Online Encyclopedia

THOMAS WENTWORTH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 521 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THOMAS WENTWORTH, 1st earl of Cleveland (1591-1667), was the eldest son of Henry, whom he succeeded as 4th Baron Wentworth of Nettlestead in 1593. In 1614 he inherited from an aunt the estate of Toddington in Bedfordshire, till then the property of the Cheyney family, and here he made his principal residence. In 1626 he was created earl of Cleveland, and in the following year he served under Buckingham in the expedition to La Rochelle. Adhering to the king's cause in the parliamentary troubles, he attended his kinsman Strafford at his execution, and afterwards was a general on the royalist side in the Civil War until he was taken prisoner at the second battle of Newbury. Cleveland commanded a cavalry regiment at Worcester in 1651, when he was again taken prisoner, and he remained in the Tower till 1656. He died on the 25th of March 1667. His early extravagance and the fortunes of war had greatly reduced his estates, and Nettlestead was sold in 1643. Cleveland was described by Clarendon as " a man of signal courage and an excellent officer "; his cavalry charge at Cropredy Bridge was one of the most brilliant incidents in the Civil War, and it was by his bravery and presence of mind that Charles II. was enabled to escape from Worcester. At his death the earldom of Cleveland became extinct. He outlived his son Thomas (1613-1645), who was called up to the House of Lords in his father's lifetime as Baron Wentworth, and whose daughter Henrietta Maria became Baroness Wentworth in her own right on her grandfather's death. This lady, who was the duke of Monmouth's mistress, died unmarried in 1686. The barony of Wentworth then reverted to Cleveland's daughter Anne, who married the and Lord Lovelace, from whom it passed to her grand-daughter Martha (d. 1745), wife of Sir Henry Johnson, and afterwards to a descendant of Anne's daughter Margaret, Edward Noel, who was created Viscount Wentworth of Wellesborough in 1762. The viscountcy became extinct at his death, and the barony again passed through the female line in the person of Noel's daughter Judith to the latter's daughter Anne Isabella, who married Lord Byron the r In the 16th century Lillingstone Lovell was in Oxfordshire, that portion of the county being surrounded by Buckinghamshire, with which it was afterwards incorporated. poet; and from her to Byron's daughter Augusta Ada, whose husband was in 1838 created earl of Lovelace. The barony of Wentworth was thereafter held by the descendants of this nobleman in conjunction with the earldom of Lovelace.
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