Earldom De La Warr

  • Quarterly: 1st, argent a fess dancettée sable (for West); 2nd: azure three leopard's heads reversed jessant-de-lys or (for Cantelupe); 3rd: gules crusilly and a lion argent (for La Warr); 4th, quarterly or and gules a bend vair (for Sackville)
Creation date18 March 1761[1]
Created byGeorge III
PeeragePeerage of Great Britain
First holderJohn West, 7th Baron De La Warr
Present holderWilliam Sackville, 11th Earl De La Warr
Heir apparentWilliam Sackville, Baron Buckhurst
Subsidiary titlesViscount Cantelupe
Baron De La Warr
Baron Buckhurst
Former seat(s)Bourn Hall
MottoJour de ma vie ("Day of my life")[1]
A portrait of John West, 4th Earl De La Warr

Earl De La Warr (/ˈdɛləwɛər/ DEL-ə-wair) is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1761 for John West, 7th Baron De La Warr. The Earl holds the subsidiary titles of Viscount Cantelupe (1761) in the Peerage of Great Britain, Baron De La Warr (1572) in the Peerage of England, and Baron Buckhurst, of Buckhurst in the County of Sussex (1864) in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The barony De La Warr is of the second creation; however, it bears the precedence of the first creation, 1299, and has done so since shortly after the death of William West, 1st Baron De La Warr. The family seat is Buckhurst Park, near Withyham, Sussex.


The name de La Warr is from Sussex and of Anglo-French origin.[2] It may have come from La Guerre, a Norman lieu-dit. This toponymic could derive from the Latin word ager, from the Breton gwern, or from the Late Latin warectum (fallow). The toponyms Gara, Gaire also appear in old texts cited by Lucien Musset, where the word ga(i)ra means gore. It could also be linked with a patronymic from the Old Norse verr.

The barony and earldom are both pronounced "De La Ware", as in the American state of Delaware.[3][4]

The subsidiary title Viscount Cantelupe commemorates the West family's descent from the Anglo-Norman Cantilupe family. In the fourteenth century Sir Thomas West married Eleanor, heiress of Sir John de Cantilupe. Their son, also Thomas, inherited Hempston Cantilupe and was the father of Thomas West, 1st Baron West.

Baronies of De La Warr

The barony De La Warr is of the second creation; however, it bears the precedence of the first creation, 1299, and has done so since shortly after the death of William West, 1st Baron De La Warr. The precise legal situation concerning the second creation is murky. The modern rules attempt to regularize medieval practice, but there are many cases that cannot easily be made to fit, whether because a local custom was involved, or because an exception was made, or because the rules were still in flux. This is such a case because William West was heir male but not heir general. Because the original barony was created by writ, the descent is presumed to be to the heir (or heirs) general, and therefore it fell into abeyance between the daughters of Sir Owen West (and their heirs in turn). The second creation has been viewed in at least three ways:

Connection to American geographical names

For other places with the same name, see Delaware (disambiguation).

In United States history books, Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr is often named simply as "Lord Delaware". He served as governor of the Jamestown Colony in Virginia, and Delaware Bay was named after him. The state of Delaware, the Delaware River, and the Delaware Indian tribe were so-called after the bay, and thus ultimately derive their names from the barony. Many other American counties, townships, and the like derive their names directly or indirectly from this connection.

Other family members

Notable 20th-century descendants of George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr include the authors Lady Margaret Sackville, Vita Sackville-West, Nigel Nicolson and Adam Nicolson.[5]

Another member of the West family was William Cornwallis-West (1835–1917), who was the grandson of the Hon. Frederick West, youngest son of the second Earl. Cornwallis-West was the father of George Cornwallis-West; Daisy, Princess of Pless; and Constance, Duchess of Westminster.

Barons De La Warr; First creation (1299)

Barons De La Warr; Second creation (1572)

Earls De La Warr (1761)

The heir apparent is the present holder's son William Herbrand Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst (b. 1979), nine generations away from the first Earl.

The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son William Lionel Robert Sackville (b. 2014).

See also


  1. ^ a b Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1074. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ Ware DeGidio, Wanda (2011). Ware DeGidio, Wanda (ed.). Ware Family History: Descendants from Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Kings and Queens, and Presidents of the United States. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4010-9930-5.
  3. ^ Debrett's Peerage 1968, p.333
  4. ^ "Pronounced as "Delaware"". Archived from the original on 13 July 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Sackville-West family tree" (PDF). National Portrait Gallery. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013.