Genuki homepage
Genuki WES homepage Cox - Magna Britannica contents
Genuki Westmorland  Book Contents

Magna Britannica et Hibernia

Volume 6: Westmorland

by Thomas Cox (Vicar of Bromfield, Essex) 45 pages, printed in 1731.


p31-33 Lords & Earls of Westmorland; Gentlemen of Note

 The Lord and Earls of Westmorland.

            Robert de Veteri Ponte, or Vipont, must be reckoned the first
Baron of Westmorland, because King John, Reg. 4. gave him the whole
Bailiwick of this County, together with all the Services of those who held
not by military Service, to hold of the Crown, by the Payment of four
Knights Fees for all Services.  His arms were, In a Shield, gules, fix
Annulets, Or.  He was succeeded in his Barony by John, his Son, who, 19 Hen.
III. answered to the King's Exchequer as Sheriff of this County.  He
departed this Life 25 Hen. III. and left his Barony to Robert de Vipont, his
Son and Heir.  He let all the Lands and Services of this his Barony to John
Francigena (or French) for ten Years, at nineteen Marks per Annum; and in 46
Hen. III. was one of those Barons, who were summoned to ratify an Agreement
between that King and his barons; but that not succeeding, he fell in with
the Malecontents, and being slain in the battle of Evesham, his Lands were
seised, and given to Roger Leybourn, who married Idonea, his Sister, and
Roger Clifford, who married Isabel the elder Sister, and with her, besides
other Estates, had this Barony.  He was called Roger Lord Clifford  2.
His Posterity held this Barony some Successions, but as it seems, by a Kind
of Usurpation; for Ralph Nevil, Son of Lord Nevil of Raby, being a Person of
great Abilities, and on that Account not only employed in many Affairs of
State, but preferred to several Offices of Trust, as Constable of the Tower
of London, and one of the Privy council, was 21 Rich. II. advanced to the
title of the Earl of Westmorland, and as such obtained all those Royalties
in that County, which justly belonged to the Crown, and had been wrongfully
with-held by the Heirs of Robert de Vipont, to enjoy during his Life.  By
Margaret his first Wife he had two Sons, John and Ralph; John married
Elizabeth, Daughter of Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, but dying before his
Father, left by her Ralph Nevil, his son and Heir, who at his Grandfather's
Death, became Earl of Westmorland.  He, in Right of Elizabeth his Mother,
became a Coheir of the Estates of Edmund Holland, Earl of Kent.  He married
Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry Lord Piercy, surnamed Hotspur, by whom he
had Issue John, his Son and Heir, who dying without Issue 27 Hen. VI. his
Uncle, Sir John Nevil, was his Heir; but he dying also before this Earl,
Ralph Nevill, Son of Sir John, his Nephew, was found his Heir, and Successor
in his Honour, 2 Rich. III.  This Earl was one of the Chief in the Army
commanded by Thomas Earl of Surrey, 9 Hen. VII. which opposed the Scots
Invasion of this Kingdom under James their King; and having caused the Scots
to retreat, ravaged their Borders.  He married Margaret, Daughter of Sir
Roger Booth of Barton, Lancashire, Knt. by whom he had Issue Sir Ralph Nevil
his Son, who died in his Father's Lifetime; but by Editha, the Daughter of
Sir William Sands of Hampshire, Knt. left Ralph Nevill, his Son and Heir,
who became Earl of Westmorland after his Grandfather.  He was one of those
Lords, who 22 Hen. VIII. subscribed the Letter to Pope Clement VII. in which
they notified to him, That unless he did comply with King Henry in the Cause
of his Divorce from Queen Katharine, the Nation would shake off his
Supremacy.  He married Katharine, Daughter of Edward Stafford, Duke of
Buckingham, and by her had Issue several Sons and Daughters; of whom Henry
Nevill succeeded him in his Honour and Estate.  He married Jane,
 the Daughter of Thomas Maners, Earl of Rutland; and dying August 1563, was
buried in the Collegiate Church of Standrope in the Bishoprick of Durham,
leaving by the said Jane, Charles, his Son and Heir, who ranking himself
with the Earl of Northumberland, and other Malecontents of those Times,
under a Pretence of restoring the Romish Religion, broke out with them into
open Rebellion, which the Lord President of the Marches before suspecting,
came upon them with sufficient Force, and dispersed them.  Some fled into
Scotland, the usual Receptacle for English rebels and Malecontents at that
Time; but this Earl not thinking himself safe there, fled into the
Netherlands, where he, being harboured by the Spaniards, continued to his
Death, which happened in an advanced Age.  In his Absence he was attainted
by Parliament 13 Eliz. and all his Lands confiscated, so that as he had no
Son to inherit, so his Daughters did not enjoy any thing of the Honour or
Estate of their Family, but an indelible blot remained on them.  These are
the Descendants of Ralph, Earl of Westmorland, by Margaret his first Wife;
but his Posterity by Joan, the Daughter of John of Gaunt, his second Wife,
were far more numerous and famous; for almost at the same Time, there
flourished of his family by her, Richard Nevil, Earl of Salisbury; Richard
Nevil, his Son, Earl of Warwick; William Nevil, Earl of Kent; John Nevill,
Marquis of Montacute; John Nevill, Lord Latimer; and Edward Nevill, Baron
Abergavenny.
            Francis Fane, Son and Heir of Sir Thomas Fane of Badfell in the
County of Kent, Knt. by Mary his wife, only Daughter and Heir of Sir Henry
Nevill, Knt. Lord Abergevenny (afterwards created Baroness Despenser) having
been made Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King James I. was created
by that Prince, Reg. 22.  Baron Berghersh, and Earl of Westmorland, after
that Honour had lay dormant near fifty Years.  He married Mary, the Daughter
and Heir of Anthony Mildmay of Apethorp in Northamptonshire, Knt. by whom he
had seven Sons; of whom Mildmay Fane, his Eldest inherited this Honour.  He
was made Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King Charles I.  He married
to his first Wife, Grace, Daughter to Sir William Thornihurst of Kent, Knt.
by whom he had Issue Charles, and to his second Wife Mary, Daughter of
Horace Lord Vere of Tilbury, by whom, he had Issue a Son named Vere Fane,
who was made Knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King Charles II.  This
Earl died in 1663, and Charles his eldest Son succeeded him.  He married
successively two Wives, but leaving no Issue by them, his Half-Brother, then
a Knight of the Bath, Vere Fane, became Earl of Westmorland: He married
Rachel, the only Daughter and Heir of John Bence, Alderman of London, by
whom he had four Sons; of whom Vere Fane the Eldest, succeeded him, and died
unmarried in 1699, six Weeks after he came of Age, and so the Honour
devolved to his next Brother Thomas, who thereupon became Earl of
Westmorland.  He married Katharine, the only Daughter and Heir of Charles
Stringer of Charlton in the County of York, Esq; but we do not understand
that he hath as yet any Child.  He is the present Earl, in 1727.

The Baronets of this County, are

SIR Richard Musgrave of Hartley Castle, created May 22, 1611.  Bar. 23
Henry Bellingham of Helsington, Esq; cr. May 30, 1620. Ext. 132
Thomas Sandford of Howgill-Castle, Esq; cr. Aug. 12, 1641.    345
George Wharton of Kirkby-Kendall, Esq; cr. Decemb. 19, 1677.    840


Gentlemen of Note born, or inhabiting this County, at Places unknown.

SIR Edward Bellingham, Knt. Gentlemen of the Privy chamber to King Edw. VI.
who sent him over in 1547, to be Deputy of Ireland, as a Person well fitted
for so great a Place by his Learning, Wisdom and Valour.  He enlarged the
English Pale, which had not gained one Foot of ground from King Edw. III.'s
Days, by subduing the two most rebellious Sects of the Irish, the O-mores
and O-Connors; and to secure his new Acquisitions he built two Forts at Leix
and Offaly; and had he not been suddenly recalled into England, he would
have settled Plantations of English in their Room, as the Earl of Sussex his
Successor did.  He by Surprize took the Earl of Desmond, an unnurtured
Nobleman of the Irish, and bringing him up to Dublin, so informed and
reformed him, that he knew how to behave himself like a Man in his Station,
which he was ever after so sensible of, that at every dinner and supper he
prayed to GOD for good Sir Edward Bellingham.  Being arrived in England, his
Adversaries accused him of many Faults, but he cleared himself of them so
fully, that he had been sent into Ireland again, had he not pleaded his
bodily Indispositions, and died soon after.  O-Connor and O-more were
brought into England, and had a Pension of an hundred Pounds a Year allowed
them, but lived not long to enjoy it.
            Richard Mulcaster, educated at Eaton School, and from thence
removed to Kings College in Cambridge, but before he was a Graduate, went to
Oxford, where shewing a great Proficiency in Learning , he was chosen the
first Master of Merchant-Taylors school, which prospering much under his
Care, he was removed to St. Paul's School.  He was a meer Orbilius, sparing
none that were Faulty, which was the better born, because he was impartial,
and made many excellent Scholars, of which Bishop Andrews was one.  Having
spent almost all his Life in the wearisome Employ of a School-master, he
retired from it, and having got to the rich Parsonage of Stanford Rivers in
Essex, there spent the rest of his Days in teaching Women and Men, in which
it is said he had not so good a Knack as in educating Boys.  He died in the
Middle of Queen Elizabeth's Reign.
            Robert Langton, Doctor of Laws, who beside his generous Charity
to the Town of Appleby in contributing to the building of the School with
Dr. Spenser, he was a great Benefactor to Queens College, Oxford, the Place
of his Education, for he built the outward Chapel, as it now standeth, Anno
1618, and two Years after paved the eastern Part with Marble, and plaistered
it in the Inside, Anno 1631.  Again he glazed the Windows new, and adorned
them with several Pictures, among which are his Arms, which are a Rebus, a
Ton of an unusual Length, for the northern People pronounce long, lang.  He
lies buried in the inner Chapel, which he built.


Magna Britannica et Hibernia. Volume 6 Contents


Transcription by Sarah Reveley,  Joan Fisher and Lisl Schoenwald. (Rootsweb Westmorland Listmembers)  (c)  2003

Last updated: January 2005 Dave Huddart

Return to top of page