Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond

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Field Marshal His Grace
The Duke of Richmond
KG PC FRS
3rd Duke of Richmond.jpg
Portrait by George Romney, circa 1777
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
In office
23 May 1766 – 29 July 1766
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Marquess of Rockingham
Preceded by Henry Conway
Succeeded by The Earl of Shelburne
Personal details
Born (1735-02-22)22 February 1735
Died 29 December 1806(1806-12-29) (aged 71)
Spouse(s) Mary Bruce
Military service
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1751–1806
Rank Field Marshal
Commands 72nd Regiment of Foot, Colonel
Royal Horse Guards, Colonel
Battles/wars Seven Years' War
Awards Knight of the Garter
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 1758, by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Field Marshal Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 3rd Duke of Lennox, 3rd Duke of Aubigny, KG, PC, FRS (22 February 1735 – 29 December 1806), styled Earl of March until 1750, was a British politician and office holder noteworthy for his advanced views on the issue of parliamentary reform. He associated with the Rockingham Whigs and rose to hold the post of Southern Secretary.

Career[edit]

Lennox was styled Earl of March, his father's principal subsidiary title, from birth. He received his early education at Westminster School and succeeded his father as Duke of Richmond and Lennox in 1750.[1] He had many sisters, including the Ladies Caroline Lennox, Emily Lennox, Louisa Lennox and Sarah Lennox. He was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society on 11 December 1755.[2]

Richmond was commissioned in the 2nd Foot Guards in 1751.[1]

From 1756 to 1758 Richmond was the lieutenant-colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot.[1] In 1757 a second battalion (2nd/33rd) had been raised and in 1758 this battalion became an independent regiment, the 72nd Regiment of Foot; Richmond was appointed Colonel of the new regiment[1] and his younger brother George Lennox took command of the 33rd Regiment (1st/33rd).

He took part in the Raid on Cherbourg in 1758 and the Battle of Minden in 1759.[1] The 72nd Regiment was disbanded in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years' War.[3]

The Duke of Richmond was appointed British ambassador extraordinary in Paris in 1765,[1] and in the following year he briefly served as Southern Secretary in the Rockingham Whig administration,[1] resigning office on the accession to power of Pitt the Elder.

Mary, Duchess of Richmond, by William Wynne Ryland after Angelica Kauffman

In the debates on the policy that led to the War of American Independence Richmond was a firm supporter of the colonists,[1] and he initiated the debate in 1778 calling for the removal of British troops from America, during which Chatham was seized by his fatal illness.[1] He also advocated a policy of concession in Ireland, with reference to which he originated the phrase "a union of hearts" which long afterwards became famous when his use of it had been forgotten. In 1779 the duke brought forward a motion for retrenchment of the civil list, and in 1780 he embodied in a bill his proposals for parliamentary reform, which included manhood suffrage, annual parliaments and equal electoral areas.[1]

Richmond sat in Rockingham's second cabinet as Master-General of the Ordnance,[1] and in 1784 he joined the ministry of William Pitt. He now developed strongly Tory opinions, and his alleged desertion of the cause of reform led to his being violently attacked by Lauderdale in 1792, which nearly led to a duel between the two noblemen. Richmond died in December 1806, and, leaving no legitimate children, he was succeeded in the peerage by his nephew Charles, son of his brother, General Lord George Henry Lennox. The adjoining towns of Richmond and Lenox in Massachusetts were named in his honor. Richmond County, Georgia, one of Georgia's original counties, was named for him.

He became a Privy Counsellor in 1765.

In retirement he built the famous racecourse at the family seat of Goodwood.[1] He was also a patron of artists such as George Stubbs, Pompeo Batoni, Anton Raphael Mengs, Joshua Reynolds, George Romney and George Smith of Chichester.[4]

Ancestry[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ "Lists of Royal Society Fellows". Retrieved 15 December 2006. 
  3. ^ History of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, (page 41), Brereton / Savoury, ISBN 0-9521552-0-6
  4. ^ Goodwood House painting collection.
Military offices
New regiment Colonel of the 72nd Regiment of Foot
1758–1763
Regiment disbanded
Preceded by
The Viscount Townshend
Master-General of the Ordnance
1782–1783
Succeeded by
The Viscount Townshend
Preceded by
The Viscount Townshend
Master-General of the Ordnance
1784–1795
Succeeded by
The Marquess Cornwallis
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Seymour Conway
Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards
1795–1806
Succeeded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
The Earl of Hertford
British Ambassador to France
1765–1766
Succeeded by
The Earl of Rochford
Political offices
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Seymour Conway
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
1766
Succeeded by
The Earl of Shelburne
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Egremont
Lord Lieutenant of Sussex
1763–1806
Succeeded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Richmond
3rd creation
1750–1806
Succeeded by
Charles Lennox
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Lennox
2nd creation
1750–1806
Succeeded by
Charles Lennox
French nobility
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Aubigny
1777–1806
Succeeded by
Charles Lennox