William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh
d.8 Apr 1643 Cannock, Staffordshire, England
Facts and Events
William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh (c. 1587 – 8 April 1643, Cannock) was an English naval officer and courtier.
William Feilding was the son of Basil Fielding of Newnham Paddox in Warwickshire, (High Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1612), and of Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Walter Aston (1530–1599) and his wife, Elizabeth Leveson.
The descent of the Feildings from the house of Habsburg, through the counts of Laufenburg and Rheinfelden, long considered authentic, and accepted by Edward Gibbon, has been proved to have been based on forged documents.
Feilding matriculated at Queens' College, Cambridge in 1603. Knighted on 4 March 1607, he was appointed Master of the Great Wardrobe in 1622, and Custos Rotulorum of Warwickshire in 1628, having been created Baron and Viscount Feilding in 1620, and Earl of Denbigh on 14 September 1622. He attended Prince Charles on the Spanish adventure, served as Admiral in the unsuccessful Cadiz Expedition in 1625, and commanded the disastrous attempt upon Rochelle in 1628, becoming the same year a member of the Council of war, and in 1633 a Member of the Council of Wales and the Marches. In 1631 Lord Denbigh visited the East.
On the outbreak of the English Civil War he served under Prince Rupert of the Rhine and was present at the Battle of Edgehill. On 3 April 1643 during Rupert's attack on Birmingham he was wounded and died from the effects on the 8th, being buried at Monks Kirby in Warwickshire. His courage, unselfishness and devotion to duty are much praised by the Earl of Clarendon.