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Earldom of Radnor

Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, per fesse or and ar. an eagle displ. with two heads sa., on the breast an escutcheon gu. charged with a bend vair (being the ancient arms of Bouverie, confirmed and allowed to be thus borne by royal sign-manual in 1798); 2nd and 3rd, ar. a bend gu. gutte d’eau betw. two ravens sa., a chief chequy or, and of the last, for Pleydell
Creation date1765
Created byGeorge III
PeeragePeerage of Great Britain
First holderWilliam Bouverie, 2nd Viscount Folkestone
Present holderWilliam Pleydell-Bouverie, 9th Earl of Radnor
Heir apparentJacob Pleydell-Bouverie, Viscount Folkestone
Subsidiary titlesViscounts Folkestone
Baronets of St Catherine Cree Church /Baron Longford /Baron Pleydell-Bouverie
Seat(s)Longford Castle
Alward House
Former seat(s)Coleshill House
William Pleydell-Bouverie,
3rd Earl of Radnor

Earl of Radnor, of the County of Radnor, is a title which has been created twice. It was first created in the Peerage of England in 1679 for John Robartes, 2nd Baron Robartes, a notable political figure of the reign of Charles II. The earldom was created for a second time in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1765 for William Bouverie, 2nd Viscount Folkestone.

The Bouverie family descends from William des Bouverie, a prominent London merchant. He was created a baronet of St Catherine Cree Church, London, in the Baronetage of Great Britain in 1714. His eldest son, the second Baronet, represented Shaftesbury in the House of Commons. He was succeeded by his younger brother, the third Baronet. He sat as Member of Parliament for Salisbury until he was raised to the Peerage of Great Britain as Baron Longford and Viscount Folkestone in 1747.

His son, the second Viscount, also represented Salisbury in Parliament. In 1765 he was made Baron Pleydell-Bouverie, of Coleshill in the County of Berkshire, and Earl of Radnor. The earldom was created with remainder, failing heirs male of his body, to the heirs male of his father. Both peerages were in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He was Member of Parliament for Salisbury and served as Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire. The second Earl assumed the additional surname of Pleydell after succeeding to the estates of his maternal grandfather, Sir Mark Stuart Pleydell, 1st Baronet (see Pleydell Baronets). His son, the third Earl, represented Downton and Salisbury in the House of Commons. On his death the titles passed to his son, the fourth Earl. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire.

He was succeeded by his son, the fifth Earl. He sat as Conservative Member of Parliament for South Wiltshire and Enfield and held political office as Treasurer of the Household from 1885 to 1886 under Lord Salisbury. His son, the sixth Earl, represented Wilton (also known as South Wiltshire) in Parliament as a Conservative and served as Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire. He was succeeded by his son, the seventh Earl. He notably held the honorary posts of Keeper of the Privy Seal and Lord Warden of the Stannaries and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1962. As of 2009, the titles are held by his grandson, also William Pleydell-Bouverie, the 9th Earl of Radnor, who succeeded his father in 2008.

Successive Earls of Radnor were governors of the French Hospital from the eighteenth century to 2015.[1]

The family seats are Longford Castle, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, and Alward House, near Alderbury, Wiltshire. Before 1952, another seat was Coleshill House in Coleshill, Berkshire (presently Oxfordshire).

Barons Robartes, first creation (1625)

Earls of Radnor, first creation (1679)

des Bouverie baronets, of St Catherine Cree Church (1714)

Viscounts Folkestone (1747)

Earls of Radnor, second creation (1765)

Coat of arms of Jacob Pleydell-Bouverie, 2nd Earl of Radnor, dated 1793, in the east window of the chancel of St. Andrew's parish church, Shrivenham

Present peer

William Pleydell-Bouverie, 9th Earl of Radnor (born 5 January 1955) is the eldest son of the 8th Earl and his wife Anne Garden Farquharson Seth-Smith. Styled as Viscount Folkestone from 1968, he was educated at Harrow School and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. In 2003, he was living at Alward House, Alderbury, Wiltshire.[2]

In 2008 Folkestone succeeded his father as Earl of Radnor (G.B., 1765), Viscount Folkestone (G.B., 1747), and Baron Longford (G.B., 1747), and Baron Pleydell-Bouverie (G.B., 1765). He also inherited a baronetcy, Bouverie of St. Catherine Cree Church, London (G.B., 1714).[2][failed verification] In 1996 he married Melissa Stanford, daughter of James Keith Edward Stanford. They have five children.[2]

Ancestry and extended family

In an episode of the Dutch television show Verborgen Verleden (similar to the British Who Do You Think You Are?) broadcast in November 2014, the Dutch architect Jan des Bouvrie found that his family was descended from Jehan de le Bouvrie (born about 1480), of Sainghin-en-Mélantois, where in 1543 his widow, Jeanne de la Motte, inherited a farm with four cows and two horses. A grandson of Jehan, the merchant Lawrence de Bouverie, born in Sainghin, migrated to England, where his descendant William des Bouverie was created a baronet and became the ancestor of the Earls of Radnor. Jan des Bouvrie hoped to meet the present-day Lord Radnor, but he would not agree to meet him for the television show.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Incorporated in 1718, the hospital founded in Finsbury for poor French Protestants and their descendants, moved to a purpose-built hospital designed by Roumieu in Victoria Park, Hackney, then to Compton's Lea, Horsham, West Sussex and is now located in Rochester, Kent. Today it provides sheltered housing for people of Huguenot descent. See: Tessa Murdoch and Randolph Vigne with foreword by Jacob Pleydell-Bouverie, 8th Earl of Radnor, The French Hospital in England: Its Huguenot History and Collections Cambridge: John Adamson ISBN 978-0-9524322-7-2.
  2. ^ a b c Burke's Peerage, volume 3, 2003, page 3248
  3. ^ Verborgen Verleden, season 5, episode 6 (Jan des Bouvrie) at (in Dutch)