Cranfield, Lionel, 1st Earl of Middlesex (1575 -1645)
Lionel Cranfield, son of Thomas Cranfield, was christened on 13 March 1575. His father apprenticed him to Mr Richard Shepherd, a Merchant Adventurer of London. Lionel married his master’s daughter, Elizabeth Shepherd, and traded very successfully as a Merchant Adventurer and a member of The Mercers Company of London. He represented the Mercers Company before The Privy Council so well that he atttracted the notice of the King, and the patronage of the Earl of Northampton, and afterwards that of the Duke of Buckingham, who brought him into royal service. On 6 April 1605, he became Receiver of Customs for the Counties of Dorset and Somerset. In July 1613, he became Lieutenant of Dover Castle, was knighted, and made Surveyor General of The Customs.Elected. He was Member of Parliament for Hythe in 1614, and for Arundel in 1620, and held a series of important jobs in the royal household. His great financial acumen culminated in his appointment to Lord High Treasurer from 1621-1624. He was created Baron Cranfield 9 July 1622, and Earl of Middlesex 17 September 1622. In 1624 he was sent to the Tower and fined £50,000 on a charge of bribery and corruption. He was pardoned a year later, but not restored to his seat in the House of Lords until 1640. He died on 6 August 1645. His titles became extinct on the death of his second son, the 3rd Earl in 1674, but were recreated for Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst in 1675, whose father Richard Sackville, 5th Earl of Dorset, had married Frances, youngest daughter of the first Earl of Middlesex.