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Earl of Arundel

The oldest extant Earldom (and perhaps the oldest extant title) in the English peerage is the Earldom of Arundel currently held by the Duke of Norfolk, and used as a courtesy title by his heir.

The title of Earl of Arundel was first created in 1138 for the Norman baron William d'Albini. The earlier earls were frequently also known as Earl of Sussex, until the mid 13th century, when this title fell into disuse. At about the same time, the Earldom fell to the originally Breton Fitzalan family, a younger branch of which went on to become the Stewart family which later ruled Scotland.

A tradition arose that the holder of Arundel Castle should automatically be Earl of Arundel, and this was formally confirmed by king Henry VI. However this had not always been consistently adhered to. Some of the Lords of Arundel were never addressed as Earl during their lifetime, but nevertheless, are counted and numbered as earls here. Other sources may not include some of the earls listed below, and may consider the earldom to have been created more than once.

On the death of the 19th Earl in 1580, the title fell to Philip Howard, eldest son of the attainted Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk by his wife, the only daughter of the last Fitzalan Earl. Like his father, the new Earl was soon attainted for plotting against Queen Elizabeth, and the title was only restored following the accession of James I. The 23rd Earl was restored to the Dukedom of Norfolk in 1660, and the title has descended with that Dukedom ever since.

Earls of Arundel