Manuscripts and Special Collections

The Dukes of Newcastles of Clumber Park - a Brief History

The earliest Newcastle title was held by Ludovic Stuart, Duke of Richmond (c.1574-1624). He was also Duke of Lennox (a Scottish title) and in May 1623 was created Earl of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Duke of Richmond in the English Peerage by Charles I. He died in February 1624 without legitimate heirs and his English titles became extinct.

The title was revived in 1628 when William Cavendish, Viscount Mansfield was created Earl of Newcastle upon Tyne by Charles I. In 1643 William was raised to become Marquess of Newcastle upon Tyne, and finally, in 1665, he was created Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne. The title became extinct in 1691 with the death of his son, Henry Cavendish, the 2nd Duke. In 1694 it was recreated, this time for John Holles, 4th Earl of Clare, who had married his cousin, Margaret, the 2nd Duke's daughter.

Unfortunately, however, on John's death the title died out once again. A further recreation in 1715 meant that John's nephew, Thomas Pelham-Holles became the 4th Duke of Newcastle upon Tyne. With Thomas also having no male heirs, the title was in danger of extinction once again.

To counter this, in 1756, Thomas was also created Duke of Newcastle under Lyne (or Line). This title had a special remainder which enabled it to be inherited by his nephew. As a result, when Thomas died in 1768 the title Newcastle upon Tyne died with him, but the title Newcastle under Lyne was inherited by Henry Pelham-Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, who became the 2nd Duke. From that point onwards, inheritance of the title proceeded uneventfully down the male line.

The title 'Newcastle under Lyne' is sometimes a cause for confusion - the spelling Lyme is much more familiar, having crept into common usage during the 20th century. However, it is the spelling Lyne or Line which is the form of the title used in the original patent, and which is used in G.E. Cockayne's Complete Peerage. Family documents also use the spelling Lyne, at least until the 19th century when they began referring to themselves simply as the 'Dukes of Newcastle' - probably because the title had descended beyond the 4th Duke, and there was no longer any need to differentiate between the two forms of the title. It is interesting that in the early 20th century, newspaper articles were still referring to the 'Dukes of Newcastle under Lyne'. The Lyme spelling seems to have emerged from Burke's Peerage, which had adopted this form of the title by the late 19th century.

For a brief interlude there was also an alternative, Jacobite Newcastle title. In 1692 the exiled James II created the title Earl of Newcastle for Piers Butler, Viscount of Galmoye. This title died with him in 1740.

Simplified family tree showing the line of descent of the Dukes of Newcastle (opens in PDF format) 


Dukes of Newcastle upon Tyne

Dukes of Newcastle under Lyne (Line), later known as Lyme

Other Notable Family Members


Genealogical Sources

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


Next page:  Newcastle Family Seats


Manuscripts and Special Collections

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