- [12th century]-1920 (Creation)
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0.52 cubic metres
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The title of Baron Wenlock of Wenlock in the County of Shropshire was created in 1831 for Sir Robert Lawley, 6th Baronet of Spoonhill. Sir Robert was the eldest son of Sir Robert Lawley, 5th Baronet, and his wife Jane Thompson, the sister of Beilby Thompson of Escrick, Yorkshire, MP for Hedon and Thirsk.
The Lawley baronets were descended from Sir Thomas Lawley, the son of Francis Lawley of Spoonhill near Much Wenlock, MP, who was created 1st Baronet of Spoonhill in 1641. Until 1851, the family seat was at Canwell Hall in Staffordshire. The Lawleys also held land in Shropshire, including the site of Great Wenlock Priory which they acquired in 1639, and acquired the manors of Angram and Hutton Wandesley in Long Marston at some point prior to 1839.
Beilby Thompson died in 1799 and the Escrick estate passed to his brother Richard and then to their nephew, Paul Beilby Lawley, a younger son of Sir Robert Lawley and Jane Thompson. Upon inheriting the estate, Paul assumed the name of Thompson, becoming Paul Beilby Lawley Thompson, although his heirs carried only the Lawley surname.
In 1834 the younger Sir Robert died childless and the title of Baron Wenlock was subsequently revived for his younger brother Paul Beilby Lawley Thompson who also became 1st Baron Wenlock. He married Caroline Neville, the daughter of Richard Griffin, 2nd Baron Braybrooke, and on his death in 1852 the title and estates passed to their eldest son, Beilby Richard Lawley, 2nd Baron Wenlock. In 1858 the 2nd Baron purchased the manor of Riccall, adding to the considerable holdings the Lawleys had already inherited in Riccall parish through Beilby Thompson.
The title of Baron Wenlock continued to descend through the male line until 1932 when it became extinct with the death of Arthur Lawley, the 6th Baron. The Lawley estates left the family in 1912 when Beilby Thompson, 3rd Baron Wenlock, died without male issue. Consequently his estate passed to his daughter Irene Constance who married Colin Gurden Forbes Adam in 1920, whilst the title passed to Beilby’s brother Richard.
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