Fitzwilliam, Wentworth- family, Earls Fitzwilliam
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The Wentworth family owned Wentworth Woodhouse and Hooton Roberts (Yorkshire, West Riding) by the 14th century, and extended its West Riding property by purchase (Barbot Hall in 1525, Brampton Bierlow in 1606, Newhall in 1610, etc) and by marriage, notably that of Thomas Wentworth (d. 1579) to Margaret, daughter of Sir William Gascoigne, which brought estates at Gawthorpe, Cusworth and elsewhere. Sir William Wentworth was created a baronet in 1611 and his son Thomas (executed 1641) was made successively Baron Wentworth (1628), Viscount Wentworth (1629) and Earl of Strafford (1640). Strafford owned extensive Irish estates, mainly in County Wicklow (Shillelagh), County Kildare (Naas), and County Wexford.
At the 2nd Earl's death in 1695 the Wentworth estates passed to his nephew Thomas Watson (afterwards Watson-Wentworth), a younger son of the 2nd Baron Rockingham. He bought estates at Malton (Yorkshire, North Riding) in 1713 and Great Harrowden and Higham Ferrers (Northamptonshire) in 1695, which were extended by his son, created Earl of Malton in 1736 and Marquess of Rockingham in 1746. Property at Barmby Moor (Yorkshire, East Riding) was added to the Malton estate and further acquisitions, including Barnbrough in 1736 and the former Rokeby family possessions at Hoyland (bought c1704) and Skyers (bought 1756), were made in the West Riding. The estates of the Bright family near Sheffield (Yorkshire, West Riding) came through the marriage of the 2nd Marquess to Mary Bright in 1752. They had been accumulated in the 17th century by Stephen Bright of Carbrook (d. 1642), whose acquisitions included Ecclesall and Westwell, and his son Sir John Bright (d. 1688), who bought Badsworth (in 1652) and other West Riding properties.
On the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham's death without issue in 1782 the marquessate lapsed and his estates were inherited by his nephew the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam. However, when the 5th Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1857 his estates were divided, the former Watson-Wentworth properties passing to his elder son the 6th Earl and the former Fitzwilliam properties to his younger son George Wentworth Fitzwilliam of Milton (see Wentworth-Fitzwilliam of Milton). Badsworth (Yorkshire, West Riding) was sold by the 6th Earl c1858-9 but the 7th Earl bought the former Childers family property at Cantley (Yorkshire, West Riding) in 1903-5 and an estate at Wansford (Northamptonshire) from the Duke of Bedford in 1904.
Estates in 1883: Yorks E, N and WR 22,192 acres, Northants 881 acres, Cambs 522 acres, Derbys 308 acres, Hunts 75 acres, Lincs 17 acres, Co Wicklow 89,891 acres, Co Kildare 1,532 acres, Co Wexford 325 acres, total 115,743 acres worth £138,801 a year.
|Sources of authority:||Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Guide to Principal Estate and Family Collections, 1999.|
|Name authority reference:||GB/NNAF/F84040 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F10803 )|
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