By R.J. Cadranell © 1990
** Originally printed in the November December 1990 issue of The Crabbet Influence magazine. Also published in The Crabbet Influence’s 1993 Collector’s Volume II.
One of the most important family names connected to the breeding of Crabbet horses is that of Wentworth. The Wentworth Barony was a title Crabbet Stud co-founders Lady Anne Blunt and her younger brother inherited from their mother’s family. From Lady Anne Blunt the title passed to her daughter Judith. As Lady Wentworth, she became one of the world’s most famous breeders of Arabian horses.
The family name traces back to William Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse, who died in 1308. His descendant Sir Thomas Wentworth, Lord Chamberlain to Edward VI, was summoned to Parliament December 2, 1529. He died 1550-1 and was succeeded by his eldest son.
Thomas, 2nd Baron Wentworth, Knt. Banneret, P.C. last governor of Calais. He married 2ndly, in 1555-6, Anne, daughter of Henry Wentworth of Mountnessing. Lord Wentworth died in 1583-4, leaving an elder surviving son,
Henry, 3rd Baron Wentworth: He married in 1585 Anne, daughter of Sir Owen Hopton. Their son,
Thomas, Earl of Cleveland and 4th Baron Wentworth, K.B., was the last holder of the Wentworth title in the direct male line. He advanced to the earldom in 1625-6. He married in 1612 Anne, daughter of Sir John Crofts. At his death in 1667, the Earldom of Cleveland became extinct. The Earl of Cleveland had, among other children, one son and one surviving daughter (named Anne). His son,
Thomas, 5th Baron Wentworth, K.B. was summoned to Parliament in 1640, during his father’s lifetime. He predeceased his father, leaving a daughter,
Henrietta Maria, who succeeded her grandfather as Baroness Wentworth, the Wentworth Barony being one of the few which can pass through the female line. Lady Wentworth was the mistress of the Duke of Monmouth, but died unmarried in 1686. She was succeeded by her aunt,
Anne, who was in her sixties when she inherited the title of Baroness Wentworth from her niece. Anne had married in 1638 John, 2nd Baron Lovelace. They left, with others who d.s.p., a son John (3rd Baron Lovelace) and a daughter Margaret. The 3rd Baron Lovelace died during his mother’s lifetime, so that his daughter,
Martha succeeded her grandmother as Baroness Wentworth. Martha died without issue July 18, 1745 at the age of 80. The Barony of Wentworth then passed to her cousin.
Edward Noel, who succeeded at 9th Baron in 1745 and was created 1st Viscount Wentworth in 1762. He married in July of 1744 Judith, daughter and heir of William Lamb. Their only son,
Thomas, (b. November 18, 1745) succeeded his father as 2nd Viscount Wentworth and 10th Baron. When Thomas died without issue on April 17, 1815, the viscounty of Wentworth and baronetcy of Noel became extinct. The barony of Wentworth, however, fell into abeyance between the last lord’s sister Judith, Lady Milbanke, afterwards Noel, and his lordship’s nephew, Nathaniel, later 3rd Lord Scarsdale.
Judith married January 9, 1777 Adm. Sir Ralph Milbanke, 6th bart., M.P. They assumed by royal licence in 1815 following the death of Viscount Wentworth the name and arms of Noel. He died March 19, 1825, and she January 22, 1822. They left an only child.
Anne Isabella (Annebella) Milbanke, born May 17, 1792, and best known to the world as Lady Byron. She and the Poet were married in January of 1815. Byron assumed on his marriage the additional surname of Noel, before that of Byron, but the marriage lasted little more than a year. It produced one child, Augusta Ada, born December 10, 1815. Ada married July 8, 1835 William, 8th Baron King, created 1st Earl of Lovelace in 1838. Ada, Countess of Lovelace, was a brilliant mathematician who died November 29, 1852, at the age of 36, leaving two sons and a daughter. The daughter is known to Arabian horse breeders as Lady Anne Blunt. The Earl of Lovelace assumed by royal licence in 1860 the additional name of Noel.
When Lady Byron’s cousin Lord Scarsdale died unmarried on November 12, 1856, the abeyance terminated in her favor. As the only surviving heir of her grandfather Viscount Wentworth, she became 11th Baroness Wentworth. When she died in May of 1860, she was succeeded by her elder grandson,
Byron Noel, 12th Baron Wentworth and, by courtesy, Viscount Ockham. He died unmarried in September of 1862 at the age of 26, and was succeeded by his brother.
Ralph Gordon Noel, 13th Baron Wentworth. He had been authorized by royal licence in 1861 to take the surname of Milbanke instead of King-Noel. Lord Wentworth and his sister, Anne Isabella (Anabella) Noel, were both married in 1869. Lord Wentworth married Fanny Heriot. Lady Annabella married Wilfrid Scawen Blunt on June 8. Lord Wentworth was divorced from his wife in 1873. They had had a daughter, Ada Mary Milbanke, born February 26, 1871. In 1880 he married his second wife, Mary Caroline, daughter of the Rt. Hon. James Stuart Wortley. In 1893 Lord Wentworth succeeded his father as 2nd Earl of Lovelace. Lord Lovelace died August 28, 1906, and was succeeded in the Wentworth barony by his daughter, and in his other honors by his half-brother, Lionel Fortescue King. (His widow, Lady Mary Lovelace, died during the Second World War.)
Lady Anne and Wilfrid Blunt’s only surviving child, Judith Anne Dorothea, was born February 6, 1873. Miss Blunt married February 2, 1899 Hon. Neville Stephen Lytton, who became 3rd Earl of Lytton in 1947. They had three children,
Noel Anthony Scawen, b. April 7, 1900
Anne, b. August 24, 1901
and Winifrid, b. March 19, 1904
Mrs. Lytton changed her name to Blunt-Lytton in 1904.
Ada Mary Milbanke, 14th Baroness Wentworth, died on June 18, 1917. The title then passed to her aunt, Lady Anne Blunt, the only surviving heir of Lady Byron. Lady Anne Blunt was the sixth female holder of the Wentworth title. She held it for a shorter span of time than anyone else, as she died on December 15, 1917. She was succeeded by her daughter,
Judith Anne Dorothea, 16th Baroness Wentworth, and the seventh female to hold the title. When Arabian horse breeders speak of Lady Wentworth, this is the person to whom they refer. She and her husband were divorced in 1923. Lady Wentworth died August 8, 1957. Of her children.
The Hon. Anne Lytton and her brother assumed by deed poll in 1925 the name Lytton-Milbanke. She discontinued the use of the additional surname by deed poll in 1947, the year her father succeeded to the Earldom. Henceforth she was known as Lady Anne Lytton. She died unmarried on June 26, 1979;
The Hon. Winifrid Lytton at the age of 17 married Claude F.H. Tryon. Lady Winifrid Tryon, as she was known following her father’s succession to the Earldom of Lytton, died without issue in 1985.
The Hon. Anthony Lytton-Milbanke became Viscount Knebworth in 1947 and succeeded his father as 4th Earl of Lytton in 1951. He discontinued by deed poll in 1951 the use of the Milbanke surname. Lord Lytton succeeded his mother as 17th Baron Wentworth in 1957. He had married in 1946 Clarissa Mary, daughter of Brig. Gen. Cyril Eustace Palmer. Lord Lytton died in 1984, leaving five children.
His son John Peter Michael Scawen (born June 7th, 1950) succeeded as 5th Earl of Lytton and 18th Baron Wentworth. Lord Lytton is married to Ursula, daughter of Anton Komoly, of Poschgasse, Vienna. The Earl and Countess of Lytton have a daughter under ten years of age and a son, Philip, Viscount Knebworth, born in 1989.
The present Earl’s brother, the Hon. Thomas Roland Cyril Lawrence, was born in 1954. He is unmarried.
Lord Lytton has three sisters: Lady Caroline Mary Noel (b. 1947) and Lady Lucy Mary Frances (b. 1957) are both unmarried. Lady Sarah Teresa Mary (b. 1959) is married but has no children.
This brings the story of the Wentworth Barony up to the present time. It is, however, only one of many historically significant family connections of the Blunts and Lady Wentworth.
Guide to abbreviations used in this article:
Knt. Banneret is ‘Knight Banneret,’ originally a Knight Banneret was a knight who was allowed to lead his men into battle under his own banner. A ‘Knight Bachelor’ ranked just below a Knight Banneret and served under someone else’s banner.
‘P.C.’ is Privy Counsellor.
‘Married 2ndly’ means that this is his second wife. His first wife is not relevant to this story.
‘d.s.p.’ stands for ‘died sine prole.’ The last part (sine prole) is Latin for ‘without offspring.’
‘bart’ is short for ‘baronet.’
‘M.P.’ is ‘Member of Parliament.’
Archer, et al., The Crabbet Arabian Stud. Alexander Heriot: Gloucestershire, 1978.
Lady Anne Blunt, Journals and Correspondence. Edited by Rosemary Archer and James Fleming. Alexander Heriot: Gloucestershire, 1986.
Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage. 1913 ed.
Louis Crompton, Byron and Greek Love. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985.
Sybilla Jane Flower, Knebworth House. Derby: English Life Publications, 1984.
Mary Jane Parkinson, The Kellogg Arabian Ranch. HHR Publications: El Cajon, California, 2nd ed. 1977.
‘George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron,’ Encyclopedia Britannica. 1956 ed. vol IV, pp 478-84.
Carol Mulder and Michael Bowling, The Lady Anne Lytton. Arabian Horse World, Vol XX, No 1 (October 1979), p. 302.
**All of the articles included in the re-launched Crabbet.com site from the original website, Georgia Cheer, Silver Monarch Publishing and The Crabbet Influence magazine are shared here with permission of Georgia Cheer given May 16, 2012.**