William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 6th Earl Fitzwilliam

William Thomas Spencer Wentworth-FitzWilliam, 6th Earl FitzWilliam, KG (12 October 1815 – 20 February 1902), styled Hon. William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam 1815–1835, and Viscount Milton 1835–1857, was a British peer, nobleman, and Liberal Party politician.

The Earl FitzWilliam

The 6th Earl FitzWilliam
BornWilliam Thomas Spencer Wentworth-FitzWilliam
(1815-10-12)12 October 1815[1]
Died20 February 1902(1902-02-20) (aged 86)
Spouse(s)Lady Frances Harriet Douglas
Children14 (including William Wentworth-FitzWilliam, Viscount Milton)
Parent(s)Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 5th Earl Fitzwilliam
Hon. Mary Dundas
Shield of arms of William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 6th Earl Fitzwilliam, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel.


Wentworth-Fitzwilliam was the second son of Charles Wentworth-FitzWilliam, 5th Earl FitzWilliam and his wife, Hon. Mary Dundas, daughter of Thomas Dundas, 1st Baron Dundas.[1] He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated MA in 1837.[2] Two years earlier, his elder brother had died without issue, and he became heir to his father's estates and took the courtesy title Viscount Milton. He became Member of Parliament for Malton in 1837. Holding the seat until 1841, he later reclaimed it in 1846 and then sat for Wicklow from 1847 until 1857, the year he inherited his father's earldom.

He was a JP for the county of the West Riding, DL and a County Councillor for County Wicklow in Ireland.

He held the command of the 1st West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry for 40 years, from 1846–1886, and was a Yeomanry Aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria's Viceroy in India, 1884–1894.[2] Promoted Major for the 3rd battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, he also held a number of other military posts. In the territorial army, he was lieutenant-colonel of West Riding RHA with the temporary rank in the British Army during wartime. Lord FitzWilliam was a keen sportsman and continued fox hunting throughout his life.[2] In 1852, under the name of Viscount Milton, he played in a first-class cricket match for Sheffield Cricket Club against Manchester Cricket Club, scoring nine runs in his only innings.[3]

In 1857, Lord FitzWilliam was appointed Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire and stayed as such until 1892. He was appointed a Knight of the Garter in 1862, and was the senior knight at the time of his death. He died at his residence Wentworth Woodhouse, in Rotherham, on 20 February 1902.[2] As his eldest son predeceased him, his titles passed to his grandson, William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 7th Earl of Fitzwilliam. His will was proven on 24 June 1902, with his estate valued at £2,881,619 7s. 4d. (equivalent to £332,823,377 in 2021[4]).[5]


On 10 September 1838, Lord Fitzwilliam married Lady Frances Harriet Douglas, the eldest daughter of George Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton. Lady FitzWilliam died on 16 June 1895.[2] They had fourteen children:[1]

  • William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton (1839–1877), politician.
  • Hon. William Henry Wentworth-FitzWilliam (26 December 1840 – 10 July 1920), politician; married on 11 July 1877 to Lady Mary Grace Louisa Butler, daughter of John Butler, 2nd Marquess of Ormonde.
  • Lady Frances Mary Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (c. 1842 – 28 September 1903); married on 18 November 1867 to Charles Mervyn Doyne. They had five children:
    • Major Robert Wentworth Doyne (30 December 1868 – 25 September 1942); married Mary, daughter of Henry Lascelles, 4th Earl of Harewood, and had issue
    • Kathleen Doyne (29 September 1870 – January 1938)
    • Dermot Henry Doyne (21 November 1871 – 3 July 1942)
    • Eveleen Margaret Doyne (26 January 1876 – 28 February 1962)
    • Bridget Frances Doyne (5 October 1879 – June 1921)
  • Hon. Margaret Mary Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1844 – 1844)
  • Lady Mary Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1845 – 1921); married on 23 May 1872 to the Hon. Hugh Le Despencer Boscawen (1849–1908), son of Evelyn Boscawen, 6th Viscount Falmouth (1819–1889)
  • Hon. William Thomas Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (7 October 1846 – 23 March 1896); married on 21 December 1876 to Elgiva Mary Kinglake. They had one daughter:
    • Elgiva Mary Kathorn Fitzwilliam (d. 24 April 1963)
  • Hon. William Charles Wentworth-Fitzwilliam GCVO (1848–1925), courtier; married on 31 October 1882 to married Constance Anne, daughter of Henry Brocklehurst. They had one son:
  • Hon. William John Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (7 August 1852 – 11 September 1889), politician.
  • Lady Albreda Mary Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (19 January 1855 – 9 October 1933); married on 18 December 1895 to Hon. Charles Fowler Bourke, son of Robert Bourke, 5th Earl of Mayo.
  • Hon. William George Frederick Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1857 – 19 September 1857)
  • Lady Charlotte Mary Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1858 – 1948)
  • Hon. William Hugh Spencer Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (10 January 1860 – 28 March 1917); married on 18 October 1901 to Lady Ada Charlotte Godolphin Osborne (30 May 1870 – 9 April 1944), daughter of George Godolphin Osborne, 9th Duke of Leeds.
  • Hon. William Reginald Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (12 April 1862 – 7 July 1906); married on 2 February 1893 to Edith Isabella Georgina Lane-Fox.
  • Lady Alice Mary Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1869–1922)


  1. ^ a b c Burke, Sir Bernard, ed. (1939). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (97 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1013. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Obituary – Earl Fitzwilliam". The Times. No. 36697. London. 21 February 1902. p. 8.
  3. ^ Viscount Milton at ESPNcricinfo
  4. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  5. ^ "The Right Honourable William Thomas Spencer Earl". probatesearchservice.gov. UK Government. 1902. Retrieved 10 August 2019.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Malton
With: John Walbanke-Childers
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Malton
With: Evelyn Denison
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Wicklow
With: William Acton 1847–1848
Sir Ralph Howard 1848–1852
William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam-Hume 1852–1858
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by Earl FitzWilliam
Succeeded by
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by Earl Fitzwilliam
Succeeded by