The descent of the Temple family has been derived from the Saxon earls of Mercia, and the fabulous arms attributed to those earls, have been, in some cases, prefixed (in the first quarter) to those originally borne by the Temples.
The origin of this family, which takes its name from residence in one of the houses of the Knights Templars, is recorded upon very substantial evidence, but the genealogical descent is obscure, as the Temples did not rise above the rank of small gentry until the latter part of the XVth century.
There are two very contradictory lines of descent of this family, both however leading to Robert I Temple, who was seated at Temple Hall, co. Leicester, in the XVth century, and with him we begin our account.
This Robert Temple left four sons: Nicholas, who succeeded him, but died without issue; Robert II, who inherited Temple Hall from his brother Nicholas; Thomas, the founder of the Line of Witney; and Henry, who left no posterity.
Line of Temple Hall
This line is no longer heard of after 1660, when its representative, Peter Temple, a regicide, was imprisoned for life and Temple Hall was confiscated. This Peter had four sons; the two older ones left no issue, and the others and their descendants, if they had any, seem to have dropped from sight.
Line of Witney
Thomas I Temple, the third son of Robert I Temple, of Temple Hall, settled at Witney, co. Oxford, and founded this Line. In tracing this Line, we come to Thomas II, who had two sons, Robert and Peter; Robert continued this Line, of which, however, we hear nothing further until after 1635; and Peter founded the Line of Stowe.
Line of Stowe
Peter Temple, the founder of this Line, had two sons: John, who continued the Line, and Anthony, who founded the Line of Coughton. The Line of Coughton, which became extinct in 1865, produced a number of prominent statesmen; among others, Sir William Temple, of the time of Charles the Second, and the late Lord Palmerston.
John, who continued the Line of Stowe, had fice sons: Thomas, his heir, and the first Baronet; John, and Alexander, who founded, respectively, the short-lived Lines of Frankton and Long House, and William and Peter, of whose issue nothing is known.
Sir Thomas Temple, the first Baronet, left four sons: Peter, his heir; Sir John Temple, of Biddlesden and Stantonbarry, Kt., founder of the Line of Stantonbarry; the Rev. Dr. Thomas Temple, founder of the Line of New England; and Miles, founder of the Line of Dover.
The Line of Stowe became extinct in 1749.
Line of Stantonbarry
Sir John Temple, second son of Sir Thomas Temple, first Baronet, the founder of this Line, had two sons who left issue: Sir Peter, his heir, who continued the Line and whose representative succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1749; and Colonel Edmund Temple, of Sulby, the founder of the Line of Sulby.
The Line of Stantonbarry became extinct in 1786.
Line of Sulby
The last representative of this Line was Edmund Temple, who died without issue in 1796.
Line of New England
This Line, founded by the Rev. Thomas Temple, third son of Sir Thomas Temple, first Baronet, is at present represented by Sir Grenville Louis John Temple, twelfth Baronet.
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