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Henry Cecil, 1st Marquess of Exeter (14 March 1754 – 1 May 1804), known as Henry Cecil from 1754 to 1793 and as The Earl of Exeter from 1793 to 1801, was a Britishmarker peer and Member of Parliament.


Exeter was the son of the Hon. Thomas Chambers Cecil, second son of Brownlow Cecil, 8th Earl of Exeter. His mother was Charlotte Garnier.

Political career

Exeter was elected to the House of Commonsmarker for Stamford in 1774, a seat he held until 1790. In 1793 he succeeded his uncle as tenth Earl of Exeter and entered the House of Lordsmarker. In February 1801 he was created Marquess of Exeter, the first marquessate to be created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.


Lord Exeter married, firstly, Emma Vernon, daughter of Thomas Vernon, of Hanbury Hall, in 1776. They had no children and were divorced in 1791. He married, secondly, Sarah Hoggins, daughter of Thomas Hoggins, in 1791. They had two sons and one daughter. She was a woman of simple background who became known as the "Peasant Countess". Her marriage to Lord Exeter is the subject of Lord Tennyson's poem "The Lord of Burleigh". Sarah died in January 1797, shortly after the birth of her second son, aged 23.

Lord Exeter married, thirdly, Elizabeth Anne Burrell, daughter of Peter Burrell and former wife of Douglas Hamilton, 8th Duke of Hamilton, in 1800. They had no children. Lord Exeter died in May 1804, aged 50, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son, Brownlow. The Marchioness of Exeter died at Privy Gardens, Whitehallmarker, Londonmarker, in January 1837, aged 79.


  1. Henry Cecil, 1st Marquess of Exeter
  2. House of Commons: Southend to Stamford
  3. Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.

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