Earl Erne
Arms of the Earl Erne
Arms: Argent, a Lion rampant Azure. Crest: A Dragon's Head couped Vert, emitting fire from the mouth and ears proper. Supporters: On either side a Lion Azure, crowned with an Earl's Coronet proper.
Creation date19 August 1789
Created byGeorge III
PeeragePeerage of Ireland
First holderJohn Creighton, 2nd Baron Erne
Present holderJohn Crichton, 7th Earl Erne
Heir presumptiveCharles Crichton
Remainder toThe 1st Earl's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titlesViscount Erne
Baron Erne
Baron Fermanagh
Seat(s)Crom Castle

Earl Erne, of Crom Castle in the County of Fermanagh, is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1789 for John Creighton, 2nd Baron Erne,[1] who had earlier represented Lifford (Parliament of Ireland constituency) in the Irish House of Commons. He had already been made Viscount Erne, of Crom Castle in the County of Fermanagh, in 1781,[2] also in the Peerage of Ireland, and sat from 1800 to 1828 as an Irish representative peer in the British House of Lords. The title of Baron Erne, of Crom Castle in the County of Fermanagh, was created in the Peerage of Ireland in 1768 for his father Abraham Creighton. The Earl was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. On his death the titles passed to his nephew, the third Earl. He was an Irish Representative Peer from 1845 to 1885 and also served as Lord Lieutenant of County Fermanagh during the same period. In 1876 he was created Baron Fermanagh, of Lisnaskea in the County of Fermanagh, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[3] This was to allow the Earls to sit in the House of Lords by right, rather than having to stand for election as Representative Peers. An earlier title of Baroness Fermanagh in the Peerage of Ireland was created for Mary Verney on 13 June 1792, but became extinct on her death on 15 November 1810.

Lord Erne also changed the spelling of the family surname from Creighton to Crichton. He was succeeded by his son, the fourth Earl. He was a Conservative politician and served as a Lord of the Treasury in the second Conservative administration of Benjamin Disraeli. Like his father he was also Lord Lieutenant of County Fermanagh. His grandson, the fifth Earl, held minor office from 1936 to 1939 in the National Government led by Stanley Baldwin and later Neville Chamberlain. Lord Erne was killed in the Second World War. The 6th Earl (often known as Harry Erne), who succeeded in 1940, was the Lord Lieutenant of County Fermanagh from 1986 until 2012. On his death in 2015, he was succeeded by his only son, the 7th Earl.

The 3rd Earl is also remembered as the employer of Captain Charles Boycott, whose mishandling of relations with agricultural workers on Lord Erne's estate in County Mayo caused a political and public order crisis and provoked the strategy that gave the English language the term to boycott.

The invented title of Viscount Crichton is used as a courtesy title for the Earl's heir apparent.

The family seat is Crom Castle, near Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Barons Erne (1768)

Viscounts Erne (1781)

Earls Erne (1789)

Present peer

John Henry Michael Ninian Crichton, 7th Earl Erne (born 19 June 1971), is the son of the 6th Earl and his wife Camilla Marguerite Roberts. Styled formally as Viscount Crichton from birth, he was educated at Sunningdale School, Shiplake College, Henley-on-Thames, and at L'Institut de Touraine, in Tours, France.[4]

On 23 December 2015, he succeeded his father as Earl Erne of Crom Castle (I., 1789), Viscount Erne of Crom Castle (I., 1781), Baron Erne of Crom Castle (I., 1768), and as the Baron Fermanagh of Lisnaskea (U.K., 1876).[4]

On 4 May 2019, at Holy Trinity Church, Crom, County Fermanagh, near Crom Castle, the family seat which he still owns, Erne was married to Harriet Elizabeth Patterson, daughter of Alan James Patterson, by Ferran Glenfield, Church of Ireland Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.[5]

The heir presumptive is the present holder's second cousin once removed, Charles David Blayney Crichton (born 1953), who has a son, Oliver Charles Martin Crichton (born 1995).[4]

Title succession chart

Title succession chart, Barons Erne, Viscounts Erne and Earls Erne
Abraham Creighton
1st Baron Erne

c. 1700 – 1772
Viscount Erne
Earl Erne
John Creighton
1st Earl Erne

Abraham Creighton
2nd Earl Erne

Lt. Col. Hon.
John Creighton
Baron Fermanagh
(1876, UK
John Crichton
3rd Earl Erne

John Crichton
4th Earl Erne

Henry Crichton
Viscount Crichton
Col. Hon.
George Crichton
George Crichton
John Crichton
5th Earl Erne

David Crichton
Henry Crichton
6th Earl Erne

Charles Crichton
born 1953
John Crichton
7th Earl Erne

born 1971
Oliver Crichton
born 1995


  1. ^ "No. 13124". The London Gazette. 22 August 1789. p. 557.
  2. ^ "No. 12146". The London Gazette. 23 December 1780. p. 1.
  3. ^ "No. 24283". The London Gazette. 11 January 1876. p. 99.
  4. ^ a b c Burke's Peerage, volume 1, 1999, p. 990; Burke's Peerage, volume 1, 2003, p. 1331.
  5. ^ Jessica Campbell, "Crom is stunning backdrop as Earl of Erne marries", impartialreporter.com, 27 May 2019, accessed 18 February 2023.