History & Timeline

William Cecil


Elizabeth I


5th Earl of Exeter


1st Marquess of Exeter



1520 Birth of William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley.

1558 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth I.

1587 Completion of the building of Burghley.

1588 The Spanish Armada is defeated.

1598 Death of William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley.

1603 Death of Queen Elizabeth I.

1605 Thomas Cecil created 1st Earl of Exeter.

1642-1646 The Civil War.

1660 Restitution of the Monarchy – Charles II crowned.

1679, 1681 & 1699 5th Earl of Exeter’s journeys to the Continent. Huge expenses for the purchase of astonishing quantities of works of art.

1700 5th Earl dies. Huge debts encumber the estate.

1724 8th Earl marries Hannah Sophia Chambers, daughter of a Derby merchant and heiress to a large fortune.

1763 & 1768 9th Earl’s journeys to Italy. Large purchases of fine art.

1801 10th Earl raised to the rank of Marquess.

1815 Napoleon defeated by Wellington at Waterloo.

1844 Queen Victoria & Prince Albert visit Burghley as guests of the 2nd Marquess.

1928 David Cecil, Lord Burghley wins Olympic Gold medal for hurdling.

1956 David Cecil inherits the title and becomes the 6th Marquess of Exeter. Mains electricity comes to Burghley House.

1975 Lord Exeter founds the Burghley House Preservation Trust.

1988 Michael Cecil inherits the title and becomes the 8th Marquess of Exeter

9th Earl of Exeter


2nd Marquess of Exeter


6th Marquess of Exeter


8th Marquess of Exeter