Marquessate of Cholmondeley
Coronet of a British Marquess.svg

Marquess of Cholmondeley COA.svg
Arms: Gules in chief two Helmets in profile Argent, and in base a Garb Or. Crest: A Demi-Griffin segreant Sable, beaked winged and membered Or, holding between the claws a Helmet as in the arms. Supporters: Dexter: A Griffin Sable, beaked, winged and membered Or, langued Gules. Sinister: A Wolf Or, gorged with a Collar Vair, armed and langued Gules.[1]
Creation date22 November 1815
MonarchThe Prince Regent (acting on behalf of his father King George III)
PeeragePeerage of the United Kingdom
First holderGeorge Cholmondeley, 4th Earl of Cholmondeley
Present holderDavid Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley
Heir apparentAlexander Cholmondeley, Earl of Rocksavage (b. 2009)
Remainder tothe first marquess's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles
  • Earl of Cholmondeley
  • Earl of Rocksavage
  • Viscount Cholmondeley
  • Viscount Malpas
  • Baron Cholmondeley
  • Baron Newborough
  • Baron Newburgh
MottoCassis tutissima virtus
(Virtue is the safest helmet)[1]

Marquess of Cholmondeley (/ˈʌmli/ CHUM-lee) is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1815 for George Cholmondeley, 4th Earl of Cholmondeley.


The Cholmondeley family descends from William le Belward (or de Belward), the feudal lord of the barony of Malpas in Cheshire who acquired the lordship of "Calmundelai" (as it was spelt in the Domesday Book) through his wife Beatrix, daughter of Hugh de Kevelioc, 5th Earl of Chester. Their eldest son David le Belward inherited the feudal barony of Malpas and was the ancestor of the Egerton family. The second son, Robert le Belward, became feudal lord of the barony of Cholmondeley, which he passed to his son Sir Hugh de Cholmondeley (or "Chelmundeleih"), who adopted the new surname.[1][2][3]

His lineal descendant was Sir Hugh Cholmondeley (1513–1596), knighted by King Henry VIII. His eldest son was Robert Cholmondeley, 1st Earl of Leinster, while his youngest son Thomas was the ancestor of the Barons Delamere. Another son, his namesake Hugh, was the father of Robert Cholmondeley. He succeeded to the estates of his uncle Lord Leinster and was created Viscount Cholmondeley, of Kells in the County of Meath, in the Peerage of Ireland in 1661. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Viscount. He was a supporter of King William III and Queen Mary II and also served as Comptroller of the Household and as Treasurer of the Household. In 1689 he was created Baron Cholmondeley, of Nantwich in the County of Chester, in the Peerage of England, with remainder to his younger brother George Cholmondeley. In 1706 he was further honoured when he was made Viscount Malpas, in the County of Chester, and Earl of Cholmondeley, in the County of Chester, also in the Peerage of England and with the same special remainders.[1]

Houghton Hall, the ancestral home of the Marquess of Cholmondeley since the establishment of the title
Houghton Hall, the ancestral home of the Marquess of Cholmondeley since the establishment of the title

Lord Cholmondeley never married and was succeeded according to the special remainders (and according to the normal descent in the viscountcy of Cholmondeley) by his younger brother George, the second Earl. He was a prominent military commander and commanded the Horse Guards at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. In 1715, ten years before he succeeded his elder brother, he was raised to the Peerage of Ireland in his own right as Baron Newborough, of Newborough in the County of Wexford, and in 1716 he was made Baron Newburgh, in the Isle of Anglesey, in the Peerage of Great Britain.[4] On his death the titles passed to his son, the third Earl. He was a politician and held office as Lord Privy Seal and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.[1]

He was succeeded by his grandson, the fourth Earl. He was the son of George Cholmondeley, Viscount Malpas. Lord Cholmondeley was also a prominent politician and served as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard and as Lord Steward of the Household. In 1815 he was created Earl of Rocksavage, in the County of Chester, and Marquess of Cholmondeley, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[5][6] He was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Marquess. He represented Castle Rising in the House of Commons but in 1821 he was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Newburgh. Lord Cholmondeley was childless and was succeeded by his younger brother, the third Marquess. He sat as Member of Parliament for Castle Rising and South Hampshire. As he outlived most of his children, including the elder son, the third Marquess was succeeded in his titles by his grandson.[1]As of 2016, the titles are held by his great-great-great-grandson, the seventh Marquess, who succeeded his father in 1990.[1]

The courtesy title of the Marquess's heir is Earl of Rocksavage, while Lord Rocksavage's eldest son is known as Viscount Malpas.[citation needed]

The family seats are Houghton Hall, Norfolk, and Cholmondeley Castle, which is surrounded by a 7,500 acres (30 km2) estate near Malpas, Cheshire.[7]

Lord Great Chamberlain

A part of the office of Lord Great Chamberlain came into the Cholmondeley family through the marriage of the first Marquess of Cholmondeley to Lady Georgiana Charlotte Bertie, daughter of Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven.[8] The second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh holders of the marquessate have all held this office. As Lord Great Chamberlain, the present Marquess is, along with the Duke of Norfolk (the Earl Marshal), one of only two hereditary peers to retain automatic seats in the House of Lords after the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999.

Cholmondeley Castle

Cholmondeley Room

Peers in the House of Lords can hold their 70th birthday parties in the Cholmondeley Room at the Palace of Westminster.[9] Among other uses, Baroness Elliot of Harwood organised a dinner in 1984 for all female Conservative members of Parliament and peers; and this event was held in this venue.[10] The Cholmondeley Room and Terrace and the Attlee Room are available for private functions, sponsored by Members for personal use or for external organisations.[11]

Viscounts Cholmondeley (1661)

Earls of Cholmondeley (1706), Baron Newborough (1715), Baron Newburgh (1716)

19th-century illustration of the Marquess' coat of arms
19th-century illustration of the Marquess' coat of arms

Marquesses of Cholmondeley, Earl of Rocksavage (1815)

The heir apparent is Alexander Hugh George Cholmondeley, Earl of Rocksavage, the elder of the present holder's twin sons (born 2009). His younger twin brother is Lord Oliver Timothy George Cholmondeley.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. pp. 783–785. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ Burke, John (1832). A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. H. Colburn and R. Bentley. p. 243. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  3. ^ Cleveland, Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina Powlett Duchess of (1889). The Battle Abbey Roll: With Some Account of the Norman Lineages. J. Murray. p. 247. Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  4. ^ "No. 5447". The London Gazette. 3 July 1716. p. 2.
  5. ^ "No. 17066". The London Gazette. 30 September 1815. pp. 1966–1997.
  6. ^ "No. 17068". The London Gazette. 7 October 1815. p. 2014.
  7. ^ Caroline Donald. "The new garden at Houghton Hall, King's Lynn, Norfolk". The Times (UK). 11 May 2008.
  8. ^ Portcullis Archived 20 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine: Deed of Covenant and Agreement between Lord Willoughby de Eresby, The Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley and the Marquis of Cholmondeley re the exercise of the Office of Hereditary Great Chamberlain (16 May 1829).
  9. ^ Thomson, Alice. "The House of Lords: the perks, the pay, the pomp," The Times (London). 27 January 2009.
  10. ^ House of Lords: dinner organized by Baroness Elliot of Harwood, 1984
  11. ^ House of Lords: Refreshment Department