Edward, 12th Earl of Derby


Ref. No.: KN61
Date of Photo: 1776.

Edward, like his father and grandfather before him, was Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire a position he was to hold for over fifty years. He is often called the 'Sportsman' Earl due to his passion for horseracing. He founded the 'Derby' in 1780 with one of his horses 'Sir Peter Teazle' winning the race in 1787. A few years earlier in 1779 his filly 'Bridget' had become the first winner of 'The Oaks', which was also established by the Earl and which took its name after his house near Epsom.

He married Lady Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of the 6th Duke of Hamilton. Elizabeth was a direct descendant of the 8th Earl's sister effectively re-uniting the two branches of the family. Elizabeth deserted Edward in favour of the Duke of Dorset, but the Earl denied her the divorce she wanted. After her death in 1797 the Earl married the actress Elizabeth (Eliza) Farren. The Earl died in 1834 and was succeeded by his son from his first marriage.

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