Baron Wentworth

Baron Wentworth is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1529 for Thomas Wentworth, who was also de jure sixth Baron le Despencer of the 1387 creation. The title was created by writ, which means that it can descend via female lines (according to the male-preference cognatic primogeniture).

Barony Wentworth
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Arms of Wentworth.svg
Wentworth arms: Sable, a chevron between three leopard's faces, or
Creation date2 December 1529[1]
MonarchKing Henry VIII
PeeragePeerage of England
First holderThomas Wentworth, 6th Baron le Despencer
Present holderJohn Lytton, 18th Baron Wentworth, 5th Earl of Lytton
Heir apparentPhilip Lytton, Viscount Knebworth
Remainder tothe 1st Baron's heirs general of the body lawfully begotten
Seat(s)Knebworth House
Former seat(s)Wentworth Woodhouse
Nettlestead Place
Wentworth Castle
MottoPensez à bien ("Think of good")


Anne Blunt, 15th Baroness Wentworth, in Bedouin dress, with her favourite riding mare, Kasida Date

Wentworth familyEdit

Thomas Wentworth was created first Baron in 1529.

He was succeeded by his son, also Thomas Wentworth. The second Baron represented Suffolk in the House of Commons and served as Deputy of Calais.

His grandson, Thomas Wentworth, the fourth Baron, was created Earl of Cleveland in the Peerage of England in 1626. He later became a prominent Royalist commander in the Civil War. The earldom became extinct on Lord Cleveland's death in 1667.

His son Thomas Wentworth was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in 1640 in his father's junior title of Baron Wentworth (and is considered the fifth Baron). He was also a noted Royalist commander in the Civil War. However, he predeceased his father by two years.

Henrietta Maria Wentworth, daughter of the fifth Baron, succeeded as the sixth holder upon her grandfather's death. She died without issue.

Lovelace and Johnson familiesEdit

The 6th Baroness died aged 25 and was succeeded by her aunt Anne, the seventh holder. She was the wife of John Lovelace, 2nd Baron Lovelace. On her death in 1697, the title passed to her granddaughter Martha Johnson, the eighth holder. However, it was not until 1702 that she was confirmed in the title.

Noel familyEdit

The 8th Baroness was succeeded by her kinsman Sir Edward Noel, 6th Baronet, of Kirkby Mallory, who became the ninth Baron (see Noel Baronets for earlier history of this title). He was the heir of the Hon. Margaret Noel, daughter of the 7th Baroness. In 1762 he was created Viscount Wentworth, of Wellesborough in the County of Leicester, in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was succeeded by his son, the 2nd Viscount. He briefly represented Leicestershire in Parliament before he succeeded his father in the viscountcy. Lord Wentworth had no legitimate male heir and on his death in 1815 the viscountcy and baronetcy became extinct. The barony fell into abeyance.

The abeyance was terminated in 1856 in favour of Anne Isabella Byron, Dowager Baroness Byron, who became the eleventh holder of the title. She was the daughter of the Hon. Judith Noel, daughter of the first Viscount Wentworth, and her husband Sir Ralph Milbanke, 6th Baronet, of Halbany, and the widow of the famous poet George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron. Lord and Lady Byron had in 1822 assumed by Royal licence the surname of Noel. However, she never used the substantive title of Lady Wentworth in the four years between her accession and her death in 1860; she continued to be known as Lady Byron.

King-Noel familyEdit

She was succeeded by her grandson Byron King-Noel, Viscount Ockham, who became the twelfth Baron. He was the eldest son of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, daughter of Lord and Lady Byron, and her husband William King-Noel, 1st Earl of Lovelace. However, he never married and on his early death in 1862 at the age of 26, the barony was passed on to his younger brother, Ralph King-Milbanke. In 1893, he succeeded his father as second Earl of Lovelace. When he died in 1906, the earldom and barony separated. He was succeeded in the earldom by his half-brother, the third Earl, while the barony was inherited by his daughter and only child Lady Ada King-Milbanke, the fourteenth holder.

Blunt and Lytton familiesEdit

Arms of Earl Lytton, holders of the title of Baron Wentworth since 1957.

The 14th Baroness never married and was succeeded by her aunt, Lady Anne Blunt, the fifteenth holder of the peerage. She was the wife of the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. She was succeeded by her only surviving child, Judith, the sixteenth holder. She married the Hon. Neville Bulwer-Lytton, youngest son of Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton. In 1947 he succeeded his elder brother as third Earl of Lytton. Lord Lytton and Lady Wentworth were succeeded respectively in 1951 and 1957 by their son Noel Lytton, 4th Earl of Lytton; as a consequence the barony became subsidiary to the Earldom of Lytton since 1957. As of 2017 the titles are held by the latter's eldest son, John Lytton, 5th Earl of Lytton.

Barons Wentworth (1529)Edit

Earls of Cleveland (1626)Edit

Barons Wentworth (1529; Reverted)Edit

Viscounts Wentworth (1762)Edit

Barons Wentworth (1529; Reverted)Edit

Family treeEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Wentworth, Thomas (1501-1551)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.