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Radnor, Earls Of

RADNOR, EARLS OF. The 1st earl of Radnor was John Robartes (1606-1685), who succeeded his father, Richard Robartes, as 2nd baron Robartes of Truro in May 1634, the barony having been purchased under compulsion for 10,000 in 1625. The family had amassed great wealth by trading in tin and wool. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, John Robartes fought on the side of the Parliament during the Civil War, being present at the battle of Edgehill and at the first battle of Newbury, and was a member of the committee of both kingdoms. He is said to have persuaded the earl of Essex to make his ill-fated march into Cornwall in 1644; he escaped with the earl from Lostwithiel and was afterwards governor of Plymouth. Between the execution of Charles I. and the restoration of Charles II. he took practically no part in public life, but after 1660 he became a prominent public man, owing his prominence partly to his influence among the Presbyterians, and ranged himself among Clarendon's enemies. He was lord deputy of Ireland in 1660-1661 and was lord lieutenant in 1669- 1670; from 1661 to 1673 he was lord privy seal, and from 1679 to 1684 lord president of the council. In 1679 he was created viscount Bodmin and earl of Radnor, and he died at Chelsea on the 17th of July 1685. His eldest son, Robert, viscount Bodmin, who was British envoy to Denmark, having predeceased his father, the latter was succeeded as 2nd earl by his grandson, Charles Bodvile Robartes (1660-1723), who was a member of parliament under Charles II. and James II., and was lord lieutenant of Cornwall from 1696 to 1705 and again from 1714 to 1723. Henry, the 3rd earl (c. 1690-1741), was also a grandson of the 1st earl, and John, the 4th earl (c. 1686-1757), was another grandson. When John, whose father was Francis Robartes (c. 1650-1718), a member of parliament for over thirty years and a musician of some repute, died unmarried in July 1757, his titles became extinct.

Lanhydrock, near Bodmin, and the other estates of the Robartes family passed to the earl's nephews, Thomas and George Hunt. Thomas Hunt's grandson and heir, Thomas James Agar-Robartes (1808-1882), a grandson of an Irish peer, James Agar, 1st viscount Clifden (1734-1789), was created baron Robartes of Lanhydrock and of Truro in 1869, after having represented East Cornwall in seven parliaments. His son and successor, Thomas Charles Agar-Robartes, the 2nd baron (b. 1844), succeeded his kinsman as 6th viscount Clifden in 1899.

In 1765 William Bouverie, 2nd viscount Folkestone (1725- 1776), son of Sir Jacob Bouverie, bart. (d. 1761), of Longford, Wiltshire, who was created viscount Folkestone in 1747, was made earl of Radnor. Descended from a Huguenot family, William Bouverie was a member of parliament from 1747 until he succeeded to the peerage in February 1761. He died on the 28th of January 1776. His son and successor, Jacob, the 2nd earl (1750-1828), who took the name of PleydellBouverie in accordance with the will of his maternal grandfather, Sir Mark Stuart Pleydell, bart. (d. 1768), was the father of William Pleydell-Bouverie, the 3rd earl (1779-1869), a politician of some note. In 1900 his great-grandson, Jacob Pleydell-Bouverie (b. 1868), became 6th earl of Radnor.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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