Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 89 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EARLS AND DUKES OF CAMBRIDGE. Under the Norman and early Plantagenet kings of England the earldom of Cam-bridge was united with that of Huntingdon, which was held among others by David I., king of Scotland, as the husband of earl Waltheof's daughter, Matilda. As a separate dignity the earldom dates from about 1340, when William V., count (after-wards duke) of Juliers, was created earl of Cambridge by King Edward III.; and in 1362 (the year after William's death) Edward created his own son, Edmund of Langley, earl of Cam-bridge, the title being afterwards merged in that of duke of York, which was bestowed upon Edmund in 1385. Edmund's elderson, Edward, earl of Rutland, who succeeded his father as duke of York and earl of Cambridge in 1402; appears to have resigned the latter dignity in or before 1414, as in this year his younger brother, Richard, was made earl of Cambridge. In the following year Richard was executed for plotting against King Henry V., and his title was forfeited, but it was restored to his son, Richard, who in 1415 became duke of York in succession to his uncle Edward. Subsidiary to the dukedom of York the title was held by Richard, and after his death in 146o by his son Edward, afterwards King Edward IV., becoming extinct on the fall of the Yorkist dynasty. In 1619 King James I., anxious to bestow an English title upon James Hamilton, 2nd marquess of Hamilton (d. 1625), created him earl of Cambridge, a title which came to his son and successor James, 3rd marquess and first duke of Hamilton (d. 1649). In 1651 when William, 2nd duke of Hamilton, died, his English title became extinct. Again bestowed upon a member of the royal house, the title of earl of Cambridge was granted in 1659 by Charles II. to his brother Henry, duke of Gloucester, only to become extinct on Henry's death in the following year. In 1661 Charles, the infant son of James, duke of York, afterwards King James II., was designated as marquess and duke of Cambridge, but the child died before the necessary formalities were completed. However, two of James's sons, James (d. 1667) and Edgar (d. 1671), were actually created in 'succession dukes of Cambridge, but both died in childhood. After the passing of the Act of Settlement in i7o1 it was proposed to grant an English title to George Augustus, electoral prince of Hanover, who, after his grandmother, the electress Sophia, and his father, the elector George Louis, was heir to the throne of England; and to give effect to this proposal George Augustus was created marquess and duke of Cambridge in November 17o6. The title lapsed when he became king of Great Britain and Ireland in 1727, but it was revived in 18o1 in favour of Adolphus Frederick, the seventh son of George III. He and his son are dealt with below.

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