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His Grace, Charles Duke of St. Albans, was a natural son of Charles II. (begotten on Mrs. Eleanor Gwin) on whom his Majesty conferred the name of Beauclerk. He was born in Lincoln's Inn Fields, on May 8th, 1670, and by letters patent, dated at Westminster, on December 27th, 28 Car. II a
was advanced to the state and degree of Baron of Heddington in com. Oxon. as also Earl of Burford in the same county, and to the heirs male of his body, with remainder, for default of such issue, to James, likewise surnamed Beauclerk (another of the natural sons of the said King by the before mentioned Mrs. Eleanor Gwin) and the heirs male of his body; which James died in France about Michaelmas, in the year 1680, unmarried. The said Charles was also further advanced to the dignity of DUKE OF ST. ALBANS, by other letters patent, dated on January 10th, 1683-4, 35 Car. II. and was constituted register of the high Court of Chancery, as also master falconer of England, with remainder to the heirs male of his body.
In the reign of James II. his Grace had a regiment of horse ; which b being under the command of his lieutenant colonel Langston, was among the first that went over to the Prince of Orange, on his landing in the West. His Grace at that time was with the Emperor's army in Hungary, having been at the siege of Belgrade, wherein he gained great honour in the general assault, on September 6th, 1688.
à Bill signat, 28 Car. II.
• Hist. of Eng. vol. iii. p. 328
His Grace being of full age, was introduced into the house of peers, on September 26th, 1692 ;C and the year after made the campaign under King William, arriving in the camp at Park, near Louvain, in June, 1693. Returning with his Majesty into England, he was sworn captain of the band of pensioners, on November 30th, 1693 ; and served in the campaign of 1695.
In 1697, the King of France acquainting his Majesty with the Duke of Burgundy's marriage, he was pleased at Kensington, on December 21st, to appoint his Grace, then one of the lords of the bedchamber, to return the compliment of the French King and the Dauphin.
Queen Anne continued his Gracé captain of the band of pensioners, and at the head of them he closed the procession, on September 7th, 1704, on her Majesty's going to St. Paul's on the thanksgiving-day for the glorious victory obtained at Blenheim, or Hockstet, on August 13th, N. S. that year. On the change of the ministry, in 1710, his Grace resigned his place of captain of the band of pensioners; but George I. on his accession to the throne, re-instated him in that post; and constituted him, on November 12th, 1714, Lord Lieutenant, and Custos Rotulorum of Berkshire. On March 31st, 1718, he was elected one of the knights companions of the most noble order of the garter, and installed at Windsor, on April 30th following.
His Grace departed this life in the fifty-sixth year of his age, on May 11th, 1726; at which time, besides the offices before mentioned, he enjoyed those of high steward of Windsor and Oakingham, in Berkshire.
On Tuesday, April 13th, 1694, he married the Lady Diana Vere,d daughter, and at length, sole heir of Aubrey de Vere, the twentieth and last Earl of Oxford, of that noble family, whereof Alberick, their direct ancestor, is mentioned in dooms-day book to be an Earl in the reign of King Edward the Confessor. She was first lady of the bedchamber, and lady of the stole, to Queen Caroline, when Princess of Wales. His Grace by her (who survived him till January 15th, 1741-2) left eight sons.
First, Charles, of whom I shall hereafter treat, as second Duke of St. Albans.
Second, Lord William Beauclerk, born on May 22d, 1698. He was captain of a troop in the royal regiment of horse guards,
and was a member in two parliaments for Chichester. On November 15th, 1728, he was constituted vice-chamberlain of her Majesty's houshold; and died at the Bath on February 23d, 1732-3. In 1725, he married Charlotte, daughter and coheir of Sir John Werden, of Cholmeston in Cheshire, and Layland in Lancashire, and Hollyport in Berkshire, Bart. and by her (who died on June 17th, 1745) left two sons, William, who died at Eton school on December 1st, 1738; and Charles Beauclerk, who, in March 1739-40, was appointed one of the pages of honour to the Duke of Cumberland : and after several gradations in the army, promoted, on October 16th, 1761, to the command of the 107th regiment of foot. He married Elizabeth, daughter of .... Jones, Esq. and had issue by her (who died December 5th, 1768) one son, George, born December 5th, 1758; who became in 1786, fifth Duke. The colonel died on August 30th, 1775. His Lordship had also two daughters ; Charlotte, married to Jobn Drummond, Esq. son of Andrew Drummond, Esq. banker at Charing Cross, Westminster, and brother to the Right Hon. William Drummond, fourth Viscount Strathallan ; and Caroline, married to the late Sir William Draper, Knight of the Bath, major general of his Majesty's forces, and commander in chief on the expedition against Manilla and the Philippine Islands, which were reduced, but restored to the Spaniards at the late peace.
Third, Lord Vere Beauclerk, created Lord Vere of Hanworth, grandfather of the present Duke. · He was born on July 14th, 1699, and died October 2d, 1781, at his house in St. James'ssquare, and was by desire of his will privately interred, the 6th, fol. lowing, in a vault in St. James's church. Entering early into a maritime life, be distinguished himself in several commands.
In 1721, his Lordship was captain of the Lyme man of war, and, after touching at Lisbon, sailed to Gibraltar, which he left on September 31st, 1722, and from thence sailed to Leghorn for intelligence. Also, being afterward at Genoa, he departed from thence on December 7th, O. S. to cruize in the Mediterranean, and the Streights. On January 11th, N. S. 1723, his Lordship entered the harbour of Lisbon: and the same year returned into the Mediterranean; where cruizing for some time, and leaving Port Mahon, he arrived from thence at Lisbon, on February 19th,
• He died 25th of July, 1774, aged fifry-one years, at Spa in Germany.
N. S. 1724. He afterwards sailed again up the Mediterranean to Genoa, from whence he returned to Lisbon on July 5th, 1724. Also having his station in the Mediterranean he came from Port Mahon on October 21st, the same year; and continuing on that station, sailed from Lisbon for Genoa in January, N. S. 1726, from whence he returned after several cruises to Lisbon, on August 6th, 1726. On the 12th he put to sea again for Gibraltar: and on September 1st following, joined Sir John Jennings's squadron, cruising with him off Cape Stellary. After continuing in the mouth of the Streights in October and November, he arrived at Lisbon on December 8th from Gibraltar. His Lordship afterwards commanded the Hampton Court, one of the squadron under Sir Charles Wager, that sailed from Spithead, on July 14th, 1731, to introduce the Spanish garrisons into Tuscany. Before Sir Charles left Leghorn, he sent Lord Vere to the Grand Duke of Florence, with his compliments of excuse to him for not waiting in person, on account of the advanced season's making it necessary to hasten his departure home. Accordingly on December - 10th, 1731, Sir Charles, with part of his squadron (amongst which was the Hampton Court) arrived in twenty days at St. Helen's, from Gibraltar. His Lordship was, after passing through a regular succession of inferior commands, advanced to the rank of commodore in his Majesty's navy, and having resigned that command, was, on March 7th, 1737-8, constituted one of the commissioners for executing the office of high admiral of Great Britain and Ireland. He continued in the office of commissioner of the admiralty, with some intermissions, till be voluntarily resigned in July, 1749. After gradual promotions, his Lordship was constituted admiral of the blue squadron of his Majesty's feet in 1748. His Lordship was, in 1727, elected one of the members for the borough of New Windsor, in Berkshire, to the first parliament called by King George II. and sat for the same place, in the next which convened for the dispatch of business on January 14th, 1734-5, and was the eighth parliament of Great Britain. At the general election, in 1741, he was returned for the town of Plymouth, in Devonshire ; for which he was also chosen, in 1747, to the tenth parliament of Great Britain : but before the conclusion of that assembly, his late Majesty was pleased to create him a peer of Great Britain, by the stile and title of Lord Vere of Hanworth, in com. Middlesex, by letters patent, bearing date March 28th, 1750, whereupon he was intro
duced into the house of peers, and took his seat there on the 30th of the same month.
Upon the resignation of his nephew, George, the third Duke of St. Alban's, in 1761, bis Lordship succeeded him as Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the county of Berks, which he afterwards resigned.
In April 1736, his Lordship married Mary, eldest daughter and coheir of Thomas Chambers, of Hanworth in the county of Middlesex, Esq. by his wife, the Lady Mary Berkeley, sister of James, 3d Earl of Berkeley; and by her Ladyship (who was sister to the late Countess Temple, and who died January 21st, 1783, at her house in St. James's-square);' had issue four sons, first, Vere; second, Chambers; third, Sackville, who all died young; and, fourth, Aubrey: and two daughters, first, Elizabeth, who died young ; second, Mary, born December 4th, 1743, married October 2d, 1762, to Lord Charles Spencer, brother to his Grace George, the present Duke of Marlborough. He died, as has been said, October 2d, 1781.
The said Aubrey, his Lordship's only surviving son, who succeeded as Lord Vere on the death of his father, afterwards became fifth Duke of St. Albans.
Fourth, Lord Henry, born' on August 11th, 1701, who distinguished himself at the siege of Gibraltar as a volunteer under the Earl of Portmore, in 1727, and after being captain of a company, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, in the first regiment of foot guards, was, on March 19th, 1742-3, constituted colonel of the fifty-ninth regiment of foot, and of the thirty-first on April 25th, 1745. He was first elected for Plymouth, on a vacancy, in 1740, and afterwards served for Thetford in Norfolk till his death, on January 6th, 1761.8 He married, in December 1738, Mary, sister and heir of Nevil Lord Lovelace, by whom he had a son George, who died an infant; and a son Henry, born August 12th, 1745, and died 1774, having married, November 24th, 1769, to Charlotte, daughter of John Drummond, Esq.; and six daughters. Diana, born June 24th, 1741; Henrietta, born November 26th, 1742; Mary, born November 25th, 1743; Charlotte, born October 24th, 1746; Martha, born December 12th, 1747; and Anne, born October 5th, 1749.
f D. 17---36, in Her. Coll. He was interred the uth of January, at Whitchurch near C. 16.--102, in Her. Coll.