Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey

Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey (16 December 1582 – 24 October 1642, in Edge Hill) was an English peer, soldier and courtier.[2]

Robert Bertie
Earl of Lindsey
Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey, by circle of Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt
Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey
Born16 December 1582
Died24 October 1642 (aged 59)
Edge Hill, Warwickshire, England
BuriedEdenham, Lincolnshire[1]
Noble familyBertie
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Montagu
FatherPeregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby
MotherMary de Vere

Early life

Coat of arms of Sir Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey, KG
Arms of Sir Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey, KG

Robert Bertie was the son of Peregrine Bertie, 13th Baron Willoughby de Eresby (b. 12 October 1555 – d. 25 June 1601) and Mary de Vere, daughter of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, and Margery Golding. Queen Elizabeth I was his godmother, and two of her favourite earls, whose Christian name he bore, were his godfathers. He had been in her Essex's expedition to Cambridge, and had afterwards served in the Netherlands, under Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange. He was even given temporary command of English forces during the Siege of Rheinberg in the summer of 1601.[3] The long Continental wars throughout the peaceful reign of King James I had been treated by the English nobility as schools of arms, as a few campaigns were considered a graceful finish to a gentleman's education.

He was created Earl of Lindsey on 22 November 1626 and took his title from the northern of the three parts of Lincolnshire, the old Kingdom of Lindsey.

The entrepreneur

The Lindsey Level in The Fens, between the River Glen and The Haven, at Boston, Lincolnshire was named after the first Earl Lindsey as he was the principal adventurer in its drainage. The drainage work was declared complete in 1638 but the project was neglected with the onset of the Civil War so that the land fell back into its old state. When it was drained again, more than a hundred years later, it was called the Black Sluice Level. There is more information under the article Twenty, Lincolnshire.

The English Civil War

As soon as Lord Lindsey had begun to fear that the disputes between the King and Parliament must end in war, he had begun to exercise and train his tenantry in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, of whom he had formed a regiment of infantry.

With him was his son Montagu Bertie, Lord Willoughby who had seen some service against the Spaniards in the Netherlands, and after his return had been made a captain in the Lifeguards, and a Gentleman of the Bedchamber. Anthony van Dyck has left portraits of the father and the son; the one a bald-headed, alert, precise-looking old warrior, with the cuirass and gauntlets of earlier warfare; the other, the very model of a cavalier, tall, easy, and graceful, with a gentle reflective face, and wearing the long lovelocks and deep-point lace collar and cuffs characteristic of Queen Henrietta's Court.

As Lord Lindsey was a most experienced soldier of 60 years of age at the start of the English Civil War, King Charles I had appointed him General-in-chief of the Royalists for the Battle of Edgehill. However, the King had imprudently exempted the cavalry from Lindsey's command, its general, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, taking orders only from the King. Rupert was only twenty three, and although an experienced soldier who had fought in the Thirty Years' War, he had not yet learnt that cavalry should also be used in support of infantry and not just against the enemy's cavalry.

Edge Hill

At eight o'clock, on the morning of 23 October 1642 King Charles was riding along the ridge of Edge Hill, and looking down into the Vale of the Red Horse, a fair meadow land, here and there broken by hedges and copses. His troops were mustering around him, and in the valley he could see with his telescope the various Parliamentary regiments, as they poured out of the town of Kineton, and took up their positions in three lines. "I never saw the rebels in a body before," he said, as he gazed sadly at the subjects arrayed against him. "I shall give them battle. God, and the prayers of good men to Him, assist the justice of my cause." The whole of his forces, about 11,000 in number, were not assembled till two o'clock in the afternoon, for the gentlemen who had become officers found it no easy matter to call their farmers and retainers together, and marshal them into any sort of order. But while one troop after another came tramping, clanking, and shouting in, trying to find and take their proper place, there were hot words round the royal standard.

Lord Lindsey, who was an old comrade of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, the commander of the Parliamentarian forces, knew that he would follow the tactics they had both together studied in Holland, little thinking that one day they should be arrayed one against the other in their own native England. He had a high opinion of Essex's generalship, and insisted that the situation of the Royal army required the utmost caution. Rupert, on the other hand, had seen the swift fiery charges of the fierce troopers of the Thirty Years' war, and was backed up by Patrick Ruthven, Lord Ruthven, one of the many Scots who had won honour under King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. A sudden charge of the Royal horse would, Rupert argued, sweep the Roundheads from the field, and the foot would have nothing to do but to follow up the victory. The great portrait at Windsor shows us exactly how the King must have stood, with his charger by his side, and his grave, melancholy face, sad enough at having to fight at all with his subjects, and never having seen a battle, entirely bewildered between the ardent words of his spirited nephew and the grave replies of the well-seasoned old Earl. At last, as time went on, and some decision was necessary, the perplexed King, willing at least not to irritate Rupert, desired that Ruthven should array the troops in the Swedish fashion.

It was a greater affront to the General-in-chief than the king was likely to understand, but it could not shake the old soldier's loyalty. He gravely resigned the empty title of General, which only made confusion worse confounded, and rode away to act as colonel of his own Lincoln regiment, pitying his master's perplexity, and resolved that no private pique should hinder him from doing his duty. His regiment was of foot soldiers, and was just opposite to the standard of the Earl of Essex.

In the afternoon the Royal forces marched down the hill. It was at this time that Sir Jacob Astley prayed "O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day; if I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me;" then, rising, he said, "March on, boys." And, amid prayer and exhortation, the other side awaited the shock, as men whom a strong and deeply embittered sense of wrong had roused to take up arms. Prince Rupert's charge was fully successful. No one even waited to cross swords with his troopers, but all the Roundhead horse galloped headlong off the field, hotly pursued by the Royalists. But the main body of the army stood firm, and for some time the battle was nearly equal, until a large troop of the enemy's cavalry who had been kept in reserve, wheeled round and fell upon the Royal forces just when their scanty supply of ammunition was exhausted. Step by step, however, they retreated bravely, and Rupert, who had returned from his charge, sought in vain to collect his scattered troopers, so as to fall again on the rebels. Some were plundering, some chasing the enemy, and none could be got together.

Memorial to Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey, and his son Montague
Memorial to Lord Lindsey and his son Montague in the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Edenham, Lincolnshire

His death at Edge Hill

Lord Lindsey was shot through the thigh bone, and fell. He was instantly surrounded by the rebels on horseback; but his son, Lord Willoughby, seeing his danger, flung himself alone among the enemy, and forcing his way forward, raised his father in his arms thinking of nothing else, and unheeding his own peril. The throng of enemy around called to him to surrender, and, hastily giving up his sword, he carried the Earl into the nearest shed, and laid him on a heap of straw, vainly striving to staunch the blood.

It was a bitterly cold night, and the frosty wind came howling through the darkness. Whether the battle were won or lost, the father and son knew not, and the guard who watched them knew as little. Lord Lindsey himself murmured, "If it please God I should survive, I never will fight in the same field with boys again!"–no doubt deeming that young Rupert had wrought all the mischief. His thoughts were all on the cause, his son's all on him. It proved impossible to stop his wounds bleeding and gradually the old man's strength ebbed away.

Toward midnight the Earl's old comrade Essex had time to understand his condition, and sent some officers to enquire for him, and promise speedy surgical attendance. Lindsey was still full of spirit, and spoke to them so strongly of their broken faith, and of the sin of disloyalty and rebellion, that they slunk away one by one out of the hut, and dissuaded Essex from coming himself to see his old friend, as he had intended. The surgeon, however, arrived, but too late, Lindsey was already so much exhausted by cold and loss of blood, that he died early in the morning of the 24 October 1642. His son, despite King Charles' best efforts to obtain his exchange, remained a prisoner of the Parliamentary side for about a year. Lindsey is buried in St Michael and All Angels Church, Edenham, Lincolnshire.[1]

Lord Lindsey should not be confused with Ludovic Lindsay, 16th Earl of Crawford, who also fought for the King at the Battle of Edgehill.

Marriage and issue

In 1605, Lindsey married Elizabeth Montagu (d. 30 November 1654, sister of Edward Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Boughton). They had thirteen children:

  • Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey (1608–1666)
  • Hon. Sir Roger Bertie (d. 15 October 1654), married Ursula Lawley, daughter of Sir Edward Lawley
  • Hon. Robert Bertie (1 January 1619 – 1708), married firstly Alice Barnard, secondly Elizabeth Bennet, and thirdly Mary Halsey
  • Hon. Sir Peregrine Bertie, married Anne Hardeby
  • Capt. Hon. Francis Bertie (d. 1641), killed in Ireland
  • Capt. Hon. Henry Bertie (d. 1643), killed at the First Battle of Newbury
  • Hon. Vere Bertie, died unmarried
  • Hon. Edward Bertie (17 October 1624 – 25 December 1686)
  • Lady Katherine Bertie, married about 1631 Sir William Paston, 1st Baronet, one son, Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth
  • Lady Elizabeth Bertie (d. 28 February 1684), married in 1661 Sir Miles Stapleton
  • Lady Anne Bertie (d. 1660), died unmarried
  • Lady Mary Bertie, married firstly Rev. John Hewett (d. 1658), and secondly Sir Abraham Shipman
  • Lady Sophia Bertie, married Sir Richard Chaworth

The office of Lord Great Chamberlain descended through to him following the death of his cousin Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford, as being the closest heir male.


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Church of St. Michael and All Angels  (Grade I) (1146587)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  2. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Bertie, Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. 4. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland to the Death of George II. Volumes 3-4. Trustees of the British Museum. 1904. p. 178.


External links

Media related to Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Oxford
Lord Great Chamberlain
Succeeded by
The Earl of Lindsey
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Lindsey
Succeeded by
Montagu Bertie
Preceded by
Peregrine Bertie
Baron Willoughby de Eresby
(descended by acceleration)


1642 (MDCXLII)

was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1642nd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 642nd year of the 2nd millennium, the 42nd year of the 17th century, and the 3rd year of the 1640s decade. As of the start of 1642, the Gregorian calendar was

10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

1642 in England

Events from the year 1642 in England.

Baron Willoughby de Eresby

Baron Willoughby de Eresby is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1313 for Robert de Willoughby. Since 1983, the title has been held by Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby.

Cheapside Hoard

The Cheapside Hoard is a hoard of jewellery from the late 16th and early 17th centuries, discovered in 1912 by workmen using a pickaxe to excavate in a cellar at 30–32 Cheapside in London, on the corner with Friday Street. They found a buried wooden box containing more than 400 pieces of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery, including rings, brooches and chains, with bright coloured gemstones and enamelled gold settings, together with toadstones, cameos, scent bottles, fan holders, crystal tankards and a salt cellar.

Most of the hoard is now in the Museum of London, with some items held by the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Earl of Lindsey

Earl of Lindsey is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1626 for the 14th Baron Willoughby de Eresby (see Baron Willoughby de Eresby for earlier history of the family). He was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1635 to 1636 and also established his claim in right of his mother to the hereditary office of Lord Great Chamberlain of England. Lord Lindsey fought on the Royalist side in the Civil War and was killed at the Battle of Edgehill on 23 October 1642. He was succeeded by his son, the second Earl. He also fought at Edgehill and surrendered to the Parliamentarians in order to attend his mortally wounded father. Lord Lindsey later fought at the First Battle of Newbury, Second Battle of Newbury, and at Naseby. His son from his second marriage, James, was created Earl of Abingdon in 1682. He was succeeded by his son from his first marriage to Martha Cockayne, the third Earl. He represented Boston in the House of Commons and served as Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire.

His son, the fourth Earl, was summoned to the House of Lords in 1690 through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Willoughby de Eresby. He later served as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and as Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire and was one of the Lords Justices before the arrival of King George I. In 1706 he was created Marquess of Lindsey and in 1715 he was further honoured when he was made Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven. Both titles were in the Peerage of Great Britain. His son, the second Duke, was called to the House of Lords in 1715 through a writ of acceleration as Baron Willoughby de Eresby. He later served as Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire. He was succeeded by his son, the third Duke. He was a General in the Army and served as Master of the Horse from 1766 to 1778. He was also Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire. His son, the fourth Duke, was briefly Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire but died unmarried in 1779 at an early age. On his death the barony of Willoughby de Eresby fell into abeyance between his sisters Lady Priscilla and Georgiana, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, who also jointly inherited the office of Lord Great Chamberlain (the abeyance was terminated in 1780 in favour of Priscilla; see the Baron Willoughby de Eresby for later history of this title).

The late Duke was succeeded in the earldom, marquessate and dukedom by his uncle, the fifth Duke. He represented Lincoln in Parliament and served as Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire. He had no sons and on his death in 1809 the marquessate and dukedom became extinct. He was succeeded in the earldom of Lindsey by his third cousin, the ninth Earl. He was the great-grandson of the Hon. Charles Bertie, fifth son of the second Earl. Lord Lindsey was a General in the Army and also sat as Member of Parliament for Stamford. On the death in 1938 of his grandson, the twelfth Earl, the line of the fifth son of the second Earl failed. The late Earl was succeeded by his distant relative (his fifth cousin thrice removed) the eighth Earl of Abingdon (see this title for earlier history of this branch of the family), who became the thirteenth Earl. However, it was not until 1951 the Lord Abingdon was recognised in the earldom of Lindsey. As of 2017 the title is held by his first cousin, the fourteenth Earl of Lindsey and ninth Earl of Abingdon.

The family seat is at Gilmilnscroft House, near Mauchline, in East Ayrshire.

Edward Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Boughton

Edward Montagu, 1st Baron Montagu of Boughton KB (AKA Sir Edward Montague of Boughton Castle) (1563 – 15 June 1644) was an English politician.

Henry Reginald Courtenay (MP)

Henry Reginald Courtenay (8 June 1714 – 30 April 1763) of Aldershot, Hampshire, was an English politician.

He was the second surviving son of Sir William Courtenay, 2nd Baronet of Powderham Castle, Devon and the younger brother of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay. He was educated at Westminster School and Magdalen College, Oxford.

He was a Member (MP) of the Parliament of Great Britain for Honiton in 1741–1747 and 1754–30 April 1763. On 14 April 1737, he married Lady Catherine Bathurst (d. 1783), daughter of Allen Bathurst, 1st Earl Bathurst. They had 2 sons and 2 daughters. One son was Reginald Courtenay (bishop of Exeter).

John Gaule

John Gaule (1603? – 1687) was an English Puritan cleric, now remembered for his partially sceptical views on astrology, witchcraft and hermetic philosophy.

John Hewett (chaplain)

Rev'd. Dr. John Hewett (or Huett; September 1614 – buried 8 June 1658) was chaplain to Charles I and later executed for treason as a Royalist.

The son of clothworker Thomas Hewett, he was born in Eccles, Lancashire, and educated in nearby Bolton-le-Moors. In 1643 he was awarded a degree of DD by Oxford University, where he served as a chaplain to Charles I. He then became chaplain to Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey, at Havering in Essex, before moving to London, where he preached to larger congregations. He was openly loyal to the exiled Prince Charles (the future King Charles II), and was involved in the secret preparations for his return.

In April 1658 a fellow sympathiser, John Stapley, confessed to Cromwell that, thanks to Hewett, he had been offered funds to raise an army to support the return of Prince Charles. Hewett was arrested, along with Lord Mordaunt and Sir Henry Slingsby, and brought to trial, refusing to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty and claiming the right to trial by jury. The court, however, sentenced Hewett and Slingsby to be beheaded for treason (Mordaunt having been narrowly acquitted on a technicality) and three other less well-born conspirators to be hanged, drawn and quartered. The beheadings were carried out on Tower Hill.

Dr. John Hewett had married twice: firstly Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Skinner of London, with whom he had three children; and secondly Mary, daughter of Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey, with whom he had two daughters who died young. His eldest son John became a merchant in Barbados.

List of Vice-Admirals of Lincolnshire

This is a list of people who have served as Vice-Admiral of Lincolnshire.

Robert Dymoke in 1565

Henry Clinton, Lord Clinton bef. 1569 – aft. 1576

Sir Edmund Carey 1585 – aft. 1587


Sir Clement Cotterell 1620–1631

Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey 1631–1642


Edward Ayscough 1647–1649 (Parliamentary)


Sir Henry Vane 1651–1660 (Parliamentary)

George Saunderson, 5th Viscount Castleton 1660–1702

Thomas Saunderson 1702–1705

James Saunderson, 1st Earl Castleton 1705–1723


John Cust, 1st Earl Brownlow 1809–1853

Charles Anderson-Pelham, 2nd Earl of Yarborough 1854–1862

Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire

The Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire () is the British monarch's personal representative in the county of Lincolnshire. Historically, the lord-lieutenant was responsible for organising the county's militia. In 1871, the lord-lieutenant's responsibility over the local militia was removed. However, it was not until 1921 that they formally lost the right to call upon able-bodied men to fight when needed. Since 1660, all lord-lieutenants have also been Custos Rotulorum of Lincolnshire.

The lord-lieutenancy is now an honorary titular position, usually awarded to a retired notable person in the county. Until 1975, this had been awarded to a peer connected to the county.

Lord Great Chamberlain

In the United Kingdom, the Lord Great Chamberlain is the sixth of the Great Officers of State (not to be confused with the Great Offices of State), ranking beneath the Lord Privy Seal and above the Lord High Constable. The Lord Great Chamberlain has charge over the Palace of Westminster (though since the 1960s his personal authority has been limited to the royal apartments and Westminster Hall).

On formal state occasions, he wears a distinctive scarlet court uniform and bears a gold key and a white stave as the insignia of his office.

The position is a hereditary one, held since 1780 in gross. At any one time, a single person actually exercises the office of Lord Great Chamberlain. The various individuals who hold fractions of the Lord Great Chamberlainship are technically each Joint Hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain, and the right to exercise the office for a given reign rotates proportionately to the fraction of the office held. For instance, the Marquesses of Cholmondeley hold one-half of the office, and may therefore exercise the office or appoint a deputy every alternate reign. (A Deputy Lord Great Chamberlain is a person exercising the office who is not personally a co-heir to the office; historically these have been sons or husbands of co-heirs as the office has never been exercised by a woman, as women were barred from sitting in the Lords until the present reign).

The office of Lord Great Chamberlain is distinct from the non-hereditary office of Lord Chamberlain of the Household, a position in the monarch's household. This office arose in the 14th century as a deputy of the Lord Great Chamberlain to fulfil the latter's duties in the Royal Household, but now they are quite distinct.

The House of Lords Act 1999 removed the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, but the Act provided that a hereditary peer exercising the office of Lord Great Chamberlain (as well as the Earl Marshal) be exempt from such a rule, in order to perform ceremonial functions.

Margery Golding

Margery Golding, Countess of Oxford (c. 1526 – 2 December 1568) was the second wife of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, the mother of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and the half-sister of Arthur Golding, the English translator.

Mary de Vere

Mary de Vere (died c. 24 June 1624), whose married names were Bertie and Hart, was a noblewoman of the sixteenth century.

Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey

Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey, KG, PC (1608 – 25 July 1666) was an English soldier, courtier, and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1626. He was created Baron Willoughby de Eresby by writ of acceleration in 1640 and inherited the peerage of Earl of Lindsey in 1642. He fought in the Royalist army in the English Civil War.

Robert Bertie

Robert Bertie may refer to:

Robert Bertie (of Benham) (1677–1710), Member of Parliament for Westbury (UK Parliament constituency)

Robert Bertie, 1st Earl of Lindsey (1583–1642)

Robert Bertie, 3rd Earl of Lindsey (1641–1701)

Robert Bertie, 1st Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven (1660–1723)

Robert Bertie, 4th Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven (1756–1779)

Lord Robert Bertie (1721–1782), Army general and Member of Parliament

Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth

Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth, FRS (29 May 1631 – 8 March 1683) was an English scientist and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1660 and 1673 when he was created Viscount Yarmouth. He was created Earl of Yarmouth in 1679.

William Juxon

William Juxon (1582 – 4 June 1663) was an English churchman, Bishop of London from 1633 to 1649 and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1660 until his death.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.