Baron Willoughby de Eresby

Arms of Willoughby: Quarterly 1 & 4: Sable, a cross engrailed or (Ufford); 2 & 3: Gules, a cross moline argent (Bec of Eresby)

Baron Willoughby de Eresby /ˈwɪləbi ˈdɪərzbi/[1] is a title in the Peerage of England.


The title was created by writ in 1313 for Robert de Willoughby, lord of the manor of Eresby in the parish of Spilsby, Lincolnshire. The fourteenth Baron was created Earl of Lindsey in 1626. His great-grandson, the fourth Earl and seventeenth Baron, was created Marquess of Lindsey in 1706 and Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven in 1715. On the death of the first Duke's great-grandson, the fourth Duke, the Dukedom, Marquessate and Earldom were inherited by his uncle, while the Barony of Willoughby de Eresby fell into abeyance between the late Duke's sisters Lady Priscilla and Lady Georgiana. In 1780 the title was called out of abeyance in favour of Priscilla. She was the wife of Peter Burrell, 1st Baron Gwydyr. Their son Peter inherited both Baronies. On the death of Peter's only son Albyric, the Barony of Gwydyr was passed on to a cousin, while the Barony of Willoughby de Eresby fell into abeyance between his sisters Clementina Drummond-Willoughby, wife of Gilbert John Heathcote, 1st Baron Aveland and Charlotte, wife of Robert Carrington, 2nd Baron Carrington. In 1871 the abeyance was terminated in favour of Clementina. She was succeeded by her and Lord Aveland's son Gilbert, 2nd Baron Aveland and 25th Baron Willoughby de Eresby. In 1892 he was created Earl of Ancaster, a revival of the Ancaster title created for his maternal ancestor in 1715. On the death of his grandson, the third Earl, in 1983, the Earldom and Barony of Aveland became extinct (while the Baronetcy also held by the Earl was passed on to a distant relative), while the Barony of Willoughby de Eresby was inherited by the late Earl's daughter, Nancy, the present holder of the title.

Since 1626 the Barony of Willoughby de Eresby has been associated with office of Lord Great Chamberlain. In that year, the first Earl of Lindsey inherited the Great Chamberlainship. Upon the death of the fourth Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, it was divided between his sisters Priscilla and Georgiana (who was later Marchioness of Cholmondeley). Thereafter, the barony of Willoughby de Eresby has been associated with the senior share of the Lord Great Chamberlainship. However, it has not been associated with the highest share. The share belonging to Lady Cholmondeley has been passed intact to her heirs, the Marquesses of Cholmondeley, but Lady Willoughby de Eresby's share has been split between many heirs. As of 2004, only one-fourth of the Lord Great Chamberlainship is possessed by the holder of the barony.

The peerage has been held by a woman six times, more than any other peerage except that of Baron de Ros.

The family seats are Grimsthorpe Castle in Edenham, near Bourne, Lincolnshire and Drummond Castle, near Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland, originally the family seat of the Drummond earls of Perth.

Barons Willoughby de Eresby (1313)

Arms of Bertie: Argent, three battering rams fesswise in pale or headed armed and garnished azure[2] (family of Priscilla Barbara Elizabeth Bertie, 21st Baroness Willoughby de Eresby (1761–1828))

The co-heirs presumptive are Sebastian St Maur Miller (b. 1965) and Sir John Aird, 4th Baronet (b. 1940). The former is the son of Carola Ramsden, the only child of the 26th Baron's elder daughter, Lady Catherine. The latter is the eldest child and only son of the 26th Baron's younger daughter, Lady Priscilla.

See also

Further reading


  1. "Willoughby". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
  2. Kidd, Charles, Debrett's peerage & Baronetage 2015 Edition, London, 2015, p.P751
  3. Sir Bernard Burke. A genealogical history of the dormant, abeyant, forfeited, and extinct peerages of the British empire. Harrison, 1866. pg 586, 1049.
  4. Douglas Richardson, Kimball G. Everingham. Plantagenet ancestry: a study in colonial and medieval families. Genealogical Publishing Com, 2004. pg 325.

External links

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