Life Peers prior to the 1958 Act

Some Men and Women created Life Peers - and seemingly forgotten

Guichard d'Angle created Earl of Huntingdon for life in 1377

Robert de Vere, Marquess of Dublin for life in 1385, Duke of Ireland for life in 1386

Margaret, Countess of Norfolk created Duchess of Norfolk for life in 1397

Thomas, Earl of Dorset created Duke of Exeter for life in 1416

Thomas Howard created Earl of Surrey for life in 1513/14

Mary, wife of Sir Thomas Compton, created Countess of Buckingham for life in 1618

Elizabeth, Viscountess Savage created Countess Rivers in 1641

Alice, wife of Sir Robert Dudley, created Duchess of Dudley in 1644

Katherine, widow of Jan van den Kerchhove, created Countess of Chesterfield in 1660

Anne, wife of Henry Murray, created Viscountess Bayning of Foxley in 1673/74

Susan, widow of John, Lord Belasyse, created Baroness Belasyse of Osgodby in 1674

Sarah, widow of Sir Andrew Corbet, created Viscountess Corbet of Linchlade in 1679

Elizabeth, widow of David Walter, created Countess of Sheppey for life in 1680

Mary, Baroness Stafford created Countess of Stafford for life in 1688

Colin Blackburn created Baron Blackburn of Killearn in 1876*.

In Scotland there were -

William Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, created Duke of Hamilton for life in 1660

Walter Scott of Highchester created Earl of Tarras for life in 1660

James Wemyss of Caskieberran created Lord Burntisland in 1672

Francis Abercromby of Fetterneir created Lord Glasfoord for life in 1685

and in Ireland there were -

Elizabeth, widow of Sir William Petty, created Baroness Shelburne for life in 1688

Ellis, widow of Francis, Lord Athenry, created Countess of Brandon for life in 1758.

NB - This is not a comprehensive list of earlier life peers. It omits members of the then reigning Royal Family created life peers, many of the royal mistresses elevated to the peerage, and all but one of the Law Lords.

*This was the first creation under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876. Although the new peer was a peer for life in the rank of Baron, his right to a Writ of Summons entitling him to attend and to sit and to vote in the House of Lords was to be only for the period he held office as a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. In 1887 this limitation was removed and thereafter the Law Lords were entitled to the Writ of Summons for life.

The Merit of Life Peers

The Baronage Contents Page Jul-Sep 1999