Duke of Beaufort
|Dukedom of Beaufort|
Quarterly, 1st and 4th, azure three fleurs-de-lys or (for France); 2nd and 3rd, gules three lions passant guardant in pale or (for England), all within a bordure compony argent and azure
|Creation date||2 December 1682|
|Peerage||Peerage of England|
|First holder||Henry Somerset|
|Present holder||David Somerset, 11th Duke|
|Heir apparent||Henry Somerset, Marquess of Worcester|
|Remainder to||the 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten|
|Subsidiary titles||Marquess of Worcester
Earl of Worcester
|Former seat(s)||Raglan Castle|
Duke of Beaufort is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created by Charles II in 1682 for Henry Somerset, 3rd Marquess of Worcester, a descendant of Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester, legitimized son of Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset, a Lancastrian leader in the Wars of the Roses. The name Beaufort refers to a castle in Champagne, France (now Montmorency-Beaufort). It is the only current dukedom to take its name from a place outside the British Isles.
They are descendants in the male line from the House of Plantagenet through John of Gaunt and Edward III. Beaufort Castle was a possession of John of Gaunt, and the surname Beaufort was given to Gaunt's four legitimised children by his mistress and third wife, Katherine Swynford. Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester, KG (c. 1460 – 15 March 1526) was the bastard son of Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset by his mistress Joan Hill.
The Duke of Beaufort holds two subsidiary titles: Marquess of Worcester (created 1642) and Earl of Worcester (1514). The title Marquess of Worcester is used as a courtesy title by the duke's eldest son and heir. The title Earl of Glamorgan is used by the eldest son of the heir apparent to the dukedom. The Earl of Glamorgan's eldest son is known as Viscount Grosmont. The Earldom of Glamorgan and Viscountcy of Grosmont derive from an irregular creation by Charles I in favour of Edward Somerset in 1644, who later succeeded his father as 2nd Marquess of Worcester.
Although the Earldom of Glamorgan and Viscountcy of Grosmont were not recognised as substantive titles at the restoration of Charles II, because of irregularities in the patent of creation, they have nevertheless continued to be used as convenient courtesy titles in order to distinguish the bearer from the Marquess of Worcester as heir apparent, the Earldom of Worcester not being distinctive enough for this purpose. All subsidiary titles are in the Peerage of England.
Field Marshal The Lord Raglan, born Lord FitzRoy Somerset, was the youngest son of the fifth duke.
The family seat was once Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire, but is now Badminton House near Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire. The principal burial place of the Dukes and Duchesses of Beaufort is St Michael and All Angels Church, Badminton.
Since the dukedom was created, each successive duke has served as Master of the Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, a foxhound pack kenneled on the Badminton Estate.
Coat of arms
The heraldic blazon for the coat of arms of the dukedom is: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, azure three fleurs-de-lys or (for France); 2nd and 3rd, gules three lions passant guardant in pale or (for England), all within a bordure compony argent and azure.
This can be translated as: a shield divided into quarters, the top left and bottom right quarters are blue with three golden fleurs-de-lys (for France), and the top right and bottom left quarters are red with three golden lions passant with their faces toward the viewer, one above the other (for England); the foregoing quarters are within a border around the shield with segments alternating white and blue.
In heraldry, a bordure compony is traditionally used to designate illegitimacy. Since the original Beaufort siblings' father was of the English royal family, the English royal arms are used. At that time, the king of England also claimed the French crown, hence the inclusion of the French royal arms.
Earls of Worcester (1514)
- For previous creations of the same title, see Earl of Worcester.
- Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester (c. 1450–1526), legitimised son of Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset and Joan Hill
- Other titles (2nd onwards): Baron Herbert (1461)
- Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester (c. 1495–1548), only legitimate son of the 1st Earl
- William Somerset, 3rd Earl of Worcester (d. 1589), eldest son of the 2nd Earl
- Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester (1553–1628), only son of the 3rd Earl
- Henry Somerset, 5th Earl of Worcester (1577–1646) was created Marquess of Worcester in 1643
Marquesses of Worcester (1642)
- Other titles: Earl of Worcester (1514) and Baron Herbert (1461)
- Henry Somerset, 1st Marquess of Worcester (1577–1646), eldest son of the 4th Earl, was a noted Cavalier
- Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester (1601–1667), eldest son of the 1st Marquess, was an inventor
- Henry Somerset, 3rd Marquess of Worcester (1629–1700) was created Duke of Beaufort in 1682, after the Restoration
- Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert (b. bef. 1660), eldest son of the 3rd Marquess, died in infancy
Dukes of Beaufort (1682)
- Other titles: Marquesses of Worcester (1642) and Earl of Worcester (1514)
- Other titles (1st–10th Dukes): Baron Herbert (1461)
- Henry Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort (1629–1700), eldest son of the 2nd Marquess
- Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert (b. before 1660), eldest son of the 1st Duke, died in infancy
- Charles Somerset, Marquess of Worcester (1660–1698), second son of the 1st Duke, predeceased his father
- Henry Somerset, 2nd Duke of Beaufort (1684–1714), only son of Lord Worcester
- Henry Scudamore, 3rd Duke of Beaufort (1707–1745), eldest son of the 2nd Duke, died without issue
- Charles Noel Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort (1709–1756), second and youngest son of the 2nd Duke
- Other titles (5th–10th Dukes): Baron Botetourt (1305; abeyance ended 1803)
- Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort (1744–1803), only son of the 4th Duke
- Henry Charles Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort (1766–1835), eldest son of the 5th Duke
- Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort (1792–1853), eldest son of the 6th Duke
- Henry Charles FitzRoy Somerset, 8th Duke of Beaufort (1824–1899), only son of the 7th Duke
- Henry Adelbert Wellington FitzRoy Somerset, 9th Duke of Beaufort (1847–1924), eldest son of the 8th Duke
- Henry Hugh Arthur FitzRoy Somerset, 10th Duke of Beaufort (1900–1984), only son of the 9th Duke, died without issue, at which point his two Baronies fell into abeyance.
- David Robert Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort (b. 1928), great-grandson of Rt. Hon. Lord Henry Richard Charles Somerset, second son of the 8th Duke
Heir apparent: Henry John FitzRoy Somerset, Marquess of Worcester (b. 1952), eldest son of the 11th Duke
Lord Worcester's heir apparent: Henry Robert FitzRoy Somerset, Earl of Glamorgan (b. 1989), his eldest son
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