1st Earl of Ashburnham, Portrait by Michael Dahl (Creative Commons)
John Ashburnham, 1st Earl of Ashburnham (13 March 1687 – 10 March 1737)
The arms as engraved upon this George II English Sterling Silver Snuff Box
(of waisted circular form with a gilt interior) by an unknown silversmith dating to circa 1730 are those of
Ashburnham, Earl of Ashburnham. They may be blazoned as follows:
Arms: Gules a fess between six mullets argent
Motto: Le roy et l'estat [The king and the state] 1
Supporters: Two greyhounds sable the faces breasts bellies and feet argent collared and lined or
The arms are ensigned with an earl's coronet.
Given the presumed date of the manufacture of this snuff box it was in the possession of John Ashburnham,
the 1st Earl of Ashburnham (born 13th March 1687 died 10th March 1737)
shortly after his elevation within the peerage as the Earl of Ashburnham in 1730.
He was second son of John Ashburnham, the 1st Baron Ashburnham,2
and his wife, Bridget Vaughan.3 He married three times:
1) Lady Mary Butler (born 1790 died 1713) whom he married on the 21st October 1710.
She was the youngest daughter of James FitzJames Butler, the 2nd Duke of Ormonde
and his second wife, Lady Mary Somerset.4
2) Lady Henrietta Annesley (née Stanley) (born 1687 died 26th June 1718) whom he married at The Chapel Royal,
St James's Palace, Westminster in the County of Middlesex on the 25th July 1714.
She was the eldest daughter of William Richard George Stanley, the 9th Earl of Derby and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Butler.5
At the time of her marriage to John, she was the Dowager Countess of Anglesey having married
John Annesley, the 4th Earl of Anglesey (born 18th January 1676 died 18th September 1710) on the 21st May 1706.
She later inherited in her own right the Barony of Strange as the 4th Baroness Strange which was called out of abeyance.
3) Lady Jemina Grey (born 1698 died 7th July 1731) whom he married at the Parish Church of St James, Piccadilly,
Westminster in the County of Middlesex on the 4th February 1723. She was second daughter
and co-heiress of Henry Grey, the 1st Duke of Kent and his first wife, The Honourable Jemina Crew.6
Prior to his succession as the 3rd Baron Ashburnham upon the death of his elder brother,
William on the 16th June 1710, John had been commissioned as an officer in the Army as a Major in 1707
and from 1713 to 1715 he was appointed as the Colonel of the 1st (His Majesty's Own) Troop of Horse Guards.
He also held various other appointments as follows: Deputy Governor and Deputy Warden of the Cinque Ports (1713 – 14);
Lord of the Bedchamber to Frederick, Prince of Wales (1728 – 31) and Captain of the Yeoman of the Guard (1731 – 33).
John was also for a very short time elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament
for Hastings in the County of Sussex on the 10th February 1710 which he subsequently vacated upon succeeding
to the Barony of Ashburnham upon the death of his brother as mentioned above.
On the 14 May 1730, he was advanced within the peerage as the Earl of Ashburnham and Viscount St Asaph.
This peerage was created within the Peerage of Great Britain.
1 The Barons Ashburnham and the later Earls of Ashburnham also used a second motto 'Will God I shall'.
2 The Barony of Ashburnham was created within the Peerage of England in 1689.
3 Bridget was the daughter of Walter Vaughan, of Porthaml in the Parish of Talgarth, Co. Breconshire
4 Lady Mary Somerset was the eldest daughter of Henry Somerset, the 1st Duke of Beaufort and his wife,
The Honourable Mary Capell.
5 Lady Elizabeth Butler was the eldest daughter of Vice-Admiral Thomas Butler, the 6th Earl of Ossory and his wife,
Emilia van Nassau.
6 Jemina was the eldest daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Crew, the 2nd Baron Crew and his second wife, Anne Airmine.
The Earldom of Ashburnham, together with the Viscountcy of St Asaph and the Barony
of Ashburnham fell into extinction upon the death of Thomas Ashburnham, the 6th Earl
of Ashburnham on the 12th May 1924 for the want of a male heir.
Arms of the Earls of Ashburnham.
MSc, FSA Scot, Hon FHS, QG
15th October 2023