The title of Earl of Kendal has been awarded to four separate individuals, none of whom managed to transmit the title to any heir. Of these four creations only the third, in favour of John de Foix, was ever actually known under the title of Earl of Kendal, as the other three holders of the title were also Dukes and therefore primarily known by that higher dignity.

These four Earls of Kendal were as follows:

Firstly, John the second son of king Henry IV who was created both Duke of Bedford and Earl of Kendal by his older brother Henry V on the 6th May 1414. Known as John, Duke of Bedford he died without legitimate heirs in 1435.

Secondly, John Beaufort, the 3rd Marquess of Dorset who was created Duke of Somerset and Earl of Kendal by Henry VI on the 28th August 1443, the titles became extinct at his death nine months later on the 27th May 1444.

Thirdly, John de Foix, who was the Count of Longueville in Normandy, and was created Earl of Kendal on 22nd August 1446 being "a Frenchman, raised to that dignity by Henry VI for his faithful services in the French wars". During the Yorkist invasion of 1460 he was one of the many Lancastrian supporters of Henry VI who took refuge in the Tower of London when Edward then Earl of March was welcomed into London. He later fought at the Battle of Northampton, after which he was captured by the victorious Yorkists and then switched his support.

In 1462 he returned to France and is therefore regarded as having 'resigned' his title although his descendants continued to adopt the style of 'Comte de Candale' and one of whom appears to have been granted the French title of Duc de Candale in 1621. (The Duc de Candale appears as a character in Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand.)

Finally, on the 6th April 1689 George, Prince of Denmark, the husband of the future Queen Anne was created Duke of Cumberland and Earl of Kendal by William III, which titles became extinct at his death on the 28th October 1708. (And would in any event have eventually merged with the crown if he and Anne had produced any male heirs.)

There has also been;

one Duke of Kendal being Charles, the son of James, Duke of York, later king James II. This Charles was created Duke of Kendal shortly after his birth on the 4th July 1666; he died slightly less than a year later on the 20th June 1667.

and one Duchess of Kendal being Ehrengarde Melesina de Schulenberg, mistress of king George I, who was created Duchess of Kendal for life in March 1719. Known as 'the maypole' (for reasons that should be obvious), she had two daughters by the king; Petronelle Melusine who married Philip Dormer, Earl of Chesterfield; and Margaret Gertrude who married the Count of Lippe.


THE EARLS OF KENDAL
(including one Duke and one Duchess)

PLANTAGENET

BEAUFORT

DE FOIX

OLDENBURG

STUART

as Duke of Kendal

SCHULENBERG

as Duchess of Kendal

SOURCES

  • The Barony of Kendal http://www.stevebulman.f9.co.uk/cumbria/kendal.html
  • The Scottish Royal Lineage Part 5 Of 6 - The House of Guelph http://www.burkes-peerage.net/sites/scotland/sitepages/page31h.asp
  • The 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica entry for KENDAL, DUKEDOM OF
  • Armory of the pre-1789 French Peerage www.heraldica.org/topics/france/peerage2.htm
  • Charles Arnold Baker The Companion to British History (Longcross Press, 1996)
  • A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain at www.thepeerage.com

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