Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond

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The Duke of Richmond and Lennox

Henry Hoppner Meyer10.jpg
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
In office
11 April 1807 – 23 June 1813
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterThe Duke of Portland
Hon. Spencer Perceval
The Earl of Liverpool
Preceded byThe Duke of Bedford
Succeeded byThe Viscount Whitworth
Governor General of British North America
In office
MonarchGeorge III
Preceded bySir John Coape Sherbrooke
Succeeded byThe Earl of Dalhousie
Personal details
Born9 December 1764 (1764-12-09)
Gordon Castle, Scotland
Died28 August 1819(1819-08-28) (aged 54)
Richmond, British North America
Political partyTory
Spouse(s)Lady Charlotte Gordon
Children14, including Charles, John, William, and Sussex
ParentsLord George Lennox
Lady Louisa Kerr
Shield of arms of Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, KG, PC

Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Lennox, 4th Duke of Aubigny, KG, PC (9 December 1764 – 28 August 1819) was a Scottish peer, soldier, politician, and Governor General of British North America.


Richmond was born to General Lord George Lennox, the younger son of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond, and Lady Louisa, daughter of William Kerr, 4th Marquess of Lothian. His aunts included the famous five Lennox sisters.


Richmond was a keen cricketer. He was an accomplished right-hand bat and a noted wicket-keeper. An amateur, he was a founder member of the Marylebone Cricket Club. In 1786, together with the Earl of Winchilsea, Richmond offered Thomas Lord a guarantee against any losses Lord might suffer on starting a new cricket ground. This led to Lord opening his first cricket ground in 1787. Although Lord's Cricket Ground has since moved twice, Richmond and Winchilsea's guarantee provided the genesis of the best-known cricket ground in the world, a ground known as the Home of Cricket. Nearly always listed as the Hon. Colonel Charles Lennox in contemporary scorecards, Richmond had 55 recorded first-class appearances from 1784 to 1800 and played a few more games after that.

Army general[edit]

Richmond became a British Army captain at the age of 23 in 1787. On 27 May 1789, while a colonel in the Duke of York's regiment, he was involved in a duel with Frederick, Duke of York, who had expressed the opinion that "Colonel Lennox had heard words spoken to him at Daughbigny's, to which no gentleman ought to have submitted", effectively an accusation of failing to respond to an insult in the way that a gentleman should. At Wimbledon Common, Richmond fired, but his ball "grazed his Royal Highness's curl"; the Duke did not fire.[1] Richmond shortly after exchanged his company for the commission of a lieutenant-colonel in the 35th Regiment of Foot.[2] On 1 July of the same year, he was involved in another duel, with Theophilus Swift, Esq., in consequence of a pamphlet criticising Richmond's character published under Swift's name. They met in a field near the Uxbridge Road, where Swift was wounded in the body, but recovered.[3]

Charlotte, 4th Duchess of Richmond (1768–1842) (Joseph Nollekens, 1812)

Later in the year he married Lady Charlotte Gordon. In 1794 and 1795 he participated in naval engagements against the French in the West Indies and Gibraltar, but was sent home when he came into conflict with his superiors. He was also MP for Sussex, succeeding his father, from 1790 until he succeeded to the dukedom.


He became the 4th Duke of Richmond on 29 December 1806, after the death of his uncle, Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond. In April 1807 he became Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He remained in that post until 1813. He participated in the Napoleonic Wars and in 1815 he was in command of a reserve force in Brussels, which was protecting that city in case Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo. On 15 June, the night before the Battle of Quatre Bras, his wife held a ball for his fellow officers. This glittering celebration became famous, and it was immortalised by Thackeray in Vanity Fair and by Byron in Childe Harold.

Although the Duke observed the battle the next day, as well as Waterloo on 18 June, he did not participate in either.

Governor General of Canada[edit]

In 1818 he was appointed Governor General of British North America.

During the summer of 1819 Richmond undertook an extensive tour of Upper and Lower Canada. At William Henry (Sorel, Que.) he was bitten on the hand by a fox. The injury apparently healed, and he continued to York (Toronto) and Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.), even examining military sites as far distant as Drummond Island. Returning to Kingston, he planned a leisurely visit to the settlements on the Rideau. During this part of the journey the first symptoms of "hydrophobia" (rabies) appeared. The disease developed rapidly and on 28 August he died in extreme agony in a barn a few miles from a settlement that had been named in his honour. After a state funeral in Quebec City, his body was brought back to Quebec, where on 4 September he was buried in the Anglican Holy Trinity Cathedral.[4][5]

Some accounts suggest that the duke had been bitten by a dog; stronger contemporary evidence, however, supports the view that he received the rabies infection from a fox.

The night before his death, he slept at the "Masonic Arms", which was renamed the "Duke of Richmond Arms" to commemorate the visit.

Richmond's title was inherited by his son, Charles Gordon-Lennox, 5th Duke of Richmond.


Richmond County, Nova Scotia; Richmond, Ontario; March Township, Ontario; Huntley Township, Ontario; Torbolton Township, Ontario; Fitzroy Township, Ontario; Earl of March Secondary School; Lennoxville, Quebec; Richmond, Quebec; and Richmond County, Nova Scotia; along with Richmond Street in Toronto, Ontario were named after him. According to tradition, the town of Richmond Hill, Ontario, was also named after him, as he was said to have passed through the then village during his visit in 1819.

Cairn marking the approximate location of the Duke's death.

Plaque on the 4th Duke of Richmond's cairn.

Richmond Park (football ground) in Inchicore, Dublin, still bears his name. Now the home ground of St. Patrick's Athletic Football Club, it was once a part of Richmond Barracks as Richmond was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1807–1813). It was to these barracks that over 3,000 prisoners were brought after the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. After independence the barracks were renamed Keogh Barracks and later were redeveloped as housing for the capital's poor and again renamed Keogh Square.

Ancestry and issue[edit]



The Duke of Richmond, 1789.

Richmond had fourteen children:[6]



  1. ^ Millingen, pp. 131–32.
  2. ^ Millingen, p. 133.
  3. ^ Millingen, p. 135.
  4. ^ Woods, p. 45.
  5. ^ Wasik and Murphy, p. 8-10.
  6. ^ General Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond


  • Harry Altham, A History of Cricket, Volume 1 (to 1914), George Allen & Unwin, 1962.
  • Derek Birley, A Social History of English Cricket, Aurum, 1999.
  • Rowland Bowen, Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970.
  • G. B. Buckley, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, Cotterell, 1935.
  • Arthur Haygarth, Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744–1826), Lillywhite, 1862.
  • J. G. Millingen, The History of Duelling, Volume 2, London: Richard Bentley, 1841.
  • John Nyren, The Cricketers of my Time (ed. Ashley Mote), Robson, 1998.
  • David Underdown, Start of Play, Allen Lane, 2000.
  • H. T. Waghorn, The Dawn of Cricket, Electric Press, 1906.
  • Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy, Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus, Penguin Group, 2012
  • Eric Arthur, Toronto, No Mean City (Third Edition, rev. and ed. Stephen A. Otto), University of Toronto Press, 1986.
  • Lord's 1787–1945 by Sir Pelham Warner ISBN 1-85145-112-9.
  • Woods, Shirley E. Jr. Ottawa: The Capital of Canada, Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1980. ISBN 0-385-14722-8.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Lord George Henry Lennox
Lord Pelham
Member of Parliament for Sussex
With: Lord Pelham
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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
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Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Sussex
With: Lord Pelham 1801
John Fuller 1801–1806
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John Fuller
Charles William Wyndham
Government offices
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The Duke of Bedford
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Succeeded by
The Viscount Whitworth
Preceded by
Sir John Coape Sherbrooke
Governor General of British North America
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The Earl of Dalhousie
Military offices
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Sir William Medows
Governor of Kingston-upon-Hull
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The Lord Hill
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Governor of Plymouth
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The Duke of Wellington
Honorary titles
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The Earl of Ashburnham
Vice-Admiral of Sussex
Succeeded by
The Earl of Egremont
Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Lord Lieutenant of Sussex
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Richmond
3rd creation
Succeeded by
Charles Gordon-Lennox
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Lennox
2nd creation
Succeeded by
Charles Gordon-Lennox
French nobility
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Aubigny
Succeeded by
Charles Gordon-Lennox