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Dudley, Third Baron North (1581–1666), artist unknown, about 1615, England V&A Museum no. P.4&:1-1948
Portrait of Dudley North, 1615, at the Vyne

Dudley North, 3rd Baron North (1581 – 16 January 1666) was an English nobleman and politician.


North was the son of Sir John North and of Dorothy, daughter and heiress of Sir Valentine Dale. He succeeded his grandfather, Roger North, 2nd Baron North, at the age of nineteen. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge,[1] and married in 1599 Frances, daughter of Sir John Brocket of Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire. He travelled in Italy, took part in the campaign of 1602 in the Netherlands, and on his return became a conspicuous figure at court, excelling in athletic exercises as well as in poetry and music, and gaining the friendship of Prince Henry.[2]

In 1606, while returning from Eridge to London, he discovered the springs at The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, which cured North himself of a complaint and quickly became famous. He also recommended the Epsom springs to the public.[2]

He supported and subscribed to the expedition to Guyana made by his brother Roger North (c. 1582 – c. 1652) in 1619, and when Roger departed without leave, Dudley was imprisoned for two days in the Fleet. In 1626 he attached himself to the party of Lord Saye and Sele in the Lords, who were in sympathy with the aims of the Commons; and when the Civil War broke out he was on the side of the parliament. In 1641 he was a member of the Lords committee on Religion, and served on the committee to consider Laud's attainder in 1644, finally voting for the ordinance in January 1645. He was placed on the admiralty commission in 1645, and acted as Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire. He was one of the small group of Lords who continued attendance in the House of Peers, and on 19 December 1648, with three others, visited Fairfax, when they "cast down their honors at his Excellency's feet" and protested their desire not to retain any privileges prejudicial to the public interest.[3] He passed the rest of his life in retirement at Kirtling in Cambridgeshire. He died leaving a daughter (Dorothy) and two sons, the elder of which, Sir Dudley, succeeded him as the 4th Baron North.[2]


Dudley North wrote A Forest of Varieties (1645), a miscellany of essays and poems, another edition of which was published in 1659 under the title of A Forest promiscuous of various Seasons' Productions.[2]


  1. ^ "North, Dudley (NRT597D)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c d One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "North, Barons s.v. Dudley North, 3rd Baron North". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 758.
  3. ^ Gardiner's Civil War, iv. 285

3 Annotations

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Dudley, 3rd Lord North (1582-1666) became a peer at 19. Sadly, the House of Lords website has no biographies, and their plan seem to be for printed books rather than an on-line database.

However, both Dudley's uncle and his son were MPs and there were references to him in all three entries. (NOTE: If someone serves in 2 reigns, he will have 2 different biographies, each emphasizing the events of that reign.)

This is my compilation:


The 1st Lord North (Edward North MP), the son of a London merchant, made his fortune as chancellor of Augmentations under Henry VIII, and was ennobled by Queen Mary after sitting in at least three parliaments for Cambridgeshire.

Dudley, 3rd Lord North was the son of Sir John North and Dorothy Dale (the daughter and heiress of Sir Valentine Dale MP JP).
Dudley was baptized at St. Gregory's, London, in 1582.
Dudley succeeded his grandfather, Roger North, 2nd Baron North, at 19 (1601). He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.
On 23 November, 1600, Dudley North married Frances Brockett, daughter of Sir John Brocket of Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, England. The marriage took place in her family's seat in Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, England.
Dudley, Lord North and Lady Frances had five children:
1. Dudley North KB MP (1602-1677) 4th Baron North.
2. Dorothy North-Chute (1605-1698)
3. Charles North (1608-unknown)
4. Robert North(1611-unknown)
5. Elizabeth North (1613-unknown)

According the family history written by Edward's grandson Roger North MP, the 3rd Lord North “consumed the greatest part of his estate in the gallantries of King James’s Court, or rather his son Prince Henry’s”, and thereafter lived a retired country life. The same sources states that his son, Dudley North (later 4th Lord North) was “bred ... after the best manner”.

Dudley, 3rd Lord North, sat at Westminster during the Civil War, and his son, Dudley North Jr. MP was among the foremost in raising men, disarming Royalists and suppressing insurrection in Cambridgeshire, although (by his [i.e. DUDLEY JR.'s] own later account) with reservations.

For how he spent him time, see below in the description of his home, Kirtling Hall.

Lord Dudley North, 3rd Baron North died on the 16 January, 1666 (aged 83–84) at Kirtling, East Cambridgeshire, leaving a daughter (Dorothy) and two sons, the elder of which, Sir Dudley North, succeeded him as the 4th Baron North

Dudley, 3rd Lord North was buried in St. Andrew's Churchyard at Little Glemham, Suffolk, England. : memorial page for Sir Dudley North (1582–16 Jan 1666)

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

How did the North family live?…

Under the first four Lords North from the 1530s to 1677 Kirtling Hall, Kirtling, East Cambs., was one of the homes of the wealthy household of a family prominent in public affairs.
Until 1625 it was occupied spasmodically because Edward, 1st Lord North (d. 1564) was in government office until 1558, while Roger, 2nd Lord North (d. 1600), and until 1625 Dudley, 3rd Lord North (d. 1666) were courtiers and soldiers.
All three often lived elsewhere, although Roger spent much time at Kirtling, where he was an efficient lord lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and an active magistrate of Puritan inclinations.
When in residence Roger was accompanied by a large household which included a secretary, a physician, several dozen gentlemen and yeomen retainers, a cook, footmen, a fool, a groom porter, and many menials.

In 1625 Dudley, 3rd Lord North, retired from court and from then until his son, Dudley, 4th Lord North's death in 1677 the house was occupied almost constantly.

In the 1650s the household rather conservatively still included gentlemen ushers, a resident steward, and a clerk of the kitchen, besides two French servants (a valet de chambre and a gentleman waiter).
The dowager Lady Dorothy Dale North (d. 1677) had her own usher, footman, gentlewoman, and chambermaid.

The 3rd and 4th Lords North were notable patrons of music at Kirtling Hall, went shooting and coursing over the estate, kept up a large and well-stocked deer park, pursued literary interests, and played an active part in local and county administration.

Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk exerted a stronger influence than Cambridgeshire, even when the Lords North were active in Cambridge politics in the 16th and 17th centuries; E.G. in 1664-5 the Norths' servants went on household business three times to Bury but only once to Cambridge, while in 1661-2 the steward bought luxury groceries and coal, paper, and ink at Bury, and livestock for the farm from the fairs at Cowlinge and Woolpit, Suffolk.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The Tunbridge Wells story:

According to an 18th-century historian of Tunbridge Wells, Dudley, 3rd Lord North had fallen ‘into a lingering consumptive disorder’ which defied his doctors.
Seeking a cure, in 1606 North retired to Eridge House, a hunting lodge about 2-1/2 miles from Tunbridge Wells, belonging to his friend Edward Neville, 8th or 1st Lord Abergavenny.
North stayed there about 6 weeks but, finding no improvement in his condition, set out for London. Passing through a wood, he came across a spring and noticed that the water had a ‘shining mineral scum’ and a ‘ferruginous’ [i.e. rusty] taste, causing him to suspect that it might have medicinal properties. He had some bottled and brought back with him to London, where his physicians confirmed its beneficial properties.
North later returned to Eridge House and, after 3 months, the combination of spring water and pure country air had wrought a total cure.
North later wrote that he ‘first made known to London and the king’s people’ the ‘uses of Tunbridge and Epsom waters for health and cure’.

Although North lived to be over 80, his writings are full of complaints about his health, which he believed had been permanently impaired by the overuse of a ‘treacle’ he had taken to guard against the bubonic plague during the 1603 epidemic, one of the worst of the 17th century. (This treacle was probably theriac, otherwise known as Venice treacle, a preparation which typically included viper’s flesh and opium).

However, there is a problem with dating Dudley, 3rd Lord North’s discovery to 1606.
In the alternative, independent account, dated to 1615 or 1616, Lord North discovered the spring while journeying to Eridge House, and thought the waters must have medicinal properties because they tasted like those of Spa, in modern Belgium, whose waters were so famous that the town became synonymous with medicinal watering-places.

Whatever the date of Dudley, 3rd Lord North’s discovery, in 1619 it was reported that for three or four years the waters of Tunbridge ‘have been much frequented’ and the fortunes of a spa town had been made.

In the local history of Tunbridge Wells website:

In 1606 a nobleman, Lord North, who was staying at Edridge House was out for a ride. He came across the spring with rust-colored edges and wondered if it had health giving properties. (At the time he was suffering from tuberculosis or some similar disease). He drank some of the spring water and was, he said, healed from his illness. When he returned to London, he told all his rich friends about the spring and soon many people flocked to drink from it.

After 1608 wells were dug and a pavement was laid but there were no actual buildings at Tunbridge until 1636. In that year two houses were built, one for ladies and one for gentlemen.…

I wonder why he didn’t invest in its development?

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