Manuscripts and Special Collections

The Pierrepont Family of Thoresby and Holme Pierrepont: A Brief History

The Pierreponts were based in north and central Nottinghamshire until the marriage of Henry de Pierrepont to Annora de Manvers at the end of the 13th century brought the estate at Holme, four miles from Nottingham, into the family. It was not until 1633 that the Thoresby estate was purchased by Sir Robert Pierrepont. The medieval Pierreponts were prominent local landowners and politicians, and two of them, Sir Robert de Pierrepont in the fourteenth century, and Sir Henry Pierrepont in the fifteenth century, also distinguished themselves on the battlefield.

Sir George Pierrepont (d 1564), Sir Henry Pierrepont (d 1616), and Sir Robert Pierrepont (d 1643, created Earl of Kingston-upon-in-Hull in 1628) presided over a period of expansion and consolidation of the family estates. Following Robert's death in 1643, his eldest son Henry, created Marquess of Dorchester in 1645, succeeded to the Holme Pierrepont and Orton Longueville estates. However, most of the Earl's purchased estates were settled on his second son William Pierrepont (d 1679) of Tong Castle, Shropshire, and later of Thoresby. The Marquess of Dorchester died without male issue in 1680, when he was succeeded as 3rd Earl of Kingston by his great-nephew Robert Pierrepont of Thoresby. The 3rd Earl died in 1682, being succeeded in turn by his brother William as 4th Earl and in 1690 by another brother, Evelyn (c.1665-1726), as 5th Earl.

The 5th Earl of Kingston was created Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull in 1715, and was succeeded in 1726 by his grandson Evelyn (1711-73). The male line died out with the 2nd Duke of Kingston in 1773. The estates were inherited in 1788, following the death of the Duke's widow, by his nephew Charles Medows (1737-1816), despite the legal challenges of Charles's elder brother Evelyn, who initiated a successful court case against the Countess of Kingston for bigamy. Charles assumed the surname Pierrepont in 1788, and was created Viscount Newark in 1796 and Earl Manvers in 1806. He was succeeded by Charles Herbert, the 2nd Earl (1778-1860), Sydney William Herbert, the 3rd Earl (1825-1900), Charles William Sydney, the 4th Earl (1854-1926), and Evelyn Robert, the 5th Earl (1888-1940).

The first four generations of Earls Manvers were all based very firmly in Nottinghamshire, taking local offices appropriate to their status, and interesting themselves greatly in local affairs. The 5th Earl was incapacitated, and the estates were administered through a trust. In 1940, his cousin Gervas Evelyn Pierrepont (1881-1955) succeeded as 6th Earl Manvers. With the 6th Earl's death the Manvers title became extinct, although an estate still survives, based at Thoresby Park.

The descent of the main estates until the creation of the earldom in 1628 was as follows:

  • Henry de Pierrepont (d 1292) m Annora de Manvers (d 1314), daughter of Michael de Manvers, and sister and heiress of Lionel de Manvers, c.1284
  • His son Sir Robert de Pierrepont (d 1334). m Cecily. Fought against Sir Robert Bruce at Methven under Edward, Prince of Wales. Governor of Newark Castle in reign of Edward II. One of the chief commanders in the army fighting against the Scots in 1327. Fought with the King in the battle of Hallidown in 1333
  • His son Robert Pierrepont m Sara daughter of Sir John Heriz
  • His son Henry Pierrepont m Margaret daughter of Sir William Fitzwilliams
  • His son Sir Edmund Pierrepont m Joane daughter of Sir George Monbocher
  • His son Sir Edmund Pierrepont m Frances daughter of Sir William Franke
  • His son Sir Henry Pierrepont (d 1452) m Ellen daughter of Sir Nicholas Langford. M.P. for Nottinghamshire 1417, 1421, 1423 and 1425
  • His son Henry Pierrepont (d 1457) m Thomasine daughter of Sir John Mellon
  • His son Sir Henry Pierrepont (d 1463). Fought for the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses
  • His nephew Sir William Pierrepont (d 1534) m Joane daughter of Sir Richard Empson. Knight Banneret 1513. Built the present Holme Pierrepont Hall
  • Sir George Pierrepont (d 1564) m Winifred daughter of William Thwaites. Knighted 1546
  • Sir Henry Pierrepont (1546-1616) m Frances, daughter of Sir William Cavendish of Chatsworth, Derbyshire

Earls and Dukes of Kingston-upon-Hull

Earls Manvers


Genealogical Sources

  • Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage
  • Debrett's Peerage
  • The Complete Peerage
  • Dictionary of National Biography


Next page:  Manvers Family Seats


Manuscripts and Special Collections

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