Tuesday, 26 February 2019

1st Earl of Godolphin

This family derived its surname from GODOLPHIN, in Cornwall, which word in Cornish signifies a white eagle, and that emblem became the device on the shield of the family.

JOHN DE GODOLPHIN was living at the time of the Norman conquest, and amongst other feudal possessions, was lord of the manor of Godolphin, where he resided.

His lineal descendant,

SIR JOHN GODOLPHIN, of Godolphin, was High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1505, during the reign of HENRY VII, and joint steward, with Robert, Baron Willoughby de Broke, of the mines in Devon and Cornwall.

His elder son and successor,

WILLIAM GODOLPHIN (c1486-c1570), of Godolphin, married Margaret, daughter and co-heir of John Glynn, and was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR WILLIAM GODOLPHIN (1515-70), Knight, MP for Cornwall, 1539-53, an eminent person in the time of HENRY VIII, who received for his services the honour of knighthood.

Sir William was thrice High Sheriff of Cornwall, and he attained a high military reputation, particularly at the siege of Boulogne.

He wedded Blanch, daughter of William Langdon, and had three daughters, Margaret, Grace, and Anne.

Sir William left no male issue, and the representation of the family devolved, upon his decease, upon his nephew,

SIR FRANCIS GODOLPHIN (1540-1608), Knight, MP for Cornwall, 1589, Lostwithiel, 1593, who espoused Margaret, daughter of Sir John Killigrew, of Arwennack, Cornwall, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR WILLIAM GODOLPHIN (1567-1613), MP for Cornwall, 1605, who married Thomasine, daughter and heir of Thomas Sidney, of Wighton, Norfolk, and had issue,
FRANCIS, his heir;
Sir William was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR FRANCIS GODOLPHIN KB MP (1605-67), who was appointed a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of CHARLES II.

He wedded Dorothy, daughter of Sir Henry Berkeley, of Yarlington, Somerset, and had a numerous family including,
William, his heir;
SIDNEY, of whom we treat;
Henry (Very Rev), Dean of St Paul's;
Elizabeth; Ursula; Jael.
The second son,

THE RT HON SIR SIDNEY GODOLPHIN KG MP (1645-1712), QUEEN ANNE'S chief minister, was elevated to the peerage, in 1684, in the dignity of Baron Godolphin, of Rialton.

He espoused, in 1675, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Blagge, and had issue, an only child, FRANCIS, his successor.

Photo Credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

His lordship was advanced, in 1706, to the dignities of Viscount Rialton and EARL OF GODOLPHIN.

He was succeeded by his only son,

FRANCIS, 2nd Earl (1678-1766), who married, in 1698, the Lady Henrietta Churchill, daughter of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and had issue,
WILLIAM, his successor;
Henrietta, m 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne;
Mary, m 4th Duke of Leeds.
Godolphin arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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