Definition of earldom in English:


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  • 1The rank or title of an earl.

    ‘On the death of his brother Brien in 1562 he succeeded to the earldom, though his title was not recognized by Elizabeth until 1585.’
    • ‘I am afraid I have seen only fragments of his programmes, but my desk is covered with letters from people who think he should be given a knighthood, or a hereditary earldom, for his campaign.’
    • ‘We concede that were he able to pull off this feat, an earldom, as opposed to a mere honorary knighthood, would be a more appropriate reward.’
    • ‘When Earl Siward of Northumbria died two years later, his earldom went to Harold's brother Tostig.’
    • ‘When he died, it went in turn to the third son, George, who founded the family of the Sinclairs of Mey which succeeded to the earldom in 1789.’
    • ‘He became Viscount Dunlo in 1801 and inherited the earldom from his father, the first Earl of Clancarty, in 1803.’
    • ‘The only prime ministers who really retired but never got a peerage were the great Liberal leader William Gladstone, who declined an earldom, and Churchill, who declined a dukedom.’
    • ‘I prefer that one of the most powerful earldoms is in the hands of a young boy who is absent.’
    • ‘Lord John was twice Prime Minister - from 1846 to 1852 and from 1865 to 1866-and was raised to an earldom by Queen Victoria.’
    • ‘Born in Montfort, he was well received by Henry when he arrived in England in 1230, allowed to claim the earldom of Leicester, and married the king's youngest sister Eleanor.’
    • ‘In 1055, Earl Siward of Northumbria died whilst his son, Waltheof, was too young to succeed him, and Harold manoeuvred his brother Tostig into the earldom.’
    • ‘Uhtred is the heir to the earldom of Bebbanburgh, now known as Bamburgh, in northern England, after his older brother and his father are killed by Viking raiders.’
    • ‘Gloucester's lack of sight caused him to believe Edmund was the good son and prevented him from pondering the idea of Edmund being after his earldom.’
    • ‘Tostig, who had been dispossessed of his earldom, raided the south-east coast before joining the invasion by Harald Hardrada of Norway in northern England.’
    • ‘He had succeeded to the earldom in 1678 and embarked on an ambitious programme for refurbishing his Elizabethan ancestral home.’
    • ‘She did not realise that for Russell, the legitimacy of possible heirs to the earldom of Russell was of paramount importance.’
    • ‘He was granted an earldom in 1944 and remained at his post until 1946.’
    • ‘In 1726, when he succeeded to the earldom of Chesterfield on the death of his father, he became a Member of the House of Lords.’
    1. 1.1 historical The territory governed by an earl.
      ‘In 1136, St Magnus' nephew, Rognvald, sailed into Pierowall during his invasion to seize the Orkney earldom.’
      • ‘When William the Conqueror (William I) and his Norman army conquered England in 1066, the three English earldoms of Chester, Shrewsbury, and Hereford were established on the border with Wales.’
      • ‘I come from a good family, my father was an honorable man, and I was the lord of one of the richest earldoms in the kingdom.’
      • ‘They were also one of the poorer earldoms in Gwyn.’
      • ‘By the end of the 9th century, the colonisation of Orkney had been so successful that it had become a Norwegian earldom.’
      • ‘You dragged me across the earldom because you were lonely?’
      • ‘His father had insisted they make a round of the earldom and visit some ‘family friends’ on the way back to Trieste.’
      • ‘If a union met with his disapproval anywhere in his earldom, the proposal could be voided.’
      • ‘In 944, when the last Danish king was expelled from York, Northumbria became an earldom of England.’