Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1672–1739)

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1672–1739)

Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford KG (1672–15 November, 1739), was a diplomat and First Lord of the Admiralty.

Thomas was a son of Sir William Wentworth of Northgatehead who served as Sheriff of Yorkshire and his wife Isabella Apsley, daughter of Sir Allen Apsley. His paternal grandfather Sir William Wentworth of Ashby Puerorum was a younger brother of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford. The younger Thomas Wentworth was thus first cousin, once removed of William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford who died childless, and upon whose death in 1695, he became the 3rd Baron Raby, by which title, he was known from then on. He did not inherit the Strafford fortune, however, which was passed to the second earl's wife's nephew, Watson, with the Jacobean house of the great earl, Wentworth Woodhouse.

In early life Thomas Wentworth saw much service as a soldier in the Low Countries, and was occasionally employed on diplomatic errands. From 1706 to 1711 he was Queen Anne's ambassador to Berlin, where he secured the services of Johann von Bodt to design for him Wentworth Castle, in the heart of Wentworth country in Yorkshire, built, largely directed by letter from a distance, ca 1710-20. From 1711 to 1714 he was British ambassador at the Hague, and in 1711 he was created Earl of Strafford. The earl was one of the British representatives at the congress of Utrecht, and in 1715 he was impeached for his share in concluding this treaty, but the charges against him were not pressed to a conclusion. Strafford retired to Wentworth Castle. He was created by "James III" ("The Old Pretender") on the 5 June 1722 "Duke of Strafford" in the Jacobite Peerage of England. He was succeeded in his titles by his only son William Wentworth, 2nd Earl, who added a neo-Palladian range to Wentworth Castle (completed in 1764) but died without issue in 1791.




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