DEVEREUX, Leicester (? 1673-83)

DEVEREUX, Leicester (? 1673–83)

suc. fa. Dec. 1676 (a minor) as 7th Visct. HEREFORD

Never sat.

b. ?1673, s. of Leicester Devereux, 6th Visct. Hereford, and Priscilla, da. of John Catchpole of Suff. unm. bur. 12 Feb. 1683.

Under the terms of his father’s will, the three year old viscount was to remain in the custody of his mother until he attained the age of 15. After that time he would come under the guardianship of his father’s executors: Theophilus Hooke (rector of Sudbourne), Edward Steynor, Charles Cocks, and Ipswich lawyers Thomas Edgar (both senior and junior).1 His succession to the title at such a young age seems to have provided an opportunity for the raising of old grievances. On 30 May 1678, the House heard a petition from Francis Browne, 3rd Viscount Montagu, challenging the right to the title enjoyed by the descendants of Walter Devereux, 5th Viscount Hereford.2 Montagu claimed that the assumption of the title of viscount by the Devereux family had dishonoured both the royal dignity and the peerage.3 The House ordered that consideration of the matter be postponed until the 7th Viscount came of age.

In January 1681, Hereford’s mother fell ill. Advising her young son to remain loyal to the Church of England, she appointed as his guardians George Berkeley, 9th Baron Berkeley, the Presbyterian Sir Samuel Barnardiston, Theophilus Hooke and the Reverend Cave Beck of St. John’s, Cambridge.4 The 7th Viscount outlived his mother by less than two years. He was buried in Sudbourne, Suffolk on 12 Feb. 1683 and was succeeded in the title by his younger brother Edward Devereux, 8th Viscount Hereford.


  • 1 TNA, PROB 11/355.
  • 2 CSP Dom. 1678 and Addenda 1674-9, p. 196.
  • 3 Add. 38141, f. 113.
  • 4 G.C.M. Smith, Family of Withypoll, with Special Reference to their Manor of Christchurch, Ipswich, 93.