Posts Tagged ‘Aubrey Beauclerk 5th Duke of St Albans’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Thomas Dundas 1st Baron Dundas
16 February 1741 – 14 June 1820


Thomas Dundas

Thomas Dundas 1st Baron Dundas was the only son of Sir Lawrence Dundas, 1st Baronet, the “Nabob of the North”. Following education at Eton and St. Andrews University he did the Grand Tour, then became Member of Parliament for Richmond, 1763–1768, then for Stirlingshire, 1768–1794. He was elevated to the peerage as Baron Dundas of Aske in August 1794, and was also Lord Lieutenant and Vice Admiral of Orkney and Shetland, Councillor of state to the Prince of Wales (later George IV), President of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries and Colonel of the North York Militia. He acquired Marske Hall in Yorkshire in 1762 after the death of Sir William Lowther, 3rd Baronet.

Thomas Dundas followed his father in having an interest in Grangemouth and in the Forth and Clyde Canal, under construction from 1768 to 1790, and he would have been aware of the 1789 trials on the canal of Patrick Miller of Dalswinton’s double-hulled paddle boat powered with a steam engine fitted by William Symington. In 1800 Dundas, as Governor of the Forth and Clyde Canal Company, engaged Symington to design a steam tug on the lines of a failed attempt by Captain John Schank for the Bridgewater Canal. At a meeting of the canal company’s directors on 5 June 1800 Dundas “produced a model of a boat by Captain Schank to be worked by a steam engine by Mr Symington”, and it was agreed this should be immediately put in hand.

The boat was built to Symington’s design. It had successful trials on the River Carron in June 1801 and further trials towing sloops from the river Forth up the Carron and thence along the Forth and Clyde Canal. The other proprietors of the canal were concerned about wave damage to the canal banks, and the Committee decided that the boat would “by no means answer the purpose”.

Symington had proposals for an improved boat which were presented in the form of a model, shown to Lord Dundas, of the boat which would become famous as the Charlotte Dundas, named in honour of one of his Lordship’s daughters. One account states that Lord Dundas had advised Symington to prepare the model and bring it to his Lordship in London, where Symington was introduced to the Duke of Bridgewater who was enthusiastic enough to immediately order eight boats of similar construction for his canal. Unfortunately the Duke of Bridgewater died a few days before the first sailing, and nothing came of this order.

Lord Dundas and some of his relatives and friends were on board for the first sailing of the boat on the canal in 1803, but despite the success of the Charlotte Dundas fears of erosion of the banks prevailed, and the trials were ended leaving Symington out-of-pocket.

He married Lady Charlotte FitzWilliam, the daughter of William FitzWilliam, 3rd Earl FitzWilliam, on 24 May 1764 and they had 14 children:

  • Lawrence Dundas, 1st Earl of Zetland (1766–1839)
  • Anne Dundas (1767)
  • Thomas Dundas (born 1768; died young)
  • Lt-Col. the Hon. William Lawrence Dundas (18 May 1770 – 1796), died in Santo Domingo
  • the Hon. Charles Lawrence Dundas (18 July 1771 – 25 January 1810), married Lady Caroline Beauclerk, daughter of Aubrey Beauclerk, 5th Duke of St Albans
  • the Hon. Margaret Dundas (9 November 1772 – 8 May 1852), married Archibald Spiers
  • the Hon. Charlotte Dundas (18 June 1774 – 5 January 1855), married Rev. William Wharton
  • the Hon. and Rev. Thomas Lawrence Dundas (12 October 1775 – 17 March 1848)
  • the Hon. Frances Laura Dundas (24 May 1777 – 27 November 1844), married Robert Chaloner
  • R-Adm. the Hon. George Heneage Lawrence Dundas (1778–1834)
  • Maj-Gen. the Hon. Sir Robert Lawrence Dundas (27 July 1780 – 23 November 1844)
  • Dorothy Dundas (August 1785 – December 1790)
  • the Hon. Mary Dundas (30 May 1787 – 1 November 1830), married Charles FitzWilliam, 5th Earl FitzWilliam
  • the Hon. Isabella Dundas (25 February 1790 – 6 December 1887), married Sir John Ramsden, 4th Baronet

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Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Lord Frederick Beauclerk
8 May 1773 – 22 April 1850


Lord Frederick Beauclerk

Lord Frederick Beauclerk was the 4th son of the 5th Duke of St Albans. He was a right-handed batsman and a right arm slow underarm bowler who was a recognised all-rounder. He generally fielded at slip. His career spanned the 1791 to 1825 seasons. In his prime, his height was 5 ft 9 in and he weighed between 11 st and 12 st.

He played at Cambridge University where his talent as an accurate slow bowler was spotted by the Earl of Winchilsea, who invited him to play for MCC. Beauclerk’s first-class debut was for MCC v Gentlemen of Kent at Lord’s Old Ground on 2 & 3 June 1791. Beauclerk was “now but 18 years of age”. He played two first-class matches in the 1791 season but then was unavailable until the 1795 season while he completed his studies. He then became a regular and prolific player.

Having started as a bowler, he developed his batting skills and became better known as a hard-hitting batsman, but remained a genuine all-rounder.

Beauclerk played for the Gentlemen in the inaugural and second Gentlemen v Players matches in 1806.

Beauclerk scored 170 as a given man playing for Homerton against Montpelier in 1807, a match not widely recognised as first-class. This score set a world record for the highest individual innings in all forms of cricket that lasted until 1820 when it was beaten by William Ward’s score of 278.

In 1810, Beauclerk and Thomas Howard were due to play George Osbaldeston and William Lambert in a lucrative single wicket match. Osbaldeston was taken ill just before the match and Beauclerk flatly refused to postpone it, saying: “Play or pay”. Lambert had to play on his own but he was a canny professional who was well aware of Beauclerk’s weakness: his uncontrollable temper. By deliberately bowling wide, Lambert caused Beauclerk to lose both his temper and his wicket with the result that Lambert won the match by 15 runs.

The humiliated and vindictive Beauclerk would have his revenge on Osbaldeston and Lambert in years to come but first he used his influence at MCC to secure a change in the Laws of Cricket so that wide balls were for the first time banned in 1811.

In 1817, Beauclerk played in a highly controversial match at Nottingham in which he captained an All-England team while Osbaldeston and Lambert were given men for Nottingham. Accusations of match-fixing were made by both sides and Beauclerk was able to produce witnesses who implicated Lambert. As a result, MCC banned Lambert from ever playing again at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Osbaldeston’s turn came in 1818 after he too lost his temper when beaten at single wicket by George Brown of Sussex. Osbaldeston was so angry that he resigned his MCC membership. Later, he repented and asked to be reinstated but Beauclerk refused his application.

Beauclerk persuaded MCC to call a meeting to ban roundarm bowling in 1822 even though he had been known to claim wagers when playing alongside the early roundarmers like John Willes. According to Lord Harris: “When he (Willes) played on the side of Lord Frederick his bowling was fair, when against him, the contrary”.

Beauclerk was the second president of MCC in 1826, playing for its team in minor matches while in office. Thereafter, he was a regular attendee at Lord’s to watch matches and was occasionally involved in them as a patron. A “persistent symbol of insensitive autocracy long after his retirement”, he was invariably accompanied by a “nasty, yapping dog” whereas the rule for everyone else was: “No dogs allowed”.

Beauclerk was one of the best single wicket players of his time. His batting style was “rather scientific, in the more orthodox manner of the professionals”, while his under-arm bowling was very slow, but extremely accurate and he could get the ball to rise abruptly off a length.
Although his batting style was described as scientific, Beauclerk was also impulsive as “he sometimes lost his wicket by trying to cut straight balls”. He was a hard-hitting batsman with fine strokeplay, “especially to the off”. He improved his batsmanship by modelling himself on William Beldham, but he lacked the latter’s natural flair.

Beauclerk was an astute tactician and it has been recorded that he carefully studied opposing batsmen with the ability to quickly understand their strengths and weaknesses so that he could set his field accordingly.

Beauclerk wore a white beaver hat when playing, the remainder of his outfit being a white shirt, nankeen breeches, a scarlet sash and white stockings. He once threw his hat down on the pitch in frustration at his inability to dismiss the obdurate batsman Tom Walker, known as “Old Everlasting”. Beauclerk called Walker a “confounded old beast” but, when Walker was asked about it afterwards, he shrugged and said: “I don’t care what he says”.

Beauclerk was one of the most controversial figures in cricket history. His approach to the game was well summarised in a verse written by a contemporary:
My Lord he comes next, and will make you all stare
With his little tricks, a long way from fair

Much that is hagiography exists about cricketers but “an unqualified eulogy of Beauclerk has never been seen and that is significant”. Although he was a cleric and ostensibly against gambling, he estimated that he made up to £600 a year from playing cricket, which at the time was funded mostly by gambling. But Beauclerk as a vicar was “completely devoid of Christian charity”. In this vein, Rowland Bowen likened him to Talleyrand as “a cleric without, it would seem, the faintest interest in being a clergyman or any kind of Christian”.

Beauclerk has been described as “an unmitigated scoundrel”. Among the quotations about him is one that he was a “foul-mouthed, dishonest man who was one of the most hated figures in society … he bought and sold matches as though they were lots at an auction”. Another described him as “cruel, unforgiving, cantankerous and bitter”.

In an early example of gamesmanship, he is said to have occasionally suspended an expensive gold watch from the middle stump whilst batting, the inference being that his batting was sound enough, or the bowling bad enough, for it to remain unscathed. Sadly, there is no record of how many watches he lost in this fashion.

When he died in 1850, his unpopularity was such that The Times did not give him an obituary.

Beauclerk was the fourth son and fifth child of the 5th Duke of St Albans, and thus descended from Charles II and Nell Gwyn. He attended Cambridge University, where his cricket career began (see above).

Like other younger sons of the nobility, Beauclerk became a clergyman and, from 1828, was Vicar of St Michael’s Church in St Albans. However, he “never allowed his clerical duties to interfere materially with the claims of cricket” and “his sermons were legendary for their dullness”.

He married Charlotte Dillon, daughter of Charles Dillon, 12th Viscount Dillon, on 3 July 1813.

They had four children:

  • Caroline Henrietta Frederica Beauclerk (1815–1878)
  • Charles William Beauclerk (1816–1863)
  • Captain Aubrey Frederick James Beauclerk (1817–1853)
  • Henrietta Mary Beauclerk (1818–1887)

His sons, Charles and Aubrey, also played cricket as did his nephew, William Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St Albans.

Beauclerk lived mostly at Winchfield House, Winchfield, Hampshire. He also had a London residence at 68 Grosvenor Street, Westminster, where he died aged 76 on 22 April 1850. He was buried in Winchfield at St Mary’s Church. His wife erected a tablet inside the church which refers to “his many virtues”.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Beauclerk 8th Duke of St Albans
18 December 1766 – 17 July 1825


William Beauclerk 8th Duke of St Albans

William Beauclerk 8th Duke of St Albans was the son of Aubrey Beauclerk, 5th Duke of St Albans.

Became Duke when his nephew, Aubrey, the 7th Duke, died as a babe.

He married, firstly, Charlotte Thelwell (c. 1769 – 19 October 1797), on 20 July 1791.

He married, secondly, Maria Janetta Nelthorpe (c. 1779 – 17 January 1822), on 4 March 1799. They had thirteen children:

  • Lady Maria Amelia Beauclerk (1800 – 9 July 1873), died unmarried.
  • William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St Albans (24 March 1801 – 27 May 1849)
  • Lady Charlotte Beauclerk (4 April 1802 – 12 August 1842), died unmarried.
  • Lady Caroline Janetta Beauclerk (28 June 1804 – 22 August 1862), married Arthur Capell, 6th Earl of Essex and had issue.
  • John Nelthorpe Beauclerk (9 December 1805 – August 1810); buried 4 August 1810
  • Lady Louisa Georgiana Beauclerk (28 December 1806 – 18 February 1843), married Thomas Hughan
  • Captain Lord Frederick Charles Peter Beauclerk (28 June 1808 – 17 November 1865), married Jemima Johnstone and had issue.
  • Lady Georgiana Beauclerk (1809 – 8 January 1880), married Sir Montague Cholmeley, 2nd Bt.
  • Lady Mary Noel Beauclerk (28 December 1810 – 29 November 1850), married Thomas Corbett and had issue.
  • Lord Henry Beauclerk (23 June 1812 – 22 January 1856), died unmarried.
  • Lord Charles Beauclerk (10 October 1813 – 2 November 1861), married Laura Stopford and had issue.
  • Captain Lord Amelius Wentworth Beauclerk (16 August 1815 – 24 March 1879), married Frances Harrison and had issue.
  • Lord George Augustus Beauclerk (14 December 1818 – 3 January 1880), died unmarried.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Aubrey Beauclerk 6th Duke of St Albans
21 August 1765 – 12 August 1815


Aubrey Beauclerk (seated)

Aubrey Beauclerk 6th Duke of St Albans was the son of Aubrey Beauclerk, 5th Duke of St Albans. He was appointed a captain in the 34th (Cumberland) Regiment of Foot on 30 July 1783.

He married, firstly, Jane Moses (1768 – 18 August 1800), on 9 July 1788. They had one child:

  • Lady Mary Beauclerk (30 March 1791 – 11 September 1845), married George Coventry, 8th Earl of Coventry and had issue.

He married, secondly, Lady Louisa Grace Manners (1777 – 19 February 1816), daughter of John Manners and Louisa Tollemache, 7th Countess of Dysart, on 15 August 1802 in London. They had one child:

  • Aubrey Beauclerk, 7th Duke of St Albans (7 April 1815 – 19 February 1816)

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Admiral Lord Amelius Beauclerk
23 May 1771 – 10 December 1846


Amelius Beauclerk

Admiral Lord Amelius Beauclerk was born on 23 May 1771, the third son of Aubrey Beauclerk, 5th Duke of St Albans and his wife, the former Lady Catherine Ponsonby, daughter of William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough. He was baptised at St Marylebone Parish Church, London on 15 June 1771.

He was entered on the books of the cutter Jackal in June 1782, and in 1783 was appointed to Salisbury, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral John Campbell on the Newfoundland station. Afterwards he served in the West Indies under Commodore Gardner, and returned to England in 1789 as acting Lieutenant of Europa. He was not confirmed as a Lieutenant until 21 September 1790, at the time of the Great Spanish Armament crisis.

In 1792 he went to the Mediterranean in the frigate Druid, and on 16 September 1793 was made captain by Lord Hood and appointed to the command of Nemesis (28 guns). In March 1794 he was transferred to Juno (32 guns), and attached to the squadron under Admiral Hotham, blockading Toulon. Juno took part in the action of 14 March 1795, which resulted in the capture of the French ships Ça Ira and Censeur, and was one of the squadron, under Commodore Taylor, which convoyed the homeward trade in the following autumn, when the Censeur was recaptured by the French off Cape St Vincent on 7 October 1796.

On his return to England, Lord Amelius was appointed to the frigate Dryad, of 44 guns and 251 men, and on the coast of Ireland, at the Action of 13 June 1796, captured the French frigate Proserpine, of 42 guns and 348 men, after a brilliant and well-managed action, in which Dryad lost only two killed and seven wounded, while Proserpine lost thirty killed and forty-five wounded. He also captured several privateers. In 1800 he was appointed to Fortunée (40 guns), employed in the Channel and in attendance on the King at Weymouth.

Over the next ten years he commanded HM Ships Majestic, Saturn, and Royal Oak (all 74 guns) in the English Channel, and in 1809 had charge of the amphibious landing of Lord Chatham’s army at Walcheren, and continued, during the operations on that coast, as second-in-command under Sir Richard Strachan.

On 1 August 1811 he was promoted to Rear-Admiral, but during that and the two following years he continued in the North Sea, stretching in 1813 as far as the North Cape in command of a small squadron on the look-out for the American Commodore Rogers. In 1814 he commanded in the Basque Roads, and conducted the negotiations for the local suspension of hostilities. On 12 August 1819 he was advanced to Vice-Admiral, and from 1824 to 1827 was Commander-in-Chief at Lisbon and on the coast of Portugal. He became a full Admiral on 22 July 1830, and was Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth from 1836 to 1839.

Beauclerk was a fine professional officer who benefited from his family connections to secure early promotion. Port Beauclerc, Point Amelius, Point St. Albans, Beauclerc Island, Beauclerc Peak and Amelius Island, all in Alaska, are named for him.

He died, unmarried, at his seat, Winchfield House, near Farnborough, Hampshire, on 10 December 1846.

Beauclerk became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1809, and was given the honorary rank of Colonel of Marines on 31 July 1810. He was appointed to the KCB on 2 January 1815, GCH on 29 March 1831, GCB on 4 August 1835, and First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp to King William IV on 4 August 1839. He was also the hereditary Lord of the Manor of Winchfield, Hampshire.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Aubrey Beauclerk 5th Duke of St Albans
3 June 1740 – 9 February 1802


Aubrey Beauclerk

Aubrey Beauclerk 5th Duke of St Albans was born in 1740, the son of Admiral Vere Beauclerk, 1st Baron Vere and a grandson of Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans.


On 4 May 1763 Beauclerk married Lady Catherine Ponsonby (14 October 1742 – 4 September 1789), daughter of William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough. They had seven children:

  • Aubrey Beauclerk, 6th Duke of St Albans (21 August 1765 – 12 August 1815)
  • William Beauclerk, 8th Duke of St Albans (18 December 1766 – 17 July 1825)
  • Lady Catherine Elizabeth Beauclerk (c. 1768 – July 1803), married on 1 September 1802 to Rev. James Burgess (d. 27 November 1827).
  • Admiral Lord Amelius Beauclerk (23 May 1771 – 10 December 1846), died unmarried.
  • The Reverend Lord Frederick Beauclerk (8 May 1773 – 22 April 1850), married the Hon. Charlotte Dillon (daughter of Charles Dillon, 12th Viscount Dillon) and had issue.
  • Lady Caroline Beauclerk (c. 1775 – 23 November 1838), married the Hon. Charles Dundas (son of Thomas Dundas, 1st Baron Dundas) and had issue.
  • Lady Georgiana Beauclerk (1776 – 17 October 1791), died unmarried at age 15.

From 1761 to 1768 he served as Member of Parliament for Thetford; from 1768 to 1774 he was Member for Aldborough.

In 1778 Beauclerk and his wife went to Rome, following rumors in the press concerning Catherine Beauclerk’s relationship with Thomas Brand (junior). Brand accompanied the Beauclerks to Rome, abandoning his own wife and children.

In 1779 Beauclerk financed an excavation with Thomas Jenkins at Centocelle, which produced several ancient sculptures. To celebrate this successful excavation Beauclerk commissioned Franciszek Smuglewicz to paint a portrait of him and his family at the site (the painting is now at Cheltenham Art Gallery). Some of the sculptures were sold to Giovanni Battista Visconti for the Museo Pio-Clementino at the Vatican in Rome, and others to the British collector, Henry Blundell; many were displayed at Beauclerk’s house at Hanworth by 1783. While in Italy Beauclerk also bought several paintings.

On the death of his father in 1781 Beauclerk became the 2nd Baron Vere, and in 1787, on the death of his cousin, he became the 5th Duke of St Albans.

Beauclerk disposed of his collection of antiquities at sales in 1798 and 1801 – which did not deter him from being a major purchaser in 1801 at sales of his father-in-law’s collections.

He died in 1802, and is buried in St George’s Church, Hanworth.

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