Thursday, 13 January 2022

1st Duke of Monmouth


JAMES, eldest natural son of CHARLES II, by Lucy Walter (daughter of William Walter, of Roch Castle, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire), was born in Holland, at Rotterdam, and bore the surname of CROFTS, till, by his marriage with the Lady Anne Scott, Countess of Buccleuch de jure (daughter and sole heir to Francis, 2nd Earl of Buccleuch, in Scotland), his father then allowed him to take that surname.

In 1663, he was brought to England, and the same year was created Baron Scott of Tyndale, Wales; Earl of Doncaster, Yorkshire; and DUKE OF MONMOUTH, Wales.

The fate of this unhappy nobleman is so well known, and the circumstances of his life, as well as death, are so fully recorded by our historians, that to dwell upon them here becomes unnecessary.

Photo Credit: The Museum of Somerset

His Grace died in the flower of his age (36); probably more a sacrifice to the jealousy of JAMES II than to the impossibility of forgiving the crime of rebellion, for which he suffered.

But James had not a particle of mercy or generosity in his disposition.

Bishop Burnet says of the Duke,
"he had several good qualities, and some that were as bad; he was soft and gentle, even to excess; and too easy to those that had credit with him." 
"He was both sincere and good-natured, and understood war well; but he was too much given to pleasure, and to favourites."
His Grace had parted with his Duchess and lived with Henrietta, Lady Wentworth; for which he endeavoured to justify himself by alleging that he had married his Duchess too young to give a free and legal consent.

By her, however, he had four sons and two daughters,
Charles, Earl of Doncaster, died in infancy;
James, Earl of Dalkeith (ancestor of the Dukes of Buccleuch);
Henry, cr Earl of Deloraine;
Francis, died in infancy;
Anne; Charlotte.
Upon the decapitation of His Grace, 1685, his honours became forfeited by reason of his attainder; but, nevertheless, in 1743, two of his subsidiary titles, viz. the barony of Scott of Tyndale and the earldom of Doncaster were restored by Act of Parliament to Francis, his grandson; by whose descendant, the present Duke of Buccleuch, they still continue to be possessed.

With regard to the title of Monmouth, it was granted by WILLIAM III, in 1689, to Charles, Viscount Mordaunt, who was created EARL OF MONMOUTH; and afterwards succeeding his uncle as 3rd Earl of Peterborough, those two dignities merged.

Former seat ~ Moor Park, Hertfordshire.

Select Bibliography: Burke's Dormant and Extinct Baronage, Volume III, 1809.

First published in January, 2018.  Monmouth arms courtesy of European Heraldry. 

No comments :