This text was copied from Wikipedia on 8 July 2024 at 3:11AM.

The Earl of Berkeley
Personal details
Bornc. 1628
Died10 October 1698 (aged 69–70)
Resting placeCranford, Middlesex
Elizabeth Massingberd
(m. 1646)​
Children7, including Charles and Henrietta
Parent(s)George Berkeley, 8th Baron Berkeley
Elizabeth Stanhope

George Berkeley, 1st Earl of Berkeley, PC, FRS (c. 1628 – 10 October 1698) was an English merchant, politician and peer who sat in the House of Commons of England from 1654 until 1658.


Berkeley was the son of George Berkeley, 8th Baron Berkeley (d. 1658), and his wife, Elizabeth Stanhope, daughter of Sir Michael Stanhope. Berkeley was a canon-commoner at Christ Church, Oxford, but did not take any degree. In 1654 he was elected Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire in the First Protectorate Parliament. He was re-elected MP for Gloucestershire in 1656 for the Second Protectorate Parliament.[1]

Berkeley succeeded to the barony in 1658, and was nominated in May 1660 as one of the commissioners to proceed to the Hague and invite Charles II to return to the kingdom. In the following November he was made keeper of the house gardens and parks of Nonsuch Palace, where the Duchess of Cleveland later lived.

In 1661 Berkeley was placed on the council for foreign plantations. In 1663 he became a member of the Royal African Company on its formation (10 January), acquiring a share in the territory lying between the port of Salee in South Barbary and the Cape of Good Hope. In the same year he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. He was made a privy councillor in 1677. In April 1678, he was made a member of the Board of Trade and plantations which had been established in 1668.

On 11 September 1679 he was created Viscount Dursley and Earl of Berkeley. He was elected to the governorship of the Levant Company on 9 February 1680 and held the position for most, if not the whole, of his subsequent life. In May 1681 he was elected one of the masters of Trinity House. At this time he was a member of the East India Company. In February 1685 he was appointed Custos Rotulorum of Gloucestershire, and 21 July 1685 was sworn of the privy council. After the flight of James II, 11 December 1688, Berkeley was among the lords who assembled at Guildhall and declared themselves a provisional government. He was nominated as ambassador to Constantinople on 16 July 1698, but not wishing to go, petitioned parliament to be excused the office. He died in England and was buried in the parish church of Cranford, Middlesex, where he had an estate.


He published in 1668 a religious work entitled Historical Applications and Occasional Meditations upon several Subjects.


Berkeley married on 11 August 1646, Elizabeth Massingberd, daughter of John Massingberd, treasurer of the East India Company, by whom he had two sons, Charles and George, and six daughters:


5 Annotations

First Reading

vincent  •  Link

Lots of Berkeley/Berckley/ Barkley/Barclay et al:This Geo: was the younger son of George 1 : George II. Nineteenth Lord, and first Earl of Berkeley. 1658 to 1698. (year of birth?)
succeeded his father, the elder son, Charles, having been drowned on his passage to France, in 1641. He was created Viscount Dursley and Earl of Berkeley in 1679.
From John Evelyn (14th jan 1656): I dined with Mr Barckley son to my Lord Berckley of Ber: castle:
(Index as George B) Berkeley Castle ( SP: wrote? Barkly ) Earle 1st earl 9th of Barkly Castle
dined John Evelyn; my Lord Berkeley of Berkeley castle (p393 sept 58) then in of (May 26 59) Lord Geo: Berkeley
Back in 1643:
The rebels of Gloucester came in an insolent manner to his Majesties Garrison in Berkeley Castle
near Berkley Towne 12 miles from Gloster May 23, 1643 Lord Berkely (the papa) wanted his castle back(Berkly Castle or was it Barkly Castle)…
He had many Cousins that changed History: i.e. Berkley of Stratton split New Jersey between himself and Carteret , upsetting the the Swedish colony and others.
Berkeley, John, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton…
A source…

Paul Chapin  •  Link

Bishop George Berkeley, the philosopher
Since George Berkeley was also the name of the famous idealist philosopher (and bishop), I did a little research to see how he fit into this family. The best clue I could find was the following bit from the 1911 Encyclopedia (first sentence of a very long entry):

Michael Robinson  •  Link

George Berkeley, 1st Earl of Berkeley (1628-1698)

was born circa 1627.2 He was the son of George Berkeley, 8th Lord Berkeley and Elizabeth Stanhope.1 He was baptised on 23 April 1627 in St. James's, Clerkenwell, London, England.3 He married Elizabeth Massingberd, daughter of John Massingberd and Cecilia Pettit, on 11 August 1646 in Morden, Surrey, England.2 He died on 14 October 1698.2 He was buried in Cranford, Middlesex, England.2 His will (dated 21 September 1698) was probated on 19 December 1698.2
George Berkeley, 1st Earl of Berkeley was educated in Christ Church, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.1 He succeeded to the title of 9th Lord Berkeley [E., 1421] on 10 August 1658, by writ.1 He held the office of Custos Rotulorum of Gloucestershire between 1660 and 1689.1 He was a member of the Committee of the East India Company between 1660 and 1697.1 He was invested as a Fellow, Royal Society (F.R.S.) on 20 May 1663 one of the original members.1 He was Governor of the Levant Company between 1673 and 1696.2 He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) on 17 July 1678.2 He was created 1st Earl of Berkeley, co. Gloucester [England] on 11 September 1679.2 He was created 1st Viscount Dursley, co. Gloucester [England] on 11 September 1679.2 He held the office of Master of Trinity House in 1681/82.4 He held the office of Custos Rotulorum of Surrey between 1689 and 1698.2 He donated the valuable library of Sir Robert Coke (husband of his aunt Theophila) to Sion College, London.2 He was a member of the Committee of the East India Company from 1698 to 1699.1
Pepys writes that he "will say openly that he hath fought more set fields than any man in England hath done."2 Brydges writes that he was "a man of strict virtue and piety, of considerable literature, and author of a religious tract."2 He has an extensive biographical entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.5…

Link to the full text of the old DNB entry:-

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

George, earl of Berkeley, descended in a direct line from Robert Fitzharding, who was of the royal house of Denmark. He, with his nephew, Charles Berkeley, had the principal management of the duke ot York's family, and was one of the privy-council in this and the two following reigns. He bestowed upon Sion College a very valuable library, which was collected by sir Robert Coke. He was author of a little book, valuable for its merit as well as its rarity, entitled, "Historical Applications, and occasional Meditations upon several Subjects, written by a person of Honour," 1670. In this book are several striking instances of the testimony which some men of eminence have borne to the importance of religious life, and the consolation to be received from it, especially at the 'approach of death'. Ob. 1698.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


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



  • Sep


  • Jul


  • Mar