The Dukes of Leeds and their connections to Kiveton, Harthill, Todwick, Thorpe Salvin, Wales and Woodall

Leeds Coat of Arms

Compiled by:
Edward Mullins Harthill Memories and History Society 2020

 Dedicated to:
Kathleen Ella Sharpe
6th December 1945 to 14th May 2017

The foundations for the Duchy of Leeds commenced 132 years previous to its creation in 1694, with the marriage in 1562 of Anne Hewett the daughter of Sir William Hewett of Wales, Yorkshire to Edward Osborne the son of Richard Osborne of Ashford, Kent. A brief history of the Earls of Danby and the Dukes of Leeds over the next 400 years, until the final demise of the titles in 1964, is displayed below:


Introduction

Cover Coat of Arms – Description:
Quarterly, 1st & 4th: quarterly ermine quarters and blue, quarters overlaid with a cross for (for Osborne); 2nd quarters, an eagle with two heads display, between three fleur-de-lis (for Godolphin); 3rd, blue background with cross-lets and three Silver cinquefoils (for D'Arcy)

Duke of Leeds Creation and Extinction

The foundations were laid for the Duchy of Leeds in 1562 with the marriage of Anne Hewett the daughter of William Hewett and Alice Elizabeth Leveson, to Edward Osborne the son of Richard Osborne and Jane Broughton of Ashford, Kent.

Thomas Osborne 1st Duke of Leeds 1694

His titles: 1st Viscount Osborne of Dunblane[Scotland], 1st Baron Osborne of Kiveton, 1st Viscount Latimer of Danby, 1st Earl of Danby, Knight, Order of the Garter (K.G.) 1st Marquess of Carmarthen, and 1st Duke of Leeds

Francis D'Arcy Godolphin Osborne, 12th, and last, Duke of Leeds

His titles: 6th Baron Godolphin, of Farnham Royal, 13th Baronet Osborne, of Kiveton, 12th Duke of Leeds, 12th Earl of Danby, 12th Marquess of Carmarthen, 12th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane, 12th Baron Osborne of Kiveton, and 12th Viscount Latimer of Danby. On his death in Rome, on the 20th March 1964, all of his titles became extinct.

The Osborne Family’s connection with this area spans four centuries.

1694:
The title Duke of Leeds was created by King William III, and Queen Mary in  for the prominent statesman Thomas Osborne the Earl of Danby.  At this time the recognised ducal seat was the old Kiveton Hall.

1624 to 1874:
The traditional burial place of the Osborne’s was All Hallows Church, Harthill, South Yorkshire,

1811: 
After the new Kiveton Hall (built 1697) was demolished in 1811, Hornby Castle, between Bedale and Leyburn, became the seat of the Dukes of Leeds.

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Sir William Hewett (1496 – 1567)

Sir William Hewett

William Hewett the son of Edmund Hewett, was born in 1496, in the Hamlet of Wales, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

As a young man William moved to London and followed the trade of a cloth worker, and after serving his apprenticeship, he was admitted to the freedom of the Cloth-workers' Company of London in 1529. (He became Master of the Cloth-workers' Company in 1543).

In 1537 William married Alice Elizabeth Leveson of Halling in Kent. They had numerous children who all died in infancy. The exception to this was their daughter Anne, who was born in 1543.

Even though William had moved to London he increased his land and property ownership in Hertil, Wales, Keeton, Wooddall and Kynwoldmarsh, and surrounding areas.

In 1538 he purchased all the woods and under woods in Norwood from Bryan Sandford.


Sir Bryan Sandford, Knight, of Thorpe Hall, who turned coat and fought for Henry Tudor just before the Battle of Bosworth Field, on 19 August 1485. Sir Bryan was one of many who defected from Richard III's army just days before the battle, and was thus rewarded by the victorious monarch.


In 1539 he took over the mortgage of the manor of Harthill from Edmund and Bryan Sandford.

In 1544 Bryan Sandford sold to William his right to all the lands and rents in Harthill and Woodall.

1546 He purchased from Nicholas Keeton, Hardmill Close Watermill.

In London William succeeded well in commerce, and in 1551 he engaged an apprentice Edward Osborne of Ashford, Kent.

In 1553 William became Sheriff of London, however, he risked all, when in the same year he countersigned, with other principal citizens, a letter of patent which suggested that the recently deceased king Edward VI had left the crown of England to his 16-year old cousin Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane ruled as queen for just nine days following the death of king Edward. However, her cousin, the Catholic Mary Tudor, (the only child of Henry VIII by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon), with the aid of England’s Privy Council seized the throne from her.

Overlooking William’s transgression, the new queen charged him with presiding over the execution of Lady Jane Grey, at Tower Green, on the 12th February 1554, and Jane's husband, Guildford Dudley, on Tower Hill, on the 12th February 1554.

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey

Queen Mary died in 1558, and in 1559 William was knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich, and made Lord Mayor of London.

The Rescue

According to legend, and the Osborne family, William's daughter Anne, while playing at one of the windows of her father's house on London Bridge, fell into the river Thames. Her father’s apprentice, and her future husband, Edward Osborne, quickly rescued her.


Edward Osborne was the son of son of Sir Richard Osborne II and Jane Broughton of Ashford, he was born in 1530 at Ashford, Kent.


In addition to his properties in London, Yorkshire and Derbyshire. William also owned a Manor in Parsloes, Essex, which he had inherited through his marriage to Alice.

Parsloes Manor

Parsloes Manor House - demolished in 1925.

He gave to his daughter on her marriage to Edward Osborne, the manor, and his other properties, land, and interests, in Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Just prior to his death, William Hewett also secured lands in Kiveton for use by his grandson Hewett Osborne.

William died on 25th January 1567 and was laid to rest at the church of St. Martin Orgar in London, near his wife Alice who had predeceased him April 1561.

At the time of his death William owned a high proportion of the dwellings, industries, coal mining rights, woods and lands in the Wales, Woodall, Kiveton, Killamarsh and Harthill.

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Edward Osborne, (1530 -1592)

Edward Osborne

Edward was the eldest son of Richard Osborne of Ashford, Kent and his wife Jane Broughton.

Edward and Anne’s story begins in 1544 when William Hewett befriended Edward Osborne, and engaged Edward as an apprentice in his cloth merchant’s business on London Bridge. Whilst Edward was in William’s employ, it is recorded that he leaped into the Thames to save his master’s young daughter Anne. William was so grateful that he took Edward into his own family, and taught him in the ways of business.

In 1562, Edward married Sir William’s daughter Anne, and they had five children:
Alice Osborne born 1563
Hewett Osborne born 1566
Anne Osborne born 1570
Edward Osborne born 1572
Jane Osborne born 1578

After his marriage to Anne, Edward lived in Sir William Hewett's house in Philpot Lane, and all his children were baptised in the parish church of St. Dionis, London.

While working for Sir William, Edward became a well-known merchant and financial agent. On the death of his father-in-law, in 1567, he acted as a joint executor with his wife Anne, and succeeded to Hewett's extensive businesses. He also inherited Sir William’s mansion in Philpot Lane, plus substantial properties, principally in London, Essex, Yorkshire, and the manor of Bilby in Nottinghamshire. However, as the Yorkshire estates left by his father-in-law, were too distant for residence, Edward made his country home at Parsloes, Essex, where he lived in William’s former manor house. As his business, interests grew, he engaged extensively in foreign commerce, trading principally with Spain and Turkey. He owned a well-appointed ship, and he was the first governor of the Turkey Company.

He became Lord Mayor of London in 1583, and in the same year, he received his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1585, Anne died at the age of 42, and was buried with her father and mother at the church of St. Martin Orgars, in Martin Lane, London on 14 July 1585.

In 1588, Edward re-married to Margaret Chapman, daughter and co-heir of Charles Pratt, a leather seller of Southwark. There were no children from this marriage.

Sir Edward died February 1592, and was buried at St Dionis Backchurch, Fenchurch Street, London, where a monument was erected to him (the monument and church were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666). Edward did not leave a will, and no grant of administration of his estate is on record. It is probable that he settled his whole estate by deed at the time of his second marriage. His first son, Hewett Osborne succeeded him.

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Sir Hewett Osborne (1566 – 1599)

Hewitt studied law at the Inner Temple, London, and after his father's death continued to live at the family home at Parsloes, Dagenham, Essex.

 He retained many of his father’s business interests in London, and he continued to expand the family's trading links with the Ottoman Empire.

On 26th December 1588, he married Joyce Fleetwood.

They had two children:
Alice Osborne born 1592
Edward Osborne born 1596.

In 1590, Hewett enlisted for military service, serving with distinction as a soldier with Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, in Queen Elizabeth's ill-fated Campaign in Ireland.

Between 1591 and 1598, to help finance his military service, Hewitt, transferred his ownership of the leases on 14 properties in Harthill, Woodall and Wales to other interested parties

Notably, in 1597 he leased to Anthony Trenohowe 3 mills (one water mill, one horse mill, and one other mill) plus a house, lathe, and close for 21 years.

However, apart from these minor transactions, the wealth that his grandfather, and parents, had created in Yorkshire and Derbyshire remained largely intact.

In 1599, Hewett Osborne was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his service in Ireland.

In the same year, he was ambushed, and slain, in an Irish bog by rebels. He has no know grave.

His 3-year old son Edward succeeded him.

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Sir Edward Osborne (1596 – 1647)

Sir Edward Osborne

Edward Osborne was baptised on 12 December 1596 at St Benet’s, Gracechurch, London.

In 1599, at the age of 3, Edward inherited the family estates, properties, and interests, in Yorkshire and Essex. Due to his age, and for his own protection, he became a ward of the Crown. His mother Joyce Fleetwood and her brother, Sir George Fleetwood, purchased his wardship in 1600 for £420.

On 24 March 1603 the Scottish and English crowns were united and the Scottish King James VI became King James I of England and Ireland.

In 1604, Edward’s mother married Sir Peter Frecheville, of Staveley, Derbyshire, and Edward, and his sister Alice, spent their childhood in Sir Peter's home - Staveley Hall.

Picture of Stavely Hall
Staveley Hall

In 1617, Edward sold his father’s Essex estate for £1,150 and increased his holdings in Yorkshire.

In 1618, Edward married Margaret Belasyse, eldest daughter of the, 1st Viscount Fauconberg, one of the most powerful families in the North of England.

In July 1620, Edward became a baronet, adopted the title of Sir Edward Osborne of Kiveton, and took up residence at Kiveton Old Hall.

Edward then carried on from where his Grandfather and Grandmother had left off, purchasing properties, farms and land in the Harthill, Kiveton, Woodhall, and Wales areas.

Edward and Margaret had one child:

Edward Osborne born 1621

In 1624, 3-years after the birth of Edward, Lady Margaret died, and was laid to rest in Harthill church

Sir Edward later had a marble monument erected on the northern wall of the sanctuary to her, and their son Edward. Also depicted on the monument is a babe in swaddling who presumably died at or around birth.


Inscription below Margaret's memorial on North wall of Chancel
Here lies the body of the lady Margaret Osborne eldest daughter to Sir Thomas Belassis of Newbrough knight and baronet by his wife the lady Barbara Belassis, daughter to Sir Henry Cholmley of Whitby knight, and late the dear wife of Sir Edward Osborne of Kiveton Baronet, who in his never dying affection to her ever living memory caused this monument to be erected: she having from the cradle lived religiously died as comfortably 7th November AD: 1624


In 1625, Charles I succeeded to the throne of England, and Edward became one of his loyal supporters.

In 1629 when his friend, Sir Thomas Wentworth, became Lord President of the Council of the North, Edward was appointed his deputy.

In 1630, Edward married his second wife Anne Middleton

Edward and Anne had four children:
Joyce Osborne born 1630,
Thomas Osborne (born and died 1631),
Thomas Osborne born 1632,
Charles Osborne born 1633

In 1633, Edward became the President of the Council of the North. During his tenure he lived at York Manor, (Kings Palace), York.

Picture of York Manor (Kings Palace) The home of the Council of the North.
York Manor (Kings Palace) The home of the Council of the North.

In 1636, Edward bought the Manor of Thorpe Salvin including Thorpe Salvin Hall.

Picture of Thorpe Hall
Thorpe Hall


Thorpe Hall, was designed and built by Robert Smythson in 1570 in the Elizabethan style, on the site of the previous manor house and the residence of an earlier lord of the manor, Sir Bryan Sandford, Knight (1440-1528). Sir Bryan fought for Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field, 19 August 1485, He was one of many who defected from Richard III's army just days before the battle.

When Edward's son Thomas became the Duke of Leeds, he lived at his new hall at Kiveton Park, and the Thorpe Hall fell into disuse, and was partially demolished in the 1820s, with only the south front now remaining.


On October 31st, 1638, a tragic accident occurred at York Manor when a violent storm caused the collapse of a high chimneystack.

The stack fell through the roof and ceiling of the house, killing his 17 year-old son Edward. His 6 year-old, second son, Thomas, escaped unharmed.

In 1642 when the English Civil War broke out, Edward became a Royalist commander, under King Charles, and a 'Commissioner of Array'.

A ‘commissioner of array’ was a commission awarded given by English sovereigns to officers or gentry to muster and array the inhabitants in the area, and to see them in a condition for military service.

In this role he helped to provide supplies and men for the Duke of Newcastle's army, which took York in November 1642.

Edward eventually became the Lieutenant General of the Royalist forces in Yorkshire.

On the 10th August 1644, the tide started to turn for the Royalist, cause in Yorkshire when Sheffield Castle fell to Cromwell's New Model Army.

Cromwell made Captain Edward Gill governor of the Castle, and instructed him to commenced dismantling it.

On the 14th June 1645, King Charles was finally, and decisively, defeated at the Battle of Naseby.

As Edward was a one of the King’s supporters, the Parliamentarians sequestered his estate, and he was obliged to pay a fine of £1,649 to recover it.

The fine, following on from his monetary sacrifices during the war crippled Sir Edward. He retired back to Kiveton a broken-hearted man, and died shortly afterwards on the 9th September 1647 at the aged 51.

Edward was laid to rest in the chancel at Harthill Church.

On the North wall of the chapel of St Mary, All Hallows Church (later to become the Leed’s chapel), is Edward’s obituary tablet.  Above the tablet there is a painted crest, and surmounting the crest were his helmet, his lion crest, and gauntlets, all worn by him in the Civil War - In the 20th century, the helmet was stolen from the church.


Edward’s obituary tablet reads:
"Sacred to marital love and eternal hope. Edward Osborne, Baronet, descended from an ancient and distinguished family, was at all times held in equal respect to that of his ancestors, and was a man born to he an example, the nearest thing to goodness, being very well provided with virtues relating as much to his private life as to the public good. As much on account of his outstanding prudence as for the uprightness of his life, he was promoted to the rank of Lord President of the Royal Council for the North through the wishes of his Most Serene Sovereign, having performed the duties of the highly honourable position of Deputy to the Lord President throughout the fullest extent of the Region in such a way that with his godliness and unsullied character shining like a light before him, and through his supreme good faith and integrity, justice towards all men was maintained for a period of eight years. In the end giving up at last to Fate, he left behind for his descendants a very favourable reputation together with a universal and deep sense of loss. Anna, his deeply grieving wife — was ever any more so! — has laid his remains to rest here and has entrusted them to eternal safe-keeping and everlasting memory: she herself, in her own time, intending to rest here in the same tomb together with her beloved husband. He died on the 9th day of the month of September in the year of Our Lord 1647 aged fifty-one years."

Edward’s gauntlets, supposedly worn during the Civil wars , are now kept in a display case in the north aisle of the church together with a large wooden chest bearing his coat of arms.


At the time of his death, his personal goods were valued at £2,019/2s/5d.

On the 30th January 1649, King Charles, was tried, convicted and executed for high treason. The English monarchy was abolished and the Republic of the Commonwealth of England was declared.

Edward’s second son Thomas Osborne, aged 15, succeeded him.

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Sir Thomas Osborne Earl Danby (1632 – 1712)
1st Duke of Leeds

Thomas Osborne 1st Duke of Leeds

Edward’s son Thomas was born at Thorpe Salvin Hall, and he inherited his father’s titles and the family estates in 1647.

In 1651, at the age of 19, he married Bridget Bertie, daughter of Montague Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey,.

They had ten children:
Thomas who died and infant (date unknown)
Edward, Viscount Latimer born 1655, died 1689
Elizabeth who died an infant November1656
Anne born 1657
Peregrine Osborne born 1659
Bridget born 1661
Katherine born 1662
Martha born 1663
Sophia born1664
Penelope who died an infant September 1669

Oliver Cromwell died in 1658, and in 1660, the loyalty of the Osborne family during the English Civil War was rewarded when Charles II came to the throne of England.

In 1665 King Charles, gave the advowson of the Harthill rectory to Thomas.


It was around this time that Thomas restored St Mary’s Chapel at Harthill Church, and had a family burial vault constructed beneath it.

The original 14th Century chapel of St Mary was the burial place of the Serlby family, and earlier occupants of the manor before the Osborne’s.

Hugh de Serlby was favoured by Edward I and given the privilege of hunting deer and game in the area. His tomb is near the northern wall, outside the entrance to the Leeds chapel. It is raised and has an inscription around the edge “ Praye for ye sowle of Hughe Serleby Esqueyere”. It is the oldest decipherable tomb in the church and dates from c. AD 1298.


In October 1666 Thomas fought and wounded Lord Fauconberg, in a duel. He absconded to France for a short time until the dust had settled.

In 1672, Thomas was appointed a Privy Councillor, and in 1673, he was promoted to Lord High Treasurer. This made him the most important man in the kingdom after the King.

He grew in favour with the King and became Baron Kiveton and Viscount Latimer in 1673, and Earl Danby in 1674.

In 1675, Sir Thomas purchased Harthill's chief manor from Grace, Viscountess Chaworth, and thus the whole of Thorpe Salvin, Harthill, Wales and Kiveton, except for small isolated holdings, were in his possession.

Plan of the Position of Harthill Hall
The sit of Harthill Manor House and its Outbuildings is highlighted in ‘red’, with the site of All Hallows Church shown in ‘green’.

Local history has it that in 1675, that Sir Thomas built Osborne House in Harthill for his brother Charles who had remained a bachelor.

Picture of Osborne House


The house still stands today, and is opposite the church, standing back off the road. It was a typical bachelor's country house of the Stuart period. The interior had the master's quarters - two rooms and a bedroom. The two downstairs rooms were served from a passage leading from the servants' quarters. There were two flights of stairs, one for the master and one for the servants. It is thought that Sir Thomas often visited the house, and sometimes stayed there with Charles.


In 1677, Thomas was made a Knight of the Garter; in the same year, he purchased the manor of Todwick, and also became the owner of the advowson of Todwick church.

However, It was well known that King Charles leaned towards France the champion of Roman Catholicism in Europe. Whereas, Thomas thought an alliance with the Dutch would preserve the Protestant faith. This divergence from his monarch’s views gave shape to Thomas’ part in future British history, and due to his opposition to the King’s views, and at the same time being in such a position of power, he made many enemies in the opposing Whig Party.

In 1679 Thomas, was accused by the House of Commons of high treason, and was sent as a prisoner to the Tower of London for five years (with "the Popish Lords”). One of his accusers was the Earl of Cavendish.

Those accused of Popery also included the Earls of Castlemaine and Powis, and Lords Arundell of Wardour, Aston, Petre, and Belasyse.

The survivors (Lord Petre died in the Tower a month earlier). were released on the 2nd February 1684.


The Popish Plot was a fictitious conspiracy concocted by Titus Oates that between 1678 and 1681 gripped the Kingdoms of England and Scotland in anti-Catholic hysteria. Eventually Oates' intricate web of accusations fell apart, leading to his arrest and conviction for perjury.


After his imprisonment Thomas returned to the quiet life at Kiveton.

In 1685 when James II became King, Thomas returned to London and politics once more. However, he was opposed to James II re-establishing the Roman Catholic religion, and when the King’s second Catholic wife produced a son and future heir to the throne, he felt that the Protestant cause in England would be lost.

At the same time his second eldest son Peregrine had found himself into serious debt, and was outlawed on his creditors’ petition, Peregrine fled to the Continent in October 1686.

Thomas smoothed over Peregrine’s financial difficulties, and managed to get him back to England in January 1687; Nevertheless, Thomas promptly asked the King’s permission for his son to go abroad again. Thomas reported that the James II had said with some anger:

“Provided it be not into Holland, for I will suffer nobody to go thither”

Thomas in answering said his son had no design of anything but to see a country he had not seen, the King answered:

“Perhaps so, but he has relations who have

In the same year - 1687, Thomas met at Whittington: William Cavendish the Duke of Devonshire, John D’arcy of Aston Hall, the grandson of the Earl of Holderness and Sir Henry Booth the Baron Delamere. Initially, they were to meet on open moor at Whittington near Chesterfield, but it rained heavily, so they adjourned to the Cock and Pynot Inn in Whittington village. Now a small museum called “Revolution House”.

Following similar meetings, an invitation was sent to William III, Prince of Orange, by seven notable Englishmen, later named the ‘Immortal Seven’:

The Earl of Shrewsbury (Charles Talbot)
The Earl of Devonshire (William Cavendish)
The Earl of Danby (Thomas Osborne)
The Viscount Lumley (Richard Lumley)
The Bishop of London (Henry Compton)
The Earl of Orford (Admiral Edward Russell)
The Earl of Romney (Henry Sydney) (who wrote the Invitation))

The letter informed William of Orange that if he were to land in England with a small army, the signatories and their allies would rise up and support him. The letter, among other things, offered a brief strategy on the logistics of the proposed landing of troops. It was carried to William by Rear Admiral Arthur Herbert disguised as a common sailor, and identified by a secret code.

From 1687 to 1688 Thomas’ second eldest son Peregrine’s hobby of yachting proved useful, and he secretly carried messages backwards and forwards between his father and William.


In 1677 William had married his cousin Mary, eldest daughter of the future James II. The marriage was intended to repair relations between England and The Netherlands following the Anglo-Dutch wars. William was a successful soldier, but was dour asthmatic, 12 years older and several inches shorter than his English wife Mary who was a reluctant bride.


On the 5th November, 1688, 'The Immortal Seven' got their wish, and William landed with his small army, unopposed at Brixham, Torbay:

Picture of William's lsnding at Torbay
William Landing at Brixham, Torbay


His small army was: 53 warships with 1,700 cannon, lay stretched out across the English Channel.
Behind the warships, came transport ships carrying an army of 20,000 men, and 7,000 horses.


After landing, William's army marched on Salisbury to meet James' army. However, James had ordered his army to retreat because he suspected that there would be defections amongst his officers. James then retreated to London where he discovered that Osborne had taken York, Delamere had taken Chester, and Devonshire had taken Nottingham, where Anne, James' daughter, had gone to join the rebels.

James departed secretly for France on the 22nd December 1688, without a battle being fought

William was unopposed, and this bloodless revolution culminated in James II being deposed and replaced by William III and Mary, as joint rulers. This Dutch invasion became known as the ‘Glorious Revolution’. William and Mary’s joint accession to the throne brought about the Declaration of Rights, leading to the Bill of Rights 1689.

The Dutchman, and his co-conspirators, had achieved what the Spanish with their armada failed to achieve: The conquest of Britain.

On 20 April 1689, Thomas was made the Marquess of Carmarthen, and the Lord-Lieutenant of the three ridings of Yorkshire.


Thomas’ eldest son and heir apparent Edward Osborne, (born 1655) ; became M. P., for Corfe Castle and later for Buckingham (Borough)

He was a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to James II, and with his father and younger. brother was in 1688 in arms to support the Glorious Revolution. He died, January, 1689.


Thomas, however, He was still greatly disliked by the Whig Party, and William, instead of reinstating him as Lord Treasurer, appointed him to the lesser post of Lord President of the Council in February 1689.

Following this demotion, Thomas retired to the country and was seldom present at the council, and in June and July 1689 motions were put forward in Parliament for his removal, and in 1690 another attempt was made to revive the impeachment of 1679 of Popeishness, but it failed.

On 4th May 1694, Thomas was created Duke of Leeds, It seems a startling achievement for a man born a Commoner to obtain a Dukedom, but in point of fact the examples are numerous. He was 6th of the nine Dukes (2nd in a batch of five) created by William III.


Initially the title that it was supposed he would be given was "Pontefract", but this probably was abandoned as the barony of Pontefract was at that time vested in George (Fitzroy), Duke of Northumberland.

As to the title of Leeds, the Duke himself said on the 2 June 1712, to Ralph Thoresby, the historian, "that it was an honour to himself, not to the town of Leeds, that he was dignified with that title, it being the most considerable place for trade, etc. York being appropriated to the Royal family." He was, moreover, owner of ground rents in the borough of Leeds, and his vast estates were almost entirely in the county.


On 4th May 1694 Thomas was made the Duke of Leeds, this bought about fresh attacks, and he was accused unjustly of Jacobitism.

Following on from these attacks, in April 1695, he was impeached again by the House of Commons, on suspicion of receiving bribes. Particularly the receipt of a sum, variously given as 5,000 guineas or £6,000, from the French Court to secure his support of the East India Charter.

That the charge was not pressed home is doubtless due to the fact that William III had also pocketed a similar financial inducement.
 
However, the Duke's share in "selling English honour for French gold" was established beyond doubt.


Notwithstanding the above transgression, it should always be remembered, to the Duke's credit that, owing to his personal remonstrance's. William III was with difficulty, prevailed upon to cancel a general mandate, which he had issued for a wholesale massacre of the Highland families (who had not taken the benefit of his gracious indemnity), William, therefore, had to content himself with operating on a smaller scale at Glencoe.

The Glencoe massacre had been prompted by the fact that the Highland Chiefs had been instructed to swear allegiance to William III. The Chiefs had promptly sent word to King James VII (Scotland) & II (England) in France, asking for his permission to take the oath. It appears James was a bit reluctant and took his time replying as it was mid-December before his authorisation to take the oath arrived.

Despite difficult winter conditions, a good many took the oath in time. The clan Chiefs of Locheil, Appin Keppoch, and Clanranald took the oath. Glengarry met the requirement on the 4th of February, 1691, and escaped retribution.

Another who failed to meet the deadline was Alastair Maclain, 12th Chief of Glencoe. He eventually swore his allegiance before the Campbell Sheriff of Argyle, on the 6th of January 1692.

Nevertheless, Maclain wasn’t treated as leniently as Glengarry, as history infamously records. He was hauled from his bed in the village of Glencoe on the 13th of February, 1692. He died along with thirty-eight MacDonald men and another forty women and children of the Clan who died of exposure after their homes were burned. That was the brutality of the Massacre of Glencoe.

By the Spring of 1692, all of the Jacobite Chiefs had sworn allegiance to King William.


On becoming the Duke of Leeds In 1697, Thomas pulled down the old hall at Kiveton, and built new one on the site.

Painting of the new Kiveton Hall

In 1699, he was compelled to resign from the lord-lieutenancy of Yorkshire, and retired in the same year from public life to his new hall at Kiveton.

On January 7th 1704, his wife Bridget died. On Bridget’s death, he re-married to his second wife Bridget Wray of Middlesex.

In 1712, the Duke was on his way from London, when he was taken ill at the home of his grandson, Thomas Fermor, 1st Earl Pomfret, at Easton, Northamptonshire. He died there on 26th July 1712 aged 81.

He was laid to rest in his tomb in the Osborne family chapel at All Hallows Church, Harthill.

In this chapel, on the East wall is a tablet detailing the family of Thomas, 1st Duke of Leeds:


EDWARD Ld Viscount Latimer eldest son of THOMAS DUKE of Leeds Marryed ELIZABETH eldest D--- one of Coheirs of SYMON BENNETT of Buckingham shire Esq, & dyed without issue / THOMAS his second son dyed an Infant: PEREGRINE Ld Marquiss of Carmarthen his 3d son Marryed BRID - Daughter and Heire of Sr THOMAS HYDE of Hartfordshire by whom he had both Sons & Daughters: ELIZ: the DUKES - Daughter dyed young. ANN his 2d Daughter was Marryed to ROBERT COKE of Norfolk BRIDGET his 3rd Daughter was Marryed to CHARLES FITZ CHARLES Earle of Plymouth, one - natural Sons of KING CHARLES 2nd. KATHERINE his 4th Daughter was Marryed to LAMES HERBERT of Oxfordshire Esq Grandson to PHILLIP Earle of Pembroke & next Heire Male of whole Blood to said Earle: MARTHA his 5th Daughter, was Marryed to CHARLES Ld Viscount Lansdowne eldest Son of JOHN Earle of Bath: SOPHIA his 6th Daughter was Marryed, First to DONATUS Ld Obrien Grandson HENRY Earle of Thomand & afterwards to WILLM Ld of Lempster of Northamptonshire: PENELOPE & NORREYS his 8th Daughter did both dye Infants.


His titles are inscribed in relief lettering around the edge of a black marble slab surmounting his tomb his various offices on white marble panels forming the sides of the rectangular sarcophagus. The one facing west reads:-


"Who was Treasurer of His Majesty's Navy 1668, and Councillor of State, both in His Great and Cabinet Councils. And Lord High Treasurer of England Anno 1673, and Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the said reign of Charles II."


The other panels cannot be seen owing to their proximity to the later organ, which was erected close to the other side panels.

Thomas’ titles were:
Baron Osborne of Kiveton and Viscount Latimer of Danby1672
Earl of Danby 1674
Viscount Dunblane of Scotland 1674
Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire 1674.
Marquess of Carmarthen 1689
1st Duke of Leeds 1694

The title of Duke of Leeds then passed to his third son Peregrine.

>Return to Index


Sir Peregrine Osborne (1659 – 1731)
2nd Duke of Leeds

Peregrine Osborne

Sir Peregrine Osborne was baptised at Harthill on 29th September 1659. He was created Viscount Osborne of Dunblane in the peerage of Scotland in 1674, and in 1689, he became Earl of Danby (his father being made Marquis of Carmarthen). He was summoned to Parliament as Baron Osborne of Kiveton on 20th March 1690.

Since 1674 Peregrine’s father Thomas had been endeavouring to marry him to Bridget Hyde, a very wealthy heiress. However, at the age of 12 she went through a form of marriage with John Emerton, her late father’s bailiff.

For years, Thomas had tried to get an annulment, but in July 1680 the court of delegates, consisting of many of Danby’s enemies, upheld the marriage with Emerton.

Finally, on 12 July 1682 Peregrine took Bridget Hyde to Whitehall, where she declared that noble lord her husband, alleging she never had any other. Thomas then had to buy Emerton off (20,000 guineas was the price reported) and the judge delegates annulled her first marriage.

Bridgett was finally married to Peregrine at Marylebone on 25 April 1682.

Peregrine and Bridgett had four children:
William Henry Osborne born 1690 (Died of smallpox in 1711)
Peregrine Hyde Osborne born 1691
Bridget Osborne born 1688
Mary Osborne born 1688

In 1677, Peregrine Osborne sat in Parliament as MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed.

In 1685 Bridget succeeded to her Grandfather’s North Mymms estate, and the ownership remained with the Osborne’s until 1799 when the sixth Duke of Leeds disposed of the property.

Painting North Mymms House
North Mymms House - Drawing by Buckler

In June 1685 Peregrine took part in the battle of Sedgemoor, where he was slightly wounded.


The Battle of Sedgemoor was fought on 6 July 1685 and took place at Westonzoyland near Bridgwater in Somerset, England.

It was the final battle of the Monmouth Rebellion and followed a series of skirmishes around south-west England between the rebel forces of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, and the Royal Army of James II. Victory went to the Government and about 500 prisoners fell into their hands. Monmouth escaped from the battlefield but was later captured, taken to London and executed.

Many of Monmouth's supporters were tried during the Bloody Assizes. Most were transported abroad, while others were executed by drawing and quartering.


In 1689, Peregrine briefly sat in Parliament again, this time for York. He left the Commons in 1689 after being called up to the House of Lords in his father's barony. However, he did not take an active role in the Lords, instead he choose a career in the Royal Navy and was Captain of the Suffolk, a 70-gun ship.  He then transferred to the command of the Resolution. He also commanded the Windsor Castle, and the Royal William.

In 1690 Peregrine was Colonel of the City of London Dragoons, Colonel of the 1st Royal Marines, and Captain in the Royal Navy.

Because of his recklessness and generosity he was very popular with his seamen.

He was again in command of 7 frigates in an unsuccessful attempt against the French coast at Camaret Bay, June 1694. It is recorded that on this occasion he "placed his ships with a great deal of skill, and performed his duty with much bravery and hazard"

In 1695, however, he made an error of judgment by mistaking a number of merchant ships for the Brest fleet, and, thinking himself outnumbered, returned to Milford, allowing the valuable East Indian privateers he was meant to convoy to fall into the hands of the French. Nevertheless, He became a Rear Admiral 1697 and a Vice Admiral in 1703.

Peregrine served as liaison officer with the Russian Tsar, Peter the Great, on his visit to London in 1698. He also helped negotiate a proposal to enable tobacco merchants to ship their products to Russia, and he was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1703.


After Mary's death in 1694, William reigned alone until his own death in 1702, when Anne, Mary's sister succeeded him.


In 1704, Peregrine was recorded as living in Scotland Yard.

Peregrine was a ship designer and he designed the yacht “Peregrine”. In 1711, the vessel was converted into a royal yacht for Queen Anne. Five years later, George I renamed it the Royal Caroline.

Even though his protestant daughter Anne was on the throne, James II still had designs on gaining it back. This led to the Jacobite Rising of 1715.

Although Peregrine does not appear to have taken an active part the rising, he was in sympathy with it.

He wrote advocating "the restoration of our only true and rightful King James II," and declared:


"I can take God to witness that I had not a thought when I engaged in it
(and I am sure my father neither)
that the Prince of Orange's landing would end in deposing the King."


Peregrine died, in needy circumstances, on the 25 June, aged 70, and was buried on the 4 July 1729, at Aldbury, Hertfordshire.

Bridget died 16 March 1733, and was buried with him.

His Titles Were:
2nd Baron Osborne of Kiveton, co. York before 1712
3rd Baronet Osborne of Kiveton, co. York 1712
2nd Viscount Latimer of Danby, co. York 1712
2nd Duke of Leeds 1712
2nd Marquess of Carmarthen 1712
2nd Earl of Danby, co. York 1712

He was succeeded by his 2nd Son Peregrine Hyde Osborne. >Return to Index


Sir Peregrine Hyde Osborne (1691 – 1731)
3rd Duke of Leeds

Peregrine Hyde Osborne

Sir Peregrine Hyde Osborne became the Marquess of Carmarthen between 1712 and 1729; he was also Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire during this time.

Peregrine married three times:

Lady Elizabeth Harley, 16th December, 1712. Lady Elizabeth died at Wimbledon on 20th November 1713, while giving birth to their only child, Thomas Osborne,

She was laid to rest in the Leeds family vault at Harthill Church

Lady Anne Seymour, 17th September 1719.  Anne died in childbirth, 27 November 1722, and was laid to rest in the Leeds family vault at Harthill Church

Juliana Hele, 9th April 1725 at St. Anne's, Soho, the 20 year-old daughter and co-heir of Roger Hele, of Halewell, Devon.

Sir Peregrine Hyde Osborne died on the 9th May 1731, and is buried in the Leeds family vault at All Hallows Church, Harthill.

His titles were:
3rd Viscount Latimer of Danby, co. York, June 1729
3rd Baron Osborne of Kiveton, co. York, June 1729
3rd Viscount Osborne of Dunblane, June 1729
3rd Duke of Leeds June 1729
3rd Marquess of Carmarthen June 1729
Earl of Danby, co. York, June 1729
4th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton, co. York, June 1729

He was succeeded by his son Thomas Osborne


His widow Juliana subsequently married the Earl of Portmore on 7 Oct. 1732.

At the Coronation of George III in 1761 she, being then wife of the Earl of Portmore, claimed to walk as "Dowager Duchess of Leeds," by which designation she always styled herself. She died 20 November 1794, aged 89, in Stratford Place, Marylebone.

She outlived her first husband more than 63 years. Her jointure* amounted to £3,000 per annum and she consequently drew from the Leeds estate the incredible sum of £190,000 during her widowhood

* Jointure - Meaning: an estate settled on a wife to be taken by her in lieu of dower.

. >Return to Index


Sir Thomas Osborne (1713 – 1739)
4th Duke of Leeds

Thomas Osborne

Thomas was educated at Westminster School and then at Christ Church, Oxford. Receiving a Doctorate of Civil Law in 1738.

He was became a Lord of the Bedchamber to King George II in 1748.


A Lord of the Bedchamber was a courtier in the Royal Household whose duties consisted of assisting the King with his dressing, waiting on him when he ate in private, guarding access to him in his bedchamber and closet, and providing companionship.


In June 1749, he was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter.

In 1756, he was made Cofferer of the Royal Household.


The Cofferer of the Household paid the wages of some of the servants above and below stairs. The cofferer was usually of political rank and always a member of the Privy Council.


Sir Thomas Osborne married Lady Mary Godolphin, daughter of Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin and Henrietta Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, on 26th June 1740.

Their only child, Francis was born in 1750, and also became sole heir of Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin.

In 1774, Thomas was made Deputy Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Sir Thomas Osborne died 23rd March 1789. He was laid to rest in the family vault at Harthill Church.

His titles were:
4th Baron Osborne of Kiveton co. York 1731
4th Duke of Leeds 1731
4th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane 1731
4th Earl Danby of York 1731
5th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton co. York 1731
4th Marquess of Carmarthen 1731
4th Viscount Latimer of Danby co. York 1731
Knight, Order of the Garter (K.G.) `1749

He was succeeded by his son Francis Godolphin Osborne. >Return to Index


Sir Francis Godolphin Osborne (1750 – 1799)
5th Duke of Leeds

Francis Godolphin Osborne

Sir Francis Osborne became Secretary of State for Foreign affairs under William Pitt in 1783.

Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of co. York, 1778-80, and again in 1782 till his death.

He was being dismissed from this post the first time for having countenanced a Yorkshire petition against the way the North was governed.

He was also Lord Chamberlain to Queen Charlotte (1777 to 1780, formerly Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

He was made Lord Lieutenant again in 1782 and remained so until his death.

 

Sir Francis married Amelia D'Arcy, Baroness D'Arcy (de Knayth), daughter of Robert D'Arcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, on 29th November 1773.

Amelia and Francis had three Children:Lady Amelia D'Arcy
George William Frederick Osborne 1775
Mary Henrietta Juliana Osborne 1776
Francis Godolphin Osborne, 1777

In 1778 Amelia became in her own right Baroness Darcy according to the Resolution of the Committee for Privileges in 1903, and also Baroness Conyers, and the Countess Of Mertola, Portugal as she was the only surviving child of Robert (Darcy), 4th Earl of Holdernesse, and Lord Darcy and Lord Conyers.

Amelia eloped from Francis on 13 December 1778, and was divorced by Act of Parliament in May 1779.

She married (a few days afterwards), 9 June 1779, John Byron, the father (by a 2nd wife) of Lord Byron, the poet. She died in London, "of consumption," on 27 January, and was buried 11 February 1784, in her 30th year, at Hornby, Yorkshire.

Catherine Anguiish

Francis then married his second wife, Catherine Anguish, daughter of Thomas Anguish, on 11th October 1788.

Francis and Catherine’s children were:
Sidney Godolphin Osborne 1789
Catherine Anne Sarah Osborne 1798

The Duke became:
Ambassador to Paris, 10 Feb. to 9 April 1783
Foreign Secretary of State, 1783-91
Governor of the Scilly Isles, 1785 until his death
Governor of the Levant Company, 1792 until his death

Sir Francis Godolphin Osborne died on 31st January 1799. He was laid to rest in the family vault at Harthill Church. His titles then passed to his eldest son George William Frederick Osborne.

Sir Francis Godolphin Osborne’s titles were:
5th Baron Osborne of Kiveton co. York 1789
5th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane, 1789
6th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton co. York 1789
5th Marquess of Carmarthen 1789
5th Duke of Leeds 1789
5th Viscount Latimer of Danby co. York 1789
5th Earl of Danby co. York 1789
Knight of the Garter (K.G.)


The Farington Diary, not wanting to speak ill of the dead said of the Duke - 31 Mar. 1799:

"He constantly attended the Literary Club, where he talked rather too much, thereby engrossing the conversation. He drank more wine than anybody there, perhaps 3 pints of Claret. He so often alluded to the situation he had filled of Secretary of State that it was a joke to offer a wager what time would pass before the Duke noticed it by some allusion.. He was too fond of, low company, particularly that of Players. . . He kept late hours till three or four in the morning and gamed. . . . The Duke and Duchess, on account of his irregular mode of proceeding, were supposed not to be very comfortable together.“

>Return to Index


George William Frederick Osborne (1775 – 1838)
6th Duke of Leeds

George William Frederick Osborne

Sir George was born in Grosvenor Square, 21 July 1775, and baptised in August at St. George’s Church, London. The King being one of his sponsors, and on the death of his father in 1799 he inherited his titles and estates.

Sir George inherited the title ‘Baron Darcy de Knayth & Conyers’ from his mother.

Sir George inherited the title ‘Baron D'arcy de Knayth & Conyers’ from his mother, Amelia.

He was Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire 1802 – 1838, and the Governor of the Isles of Scilly.

On 17th August 1797, he married Lady Charlotte Townshend, daughter of the 1st Marquess Townshend.

They had four children:
Francis Godolphin D'Arcy Osborne 1798
Charlotte Mary Anne Georgiana Osborne 1801
George Thomas William Osborne 1812
Amelia Rose Osborne

He was always known as a prominent patron of the Turf, and in July 1799 he sold the family manor and estate of North Mimms.

He was made Master of the Horse to King George IV, 1827 – 1830.

In 1811, The 6th Duke had Kiveton Hall demolished, and moved to a more magnificent family home - Hornby Castle, Bedale, North Yorkshire.

Hornby Castle
Hornby Castle


Some say he rendered himself liable in a game of chance, and had to pay a large sum of money to George, Prince of Wales as long as Kiveton Hall stood. Others argue that the only reason it was pulled down was due to the encroachment of industry from Sheffield blotting the horizon. Another theory is that the hall was demolished to avoid death duties.


On 16th February 1831, at the age of 19, his second son, Lord Conyers, George Thomas William Osborne, was accidentally killed during a struggle with a friend at Oxford, and was laid to rest in the family vault at Harthill Church.

Sir George died in London 10th July 1838, aged 62, he was buried at Trinity Church, Osnaburgh Street, Marylebone. His son Francis Godolphin D’Arcy Osborne succeeded him.

His titles were:

6th Duke of Leeds 31st January 1799
6th Marquess of Carmarthen 31st January 1799
6th Earl of Danby co. York, 31st January 1799
6th Viscount Latimer of Danby co. York, 31st January 1799
10th Baron Conyers of Hornby Castle, 1784
6th Baron Osborne of Kiveton co. York, 31st January 1799
6th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane, 31st January 1799
7th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton co. York 31st January 1799
Baron D'arcy de Knayth & Conyers
He held the office of Master of the Horse on 4th May 1827
He was invested as a Privy Counsellor on 10th May 1827
He was invested as a Knight, Order of the Garter (K.G.) on 19th May 1827.

He left his mansion in St. James's Square, together with the whole of his personal property, to his son-in-law, Sackville Walter Lane Fox.

Anne, his widow, who was born and baptised at St. Marylebone, died 30 July 1856, aged 80, at Hornby Castle, and was laid to rest at Harthill.

>Return to Index


Sir Francis Godolphin D’arcy Osborne
(1798 – 1859)
7th Duke of Leeds

Francis Godolphin D'arcy Osborne

1st and only surviving son and heir, born 21 May 1798, in London and baptised at Hornby, Bedale. Educated at Oxford, Christ Church.

Sir Francis Osborne was styled Earl of Danby from birth until 1799 and Marquess of Carmarthen from 1799 until 1838.  He was Member of Parliament for Helston from 1820 – 1830.  When he inherited his father’s dukedom, in 1838 he added the name of D’Arcy to his surname by Royal Licence.

1817-28, he served in the Army, retiring as Captain 2nd Life Guards. He was M. P. for Helston, 1826-30. In 1846 he was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the North York Militia (Rifles).

On 24th April 1828, Sir Francis married Louisa Catherine, daughter of Richard Caton of Maryland.

When Sir Francis inherited his father’s dukedom, in 1838 he added the name of D’Arcy to his surname by Royal Licence.

In 1846, he was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the North York Militia (Rifles).

He died in 1859, at the Clarendon Hotel, London from diphtheria. The Duke and his Duchess, Louisa Catherine were laid to rest in the Osborne family vault at Harthill Church.

His titles were:
7th Duke of Leeds 1838
Baron Darcy de Knayth 1838
7th Baron Osborne of Kiveton, co. York, 1838
8th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton, co. York 1838
7th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane

Sir Francis and Louisa had no children and on his death in 1859, his titles passed to other members of his family. The Dukedom of Leeds went to his cousin, the Lord Godolphin. The baronies of Darcy de Knayth and Conyers and the Portuguese Countship of Mertola to his nephew, Sackville Lane-Fox.

He was succeeded by his cousin Sir George Godolphin Osborne.

Sir Francis Godolphin D'Arcy Osborne was the last Duke of Leeds to be laid to rest in the family vault under the Leeds Family Chapel, at All Hallows Church, Harthill.

The Harthill Family Chapel and Vault
In total the vault contains: 4 Dukes,
4 Duchesses, and 6 of their Children.

The Gates to the chapel are thought to have been the main gates to Kiveton Hall, and were probably added when the hall was demolished in 1811. The tomb of the 1st Duke of Leeds, Thomas Osborne can be seen behind the gates.

The Leeds family vault is under the chapel.

>Return to Index


Sir George Godolphin Osborne (1802 – 1872)
8th Duke of Leeds

Cameo Image - 8th Duke

Sir George Godolphin Osborne was the eldest son of the 1st Baron Godolphin and his wife, the Hon. Elizabeth Eden.  The 6th Duke of Leeds was his uncle, and the 7th Duke of Leeds was his cousin. When his father became Baron Osborne in 1832, George became known as The Hon. George Osborne. He then inherited his father’s title in 1850, becoming the 2nd Baron Godolphin; therefore Lord Godolphin.

Sir George Godolphin Osborne lived all his life at his family home Wandlebury House at Gog Magog Hills, Stapleford, Cambridgeshire.

Stable Block - Wndlebury House
Wandlebury House Stable Block
The main house has been demolished

In 1859, he inherited the Dukedom of Leeds from his cousin Francis, the 7th Duke of Leeds.

Sir George married Lady Harriet Emma Arundel Stewart on 21st October 1824 at her father's official residence, the British Embassy in Paris.

In true ‘Victorian’ fashion George and Harriet Godolphin Osborne had eight children:

Sir George Godolphin Osborne born1828
Rev. Lord Francis George Godolphin Osborne born 1830
Lady Susan Georgina Godolphin Osborne born 1830
Major Lord D’Arcy Godolphin Osborne born 1834
Lord William Godolphin Osborne born 1835
Emma Charlotte Godolphin Osborne born 1837
Charlotte Godolphin Osborne born 1838
Blanche Godolphin Osborne born 1842

Sir George Godolphin Osborne died on 8th August 1872, at Gogmagog Hills, Cambridgeshire, and was laid to rest at St Giles Churchyard, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England

His titles were:
2nd Baron Godolphin of Farnham Royal co. Buckingham, 15th February, 1850
8th Earl of Danby co. York 4th May 1859
8th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane, 4th May 1859
8th Baron Osborne of Kiveton co. York, 4th May 1859
8th Duke of Leeds, 4th May 1859
8th Marquess of Carmarthen, 4th May 1859
8th Viscount Latimer of Danby co. York, 4th May 1859
9th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton co. York, 4th May 1859

Sir George was succeeded by his son Sir George Godolphin Osborne. >Return to Index


Sir George Godolphin Osborne (1828 – 1895)
9th Duke of Leeds

George Godolphin Osborne

Sir George was born on 11th August 1828 in Paris, France. He married the Hon. Francis Georgiana Pitt-Rivers, daughter of George Pitt-Rivers, 4th Baron Rivers of Sudeley Castle, on 16th January 1861.

George and Francis Godolphin Osborne had nine children:
George Frederick, Earl of Danby born 4th November, and died 6 November 1861
George born 1862
Francis Granville born 1864
Albert Edward  born 1866
Harriet Castalia born 1867
Alice Susan born 1869
Ada Charlotte born 1870
Alexandra Louisa born 1872
Constance Blanche born 1875

Their properties included Godolphin House at Godolphin Cross, Helston.

Godolphin House

They also owned the fortified manor house, Pengersick Castle at Praa Sands.

Pengersick Castlel

Sir George died on 23 December 1895, of bronchitis, at Hornby Castle, aged 67.

His Will probate 1896, was valued at £31,880. His widow, who was born 26 December 1836, died after a serious operation, at 11 Grosvenor Crescent, on 26 October 1896. Both were buried at Hornby.

His titles were:
9th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane, August 1872.
9th Baron Osborne of Kiveton co. York, August 1872.
10th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton co. York, August 1872.
3rd Baron Godolphin of Farnham Royal co. Buckingham, August 1872.
9th Marquess of Carmarthen, August 1872.
9th Duke of Leeds, August 1872.
9th Viscount Latimer of Danby co. York, August 1872.
9th Earl of Danby, August 1872.

He was succeeded by his son Sir George Godolphin Osborne. >Return to Index


Sir George Godolphin Osborne (1862 – 1927)
10th Duke of Leeds

George Godolphin Osborne

Sir George was born 18 September 1862, in Hertford Street, Park Lane, and  was educated at Eton 1876-80, and at Trinity College Cambridge.

He became a Conservative M. P., for Brixton, 1887-95, Assistant secretary to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1887-88, Treasurer of the Household, 1895-96, and member of the London County Council 1898.

On 13th February 1884, Sir George married Lady Katherine Francis Lambton, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Durham.

In 1895, Sir George inherited his father’s estates and titles, and he gained the rank of Lieutenant in the service of the Yorkshire Hussars.

George and Katherine had five children:
Lady Gwendolen fanny Godolphin Osborne born 1885
Lady Olga Katherine Godolphin Osborne born 1886
Lady Dorothy Beatrix Godolphin Osborne born 1888
Lady Moira Godolphin Osborne born 1892
Sir John Francis Godolphin Osborne born 1901

George served as Justice of the Peace for the North Riding of the County of York. He was a lieutenant in the Yorkshire Hussars and an honorary captain in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Osborne commanded the Royal Yacht Squadron and was a naval aide-de-camp to the king.

The Duke was noted for his love of racing and betting on greyhounds.

On the 23rd August 1921, To try and pay off gambling debts, the Duke sold all his land and property in Harthill by auction at the Royal Victoria Hotel, Sheffield.

However, the right of advowson to Harthill Church was not included in the sale and he delegated this to the Bishop of Sheffield.

Sir George died of pneumonia, at 11 Grosvenor Crescent on 10th May 1927, aged sixty-four was buried at Hornby Castle, Bedale, Yorkshire.

His Titles Were:
10th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane - December 1895
4th Baron Godolphin of Farnham Royal, co. Buckingham - December 1895
11th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton, co. York - December 1895
10th Duke of Leeds - December 1895
10th Earl of Danby, co. York – December 1895
10th Baron Osborne of Kiveton, co. York – December 1895
10th Viscount Latimer of Danby, co. York – December 1895

He held the office of Aide-de-Camp to HM King George V between 1921 and 1922.

Sir George was succeeded by his only son, Sir John Francis Godolphin Osborne, as the 11th Duke of Leeds. >Return to Index


Sir John Francis Godolphin Osborne
(1901 – 1963)
11th Duke of Leeds

John Francis Godolphin Osborne

Sir John inherited half a million pounds from his father at the age of twenty-six, but his father also left huge gambling debts, and the Hornby Castle estate was placed on the market in 1930.

The Duke spent the rest of his life as a tax exile on the French Riviera, and at his home, Melbourne House, on the island of Jersey.

Hornby Castle, was gutted by fire, and bar one wing, was demolished in 1931.

The Duke spent the rest of his life as a tax exile on the French Riviera, and on the island of Jersey at his mansion Melbourne House.

Sir John married Irma Amelia de Mallkhozouny on 27th March 1933.  They were divorced in 1948.

His second marriage was to Audrey Young on 21st December 1948, and they had a daughter - Lady Camilla Dorothy Godolphin Osborne born 14th August 1950,

His third marriage was to Caroline Fleur Vatcher on 22nd February 1955.

Sir John died in France on 26th July 1963, and was laid to rest in the Cimetière communal, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France.

His titles were:
11th Viscount Osborne of Dunblane – May 1927.
11th Baron Osborne of Kiveton, co. York – May 1927.
12th Baronet Osborne of Kiveton, co. York – May 1927.
5th Baron Godolphin of Farnham Royal, co. Buckingham – May 1927.
11th Marquess of Carmarthen – May 1927.
11th Duke of Leeds – May 1927.
11th Viscount Latimer of Danby – May 1927.
11th Earl Danby – May 1927.

Sir John was succeeded by his second cousin once removed, Sir Francis D’arcy Godolphin Osborne, as the 12th Duke of Leeds in 1963. >Return to Index


Sir Francis D’arcy Godolphin Osborne
(1884 – 1964)
12th Duke of Leeds

FRancis D'arcy Godolphin Osborne

Sir Francis was educated at Haileybury College, before joining HM Diplomatic Service.

In about 1919 or 1920, Osborne met Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Elizabeth, with whom he maintained a life-long friendship and correspondence.

He was posted to Portugal (Counsellor, 1928–1929) and Italy (Counsellor, 1929–1931). He then served as British Minister at Washington (the deputy head of the British mission to the United States) from 1931 to 1935.

Sir Francis was made Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Holy See 1936–1947.

When Italy declared war on the United Kingdom in 1940, Osborne, accredited to the Holy See but living in Italian territory, moved inside the Vatican where he would be immured inside the Vatican until the liberation of Rome in 1944.

From then on and using the code name "Mount", he was one of the group, which he supported with his own money, led by Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty and a French diplomat François de Vial who helped conceal some 4,000 escapees, whether Jews or Allied soldiers, from the Nazis: 3,925 survived the war.


Their story was portrayed in the 1983 film The Scarlet and the Black, starring Gregory Peck. He also played a key part in a plot in 1940, which involved the Pope and certain German generals, to overthrow Hitler. He also features in Major Sam Derry’s, book about this escape entitled The Rome Escape Line.


Sir Francis succeeded his second cousin once removed as Duke of Leeds in 1963.

He was not a wealthy man and on inheriting the title, he asked the estates executors if they could forward him a small sum of money so he could buy a coat for the winter.

Francis worked at the Vatican as a British Minister and remained there when he succeeded his cousin. He lived at the Palazzo Sacchetti, 66 Via Giulia, Rome, and he was often seen cycling around the city.

He died, without issue, in Rome on 20th March 1964, aged 80. Having held the title Duke of Leeds for less than a year.

He was laid to rest in the Cimitero Acattolico "Non-Catholic Cemetery" in Rome, and upon his death all of the titles associated with the Dukes of Leeds became extinct.

. >Return to Index


Information based on research by Edward J Mullins, the late Kathleen Sharpe, and Brenda Needham.

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