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Biography of Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull (c.1665-1726)

Evelyn was the third son of Robert Pierrepont of Thoresby, Nottinghamshire, and his wife Elizabeth Evelyn. He was born at West Dean, Wiltshire (an estate brought to the Pierrepont family by the marriage of Robert Pierrepont with Elizabeth Evelyn), was educated at Winchester School, and entered Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1683.

He served as M.P. for East Retford from 1689-90, until he succeeded his brother as 5th Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull. In the first decade of the eighteenth century he was known as a sociable and popular man, and a member of the Kit-Kat Club.

He was Commissioner for the Union with Scotland in 1706, and in the same year was created Marquess of Dorchester. Among the local offices which he held were those of Custos Rotulorum of Nottinghamshire, c.1696-c.1701, and of Wiltshire, 1706-12 and 1714-26, Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire c.1701-14, and Lord Lieutenant 1714-26, Recorder of Nottingham 1707-26, and Chief Justice in Eyre North of the Trent, 1714-16. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1708. In August 1715, he was created Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull.

His loyal support of the Whig government ensured more appointments after receiving the dukedom. He was Lord Privy Seal from 1716 to 1718 and again from 1720 to 1726. In between, he acted as Lord President of the Council. The Duke became a Knight of the Garter in 1719, and acted as Lord Justice (Regent) during the King's absence. He died at Holme Pierrepont in March 1725/6.

A portrait of the Duke, by G. Kneller, 1709, is available on the website of the National Portrait Gallery.

Family

He married 1stly, in 1687, Mary, daughter of William Feilding, 3rd Earl of Denbigh, in 1687 (d 1697), and had:

  • William (1692-1713), styled Viscount Newark until 1706, and Earl of Kingston 1706-1713
  • Mary (1689-1762), m Edward Wortley Montagu in 1712 [n.b. Ne 4 1/24, Photograph [black and white] of a painting of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu by Jonathan Richardson; 1867]
  • Evelyn (1691-1727), m John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower
  • Frances (d 1761) m John Erskine, Earl of Mar, later Jacobite 1st Duke of Mar

He married 2ndly, in 1714, Isabella, daughter of the 1st Earl of Portland (d 1728), and had:

  • Caroline (1716-1753), m Thomas Brand
  • Anne (c.1719-1739)

Archive Collections

  • Title deeds and estate papers relating to the Duke's ownership of his estates are held at The British Library (Egerton Charters 2301-8836; Egerton MSS 3516-3660)
  • Appraisements of the property of the late Duke of Kingston, 1726, are part of the Manvers Collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham (Ma 4882-3)

Published Sources

  • G. F. R. Barker, rev. M. E. Clayton, ‘Pierrepont, Evelyn, first duke of Kingston upon Hull (bap. 1667, d. 1726)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2005 [available online to subscribers, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/22227]
  • Ferris, J. P., ‘Pierrepont, Evelyn’, in Basil Duke Henning (ed), History of Parliament: The House of Commons, 1660–90 (London : Published for the History of Parliament Trust by Secker & Warburg, 1983)
 

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