The Duke of Somerset
Portrait c. 1690–1692 by John Closterman (1660–1711), Collection of National Trust, Petworth House
|Lord President of the Council|
29 January –13 July 1702
|Monarch|| William III |
|Preceded by||Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke|
|Born||13 August 1662|
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
|Died||2 December 1748 86) (aged|
Petworth, United Kingdom
|Resting place||the Seymour Chapel of Salisbury Cathedral|
|Spouse(s)|| Lady Elizabeth Percy |
Lady Charlotte Finch
|Children||9, including Algernon|
|Parents|| Charles Seymour, 2nd Baron Seymour of Trowbridge (father) |
Elizabeth Alington (mother)
Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset (13 August 1662 –2 December 1748), 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".
An epithet is a byname, or a descriptive term, accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It can also be a descriptive title: for example, Pallas Athena, Alfred the Great, Suleiman the Magnificent or Władysław I the Elbow-high.
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.
The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (1910–11), is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication. Some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopaedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, and many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia. However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic. Some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Charles was the second son of Charles Seymour, 2nd Baron Seymour of Trowbridge (died 1665), of Marlborough Castle in Wiltshire, by his wife Elizabeth Alington (1635–1692). The 2nd baron was (in a junior line) a great-great-grandson of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (executed 1552), brother of Queen Jane Seymour, uncle of King Edward VI and Lord Protector of England.
Charles Seymour, 2nd Baron Seymour of Trowbridge was the son of Francis Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Trowbridge, whom he succeeded in the barony in 1664. Francis had been a younger brother of William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset.
Marlborough Castle, locally known and recorded in historical documents as The Mound, was an 11th-century royal castle located in the civil parish of Marlborough, a market town in the English county of Wiltshire, on the Old Bath Road, the old main road from London to Bath. The barrow on which the fortification was built, perhaps the "barrow of Maerla", seems to be a prehistoric earthwork which formed the motte of the Norman Marlborough Castle. It survives as a tree-covered mound at the centre of Marlborough College.
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, was Lord Protector of England during part of the Tudor period from 1547 until 1549 during the minority of his nephew, King Edward VI (1547–1553). Despite his popularity with the common people, his policies often angered the gentry and he was overthrown. He was the eldest brother of Queen Jane Seymour (d. 1537), the third wife of King Henry VIII.
Charles was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge,where his portrait by Nathaniel Dance-Holland survives in the College's collection.
Harrow School is public school for boys in Harrow, London, England. The School was founded in 1572 by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I, and is one of the original seven public schools that were regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868. Harrow charges up to £12,850 per term, with three terms per academic year (2017/18). Harrow is the fourth most expensive boarding school in the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.
Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, 1st Baronet was a notable English portrait painter and later a politician.
In 1675, Charles's elder brother Francis Seymour, 5th Duke of Somerset, aged 16, inherited the Dukedom of Somerset from their father's childless first cousin, John Seymour, 4th Duke of Somerset (1629–1675). However, the 5th Duke did not inherit the unentailed Seymour estates, including the family seat of Wulfhall and other Wiltshire estates, and much of the lands of the feudal barony of Hatch Beauchamp in Somerset, which were bequeathed to the 4th duke's niece, Elizabeth Seymour, wife of Thomas Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury (1656–1741). In 1660, following the Restoration of the Monarchy, the 4th duke's own father, a Royalist commander in the Civil War, had been restored to the dukedom created for and forfeited by his own great-grandfather, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (executed 1552).
Francis Seymour, 5th Duke of Somerset, known as 3rd Baron Seymour of Trowbridge between 1665 and 1675, was an English peer.
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.
John Seymour, 4th Duke of Somerset and 3rd Marquess of Hertford was an English peer and MP.
Three years later, in 1678, Charles's brother, the 5th duke, was murdered in Italy, aged 20, unmarried and without progeny, having been shot at the door of his inn at Lerice. The 16-year-old Charles Seymour became the 6th duke and the 4th Baron Seymour of Trowbridge.
Baron Seymour of Trowbridge was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created on 19 February 1641 for Francis Seymour, a younger son of Edward Seymour, Lord Beauchamp, for his support of Charles I in Parliament. It became a subsidiary title of the Duke of Somerset in 1675, and became extinct on the death of Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset in 1750. The dukedom reverted to the elder line, the 6th baronet of Berry Pomeroy becoming 8th duke of Somerset.
In 1682, at the age of 20 he married a great heiress, the 15-year-old Lady Elizabeth Percy (1667–1722), daughter and sole heiress of Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland (1644–1670), who brought him immense estates, including Alnwick Castle, Northumberland; Petworth House, Sussex; Leconfield Castle, Yorkshire; Cockermouth Castle, Cumberland; Egremont Castle, Cumberland; Syon House, Middlesex, and Northumberland House in London.It had been agreed in the marriage settlement, although both parties to the marriage were minors, and thus legally incapable of being bound by a contract, that:
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."
Alnwick Castle is a castle and country house in Alnwick in the English county of Northumberland. It is the seat of The 12th Duke of Northumberland, built following the Norman conquest and renovated and remodelled a number of times. It is a Grade I listed building and as of 2012 received over 800,000 visitors per year when combined with adjacent attraction The Alnwick Garden.
Leconfield is a village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, about 3 miles (5 km) north-west of Beverley town centre. It lies on the A164 road. The civil parish consists of the villages of Leconfield and Arram and the hamlet of Scorborough. According to the 2011 UK census, Leconfield parish had a population of 2,127, an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 1,990.
However, on attaining her majority of 21 the duchess under her hand and seal dated 30 January 1687 consented to waive and dispense with the agreement.The intention stated in the marriage contract was however fulfilled in 1749 by their granddaughter Lady Elizabeth Seymour and her husband the former Sir Hugh Smithson, 4th Baronet (who by special remainder had inherited in 1749 his father-in-law's title Earl of Northumberland) when in 1749 they obtained a private Act of Parliament entitled:
The reason for the name-change was stated in the preamble to the Act as follows:
Between 1688 and 1696 the Duke rebuilt Petworth House on a palatial scale. A painting made in about 1700 of his new house was identified by the art historian Sir Anthony Blunt in the collection of the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle.It shows evidence of a French chateau style, with original central dome, now lost. A similar image is included in Laguerre's wall-painting on the Grand Staircase at Petworth. Horace Walpole called it "in the style of the Tuileries". The parapets of the walls are surmounted by urns. On the three sections of the parapet in front of the central dome and the domed roofs of the two projecting wings are placed gesticulating statues. Today the roofline is lower and flat, giving the building a plain appearance, possibly following the fire of 1714 and subsequent repairs. The statues and urns are now lost and the entrance front has been moved to the rear. One of the few elements of the old mansion he retained is the mediaeval chapel, which retains the large early 17th century Percy Window, depicting the coats of arms of several Percy Earls of Northumberland.
In 1683, Somerset received an appointment in the royal household of the King Charles II and in August 1685 he was appointed Colonel of the Queen Consort's Light Dragoons when James II expanded his army after the Monmouth rebellion.However, he fell from favour in 1687 when as Lord of the Bedchamber he refused to escort the newly appointed Papal Nuncio and was deprived of his various offices.
At the Glorious Revolution of 1689, he supported Prince of Orange, who became King William III. Having befriended Princess Anne in 1692, he became a favourite of hers after her accession to the throne as Queen Anne (1702–1714), and was appointed by her in 1702 Master of the Horse, a post he held until 1712. Finding himself neglected by Marlborough, he made friends with the Tories, and succeeded in retaining the Queen's confidence, while his wife replaced the Duchess of Marlborough as Mistress of the Robes in 1711.The Duchess of Somerset became the Queen's closest confidante, causing Jonathan Swift to direct at her a violent satire, The Windsor Prophecy, in which he accused her of murdering her previous husband, Thomas Thynne (died 1682) of Longleat. The Duchess retained her influence even after the Queen, following a quarrel, dismissed the Duke as Master of the Horse in 1712.
In the memorable crisis when Anne was at the point of death, Somerset acted with John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury and other Whig nobles who, by insisting on their right to be present in the Privy Council, secured the Hanoverian succession to the Crown.
He retained the office of Master of the Horse for the first year of the reign of King George I (1714–1727) until 1715,when he was dismissed and retired to private life.
In 1739, the Duke became a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital in London, the country's first and only children's home for foundlings, after his second wife, Charlotte Finch (1711–1773), became the first to sign the petition to King George II of its founder Captain Thomas Coram.
He died at Petworth on 2 December 1748.
He married twice:
Firstly in 1682, at the age of 20, as described above, he married the 15-year-old heiress Lady Elizabeth Percy (1667–1722), already twice widowed. Following her death in 1722 the Duke developed a romantic attachment to the widowed Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (1660–1744) (née Sarah Jennings) whose husband the 1st Duke of Marlborough had died the same year. He sent her "feverish love letters",but she remained loyal to her late husband. His last known letter to her dated 1737, 12 years after his second marriage, declared his unchanged affections for her. The correspondence is preserved in the British Library. By Elizabeth Percy he had one surviving son and three daughters:
Secondly on 4 February 1725, at the age of 63 he married the 14-year-old Lady Charlotte Finch (1711–1773),a daughter of Daniel Finch, 7th Earl of Winchilsea, later 2nd Earl of Nottingham. He treated her poorly and once told her, after she had gently tapped him on the shoulder with her fan: "Madam, my first wife was a Percy and she never took such a liberty". By Charlotte Finch he had two further children:
He died at Petworth on 2 December 1748 and was buried in the Seymour Chapel of Salisbury Cathedralin Wiltshire, where survives the elaborate monument to his ancestor Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford (1539–1621), son of the 1st Duke of Somerset.
Shortly before his death he foresaw that his own line of the Seymour family was about to die out in the male line and that as was said of the 9th Duke of Norfolk (died 1777) "the honours of his family were about to pass away from his own line to settle on that of a distant relative".His son and heir apparent Algernon Seymour, Earl of Hertford (1684–1749) had produced a son of his own, Lord Beauchamp (died 1744), who had predeceased him without progeny, and thus he had only a daughter and sole heiress Lady Elizabeth Seymour, who in 1740 had married Sir Hugh Smithson, 4th Baronet. Before the death of the 6th duke in 1748, it had thus become apparent that the dukedom of Somerset would devolve by law onto an extremely distant cousin and heir male, the 6th duke's 6th cousin Sir Edward Seymour, 6th Baronet (1695–1757) of Berry Pomeroy in Devon and of Maiden Bradley in Wiltshire, who in fact represented the senior line of the Seymour family, descended from the first marriage of the 1st Duke, but who had been excluded from the direct succession to the dukedom and placed in remainder only, due to the suspected adultery of the 1st duke's first wife. Moreover, it was apparent that all the combined estates of the Seymours of Trowbridge and the incomparably greater inherited Percy estates were unentailed and would not devolve the same way, but could be bequeathed as the 6th duke pleased. He "conceived a violent dislike for Smithson", whom he considered insufficiently aristocratic to inherit the ancient estates of the Percy family; his son disagreed, and wanted to include his son-in-law Smithson in the inheritance. The 6th Duke had included King George II in his plan to exclude Smithson from the inheritance, yet the King had received proposals in opposition from his son and Smithson himself. The 6th Duke died before his plan was put into effect, yet nevertheless the 7th Duke and King George II created an arrangement which did not entirely dismiss his wishes: the Percy estates would be split between Smithson and the 6th duke's favoured eldest grandson, Sir Charles Wyndham, 4th Baronet (1710–1763). Smithson would receive Alnwick Castle and Syon House, while Wyndham would receive Egremont Castle and the 6th Duke's beloved Petworth. It was deemed appropriate and necessary by all parties concerned, including the King, that heirs to such families and estates as the Percys and Seymours should be elevated to the peerage. This was done in the following manner: Following the 6th duke's death in 1748, in 1749 King George II created four new titles for the 7th duke, each with special remainders in anticipation that he would die without having produced a male heir, which death in fact occurred the next year in 1750. He was created Baron Warkworth of Warkworth Castle and Earl of Northumberland, both with special remainder to Smithson; and was created at the same time Baron Cockermouth and Earl of Egremont, with special remainder to Wyndham. (It has always been customary on the creation of a greater peerage title to create at the same time a barony, to be used as a courtesy title for the eldest son).
|Ancestors of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset|
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.
The title of Earl of Northumberland has been created several times in the Peerage of England and of Great Britain, succeeding the title Earl of Northumbria. Its most famous holders are the House of Percy, who were the most powerful noble family in Northern England for much of the Middle Ages. The heirs of the Percys, via a female line, were ultimately made Duke of Northumberland in 1766, and contunue to use the earldom as a subsidiary title.
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.
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.
Edward Seymour, 8th Duke of Somerset was an English peer and landowner.
General Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset, 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.
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).
Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland,, was an English peer, landowner, and art patron.
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, also suo jure2nd Baroness Percy, was a British peer.
JoscelinePercy, 11th Earl of Northumberland, 5th Baron Percy, of Alnwick Castle, Northumberland and Petworth House, Sussex, was an English peer.
Percy Wyndham-O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond was a British Member of Parliament and an Irish peer.
George Francis Wyndham, 4th Earl of Egremont of Orchard Wyndham, Somerset and Silverton Park, Devon, was an English nobleman and naval officer.
Elizabeth Percy, Countess of Northumberland, was a British courtier. She was one of the Windsor Beauties, painted by Sir Peter Lely.
Elizabeth Ilive was an English polymath. She was the mistress and later wife of George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont. She was the mother of eight of his children.
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.
The Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery
| Lord President of the Council |
The Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery
| Master of the Horse |
| Master of the Horse |
The Earl of Mulgrave
| Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the East Riding of Yorkshire |
The Earl of Mulgrave
The Earl of Winchilsea
| Lord Lieutenant of Somerset |
The Lord Waldegrave
The Earl of Carlisle
| Senior Privy Counsellor |
The Earl of Dartmouth
|Peerage of England|
| Duke of Somerset |