Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness

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The Earl of Holderness

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Secretary of State for the Southern Department
In office
6 April 1757 27 June 1757
Monarch George II
Preceded by William Pitt
Succeeded by William Pitt
In office
18 June 1751 23 March 1754
Monarch George II
Preceded by The Duke of Bedford
Succeeded by Thomas Robinson
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
In office
23 March 1754 25 March 1761
Monarch George II
George III
Preceded by The Duke of Newcastle
Succeeded by The Earl of Bute
Personal details
Born17 May 1718
Died16 May 1778(1778-05-16) (aged 59)
Syon Hill, London, England
Nationality Great Britain
Spouse(s)Mary Doublet
Children Amelia Osborne, Marchioness of Carmarthen
Occupation Diplomat, politician

Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, PC (17 May 1718 16 May 1778), known before 1721 as Lord Darcy and Conyers, was a British diplomat and politician. [1] [2]

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.



In 1741 he collaborated with G.F. Handel in the production of Deidamia. [3] From 1744 to 1746 he was ambassador at Venice and from 1749 to 1751 he represented his country at The Hague. In 1751 he became Secretary of State for the Southern Department, transferring in 1754 to the Northern Department, and he remained in office until March 1761, when he was dismissed by King George III in favour of Lord Bute, although he had largely been a cipher in that position to the stronger personalities of his colleagues, successively the Duke of Newcastle, Thomas Robinson, Henry Fox, and William Pitt the Elder. From 1771 to 1776 he acted as governor to two of the King's sons, a solemn phantom as Horace Walpole calls him. He left no sons who survived childhood, [2] and all his titles became extinct except the Baronies of Darcy (de Knayth) and Conyers, which were Baronies by Writ, and the Portuguese countship of Mértola. In those peerages he was succeeded by his daughter, Amelia Osborne, Marchioness of Carmarthen.

<i>Deidamia</i> (opera) opera melodramma in three acts by Georg Friedrich Händel

Deidamia is an opera in three acts composed by George Frideric Handel to an Italian libretto by Paolo Antonio Rolli. It premiered on 10 January 1741 at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, London.

Venice Comune in Veneto, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.

The Hague City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

The Hague is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is also the seat of government of the Netherlands.

David Hume wrote, "It is remarkable that this family of d'Arcy [sic] seems to be the only male descendant of any of the Conqueror's barons now remaining among the Peers. Lord Holdernessae [sic] is the heir of that family". [4]

David Hume Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian

David Hume was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism. Hume's empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes as a British Empiricist. Beginning with his A Treatise of Human Nature (1738), Hume strove to create a total naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Against philosophical rationalists, Hume held that passion rather than reason governs human behaviour. Hume argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human knowledge is founded solely in experience.


On 29 October 1743, Darcy married Mary Doublet, daughter of Francis Doublet and Constantia Van-der-Beck. The couple had three children, only one of whom survived childhood: [2]

Mary Darcy, Countess of Holderness, formerly Mary Doublet, was the wife of Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness.

Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk (The Hague) Church in The Hague, Netherlands

Great or St. James' Church is a landmark Protestant church in The Hague, Netherlands. The building is located on the Torenstraat, named for its high tower. Together with the Binnenhof, it is one of the oldest buildings in The Hague. Members of the House of Orange-Nassau have been baptised and married there. The latest are Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his daughter Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange.

Amelia Osborne, Marchioness of Carmarthen British noble

Amelia Osborne, Marchioness of Carmarthen, 12th Baroness Darcy de Knayth, 9th Baroness Conyers, 5th Countess of Mértola, was a British peer and a Portuguese countess.

Francis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds British politician

Francis Godolphin Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds,, styled Marquess of Carmarthen until 1789, was a British politician. He notably served as Foreign Secretary under William Pitt the Younger from 1783 to 1791. He also was Governor of Scilly. As a statesman he is generally regarded as a failure, and his deep hostility to the newly independent United States of America damaged relations between the two countries.

See also

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Baron Darcy de Knayth is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1332 for John Darcy with remainder to his heirs general, allowing daughters to inherit.

Duke of Leeds title in the Peerage of England

Duke of Leeds was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1694 for the prominent statesman Thomas Osborne, 1st Marquess of Carmarthen. He had already succeeded as 2nd Baronet, of Kiveton (1647) and been created Viscount Osborne, of Dunblane (1673), Baron Osborne, of Kiveton in the County of York and Viscount Latimer, of Danby in the County of York, Earl of Danby, in the County of York (1674), and Marquess of Carmarthen (1689). All these titles were in the Peerage of England, except for the viscountcy of Osborne, which was in the Peerage of Scotland. He resigned the latter title in favour of his son in 1673. The Earldom of Danby was a revival of the title held by his great-uncle, Henry Danvers, 1st Earl of Danby.

The title Earl of Holderness also known as Holdernesse existed in the late 11th and early 12th centuries as a feudal lordship and was officially created three times in the Peerage of England namely in 1621, in 1644 as a subsidiary title to that of the then-Duke of Cumberland and in 1682. The official creations lasted 5, 38 and 96 years respectively.

Baron Conyers

Baron Conyers is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created on 17 October 1509 for William Conyers, the son-in-law of William Neville, 1st Earl of Kent. The abeyance after the death of the 3rd baron was terminated for the 7th Baron Darcy de Knayth, these baronies were held together until the abeyance of 1888, after which the abeyance of these two baronies were separately terminated. Since 1509, the Barons Conyers had held a part of the "right" to the barony Fauconberg, i.e. the part for which the abeyance was terminated in 1903; and since the termination of the abeyance of the barony Fauconberg, the two baronies, Conyers and Fauconberg, had been held together; from 1948 they were abeyant between the two daughters of the 5th Earl of Yarborough. On the death of the younger daughter in 2012 the abeyance terminated automatically in favour of her elder sister, the 15th holder of the title. Since the death of the latter in 2013, the title is in abeyance once more.

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Violet Ida Eveline Herbert, Countess of Powis and suo jure16th Baroness Darcy de Knayth was a British peeress in her own right.

Sir Conyers Darcy or Darcey,, of Aske, near Richmond, Yorkshire, was a British Army officer, courtier and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1707 and 1758.

The title Count of Mértola was granted to Frederick, 1st Duke of Schomberg by Afonso VI of Portugal, in 1663, as a reward for the Duke's service with the Portuguese Army.

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Francis DArcy-Osborne, 7th Duke of Leeds British politician

Francis George Godolphin D'Arcy D'Arcy-Osborne, 7th Duke of Leeds, styled Earl of Danby from birth until 1799 and Marquess of Carmarthen from 1799 until 1838, was a British peer and politician.

Sackville George Lane-Fox, 12th Baron Conyers and de jure 15th Baron Darcy de Knayth was a British peer and soldier.

Robert Darcy, 3rd Earl of Holderness English noble

Robert Darcy, 3rd Earl of Holderness, was a British peer and politician.

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Conyers Darcy, 1st Earl of Holderness English noble

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Benjamin Mildmay, 1st Earl FitzWalter, styled The Honourable Benjamin Mildmay until 1728 and known as The Lord FitzWalter between 1728 and 1730, was a British politician. He served as First Lord of Trade between 1735 and 1737 and as Treasurer of the Household between 1737 and 1755.


  1. "D'Arcy, Robert"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. 1 2 3 Record for Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness on
  3. A New Chronology of Venetian Opera and Related Genres, 1660-1760 by Eleanor Selfridge-Field, p. 492
  4. History of England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975), p. 16 n. 14.
  5. Wildeman, Marinus Godefridus, De grafboeken der Groote of St. Jacobskerk te 's Gravenhage, (1620-1830)... Robijns Publishers, 1898
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Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Minister at Venice
Succeeded by
Sir James Gray
Preceded by
Minister at the Hague
Succeeded by
Joseph Yorke
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Bedford
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Succeeded by
Thomas Robinson
Preceded by
The Duke of Newcastle
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
Succeeded by
The Earl of Bute
Preceded by
William Pitt
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Succeeded by
William Pitt
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Conyers Darcy
Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire
Succeeded by
The Earl Fauconberg
Preceded by
The Marquess of Rockingham
Custos Rotulorum of the North Riding of Yorkshire
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Rockingham
Vice-Admiral of Yorkshire
Preceded by
The Duke of Dorset
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Succeeded by
The Lord North
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Robert Darcy
Earl of Holderness
Baron Darcy de Knayth and Conyers
Succeeded by
Amelia Osborne
Titles of nobility
Preceded by
Frederica Mildmay
Count of Mértola
Succeeded by
Amelia Osborne