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Charles Henry Kirkhoven, 1st Earl of Bellomont (9 May 1643, The Hague – 1683) was a Dutch-born Irish peer, known as Lord Wotton from 1649 to 1680.

Kirkhoven (the anglicised form of van der Kerckhove) was the only son of Jehan, Lord of Heenvliet and his wife, Katherine (1609–1667) (later created Countess of Chesterfield), both courtiers in the Princess of Orange's household.

In 1649, Charles II created him Baron Wotton, a title which became extinct upon the death of his maternal grandfather in 1630. From 1659 to 1674, he was Chief Magistrate of Breda and was granted a troop of horses by the States-General. On the death of his father in 1660, he took over the former's offices in the Princess's household and was also granted a post in the household of her son, Prince William (later William III of England).

In 1660, following the restoration of Charles II to the English throne, Wotton and his sister Emilia were naturalised as English by Act of Parliament.[1]

In 1663, Lord Wotton took his seat in the House of Lords and on his mother's death four years later, he inherited her Belsize House estate in Belsize Park. On 25 August 1679, he married Hon. Frances Harpur, daughter of William Willoughby, 6th Baron Willoughby of Parham. In 1680, he was created Earl of Bellomont. He died in 1683 of an apoplexy and was buried in Canterbury Cathedral. As he had no surviving children, his titles became extinct and he left his estate to Hon. Charles Stanhope (the youngest son of his half-brother, the 2nd Earl of Chesterfield), who later changed his surname to Wotton.


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San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In 1661 Belsize Manor was leased for 21 years to Daniel O'Neill, a royalist whose great wealth made him a more desirable tenant. O’Neill died in 1664, leaving the lease to his widow, the post mistress Lady Katherine Wotton Stanhope van der Kerckhove O'Neill, Countess of Chesterfield.

Belsize Manor House and garden were 'built with vast expense' by O'Neill; the house, which contained a fine gallery, formed four sides around a courtyard. It became a Dutch Renaissance building with a central tower and entrance, two storeys, and dormer windows.

The east front, from which the north and south ranges projected, faced a brick court and was approached from the London road by a wooded avenue. A gravel walk along the west side may have been the remnant of a 'highway to St. John's Wood' that had been mentioned in 1650.

The stabling and kitchen garden lay to the north and formal gardens to the south, at a lower level than the house and centered on a fountain; there was a cherry orchard to the west. The whole area, 25½ acres, was enclosed by a brick wall.

The building seems to have enlarged the house from 16 hearths to 36, although O'Neill died in 1664 -- the year that the assessment of 16 hearths was made.

When Lady Katherine died in 1667 she left Belsize Manor to Charles Henry Kirkhoven, Lord Wotton, her son by her second husband, who obtained a lease for lives [sic] from the dean and chapter of Westminster Abbey.

John Evelyn, in 1676, was more impressed by the contents of the house, notably the porcelain and Indian cabinets, and thought the gardens 'large, but ill kept; yet woody and changeable; the mould a cold weeping clay, not answering the expense'.

Charles Henry Kirkhoven, Lord Wotton, died in 1683 with no children, at which time Belsize Manor passed to his half-brother, Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield (1634 - 1714), Lady Katherine's son by her first husband, who obtained a new lease in 1683. (Philip Stanhope was Barbara Villiers Palmer’s first lover in 1658. It was a small world in those days.)

Highlights from
A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
Hampstead: Manor and Other Estates -- Pages 91-111…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The baronage of England, or, An historical account of the lives and most memorable actions of our English nobility in the Saxons time to the Norman conquest, and from thence, of those who had their rise before the end of King Henry the Third's reign deduced from publick records, antient historians, and other authorities / by Sir William Dugdale (1605-1686)

London: Printed by Tho. Newcomb, for Abel Roper, John Martin, and Henry Herringman ..., 1675-1676.

Now come to the Reign of our present Sovereign King Charles the Second; wherein I find that the first Person by him advanced to the dignity of a Baron of this Realm, was Charles-Henry Kirkhoven (a Foreigner) Son of ... Kirkhoven Lord of Hemlete in Holland, by Catherine his Wife, the eldest of the four Daughters and Coheirs of Thomas Lord Wotton (Widow of Henry Lord Stanhope, Son and Heir to Philip late Heir of Chesterfield).
Which Charles was, by reason thereof, created Lord Wotton of Wotton in Kent, as by his Majesties Letters Patent Bill.
Sign▪ de eodem an∣no., bearing date at St. Johnstons in Scotland upon the one and thirtieth day of August, in the Second year of his Reign appeareth; and naturalized by Act of Parliament, begun 8 Maii 13 Car. 2. but is not yet marryed.


I don’t understand “St. Johnstons in Scotland upon the one and thirtieth day of August, in the Second year of his Reign” – I understand this to be 31 August, 1651, and the second Battle of Worcester takes place on September 4. So Charles II was camping near Worcester on this day, far from St. Johnston’s in Scotland.
Perhaps the decision was made months before, but took this long to write up and send to ... Henrietta Maria? Hyde? Nicholas? Paris? The Hague?

I have never seen Charles-Henry's name included in the list of courtiers who went to Scotland with Charles II. Which doesn't mean he wasn't there, but, being Dutch, historians have not found him important enough to mention?

[Further down the page it says “AFter which time his Majesty put a stop to any farther Creations, until the tenth year of his Reign, that the divisions amongst the Grand Usurpers here, promised some hopes of his happy restoration” – the only exception was Sir Marmaduke Langdale of Holme in Spalding-moore.]

8 Maii 13 Car. 2. is May 8, 1661 ... That was the opening of Parliament, so perhaps Charles-Henry Kirkhoven is naturalized during this session, but it was not on this day.…

In defense of Sir William Dugdale, he did publish this collection in 1676, so we possibly have access to more records than he did.…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.