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Earls of Chesterfield

The Earls of Chesterfield are an aristocratic family from Derbyshire, England. Their ancestral seat is Bretby Hall at Bretby, Derbyshire, and their family name is "Stanhope".

In 1209, Ranulph, Earl of Chester, granted the manor of Bretby Stephen de Segrave who built a mansion and a church there. In 1585 Thomas Stanhope bought the Hall.


In 1616, Thomas Stanhope's grandson Philip Stanhope was created Baron Stanhope, and in 1628 he was made the first Earl of Chesterfield. He died on September 12, 1656.
The second Earl was Philip Stanhope. He was married to Anne Percy, Elizabeth Butler, and Elizabeth Dormer by whom he had Philip, the third Earl. He was responsible for the creation of gardens at Bretby Hall which, by some, were favourably compared with those at Versailles.
The third Earl (born February 3rd, 1672) married Elizabeth Saville.
The fourth Earl was Philip Dormer Stanhope (1694-1773). He succeeded his father in 1726. He was a writer and poet, a politician and a statesman. Among his writings were the "Letters" (to his illegitimate son). He was member for St. Germains, Cornwall, and for Lostwithiel, ambassador to The Hague, and Secretary of State between 1746 and 1748. Samuel Johnson said about him: This man I thought had been a Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords.
The fifth Earl was Philip Stanhope (May 28, 1755 - August 29, 1815). He demolished the mansion and and built the present Hall to a design by sir Jeffrey Wyatville[?].
The sixth Earl was George Stanhope (May 23, 1805 - June 1, 1866). He was married to Anne Forester, daughter of the 1st Lord Forester. known as the "racing Earl", and he built a racecourse at Bretby.
The seventh Earl was George Philip Cecil Arthur Stanhope (September 9, 1831 - December 1, 1871). He liked cricket and shooting. and he built a cricket pitch and raised game birds. On his death, the estate revolved to his mother, and from there, to Lord Portchester and then to his sister, Evelyn Stanhope, who married Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, fourth Earl of Carnarvon[?], father of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, the famous egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The eight Earl was George Philip Stanhope, born November 29, 1822.



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