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Earl of Aylesford

Earl of Aylesford, in the County of Kent, is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1714 for the lawyer and politician Heneage Finch. He had already been created Baron Guernsey in the Peerage of England in 1703. Finch was the younger son of Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham and the great-grandson of Elizabeth Heneage, 1st Countess of Winchilsea. Lord Aylesford's eldest son, the second Earl, represented Maidstone and Surrey in Parliament. In 1712 he married Mary Fisher, daughter of Sir Clement Fisher, 3rd Bt. Through this marriage Packington Hall in Warwickshire came into the Finch family. Their son, the third Earl, sat as a Member of Parliament for Leicestershire and Maidstone. His eldest son, the fourth Earl, represented Castle Rising and Maidstone in the House of Commons, and after entering the House of Lords on his father's death, served as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard from 1783 to 1804 and as Lord Steward of the Household from 1804 to 1812. His second but eldest surviving son, the fifth Earl, was a Tory Member of Parliament for Weobly. His son, the sixth Earl, represented South Warwickshire in Parliament as a Conservative. His grandson, the tenth Earl, assumed by Royal license his grandmother's maiden surname of Knightley in addition to that of Finch. The present holder of the Earldom is his son, the eleventh Earl. He has notably served as Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. As a descendant of the first Countess of Winchilsea and the first Earl of Nottingham, he is also in remainder to these titles, which since 1729 are united under a single holder.

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'The Medway Valley: A Kent Landscape Transformed' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-600-7) for the England's Past for Everyone series