Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Stanhope, Philip (1584-1656)

STANHOPE, PHILIP, first Earl of Chesterfield (1584–1656), son of Sir John Stanhope of Shelford, Nottinghamshire, by Cordell, daughter of Richard Allington, esq., was born in 1584, and knighted by James I on 16 Dec. 1605 (Doyle, Official Baronage, i. 370; Collins, Peerage, ed. Brydges, iii. 421). On 7 Nov. 1616 he was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Stanhope of Shelford, paying 10,000l. for that dignity (Court and Times of James I, i. 426, 436). On 4 Aug. 1628 Charles I created him Earl of Chesterfield (Doyle).

When the civil war broke out Chesterfield and his family vigorously supported the king's cause. According to Lloyd, he refused to sit in the Long parliament after it declined to suppress the tumults raised in support of the popular party (Memoirs of Excellent Personages, 1668, p. 651). In November 1642 he received a commission to raise a regiment of dragoons for Charles I. About December his house at Bretby was taken and plundered by Sir John Gell (Glover, Derbyshire, App. pp. 62, 70). Chesterfield, who succeeded in escaping, established himself at Lichfield with about three hundred men, but was besieged there by Gell and Lord Brooke, and obliged to surrender (Rushworth, v. 143).

The parliament ordered him to be sent to London, but allowed him to remain a prisoner on parole in his lodgings in Covent Garden, instead of committing him to the Tower (Lords' Journals, v. 682, vi. 17, 19, 84, 511). Chesterfield's estates were sequestrated, and in November 1645 he petitioned the House of Lords for an allowance for his maintenance, alleging that his losses amounted to 50,000l. (ib. vii. 698, ix. 43). Ultimately he was granted 51. per week by parliament, and his fine for delinquency fixed at 8,698l. (Calendar of Committee for Compounding, p. 1264). Chesterfield died at London on 12 Sept. 1656, and was buried in the church of St. Giles-in-the-Fields.

Chesterfield married: first, in 1605, Catherine, daughter of Francis, lord Hastings, who died on 28 Aug. 1636. By her he had six sons. Of these John, the eldest, matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in November 1622, and died in July 1625 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714, p. 1408).

Henry, the second son, matriculated at the same time as his brother, was knighted on 2 Feb. 1626, represented Nottinghamshire in the first two parliaments of Charles I and East Retford in the third, and died on 29 Nov. 1634. His wife Catherine, eldest daughter of Thomas, lord Wotton, is noticed separately [see Kirkhoven, Catherine]; by her he left a son Philip, second earl of Chesterfield [q. v.]

Ferdinando, the fourth son, member for Tamworth in 1640, major and subsequently colonel of horse in the king's army, was killed at Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, in 1644 (Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, i. 1408; Wood, Fasti, ii. 42; Life of Colonel Hutchinson, ii. 57, 87).

Philip, the fifth son, who matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, on 6 Dec. 1637, was killed at the storming of Shelford House, of which garrison he was commander, on 27 Oct. 1645 (ib. ii. 81, 376). Arthur, the youngest son of the first marriage, represented the county of Nottingham in the Convention parliament and in the first parliament of Charles II. From him Philip, fifth earl of Chesterfield, is descended [see under Stanhope, Philip Dormer, fourth Earl].

By his second wife, Anne, daughter of Sir John Pakington of Westwood, Worcestershire, and widow of Sir Humphrey Ferrars of Tamworth Castle, Warwickshire, Chesterfield had one son, Alexander, father of James, first earl Stanhope [q. v.]

The poems of Sir Aston Cokain, who was son of Chesterfield's sister, Anne Stanhope, contain a masque acted at Bretby in 1639, and verses on Ferdinando Stanhope and other members of the family (ed. 1662, pp. 118, 137, 187, 116*, 144*).

[Doyle's Official Baronage ; Collins's Peerage, ed. Brydges; G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage.]

C. H. F.