Capel, William (DNB00)

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CAPEL, WILLIAM, third Earl of Essex (1697–1743), eldest son of Algernon Capel, second Earl of Essex, and Mary, eldest daughter of William Bentinck, first earl of Portland, was born in 1697. In 1718 he was appointed gentleman of the bedchamber to George II when Prince of Wales, an office in which he was continued after the prince's accession to the throne. In 1725 he was made a knight of the Thistle, and in 1722 he was constituted lord-lieutenant of Hertfordshire. In 1731 he was appointed ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the king of Sardinia at Turin, an office which he discharged till 1736. He was in 1727 appointed keeper of St. James's and Hyde Parks, but resigned this position on 4 Dec. 1739 on being appointed captain yeoman of the guard. On 12 Feb. 1734–5 he was sworn a member of the privy council, and on 20 Feb. 1737–8 he was made a knight companion of the Garter. He died on 8 Jan. 1742–3, and was buried at Watford. By his first wife, Jane, eldest surviving daughter of Henry Hyde, earl of Clarendon, he had four daughters, and by his second wife, Elizabeth Russell, youngest daughter of Wriothesley, second duke of Bedford, he had four daughters and two sons. Of the sons the elder died young, and the second, William Anne (1732–1799), succeeded him in the peerage.

[Collins's Peerage, ed. Brydges, iii. 484–5; Clutterbuck's History of Hertford, i. 242–4.]

T. F. H.