Monday, 22 February 2021

1st Duke of Beaufort

THE DUKES OF BEAUFORT WERE THE LARGEST LANDOWNERS IN MONMOUTHSHIRE, WITH 27,299 ACRES


This family deduces, illegitimately, from a branch of the house of PLANTAGENET, being thus lineally descended from JOHN OF GAUNT, Duke of Lancaster (son of EDWARD III), who caused all his natural children (afterwards legitimized to all intents but that of succession to the Crown).

CHARLES SOMERSET (c1460-1526), illegitimate son of Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset, being a person of extraordinary endowments, fulfilled several of the most important diplomatic missions; and was subsequently created a Knight Bannaret, appointed a Knight of the Garter, and Captain of the Guards, in 1496.

Sir Charles obtained in marriage Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke; in whose right he assumed the title of Lord Herbert, and was summoned to Parliament as such in the first year of HENRY VIII.

1st Earl of Worcester KG, by G P Harding (Image: National Portrait Gallery)

His lordship was constituted Lord Chamberlain for life, as a reward for the distinguished part he had in the taking of Thérouanne and Tournay, and was created, in 1514, EARL OF WORCESTER.

The 1st Earl married thrice; it was through his first wife, however, that he (and his descendants) acquired Raglan Castle and its lands.

His lordship wedded firstly, Elizabeth, 3rd Baroness Herbert suo jure, daughter of William, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, of Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire, and had issue, a son and successor, Henry, 2nd Earl of Worcester, and a daughter, the Lady Elizabeth Somerset.

The family line carried on uninterruptedly until we come to 

HENRY, 3rd Marquess of Worcester (1629-1700), KG, who married, in 1657, Mary, daughter of Arthur, 1st Baron Capell, and had issue,
Henry, died in infancy;
Charles (1660-98), styled Marquess of Worcester; father of HENRY, 2nd Duke;
Arthur;
Mary; Henrietta; Anne.
His lordship was created, in 1682, DUKE OF BEAUFORT.

1st Duke of Beaufort KG
(Image: Devonshire & Dorset Regimental Trust)

His Grace, refusing to subscribe to the oaths of allegiance to WILLIAM III, lived in retirement after the succession of that monarch.

His eldest son,

CHARLESMarquess of Worcester (1660-98), wedded, in 1682, Rebecca, daughter of Sir Josiah Child, 1st Baronet, of Wanstead, and had issue,
HENRY, 2nd Duke;
Rebecca.
Lord Worcester died in the lifetime of his father, in 1698, from the effects of a fall in jumping from his carriage.

His father, the 1st Duke, gave his son Troy House, in Monmouthshire, as a wedding present.

Raglan Castle (Image: Paul Barker/Country Life)

RAGLAN CASTLE, Monmouthshire, dates from between the 15th and early 17th centuries, when the successive ruling families of the Herberts and the Somersets created a luxurious, fortified castle, complete with a large hexagonal keep, known as the Great Tower or the Yellow Tower of Gwent.

Surrounded by parkland, water gardens, and terraces, the castle was considered by contemporaries to be the equal of any other in England or Wales.

(Image: Ebay)

In 1938 Henry, 10th Duke, entrusted guardianship of Raglan Castle to the government, and the castle became a permanent tourist attraction.

Today, the castle is administered by an agency of the Welsh government.

Ducal seats ~ Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire; Troy House, Monmouthshire; Heythrop House, Oxfordshire; Badminton House, Gloucestershire.

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