John Fane, 7th Earl of Westmorland (24 March 1685 – 26 August 1762), styled The Honourable John Fane from 1691 to 1733 and Lord Catherlough from 1733 to 1736, was a British Army officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons in three separate stretches between 1708 and 1734.
John Fane was the son of Vere Fane, 4th Earl of Westmorland and his wife Rachel Bence. He was admitted at Lincoln's Inn in 1703, and entered as a fellow commoner at Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1703/4. It is likely that his older brother Thomas influenced his decision to become Member of Parliament for Hythe in 1708, a position which he held until 1711. That same year, he joined the army and fought at Oudenarde and Lille. After the war, he returned to England with a letter for the Lord High Treasurer, Lord Godolphin, from the Duke of Marlborough, who wrote that "Fane behaved himself very well, so that I am desirous you would do him the honour of presenting him to the Queen. I like him much better than his brother [Westmorland]." A year later, however, he left for the continent again, this time as a Captain of horse in William Cardogan's regiment, and saw action at Malplaquet.
In 1709 and 1710, he was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Hythe, but he was forced to relinquish his seat in 1711 due to a petition by Tory candidates. He later became Member of Parliament for Kent from 1715 to 1722, and for Buckingham from 1727 to 1734. While originally a Whig, Fane changed sides and became a Tory during the reign of George II. He may also have been involved in Jacobite intrigues.
During his service in the British Army, Fane reached the rank of colonel in the 1st Troop, Horse Guards, and that of general in 1761. He was created 1st Baron Catherlough of Catherlough in Ireland on 4 October 1733 and succeeded his elder brother as 7th Earl of Westmorland in 1736. He is also notable for being the patron of Colen Campbell's Palladian Mereworth Castle.
Since Fane outlived many of his siblings, including the 5th and 6th Earl, and was the only male heir, he inherited most of their properties. His wealth increased further with an inheritance from his younger brother Mildmay and with the revenue from his Caterlough barony.
When Fane died without issue in 1762, his Irish barony became extinct; the barony of Le Despencer, being a barony in fee, devolved upon his nephew Sir Francis Dashwood, Bt; and the earldom of Westmorland went to the male heir, Thomas Fane of Bristol, merchant, son of Henry Fane, (d. 1726,) attorney at law, grandson of Sir Francis Fane, KB and great grandson of Sir Francis Fane, of Fulbeck, co. Lincoln, KB the third son of Francis Fane, 1st Earl of Westmorland.
- Debrett 1820, p. 1148.
- Wynne 2002.
- Mosley 2003, p. 4134.
- Blackstone 1759, p. 5.
- "Fane, John (FN703J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Bodl. Dashwood C5, lt.-col. commn. for John Fane, 1710; Add. 70775, Westmorland to Harley, 9 Apr. 1713.
- Ruffhead 1763, p. 281.
- Add. 42593, f. 135; 70775, Westmorland to Harley, 9 Apr. 1713; VCH Northants. ii. 545; Hasted, Kent, v. 79–80; HMC Denbigh, v, 277.
- Debrett 1820, p.160
- Blackstone, William (1759). The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest, with other Authentic Instruments: To which is Prefixed an Introductory Discourse, Containing the History of the Charters. By William Blackstone, Esq; Barrister at Law, Vinerian Professor of the Laws of England, and D.C.L. Oxford: Clarendon Press. OCLC 4547269.
- Debrett, John, ed. (1820). Debrett's Correct Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland. 1 (13 ed.). London: Printed G. Woodall, Angel Court, Skinner Street.
- Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage. 3 (107th ed.). Wilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd.
- Ruffhead, Owen (1763). The Statutes at Large, From the Tenth Year of KING WILLIAM the THIRD To the End of the Reign of QUEEN ANNE. To which is prefixed, A TABLE of the TITLES of all the Publick and Private Statutes during that Time. 4. London: Mark & Robert Basket, Henry Woodfall & William Strahan.
- Wynne, Sonya (2002). "FANE, Hon. John (1686-1762), of Mereworth, Kent; Apethorpe, Northants. and Hanover Square, London". The History of Parliament. The History of Parliament. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
- Wynne, Sonya (2006). Hayton, D. W.; Cruickshanks, Eveline; Handley, Stuart (eds.). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715 (Hardcover)
|url=(help). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521772211.