Baron Walpole, of Walpole in the County of Norfolk, is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain.
Since 1797 holders also hold the title of Baron Walpole of Wolterton. Past holders have also held the titles Baron Walpole, of Houghton in the County of Norfolk, Viscount Walpole and Earl of Orford (second creation) (1745 to 1797), its third creation from 1806 to 1931. One holder held the title of Baron Clinton from 1781 to 1791.
The title of Baron Walpole, of Walpole in the County of Norfolk, was created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1723 for Robert Walpole, in honour of and during the lifetime of his father, Sir Robert Walpole, the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain, with special remainder, failing male issue, to his brothers Edward Walpole and Horace Walpole, in default of this then to the heirs male of his father, and in default of this then to the heirs male of his grandfather Sir Thomas Walpole.
On Sir Robert Walpole's retirement from the House of Commons in 1742, he received the same title, but of Houghton in the County of Norfolk and those of Viscount Walpole and Earl of Orford, with standard remainder.
When Lord Orford, effectively Britain's first Prime Minister, died in 1745 he was succeeded by his eldest son, who in 1724 he had married the Devonshire heiress Margaret Rolle (1709-1781), who by survival, in 1751, became one of the co-heirs to the ancient Barony of Clinton, which thereby fell into abeyance. In 1760 the abeyance was terminated in her favour, and she became the 15th Baroness Clinton. The second Earl of Orford was succeeded by his eldest son, the third Earl. He notably served as Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk from 1757 to 1797. In 1781 he also succeeded his mother as 16th Baron Clinton. Lord Orford never married and on his death the Barony of Clinton became dormant (see the Baron Clinton for later history of this peerage), while the other titles were inherited by his uncle, the fourth Earl, at birth known as Horace Walpole, who was a politician and early expounder of the Neo-Gothic in architecture and the Gothic novel. He never married either and so on his death in 1797 three of his titles of different ranks became extinct while he was succeeded as Baron Walpole of Walpole according to the special remainder by his cousin Horatio Walpole, 2nd Baron Walpole (known as the younger).
Other early grant (with third territorial designation)
The title of Baron Walpole, of Wolterton, was created in the Peerage of Great Britain in 1756 for the politician and diplomat Horatio Walpole (the elder). He was the younger brother of Prime Minister Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford.
Horatio Walpole the younger
As said, Horatio Walpole (the younger) succeeded as Baron Walpole of Walpole and eventually his father's title. He had earlier represented King's Lynn in Parliament. In favour with those in power, in 1806 the Earldom of Orford was recreated for him.
Horatio the younger's son sat as Member of Parliament for Wigan and King's Lynn before coming into his earldom. His grandson, the fourth Earl, briefly represented Wigan in the House of Commons; on the death of his nephew, the earldom of Orford became extinct.
The Baronies of Walpole (of Walpole), and Walpole (of Wolterton) survived, and were inherited by the late Earl's distant Walpole cousin. He was a male-line descendant of Hon. Thomas Walpole, second son of the first Baron Walpole, of Wolterton. As of 2016 the two remaining peerages are held by the ninth Baron’s son, the tenth and eighth Baron Walpole. He is one of the ninety hereditary peers who remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act of 1999, and sits as a cross-bencher.
Earls of Orford (1742) and Baron Walpole (1723)
- Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (1676–1745)
- Robert Walpole, 2nd Earl of Orford, 1st Baron Walpole (1701–1751)
- George Walpole, 3rd Earl of Orford, 2nd Baron Walpole (1730–1791)
- Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, 3rd Baron Walpole (1717–1797)
Barons Walpole, of Wolterton (1756)
- Horatio Walpole, 1st Baron Walpole (1678–1757)
- Horatio Walpole, 2nd Baron Walpole (1723–1809) (succeeded as Baron Walpole (of Walpole) in 1797 and created Earl of Orford in 1806)
Earls of Orford (1806)
- Horatio Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, 4th Baron Walpole, 2nd Baron Walpole (1723–1809)
- Horatio Walpole, 2nd Earl of Orford, 5th Baron Walpole, 3rd Baron Walpole (1752–1822)
- Horatio Walpole, 3rd Earl of Orford, 6th Baron Walpole, 4th Baron Walpole (1783–1858)
- Horatio William Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, 7th Baron Walpole, 5th Baron Walpole (1813–1894)
- Robert Horace Walpole, 5th Earl of Orford, 8th Baron Walpole, 6th Baron Walpole (1854–1931)
Baron Walpole (1723) and Baron Walpole (1756) following reversion
- Robert Henry Montgomerie Walpole, 9th Baron Walpole, 7th Baron Walpole (1913–1989)
- Robert Horatio Walpole, 10th Baron Walpole, 8th Baron Walpole (b. 1938)
The heir to the barony is Lord Walpole's son, Jonathan Robert Hugh Walpole (b. 1967).
Notes and references
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,
- Burkes Peerage and Baronetage (1939)
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages