Earl of Bradford

Earl of Bradford is a title that has been created twice, once in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was first created in 1694 for Francis Newport, 2nd Baron Newport. However, all the Newport titles became extinct on the death of the fourth Earl in 1762. The earldom was revived in 1815 for Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Baron Bradford. The Bridgeman family had previously succeeded to the Newport estates. The title of the peerage refers to the ancient hundred of Bradford in Shropshire, and not, as might be assumed, to the city of Bradford, Yorkshire, or the town of Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire.

Earldom of Bradford
1st creation
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Bradford Escutcheon.png
Arms: Argent, a Chevron Gules, between three Leopard's Heads Sable. Crest: A Unicorn's Head erased Argent, armed and ducally gorged Or. Supporters: On either side a Leopard guardant proper.
Creation date11 May 1694
Created byKing William III
and Queen Mary II
PeeragePeerage of England
First holderFrancis Newport, 1st Viscount Newport
Last holderThomas Newport, 4th Earl
Remainder tothe 1st Earl's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.
Subsidiary titlesViscount Newport
Baron Newport
Extinction date18 April 1762
(Not beyond the limits of the wise)

History of the titleEdit

Newport creationEdit

The Newports were an ancient Shropshire family. One member of the family, Richard Newport, represented Shropshire and Shrewsbury in Parliament and was a supporter of King Charles I during the Civil War. In 1642 he was raised to the Peerage of England as Baron Newport, of High Ercall in the County of Shropshire. His son Francis, the second Baron, represented Shrewsbury in the Long Parliament and fought as a Royalist in the Civil War. After the Restoration he served as Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, as Comptroller of the Household and as Treasurer of the Household. In 1676 Newport was created Viscount Newport, of Bradford in the County of Shropshire, and on 11 May 1694 he was further honoured when he was made Earl of Bradford, in the County of Shropshire. Both titles were in the Peerage of England.

Lord Bradford was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He sat as a Whig Member of Parliament for Shropshire and served as Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. In 1681 Lord Bradford married Mary Wilbraham, daughter of Sir Thomas Wilbraham, Bt, and Elizabeth Mytton. Through this marriage Weston Park in Staffordshire came into the Newport family. Their eldest son, the third Earl, represented Bishop's Castle and Shropshire in the House of Commons and was also Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire. He had no legitimate children and on his death the peerages passed to his younger brother, the fourth Earl. When he died in 1762 all the Newport titles became extinct. The family estates, including Weston Park, were inherited by his nephew, Sir Henry Bridgeman, 5th Baronet, of Great Lever (see below).

The Hon. Thomas Newport, younger son of the first Earl, was created Baron Torrington in 1716.

Bridgeman creationEdit

Earldom of Bradford
2nd creation
Arms of Bridgeman: Sable, ten Plates, four, three, two and one, on a Chief Argent, a Lion passant Ermines. Crest: A Demi-Lion rampant Argent, holding between the paws a Wreath of Laurel proper. Supporters: On either side a Lion guardant Gules pellettée.
Creation date30 November 1815
Created byThe Prince Regent (acting on behalf of his father, King George III)
PeeragePeerage of the United Kingdom
First holderOrlando Bridgeman, 2nd Baron Bradford
Present holderRichard Bridgeman, 7th Earl
Heir apparentAlexander Bridgeman, Viscount Newport
Remainder tothe 1st Earl's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten.
Subsidiary titlesViscount Newport
Baron Bradford
Baronet Bridgeman of Great Lever
Former seat(s)Weston Park
Castle Bromwich Hall
(Neither rashly nor timidly)

The Bridgeman family originally stems from Devon. One member of the family, John Bridgeman, grandson of Edward Bridgeman, served as Bishop of Chester from 1619 to 1652. His son, Orlando Bridgeman, was a prominent lawyer and politician. In 1660 he was created a baronet, of Great Lever in the County of Lancaster, in the Baronetage of England. His great-grandson, the fourth Baronet, represented Shrewsbury in Parliament. In 1719 he married Lady Anne Newport, daughter of Richard Newport, 2nd Earl of Bradford. Their son, the fifth Baronet, was a Member of Parliament for Ludlow and Wenlock for over forty years. In 1762 he succeeded through his mother to the Newport estates, including Weston Park, on the death of his uncle, the fourth Earl of Bradford (see above). After Bridgeman's retirement from the House of Commons in 1794, the Bradford title held by his mother's family was revived when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Bradford, of Bradford in the County of Shropshire.[1]

His son, the second Baron, represented Wigan in Parliament. In 1815, the earldom of Bradford was revived when he was created Viscount Newport, in the County of Shropshire, and Earl of Bradford, in the County of Shropshire.[2] His grandson, the third Earl, was a Conservative politician and notably served as Lord Steward of the Household and as Master of the Horse. He was also Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. His eldest son, the fourth Earl, represented North Shropshire in Parliament as a Conservative. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the fifth Earl. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the army and fought in the Boer War and in the First World War. Lord Bradford was also Private Secretary to both Prime Minister Lord Salisbury and to Prime Minister Arthur Balfour and held office as a Government Whip in the House of Lords from 1919 to 1924. The present holder of the titles is his grandson, the seventh Earl, who succeeded in 1981.

Another member of the Bridgeman family was the Conservative politician William Bridgeman, 1st Viscount Bridgeman. He was the son of Reverend the Hon. John Robert Orlando Bridgeman, third son of the second Earl of Bradford.

Family seatsEdit

The family seat is Weston Park in Staffordshire. They also held Castle Bromwich Hall, a manor in Warwickshire, along with the adjoining Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. The Hall is now a hotel, and its gardens have been restored by a Trust and are open to the public.

Weston Park was held by the family until 1986. Gerald, the 6th Earl of Bradford, who had succeeded to the title in 1957, died in 1981, leaving the family with large death duties. After five years of negotiations with the Treasury, Weston Park was donated to the nation via a Foundation established in 1986.

Since then, a G8 Summit Retreat was held at Weston Park in 1998 with the heads of State or Government present including US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin and, since 1999, the grounds of Weston Park have been used as one of the sites of the annual dual-site Virgin sponsored V Festival. While the family of the 7th Earl of Bradford has no remaining claim to Weston Park, much of the artwork (including works by van Dyck and others) remains privately held.

Earl of Bradford, first creationEdit

Baron Newport (1642)Edit

Viscount Newport (1675)Edit

Earl of Bradford (1694)Edit

Male-line family treeEdit

Male-line family tree
Male-line family tree, Barons Newport, Viscounts Newport, and Earls of Bradford.
Baron Newport
Richard Newport
1st Baron Newport

Viscount Newport
Earl of Bradford
Francis Newport
1st Earl of Bradford

Andrew Newport
Baron Torrington
Richard Newport
2nd Earl of Bradford

Thomas Newport
1st Baron Torrington

1654/1655 – 1719
Barony extinct
Henry Newport
3rd Earl of Bradford

Richard Newport
Thomas Newport
4th Earl of Bradford

c. 1696 – 1762
Barony, viscountcy
and earldom extinct

Earl of Bradford, second creationEdit

John Bridgeman, 2nd Baronet, by Johann Closterman

Bridgeman baronets, of Great Lever (1660)Edit

  • Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st Baronet (30 January 1606 – 25 June 1674), son of John Bridgeman, Bishop of Chester.
  • Sir John Bridgeman, 2nd Baronet (16 August 1631 – 24 August 1710). Bridgeman was the son of the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st Baronet, of Great Lever, and Judith Kynaston, and older brother of Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 1st Baronet, of Ridley, he was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1647 and called to the Bar in 1654,[3] though given his father's expression of regret in his will that none of his sons followed him into the legal profession, one must infer that he never practiced.[4] John succeeded to his father's baronetcy on 25 June 1674. He was married to Mary Cradock, daughter of George Cradock of Caverswall Castle. They had two children: Orlando Bridgeman, married Katherine Bridgeman, daughter of William Bridgeman; Sir John Bridgeman, 3rd Baronet. Bridgeman died, aged 79, in Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire, and was buried in Aston.
Funeral monument in St Michael the Archangel, Llanyblodwel, to John Bridgeman, 3rd Baronet by John Michael Rysbrack
  • Sir John Bridgeman, 3rd Baronet (9 August 1667 – 21 July 1747). Bridgeman was the second son of Sir John Bridgeman, 2nd Baronet, and Mary Cradock, and was educated at Oriel College, Oxford. In 1689, he was called to the Bar, Inner Temple. On 24 January 1710, Bridgeman succeeded in his father's baronetcy. He married Ursula Matthews, daughter of Roger Matthews, in 1694. They had two children: Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 4th Baronet; Ursula Bridgeman, married Hugh Williams. Bridgeman died, aged 79, and was buried in Llanyblodwel, Shropshire.
  • Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 4th Baronet (2 July 1695 – 25 July 1764). Married Lady Anne Newport, third daughter of the 2nd Earl of Bradford (of the first creation, see above).
  • Sir Henry Bridgeman, 5th Baronet (7 September 1725 – 5 June 1800) (created Baron Bradford in 1794).

Baron Bradford (1794)Edit

Earl of Bradford (1815)Edit

Created by George III
# Name Period Spouse Notes
1 Orlando Bridgeman
1815–1825 Hon. Lucy Elizabeth Byng Previously styled as Baron Bradford
2 George Bridgeman
1825–1865 Georgina Elizabeth Moncreiffe
Helen MacKay
Son of the preceding
3 Orlando Bridgeman
1865–1898 Hon. Selina Weld-Forester Son of the preceding
4 George Bridgeman
1898–1915 Lady Ida Frances Annabella Lumley Son of the preceding
5 Orlando Bridgeman
1915–1957 Hon. Margaret Cecilia Bruce Son of the preceding
6 Gerald Bridgeman
1957–1981 Mary Willoughby Montgomery Son of the preceding
7 Richard Bridgeman
(born 1947)
1981– Joanne Elizabeth Miller
Dr. Penelope Anne Law
Son of the preceding

Male-line family treeEdit

Male-line family tree
Male-line family tree, Bridgeman baronets, Barons Bradford, and Earls of Bradford.
John Bridgeman
Bishop of Chester
Bridgeman baronetcy
of Great Lever
Sir Orlando Bridgeman
1st Baronet

Bridgeman baronetcy
of Ridley
Sir John Bridgeman
2nd Baronet
Sir Orlando Bridgeman
1st Baronet

Sir John Bridgeman
3rd Baronet
Sir Orlando Bridgeman
2nd Baronet

Bridgeman baronetcy
of Ridley extinct
Sir Orlando Bridgeman
4th Baronet

Lady Anne Newport
(daughter of the
2nd Earl of Bradford
of the first creation)
died 1752
Francis Bridgeman[a]
Baron Bradford
Unknown sonHenry Bridgeman
1st Baron Bradford

Viscount Newport
Earl of Bradford
Orlando Bridgeman
1st Earl of Bradford

George Bridgeman
2nd Earl of Bradford

Orlando Bridgeman
3rd Earl of Bradford

Rev. Hon.
John Bridgeman
Viscount Bridgeman
George Bridgeman
4th Earl of Bradford

William Bridgeman
1st Viscount Bridgeman

Orlando Bridgeman
5th Earl of Bradford

Robert Bridgeman
2nd Viscount Bridgeman

Geoffrey Bridgeman
Gerald Bridgeman
6th Earl of Bradford

Robin Bridgeman
3rd Viscount Bridgeman

born 1930
Richard Bridgeman
7th Earl of Bradford

born 1947
Luke Bridgeman
born 1971
Alexander Bridgeman
Viscount Newport
born 1980
Valentine Bridgeman
born 1999
  1. ^ Francis Bridgeman was the only son of the 2nd Baronet (of Ridley). Following his father's apparent drowning in 1738, Bridgeman was assumed to have inherited the baronetcy.[5] Shortly thereafter though, his father, who had only feigned his death to avoid his creditors, was discovered in an inn and imprisoned.[6] Therefore, Bridgeman never actually succeeded to the title. He died, unmarried and childless, aged only 27, on board a ship in Sir Chaloner Ogle's fleet, en route to the West Indies.[5] The title became extinct with the death of his father in 1746.[6]

Line of successionEdit

Line of succession

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "No. 13692". The London Gazette. 9 August 1794. p. 818.
  2. ^ "No. 17066". The London Gazette. 30 September 1815. p. 1997.
  3. ^ "John Bridgeman". The Inner Temple Admissions Database. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  4. ^ Nenner, Howard (2004). "Bridgeman, Sir Orlando, first baronet (1609–1674), judge". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3392. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ a b Burke, John (1841). John Bernhard Burke (ed.). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England, Ireland and Scotland (2nd ed.). London: Scott, Webster, and Geary. p. 82.
  6. ^ a b Eveline Cruickshanks, Stuart Handley and D. W. Hayton, ed. (2002). The House of Commons, 1690-1715. Vol. III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 325.

External linksEdit