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St Albans, Earls And Dukes Of

ST ALBANS, EARLS AND DUKES OF. The English title of earl of St Albans was first borne by Richard Bourke, or de Burgh, 4th earl of Clanricarde (d. 1635), who was lord president of Connaught from 1604 to 1616 and governor of Galway in 1616. In 1624 he was made Baron Somerhill and Viscount Tunbridge in the English peerage, and in 1628 earl of St Albans, Baron Imanney and Viscount Galway. He became the third husband of Frances, dowager countess of Essex, whose first husband had been Sir Philip Sidney, and his English titles became extinct on the death of his only son, Ulick, 2nd earl of St Albans and marquess of Clanricarde, in 1657.

The second creation of an earl of St Albans was_in 1660, when Henry, Baron Jermyn, was made an earl under this title; but again it became extinct on his death in 1684.

The dukedom of St Albans was created in 1684 in favour of CHARLES BEAUCLERK (1670-1726), a natural son of Charles II. by Nell Gwynne. Born in London on the 8th of May 1670, Charles was made Baron Hedington and earl of Burford in December 1676. He became colonel in the 8th regiment of horse in 1687, and took service with the emperor Leopold I., being present at the siege of Belgrade in 1688 After the battle of Landen in 1693, William III. made him captain of the gentlemen pensioners, and four years later gentleman of the bedchamber His father had given him the reversion of the office of hereditary master falconer and that of hereditary registrar of the Court of Chancery, which fell vacant in 1698. His Whig sentiments prevented his advancement under Anne, but he was restored to favour at the accession of George I. He died at Bath on the loth of May 1726. His wife Diana, daughter and heiress of Aubrey de Vere, last earl of Oxford, was a well-known beauty, who became lady of the bedchamber to Caroline, princess of Wales, and survived until the 15th of January 1742. Charles was succeeded by his eldest son, CHARLES BEAUCLERK, 2nd duke of St Albans (1696-1751), while his youngest son, Lord Aubrey Beauclerk (c. 1710-1741), became a captain in the royal navy, and perished in a fight in the West Indies on the 22nd of March 1741. The second duke's son and heir, GEORGE BEAUCLERK, 3rd duke (1730-1786), was followed by his second cousin, George Beauclerk (1758-1787), 4th duke, who died unmarried, and was succeeded as 5th duke by his cousin, Aubrey Beauclerk (1740-1802). He was succeeded by his son Aubrey, the 6th duke (1765-1815), whose infant son Aubrey, 7th duke (b. 1815), died within a year of his father. The 8th duke, William (1766-1825), was the second son of the 5th duke. His son William (1801-1849), the 9th duke, married the actress Harriot Mellon, widow of the banker Thomas Coutts. She was celebrated for her beauty, and was painted by Romney. Her fortune derived from her first husband passed to her granddaughter Angela, Baroness Burdett-Coutts in her own right. The 9th duke was succeeded by his son by a second marriage, William Amelius Aubrey de Vere (1840-1898), whose son, Charles Victor Albert Aubrey de Vere, became the nth holder of the title.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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