Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset

Last updated
Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford, later 7th Duke of Somerset, portrait by John Vanderbank (1694-1739), c. 1700. Egremont Private Collection, Petworth House AlgernonSeymour EarlOfHertford Later 7thDukeOfSomerset PetworthHouse.jpg
Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford, later 7th Duke of Somerset, portrait by John Vanderbank (1694–1739), c. 1700. Egremont Private Collection, Petworth House

General Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset (11 November 1684 7 February 1750), styled Earl of Hertford until 1748, of Petworth House in Sussex, was a British Army officer and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1708 until 1722 when he was raised to the House of Lords as Baron Percy.

Petworth House historic estate museum in UK

Petworth House in the parish of Petworth, West Sussex, England, is a late 17th-century Grade I listed country house, rebuilt in 1688 by Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, and altered in the 1870s to the design of the architect Anthony Salvin. It contains intricate wood-carvings by Grinling Gibbons (d.1721). It is the manor house of the manor of Petworth. For centuries it was the southern home for the Percy family, Earls of Northumberland. Petworth is famous for its extensive art collection made by George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837), containing many works by his friend J. M. W. Turner. It also has an expansive deer park, landscaped by Capability Brown, which contains the largest herd of fallow deer in England.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

The Whigs were a political faction and then a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Between the 1680s and 1850s, they contested power with their rivals, the Tories. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute monarchy. The Whigs played a central role in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and were the standing enemies of the Stuart kings and pretenders, who were Roman Catholic. The Whigs took full control of the government in 1715 and remained totally dominant until King George III, coming to the throne in 1760, allowed Tories back in. The Whig Supremacy (1715–1760) was enabled by the Hanoverian succession of George I in 1714 and the failed Jacobite rising of 1715 by Tory rebels. The Whigs thoroughly purged the Tories from all major positions in government, the army, the Church of England, the legal profession and local offices. The Party's hold on power was so strong and durable, historians call the period from roughly 1714 to 1783 the age of the Whig Oligarchy. The first great leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government through the period 1721–1742 and whose protégé Henry Pelham led from 1743 to 1754.

Contents

Background

Seymour was the only son of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, by his first wife, the heiress Lady Elizabeth Percy, deemed Baroness Percy in her own right, the only surviving child of Joceline Percy, 11th and last Earl of Northumberland. He set out on a Grand Tour at the age of 17, visiting Italy from 1701 to 1703 and Austria in 1705. [1]

Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset English noble (1662–1748)

Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, known by the epithet "The Proud Duke", was a British peer. He rebuilt Petworth House in Sussex, the ancient Percy seat inherited from his wife, in the palatial form which survives today. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, he was a remarkably handsome man, and inordinately fond of taking a conspicuous part in court ceremonial; his vanity, which earned him the sobriquet of "the proud duke", was a byword among his contemporaries and was the subject of numerous anecdotes; Macaulay described him as "a man in whom the pride of birth and rank amounted almost to a disease".

Elizabeth Seymour, Duchess of Somerset English heiress

Elizabeth Seymour, Duchess of Somerset and suo jureBaroness Percy was a great heiress. She was styled Lady Elizabeth Percy between 1667 and 1679, Countess of Ogle between 1679 and 1681, Lady Elizabeth Thynne between 1681 and 1682 and Duchess of Somerset between 1682 and 1722. Elizabeth was the only surviving child and sole heiress of Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland (1644–1670). Lady Elizabeth was one of the closest personal friends of Queen Anne, which led Jonathan Swift to direct at her one of his sharpest satires, The Windsor Prophecy, in which she was named "Carrots."

Grand Tour Journey around Europe for cultural education

The Grand Tour was the 17th- and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip of Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank when they had come of age.

Public life

Arms of Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset: Quarterly, 1st and 4th: Or, on a pile gules between six fleurs-de-lys azure three lions of England (special grant to 1st Duke of Somerset (d. 1552)); 2nd and 3rd: Gules, two wings conjoined in lure or (Seymour) These arms concede the positions of greatest honour, the 1st & 4th quarters, to a special grant of arms to the 1st Duke of Somerset by his nephew King Edward VI, incorporating the fleurs-de-lys (with tinctures reversed) of the Royal arms of France (first quartered by King Edward III) and the lions of the royal arms of Plantagenet Arms of Seymour Family.svg
Arms of Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset: Quarterly, 1st and 4th: Or, on a pile gules between six fleurs-de-lys azure three lions of England (special grant to 1st Duke of Somerset (d. 1552)); 2nd and 3rd: Gules, two wings conjoined in lure or (Seymour) These arms concede the positions of greatest honour, the 1st & 4th quarters, to a special grant of arms to the 1st Duke of Somerset by his nephew King Edward VI, incorporating the fleurs-de-lys (with tinctures reversed) of the Royal arms of France (first quartered by King Edward III) and the lions of the royal arms of Plantagenet

Seymour was still in Austria when he was returned as Member of Parliament for Marlborough on the recommendation of his father at a by-election on 27 November 1705. In 1706 he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex for the rest of his life. He went to Flanders in the summer of 1708 to serve as a volunteer under the Dukeof Marlborough and brought back news of the relief of Brussels in November. At the 1708 British general election, he was returned as a Whig MP for both Marlborough and Northumberland and chose to sit at Northumberland. He became a Colonel of the 15th Foot in 1709, and was returned in the subsequent by-election. He acted as a teller for the Whigs on several occasions and voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710. At the 1710 British general election he was returned again as Whig MP for Northumberland. He was appointed Governor of Tynemouth Castle by Robert Harley in 1711 and was also appointed a justice of the peace for Northumberland. In Parliament he voted for the motion of ‘No Peace without Spain’ on 7 December 1711. He was returned again for Northumberland at the 1713 British general election and spoke strongly in support of Richard Steele, voting against his expulsion. In 1714 he was appointed Groom of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales. [1]

Marlborough was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1295 until 1868, and then one member from 1868 until 1885, when the borough was abolished.

1708 British general election

The 1708 British general election was the first general election to be held after the Acts of Union had united the Parliaments of England and Scotland.

Northumberland, was a County constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two Members of Parliament.

Seymour was returned unopposed as Whig MP for Northumberland at the 1715 British general election and proposed Spencer Compton as Speaker on 17 March 1715. He also became Colonel of the 2nd Life Guards. He moved for the impeachment of Lord Kenmure, a rebel lord, in January 1716 and voted against the Government on Lord Cadogan in June 1717. When there was a break in relations between George I and his son Frederick, Prince of Wales later in 1717 he resigned his post as Groom of the Bedchamber to the Prince. He was returned again unopposed at the 1722 British general election. On 16 October 1722 took the chair at a committee of the whole House on the bill to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act. On his mother’s death on 23 November 1722 he was summoned to the House of Lords as Lord Percy and vacated his seat in the House of Commons. [3]

1715 British general election

The 1715 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 5th Parliament of Great Britain to be held, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. In October 1714, soon after George I had arrived in London after ascending to the throne, he dismissed the Tory cabinet and replaced it with one almost entirely composed of Whigs, as they were responsible for securing his succession. The election of 1715 saw the Whigs win an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons, and afterwards virtually all Tories in central or local government were purged, leading to a period of Whig ascendancy lasting almost fifty years during which Tories were almost entirely excluded from office.

Frederick, Prince of Wales heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death

Frederick, Prince of Wales, KG, was heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death from a lung injury at the age of 44. He was the eldest but estranged son of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach, and the father of King George III.

1722 British general election

The 1722 British general election elected members to serve in the House of Commons of the 6th Parliament of Great Britain. This was the fifth such election since the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707. Thanks to the Septennial Act of 1715, which swept away the maximum three-year life of a parliament created by the Meeting of Parliament Act 1694, it followed some seven years after the previous election, that of 1715.

Percy was Custos Rotulorum of Wiltshire from 1726 to 1750. He became a Brigadier-general in 1727 and in the same year was appointed Governor of Minorca, a post he held until 1742. He was promoted to Major-general in 1735 and to Lieutenant-general in 1739. From 1740 to 1750 he was Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards and then served as Governor of Guernsey from 1742 to 1750. In 1748 he succeeded his father as Duke of Somerset. [3]

This is a list of people who have served as Custos Rotulorum of Wiltshire.

Royal Horse Guards cavalry regiment of the British Army

The Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (RHG) was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, part of the Household Cavalry.

Duke of Somerset

Duke of Somerset, from the county of Somerset, is a title that has been created five times in the peerage of England. It is particularly associated with two families: the Beauforts, who held the title from the creation of 1448, and the Seymours, from the creation of 1547, in whose name the title is still held. The present dukedom is unique, in that the first holder of the title created it for himself in his capacity of Lord Protector of the Kingdom of England, using a power granted in the will of his nephew King Edward VI.

Land ownership and titles

The Duke's only son Lord Beauchamp died unmarried in 1744, aged 19 (see below). In 1748 Somerset was created Baron Warkworth, of Warkworth Castle in the County of Northumberland, and Earl of Northumberland, with remainder to his son-in-law, Sir Hugh Smithson, 4th Baronet, [4] with the intention that the majority of the Percy estates should descend in this line. He was at the same time created Baron of Cockermouth, in the County of Cumberland, and Earl of Egremont, with remainder to his nephews, Sir Charles Wyndham, 4th Baronet, of Orchard Wyndham, and Percy Wyndham-O'Brien, [4] a revival of the Egremont title held by an earlier member of the Percy family, Thomas Percy, 1st Baron Egremont.

Warkworth Castle Ruined medieval castle in Warkworth, Northumberland, England

Warkworth Castle is a ruined medieval building in the village of the same name in the English county of Northumberland. The village and castle occupy a loop of the River Coquet, less than a mile from England's north-east coast. When the castle was founded is uncertain: traditionally its construction has been ascribed to Prince Henry of Scotland, Earl of Northumbria, in the mid-12th century, but it may have been built by King Henry II of England when he took control of England's northern counties. Warkworth Castle was first documented in a charter of 1157–1164 when Henry II granted it to Roger fitz Richard. The timber castle was considered "feeble", and was left undefended when the Scots invaded in 1173.

Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland English peer, landowner, and art patron

Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland,, was an English peer, landowner, and art patron.

Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont British politician and earl

Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, PC, of Orchard Wyndham in Somerset, Petworth House in Sussex, and of Egremont House in Mayfair, London, was a British statesman who served as Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1761-63.

Family

In March 1715, Somerset married Frances Thynne, daughter of Henry Thynne (1675–1708) and granddaughter of Thomas Thynne, 1st Viscount Weymouth. This Thomas Thynne was the first cousin of "Tom of ten thousand", who had been the second husband of Algernon's own mother, Elizabeth. Somerset and Frances had two children:

Somerset died in 1750 and was buried in the Northumberland Vault, within Westminster Abbey. [5] He was one of the richest landowners in England, but as he died with no surviving son his estates were split after his death. The ducal title passed to a distant cousin, Edward Seymour, 8th Duke of Somerset. The earldom of Northumberland and most of the traditional Percy estates passed to his daughter and her husband (see Alnwick Castle, Northumberland House and Syon House). Petworth in Sussex passed to the duke's nephew Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont. Later dukes of Somerset lived at Maiden Bradley, a far more modest estate than those already mentioned, and for a short while at Stover House, Teigngrace, Devon and at Berry Pomeroy, Devon.

Ancestry

Related Research Articles

Duke of Northumberland Noble title in the Peerage of England and in the Peerage of Great Britain

Duke of Northumberland is a noble title that has been created three times in English and British history, twice in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of Great Britain. The current holder of this title is Ralph Percy, 12th Duke of Northumberland.

Baron Percy

The title Baron Percy has been created several times in the Peerage of England. The first, soon after 1066, a feudal barony rather than a barony by writ, which continued in parallel with the later baronies by writ, until the abolition of feudal tenure by the Tenures Abolition Act 1660. The second, created by writ in 1299, became extinct in 1517. The third, created by writ in 1557, became extinct in 1670. The present creation was in 1722, by writ of summons.

Baron Leconfield

Baron Leconfield, of Leconfield in the East Riding of the County of York, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1859 for Col. George Wyndham (1787–1869). He was the eldest illegitimate son and adopted heir of George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751–1837), from whom he inherited Petworth House in Sussex, Egremont Castle and Cockermouth Castle in Cumbria and Leconfield Castle in Yorkshire, all formerly lands of Josceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland (1644–1670), inherited by Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset (1662–1748) on his marriage to the Percy heiress Elizabeth Percy (1667–1722) and inherited as one of the co-heirs of his son Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Egremont (1684–1750) by the latter's nephew Sir Charles Wyndham, 4th Baronet (1710–1763) of Orchard Wyndham in Somerset, who inherited by special remainder the Earldom of Egremont. The 1st Baron's eldest son, the second Baron, represented West Sussex in the House of Commons as a Conservative. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the third Baron, who served as Lord Lieutenant of Sussex from 1917 to 1949. The latter's nephew, the sixth Baron, served as Private Secretary to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan from 1957 to 1963. In 1963, four years before he succeeded his father in the barony of Leconfield, the Egremont title held by his ancestors was revived when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Egremont, of Petworth in the County of Sussex. As of 2017 the titles are held by his son, the seventh Baron. Known as Max Egremont, he is a biographer and novelist.

House of Percy Powerful noble family in northern England for much of the Middle Ages

The House of Percy is an English noble family. They were one of the most powerful noble families in Northern England for much of the Middle Ages, known for their long rivalry with another powerful northern English family, the House of Neville.

This is a list of people who served as Lord Lieutenant of Sussex. From 1677 until 1974, all Lord Lieutenants were also Custos Rotulorum of Sussex.

Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Baronet politician, died 1740

Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Baronet, of Orchard Wyndham in Somerset, was an English Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1710 to 1740. He served as Secretary at War in 1712 and Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1713 during the reign of the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne (1702–1714). He was a Jacobite leader firmly opposed to the Hanoverian succession and was leader of the Tory opposition in the House of Commons during the reign of King George I (1714–1727) and during the early years of King George II (1727–1760).

Earl of Egremont

Earl of Egremont was a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1749, along with the subsidiary title Baron of Cockermouth, in the County of Cumberland, for Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset, with remainder to his nephews Sir Charles Wyndham, 4th Baronet, of Orchard Wyndham, and Percy Wyndham-O'Brien. The Duke had previously inherited the Percy estates, including the lands of Egremont in Cumberland, from his mother Lady Elizabeth Percy, daughter and heiress of Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland. In 1750 Sir Charles Wyndham succeeded according to the special remainder as second Earl of Egremont on the death of his uncle. His younger brother Percy Wyndham-O'Brien was created Earl of Thomond in 1756.

Algernon Percy, 1st Earl of Beverley FSA, styled Lord Algernon Percy between 1766 and 1786 and known as The Lord Lovaine between 1786 and 1790, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1774 to 1786 when he succeeded to the Peerage.

Elizabeth Percy, Duchess of Northumberland British duchess; Lady of the Bedchamber

Elizabeth Percy, Duchess of Northumberland, also suo jure2nd Baroness Percy, was a British peer.

Josceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland English noble

JoscelinePercy, 11th Earl of Northumberland, 5th Baron Percy, of Alnwick Castle, Northumberland and Petworth House, Sussex, was an English peer.

Percy Wyndham-OBrien, 1st Earl of Thomond Irish earl

Percy Wyndham-O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond was a British Member of Parliament and an Irish peer.

Henry Thynne (1675–1708) British politician

Henry Thynne was an English Tory politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons from 1701 to 1708.

Frances Seymour, Countess of Hertford, later the Duchess of Somerset, was a British courtier and the wife of Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford, who became the 7th Duke of Somerset in 1748. She was also known as a poet, literary patron and woman of letters. Her great-aunt by marriage, Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, influenced her literary development. She was also influenced by the poet Elizabeth Singer, with whom she became acquainted in her youth at Longleat, where she grew up.

Mary Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, formerly Mary Webb, was the wife of Edward Seymour, 8th Duke of Somerset, and the mother of both the 9th and 10th dukes.

References

  1. 1 2 "SEYMOUR, Algernon, Earl of Hertford (1684-1750), of Petworth, Suss". History of Parliament Online (1690-1715). Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  2. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p. 1036
  3. 1 2 "SEYMOUR, Algernon, Earl of Hertford (1684-1750)". History of Parliament Online (1715-1754). Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  4. 1 2 "No. 8887". The London Gazette . 23–26 September 1749. pp. 2–3.
  5. "Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland - Westminster Abbey". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Edward Ashe
John Jeffreys
Member of Parliament for Marlborough
1705–1707
With: John Jeffreys
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Parliament of England
Member of Parliament for Marlborough
1707–1708
With: John Jeffreys 1707–1708
Hon. James Bruce 1708
Succeeded by
Hon. James Bruce
Sir Edward Ernle
Preceded by
Thomas Forster
Sir John Delaval, Bt
Member of Parliament for Northumberland
17081722
With: Thomas Forster 1708–1716
Francis Delaval 1716–1722
Succeeded by
Francis Delaval
Sir William Middleton
Military offices
Preceded by
Emanuel Scrope Howe
Colonel of the Earl of Hertford's Regiment of Foot
1709–1715
Succeeded by
Henry Harrison
Preceded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Captain and Colonel of
The Queen's Troop of Horse Guards

1715–1740
Succeeded by
The Duke of Marlborough
Preceded by
Richard Kane
Governor of Minorca
1737–1742
Succeeded by
The Earl of Stair
Preceded by
The Duke of Argyll
Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards
1740–1742
Succeeded by
The Duke of Argyll
Preceded by
The Earl of Pomfret
Governor of Guernsey
1742–1750
Succeeded by
Sir John Ligonier
Preceded by
The Duke of Argyll
Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards
1742–1750
Succeeded by
The Duke of Richmond
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Dorset
Lord Lieutenant of Sussex
1706–1750
Vacant
Title next held by
The Earl of Ashburnham
Preceded by
The Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull
Custos Rotulorum of Wiltshire
1726–1750
Succeeded by
Robert Sawyer Herbert
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Charles Seymour
Duke of Somerset
1748–1750
Succeeded by
Edward Seymour
Earl of Hertford
1748–1750
Extinct
Baron Beauchamp
1748–1750
Baron Seymour of Trowbridge
1748–1750
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Earl of Northumberland
1749–1750
Succeeded by
Hugh Percy
Earl of Egremont
1749–1750
Succeeded by
Charles Wyndham
Baron Percy
1722–1750
Succeeded by
Elizabeth Smithson