William King-Noel, 1st Earl of Lovelace

William King-Noel, 1st Earl of Lovelace FRS (21 February 1805 – 29 December 1893), known as the Hon. William King until 1833 and as the Lord King from 1833 to 1838, was an English nobleman and scientist.

The Earl of Lovelace

Born(1805-02-21)21 February 1805
Died29 December 1893(1893-12-29) (aged 88)
(m. 1835; died 1852)

Jane Jenkins
Parent(s)Peter King, 7th Baron King
Lady Hester Fortescue

Early life and backgroundEdit

Lovelace was the eldest son of Peter King, 7th Baron King, and his wife, Lady Hester Fortescue, granddaughter of George Grenville. The politician the Hon. Peter John Locke King was his younger brother. He succeeded in the barony in 1833. He was created Viscount Ockham and Earl of Lovelace in 1838, and appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey in 1840, a post he held until his death. On 25 November 1841, he was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society.[1] In 1860, he adopted the additional surname of "Noel".

Ben Damph EstateEdit

In 1886, the Earl purchased Ben Damph Lodge and its surrounding 12,000 acre sporting estate at the east end of Loch Torridon, in Ross-shire, Scotland. In 1889 he became a promoter of the Aultbea Railway.[2]

William King-Noel circa 1860

Marriages and childrenEdit

In 1835 Lord King married Hon. Augusta Ada Byron, the first computer programmer[3] and the only legitimate daughter of poet George Byron, 6th Baron Byron. They had three children:

After Ada Lovelace died in 1852, he married Jane Jenkins. They had one son:

  • Maj. Lionel Fortescue King, later 3rd Earl of Lovelace.

Lord Lovelace died in December 1893, aged 88, and was succeeded in the earldom by his second but eldest surviving son, Ralph.

William King-Noel's coat of arms in relief on County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, London


  1. ^ "Fellow details". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  2. ^ Drummond, Andrew (2020), A Quite Impossible Proposal: How Not to Build a Railway, Birlinn, pp. 161 & 162
  3. ^ Fuegi, J.; Francis, J. (October–December 2003). "Lovelace & babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'". IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. 25 (4): 16–26. doi:10.1109/MAHC.2003.1253887.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Arden
Lord Lieutenant of Surrey
Succeeded by
Francis Egerton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl of Lovelace
Succeeded by
Ralph Gordon Noel King-Milbanke
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Peter King
Baron King
Succeeded by
Ralph Gordon Noel King-Milbanke