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Leicester, Earl of (E, 1618 - 1743)

 

Creation: let.pat. 2 Aug 1618

 

Extinct: 7 Jul 1743

 

Family name: Sydney

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Arms:

Or a Pheon Azure

Crest:

A Porcupine Azure quilled collared and chained Or

Supporters:

Dexter:  a Lion Azure collared and chained Or ducally crowned per pale Argent and Gules;  Sinister:  a Lion guardant Argent ducally crowned Or

Motto:

 Quo Fata Vocant

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Robert [Sydney], 1st Baron Sydney later 1st Viscount L'Isle later 1st Earl of Leicester, KG

1st surv. son and heir of Sir Henry Sydney KG, of Penshurst, co. Kent, Lord President of the Marches of Wales and Lord Deputy of Ireland, by his wife Lady Mary Dudley, sister and eventual sole hrss. in her issue of Robert [Dudley], 1st Earl of Leicester, and 1st dau. of John [Dudley], 1st Duke of Northumberland

born

19 Nov 1563

mar. (1)

23 Sep 1584 Barbara Gamage (d. May 1621), dau. and hrss. of John Gamage, of Coity, co. Glamorgan

children by first wife

1. Hon Sir William Sydney (dvp.)

1. Hon Sir Robert Sydney, later 2nd Earl of Leicester

1. Lady Mary Sydney (d. c. 1652), mar. 1604 Sir Robert Wroth, of Durance and Loughton, co. Essex (d. 1614), and had issue

2. Lady Katharine Sydney (dsp.), mar. after 1603 as his first wife Sir Lewis Mansel, 2nd Bt., of Margam, co. Glamorgan

3. Lady Philippa Sydney (d. 24 Sep 1620; bur. at Blickling, co. Norfolk), mar. as his first wife Sir John Hobart, 2nd Bt., of Intwood, co. Norfolk, and had issue

4. Lady Barbara Sydney (b. 28 Nov 1599; d. 1642/3; bur. at Hackington, co. Kent), mar. (1) in or before 1621 Thomas [Smythe], 1st Viscount Strangford, and (2) shortly before 1 Feb 1636/7 Sir Thomas Colepeper, of Place House, Hackington, co. Kent, Lieutenant of Dover Castle, and had issue by both husbands

mar. (2)

25 Apr 1625 Sarah Smythe (widow of Sir Thomas Smythe, of Bidborough, co. Kent; d. 12 Mar 1655), dau. and hrss. of William Blount, of Mangotsfield, by his wife Anne Bymand

died

13 Jul 1626

created

13 May 1605 Baron Sydney, of Penshurst in the County of Kent

4 May 1605 Viscount L'Isle

2 Aug 1618 Earl of Leicester

suc. by

son by first wife

note

Member of Parliament for Glamorganshire 1584-86 and for Kent 1597-98; knighted by his uncle 1586; Governor of Flushing 1588-1616; Chamberlain to the Queen Consort ; Knight of the Garter 1616

 

Robert [Sydney], 2nd Earl of Leicester

born

1 Dec 1595

mar.

c. Jan 1615 Lady Dorothy Percy (bapt. 20 Aug 1598; d. 20 Aug 1659), 1st dau. of Henry [Percy], 3rd Earl of Northumberland, by his wife Lady Dorothy Devereux, 2nd dau. of Walter [Devereux], 1st Earl of Essex

children

1. Hon Philip Sydney, later 3rd Earl of Leicester

2. Hon Algernon Sydney, Governor of Chichester 1645, Member of Parliament for Cardiff 1646, Governor and Lieutenant of Dover 1648, member of the Council of State 1353 and 1659, arrested 1683 on suspicion of being involved in the Rye House Plot, tried and executed (b. 1622; d. 7 Dec 1683)

3. Hon Henry Sydney, later 1st Earl of Romney

1. Lady Dorothy Sydney (d. 5 Feb 1684), mar. (1) 20 Jul 1639 Henry [Spencer], 1st Earl of Sunderland, and (2) 8 Jul 1652 Robert Smythe, of Bidborough, co. Kent, and had issue by her first husband

2. Lady Lucy Sydney (bur. 19 Oct 1685 at Laughton, co. Sussex), mar. 20 Jun 1647 Sir John Pelham, 3rd Bt., of Laughton, co. Sussex, and had issue

3. Lady Isabella Sydney (bapt. 30 Sep 1634; dspm. Jun 1663), mar. 22 Aug 1650 as his first wife her cousin Philip [Smythe], 2nd Viscount Strangford, and had issue

died

2 Nov 1677

suc. by

son

note

Knight of the Bath 1610; Member of Parliament for Wilton 1614, for Kent 1620-22 and for Monmouthshire 1624-25; Ambassador to Denmark 1632, to Holstein 1632 and to Paris 1636-41; Privy Councillor 1639; Lord Lieutenant and General of the Army of Ireland 1641-43; Lord Lieutenant of Kent 1642; Speaker of the House of Lords 1642; a supporter of the Commonwealth

 

Philip [Sydney], 3rd Earl of Leicester

born

10 Jan 1618/9

mar.

19 May 1645 Lady Catherine Cecil (b. c. 1628; d. 18 Aug 1652), 3rd dau. of William [Cecil], 2nd Earl of Salisbury, by his wife Lady Catherine Howard, 3rd dau. by his second wife of Thomas [Howard], 1st Earl of Suffolk

only child

1. Hon Robert Sydney, later 4th Baron Sydney later 4th Earl of Leicester

died

6 Mar 1697/8

suc. by

son

note

Member of Parliament (Whig) for Yarmouth, Isle of Wight 1640 and 1640-53, for Kent 1653 and for County Louth 1642-44; Col of a Regiment of Horse in Ireland 1641; Commissioner to prevent Abuses in Heraldry 1645/6; Lord Lieutenant and Commander-in-Chief of Ireland for Parliament 1646-47; a Councillor of State 1648/9, 1649/50 and 1653; President of the Council 1651/2; appointed a judge for the trial of the King but declined to act ; Councillor to the Lord Protector 1653; appointed to Cromwell's "House of Lords" 1657 under the designation "Lord Viscount Lisle"; obtained a pardon on the restoration of King Charles II 1660

 

Robert [Sydney], 4th Baron Sydney later 4th Earl of Leicester

born

1649

mar.

1672 Lady Elizabeth Egerton (b. 24 Aug 1653; d. 1709), only dau. of John [Egerton], 2nd Earl of Bridgewater, by his wife Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, 2nd dau. by his first wife of William [Cavendish], 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

children

1. Hon Philip Sydney, later 5th Earl of Leicester

2. Hon John Sydney, later 6th Earl of Leicester

3. Col Hon Thomas Sydney (d. 1728), mar. Mary Reeve, 2nd dau. and cohrss. of Sir Robert Reeve, 2nd Bt., of Thwaite, co. Suffolk, by his wife Mary Onslow, sister of Sir Richard Onslow MP, of West Clandon, co. Surrey, and dau. of Sir Edward Onslow, of Knoll, Cranley, co. Surrey, and had issue:

1a. Mary Sydney (dsp. 27 Mar 1758), mar. 16 Jul 1738 Sir Brownlow Sherard, 4th Bt.

2a. Elizabeth Sydney, heiress of the Sydney estates, mar. William Perry, of Wormington, co. Gloucester, and Turville Park, co. Buckingham (d. 1757), and had issue:

1b. Elizabeth Jane Perry (bur. 17 May 1781), mar. 1769 as his second wife Sir Bysshe Shelley, 1st Bt., of Castle Goring, co. Sussex (b. 21 Jun 1731; d. 6 Jan 1815) ,and had issue:

1c. Sir John Shelley later Shelley-Sidney, 1st Bt. (cr. 12 Dec 1818), of Penshurst Place, co. Kent (b. 18 Dec 1771; d. 14 Mar 1849), mar. 29 Apr 1799 Henrietta Hunloke (d. 5 Feb 1811), dau. of Sir Henry Hunloke, 4th Bt., of Wingerworth Hall, co. Derby, and had issue:

1d. Philip Charles Shelley-Sidney later Sidney, later 1st Baron De L'Isle and Dudley

1d. Emily Elizabeth Shelley-Sidney (d. 12 Aug 1827), mar. 26 Mar 1826 Col William Wakefield, and had issue

2c. Capt Philip Shelley later Sidney (bapt. 20 Feb 1778; dvp. Aug 1799)

3c. Maj Robert Shelley (d. 31 Mar 1849)

1c. Ariana Shelley, mar. Francis Aiken

2c. Jane Caroline Shelley, mar. Rev Joseph Harris, and had issue

4. Hon Jocelyn Sydney, later 7th Earl of Leicester

1. Lady Elizabeth Sydney, mar. Sir Harcourt Masters

died

11 Nov 1702

suc. by

son

note

sum. to Parliament v.p. in his father's Barony of Sydney 11 Jul 1689

 

Philip [Sydney], 5th Earl of Leicester

born

8 Jul 1676

mar.

17 Dec 1700 Anne Reeve (mar. (2) May 1709 as his first wife John Sheppard, of Campsey Ashe, co. Suffolk; d. 13 Apr 1726), 1st dau. and cohrss. of Sir Robert Reeve, 2nd Bt., of Thwaite, co. Suffolk, by his wife Mary Onslow, sister of Sir Richard Onslow MP, of West Clandon, co. Surrey, and dau. of Sir Edward Onslow, of Knoll, Cranley, co. Surrey

died

s.p.s. 24 Jul 1705

suc. by

brother

note

Member of Parliament (Whig) for Kent 1695-98

 

John [Sydney], 6th Earl of Leicester, KB PC

born

14 Feb 1680

died

27 Sep 1737

suc. by

brother

note

Lt Col, 1st Regiment of Foot Guards 1702-05; Member of Parliament (Whig) for Berkeley 1705; a Lord of the Bedchamber 1717-27; Warden of the Cinque Ports 1717-28; Lord Lieutenant of Kent 1724-37; KB 1725; Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard 1725-31; Constable of the Tower of London 1731-37; High Steward of the Manor of Otford, co. Kent 1731-37; Privy Councillor 1731

 

Jocelyn [Sydney], 7th Earl of Leicester

born

c. 1692

mar.

Feb 1717 Elizabeth Thomas (dsp. legit.. 14 Nov 1747), dau. and cohrss. of Lewis Thomas, of Gwernllynwhith, co. Glamorgan, by his wife Emmett .....

died

s.p. 7 Jul 1743

note

Gentleman Porter of the Tower of London 1734-37

 

On the death of the 7th Earl of Leicester it was assumed that as the Earl had died childless, and had no other obvious male heirs, then his titles had thereby became extinct. However, John Sydney, of Yalding (born 29 Sep 1738), claimed to be the only son of the late Earl and thereby 8th Earl of Leicester. He was permitted to sue out a writ of right as 8th Earl of Leicester, i.e. to have his right to a writ of summons tested in court. The trial was held in Westminster on 11 Feb 1782. Evidence was given to show that the Earl and Countess of Leicester had rarely if ever lived together as man and wife. It was agreed that John Sydney was the legal son of the Earl under the legal doctrine pater est quam nuptiae demonstrant (the father is he who the marriage points out), but it was shown that he was in fact the son of the Countess of Leicester, but not by her husband but rather by a baker with whom she had cohabited for some time. The House of Lords, convinced of the bastardy and that the claim had no merit despite the legal doctrine, did not come to a conclusion. John Sydney died on 15 Dec 1812 with the claim unresolved whereupon his son, Paul Algernon Sydney, born 17 April 1774, claimed to be 9th Earl of Leicester. His claim was never tested in a trial. The succession to the Sydney estates was not really put to the question at that time, and they passed to the late Earl's two neices.

 

Last updated 2 Dec 2013

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