George Villiers (died 1606)
Sir George Villiers (c. 1544 – 4 January 1606) was an English nobleman, politician, knight, and gentleman. He was the father of James I's favourite, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. He was High Sheriff of Leicestershire, and a Member of Parliament.
George Villiers, born about 1544, was the eldest son of William Villiers of Brooksby, Leicestershire, and Colett, widow of Richard Beaumont of Coleorton, Leicestershire, and daughter and heir of Richard Clarke of Willoughby, Warwickshire. The Villiers family had been settled at Brooksby since at least 1235.
Villiers is said to have been a "prosperous sheep farmer". He was High Sheriff of Leicestershire in 1591, and was elected a Knight of the Shire for the county from 1604 until his death. He was knighted in 1593.
Marriages and issue
Villiers married firstly Audrey Saunders (d.1587), the daughter and heir of William Saunders (d. 14 July 1582) of Harrington, Northamptonshire and Frances Zouche, the daughter of William Zouche of Bulwick, Northamptonshire, son of John la Zouche, 7th Baron Zouche (c.1440-1527) of Harringworth, who fought for Richard III at Bosworth, by whom he had two sons and four daughters:
- Sir William Villiers (d. 12 June 1629), eldest son, who married Rebecca Roper, daughter and co-heir of Robert Roper, esquire, and Elizabeth Nott, the daughter of William Nott, esquire, of Thames Ditton. He was created a baronet in 1619.
- Sir Edward Villiers, who married, about 1612, Barbara St. John, daughter of Sir John St John of Lydiard Tregoze, Wiltshire, by whom he had ten children.
- Elizabeth Villiers (d.1654), who married John Boteler, 1st Baron Boteler of Brantfield.
- Anne Villiers (b.1588), who married Sir William Washington (1590-1648), elder brother of Lawrence Washington (the great-great grandfather of George Washington). She was the maternal grandmother of George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth, ancestor of the Earls of Dartmouth.
- Frances Villiers, who died without issue.
Villiers married secondly, about 1590, his "beautiful but penniless first cousin by the half-blood", Mary Beaumont (c. 1570 – 1632), daughter of Anthony Beaumont of Glenfield, Leicestershire, with whom he had three sons and a daughter:
- John Villiers, 1st Viscount Purbeck, who married Frances Coke, the daughter of Sir Edward Coke by his second wife, Elizabeth Cecil, daughter of Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter. The peerage expired at his death.
- George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, who married Katherine Manners, (daughter of the 6th Earl of Rutland). The title became extinct in 1687.
- Christopher Villiers, 1st Earl of Anglesey. The earldom and barony became extinct on the death of his son, the second Earl of Anglesey, in 1661.
- Susan Villiers, who married William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh, parents-in-law to James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton.
Common ancestor of sixteen British Prime Ministers
According to Thomson, Sir George is the ancestor of sixteen British prime ministers:
- Augustus, 3rd Duke of Grafton
- William, 3rd Duke of Portland
- William, 1st Earl of Chatham (Pitt the Elder)
- William Pitt the Younger
- William, 4th Duke of Devonshire
- Lord Melbourne (assuming his father was Lord Egremont)
- William, 1st Baron Grenville
- George, 4th Earl of Aberdeen
- Edward, 14th Earl of Derby
- John, 1st Earl Russell
- Robert, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
- Arthur Balfour
- Sir Winston Churchill
- Sir Anthony Eden
- Sir Alec Douglas-Home
- David Cameron
- Thrush 2004.
- Handley 2004.
- Howard 1868, p. 159.
- Metcalfe 1887, p. 45.
- Waters 1878, pp. 588, 595.
- Bloomfield 1947, p. 64.
- Cokayne 1912, p. 229.
- Burke 1852, p. 42.
- Thomson, Gerald Malcolm. The Prime Ministers - From Robert Walpole to Margaret Thatcher. New York: William Morrow (1981), p. xxii; ISBN 0-436-52045-1; accessed 8 April 2014.
- Agutter, Doreen (September 2010). "Edward Saunders of Harrington and Rothwell, Northamptonshire". Monumental Brass Society, Bulletin 115: 288–89. Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Bloomfield, Paul (July 1947). "The Descendants of Sir George Villiers". The Eugenics Review. London: Hamilton Adams. 39 (2): 63–67. PMC . PMID 21260520.
- Burke, John Bernard (1852). A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain. I. London, UK: Colburn and Co. p. 42. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Cokayne, George Edward (1912). The Complete Peerage, edited by Vicary Gibbs. II. London, UK: St. Catherine Press. p. 229.
- Gibbs, Philip (1908). The Romance of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham. London, UK: Methuen & Co. pp. 59–67. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Handley, Stuart (2004). "Villiers, John, Viscount Purbeck (1591?–1658)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28299. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Howard, Joseph Jackson, ed. (1868). Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica. I. London, UK: Hamilton Adams. p. 159. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Metcalfe, Walter C., ed. (1887). The Visitations of Northamptonshire Made in 1564 and 1618–19. London: Mitchell and Hughes. p. 45. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Thrush, Andrew (2004). "Villiers, Sir Edward (c. 1585–1626)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28288. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Waters, Robert Edmund Chester (1878). Genealogical Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley. II. London, UK: Hamilton Adams. pp. 588, 595. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Will of William Saunders of Harrington, Northamptonshire, proved 14 May 1584, PROB 11/67/61, National Archives; retrieved 26 August 2013