|Earldom of Salisbury|
Marquessate of Salisbury
Arms of Cecil-Gascogne, Marquess and Earl of Salisbury: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Barry of ten Argent and Azure over all six Escutcheons Sable three two and one each charged with a Lion rampant of the First a Crescent for difference (Cecil); 2nd and 3rd, Argent on a Pale Sable a Conger's Head erased and erect Or charged with an Ermine Spot (Gascoyne)
|Creation date||1149 (first creation) |
1337 (second creation)
1472 (third creation)
1478 (fourth creation)
1605 (sixth creation)
|Monarch||Stephen (first creation) |
Edward III (second creation)
Edward IV (third creation, fourth creation)
Henry VIII (restoration)
James VI and I (fifth creation)
|Peerage||Peerage of England|
|First holder||Patrick of Salisbury, 1st Earl of Salisbury|
|Present holder||Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury|
|Heir apparent||Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Viscount Cranborne|
|Remainder to||Heirs male of the first earl's body lawfully begotten|
|Extinction date||1322 (first creation) |
1471 (second creation)
1478 (third creation)
1484 (fourth creation)
1539 (fifth creation)
Earl of Salisbury is a title that has been created several times in English and British history. It has a complex history, and is now a subsidiary title to the marquessate of Salisbury.
The title was first created for Patrick de Salisbury in the middle twelfth century. In 1196 the title passed to Patrick's granddaughter, Ela, who married William Longespée, an illegitimate son of Henry II the same year. Ela was predeceased by husband and son, and was succeeded by her granddaughter, Margaret Longespée. Margaret married Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln, and their daughter Alice eventually became Countess of Salisbury, in 1310, and of Lincoln, in 1311. Alice had married Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in 1294. When the Earl of Lancaster, but when he lost his titles and was executed for treason in 1322, the Countess surrendered all of her titles to the King, and the titles lapsed.
The title was created for a second time in 1337 for William Montacute of the noble House of Montagu. This line ended in the sole heiress, Alice Montacute, and her husband Richard Neville took up the earldom 'by right of his wife'.[Note 1]
After Warwick's death at the Battle of Barnet, in 1471 , the title was granted in 1472 to George, Duke of Clarence, who was married to Warwick's eldest daughter. When the Duke of Clarence was executed in 1478 for treason (supposedly by being drowned in a vat of Malmsey wine), the title was forfeit. It was then granted to Edward of Middleham (who was his nephew via the Duke's brother Richard), who died in 1484 at the age of 11.
It was restored to two of George of Clarence's children: to his son Edward in 1485 until his execution for treason in 1499, and to Edward's sister, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, in 1513 until she was also executed, and the title again forfeited, in 1539.
In 1605 the title was given to Robert Cecil, a close advisor to James I. Cecil was a son of Queen Elizabeth I's chief advisor, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, and half-brother to Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter. In 1789 James Cecil, the 7th Earl, was created the Marquess of Salisbury by George III.