Earldom of Cranbrook

Arms of the Earl of Cranbrook


Arms: Quarterly: 1st & 4th, Argent, on a Bend invected, plain cotised Gules, three Catherine Wheels Or, on a Chief Gules, three Leopard’s Faces Or (Hardy); 2nd & 3rd, Per pale Argent and Or, a Bend compony Azure and Gules, between two Pellets, each within an Annulet Sable (Gathorne). Crests: 1st: a Dexter Arm embowed in armour proper, garnished Or, entwined with a Branch of Oak Vert, charged with two Catherine Wheels Gules, one above and one below the elbow, the hand grasping a Dragon’s Head erased proper (Hardy); 2nd: in front of a Wolf’s Head erased Argent, a Staff raguly fesswise Or (Gathorne). Supporters: On either side a Leopard guardant proper, gorged with a Collar Gules, pendant therefrom an Escutcheon Gules charged with a Catherine Wheel Or.

Creation date22 August 1892
Created byQueen Victoria
PeeragePeerage of the United Kingdom
First holderGathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 1st Earl of Cranbrook
Present holderGathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 5th Earl of Cranbrook
Heir apparentJohn Gathorne-Hardy, Lord Medway
Remainder tothe 1st Earl's heirs male of the body
Subsidiary titlesViscount Cranbrook
Baron Medway
(Armed with hardy faith)

Earl of Cranbrook is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, created in 1892 for Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, Viscount Cranbrook.[1] The title is named after Cranbrook in the county of Kent. The Gathorne-Hardy family seat is Great Glemham House, near Saxmundham, Suffolk.


It was created in 1892 for the prominent Conservative politician Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 1st Viscount Cranbrook, son of John Hardy. He notably held office as Home Secretary, Lord President of the Council, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for India. Gathorne-Hardy gained the warm-personal regard of Queen Victoria, and had already been created Viscount Cranbrook, of Hemsted in the County of Kent, in 1878,[2] and was made Baron Medway, of Hemsted in the County of Kent, at the same time he was given the earldom. The latter title is used as a courtesy title for the Earl's eldest son and heir apparent.

Lord Cranbrook's eldest son, the second Earl, represented Rye, Mid Kent and Medway in the House of Commons as a Conservative. His son, the third Earl, was gazetted as an officer and private secretary New Zealand.

John David Gathorne-Hardy, 4th Earl of Cranbrook (who was previously married to his cousin Bridget D'Oyly Carte) married Fidelity Seebohm (born 1912), on 26 July 1932 and had five children, including Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 5th Earl of Cranbrook, the current earl.

As of 2010 the titles are held by Gathorne, the fifth Earl, who succeeded his father in 1978. He is a zoologist and environmental biologist formerly active in Malaya, who was awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Founder's Medal in 1995. He was Chairman of the International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature.[3]

Notable family members

See also: Gathorne-Hardy family

Hon. Alfred Gathorne-Hardy, third son of the first Earl, sat as a Member of Parliament for Canterbury and East Grinstead. Lady Margaret Evelyn Gathorne-Hardy, daughter of the first Earl, was the wife of the 2nd Viscount Goschen, Viceroy of India.

Hon. Edward Gathorne-Hardy, second son of the third Earl, was a traveller, botanist and socialite who lived in Athens. He was famously eccentric and rumoured to have been in a relationship with Anthony Eden. Dorothy Milner Gathorne-Hardy, daughter of the third Earl, was the wife of Rupert D'Oyly Carte. Another member of the family was the writer Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy, a son of Hon. Anthony Gathorne-Hardy, youngest son of the third Earl.

Earls of Cranbrook (1892)

The 1st Earl of Cranbrook

The heir apparent is the present holder's son (John) Jason Gathorne-Hardy, Lord Medway (b. 1968).

Line of succession

Line of succession
  • Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 3rd Earl of Cranbrook (1870–1915)
    • John David Gathorne-Hardy, 4th Earl of Cranbrook (1900–1978)
      • Dr. Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 5th Earl of Cranbrook (b. 1933)
        • (1). John Jason Gathorne-Hardy, Lord Medway (b. 1968)
        • (2). Hon. Argus Edward Gathorne-Hardy (b. 1973)
          • (3). Jack Hector Jarvis Gathorne-Hardy (b. 2006)
          • (4). Fergus Hawthorne Gathorne-Hardy (b. 2008)
          • (5). Xan Ralph Gathorne-Hardy (b. 2011)
          • (6). Hector Max Gathorne-Hardy (b. 2013)
      • (7). Hon. Hugh Gathorne-Hardy (b. 1941)
        • (8). Frederick Jasper Gathorne-Hardy (b. 1972)
        • (9). Alfred Gathorne-Hardy (b. 1978)
    • Hon. Antony Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy (1907–1976)
      • Jonathan Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy (1933–2019)
        • (10). Benjamin Gathorne-Hardy (b. 1967)
      • (11). Samuel Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy (b. 1936)
        • (12). Robert Dee Gathorne-Hardy (b. 1973)



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  1. ^ "No. 26326". The London Gazette. 16 September 1892. p. 5273.
  2. ^ "No. 24578". The London Gazette. 3 May 1878. p. 2862.
  3. ^ Brian G Gardiner, ed. (July 2006). "218th Anniversary Meeting of the Linnean Society ..." (PDF). The Linnean. 22 (3): 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2009.
  4. ^ Morris, Susan; Bosberry-Scott, Wendy; Belfield, Gervase, eds. (2019). "Cranbrook, Earl of". Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage. Vol. 1 (150th ed.). London: Debrett's Ltd. pp. 2206–2209. ISBN 978-1-999767-0-5-1.