The Baronetcy, of Hackness Hall in the North Riding of the County of York, was created in the Baronetage of Great Britain in 1795 for Richard Vanden-Bempde-Johnstone, with remainder in default of male issue of his own to the male issue of his brother Charles John. He notably represented Weymouth in the House of Commons. Born Richard Johnstone, he was the son of Colonel John Johnstone, second son of Sir William Johnstone, 2nd Baronet, of Westerhall (see Johnstone Baronets of Westerhall). His mother was Charlotte, daughter of John van den Bempde of Hackness Hall in Yorkshire. In 1793 Richard Johnstone assumed by Act of Parliament his maternal grandfather's surname of Vanden-Bempde in lieu of Johnstone but in 1795 he was authorised by Royal license to resume the name of Johnstone in addition to those of Vanden-Bempde.
He was succeeded by his son, the second Baronet. He sat as Member of Parliament for Yorkshire and Scarborough. On his death the title passed to his son, the aforementioned third Baronet, who was elevated to the peerage as Baron Derwent in 1881. As a descendant of the second Johnstone Baronet of Westerhall, the present Lord Derwent is also in remainder to this title.
The title of the barony, Derwent (pronounced "Darwent"), is named after the River Derwent in Yorkshire.