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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Earls and Dukes of Kingston-Upon-Hull

These titles were borne by the family of Pierrepont, or Pierrepoint, from 1628 to 1773.

Robert Pierrepont (1584-1643), second son of Sir Henry Pierrepont of Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire, was member of parliament for Nottingham in 1601, and was created Baron Pierrepont and Viscount Newark in 1627, being made earl of Kingston-upon-Hull in the following year. He remained neutral on the outbreak of the Civil War; but afterwards he joined the king, and was appointed lieutenant-general of the counties of Lincoln, Rutland, Huntingdon, Cambridge and Norfolk. Whilst defending Gainsborough he was taken prisoner, and was accidentally killed on the 25th of July 1643 while being conveyed to Hull. The earl had five sons, one of whom was Francis Pierrepont (d. 1659), a colonel in the parliamentary army and afterwards a member of the Long Parliament; and another was William Pierrepont, a leading member of the parliamentary party.

His son Henry Pierrepont (1606-1680), 2nd earl of Kingston and Ist marquess of Dorchester, was member of parliament for Nottinghamshire, and was called to the House of Lords as Baron Pierrepont in 1641. During the earlier part of the Civil War he was at Oxford in attendance upon the king, whom he represented at the negotiations at Uxbridge. In 1645 he was made a privy councillor and created marquess of Dorchester; but in 1647 he compounded for his estates by paying a large fine to the parliamentarians. Afterwards the marquess, who was always fond of books, spent his time mainly in London engaged in the study of medicine and law, his devotion to the former science bringing upon him a certain amount of ridicule and abuse. After the Restoration he was restored to the privy council, and was made recorder of Nottingham and a fellow of the Joyal Society. Dorchester had two daughters, but no sons, and when he died in London on the 8th of December 1680 the title of marquess of Dorchester became extinct. He was succeeded as 3rd earl of Kingston by Robert (d. 1682), a son of Robert Pierrepont of Thoresby, Nottinghamshire, and as 4th earl by Robert's brother William (d. 1690).

Evelyn Pierrepont (c. 1655-1726), 5th earl and 1st duke of Kingston, another brother had been member of parliament for East Retford before his accession to the peerage. While serving as one of the commissioners for the union with Scotland he was created marquess of Dorchester in 1706, and took a leading part in the business of the House of Lords. He was made a privy councillor and in 1715 was created duke of Kingston; afterwards serving as lord privy seal and lord president of the council. The duke, who died on the 5th of March 1726, was a prominent figure in the fashionable society of his day. He was twice married, and had five daughters, among whom was Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and one son, William, earl of Kingston (d. '713).

The latter's son, Evelyn Pierrepont (1711-1773), succeeded his grandfather as second duke of Kingston. When the rebellion of 1745 broke out he raised a regiment called "Kingston's light horse," which distinguished itself at Culloden. The duke, who attained the rank of general in the army, is described by Horace Walpole as "a very weak man, of the greatest beauty and finest person in England." He is chiefly famous for his connexion with Elizabeth Chudleigh, who claimed to be duchess of Kingston. The Kingston titles became extinct on the duke's death without children on the 23rd of September 1773, but on the death of the duchess in 1788 the estates came to his nephew Charles Meadows (1737-1816), who took the name of Pierrepont and was created Baron Pierrepont and Viscount Newark in 1796, and Earl Manvers in 1806. His descendant, the present Earl Manvers, is thus the representative of the dukes of Kingston.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Earls and Dukes of Kingston-Upon-Hull'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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