1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lincoln, Earls of

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LINCOLN, EARLS OF. The first earl of Lincoln was probably William de Roumare (c. 1095–c. 1155), who was created earl about 1140, although it is possible that William de Albini, earl of Arundel, had previously held the earldom. Roumare’s grandson, another William de Roumare (c. 1150–c. 1198), is sometimes called earl of Lincoln, but he was never recognized as such, and about 1148 King Stephen granted the earldom to one of his supporters, Gilbert de Gand (d. 1156), who was related to the former earl. After Gilbert’s death the earldom was dormant for about sixty years; then in 1216 it was given to another Gilbert de Gand, and later it was claimed by the great earl of Chester, Ranulf, or Randulph, de Blundevill (d. 1232). From Ranulf the title to the earldom passed through his sister Hawise to the family of Lacy, John de Lacy (d. 1240) being made earl of Lincoln in 1232. He was son of Roger de Lacy (d. 1212), justiciar of England and constable of Chester. It was held by the Lacys until the death of Henry, the 3rd earl. Henry served Edward I. in Wales, France and Scotland, both as a soldier and a diplomatist. He went to France with Edmund, earl of Lancaster, in 1296, and when Edmund died in June of this year, succeeded him as commander of the English forces in Gascony; but he did not experience any great success in this capacity and returned to England early in 1298. The earl fought at the battle of Falkirk in July 1298, and took some part in the subsequent conquest of Scotland. He was then employed by Edward to negotiate successively with popes Boniface VIII. and Clement V., and also with Philip IV. of France; and was present at the death of the English king in July 1307. For a short time Lincoln was friendly with the new king, Edward II., and his favourite, Piers Gaveston; but quickly changing his attitude, he joined earl Thomas of Lancaster and the baronial party, was one of the “ordainers” appointed in 1310 and was regent of the kingdom during the king's absence in Scotland in the same year. He died in London on the 5th of February 1311, and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral. He married Margaret (d. 1309), granddaughter and heiress of William Longsword, 2nd earl of Salisbury, and his only surviving child, Alice (1283–1348), became the wife of Thomas, earl of Lancaster, who thus inherited his father-in-law's earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury. Lincoln's Inn in London gets its name from the earl, whose London residence occupied this site. He founded Whalley Abbey in Lancashire, and built Denbigh Castle.

In 1349 Henry Plantagenet, earl (afterwards duke) of Lancaster, a nephew of Earl Thomas, was created earl of Lincoln; and when his grandson Henry became king of England as Henry IV. in 1399 the title merged in the crown. In 1467 John de la Pole (c. 1464–1487), a nephew of Edward IV., was made earl of Lincoln, and the same dignity was conferred in 1525 upon Henry Brandon (1516–1545), son of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk. Both died without sons, and the next family to hold the earldom was that of Clinton.

Edward Fiennes Clinton, 9th Lord Clinton (1512–1585), lord high admiral and the husband of Henry VIII.'s mistress, Elizabeth Blount, was created earl of Lincoln in 1572. Before his elevation he had rendered very valuable services both on sea and land to Edward VI., to Mary and to Elizabeth, and he was in the confidence of the leading men of these reigns, including William Cecil, Lord Burghley. From 1572 until the present day the title has been held by Clinton's descendants. In 1768 Henry Clinton, the 9th earl (1720–1794), succeeded his uncle Thomas Pelham as 2nd duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne, and since this date the title of earl of Lincoln has been the courtesy title of the eldest son of the duke of Newcastle.

See G. E. C.(okayne), Complete Peerage, vol. v. (1893).