|Earldom of Wharncliffe|
|Creation date||15 January 1876|
|Created by||Queen Victoria|
|Peerage||Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|First holder||Edward Montagu-Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Wharncliffe|
|Present holder||Richard Montagu-Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 5th Earl of Wharncliffe|
|Heir apparent||Reed Montagu-Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, Viscount Carleton|
|Remainder to||Special remainder (see main text)|
|Subsidiary titles||Viscount Carleton|
|Motto||AVITO VIRET HONORE|
(He flourishes with the honour of his ancestors)
Earl of Wharncliffe, in the West Riding of the County of York, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.
The earldom was created in 1876 for Edward Montagu-Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 3rd Baron Wharncliffe. He was a descendant of Edward Wortley Montagu (grandson of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich,) and his wife, the author Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Their daughter Mary married the future Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. Their second son, James Stuart, succeeded to the Wortley estates in Yorkshire and Cornwall through his mother and assumed the additional surname of Wortley, becoming James Stuart-Wortley. In 1803, he also inherited the Scottish estates of his uncle James Stuart-Mackenzie and assumed the additional surname of Mackenzie. His second son, James Stuart-Wortley, was a soldier and prominent Tory politician. In 1826, he was raised to the Peerage of the United Kingdom as Baron Wharncliffe, of Wortley in the County of York.
The first baron was succeeded by his eldest son, John. He represented Bossiney, Perth, and the West Riding of Yorkshire in the House of Commons. On his death, the peerage passed to his eldest son, Edward, the third Baron. He was Chairman of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, which under his leadership became the Great Central Railway. In 1876 he was created Viscount Carlton, of Carlton in the West Riding of the County of York, and Earl of Wharncliffe, in the West Riding of the County of York, with remainder to his younger brother the Hon. Francis Dudley Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie (1829–1893). These titles are all in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. In 1880, Lord Wharncliffe assumed the additional surname of Montagu. He was succeeded in the viscountcy and earldom, by virtue of the special remainder, by his nephew Francis, the second Earl, the eldest son of the Hon. Francis Dudley Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie. This line of the family failed on the death of his grandson, the fourth Earl, in 1987. He was succeeded by a second cousin once removed, the fifth and present Earl, the American-born Richard Alan Montagu-Stuart-Wortley, of Portland, Maine, the elder son of Alan Ralph Montagu-Stuart-Wortley, only son of Ralph Montagu-Stuart-Wortley, only son of the Hon. Ralph Granville Montagu-Stuart-Wortley, younger brother of the second Earl.
Several other members of this branch of the Stuart family have also gained distinction. John Stuart-Wortley, younger brother of the first Baron, sat as Member of Parliament for Bossiney. The Hon. Charles Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, second son of the first Baron, was also Member of Parliament for Bossiney. His daughter Victoria, Lady Welby, was a philosopher of language. Charles Stuart-Wortley, 1st Baron Stuart of Wortley, was the son of the Hon. James Stuart-Wortley, third son of the first Baron (see the Baron Stuart of Wortley for more information on this branch of the family). The Hon. Edward James Montague-Stuart-Wortley (1857–1934), second son of the Hon. Francis, second son of the second Baron, was a Major-General in the British Army. The Hon. Sir (Alan) Richard Montagu-Stuart-Wortley (1868–1949), younger son of the Hon. Francis, second son of the second Baron, was a Lieutenant-General in the British Army. The Hon. James Stuart-Wortley, third son of the second Baron, was a member of the first Parliament of New Zealand.
The family seat was Wortley Hall but the present Earl, Richard Wortley, is a distantly-related construction worker from Maine, USA. He did not inherit the estate, which had been reduced by death duties then passed to a different line of the family, namely to Lady Rowena Montagu Stuart Wortley Hunt, second and only surviving daughter of the 4th Earl; this was because the estate did not go with the title but was in the family before they became ennobled.
The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son, Reed Montagu-Stuart-Wortley, Viscount Carlton (born 1980).
Line of succession