Earl of Devon
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The title of Earl of Devon was created several times in the
English peerage The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union 1707, Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Peerage of Scotland, Scotland were replaced by one Peerage of Great ...
, and was possessed first (after the
Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of Normans, Duchy of Brittany, Bretons, County of Flanders, Flemish, and men from other Kingdom of France, French ...
of 1066) by the de Redvers (''alias'' de Reviers, Revieres, etc.) family, and later by the Courtenays. It is not to be confused with the title of
Earl of Devonshire The Hereditary title, title of Earl of Devonshire has been created twice in the Peerage of England, firstly in 1603 for the Baron Mountjoy, Blount family and then recreated in 1618 for the Cavendish family, in whose possession the earldom remains. ...
, held, together with the title
Duke of Devonshire Duke of Devonshire is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titl ...
, by the Cavendish family of
Chatsworth House Chatsworth House is a stately home An English country house is a large house or mansion A mansion is a large dwelling house. The word itself derives through Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a ...

Chatsworth House
, Derbyshire, although the letters patent for the creation of the latter peerages used the same Latin words, ''Comes Devon(iae)''. It was a re-invention, if not an actual continuation, of the pre-Conquest office of
Ealdorman of Devon The Ealdorman of Devon in England before the Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of Normans, Duchy of Brittany, Bretons, County of Fl ...
. Close kinsmen and powerful allies of the Plantagenet kings, especially
Edward III Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death in 1377. He is noted for his military success and for restoring roy ...

Edward III
,
Richard II Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was List of deposed politicians, deposed in 1399. Richard's father, Edward the Black Prince, Edward, Prince of ...

Richard II
,
Henry IVHenry IV may refer to: People * Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106), King of The Romans and Holy Roman Emperor * Henry IV, Duke of Limburg (1195–1247) * Henry IV, Duke of Brabant (1251/1252–1272) * Henryk IV Probus (c. 1258–1290), Duke ...

Henry IV
and
Henry V Henry V may refer to: People * Henry V, Duke of Bavaria (died 1026) * Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (1081/86–1125) * Henry V, Duke of Carinthia (died 1161) * Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine (c. 1173–1227) * Henry V, Count of Luxembourg (1216 ...

Henry V
, the Earls of Devon were treated with suspicion by the Tudors, perhaps unfairly, partly because William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1475–1511), had married Princess
Catherine of York Katherine, also spelled Catherine, and Catherina, other variations are feminine Given name, names. They are popular in Christian countries because of their derivation from the name of one of the first Christian saints, Catherine of Alexandria. ...

Catherine of York
, a younger daughter of
King Edward IV Edward IV (28 April 1442 – 9 April 1483) was King of England from 4 March 1461 to 3 October 1470, then again from 11 April 1471 until his death in 1483. He was a central figure in the Wars of the Roses, a series of civil wars in England ...
, bringing the Earls of Devon very close to the line of succession to the English throne. During the Tudor period all but the last Earl were
attainted In English criminal law Criminal law is the body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and i ...
, and there were several recreations and restorations. The last recreation was to the heirs male of the grantee, not (as would be usual) to the heirs male of his body. When he died unmarried, it was assumed the title was extinct, but a much later very distant Courtenay cousin, of the family seated at Powderham, whose common ancestor was
Hugh de Courtenay, 2nd Earl of Devon Sir Hugh de Courtenay, 2nd/10th Earl of Devon (12 July 1303 – 2 May 1377), 2nd Baron Courtenay, feudal barony of Okehampton, feudal baron of Okehampton and Feudal barony of Plympton, feudal baron of Plympton, played an important role in the ...
(d.1377), seven generations before this Earl, successfully claimed the title in 1831. During this period of dormancy the ''de jure'' Earls of Devon, the Courtenays of Powderham, were created
baronets A baronet ( or ; abbreviated Bart or Bt) or the rare female equivalent, a baronetess (, , or ; abbreviation Btss), is the holder of a baronetcy, a hereditary title awarded by the British Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in a ...
and later
viscounts A viscount ( , for male) or viscountess (, for female) is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qu ...
. During this time, an unrelated earldom of similar name, now called for distinction the Earldom of Devonshire, was created twice, once for
Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy Charles Blount, 1st Earl of Devonshire, KG (pronounced ''Blunt''; 15633 April 1606) was an English nobleman Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a for ...
, who had no legitimate children, and a second time for the Cavendish family, now
Dukes of Devonshire Duke of Devonshire is a Hereditary title, title in the Peerage of England held by members of the House of Cavendish, Cavendish family. This (now the senior) branch of the Cavendish family has been one of the wealthiest British aristocratic fami ...
. Unlike the Dukes of Devonshire, seated in Derbyshire, the Earls of Devon were strongly connected to the county of
Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Ch ...

Devon
. Their seat is
Powderham Castle Powderham Castle is a fortified manor house situated within the parish and former Manorialism, manor of Powderham, within the former Hundred (county division), hundred of Exminster, Devon, about south of the city of Exeter and mile (0.4&n ...
, near
Starcross Starcross is a village with a 2011 census recorded population of 1,737 situated on the west shore of the Exe Estuary Image:Exe estuary from balloon.jpg, The Exe estuary seen from a hot air balloon. The road at the bottom is the M5 motorway, M5, ...

Starcross
on the
River Exe The River Exe ( ) in England rises at Exe Head, near the village of Simonsbath Simonsbath () is a small village high on in the of . It is the principal settlement in the Exmoor civil parish, which is the largest and most sparsely po ...

River Exe
. The Earl of Devon has not inherited the ancient and original Barony of Courtenay or the Viscountcy of Courtenay of Powderham (1762–1835); nevertheless, his heir is styled Lord Courtenay by
courtesy Courtesy (from the word ''courteis'', from the 12th century) is gentle politeness Politeness is the practical application of good manners or etiquette Etiquette ( and ; ) is the set of conventional rules of personal behaviour in polite s ...
.


Ealdormen of Devon

Before the
Norman Conquest The Norman Conquest (or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of Normans, Duchy of Brittany, Bretons, County of Flanders, Flemish, and men from other Kingdom of France, French ...
of 1066 the highest sub-regal authority in Devon was the
Ealdorman Ealdorman () was a term in Anglo-Saxon England Anglo-Saxon England or Early Medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th centuries from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman Conquest, Norman conquest in 1066, consisted of various ...
, of which office the later Earldom of Devon was a re-invention, if not an actual continuation. *
Odda Odda () is a list of former municipalities of Norway, former municipality in the old Hordaland counties of Norway, county, Norway. The municipality existed from 1913 until its dissolution in 2020 when it was merged into Ullensvang Municipality. I ...
, under
Alfred the Great Alfred the Great (848/49 – 26 October 899) was king of the West Saxons This is a list of monarchs of Wessex until 886 AD. For later monarchs, see the List of English monarchs. While the details of the later monarchs are confirmed by a numbe ...

Alfred the Great
, led Anglo-Saxon forces in the
Battle of Cynwit The Battle of Cynwit, also spelt Cynuit, was a battle between West Saxons Wessex (; ang, Westseaxna rīċe , 'the Kingdom of the West Saxons') was an Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a who inhabited . They traced their origins to th ...
, ultimately defeating an army led by Viking chieftain
Ubba Ubba (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitan ...
. * Ordgar (d.971), under
King Edgar
King Edgar
(ruled 959–975). He founded
Tavistock Abbey Tavistock Abbey, also known as the Abbey of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Saint Mary and Saint Rumon, is a ruined Order of Saint Benedict, Benedictine abbey in Tavistock, Devon. Nothing remains of the abbey except the refectory, two gateways and a po ...

Tavistock Abbey
in 961. His son was
Ordwulf Ordwulf (died after 1005) was the son of Ordgar, Ealdorman of Devon (died 971). His sister was Queen Ælfthryth, wife of Edgar, Ælfthryth, third wife of King Edgar the Peaceful, Edgar (born 943, died 975; ruled 959-975)'' The Peaceful'' and mother ...
(died after 1005), who realised the founding.


The post-Norman earldom

The first Earl of Devon was
Baldwin de Redvers Baldwin de Redvers, 1st Earl of Devon (died 4 June 1155), feudal baron of Plympton The feudal barony of Plympton (or Honour of Plympton) was a large English feudal barony, feudal barony in the county of Devon, England, whose ''caput'' was Plympton ...
(c. 1095–1155), son of
Richard de Redvers Richard de Redvers (or Reviers, Rivers, or Latinised to ''de Ripariis'' ("from the river-banks")) ( c. 1066 – 8 September 1107), 1st feudal baron of Plympton The feudal barony of Plympton (or Honour of Plympton) was a large English feudal b ...
(d.1107),
feudal baron of Plympton The feudal barony of Plympton (or Honour of Plympton) was a large feudal barony A feudal baron is a vassal A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deit ...
, Devon, one of the principal supporters of King
Henry I Henry I may refer to: 876–1366 * Henry I the Fowler, King of Germany (876–936) * Henry I, Duke of Bavaria (died 955) * Henry I of Austria, Margrave of Austria (died 1018) * Henry I of France (1008–1060) * Henry I the Long, Margrave of the Nor ...

Henry I
(1100–1135). It was believed by some that Richard de Redvers had in fact been created the first Earl of Devon, and although in the past this caused confusion concerning the numerical ordering of the Earls of Devon, the point is now more clearly settled in favour of Baldwin as the first. Baldwin de Redvers was a great noble in
Devon Devon (, archaically known as Devonshire) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Ch ...

Devon
and the
Isle of Wight The Isle of Wight () is a Counties of England, county and the List of islands of England, largest and second-most populous island of England. It is in the English Channel, between two and five miles off the coast of Hampshire, from which it is ...

Isle of Wight
, where his seat was
Carisbrooke Castle Carisbrooke Castle is a historic motte-and-bailey castle A motte-and-bailey castle is a European fortification with a wooden or stone keep situated on a raised area of ground called a motte, accompanied by a walled courtyard, or Bailey (cast ...

Carisbrooke Castle
, and was one of the first to rebel against
King Stephen
King Stephen
(1135–1154). He seized
Exeter Castle Rougemont Castle, also known as Exeter Castle, is the historic castle of the city of Exeter, Devon, England. It was built into the northern corner of the Roman city walls starting in or shortly after the year 1068, following Exeter's rebellion ...
, and mounted naval raids from
Carisbrooke Carisbrooke is a village on the south western outskirts of Newport, Isle of Wight, Newport, Isle of Wight and is best known as the site of Carisbrooke Castle. It also has a medieval parish church. St Mary's Church, Carisbrooke, St Mary's Church ( ...
, but was driven out of England to
Anjou Anjou (, ; ; la, Andegavia) was a French province straddling the lower Loire River The Loire (, also ; ; oc, Léger, ; la, Liger) is the longest river in France and the 171st longest in the world. With a length of , it drains , more th ...
, France, where he joined the
Empress Matilda Empress Matilda ( 7 February 110210 September 1167), also known as the Empress Maude, was one of the claimants to the English throne during the civil war known as the Anarchy The Anarchy was a civil war A civil war, also known ...

Empress Matilda
. She created him Earl of Devon after she established herself in England, probably in early 1141.
Baldwin de Redvers, 1st Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 1st Earl of Devon (died 4 June 1155), feudal baron of Plympton in Devon, was the son of Richard de Redvers and his wife Adeline Peverel. He was one of the first to rebel against Stephen of England, King Stephen, and was the onl ...
, was succeeded by his son,
Richard de Redvers, 2nd Earl of Devon Richard de Redvers, 2nd Earl of Devon (died 1162) was Earl of Devon from 1155 until his death and was feudal baron of Plympton in Devon.Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, pp.137-8, Barony of ...
, and grandson,
Baldwin de Redvers, 3rd Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 3rd Earl of Devon (c. 1160–1188) was Earl of Devon from 1162 until his death and was feudal baron of Plympton in Devon.Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, pp.137-8, Baron ...
, and the latter was succeeded by his brother,
Richard de Redvers, 4th Earl of Devon Richard is a male given name. It originates, via Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all R ...
, who died childless.
William de Redvers, 5th Earl of Devon William is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproducti ...
(d.1217) was the third son of Baldwin, the 1st Earl. He had only two children who left children. His son Baldwin died 1 September 1216 at the age of sixteen, leaving his wife Margaret pregnant with
Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon (1217 – 15 February 1245), feudal baron of Plympton in Devon and Lord of the Isle of Wight, was the son of Baldwin de Redvers and Margaret FitzGerold and grandson of William de Redvers, 5th Earl of Devon. ...

Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon
.
King John King John may refer to: Rulers * John, King of England (1166–1216) * John I of Jerusalem (c. 1170–1237) * John Balliol, King of Scotland (c. 1249–1314) * John I of France (15–20 November 1316) * John II of France (1319–1364) * John I of A ...

King John
(1199–1216) forced her to marry Falkes de Breauté, but she was rescued at the fall of
Bedford Castle Bedford Castle was a large medieval castle in Bedford, England. Built after 1100 by Henry I of England, Henry I, the castle played a prominent part in both the civil war of the Anarchy and the First Barons' War. The castle was significantly ext ...
in 1224 and divorced from him, as having been in no true marriage. She is thus called
Countess of Devon Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility in certain European countries, varying in relative status, generally of middling rank in the hierarchy of nobility.L. G. Pine, Pine, L. G. ''Titles: How the King Became His Majesty'' ...
in several records. The fifth Earl's youngest daughter, Mary de Redvers, known as 'de Vernon', was eventually sole heiress of the 1141 Earldom. She married firstly,
Pierre de Preaux Peter de Preaux, known in his time in the Old French language as Pierre de Préaux, (died 1212) was a Normans, Norman knight in the service of the House of Plantagenet, Angevin kings of England. Osbert, Peter's father, was a minor Norman baron in t ...
, and secondly, Robert de Courtenay (d.1242),
feudal baron of Okehampton The feudal barony of Okehampton was a very large English feudal barony, feudal barony, the largest mediaeval fiefdom in the county of Devon, England,Thorn & Thorn, part 2, chapter 16 whose ''caput'' was Okehampton Castle and Manorialism, manor. It ...
, Devon. The
6th Earl
6th Earl
was succeeded by his son,
Baldwin de Redvers, 7th Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 7th Earl of Devon (1 January 1236 – 1262), feudal baron of Plympton in DevonSanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, pp. 137–8, Barony of Plympton and Lord of the Isl ...
(d.1262), who died without children. His sister,
Isabella de Forz Isabel de Forz (July 1237 – 10 November 1293) (or Isabel de Redvers, Latinized to Isabella de Fortibus) was the eldest daughter of Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon (1217 – 15 February 1245), feudal ...
, widow of
William de Forz, 4th Earl of Albemarle William is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproducti ...
, became Countess of Devon ''
suo jure ''Suo jure'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
''. Her children predeceased her and she had no grandchildren. Her lands were inherited by her second cousin once removed,
Hugh de Courtenay Sir Hugh de Courtenay (1251–1292) was the son and heir of John de Courtenay, Feudal barony of Okehampton, feudal baron of Okehampton, Devon, by Isabel de Vere, daughter of Hugh de Vere, 4th Earl of Oxford. His son inherited the Earl of Devon, ear ...
(1276–1340), feudal baron of Okehampton, the great-grandson of Mary de Redvers and Robert de Courtenay (d.1242) of Okehampton. He descended from Renaud de Courtenay, anglicised to Reginald I de Courtenay, of Sutton, a French nobleman of the House of Courtenay who took up residence in England after the conquest and founded the English branch of the Courtenay family, who became Earls of Devon in 1335. The title is still held today, by his direct male descendant. Hugh de Courtenay was summoned by
writ In common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institu ...

writ
to Parliament in 1299 as ''Hugo de Curtenay'', whereby he is held to have become Baron Courtenay. However, forty-one years after the death of Isabel de Forz,
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) ( always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act acco ...
were issued on 22 February 1335 declaring him Earl of Devon, and stating that he "should assume such title and style as his ancestors, Earls of Devon, had wont to do", by which he was confirmed as Earl of Devon. Although some sources consider this a new grant the wording of the grant arguably indicates a confirmation and that he became thereby 9th Earl. Historic sources thus variously refer to him as either 1st Earl or 9th Earl, and the position cannot be decided either way due to the uncertainty of the surviving evidence. For the last years of his life he thus held two titles, 1st/9th Earl of Devon, by reason of the 1335 letters patent, and 1st Baron Courtenay, the title by which he had been summoned to Parliament in the years prior to the 1335 letters patent. The 1st/9th Earl was succeeded by his son,
Hugh de Courtenay, 2nd/10th Earl of Devon File:CourtenayEffigiesExeterCathedral.JPG, 200px, Effigies of Hugh de Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon, and his wife, Margaret de Bohun, south transept, Exeter Cathedral. Sir Hugh de Courtenay, 2nd/10th Earl of Devon (12 July 1303 – 2 May 1377), ...
. Three of the eight sons of the 2nd/10th Earl had descendants a fourth,
William Courtenay William Courtenay ( 134231 July 1396) was Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is gener ...
, was
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
and
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inheri ...
. Sir Hugh Courtenay (1326–1349), KG, eldest son and heir of the 2nd/10th Earl, was one of the founding members of the
Order of the Garter (Shame on him who thinks evil of it) , eligibility = , criteria = At Her Majesty's pleasure , status = Currently constituted , founder = Edward III Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward ...
, but both he and his only son, Sir Hugh Courtenay (died 1374), predeceased the 2nd/10th Earl. Sir Edward de Courtenay (died 1368/71), the third son, also predeceased his father, but left an eldest son, Edward de Courtenay, 3rd Earl of Devon (1357–1419), "The Blind", who inherited as the 3rd/11th Earl. The 3rd/11th Earl's eldest son, Sir Edward Courtenay (died 1418), married Eleanor Mortimer, daughter of
Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March Roger is a given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of pro ...
, but predeceased his father, leaving no children, and the 3rd/11th Earl's second son, Hugh de Courtenay, 4th Earl of Devon (d.1422) succeeded him as became 4th/12th Earl of Devon. The 4th/12th Earl was succeeded by his son, Thomas de Courtenay, 5th Earl of Devon, Thomas Courtenay, 5th/13th Earl of Devon (d.1458). The Wars of the Roses were disastrous for the Courtenay earls. The 5th/13th Earl's son, Thomas Courtenay, 6th Earl of Devon, Thomas Courtenay, 6th/14th Earl of Devon (d.1461), fought on the losing Lancastrian side at the Battle of Towton (1461), was captured and beheaded, and all his honours forfeited by attainder. Tiverton Castle and all the other vast Courtenay lands were forfeited to the crown, later to be partially restored.


Second creation, 1469

Edward IV of England, Edward IV had made Humphrey Stafford, 1st Earl of Devon, Humphrey Stafford, grandson and heir of Humphrey Stafford of Hooke, Dorset, his agent in the West Country. On 17 May 1469, Stafford was created Earl of Devon, but was killed only three months later, having led royal forces against the rebel army of Robin of Redesdale, a deputy of the Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, Earl of Warwick. Captured in the Battle of Edgecote, he was beheaded at Bridgwater on 17 August 1469. He left no children, and with his death the second creation of the earldom became extinct. He is known as the "Three Months' Earl".


Restored first creation, 1470

The Wars of the Roses continued and in 1470 the Lancastrian forces under Warwick prevailed, and Henry VI of England, Henry VI was Readeption of Henry VI, restored to the throne. The 1461 attainders were reversed, and the earldom of Devon was restored to John Courtenay, 7th Earl of Devon, John Courtenay, 7th/15th Earl of Devon (d.1471), youngest brother of Thomas Courtenay, 6th Earl of Devon, Thomas, the 6th/14th Earl. There had been a middle brother also, Henry Courtenay (d.1469), who also perished in the Wars. When the Yorkists again prevailed in the following year, Edward IV had the legislation of Henry VI's second reign cancelled, and all of John Courtenay's honours were forfeited. A few weeks later, on 4 May 1471, he died fighting on the losing side at the Battle of Tewkesbury (1471), leaving no children. According to Cokayne, ''"on his death the representation of the ancient Earls of Devon (of the family of Reviers from whom the Courtenays had inherited it) and of the Barony of Courtenay (created by the writ of 1299) fell into abeyance between his sisters or their descendants, subject to the attainder of Edward IV (1461), which revived on that King's re-accession 14 April 1471"''.


Third creation, 1485

Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1485 creation), Sir Edward Courtenay (d.1509), great-nephew of the 3rd/11th Earl, fought on the winning side at Battle of Bosworth Field, Bosworth on 22 August 1485, ending the Wars of the Roses and two months later the new King, Henry VII of England, Henry VII (1485–1509), by
letters patent Letters patent ( la, litterae patentes) ( always in the plural) are a type of legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act acco ...
dated 16 October 1485, created Edward Courtenay Earl of Devon (or Devonshire), with the usual remainder to the heirs male of his body. As the son and heir of Sir Hugh Courtenay (died 1471/2) of Bocconoc, Sir Edward Courtenay was the heir male of his family, his father being the son and heir of Sir Hugh Courtenay of Haccombe, younger brother of Edward de Courtenay, 3rd Earl of Devon, Edward de Courtenay, 3rd/11th Earl of Devon (d.1419), "The Blind". He united the Tiverton and Powderham lines of the family, having married Elizabeth Courtenay, a daughter of a younger son of the Powderham line. He died 28 May 1509, when the earldom was forfeited by the attainder in 1504 of his son and heir, William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, William Courtenay (d.1511).


Fourth creation, 1511

William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, William Courtenay (d.1511) had married Princess
Catherine of York Katherine, also spelled Catherine, and Catherina, other variations are feminine Given name, names. They are popular in Christian countries because of their derivation from the name of one of the first Christian saints, Catherine of Alexandria. ...

Catherine of York
, a younger daughter of King Edward IV, thereby exciting suspicions of disloyalty in Henry VII, who had him imprisoned and attainted for his supposed but unproven complicity in the conspiracy of Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk. However, during the reign of his son and successor King Henry VIII of England, Henry VIII (1509–1547) William Courtenay was gradually forgiven. His lands were restored as far as was possible, and by letters patent of 10 May 1511 he was created Earl of Devon with remainder to the heirs of his body. He died suddenly of pleurisy a month later on 11 June 1511, leaving his only surviving son, Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter, Henry Courtenay (d.1539), to inherit the earldom. In December 1512 Henry Courtenay (d.1539) obtained by Act of Parliament the reversal of the 1504 attainder of his father, William Courtenay. In 1512 he thus inherited the earldom of Devon as held by his grandfather, having at his father's death the previous year already inherited the earldom conferred by patent on his father in 1511. In 1525 he was created Marquess of Exeter by Henry VIII. However, in 1538 he was tried, convicted, attainted and beheaded by the same king for conspiring with the Poles and Nevilles against the government of Thomas Cromwell in the aftermath of the Pilgrimage of Grace. All his titles were forfeited by his attainder.


Fifth creation, 1553

Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1553 creation), Edward Courtenay (d.1556), Henry Courtenay's second but only surviving son, was a prisoner in the Tower of London for fifteen years, from the time of his father's arrest to the beginning of the reign of Mary I of England, Queen Mary (1553–1558), when he was released and created by her Earl of Devon. The Letters patent, patent differed from earlier patents in that it granted the earldom to his heirs male forever, rather than to the heirs male of his body. (This meant, as was decided in 1831, that the earldom could pass to his cousins, the Courtenays of Powderham, more specifically to William IV Courtenay (1527–1557), known retrospectively as the ''de jure'' 2nd Earl, which family had existed since the 14th century at that seat as prominent country gentry.) He was proposed as a prospective husband for his cousin Queen Mary, herself keen on the match, but is said to have refused her advances, after which Queen Mary married Philip II of Spain. He was considered as a possible husband for her sister, the future Elizabeth I of England, Queen Elizabeth I. This made him a threat to Mary's reign. Moreover, he was implicated in Wyatt's rebellion, and was again locked up in the Tower. In 1555 he was permitted to travel to Italy, where he died at Padua in 1556, possibly due to poisoning. With his death, his male line was extinguished, and the earldom with it, or so it was considered until 1831.


Interregnum

Since there was no Earl of Devon, James I of England, James I granted the title in 1603 to
Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy Charles Blount, 1st Earl of Devonshire, KG (pronounced ''Blunt''; 15633 April 1606) was an English nobleman Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a for ...
, whose aunt had been the last Earl's mother. He died without legitimate children three years later, and the King gave (or rather sold) the Earldom to William Cavendish, 1st Baron Cavendish. Meanwhile, the descendants of Sir Philip Courtenay (1340–1406), of Powderham, a younger son of the 2nd/10th Earl, having fought against the Courtenay Earls during the Wars of the Roses, lived under the Tudors as prominent country gentlemen. The Courtenay baronets, baronetcy was created in the Baronetage of England during the English Civil War in February 1644 for Sir William Courtenay, 1st Baronet, William VI Courtenay (1628–1702) ''de jure'' 5th Earl of Devon, of Powderham, Devon. The third baronet gained the title Viscount Courtenay of Powderham in 1762. In 1831, the senior living Courtenay of this line was William Courtenay, 9th Earl of Devon, William Courtenay, 3rd Viscount Courtenay (died 1835), an aged rake and bachelor, then living in exile in Paris, having fled a bill of indictment. Were he to die unmarried, the viscountcy would become extinct, while the baronetcy would be inherited by his third cousin, another William Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon, William Courtenay (1777–1859), who was Clerk Assistant to Parliament and High Steward of Oxford University. William Courtenay (d.1859) persuaded the House of Lords that "heir male" in the last 1553 creation of the title had meant "heir male collateral", and that his cousin the 3rd Viscount was therefore also 9th Earl of Devon, and his ancestors the Courtenays of Powderham had been ''de jure'' Earls of Devon from 1556. William Courtenay (died 1859) duly succeeded his cousin as William Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon, 10th Earl in 1835, and from him the present Earls are descended. (A madman, John Nichols Thom, claimed to be "Sir William Courtenay" in 1832, and stood for Parliament twice, as representative of the extreme Philosophical Radicals, and proclaimed his right to the Earldom. He organized an agricultural rising outside Canterbury in 1838, and was shot dead in the Battle of Bossenden Wood during its suppression.) The inconvenience, since 1831, of having two Earls for the same county has been dealt with thus: The Cavendish Earls, who were elevated to a Dukedom in 1694, had been spelling their title
Duke of Devonshire Duke of Devonshire is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titl ...
; the ancient Earls had usually been Earls of Devon. This is due in part to the differences between English and "law Latin", the language in which royal decrees were traditionally written. This has now become the difference between the two peerages, and it is convenient to call the Blount Earl (1603–06) Earl of Devonshire also.


Residences

The principal seat of the Earls of Devon until the expiry of the senior line in 1556 was Tiverton Castle in Devon, and as a subsidiary seat Colcombe Castle, Devon, both of which are now largely demolished. The Earls of Devon created after 1556, or in existence ''de jure'', had occupied the manor of Powderham Castle, Powderham in Devon since the late 14th century, and
Powderham Castle Powderham Castle is a fortified manor house situated within the parish and former Manorialism, manor of Powderham, within the former Hundred (county division), hundred of Exminster, Devon, about south of the city of Exeter and mile (0.4&n ...
continues to be the principal seat of the present Earl of Devon.


Earls of Devon, First Creation (1141)

*
Baldwin de Redvers, 1st Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 1st Earl of Devon (died 4 June 1155), feudal baron of Plympton in Devon, was the son of Richard de Redvers and his wife Adeline Peverel. He was one of the first to rebel against Stephen of England, King Stephen, and was the onl ...
(c. 1095–1155) *
Richard de Redvers, 2nd Earl of Devon Richard de Redvers, 2nd Earl of Devon (died 1162) was Earl of Devon from 1155 until his death and was feudal baron of Plympton in Devon.Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, pp.137-8, Barony of ...
(died 1162) son *
Baldwin de Redvers, 3rd Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 3rd Earl of Devon (c. 1160–1188) was Earl of Devon from 1162 until his death and was feudal baron of Plympton in Devon.Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, pp.137-8, Baron ...
(died 1188) son *
Richard de Redvers, 4th Earl of Devon Richard is a male given name. It originates, via Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all R ...
(died c. 1193), brother *
William de Redvers, 5th Earl of Devon William is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproducti ...
(died 1217), uncle **Baldwin de Redvers (died 1216) *
Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon (1217 – 15 February 1245), feudal baron of Plympton in Devon and Lord of the Isle of Wight, was the son of Baldwin de Redvers and Margaret FitzGerold and grandson of William de Redvers, 5th Earl of Devon. ...

Baldwin de Redvers, 6th Earl of Devon
(1217–1245), grandson of the 5th Earl *
Baldwin de Redvers, 7th Earl of Devon Baldwin de Redvers, 7th Earl of Devon (1 January 1236 – 1262), feudal baron of Plympton in DevonSanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, pp. 137–8, Barony of Plympton and Lord of the Isl ...
(1236–1262) son *Isabella de Fortibus, Isabel de Redvers, 8th Countess of Devon (1237–1293), sister


Earls of Devon of the early Courtenay line

The ordinal number given to the early Courtenay Earls of Devon depends on whether the earldom is deemed a new creation by the letters patent granted 22 February 1334/5 or whether it is deemed a restitution of the old dignity of the de Redvers family. Authorities differ in their opinions, and thus alternative ordinal numbers exist, given here.Watson, in Cokayne, ''The Complete Peerage'', new edition, IV, p.324 & footnote (c): "This would appear more like a restitution of the old dignity than the creation of a new earldom"; Debrett's Peerage however gives the ordinal numbers as if a new earldom had been created. (Montague-Smith, P.W. (ed.), Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, 1968, p.353) *Hugh de Courtenay, 1st/9th Earl of Devon (1276–1340) (cousin; declared Earl 1335) *Hugh de Courtenay, 2nd/10th Earl of Devon (1303–1377) (son) **Edward de Courtenay (died bef. 1272) *Edward de Courtenay, 3rd/11th Earl of Devon (1357–1419), "The Blind", (grandson of the 2nd/10th Earl) *Hugh de Courtenay, 4th/12th Earl of Devon (1389–1422) (son) *Thomas de Courtenay, 5th/13th Earl of Devon (1414–1458) (son) *Thomas Courtenay, 6th/14th Earl of Devon (1432–1461) (son) (attainted 1461) *John Courtenay, 7th Earl of Devon, John Courtenay, 7th/15th Earl of Devon (1435–1471) (brother) (restored 1469; in abeyance from 4 May 1471 to 14 October 1485, subject to revival of earlier attainder of 1461)


Earl of Devon, Second Creation (1469)

*Humphrey Stafford, 1st Earl of Devon (1439–1469) (granted May 1469; forfeited August 1469)


Earl of Devon, Third Creation (1485)

*Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1485 creation), Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (died 1509), KG, (forfeited at his death by son's attainder; restored 1512 to his grandson) **Heir male to John Courtenay above; attainted 1484; restored to lands and honours then lost in 1485; if this was intended to restore the first Earldom, it was also forfeit 1538/9.


Earls of Devon, Fourth Creation (1511)

* William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1475–1511) (attainted 1504; restored to the rights of a subject 1511; new creation two days later; died the next month without investiture, but buried as an Earl) son of Edward above. *Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter, Henry Courtenay, 2nd Earl of Devon (1498–1539) KG; (heir to both 3rd and 4th creations after 1512); son of William above. (created Marquess of Exeter in 1525).


Marquess of Exeter, First Creation (1525)

*Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter (1498-1539); attainted 1538/9, executed and all titles and honours forfeit.


Earls of Devon, Fifth Creation (1553)

*Edward Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon (1527–1556) (also restored in blood, but not honours, 1553; fifth creation dormant 1556†) son of Henry above. Died unmarried and without children.


Earls ''de jure'', of Powderham

*William Courtenay (died 1557), William Courtenay, ''de jure'' 2nd Earl of Devon (1529–1557), of Powderham Castle, Powderham, cousin, sixth cousin once removed of Edward above, *William Courtenay (died 1630), William Courtenay, ''de jure'' 3rd Earl of Devon (1553–1630) :*William Courtenay (died 1605), his eldest son, died before his father *Francis Courtenay (died 1638), Francis Courtenay, ''de jure'' 4th Earl of Devon (1576–1638), his brother *Sir William Courtenay, 1st Baronet, William Courtenay, ''de jure'' 5th Earl of Devon, 1st Baronet (1628–1702) (created 1644) :*Francis Courtenay (died 1699), his eldest son, died before his father *Sir William Courtenay, 2nd Baronet, William Courtenay, ''de jure'' 6th Earl of Devon, 2nd Baronet (1675–1735), son of Francis *William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay, William Courtenay, ''de jure'' 7th Earl of Devon, 1st Viscount Courtenay (11 February 1709/1710 – 16 May 1762) (created Viscount Courtenay 1762) *William Courtenay, 2nd Viscount Courtenay, William Courtenay, ''de jure'' 8th Earl of Devon, 2nd Viscount Courtenay (30 October 1742 – 14 October 1788) *William Courtenay, 9th Earl of Devon, William Courtenay, ''de jure'' 9th Earl of Devon (1788–1835), ''de facto'' 9th Earl of Devon (1831–1835), 3rd Viscount Courtenay (1768–1835; earldom retrospectively revived 1831†)


Revived (1831)

*William Courtenay, 9th Earl of Devon (1768–1835), died unmarried *William Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon (1777–1859), his second cousin: elder son of Rt. Rev. Reginald Courtenay (Bishop of Exeter), Henry Reginald Courtenay, Bishop of Exeter, who was the second son of Henry Reginald Courtenay (MP), Henry Reginald Courtenay, MP, who was the second son of Sir William Courtenay, 2nd Baronet *William Courtenay, 11th Earl of Devon, William Reginald Courtenay, 11th Earl of Devon (1807–1888), his eldest son :*William Reginald Courtenay (1832–1853), his eldest son, died — unmarried — before his grandfather *Edward Courtenay, 12th Earl of Devon, Edward Baldwin Courtenay, 12th Earl of Devon (1836–1891), his brother, died unmarried *Henry Courtenay, 13th Earl of Devon, Henry Hugh Courtenay, 13th Earl of Devon (1811–1904), a priest; his uncle, second son of the 10th Earl :*Henry Reginald Courtenay, Lord Courtenay (1836–1898), his eldest son, died before his father *Charles Courtenay, 14th Earl of Devon, Charles Pepys Courtenay, 14th Earl of Devon (1870–1927), his eldest son *Henry Courtenay, 15th Earl of Devon, Henry Hugh Courtenay, 15th Earl of Devon (1872–1935), a priest; his brother *Frederick Courtenay, 16th Earl of Devon, Frederick Leslie Courtenay, 16th Earl of Devon (1875–1935), a priest; his brother :*Henry John Baldwin Courtenay, Lord Courtenay (b. and d. 1915), his elder son, died before his father *Charles Courtenay, 17th Earl of Devon, Charles Christopher Courtenay, 17th Earl of Devon (1916–1998), Frederick's younger son *Hugh Courtenay, 18th Earl of Devon, Hugh Rupert Courtenay, 18th Earl of Devon (1942–2015), his only son *Charles Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon, Charles Peregrine Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon (born 1975), his only son The heir apparent is the present holder's only son Jack Courtenay, Lord Courtenay, Jack Haydon Langer Courtenay, Lord Courtenay (born 2009) †: 1553 creation was with remainder to his heirs male whatsoever, so theoretically succeeded by his sixth cousin once removed; thus the 1831 revival was to the ninth member of the family with respect to said creation.


Family tree


Earls of Devonshire

While the title was supposed extinct, there were two recreations, to the families of Blount and Cavendish, of a Devon Earldom; for which see: *Charles Blount, 1st Earl of Devonshire (1603–1606) *
Duke of Devonshire Duke of Devonshire is a title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titl ...
.


See also

*
Countess of Devon Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility in certain European countries, varying in relative status, generally of middling rank in the hierarchy of nobility.L. G. Pine, Pine, L. G. ''Titles: How the King Became His Majesty'' ...


Footnotes


References

* * Burke, Sir Bernard, ''The English Peerage'' (London, 1865) * Burke, J.T., ''The Dormant, Extinct and Abeyant peerages'' (1971) * 107th edition of ''Burke's Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland'', 3 vols., (London: 2005) *Watson, G.W., ''Earl of Devon'', published in ''The Complete Peerage'' by Cokayne, George Edward, Volume IV, H.A. Doubleday (ed.), St. Catherine Press, London, 1916, pp. 308–338 * * – note: very useful appendices on Law of Primogeniture and blood lines, including cases in the High Court in parliament; as is the extensively researched footnotes. * Debrett's ''Peerage'' * {{DEFAULTSORT:Devon Earls of Devon, Earldoms in the Peerage of England Extinct earldoms in the Peerage of England 1st house of Courtenay, * History of Devon Forfeited earldoms in the Peerage of England Noble titles created in 1141 Noble titles created in 1469 Noble titles created in 1485 Noble titles created in 1511 Noble titles created in 1553