Coningsby, Thomas, 1st Earl Coningsby (1656 -1729)
Thomas Coningsby was the only son of Humphrey Coningsby, of Hampton Court in Herefordshire, and Lettice, sister of Adam Loftus, 1st Viscount Lisburne. Ferdinando Gorges, a Barbadoes merchant, contrived to possess himself of part of the Coningsby estates and to marry his daughter, Barbara, to Thomas, when Thomas was nineteen. His father in law's misdeeds caused Thomas considerable financial difficulties from which he was never able completely to extract himself. He was Member of Parliament for Leominster from 1679 to 1710 and from 1715 to 1719, active in the revolution of 1688, and wounded at the Battle of the Boyne. He held a number of offices in Ireland under William III, and in 1692, was made Baron Coningsby of Clanbrassil in County Armagh in the peerage of Ireland, and in 1719, Earl of Coningsby in Lincolnshire. He married in 1698, as his second wife, Frances, younger daughter and coheir of Richard Jones, Earl of Ranelagh, a very rich man, but her father disinherited her and left his property to Greenwich Hospital. He was an irritable man and given to litigation. By his first wife, from whom he was divorced, he had four daughters and three sons. A grandson of this marriage succeeded to the Irish Barony, but died without issue in 1729, seven months after his grandfather. The Earldom contained a remainder to Margaret, the elder daughter of his second marriage, but her only child, a boy, dying in infancy, the Earldom became extinct on her death in 1761, when the estates passed to George Capell, 5th Earl of Essex, who took the additional surname of Coningsby.