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Earl of Strafford

The title of Earl of Strafford has been created several times in British history. The first creation was in the Peerage of England in 1640 for Lord Wentworth, the close advisor of King Charles I. In 1641, the 1st Earl was attainted. His son was the subject of a new creation in 1662, but died without heirs in 1695. The title was recreated in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1711 for a cousin, but became extinct in 1799. The final creation was in 1847 in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

Lord Strafford holds the subsidiary titles of Viscount Enfield, of Enfield in the County of Middlesex (1847), and Baron Strafford, of Harmondsworth in the County of Middlesex (1835), both in the Peerage of the UK.

Earls of Strafford, First Creation (1640)
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1593-1641) (forfeit 1641)
William Wentworth, son of above Thomas, 2nd Earl of Strafford (1626-1695) (attainder reversed 1662)
Earls of Strafford, Second Creation (1641)
William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford (1626-1695)
Earls of Strafford, Third Creation (1711)
Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1711) (1672-1739)
William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford (1711) (1722-1791)
Frederick Thomas Wentworth, 3rd Earl of Strafford (1732-1799)
Earls of Strafford, Fourth Creation (1847)
John Byng, 1st Earl of Strafford (1772-1860)
George Stevens Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford (1806-1886)
George Henry Charles Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford (1830-1898)
Henry William John Byng, 4th Earl of Strafford (1831-1899)
Francis Edmund Cecil Byng, 5th Earl of Strafford (1835-1918)
Edmund Henry Byng, 6th Earl of Strafford (1861-1951)
Robert Cecil Byng, 7th Earl of Strafford (1904-1984)
Thomas Edmund Byng, 8th Earl of Strafford (b.1936)

Sir Thomas Wentworth

Thomas Wentworth: Earl of Strafford and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland Sir Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford 1593-1641, the great minister of Charles I. and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, was born in London, the son of Sir William Wentworth, of Wentworth Woodhouse, a member of an old Yorkshire family, and of Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Atkins of Stowell, Gloucestershire. He studied at Cambridge, married in 1611, Margaret, daughter of Francis Clifford, 4th Earl of Cumberland. This same year, he was knighted, and travelled on the continent. He was returned to parliament as member for Yorkshire in 1614, and the next year was named custus rotulorum for the West Riding.

In 1622 his wife died, and in February 1625 he married Arabella Holles, daughter of Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles, an English statesman .

He sat in several parliaments for Yorkshire, and without going to extremes, took part with the opponents of the court. He was once made Sheriff of Yorkshire that he might not be returned to parliament, and was afterwards imprisoned for refusing a forced loan. In 1628 his course was changed; he went over to the side of the king, and was created Baron Wentworth, then Viscount, lord President of the Council of the North, and in 1629 Privy-Councillor. As President of the North he exercised arbitrary power, and violated the Petition of Right; and his love of power still unsatisfied, he was made, by his own desire, Lord-Deputy of Ireland in July, 1633.

In October 1632 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Godfrey Rhodes; his second wife had died the previous year.

In 1639 Wentworth was created Earl of Strafford, and received the title of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was soon after called to command against the Scots.

He took his seat in the House of Lords in November 1640 and was immediately impeached of high treason, Pym taking the leading part against him. He was committed to the Tower, and in March, 1641 his trial began, one of the most memorable of state Trials. The whole House of Commons was present, with them commissioners from Scotland and Ireland, eighty peers as judges and the King and Queen as spectators. The management of the proceeding was entrusted to Pym. For seventeen days, he, unaided against thirteen accusers, argued the charges which they brought forward. The impeachment seemed likely to fail, and a bill of attainder was proposed. The trial went on, Strafford closed his eloquent defence on the 13th April, the attainder was hurried on, and passed on the 21st but the King refused his assent. The popular excitement rose to a panic, a report was spread that the House of Commons was to be blown up and twice within a week a cracking of the floor caused the flight of the members. At last, moved by the tears of his wife, who hated Strafford, and was on the point of fleeing to France; influenced also by the intrigues and sophistry of the bishop of Lincoln; the king gave his assent to the attainder; and his minister, who had trusted in his promise of protection, was beheaded on Tower Hill, May 12, 1641.

William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford (16261695)

The son of Thomas, the 1st Earl, he was a member of the United Kingdom's House of Lords. When his father, Thomas, was executed in 1641, he left England until 1652 he was allowed to return, and in 1662, the bill of attainder against his father was reversed by Parliament, and he regained the title of Earl of Strafford. When he died, childless, on October 16, 1695 the peerage became extinct.