NOEL, Hon. Edward (1641-89), of Exton, Rutland of Titchfield, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1679

Family and Education

bap. 27 Jan. 1641, 1st surv. s. of Baptist Noel, 3rd Visct. Campden by his 3rd w. Hester, da. and coh. of Thomas, 2nd Baron Wotton of Marley; bro. of Hon. Henry Noel and half-bro. of Hon. Baptist Noel and John Noel. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. 1656; travelled abroad (France 1658, Italy 1665); Padua 1665. m. (1) by 25 May 1661, Lady Elizabeth Wriothesley, da. and coh. of Thomas, 4th Earl of Southampton, 2s. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 23 Apr. 1683, Mary (d. 6 Apr. 1693), da. of Hon. James Herbert of Kingsey, Bucks., wid. of Sir Robert Worsley, 3rd Bt., of Appuldurcombe, I.o.W., s.p. cr. Baron Noel of Titchfield 3 Feb. 1681; suc. fa. as 4th Visct. Campden 29 Oct. 1682; cr. Earl of Gainsborough 1 Dec. 1682.1

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Rutland Aug. 1660-76; commr. for assessment, Rutland 1661-9, 1677-80, Mdx. 1661-3, Hants 1673-80; freeman, Portsmouth 1668, 1681, 1682, Lymington and Winchester 1677; j.p. Hants 1669-Apr. 1688; warden of New Forest 1676-87; ld. lt. Hants 1676-87, Rutland 1682-7; col. of militia ft. Hants by 1679-?87; gov. of Portsmouth 1681-7; custos rot. Hants 1681-Apr. 1688, Rutland 1682-?87; common councilman, Chichester 1685-Oct. 1688.2

Capt. of ft. 1682-7, capt. Queen Dowager’s Ft. (later 2 Ft.) Nov.-Dec. 1687.


The founder of the Noel estates in Rutland was Andrew Nowell, the younger son of an unimportant Derbyshire gentleman, who acquired Brooke Priory in 1548 and sat for the county five years later. Noel’s grandfather married the elder daughter of a wealthy mercer and inherited the Campden viscountcy under a special remainder. His father, who represented Rutland in the Short and Long Parliaments, was in arms for the King, and compounded for £9,000 in 1647.3

Noel was granted a pass to go to France in 1658, and listed as a royalist supporter by Roger Whitley. At the Restoration his father became lord lieutenant of Rutland, and Noel defeated (Sir) Abel Barker at the general election of 1661. He was barely of age, and never became an active Member; the only measure of political importance with which he was concerned was the restoration of the bishops to the House of Lords in the first session of the Cavalier Parliament. He was listed as a court dependant in 1664, but he had resumed his travels on the Continent, and even after his return twice defaulted on calls of the House. Sir Thomas Osborne listed him in 1669 among the Members to be engaged for the Court by the Duke of Buckingham. He was added to the committee on the bill to prevent abuses in parliamentary elections on 5 Mar. 1673, and received the government whip from Secretary Coventry in 1675. Sir Richard Wiseman doubted his reliability, according to the working lists, but nevertheless hoped that he ‘might do some good’ with the Hon. William Russell, with whom he had divided the Wriothesley estate. Shaftesbury marked him ‘vile’, and he was on both lists of the court party in 1678. He had been named to only 22 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in eight sessions.4

One of the ‘unanimous club’, Noel transferred to Hampshire in 1679. Shaftesbury again marked him ‘vile’. On 11 Mar. he served on the Commons delegation to present the address on their right to choose a Speaker. He voted against the first exclusion bill, but was otherwise inactive. Unexpectedly defeated by Russell in August, he was called up to the House of Lords before the next general election. It was under his command that the Hampshire militia captured the Duke of Monmouth in 1685, and he was James II’s host at Titchfield in the following year. But when he was closeted over the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act he returned negative answers and was removed from office. He did not attend the House of Lords after the Revolution on health grounds, and was buried at Exton on 8 Apr. 1689.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Basil Duke Henning


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1658-9, p. 581; 1660-1, p. 391; Churchill, Coll. of Voyages and Travels, vi. 663; HMC 5th Rep. 160.
  • 2. R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 359, 365; C. St. Barbe, Recs. of Lymington, 9; Winchester corp. assembly bk. 6, f. 100; CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 61; 1687-9, pp. 111, 113; A. Hay Chichester, 589.
  • 3. VCH Rutland, ii. 38; E. F. Noel, Letters and Recs. Noel Fam. 10-15.
  • 4. Grey, vi. 425; Add. 28053, ff. 243, 279, 287; CSP Dom. 1684-5, p. 111.
  • 5. Add. 41803 f. 154; 41804, f. 12; CSP Dom. 1685, pp. 1913, 199, 245; HMC Le Fleming, 220; LJ, xiv. 107, 153; Noel, chart 5.