James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick

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James FitzJames
Duke of Berwick
James FitzStuart, Duke of Berwick.png
Spouse(s) Honora de Burgh
Anne Bulkeley
James Fitz-James Stuart, 2nd Duke of Berwick
Henry James Fitzjames, 2nd Duke of Fitzjames
Henriette de Fitzjames
François Fitz-James, 3rd Duke of Fitzjames
Henry Fitzjames
Charles de Fitzjames, 4th Duke of Fitzjames
Laure Anne de Fitzjames
Marie Emilie de Fitzjames
Edouard de Fitzjames
Anne Sophie de Fitzjames
Anne de Fitzjames
Noble family House of FitzJames
Father James II of England
Mother Arabella Churchill
Born 21 August 1670
Moulins, Kingdom of France
Died 12 June 1734
James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick
Born 21 August 1670
Died 12 June 1734
Allegiance Kingdom of England Stuart-ruled England
Kingdom of France Royaume de France
Rank Marshal of France

James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick, 1st Duke of Fitz-James, 1st Duke of Liria and Jérica (21 August 1670 – 12 June 1734) was an Anglo-French military leader, illegitimate son of King James II of England by Arabella Churchill, sister of the 1st Duke of Marlborough.


FitzJames was born at Moulins in France before his father's accession to the throne, and was brought up a Roman Catholic and educated in the College of Juilly, the Collège du Plessis, and the Jesuit College of La Flèche. He went into the service of Charles, Duke of Lorraine and was present at the siege of Buda. FitzJames was created Duke of Berwick, Earl of Tinmouth and Baron Bosworth by his father in 1687.[1] He then returned to Hungary and participated at the Battle of Mohács.

Berwick returned to England and was made Governor of Portsmouth. King James made him a Knight of the Garter, but due to the invasion of the Prince of Orange and the subsequent Glorious Revolution, the installation never took place. In the following year, James was overthrown and Berwick went into exile with him, taking an active part in the Irish campaign, including the Battle of the Boyne. After his father's final exile, Berwick served in the French army. He fought at the battles of Steenkerque and Landen. At the latter, Berwick was taken prisoner, but was exchanged for the Duke of Ormonde. Because of his support for his father and service in the French army against England, he was attainted in 1695, and his British peerages forfeit.

Louis XIV of France creates James, Duke of Fitz-James in the Peerage of France, after the Battle of Almanza.

As a soldier, Berwick was highly esteemed for his courage, abilities and integrity. As a result of distinguished service in the War of the Spanish Succession, he became a French subject and was appointed a Marshal of France after his successful expedition against Nice in 1706. On 25 April 1707, Berwick won the great and decisive victory of Almanza, where an Englishman at the head of a Franco-Spanish army defeated Ruvigny, a Frenchman at the head of an Anglo-Portuguese-Dutch army. After Almanza, Berwick was created Duque de Liria y Xérica (English: Duke of Liria and Jérica) and Lieutenant of Aragon by Philip V of Spain in 1707, and Duc de Fitz-James (English: Duke of Fitz-James) in the Peerage of France by Louis XIV in 1710. The last great event of the War of the Spanish Succession was the storming of Barcelona by Berwick, after a long siege, on 11 September 1714. In that year, he was appointed a Knight of the Golden Fleece.

Soon afterwards, Berwick was appointed military governor of the province of Guienne, where he became friendly with Montesquieu. In 1718 he led an army to Spain, against Philip V, in the War of the Quadruple Alliance. Many years of peace followed this campaign, and Berwick was not again called to serve in the field until 1733. In that year he was chosen to lead the Army of the Rhine in the War of the Polish Succession, successfully besieging Kehl in 1733. A year later he was decapitated by a cannonball at the Siege of Philippsburg, on 12 June 1734.

Marriages and children[edit]

Main article: House of FitzJames
James FitzJames, Duke of Berwick

Berwick had children by both his marriages. His descendants were the French Ducs de Fitz-James and the Spanish Duques de Liria and later the Dukes of Alba.

In Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines) on 26 March 1695 he married firstly with Honora, Countess of Lucan (formerly known as Lady Honora Burke or Lady Honora de Burgh; b. Portumna Castle, Co. Galway, 1674 - d. Pézenas, 16 January 1698), the daughter of The 9th Earl of Clanricarde, an Anglo-Irish peer. She was the widow of Patrick Sarsfield, 1st Earl of Lucan, the famous Irish military commander and patriot, who had died at Huy in 1693. They had one son:

  1. James Francis Fitz-James Stuart, or Jacobo Francisco Fitz-James Stuart, 2nd Duke of Berwick, 2nd Duque de Liria, 2nd Duque de Xérica (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, 21 October 1696 – Naples, Italy, 2 June 1738). He married Catalina Ventura Colón de Portugal, Duquesa de Veragua and Duquesa de la Vega, a descendant of Christopher Columbus.

In Paris on 18 April 1700, Berwick married secondly with Anne Bulkeley (d. 12 June 1751), daughter of Henry Bulkeley, Master of the Household fo both Kings Charles II and James II. They had ten children:

  1. Henry James Fitzjames (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, 15 November 1702 - Paris, 13 October 1721), named in France as Jacques de Fitjames, 1st Duke of Fitzjames. He married Victoire-Félicité de Durfort, without issue.
  2. Henriette Fitzjames (16 September 1705 - Chatou, 3 September 1739), Lady-in-waiting of Queen Marie Leszczyńska during 1728-1737. Married to Jean Baptiste Louis, comte de Clermont d'Amboise; they had five children.
  3. François Fitz-James (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, 9 June 1709 - 19 July 1764), 3rd Duke of Fitzjames, Bishop of Soissons.
  4. Laure Anne Fitzjames (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, 7 August 1710 - 5 December 1766), Lady-in-waiting of Queen Marie Leszczyńska during 1737-1763. Married to Joachim Louis de Montagu, marquis de Bouzols; they had three children.
  5. Henry Fitzjames (8 September 1711 - 1731), a monk in 1729, later governor of Limousin. Named the abbé de Berwick.
  6. Charles Fitz-James (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, 4 November 1712 - 22 March 1787), 4th Duke of Fitzjames. Married to Victoire Goyon de Matignon; they had seven children.
  7. Marie Emilie Fitzjames (9 October 1715 - 3 January 1770), Lady-in-waiting of Queen Marie Leszczyńska during 1758-1768. Married to François Marie de Pérusse, comte des Cars; they had four children.
  8. Edouard Fitzjames (17 October 1716 - 5 May 1758), Coronel and French Field Marshal.
  9. Anne Sophie Fitzjames (1718 - 25 April 1763), a nun.
  10. Anne Fitzjames (1720 - 23 May 1721).



  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 2224. p. 2. 10 March 1686. Retrieved 12 December 2007. Note that dates given for Gazette issues before 1752 are Old Style, with the new year not beginning until 25 March. By modern reckoning, this issue would be dated 1687


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
The Lord Ferrers
Colonel of The Princess Anne of Denmark's
Regiment of Foot

Succeeded by
John Beaumont
Preceded by
The Earl of Gainsborough
Governor of Portsmouth
Succeeded by
Thomas Tollemache
Preceded by
The Earl of Oxford
Colonel of The Royal Regiment of Horse
Succeeded by
Earl of Arran
Preceded by
The Lord Churchill
Captain and Colonel of the
3rd Troop of Horse Guards

Succeeded by
The Lord Churchill
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Gainsborough
Viscount Campden
Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Winchester
Preceded by
The Earl of Gainsborough
Custos Rotulorum of Hampshire
Peerage of England
New title Duke of Berwick
Unclear forfeiture
Spanish nobility
New title Duke of Berwick
James Fitz-James Stuart
New title Duke of Liria and Jérica
French nobility
New title Duke of Fitz-James
Henry James Fitz-James