William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh

William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh

, and knighted in 1603.

He married Susan, daughter of Sir George Villiers, sister of the future Duke of Buckingham, and on the rise of Buckingham received various offices and dignities. He was appointed Master of the Great Wardrobe in 1622, and Custos Rotulorum of Warwickshire in 1628, having been created Baron and Viscount Feilding in 1620, and Earl of Denbigh on 14 September 1622. He attended Prince Charles on the Spanish adventure, served as Admiral in the unsuccessful Cadiz Expedition in 1625, and commanded the disastrous attempt upon Rochelle in 1628, becoming the same year a member of the Council of War, and in 1633 a Member of the Council of Wales and the Marches. In 1631 Lord Denbigh visited the East.

On the outbreak of the English Civil War he served under Prince Rupert of the Rhine and was present at the Battle of Edgehill. On the 3rd of April 1643 during Rupert's attack on Birmingham he was wounded and died from the effects on the 8th, being buried at Monks Kirby in Warwickshire. His courage, unselfishness and devotion to duty are much praised by the Earl of Clarendon.

One of his daughters, May, was married to James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton, one of the heirs to the throne of Scotland after the descendants of James VI (James I of England).


*See E. Lodge, "Portraits" (1850), iv. 113; J. Nichols, "History of Leicestershire" (1807), iv. pt. 1, 273; Hist. MSS. Comm Ser. 4th Rep. app. 254; Cal. of State Papers, Dom.; "Studies in Peerage and Family History", by J. H. Round (1901), 216.

(The descent of the Feildings from the house of Habsburg, through the counts of Laufenburg and Rheinfelden, long considered authentic, and immortalized by Gibbon, has been proved to have been based on forged documents. See J. H. Round, "Peerage and Family History".)


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