Cracroft's Peerage
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Sunderland, Earl of (E, 1643)


Creation: let. pat. 8 Jun 1643


Family name: Spencer




See Baron Spencer


See the note on The Heraldry of the Early Spencers



Henry [Spencer], 3rd Baron Spencer later 1st Earl of Sunderland

1st son of  William [Spencer], 2nd Baron Spencer, by his wife Lady Penelope Wriothesley, 1st dau. of Henry [Wriothesley], 3rd Earl of Southampton


23 Nov 1620


20 Jul 1639 Lady Dorothy Sydney (b. 5 Oct 1617; mar. (2) 8 Jul 1652 Robert Smythe, of Bidborough, co. Kent;  d. 5 Feb 1684; bur. at Great Brington, co. Northampton), 1st dau. of Robert [Sydney], 2nd Earl of Leicester, by his wife Lady Dorothy Percy, 1st dau. of Henry [Percy], 3rd Earl of Northumberland


1. Hon Robert Spencer, later 2nd Earl of Sunderland

1. Lady Dorothy Spencer (d. 16 Dec 1670), mar. 29 Dec 1656 as his first wife William [Savile], 1st Marquess of Halifax, and had issue

2. Lady Penelope Spencer (dvp. an infant)


20 Sep 1643


8 Jun 1643 Earl of Sunderland

suc. by

only son


suc. his father as 3rd Baron Spencer 19 Dec 1636; in Paris with his father-in-law, then Ambassador to Paris, 1639-41; nominated Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire by Parliament 1641/2 but joined the King and served in the Royal Army 1642-43 ; was present at the Battle of Edgehill 1642 and the Siege of Gloucester 1643; killed at the Battle of Newbury


Robert [Spencer], 2nd Earl of Sunderland, KG PC




10 Jun 1665 Lady Anne Digby (d. 26 Apr 1715; bur. at Great Brington, co. Northampton), only surv. sister and hrss. of John [Digby], 3rd Earl of Bristol, and 2nd dau. of George [Digby], 2nd Earl of Bristol, by his wife Lady Anne Russell, 2nd dau. of Francis [Russell], 4th Earl of Bedford


1. Hon Robert Spencer, styled Lord Spencer, Guidon 1685 and Cornet 1688 in the 3rd Troop of Horse Guards, Envoy to the Duke of Modena on a special mission 1687 (bapt. 2 May 1666; dvp. 5 Sep 1688 in Paris)

2. Hon Charles Spencer, later 3rd Earl of Sunderland

1. Lady Anne Spencer (dsps. 2 Jul 1690), mar. bef. 5 Jan 1687 as his first wife John [Hamilton], 4th Duke of Hamilton, and had issue

2. Lady Elizabeth Spencer (b. c. 1673; d. Jun 1704), mar. 31 Dec 1684 Donough [McCarthy], 4th Earl of Clancarty, and had issue


28 Sep 1702 (bur. at Great Brington, co. Northampton)

suc. by

only surv. son


Capt of a Troop in Prince Rupert's Regiment of Horse 1667; Ambassador Extraordinary to Madrid 1671-72, to Paris 1672-73 and 1678; Joint Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to treat for peace with the United Provinces at Cologne 1673;  Gentleman of the Bedchamber 1673-79; Privy Councillor 1674-80/1, 1682-88/9 and 1697-1701/2; Commissioner for concluding a Treaty of Commerce with France 1674, to treat for peace and neutrality between the English and the French in America 1679, and for Tangier 1680; Secretary of State for the North 1678/9-80 and 1682/3-84, and for the South 1680-80/1 and 1684-88;  Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire 1679-81, and of Warwickshire 1683-86 and 1687-88;  Lord President of the Council 1685-88; an Ecclesiastical Commissioner 1686-88; Knight of the Garter 1687;  declared himself a Papist 1688, was dismissed from all offices by King James II and fled to Holland, only returning to England in 1691, becoming the intimate adviser of King William III; Lord Chamberlain of the Household 1697;  one of the Lords Justices (Regents) of the Realm 1697


Charles [Spencer], 3rd Earl of Sunderland, KG PC


c. 1674

mar. (1)

12 Jan 1694/5 Lady Arabella Cavendish (b. 19 Aug 1673; dspm. 4 Jun 1698; bur. at Great Brington, co. Northampton), 5th dau. and cohrss. of Henry [Cavendish], 2nd Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, by his wife Frances Pierrepont, dau. of Hon William Pierrepont MP, of Thoresby, co. Nottingham (by his wife Elizabeth Harris, dau. and cohrss. of Sir Thomas Harris, of Tong Castle, co. Salop), 2nd son of Robert [Pierrepont], 1st Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull

only child by first wife

1. Lady Frances Spencer (d. 27 Jul 1742), mar. 27 Nov 1717 as his first wife Henry [Howard], 4th Earl of Carlisle, and had issue

mar. (2)

2 Jan 1699/1700 his fourth cousin once removed Lady Anne Churchill, a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Anne 1702-12 (b. 27 Feb 1682/3; d. 15 Apr 1716 ; bur. at Great Brington, co. Northampton), 2nd dau. and cohrss. of John [Churchill], 1st Duke of Marlborough, by his wife Sarah Jennings, 2nd dau. and cohrss. of Richard Jennings, of Sandridge, co. Hertford

children by second wife

1. Hon Robert Spencer (b. 2 Dec 1700; dvp. an infant 12 Sep 1701)

2. Hon Robert Spencer, later 4th Earl of Sunderland

3. Hon Charles Spencer, later 5th Earl of Sunderland later 3rd Duke of Marlborough

4. Hon John Spencer, of Althorp, co. Northampton, and Wimbledon, co. Surrey, Member of Parliament for Woodstock, Ranger of Windsor Great Park (b. 13 May 1708; d. 20 Jun 1746), mar. 14 Feb 1733/4 Lady Georgina Carolina Carteret (mar. (2) 1 May 1750 as his second wife William [Cowper later Clavering-Cowper], 2nd Earl Cowper; d. 21 Aug 1780), sister and cohrss. of Robert [Carteret], 3rd Earl Granville, and 3rd dau. of John [Carteret], 2nd Earl Granville, by his first wife Frances Worsley, only dau. of Sir Robert Worsley, 4th Bt., of Appuldercombe, in the Isle of Wight, and had issue:

1a. John Spencer, later 1st Earl Spencer

1a. Diana Spencer (b. 1735; dvp. 1743)

2. Lady Anne Spencer (d. 19 Feb 1769), mar. 1720 William [Bateman], 1st Viscount Bateman, and had issue

3. Lady Diana Spencer (dsps. 27 Sep 1735), mar. 11 Oct 1731 as his first wife John [Russell], 4th Duke of Bedford, and had issue

mar. (3)

5/16 Dec 1717 Judith Tichborne (mar. (2) 10 Dec 1724 Rt Hon Sir Robert Sutton KB, of Broughton, co. Lincoln;  d. 17 May 1749; bur. at Great Brington, co. Northampton), dau. and cohrss. of Benjamin Tichborne (by his wife Elizabeth Gibbs, dau. of Edward Gibbs, of Gloucester), yr. brother of Henry [Tichborne], 1st Baron Ferrard

only child by third wife

5. Hon William Spencer (d. young)

6. Hon George Spencer (b. 11 Sep 1722; dvp. 23 Mar 1723)


19 Apr 1722 (bur. at Great Brington, co. Northampton)

suc. by

son by second wife


Member of Parliament (Whig) for Tiverton 1695-1702;  FRS 1698; Envoy Extraordinary to Vienna 1705; one of the English Commissioners for the Union with Scotland 1706;  Privy Councillor 1706 and 1714;  Secretary of State for the South 1706-10;  Recorder of Coventry 1710-22; Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1714, but never went there; Lord Privy Seal 1715-16;  Joint Vice Treasurer of Ireland 1715/6-17;  Secretary of State for the North 1717-17/8;  Lord President of the Council 1717/8-18/9;  First Lord of the Treasury (Prime Minister) 1717/8-21, when he resigned following the South Sea "bubble";  one of the Lords Justices (Regents) of the Realm 1719 and 1720;  Knight of the Garter 1719;  Groom of the Stole and First Gentleman of the Bedchamber 1719-22


Robert [Spencer], 4th Earl of Sunderland


24 Oct 1701


15 Sep 1729 (bur. at Great Brington, co. Northampton)

suc. by



Lord Carver at the Coronation of George II 1727


Charles [Spencer], 5th Earl of Sunderland later 3rd Duke of Marlborough


suc. his aunt 24 Oct 1733 as 3rd Duke of Marlborough


The Earldom of Sunderland has been held by the Dukes of Marlborough since 24 Oct 1733




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