NOEL, Hon. John (1659-1718), of North Luffenham, Rutland and Walcot, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. 7 Nov. 1659, 7th s. of Baptist Noel†, 3rd Visct. Campden, but 3rd by 4th w. Lady Elizabeth, da. of Montague Bertie†, 2nd Earl of Lindsey; bro. of Hon. Baptist Noel†, and half-bro. of Hon. Edward Noel†, 1st Earl of Gainsborough, and Hon. Henry Noel†. educ. M. Temple 1676; LL.D. Oxford, 1705. m. lic. 27 May 1696, Elizabeth, da. of Bennet Sherard*, 2nd Baron Sherard [I], wid. of Edward Ingram, 2nd Visct. Irwin [S], 4s. 3da.1
As the youngest son of a large aristocratic family Noel was originally destined for a legal career. He still had chambers at the Middle Temple in 1681, five years after his admission, but presumably all serious thoughts of the law had by then been abandoned. Late in the summer of 1687, he and Lord Sherard, who was destined much later to become his father-in-law, quarrelled at a horse-race meeting over a matter now lost from the record, but the latter’s resort to physical violence on Noel caused a flurry in local gentry circles, so much so that the lord lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lord Huntingdon, was required by Lord Sunderland, the secretary of state, to see that the difference was smoothed over. At an elaborate ceremony at Cambridge University on 16 Apr. 1705 in the presence of the Queen, he was one of several ‘noble persons’ to have a doctorate of laws conferred on him. In May of that year he was invited to rejoin the ‘Honourable Order of Little Bedlam’, a drinking and dining club, of which he had been a member until it ceased in 1700. A requirement of membership was the adoption of a cant name, and in taking ‘Wildhorse’ Noel may have been celebrating the horse-race incident.2
At the 1710 election Noel contested as a Whig in the Rutland contest and his success greatly disobliged the Earl of Nottingham (Daniel Finch†), leader of the Tory interest in the county, who quickly resolved to unseat him. Thus, on 23 Jan. 1711, following a Commons’ hearing lasting several long sittings, the Tory Richard Halford* was declared duly elected in Noel’s stead. The ‘Hanover list’ of the 1710 Parliament had inaccurately classed him as a Tory. At the beginning of 1713 and for several months afterwards he was seen as a contender in the autumn election, but he eventually withdrew. He did not take up the offer of the Earl of Exeter (John Cecil*, Lord Burghley) to bring him in for Stamford, but in 1715 was returned unopposed for Rutland. He died on 26 Dec. 1718.3
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. E. F. Noel, Letters and Recs. Noel Fam. chart. 5; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 979.
- 2. Vis. Rutland (Harl. Soc. lxxiii), 3; HMC Rutland, ii. 116; HMC Lindsey, 49; Boyer, Anne Annals, iv. 12; HMC 5th Rep. 399.
- 3. Leics. RO, Finch mss, Nottingham to Ld. Finch (Daniel*), 21 Oct. 1710, same to Ld. Guernsey (Hon. Heneage Finch I*), 13 Sept. 1713; BL, Verney mss mic. M/636/54, Ld. Fermanagh (John Verney*) to Ralph Verney, 18 Jan. 1710–11; Add. 70251, Thomas Peale to Ld. Oxford (Robert Harley*), 27 Jan. 1712–13; Bodl. Carte 117, f. 441.