Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton

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His Grace
The Duke of Grafton
KG
1st Duke of Grafton.jpg
Personal details
Born Henry FitzRoy
(1663-09-28)28 September 1663
Died 9 October 1690(1690-10-09) (aged 27)
Spouse(s) Isabella Bennet, 2nd Countess of Arlington
Children Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton
Parents Charles II of England
Barbara Villiers, 1st Duchess of Cleveland

Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton KG (28 September 1663 – 9 October 1690) was the illegitimate son of King Charles II of England by Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine.

On 1 August 1672 he was married at the age of nine to the five-year-old Isabella, the daughter and heiress of Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington. The wedding ceremony was repeated on 7 November 1679. They were parents to Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton. Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of his descendants.

At the time of his marriage, Henry was created Baron Sudbury, Viscount Ipswich, and Earl of Euston; in 1675 he was created Duke of Grafton. Charles II made him a Knight of the Garter in 1680. He was made a colonel of the Grenadier Guards in 1681.

He was brought up as a sailor, and saw military service at the siege of Luxembourg in 1684.[1] In that year, he received a warrant to supersede Sir Robert Holmes as Governor of the Isle of Wight, when the latter was charged with making false musters. However, Holmes was acquitted by court-martial and retained the governorship. In 1686 he killed John Talbot, brother of the Earl of Shrewsbury, in a duel.

At King James II's coronation Grafton was Lord High Constable. During the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth he commanded the royal troops in Somerset; but later he acted with John Churchill, and joined William of Orange to overthrow the King in the Revolution of 1688.[1]

He died in 1690 of a wound received at the storming of Cork while leading William's forces.[1] He was 27. In October 1697 his widow married Sir Thomas Hanmer, a young Buckinghamshire baronet, who became Speaker of the British House of Commons and an authority on the works of William Shakespeare. She died in 1723.

Ancestry[edit]

Legacy[edit]

The Duke of Grafton owned land in what was then the countryside near Dublin, Ireland, which later became part of the city. A country lane on this land eventually developed into Grafton Street, one of Dublin's main streets.

He is an ancestor of the Earls Spencer of Althorp, Diana, Princess of Wales, and also Diana's sons, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his younger brother, Prince Harry.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Grafton, Dukes of". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 316–317. 

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Cumberland
Vice-Admiral of England
1682–1689
Succeeded by
The Earl of Torrington
Honorary titles
Vacant
Title last held by
The Earl of Northumberland
Lord High Constable of England
1685
Vacant
Title next held by
The Duke of Ormonde
Preceded by
The Earl of Arlington
Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk
1685–1689
Succeeded by
The Lord Cornwallis
Military offices
Preceded by
John Russell
Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards
1681–1688
Succeeded by
The Earl of Lichfield
Preceded by
The Earl of Lichfield
Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards
1688–1689
Succeeded by
Henry Sydney
Peerage of England
New creation Duke of Grafton
1675–1690
Succeeded by
Charles FitzRoy
Earl of Euston
1672–1690