The Earl of Digby
|Member of Parliament for Wells|
Serving with Clement Tudway
|Preceded by||Charles Tudway|
|Succeeded by||Clement Tudway|
|Member of Parliament for Ludgershall|
Serving with Thomas Hayward
|Preceded by||Sir John Bland|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Whately|
21 July 1731
|Died||25 September 1793(aged 62)|
(m. 1763; died 1765)
|Relations||Edward Digby, 6th Baron Digby (brother)|
William Digby, 5th Baron Digby (grandfather)
Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland (uncle)
Charles James Fox (cousin)
|Parents||Hon. Edward Digby|
Digby was the younger son of Charlotte Fox and Hon. Edward Digby, a Member of Parliament for Warwickshire 1726 from 1746. His elder brother was Edward Digby, 6th Baron Digby, a Groom of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales from 1751 to 1753.
His paternal grandparents were William Digby, 5th Baron Digby and Lady Jane Noel (second daughter of Edward Noel, 1st Earl of Gainsborough and Lady Elizabeth Wriothesley, the eldest daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton). His mother was the daughter of Sir Stephen Fox. Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland, was his uncle and Charles James Fox his cousin.
Digby was elected to the House of Commons for Ludgershall in 1755, a seat he held until 1761, and then represented Wells between 1761 and 1765. From 1763 to 1765, he was a Lord of the Admiralty. In 1757 he succeeded his elder brother Edward as the 7th Baron Digby but as this was an Irish peerage it did not entitle him to sit in the British House of Lords and did not force him to resign his seat in the House of Commons. It did however give him ownership of the family seat of Sherborne Castle.
In 1765 Digby was created 1st Baron Digby, of Sherborne in the County of Dorset, in the Peerage of Great Britain with remainder to the male issue of his father. He had then to give up his seat in the Commons and join his peers in the Lords. From 1771 to 1793 Lord Digby served as Lord Lieutenant of Dorset.
In 1790 he was further honoured when he was 1st Viscount Coleshill and 1st Earl Digby in the Peerage of Great Britain, with remainder to his heirs male.
On 5 September 1763, Lord Digby married Elizabeth Feilding, a daughter of Hon. Charles Feilding (a son of Basil Feilding, 4th Earl of Denbigh and Hester Firebrace, eldest daughter and heiress of Sir Basil Firebrace, 1st Baronet) and Anne (née Palmer) Bridges (the widow of Sir Brook Bridges, 2nd Baronet and daughter, and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Palmer, 4th Baronet, of Wingham). Together, they had one son:
- Hon. Edward Digby (1764–1764), who died in infancy.
- Lady Charlotte Digby (1772–1807), married William Wingfield, MP for Bodmin, in 1796.
- Edward Digby, 2nd Earl Digby (1773–1856), who served as Lord Lieutenant of Dorset from 1808 to 1856.
- Hon. Henry Digby (1774–1776), who died in infancy.
- Hon. Rev. Robert Digby (1775–1830), the rector of Sheldon and vicar of Coleshill.
- Hon. Stephen Digby (1776–1795), who died young.
Lord Digby died in September 1793, aged 62, and was succeeded in his title by his eldest son Edward. The Countess Digby died in 1794. As his eldest son died unmarried and without issue in 1856, the viscountcy and earldom became extinct and the barony passed to his cousin, Edward St Vincent Digby.
- "Digby, Baron (I, 1620)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Dent Family Linx-Digby Tree". dentfamlinx.1apps.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- Burke, Sir Bernard (1882). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. Harrison. p. 460. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Jones' Views of the Seats, Mansions, Castles, Etc. of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England:: Accompanied with Historical Descriptions of the Mansions, Lists of Pictures, Statues, &c. and Genealogical Sketches of the Families, of Their Possessors: Forming Part of the General Series of Jones' Great Britain Illustrated, ... Jones & Company. 1829. p. 44. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Digby, Earl (GB, 1790 - 1856)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "European Heraldry :: House of Digby". www.europeanheraldry.org. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- Debrett's Peerage. 1973.
- Martin, Joanna (2004). Wives and Daughters: Women and Children in the Georgian Country House. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-85285-271-9. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
Coat of arms
|Parliament of Great Britain|
Sir John Bland
| Member of Parliament for Ludgershall
With: Thomas Hayward
| Member of Parliament for Wells
With: Clement Tudway
The Earl of Shaftesbury
| Lord Lieutenant of Dorset
The Lord Rivers
|Peerage of Great Britain|
|New title|| Earl Digby
| Baron Digby|
|Peerage of Ireland|
| Baron Digby