London Pitt Club Medal, to “Lord Viscount Valentia”, A title with a most storied history going back almost 1000 years.
The London Pitt Club in red leather fitted case of issue, officially engraved on the reverse to “LORD VISCt VALENTIA.”
This Pitt Club badge which dates to approximately 1800-1820, during which time George Annesley, future 2nd Earl of Mountnorris was styled as Viscount Valentia between 1893 and 1816, upon the death of his father Arthur in 1816, he then became the new 2nd Earl of Mountnorris.
This man, George Annesley FRS was born on 4th December 1770 and died on 23rd July 1844, Son of Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Mountnorris and the Hon Lucy, Daughter of George Lyttleton, 1st Baron Lyttleton.
He was the Member of Parliament for Yarmouth between 1808 and 1810.
He was very popular in the London social circles, and was a bit of an adventurer. In 1802, Henry Salt, who at the time was only 22 (later an Artist, Traveller, Collector of Antiquities, Diplomat and Egyptologist) was appointed as George Annesley’s personal secretary and Draughtsman, as they started on a grand tour of the world.
They first started on an eastern tour in June 1802, travelling on the British East India Company’s ship Minerva to India via the Cape Colony. They explored the Cape of Good Hope, India and the Red Seas area.
The details of the voyages and drawing by Salt were published by the Viscount in his book “Voyages and Travels” during 1809.
The family of the Viscount Valentia dates back as far as the General Survey of 1079 to Richard de Annesley, from which there was descent a number of Knights, Sir John Annesley, Knight of Headington, Oxfordshire and MP during reigns of Edward III and Richard II, he had married sister and co-heir of Sir John Chandos, one of the original Knights of the Garter during it’s institution.
In the hundreds of years between was Robert Annesley, a Naval Officer in the reign of Elizabeth I and Captain in the H.M. Army raised to suppress the Earl of Desmond’s Rebellion. His son Sir Francis Annesley (circa 1585-1660) was also a Knight who filled for 40 years several of the highest situations in Ireland, and was constable of Mountnorris Castle.
The Baronetcy itself dates back to the institution of the Baronets of Ireland, upon which the 2nd person that it was conferred to was that of Mountnorris, County Armagh. during 1620 however Sir Francis Annesley obtained a revisionary grant for the Viscountcy of Valentia, at the decease of the then Viscount Sir Henry Power. Being then given the peerage by the title of Baron Mountnorris.
The Baronetcy still stands today and is the “Premier Baronet” of Ireland.
More info on the family here: Research into the family history of the Viscount of Valentia
This all led to this Pitt Club badge, which was owned by George Annesley, 2nd Earl of Mountnorris, the title of Earl of Mountnorris had been created for his father in compensation for the removal of the title of Earl of Anglesey, stemming from some issues with his grandfather.
His Grandfather was the notorious and ruthless Richard Annesley, who once kidnapped his nephew, a rival claimant to his titles and estates, shipped him to the American Plantations and him ending up on a Mennonite Farm in present day Lancaster County he was sold as an indentured servant in 1728 on orders of his Uncle. He amazingly escaped slavery in 1743, being assaulted for which Earl Anglesey was convicted in 1744. However using his vast power he then concocted various defences and enjoyed his titles and estates until his death in 1761 at Camolin Park, Co Wexford.