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The Earls Of Harborough
Part of the Sherard Family Tree



Earl of Harborough Crest



Bennet Sherard, 1st Earl of Harborough (1677–1732)

Born 09 Oct 1677
Died 16 Oct 1732
Married 1696 to Mary Calverly

Father Bennett (2nd Baron) Sherard
Mother Elizabeth Christopher


served as  Lord Lieutenant of Rutland  12 September 1715 – 16 October 1732

Also owned  the lesser titles of 3rd Baron Sherard and Viscount Sherard

Mary Calverly painted at age 18 during the time of the marriage to Bennet

Mary Calverly

  Mary Calverley was the daughter and heiress of Sir Henry Calverley of Eyrholme, county Durham. In 1696 she married Bennet Sherard, then 3rd Baron Sherard of Leitrim, of Stapleford Hall, Leicestershire. She brought considerable wealth to the match, after her mother sold numerous estates and manors in order to provide a suitable dowry. Sherard was by all accounts a likeable husband, and the family enjoyed a happy life. In the summer of 1701, one of his guests noted that “the entertainment we met with here was singularly good, for the family pique themselves upon eating and drinking well… [Lord Sherard] is very much a gentleman.” Later that year he gained election to the House of Commons as a Whig.

However, tragedy soon struck. In the spring of 1702 Mary died, shortly after giving birth to their son, who also died some months later, in August. Sherard, who was later created an Earl by George I, commissioned the leading sculptor Michael Rysbrack to sculpt a sizeable memorial tomb at Stapleford Church in Leicestershire. It is one of Rysbrack’s most impressive English works. Mary can be seen holding her son on her knee, to the left of her husband, who reaches out to them in grief. Rysbrack’s Mary not only looks exactly like Kneller’s Mary, but shares the same facial archetype as the majority of Kneller’s subjects. The sculptor must have used the present picture as his model.


Funeral Monument within St Mary Magdalen church Stapleford of the 1st Earl Bennet Sherard

Philip Sherard, 2nd Earl of Harborough (1680–1750)


Born 1680
Died 16 Feb 1750
Married Ann Pedley

Father Philip Sherard of Whissendine
Mother Margaret Denton
Robert Sherard (became (4th Earl)
Bennett Sherard (became (3rd Earl)
John Sherard
Daniel Sherard
Philip Sherard b 01 Mar 1727
Dorothy (Lady) Sherard
Lucy (Lady) Sherard
Susan (Lady) Sherard
Ursula (Lady) Sherard
Philip Sherard b 1729


Also owned  the  titles of
Viscount Sherard of Stapleford 31st Oct 1718
Created Earl 8th May 1719

The Hon. Philip Sherard, who was Member of Parliament for Rutland in 1708–20 and became second Earl of Harborough .




Bennet Sherard, 3rd Earl of Harborough (1709–1770)



Born 03 Sep 1709
Died 24 Feb 1770
Married  Four Times ( no mail heirs produced)
1 - Elizabeth Verney 27 Jun 1748
2 - Frances Noel 03 Jul 1757
3 - Margaret Hill 31 Mar 1761
4 - Elizabeth Cave 08 Oct 1767

Children of Frances Noel
Frances (Lady) Sherard Born 12 Apr 1759

Children of Margaret Hill
Stillborn Daughter Born 23 Jan 1767
Bennet (Lord) Sherard Born ? Died 21 Feb 1768 at Stapleford Hall


Robert Sherard, 4th Earl of Harborough (1719–1799)

  Born 21 Oct 1719 Cheshire
Died 21 Apr 1799 Stapleford
Married  three times -
1 - Catherine Hearst 17 May 1762
2 -Jane Reeve Jan 1767
3 - Dorothy Roberts 25 May 1772

Children by Jane Reeve
Philip Sherard 10 Oct 1767 - 09 Dec 1807 (Became 5th Earl)
Lucy (lady) Sherard Oct 1769 -
Jane Sherard 1771 -

Children by Dorothy Roberts
Dorothy (Lady) Sophia Sherard 17 Apr 1775 -


Also owned  the  titles of
Lord Harborough
Reverend Robert Sherard
Became Earl Harborough on the death of his brother aged 51 in 1770


The 4th Earl Consolidated all of the Sherard  holdings and during his reign as earl and had built 3 churches, Teigh, Staplford and Saxby


Robert Sherard, 4th Earl of Harborough - painted by Thomas Gainsborough


Philip Sherard, 5th Earl of Harborough (1767–1807)

Born 10 Oct 1767
Died 09 Dec 1807
Married  - Eleanor Monckton in 01 Jul 1791

Lady Sophia Sherard born 16 Nov 1795, died 23 Sep 1851
Lady Lucy Eleanor Sherard born 20 May 1792 Lowther Westmorland, died 08 Jun 1848
Lady Susan Sherard (cannot confirm mothers name)
Robert Sherard born 26 Aug 1797 Finshade Abbey died 1859 Stapleford Hall



Robert Sherard, 6th Earl of Harborough (1797–1859)
Sometimes referred to as "The Naughty Earl"

  Born - 26 Aug 1797 Finshade Abbey
Died  - 1859 Stapleford Hall
Married  -  Mary Elizabeth Temple of Stowe

By unmarried  Emma Love - Reverend Bennet Sherard Calcraft Kennedy Sherard


He had a cottage built in the grounds of Stapleford park for his mistress Emma Sarah Love living there for around 25 years. - on the death of the Earl in 1859 his widow  Mary had the cottage pulled down  and Emma moved to nearby Whissendine.


The title of Earl of Harborough was created in 1719  and became extinct in 1859 upon the death of the 6th Earl. The Earls bore the subsidiary titles of Viscount Sherard (1718) and Baron Harborough (1714), both in the Peerage of Great Britain.