Earldom of Portsmouth
Wallop arms: Argent, a bend wavy sable
Crest : A mermaid holding in the sinister hand a mirror and in the dexter a comb all proper
supporters : On either side a chamois or wild goat sable
Creation date11 April 1743
Created byGeorge II
PeeragePeerage of Great Britain
First holderJohn Wallop, 1st Earl of Portsmouth
Present holderQuentin Wallop, 10th Earl of Portsmouth
Heir apparentOliver Henry Rufus Wallop, Viscount Lymington
Remainder to1st Earl's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.
Subsidiary titles
Seat(s)Farleigh Wallop
Former seat(s)
(In following the truth)
Arms of Wallop, Earls of Portsmouth. The supporters, Two chamois or wild goats sable, are here shown off duty; the crest is: A mermaid holding in the dexter hand a mirror in the other a comb all proper
Arms of Fellowes of Eggesford, Devon: Azure, a fesse indented ermine between three lion's heads erased or murally crowned argent. Newton Wallop, later 4th Earl, adopted these arms by royal licence in 1794 together with the surname Fellows on inheriting the manor of Eggesford. The 5th Earl reverted to the ancient Wallop arms and name, but without royal licence[1]

Earl of Portsmouth is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. After the death of Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth (c. 19 August 1673 - 14 November 1734), it was created in 1743 for John Wallop, 1st Viscount Lymington, who had previously represented Hampshire in the House of Commons. He had already been created Baron Wallop, of Farleigh Wallop in Hampshire in the County of Southampton, and Viscount Lymington, in 1720, also in the Peerage of Great Britain.

The second earl was the son of Catherine Conduitt, whose mother was Catherine Barton, half-niece of the eminent mathematical scientist Sir Isaac Newton. The earls of Portsmouth therefore are direct descendants of Isaac Newton's mother, and three of the earls have been named after Newton. The earls were in possession of a large trove of Newton's personal papers, until they were auctioned in 1936. Those documents are commonly known as the "Portsmouth Papers".[2]

The third Earl declared himself King of Hampshire and his brother had him declared insane.[3]

The fourth Earl represented Andover and Devonshire North in Parliament. In 1794, he assumed by Royal licence for himself and his issue the surname and arms of Fellowes only.

The fifth Earl resumed, without Royal licence, the family surname and arms of Wallop.

The sixth Earl represented Barnstaple in Parliament as a Liberal.

Oliver Henry Wallop, the eighth Earl, had moved from England to the United States, and been living the life of a rancher in Sheridan, Wyoming, at the time of the death of his older brother, the seventh Earl. Known as O.H. Wallop, he had served two terms a state representative in the Wyoming Legislature.[4] He had become an American citizen in 1891, and was allowed to take his seat in the House of Lords only after renouncing American citizenship.[5]

The ninth Earl sat as Conservative Member of Parliament for Basingstoke.

The current holder is Quentin Wallop, 10th Earl of Portsmouth, who succeeded in 1984, is the only son of Oliver Kintzing Wallop, Viscount Lymington (1923–1984).

The American politician Malcolm Wallop was a grandson of the 8th Earl.

The family seat is Farleigh House, near Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Earls of Portsmouth (from 1743)

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Oliver Henry Rufus Wallop, Viscount Lymington (b. 1981). As of 22 March 2016, Viscount Lymington is engaged to Flora Pownall.[6]

Further reading

Also see


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.900
  2. ^ Dry, Sarah (Winter 2015). "The Strange Tale of Newton's Papers". The New Atlantis. Washington, D.C.: The Center for the Study of Technology and Society. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  3. ^ Eagleton, Terry (7 September 2016). "Jack in the Belfry". London Review of Books. 38 (17).
  4. ^ "Neighbors Put Out Over Losing Cowpuncher Friend, Who Is to Become Earl", Pittsburgh Press, September 9, 1925, p10; "Wyoming Cowboy Is Earl of Portsmouth, Inheriting the Title of Brother in England", New York Times, September 9, 1925, p1
  5. ^ "Earl of Portsmouth Quits Wyoming Ranch; Ends American Citizenship of 42 Years", New York Times, April 8, 1933, p31
  6. ^ "Viscount Lymington to marry Flora Pownall". Peerage News. 22 March 2016.