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Posts Tagged ‘Augustus Henry FitzRoy 3rd Duke of Grafton’

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.

John Crewe 1st Baron Crewe
27 September 1742 – 28 April 1829

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John Crewe

John Crewe 1st Baron Crewe of Crewe Hall in Cheshire, was a British politician. He is chiefly remembered for his sponsorship of Crewe’s Act of 1782, which barred customs officers and post office officials from voting.

Crewe was the eldest son of John Crewe, Member of Parliament for Cheshire between 1734 and 1753, and grandson of John Offley Crewe who had also held the same seat before him. In 1764 he was chosen High Sheriff of Cheshire, and he entered parliament at a by-election in 1765 as Whig member for Stafford; but at the next general election, in 1768, he was returned unopposed for Cheshire, which he represented for the next 34 years. He was never opposed for Cheshire, and presumably was highly regarded locally : the Dictionary of National Biography records that he was “an enlightened agriculturalist and a good landlord”.

In the factional politics of the Whig Party, Crewe was initially a friend and follower of the Duke of Grafton, but later became a particular supporter of Charles James Fox, apparently subsidising him to the tune of £1200 a year. After Fox’s resignation from office in 1782, the incoming administration considered offering Crewe some governmental office to secure his support, but were told that his only ambition was for a peerage. He remained loyal to Fox, and in February 1784 was on Fox’s list of new peers to be made should he return to office as he hoped. Fox did not succeed in returning to power at that point, but eventually – four years after his retirement from the Commons – Crewe was rewarded with the desired peerage when Fox finally returned to office in 1806. Crewe was created Baron Crewe on 25 February 1806.

Crewe rarely spoke in the House of Commons, and more than half his recorded contributions concerned a single measure, the Parliament Act of 1782 which thereafter bore his name. This was an attempt to curb a particular source of corruption in elections: in many of the rotten boroughs of the period, only a few votes were needed to swing elections, and it was common for those who held the power of appointment to various well-paid official posts to reserve these for voters in return for co-operation at election time. The scale of the problem may be judged by Prime Minister Rockingham’s statement that 11,500 officers of customs and excise were electors, and that 70 Commons seats were decided chiefly by such votes. William Dowdeswell had attempted in 1770 to put a stop to this practice by preventing officers of the Custom, Excise and Post Office from voting. This measure had not reached the statute book, but Crewe introduced a bill with the same object in 1780 and again in 1781, succeeding on the latter occasion in passing it into law.

Unfortunately, the new regulation was easily evaded, as the power of patronage was simply shifted to offer lucrative offices to the voters’ relatives instead of to the voters themselves.

He married Frances Anne Greville in 1766, and they had two children who survived infancy: a son, John, who succeeded him in the peerage, and a daughter, Emma, who married Foster Cunliffe. Lord Crewe died in 1829.

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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.

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy
10 June 1796 – 16 February 1858

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Charles Augustus FitzRoy

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy was born in England, the eldest son of General Lord Charles FitzRoy and Frances Mundy. His grandfather, Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1768 to 1770.

Charles’ half brother Robert FitzRoy would become a pioneering meteorologist and surveyor, Captain of HMS Beagle, and later Governor of New Zealand.

The young Charles FitzRoy was educated at the Harrow School in London, before receiving a commission in the Royal Horse Guards regiment of the British Army at the age of 16. Just after his 19th birthday, FitzRoy’s regiment took part in the Battle of Waterloo, where as an extra aide-de-camp on Wellington’s staff he was wounded. He travelled to Lower Canada with the Duke of Richmond in 1818. On 11 March 1820, he married Lady Mary Lennox (daughter of the Duke of Richmond), just after his promotion to Captain. In 1825, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and appointed Deputy Adjutant General of the Cape Colony (now the Cape of Good Hope).

Sir Charles was appointed as the eleventh Governor of Prince Edward Island off the coast of Canada on 31 March 1837, and was granted a knighthood just before his departure. He returned to England in 1841 and shortly afterwards was made Governor of the Leeward Islands in the West Indies until 1845.

Sir Charles was chosen as the tenth Governor of the colony of New South Wales by Lord Stanley in 1845. FitzRoy replaced Sir George Gipps as governor who had been a strong ruler but had provoked the animosity of many in the colony. It is likely that FitzRoy was chosen because he tended to be more appeasing in his approach. FitzRoy, his wife and his son George arrived in the colony on board HMS Carysfort on 2 August 1846. His wife and other children joined them later.

Soon after his arrival he was asked to use his influence to procure the disallowance of an act of the Tasmanian legislature imposing a duty of 15% on products imported from New South Wales. Fitzroy brought before the British government the advisability of some superior functionary being appointed, to whom all measures passed by local legislatures should be referred before being assented to. In the long discussion over the separation of the Port Phillip district, Fitzroy showed tact and himself favoured bi-cameral legislatures for the new constitutions. The need for some type of federation between the various colonies was recognised, and as a step towards this Fitzroy was given a commission in 1850 appointing him governor-general of the Australian colonies. During his governorship great steps were made in the development of New South Wales. Transportation of convicts ceased, the Sydney University was founded, a branch of the royal mint was established and responsible government was granted. In 1847, Fitzroy served briefly as Governor of the Colony of North Australia, although his lieutenant-governor, George Barney had the main responsibility for establishing the new colony under FitzRoy’s direction.

After sixteen months in the colony, Sir Charles’ wife Mary was killed in a coach accident on 7 December 1847. A distraught FitzRoy considered resigning and returning to England, but his finances did not permit it.

In 1851 he named Grafton, New South Wales, after his grandfather Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton.

Sir Charles remained in New South Wales for eight eventful years, which saw many changes take place in the Australian colonies, not in the least being the first tentative steps towards Federation of the Australian states. In 1853, FitzRoy was appointed as Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, South Australia and Victoria – essentially a pre-Federation Governor-General of Australia, with wide-ranging powers to intervene in inter-colonial disputes.

On 28 January 1855 he departed Australia and returned to England. On 11 September, his eldest son Augustus (a Captain in the Royal Regiment of Artillery) was killed in the Crimean War. On 11 December, he married Margaret Gordon (widow of a Melbourne land agent).

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy died in London on 16 February 1858 at the age of 61.

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy married, firstly, Lady Mary Lennox (15 August 1790 – 7 December 1847), first-born child of Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, on 11 March 1820. They had 4 children:

  • Captain Augustus Charles Lennox FitzRoy (20 September 1821 – 11 September 1855)
  • Mary Caroline FitzRoy (20 December 1823 – 22 November 1895)
  • George Henry FitzRoy (13 September 1826 – 8 July 1868)
  • Commander Arthur George FitzRoy (20 March 1827 – 9 January 1861)

Lady Mary died from a carriage accident in Parramatta Park, outside Government House, in 1847. Within a year of her death, rumours were circulated about the colony of New South Wales about FitzRoy’s ‘womanising’ ways. In 1850, FitzRoy made a visit to Berrima, to inspect the Fitzroy IronWorks. The Governor stayed at the Surveyor General’s Inn, operated by former boxing champion Edward “Ned” Chalker (sometimes Charker). Ned’s step-daughter, Mary Ann Chalker, who was 18 at the time, worked there. Nine months later, she gave birth to a son, named Charles Augustus FitzRoy, after his father, the Governor. This boy was, later, adopted by ex-convict John Fitzsimons and his family.

  • Charles Augustus FitzRoy Fitzsimons (9 November 1850 – 19 July 1921)

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy married, secondly (after his return to England), Margaret Gordon, on 11 December 1855. There was no issue from this marriage.

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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.

General Lord Charles FitzRoy
17 July 1764 – 20 December 1829

Lord Charles FitzRoy was the second son of Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton and his first wife, Anne, a daughter of Henry Liddell, 1st Baron Ravensworth. After education at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge, he entered the army in 1782 as an ensign. In 1787, he was appointed a captain in the Scots Guards and an equerry in 1788, to Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, under whom he served in Flanders from 1793-4.

In 1795, FitzRoy was appointed an aide-de-camp to King George III with the rank of colonel and promoted to major-general in 1798. From 1798-99, he served in Ireland then in England until 1809, commanding a battalion of the 60th Regiment of Foot from 1804-5. He was appointed colonel of the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot and lieutenant-general in 1805 and general in 1814.

From 1787-96 and again from 1802–18, FitzRoy was member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds (though never actually spoke in the house). He supported Pitt and favoured abolitionism and Catholic Emancipation.

FitzRoy died at his house in Berkeley Square, London in 1829 and was buried at Wicken, Northamptonshire.

On 20 June 1795, FitzRoy married Frances Mundy (d. 1797; the daughter of Edward Miller Mundy, MP) and they had one son, Sir Charles FitzRoy who was the governor of New South Wales, governor of Prince Edward Island and governor of Antigua. After his wife’s death, he married Lady Frances Stewart (d. 1810; the eldest daughter of Robert Stewart, 1st Marquess of Londonderry) and they had three children:

  • George FitzRoy (c.1800-1882), British Army officer.
  • Robert (1805–1865), hydrographer.
  • Frances (d. 1878), married George Rice-Trevor, 4th Baron Dynevor.

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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.

Francis Almeric Spencer 1st Baron Churchill
26 December 1779 – 10 March 1845

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Francis Almeric Spencer

Francis Almeric Spencer 1st Baron Churchill was a British peer and Whig politician from the Spencer family.

Born Lord Francis Almeric Spencer, he was the second youngest of the 4th Duke of Marlborough. From 1801–15, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for Oxfordshire and on his retirement from the Commons, was raised to the peerage as Baron Churchill, of Whichwood in the County of Oxford.

Lord Churchill married Lady Frances FitzRoy, daughter of Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, on 25 November 1800. He died in 1845 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Francis George. His third son was General The Hon. Sir Augustus Almeric Spencer, G.C.B..

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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.

Rear Admiral Lord William FitzRoy
1 June 1782 – 13 May 1857

Rear Admiral Lord William FitzRoy was the third son of Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, by his second wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of the Reverend Sir Richard Wrottesley, Bt.; he was also an uncle of Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy.

FitzRoy entered the Navy on 21 April 1794, on board the frigate Phaeton, firstly serving under Captain William Bentinck, and following the battle of the Glorious First of June, under Captain Robert Stopford. He then served abroad the 74-gun Leviathan, under Lord Hugh Seymour, following him into the 80-gun Sans Pareil, and seeing action at the Battle of Groix on 23 June 1795. After serving in the frigates Niger, Captain Edward Foote; Phoenix, Captain Lawrence Halsted; and Cambrian, Captain the Hon. Arthur Kaye Legge, in February 1798 he rejoined Captain Foote on board Seahorse, and was present at the action of 27 June 1798 when Seahorse captured the French frigate Sensible in the Strait of Sicily.

FitzRoy was promoted to lieutenant on 13 May 1800 into the frigate Penelope, Captain the Honourable Henry Blackwood, in which he witnessed the surrender of Malta in September, and took part in the Egyptian Campaign in mid-1801. On 31 October 1801, he was appointed acting-commander of the sloop Salamine, and after this was confirmed on 7 January 1802, commanded Mutine. He returned to England, and from 26 January 1803 commanded Fairy. FitzRoy was promoted to post-captain on 3 March 1804, taking command of the frigate Aeolus, and was present at the battle of Cape Ortegal on 4 November 1805, and at the invasion of Martinique in February 1809.

In June 1810 he commissioned the frigate Macedonian to serve on the Lisbon station. On 7 April 1811 FitzRoy was dismissed from the Navy after a court-martial found him guilty of “False Expense of Stores” and “Tyranny & Oppression”. FitzRoy was charged with falsifying the reports of the ships stores and selling the surplus for his own profit. He also sentenced a seaman to 48 lashes for drunkenness, four times the legal maximum. Furthermore, when challenged, FitzRoy accused the master of “contempt” and had him clapped in irons, also in breach of naval law. Despite being declared incapable of ever serving again as an officer, FitzRoy was restored to his former rank and seniority by the Prince Regent the following August, though he received no further employment in the Navy. Nevertheless, he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 4 June 1815, promoted to rear admiral on 10 January 1837, and made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 4 July 1840.

Fitzroy was still on active service in Aeolus when he was elected as Member of Parliament for the family seat of Thetford in the 1806 election, and so did not make first appearance in the house until 1810, as a supporter of the Whigs. He was replaced as MP by his brother Lord John FitzRoy at the 1812 election.

On 9 August 1816 he married Georgiana, the second daughter of Thomas Raikes, and had a son and three daughters. Admiral FitzRoy died at East Sheen, London, on 13 May 1857.

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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 Francis Almeric Spencer
26 December 1779 – 10 March 1845

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Francis Almeric Spencer

Lord Francis Almeric Spencer was a British peer and Whig politician from the Spencer family.

Born Lord Francis Almeric Spencer, he was the second youngest of the 4th Duke of Marlborough. From 1801–15, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for Oxfordshire and on his retirement from the Commons, was raised to the peerage as Baron Churchill, of Whichwood in the County of Oxford.

Lord Churchill married Lady Frances FitzRoy, daughter of Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, on 25 November 1800. He died in 1845 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Francis George. His third son was General The Hon. Sir Augustus Almeric Spencer, G.C.B..

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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.

George Villiers 4th Earl of Jersey
9 June 1735 – 22 August 1805

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George Villers

George Villers was Between 1756 and his father’s death in 1769 continuously in the House of Commons as MP for, in turn, Tamworth in Staffordshire, Aldborough in the West Riding of Yorkshire and Dover in Kent. In 69 he inherited his father’s title and went into Lords. He followed the political lead of the duke of Grafton in both the Commons and Lords. He was a lord of the Admiralty from 1761 to 1763 and was sworn of the privy council in 1765. Lord chamberlain from 1765 to 1769, on his elevation to the peerage he was made a gentleman of the bedchamber to George III and thereafter held various court posts until 1800.
He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1787.

The 4th Earl of Jersey was the son of William Villiers, 3rd Earl of Jersey and Lady Anne Egerton, the daughter of Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgewater and his first wife, Lady Elizabeth Churchill, a daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and his wife Sarah Jennings.

Lord Jersey married Frances Twysden, at her stepfather’s house in the parish of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields on 26 March 1770. Lady Jersey, who was seventeen years younger than her husband, became in 1793 after she had turned 40 and was more than once a grandmother, one of the more notorious mistresses of George IV when he was still Prince of Wales.

Lord and Lady Jersey had ten children:

  • Lady Charlotte Anne Villiers, married Lord William Russell in 1789,
  • Anne Barbara Frances Villiers, married William Henry Lambton and had issue, including John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham; married secondly Hon. Charles Wyndham, son of Charles, 2nd Earl of Egremont.
  • George Child Villiers, 5th Earl of Jersey, married Sarah Sophia Fane daughter of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland and Sarah Anne Child, only child of Robert Child, the principal shareholder in the banking firm Child & Co.
  • Lady Caroline Elizabeth Villiers, married firstly Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey and had issue. She divorced him in the Scottish courts in 1809 and married secondly, George Campbell, 6th Duke of Argyll.
  • Lady Georgiana Villiers
  • Lady Sarah Villiers, married Charles Nathaniel Bayley
  • Hon. William Augustus Henry Villiers
  • Lady Elizabeth Villiers
  • Lady Frances Elizabeth Villiers, married John Ponsonby, 1st Viscount Ponsonby, in 1803.
  • Lady Harriet Villiers, married Richard Bagot, Bishop of Oxford in 1806

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