Berkeley, family, Earls of Berkeley
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The Fitzhardinges, later Berkeleys, were lords of Berkeley (Gloucestershire) from the 12th century. The 10th Lord Berkeley (d. 1417) married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Warin de Lisle, Lord Lisle. William, Marquess of Berkeley (d. 1492) succeeded to part of the estates of the Mowbray Dukes of Norfolk in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Sussex and elsewhere. He settled much of his property with remainder to the King, reputedly in exchange for his Marquessate, but his brother Maurice (who married Isabel Maud, heiress of Thornbury (Gloucestershire) and property in Somerset) and Maurice's great-grandson, the 7th Baron Berkeley, recovered some of the alienated possessions.
Thomas Berkeley (d. 1611), son of the 7th Baron, married Elizabeth Carey, daughter and co-heir of the 2nd Baron Hunsdon: she purchased Cranford (Middlesex) in 1618. Their son, the 8th Baron, married in 1614 Elizabeth Stanhope, heiress of other property in Middlesex (including East Bedfont, sold to the Duke of Northumberland in 1656). The 9th Baron was created Earl of Berkeley in 1679. In 1773 the 5th Earl of Berkeley inherited valuable London property and the Portisham (Dorset) estate from a distant cousin, Lord Berkeley of Stratton.
In the early 19th century the Berkeley Castle estates passed to a natural son of the 5th Earl, who was created Baron Fitzhardinge in 1841. In the 20th century they descended to the 8th and last Earl of Berkeley, a descendant of the eldest legitimate son of the 5th Earl, and on his death to the Berkeleys of Spetchley (Worcestershire). The London property was sold in 1919 and Cranford mainly in 1932. The Bosham (Sussex) estate was held by the Hon. C.P.T. Berkeley, second son of the 1st Baron Fitzhardinge, in 1883.
Estates in 1883: Fitzhardinge: 18,264 acres in Gloucestershire; 1,471 acres in Dorset; 539 acres in Middlesex; together worth £33,717 a year. Berkeley of Spetchley: 4,811 acres in Worcestershire.
|Sources of authority:||Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996, pp. 8-9|
|Name authority reference:||GB/NNAF/F86149 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F3503 )|
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