William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Exeter
Exeter was the son of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter, and Dorothy Neville, daughter of John Neville, 4th Baron Latimer. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and travelled on the continent before being admitted to Gray's Inn.
In 1586, when only 20 years of age, he was returned to Parliament as MP for Stamford and was returned again in 1589. In 1597 he was elected knight of the shire for Rutland. He was invested as a Knight in 1603. He held the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire between 1623 and 1640. He succeeded to the title of 3rd Baron of Burghley, co. Northampton [E., 1571] on 8 February 1622/23. He succeeded to the title of 2nd Earl of Exeter [E., 1605] on 8 February 1622/23. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (PC) in 1626. He was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) in 1630.
- Lady Anne Cecil married Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford, and had issue.
- Lady Elizabeth Cecil (d. 1672), married Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire, and had issue.
- Lady Diana Cecil (d. 1658), married Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford, no issue, remarried Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin, also with no issue.
- Charles Mosley, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1363.
- "Cecyll, William (CCL578W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "History of Parliament". Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- Lundy, Darryl. "Thomas Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin". Retrieved 14 September 2012.[unreliable source]
| Custos Rotulorum of Nottinghamshire
The Earl of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
The Earl of Exeter
| Custos Rotulorum of Lincolnshire
Lord Willoughby de Eresby
| Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire
The Earl of Peterborough
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| Earl of Exeter
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