John Fane, 7th Earl of Westmorland

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The 7th Earl of Westmorland
Armorial of John Fane, 7th Earl of Westmorland: Azure, three dexter gauntlets back affrontée or
Born John Fane
(1685-03-24)24 March 1685
Died 26 August 1762(1762-08-26) (aged 77)
Title 7th Earl of Westmorland
Tenure 1736-1762
Other titles 1st Baron Caterlough
7th Baron Burghersh
10th Lord le Despencer
Nationality English
Wars and battles Battle of Oudenarde
Siege of Lille (1708)
Battle of Malplaquet
Offices MP for Hythe (1708-1711)
MP for Kent (1715-1722)
MP for Buckingham (1727-1734)
High Steward of the Univesty of Oxford (1754)
Chancellor of the University of Oxford (1759-1762)
Predecessor Thomas Fane, 6th Earl of Westmorland
Successor Thomas Fane, 8th Earl of Westmorland
Spouse(s) Mary Cavendish
Issue None
Parents Vere Fane, 4th Earl of Westmorland
Rachel Bence

John Fane, 7th Earl of Westmorland (24 March 1685 – 26 August 1762), styled The Honourable John Fane from 1691 to 1733 and Lord Catherlough from 1733 to 1736, was an English nobleman and soldier.

File:William Blackstone, The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest (1st ed, 1759, dedication) - 20141022.jpg
The dedication page on the first edition of William Blackstone's work The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest (1759).[4] Blackstone dedicated the book to Westmorland, calling him "The Assertor of those Liberties" set down in the Magna Carta and other charters "[o]f which his Ancestors Witnessed the Confirmation".

John Fane was the son of Vere Fane, 4th Earl of Westmorland and his wife Rachel Bence. He was admitted at Lincoln's Inn in 1703, and entered as a fellow commoner at Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1703/4.[5] It is likely that his older brother Thomas influenced his decision to become Member of Parliament for Hythe in 1708,[2] a position which he held until 1711. That same year, he joined the army and fought at Oudenarde and Lille.[2] After the war, he returned to England with a letter for the Lord High Treasurer, Lord Godolphin, from the Duke of Marlborough, who wrote that "Fane behaved himself very well, so that I am desirous you would do him the honour of presenting him to the Queen. I like him much better than his brother [Westmorland]."[6] A year later, however, he left for the continent again, this time as a Captain of horse in William Cardogan's regiment, and saw action at Malplaquet.

In 1709 and 1710, he was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Hythe, but he was forced to relinquish his seat in 1711 due to a petition by Tory candidates.[7] He later became Member of Parliament for Kent from 1715 to 1722,[5] and for Buckingham from 1727 to 1734.[3] While originally a Whig, Fane changed sides and became a Tory during the reign of George II. He may also have been involved in Jacobite intrigues.[8]

During his service in the British Army, Fane reached the rank of colonel in the 1st Troop, Horse Guards, and that of general in 1761.[2] He was created 1st Baron Catherlough of Catherlough in Ireland on 4 October 1733 and succeeded his elder brother as 7th Earl of Westmorland in 1736. He is also notable for being the patron of Colen Campbell's Palladian Mereworth Castle.

Since Fane outlived many of his siblings, including the 5th and 6th Earl, and was the only male heir, he inherited most of their properties. His wealth increased further with an inheritance from his younger brother Mildmay and with the revenue from his Caterlough barony.[2]

When Fane died without issue in 1762, his Irish barony became extinct; the barony of Le Despencer, being a barony in fee, devolved upon his nephew Sir Francis Dashwood, Bt; and the earldom of Westmorland went to the male heir, Thomas Fane of Bristol, merchant, son of Henry Fane, (d. 1726,) attorney at law, grandson of Sir Francis Fane, KB and great grandson of Sir Francis Fane, of Fulbeck, co. Lincoln, KB the third son of Francis Fane, 1st Earl of Westmorland.[9]


  1. Debrett 1820, p. 1148.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Wynne 2002.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mosley 2003, p. 4134.
  4. Blackstone 1759, p. 5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Fane, John (FN703J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Bodl. Dashwood C5, lt.-col. commn. for John Fane, 1710; Add. 70775, Westmorland to Harley, 9 Apr. 1713.
  7. Ruffhead 1763, p. 281.
  8. Add. 42593, f. 135; 70775, Westmorland to Harley, 9 Apr. 1713; VCH Northants. ii. 545; Hasted, Kent, v. 79–80; HMC Denbigh, v, 277.
  9. Debrett 1820, p.160


  • Blackstone, William (1759). The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest, with other Authentic Instruments: To which is Prefixed an Introductory Discourse, Containing the History of the Charters. By William Blackstone, Esq; Barrister at Law, Vinerian Professor of the Laws of England, and D.C.L. Oxford: Clarendon Press. OCLC 4547269.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Debrett, John, ed. (1820). Debrett's Correct Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 1 (13 ed.). London: Printed G. Woodall, Angel Court, Skinner Street.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage. 3 (107th ed.). Wilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Ruffhead, Owen (1763). The Statutes at Large, From the Tenth Year of KING WILLIAM the THIRD To the End of the Reign of QUEEN ANNE. To which is prefixed, A TABLE of the TITLES of all the Publick and Private Statutes during that Time. 4. London: Mark & Robert Basket, Henry Woodfall & William Strahan.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Philip Boteler, Bt
John Boteler
Member of Parliament for Hythe
with John Boteler 1708–1710
The Viscount Shannon 1710–1711
George Chamberlayne 1728

Succeeded by
John Boteler
William Berners
Preceded by
Mildmay Fane
William Delaune
Member of Parliament for Kent
with William Delaune

Succeeded by
Sir Edward Knatchbull, Bt
Sir Thomas Twisden, Bt
Preceded by
Richard Grenville
William Heathcote
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
with William Heathcote 1727
Thomas Lewis 1727–1728
George Chamberlayne 1728

Succeeded by
George Chamberlayne
Richard Grenville
Military offices
Preceded by
William Windress
Colonel of John Fane's Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Viscount Hinchingbrooke
Preceded by
Lord Lumley
Captain and Colonel of the
1st Troop Horse Grenadier Guards

Succeeded by
Sir Robert Rich, Bt
Preceded by
The Earl of Pembroke
Captain and Colonel of
His Majesty's Own Troop of Horse Guards

Succeeded by
The Duke of Montagu
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Arran
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by
The Earl of Lichfield
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Fane
Earl of Westmorland
Succeeded by
Thomas Fane
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Catherlough