Friday, 28 July 2017

1st Duke of Bridgewater

DUKEDOM OF BRIDGEWATER
1720-1803


WILLIAM LE BELWARD, feudal lord of Malpas, who married Beatrix, daughter of Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester (1147-81), left three sons,
David (surnamed LE CLERC, from being secretary to the Earl of Chester);
Robert;
Richard.
William Le Belward was succeeded by his eldest son,

DAVID LE CLERC, who, after the earldom of Chester was annexed to the Crown, was sheriff of that county, a Justice, and held three knights' fees therein.

This powerful baron wedded Margaret, daughter and heir of Ralph Ap Eynon, and granddaughter maternally of the aforesaid Hugh, Earl of Chester; and thus became possessed of the entire barony of Malpas, a moiety by descent, and a moiety in right of his wife.

Of this marriage there were four sons, the second of whom,

PHILIP, surnamed Gough (or the Red), having obtained the manor of Egerton Malpas from Wion de Egerton, and taking up his abode there, assumed, according to the custom of the age, the surname of EGERTON, and from him directly descended (the sixth or seventh in lineal succession),

PHILIP EGERTON, of Egerton, who espoused Margery, daughter of William Mainwaring; and dying in the thirteenth year of EDWARD IV's reign, left two sons,
John, his heir;
RALPH, of whom we treat.
The younger son,

SIR RALPH EGERTON, had a son,

RICHARD EGERTON, who left a natural son,

THOMAS EGERTON (1540-1617), a distinguished statesman, LORD CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND, who was elevated to the peerage, 1603, as Baron Ellesmere.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1616, as Viscount Brackley.

He wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Ravenscroft, had had issue,
Thomas (1577-99);
JOHN, his successor;
Mary.
The 1st Viscount married secondly, in 1596, Mrs Elizabeth Wolley; and thirdly, in 1600, Mrs Alice Stanley.

He was succeeded by his surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Viscount, KB (1579-1649), who wedded, in 1602, the Lady Frances Stanley, daughter of the 5th Earl of Derby, and had issue,
James, died young;
Charles, died young;
JOHN, his successor;
Thomas;
Elizabeth; Mary; Frances; Alice; Arabella; Penelope; Catherine; Magdalen.
His lordship was created Earl of Bridgewater in 1617.

He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Earl (1623-86), who espoused, in 1641, the Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, second daughter of William, 1st Duke of Newcastle, and had issue,
JOHN, his successor;
William;
Thomas;
two other sons;
Charles;
Elizabeth; two other daughters.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOHN, 3rd Earl, KB (1646-1701), who wedded firstly, Elizabeth, only daughter and heir of James, 2nd Earl of Middlesex, and had issue, a son,
John (1688-70).
He wedded secondly, in 1673, the Lady Jane Paulet, daughter of Charles, 1st Duke of Bolton, and had issue,
Charles, died young;
Thomas, died young;
SCROOP, his successor;
William;
Henry;
John;
Charles;
Mary; Elizabeth.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

SCROOP, 4th Earl (1681-1744), who married firstly, 1703, the Lady Elizabeth Churchill, third daughter and co-heir of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and had issue,
John (1703-18);
Anne.
His lordship espoused secondly, in 1722, the Lady Rachel Russell, eldest daughter of Wriothesley, 3rd Duke of Bedford, and had issue,
Charles (1725-31);
JOHN, 2nd Duke;
William;
Thomas;
FRANCIS, 3rd Duke;
Louisa; Caroline; Diana.
The 4th Earl was advanced, in 1720, to the the dignities of Marquess of Brackley and DUKE OF BRIDGEWATER.

His Grace was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,

JOHN, 2nd Duke (1727-48), who died unmarried, and was succeeded by his brother,

FRANCIS, 3rd Duke (1736-1803), who died a bachelor.

The marquessate of Brackley and the dukedom of Bridgewater expired and his other peerages passed to his cousin and heir male, John William Egerton, who succeeded as 7th Earl of Bridgewater.

Former seat ~ Ashridge House, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire; town residence ~ Bridgewater House.

Bridgewater arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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