1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/North, Barons
NORTH, BARONS. The English title of Lord North of Kirtling was created for Edward North (c. 1496—1564), son of Roger North, a London citizen, in 1554; he was a successful lawyer, clerk of the parliament (1531) and chancellor of the court of augmentations (1545). His second son was Sir Thomas North (q.v.), and he was succeeded as 2nd baron by his son Roger (1530—1600), a prominent courtier and soldier of Queen Elizabeth's day, who married the daughter of Lord Chancellor Rich, and whose eldest son, Sir John (c. 1551—1597), predeceased him.
Dudley North, 3rd Baron North (1581—1666), son of Sir John North and of Dorothy, daughter and heiress of Sir Valentine Dale, was born in 1581 and succeeded his grandfather, the 2nd Baron North, at the age of nineteen. He was educated at Cambridge, and married in 1599 Frances, daughter of Sir John Brockett of Brockett Hall in Hertfordshire. He travelled in Italy, took part in the campaign of 1602 in the Netherlands, and on his return became a conspicuous figure at court, excelling in athletic exercises as well as in poetry and music, and gaining the friendship of Prince Henry. In 1606, while returning from Eridge to London, he discovered the springs of Tunbridge Wells, which cured North himself of a complaint and quickly became famous. He also recommended the Epsom springs to the public. He supported and subscribed to the expedition to Guiana made by his brother Roger North (c. 1582—c. 1652) in 1619, and when Roger departed without leave Dudley was imprisoned for two days in the Fleet. In 1626 he attached himself to the party of Lord Saye and Sele in the Lords, who were in sympathy with the aims of the Commons; and when the civil war broke out he was on the side of the parliament. In 1641 he was a member of the Lords' committee on Religion, and served on the committee to consider Laud's attainder in 1644, finally voting for the ordinance in January 1645. He was placed on the admiralty commission in 1645, and acted as lord lieutenant for Cambridgeshire. He was one of the small group of Lords who continued attendance in the House of Peers, and on the 19th of December 1648, with three others, visited Fairfax, when they “cast down their honours at his Excellency's feet” and protested their desire not to retain any privileges prejudicial to the public interest. He passed the rest of his life in retirement at Kirtling in Cambridgeshire, with his sons, daughters and grandchildren, finding “employment with many airy entertainments as poetry, writing essays, building, making mottoes and inscriptions as well as in music.” He wrote A Forest of Varieties (1645), a miscellany of essays and poems, another edition of which was published in 1659 under the title of A Forest promiscuous of various Seasons' Productions. He died on the 16th of January 1666. North is described as “full of spirit and flame,” of imperious temper but of well balanced judgment, Lord Holland declaring that “he knew no man less swayed with passion and sooner carried with reason and justice.” He left, besides one daughter, two sons, the elder of whom, Sir Dudley, succeeded him as 4th Baron North.
Dudley North, 4th Baron North (1602—1677), increased the family fortune by marrying the daughter of Sir Charles Montagu, brother of the 1st earl of Manchester. He was an accomplished man, of studious bent, and had fourteen children, of whom the third son, Francis, became lord chancellor as Lord Guilford; the fourth was Sir Dudley North (q.v.), the economist; the fifth, John (1645—1683), master of Trinity, Cambridge, and professor of Greek in the university; and the sixth, Roger (q.v.), the lawyer and historian.
The eldest son, Charles (d. 1691), was created Lord Grey of Rolleston during his father's life, and succeeded his father as 5th Baron North; and on the death of his son, William, 6th Lord North, without issue, in 1734, the barony of North went to a cousin, Francis North, 3rd baron, afterwards 1st earl of Guilford. The title of Lord North is that by which the 2nd earl of Guilford, prime minister from 1770 to 1782, is best known in history (see Guilford, Barons and Earls of).
George Augustus, 3rd earl of Guilford (d. 1802), left three daughters, and the barony of North fell into abeyance till 1841 when it vested in Susan, Baroness North (1797—1884), wife of John Sidney Doyle, who took the name of North; at her death her son William Henry John North (b. 1836) succeeded as 11th baron, the title now being separate from that of Guilford.
- Gardiner's Civil War, iv. 285
- Roger North's Autobiography, ed. by A. Jessopp, 68.