The title Baron Ferrers of Chartley was created on 6 February 1299 for John de Ferrers, son of Robert de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby. The daughter of the 6th Baron Ferrers of Chartley, Anne, married Walter Devereux who was summoned to parliament as Lord Ferrers in her right. Their descendants became Earls of Essex and the peerage was forfeited in 1601 on the attainder of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, but restored to his son Robert in 1604, on whose death in 1646 the peerage fell into abeyance. The abeyance was terminated in 1677 when Robert Shirley, a grandson of one of the sisters of the 3rd Earl of Essex, was summoned as Lord Ferrers of Chartley with precedence to the original creation. In 1711, Shirley was created the 1st Earl Ferrers, but the Earldom and Barony separated at his death, the barony going to Elizabeth Shirley, the daughter of his eldest son, while the earldom went to his second son. On the 1741 death of Elizabeth Shirley, 15th Baroness Ferrers of Chartley and wife of the Earl of Northampton, the peerage again briefly fell into an abeyance that was resolved in 1749 by the death of two of the three heiresses, leaving the surviving daughter, Charlotte Compton, wife of the Marquess Townshend, as 16th Baroness Ferrers of Chartley. The barony continued, merged with the marquessate, until the death of George Ferrars Townshend, 3rd Marquess Townshend in 1855, when it again fell into abeyance between his two sisters and their heirs. It remains in abeyance.[1]

Origins of the Ferrers of Chartley family

Main article: Origin of the de Ferrers family

Arms of Ferrers of Chartley: Vairy, or and gules

The Lords Ferrers of Chartley descended Henry de Ferrers, of Ferrières-Saint-Hilaire in Normandy, who participated in the Norman Conquest of England, and was richly rewarded by King William the Conqueror with the grant of 210 manors throughout England and Wales, situated mainly in Derbyshire and Leicestershire. His son Robert de Ferrers was named Earl of Derby, and this title continued in the family until Robert de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby was attainted in 1267 for his participation in the Second Barons' War against king Henry III. Draconian terms were set for the reacquisition of his lands, and he was only able to have the manor of Chartley, Staffordshire, restored to him, in 1275.

John de Ferrers, son and heir of the former 6th Earl, would continue his father's struggle for restoration of family lands until barred from pursuing it further by Edward I in 1301. He was summoned in 1298/9 to Parliament, thereby becoming the first Baron Ferrers of Chartley.

Barons Ferrers of Chartley (1299)


  1. ^ Cokayne, George Edward (1916). Gibbs, Vicary; Doubleday, H. Arthur (eds.). The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct or dormant. Vol. 4. London: The St. Catherine Press. pp. 305–335.