egerton, daughter of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Wilton, by whom he had a daughter, MARY.
He married secondly, in 1896, Mary Geraldine, daughter of Sir William Mahon Bt.
His lordship was succeeded by his only daughter,
MARY, 25th Baroness (1854-1939), who wedded, in 1878, Anthony, 3rd Earl of Dartrey, and had issue,
UNA MARY, successor;Her ladyship was succeeded by her eldest daughter,
Maude Elizabeth; Eleanor Charlotte Augusta.
UNA MARY, 26th Baroness (1879-1956), who wedded, in 1904, Arthur John Ross, and had issue,
Peter, father of GEORGIANA;Her ladyship's elder son, the Hon Peter Ross, was killed in action, in 1940, and the barony devolved upon her granddaughter,
Charles Dudley Anthony.
GEORGIANA ANGELA, 27th Baroness (1933-83), who wedded, in 1954, Commander John David Maxwell RN, and had issue,
PETER TREVOR, successor;Her ladyship was succeeded by her only son,
PETER TREVOR, 28th Baron.
I have written a separate article about Peter Maxwell, 28th Baron de Ros.
The heir apparent is the present holder's son, the Hon Finbar James Maxwell (b 1988).
- Henry William FitzGerald-de Ros, 22nd Baron (1793–1839);
- William Lennox Lascelles FitzGerald-de Ros, 23rd Baron (1797–1874);
- Dudley Charles FitzGerald-de Ros, 24th Baron (1827–1907);
- Mary Dawson, Countess of Dartrey, 25th Baroness;
- Una Mary Ross, 26th Baroness (1879–1956);
- Georgiana Angela Maxwell, 27th Baroness (1933–83);
- Peter Trevor Maxwell, 28th Baron (b 1958).
First published in August, 2008; revised in 2014. De Ros arms courtesy of European Heraldry.