Charles Berkeley, 2nd Earl of Berkeley

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Charles Berkeley, 2nd Earl of Berkeley, KB, PC, FRS (8 April 1649 – 24 September 1710) was a British nobleman and diplomat, known as Sir Charles Berkeley from 1661 to 1679 and styled Viscount Dursley from 1679 to 1698.


The son of George Berkeley, 1st Earl of Berkeley, he was educated at Christ Church, Oxford and Trinity College, Cambridge,[1] was created a Knight of the Bath for the coronation of Charles II in 1661, and received his Master of Arts from Oxford on 28 September 1663. On 21 November 1667, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[2]

Berkeley adopted the styling Viscount Dursley in September 1679, when his father was raised to the earldom. He had just been elected as MP for Gloucester, for which he sat in the last two Parliaments of Charles II, in 1679 and 1681. He did not stand again, in part due to conflict with the Tory corporation of the city. Dursley followed his father in opposing James II in the Glorious Revolution, and enjoyed a number of appointments thereafter. Called up to the House of Lords as Baron Berkeley in July 1689, he was then sent as Envoy Extraordinary to Spain in May 1689, and as Ambassador to the United Provinces from August 1689 to 1695. He also received the post of Custos Rotulorum of Gloucestershire, previously held by his father, in July 1689. On 3 May 1694, he was made a Privy Councillor, and on 25 May, was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire. In the following year, Dursley was appointed High Steward of the City of Gloucester, and Constable of St Briavel's Castle on 18 June 1697.[2]

Berkeley succeeded to the earldom in 1698, and also received his father's office of Custos Rotulorum of Surrey in February 1699. His eldest son, Charles, Viscount Dursley, died of smallpox in May, and his daughter, Lady Penelope, in September of that same year, both while Berkeley and his family were in Dublin during his tenure as one of the Lords Justices (1699–1700). On 7 June 1702, Berkeley's appointment as Constable was renewed, and he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Surrey and Warden of the Forest of Dean. He died in 1710, and was succeeded to the posts of Earl of Berkeley, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, and Custos Rotulorum of Gloucestershire by his eldest surviving son, James, a naval officer.[2]


Berkeley married Hon. Elizabeth Noel, daughter of Baptist Noel, 3rd Viscount Campden, on 16 August 1677, and they had four sons and three daughters:

Lady Mary Berkeley


  1. ^ "Berkeley, Charles (BRKY663SC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c Doyle, James William Edmund (1886). The Official Baronage of England, v. 1. London: Longmans, Green. p. 179.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
William Cooke
Evan Seys
Member of Parliament for Gloucester
With: Evan Seys 1679
Lord Herbert 1681
Succeeded by
John Wagstaffe
John Powell
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The 1st Earl of Berkeley
Custos Rotulorum of Gloucestershire
Succeeded by
The 3rd Earl of Berkeley
Preceded by
The Earl of Macclesfield
Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire
Preceded by
The 1st Earl of Berkeley
Custos Rotulorum of Surrey
Succeeded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Lord Lieutenant of Surrey
Peerage of England
Preceded by
George Berkeley
Earl of Berkeley
Succeeded by
James Berkeley
Baron Berkeley
(writ in acceleration)
(descended by acceleration)