Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort

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His Grace
The Duke of Beaufort
KG
Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort by Henry Alken detail.jpg
The Duke of Beaufort by Henry Alken.
Personal details
Born 5 February 1792 (1792-02-05)
Died 17 November 1853 (1853-11-18)
Badminton House, Gloucestershire
Nationality British
Political party Tory
Spouse(s) (1) Georgiana FitzRoy
(1792–1821)
(2) Emily Smith
(1800–1889)

Major Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort KG (5 February 1792 – 17 November 1853), styled Earl of Glamorgan until 1803 and Marquess of Worcester between 1803 and 1835,[1] was a British peer, soldier and politician.

Background[edit]

Beaufort was the eldest son of Henry Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort, and Lady Charlotte Sophia, daughter of Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford. Lord Granville Somerset was his younger brother.

Military and political career[edit]

Beaufort was commissioned a cornet in the 10th Hussars on 18 June 1811. He was promoted to lieutenant in the 14th Light Dragoons on 21 August, but transferred back to the 10th Hussars on 6 September. Worcester also served as an aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington in Portugal and Spain between 1812 and 1814.[1]

In 1813, Beaufort was returned as Member of Parliament for the Monmouth Boroughs, as a Tory, and continued to hold the seat until 1831. On 26 October 1815, he transferred to the 7th Hussars. In the following year, he was appointed a Lord of the Admiralty under Lord Liverpool, serving on the Board until 1819. On 2 December 1819, he was made a captain in the 37th Foot, and on 30 December, was promoted to the rank of major.[1]

In the contentious election of 1831, Beaufort was defeated by Benjamin Hall at Monmouth Boroughs. While Hall's victory was overturned on petition and Beaufort regained the seat, he again lost to Hall in the 1832 election. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel commandant of the Gloucestershire Yeomanry in 1834.[1] In 1835, he successfully contested West Gloucestershire, but left the House when he succeeded as Duke of Beaufort that November. In 1836, he became High Steward of Bristol and was appointed a Knight of the Garter on 11 April 1842.[1]

Family[edit]

Beaufort married Georgiana Frederica Fitzroy (1792–1821), daughter of the Hon. Henry FitzRoy and Lady Anne Wellesley, on 25 July 1814. They had two daughters:

  • Lady Charlotte Augusta Frederica Somerset (1816–1850), married, on 5 December 1844, Baron Philipp von Neumann (4 December 1781 – 14 January 1851), an Austrian diplomat, by whom she had issue.
  • Lady Georgiana Charlotte Anne Somerset (1817–1884), married, in 1836, Christopher Bethell-Codrington, MP (1805–1864) and had issue.

After the death of his wife in 1821, he married her younger half-sister, Emily Frances Smith, daughter of Charles Culling Smith, on 29 June 1822; they were both daughters of Lady Anne Smith, the Duke of Wellington's sister. (This marriage, in contravention of the canon laws of the Church of England, rendered his marriage potentially annullable for many years: for this reason Wellington himself strongly opposed it.) They had seven children, one son and six daughters:

Beaufort died in 1853, aged 61 at Badminton House, Gloucestershire, and was buried at St Michael and All Angels Church, Badminton. He is best known today for his two marriages, and his involvement, as a very young man, with the courtesan Harriette Wilson, to whom he apparently proposed marriage.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Doyle, James E. (1886). The Official Baronage of England. Vol. I. Longmans, Green and Co. p. 136. Retrieved 7 March 2009. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lord Charles Somerset
Member of Parliament for Monmouth Boroughs
1813–1831
Succeeded by
Benjamin Hall
Preceded by
Benjamin Hall
Member of Parliament for Monmouth Boroughs
1831–1832
Succeeded by
Benjamin Hall
Preceded by
Hon. Grantley Berkeley
Hon. Augustus Moreton
Member for Gloucestershire West
with Hon. Grantley Berkeley 1832–1852

1835
Succeeded by
Hon. Grantley Berkeley
Robert Blagden Hale
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henry Somerset
Duke of Beaufort
1835–1853
Succeeded by
Henry Somerset