LENNOX, Charles (1672-1723)

LENNOX, Charles (1672–1723)

cr. 9 Aug. 1675 (a minor) duke of RICHMOND; cr. 9 Sept. 1675 duke of Lennox [S]

First sat 14 Nov. 1693; last sat 19 Mar. 1723

b. 29 July 1672, illegit. s. of King Charles II and Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kéroualle (later suo jure duchess of Portsmouth). educ. privately. m. Jan. 1693, Anne (d.1722), da. of Francis Brudenell, styled Ld. Brudenell, wid. of Henry Belasyse, 2nd Bar. Belasyse, 1s. 2da. (1 d.v.p.).1 KG 1681. d. 27 May 1723; will 24 May, pr. 10 June 1723.2

Master of the horse 1681-5; gent. of the bedchamber 1714-d.

Gov. Dumbarton castle 1681; high steward York 1683; ld. high adm. [S], 1694-1704;3 PC [I], 1715.

Grand master of freemasons, 1696-7; gov. mine adventurers co. of Wales 1720.

Associated with: Goodwood House, Suss.; St James’s Sq. Westminster and Arlington St., Westminster.4

Likenesses: oil on canvas by W. Wissing, c.1681, Goodwood House, West Sussex; mezzotint by I. Beckett, aft. Wissing, NPG D29467; oil on canvas by Sir G. Kneller, 1703-10, NPG 3221.

Described by John Evelyn as ‘a very pretty boy’, Charles Lennox was later rather less enthusiastically assessed by Thomas Hearne as ‘a man of very little understanding.’ John Macky reckoned him ‘good-natured to a fault’ but ‘an enemy to business’ and ‘very credulous’.5 At least one scurrilous poem written during Queen Anne’s reign also drew attention to the impression that he was not a serious man, but he does not seem to have been entirely devoid of wit. When he was elected high steward of York, he wrote to the city thanking them for the honour and trusting that as the king had ‘been pleased to give him a Yorkshire title’ that he would be ‘of a true Yorkshire temper.’6

The only son of the union of King Charles II and his French mistress, Louise de Kéroualle, duchess of Portsmouth, his creation as duke of Richmond in August 1675 represented a triumph for his mother. She succeeded in ensuring that the patent for his dukedom was signed before that of Henry Fitzroy, duke of Grafton, son of her arch-rival, Barbara Palmer, duchess of Cleveland, thereby ensuring Richmond’s seniority in the peerage.7 In September Richmond was also created duke of Lennox in the Scottish peerage, and his education was entrusted to a Scots peeress, the Countess Marischal.8 Portsmouth’s success in acquiring these honours for her son owed much to her alliance at that time with Robert Spencer, 2nd earl of Sunderland. Sunderland was also instrumental in securing the French king’s agreement to promote the seigneury of Aubigny into a dukedom for the duchess during her lifetime with reversion to Richmond.9

By 1679 Portsmouth appears to have been active in attempting to establish her son as an alternative to his half-brother James Scott, duke of Monmouth, as a potential heir to the throne.10 Although Portsmouth denied being responsible for having Monmouth stripped of his offices, Richmond was tipped as his replacement as master of the horse.11 Portsmouth even appears to have requested the attorney general (Sir Cresswell Levinz) to draw up a patent appointing her son to the post, only for Levinz to point out to her that it could not be so easily reassigned.12 It was thus not until three years after that Richmond replaced Monmouth as master of the horse, by which time he had also provoked further dissension in the royal family by being awarded a garter in advance of Nell Gwyn’s son, Charles Beauclerk, earl of Burford (later duke of St Albans).13 Portsmouth’s tireless efforts on her son’s behalf proved insufficient to secure his marriage to Lady Elizabeth Percy, sole heiress to Josceline Percy, 5th earl of Northumberland (King Charles himself appearing to favour an alliance for Lady Elizabeth with another of his bastards).14 When the match with Elizabeth Percy failed to materialize, Portsmouth sought a foreign bride for her son, and in 1684 he was naturalized in France. The following year, on the death of King Charles II, Richmond was put out as master of the horse by the new king. His loss of office was almost certainly owing to King James’s personal enmity towards Portsmouth. In August 1685 Richmond and his mother travelled to France, where they remained for the duration of James II’s reign.15

Richmond converted to Catholicism in 1685, but following the Revolution he was reported to have spoken disparagingly of King James’ exiled court, and he was refused permission to join the expedition to Ireland being considered too young and too small.16 Complaining of his poor prospects in the service of the French king and of ‘having met with great abuses in France, as others of his countrymen have done’, in February 1692 Richmond turned coat and having, reputedly, purloined his mother’s jewels, he made his way back to England.17 In May he reconverted to Anglicanism, expressing his ‘hearty contrition and repentance for having publicly renounced and abjured the reform religion’, and the same month joined a number of noble volunteers accompanying King William to the campaign in Flanders.18

Rumours that Richmond was to marry a daughter of the fabulously wealthy Sir Josiah Child (with a reputed portion of £40,000) circulated in October 1692 but these proved inaccurate.19 Instead in January of the following year he married the widowed Anne, Lady Belasyse, ‘a lady of extraordinary beauty and virtue’, apparently ‘against the wishes of her best friends.’20 On 14 Nov. 1693 he took his seat in the House, a week into the 1693-4 session, introduced between his half-brothers, George Fitzroy, duke of Northumberland, and St Albans. His introduction, intended for 7 Nov., had been delayed by the discovery that he had left his patent in France forcing him to wait while an exemplification was prepared.21 Present on approximately 37 per cent of sitting days that session, on 8 Dec. he acted as teller on the question of whether the House should read a proviso to the bill for frequent Parliaments.

Richmond was appointed to two Scots offices in May 1694, which had previously been held by William Hamilton, 3rd duke of Hamilton [S].22 Following a quarrel with a Mr Leonard at the playhouse on 28 June, Richmond was prevented from fighting a duel by the king’s Dutch guards, but when a further challenge was sent in July he was taken into custody.23 He was released in time to take his seat for the final (1694-5) session of the 1690 Parliament on 12 Nov. 1694 when, with Meinhard Schomberg, duke of Schomberg, he introduced the newly promoted Charles Talbot, as duke of Shrewsbury; on 20 Nov. he was one of the peers to introduce John Holles, earl of Clare, as duke of Newcastle. Despite being present on the first day of the session, Richmond’s name was omitted from the committee for privileges, and he was thereafter named to just two select committees during the session, which he attended for approximately 46 per cent of sitting days.

Richmond was absent from the opening of the new Parliament on 22 Nov. 1695. On 12 Dec. he registered his proxy with Laurence Hyde, earl of Rochester, which was vacated by his presence on 13 Mar. 1696. He appears to have spent part of the intervening time in hiding. Although he signed the Association, Richmond was suspected of complicity in Jacobite intriguing early in 1696. He was one of a handful of peers who were ordered to be placed in custody, though he seems to have avoided this by maintaining a low profile at his country retreat in Sussex.24 Having returned to the House, Richmond attended just 13 of the 124 days in the session. He was named to no committees and appears to have played little part in the House’s business.

His attendance improved slightly in the following (1696-7) session. Although he was missing from the attendance list on the opening day (20 Oct.), he was named to the committee for privileges and was then present on 28 per cent of the remainder of the session. Absent at a call of the House on 14 Nov., he resumed his seat in accordance with the House’s order, on 23 November. On 30 Nov. he was nominated a manager of the conference with the Commons concerning the ease of the subject, and on 2 Dec. he was named to the committee considering the answers provided by the Admiralty commissioners. On 23 Dec. Richmond found Sir John Fenwick guilty of treason. Richmond attended just eight further days in the session, absenting himself after 5 Mar., but on 8 Mar. 1697 he registered his proxy with Sidney Godolphin, Baron (later earl of) Godolphin (perhaps to be used in the divisions on the amendments to the wrought silks bill held on 9 and 19 March). The proxy was vacated by the close of the session.

Richmond purchased an estate at Goodwood in 1697 for £4,700 (it was not until 1720 that he appears to have secured the entire manor). At first intended as a hunting lodge the house and estate, which had been confiscated from the Catholic Carylls, came to be his principal seat. He was present on almost half of all sitting days during the 1697-8 session and was named to seven committees. On 15 Mar. 1698 he voted in favour of committing the bill for punishing Charles Duncombe. In April Richmond’s mother, Portsmouth, began ‘bothering’ the English ambassador at Paris, Hans Willem Bentinck, earl of Portland, to allow her to return to England from her French exile.25 When her request was at last granted that summer, Richmond, with whom she had apparently reconciled since the supposed theft of her jewels, met her at Dover.26

The early autumn of 1698 found Richmond engaged in the pleasures of the chase in company with Shrewsbury and Ford Grey, earl of Tankerville, in Sussex.27 He had returned to London to take his seat in the new Parliament by 6 Dec., after which he was present on 36 per cent of all sitting days but was named to just one committee. He resumed his seat in the second session on 16 Nov. 1699, after which he was present for approximately 30 per cent of all sitting days. The same month he was one of the peers to offer (unsuccessfully) to stand bail for Captain Kirke, cousin of the duchess of St Albans, who was indicted for killing Popham Seymour Conway in a duel.28 On 1 Feb. 1700 Richmond was forecast as being opposed to continuing the East India Company as a corporation. Later that month he appears to have taken a break from his duties in the House to accompany Hugh Cholmondeley, Viscount (later earl of) Cholmondeley, with whom he shared a love of hunting, to Gloucestershire.29 He had returned to London by 4 Apr. when he subscribed the protest at the resolution to read the land tax bill a second time. The following day he acted as teller in a division held in a committee of the whole considering the land tax bill, and on 9 Apr. he was nominated a manager of the conference concerning the measure. Named a manager of two further conferences on 10 Apr., on the same day he protested at the resolution to pass the land tax bill.

Richmond took his seat in the new Parliament on 24 May 1701 but attended on just six days of the session. His poor attendance may have been connected with the birth of his heir, Charles Lennox, styled earl of March (later 2nd duke of Richmond) on 18 May 1701.30 In September he again joined Cholmondeley and his brother, St Albans, for a hunting party at Cholmondeley’s seat.31 Richmond resumed his seat in the second Parliament of 1701 on 30 Dec. after which he was present on 56 per cent of sitting days. On 8 Mar. 1702 (along with most of those present in the chamber) he was named one of the managers of the conference following the king’s death. Active in the elections in Sussex following the dissolution, in July he was able to report that, ‘we have had very good luck in our parliament men hereabouts’ continuing to ‘hope it may be so all over England’.32 He took his seat in the new Parliament on 20 Oct. 1702, after which he was present on just over half of the 1702-3 session. In December he stood surety for the chevalier du Chastel, a French prisoner of war, employing his interest to procure Chastel better lodgings.33 Estimated as being in favour of the occasional conformity bill in or about January 1703, on 16 Jan. he voted against adhering to the Lords’ amendment to the penalty clause. On 21 Jan. he presented a petition to bring in an appeal from a decree in chancery (though this was later withdrawn with the petitioner’s consent), and on 22 Apr. he introduced John Sheffield, as duke of Buckingham.34

Richmond again took his seat at the opening of the 1703-4 session which he attended for 62 per cent of sitting days. Before the session he was again forecast as being in favour of the occasional conformity bill, but by late November or early December his support was reappraised as doubtful. The second forecast proved to be prescient as on 14 Dec. he voted against the measure. Three days later, he was noted as being in company with the Whig Charles Bennet, 2nd Baron Ossulston (later earl of Tankerville), at the home of Charles Powlett, 2nd duke of Bolton.35 On 24 Mar. 1704 Richmond registered his protest at the resolution not to put the question whether the information contained in the examination of Sir James Maclean was imperfect.

Richmond was obliged to part with several of his Scottish offices, including that of lord high admiral, during the summer for which he was paid £3,000.36 Absent at the opening of the 1704-5 session, on 23 Nov. he was excused at a call of the House. He arrived on 7 Dec. 1704, after which he was present on 43 per cent of sitting days. Curiously, despite his adherence to the Whigs, he was noted as a Jacobite in an analysis of the peerage drawn up on or about 1705. Perhaps this was indicative of his reputation for political untrustworthiness, or a reflection of his status as almost a prince.

During the general election in May 1705 he set up Sir Thomas Littleton at Chichester in the Whig interest. Following Littleton’s success at the polls, it was reported that Richmond, ‘was so transported with joy for his victory, that he wrote a short account of his success upon an open piece of paper and sent it as the news of Blenheim came’ to the duchess of Marlborough.37 Richmond had less success in the county elections for Sussex. Appearing at the poll at Lewes with Charles Seymour, 6th duke of Somerset, in support of Sir Henry Peachey and John Morley Trevor, the two dukes were ordered off the bench by the sheriff, who insisted that peers had no right to participate in the election. Somerset and Richmond had to spend the remainder of the day kicking their heels at a puppet show.38 The result of the election was a compromise with Trevor being returned with the Tory candidate, Sir George Parker.39 Richmond was adamant that Peachey, who was just 19 votes adrift from Parker, should have carried the vote and would be successful in an appeal:

if Sir Harry demands a scrutiny I am sure he must carry it by 40. My business of coming to Chichester was to get more votes for I intended to ride all night to have got to Lewes … to morrow by nine in the morning and if the poll had not been closed last night Sir Harry would have carried it out of sight for I had a hundred freeholders to have gone with me. But now it is too late. I am sure I did what I could to throw out a damned Jacobite and get in an honest Whig …40

Richmond’s efforts to influence events in Worcestershire proved only partially effectual. Although his preferred candidate, William Walsh, was beaten into third place, he promised that his tenants would give their second votes to Sir John Pakington, who was returned with William Bromley.41

Richmond was absent from the opening of the new Parliament in October 1705. He took his seat on 30 Nov., after which he was present on approximately 57 per cent of all sitting days. The same day he proposed a facetious amendment to the motion made by Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of Nottingham, for securing the church, proposing that King William’s act for the preservation of game should also be assured.42 The same day he acted as teller in a committee of the whole concerning the Protestant succession bill, and on 6 Dec. he voted against the assertion that the Church was in danger. Richmond again acted as teller on 18 Jan. 1706 on the question of whether to adjourn the House, and on 22 Feb. he was named one of the managers of the conference for Cary and Hartley’s bill. On 11 Mar. he was named a manager of both conferences held that day concerning Sir Rowland Gwynne’s letter to Thomas Grey, 2nd earl of Stamford.

Richmond attended just over half of the sitting days during the 1706-7 session. He was absent from the House on 24 Jan. 1707 but was again noted as dining with Ossulston and other senior Whig peers; he took his seat four days later.43 Present on just four days of the nine-day session of April 1707, Richmond resumed his seat in the first Parliament of Great Britain on 23 Oct., after which he was present on almost 62 per cent of sitting days. In November it was reported that he was to be the beneficiary of a life interest in the estate of the recently deceased John Fitzgerald, 18th earl of Kildare [I].44 Present in the House on 5 Feb. 1708 for the debate held in a committee of the whole concerning the dissolution of the Scots Privy Council, Richmond divided with the majority, voting for it to be terminated in May rather than delaying to October.45

Richmond was noted as a Whig in a list of party classifications drawn up in about 1708. During the elections he again backed Sir Thomas Littleton at Chichester, this time unsuccessfully.46 As duke of Lennox, Richmond also commanded some influence in Scotland. In May 1708 John Erskine, 22nd earl of Mar [S], sought his support in the election for Scots representative peers. Although Richmond confessed his ignorance of the process, he informed Mar that he had already sent his proxy to William Ross, 12th Lord Ross [S], but undertook to write to Ross to have Mar’s name added to his list.47 Having succeeded (whether by accident or design) in eluding most court commentators as to the manner in which he had employed his interest in Scotland, Richmond was one of a number of peers to have his proxy challenged at the election.48

Richmond’s lack of reward for his commitment to the Whigs was clearly beginning to rankle. In March 1708 he appears to have attempted to secure a command in the army at the expense of Arnold Joost van Keppel, earl of Albemarle.49 Six months later, he approached Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, for his assistance in gaining him a post:

Your lordship knows I have received so many rebukes from the court that I am a little shy of being refused again therefore will not ask any body’s favour till I have some encouragement first from you … I hope your lordship is sensible that it is not the salary of a place makes me ambitious of one but being the only man of our party that yet has never been countenanced I think I have reason to desire my friends to show themselves so.50

His quest for recognition remained frustrated. His attendance during the 1708-9 session declined slightly to just under 37 per cent. On 21 Jan. 1709 he voted against allowing Scots peers with British titles from voting in the election for Scottish representative peers, and on 22 Mar. he acted as teller for the contents in a division in a committee of the whole concerning the Union improvement (treason) bill. Two days later the protracted legal case that had resulted from Richmond’s inheritance of Kildare’s estates was debated by the House, but some aspects of the management of the case in Ireland remained unsettled at Richmond’s death.51 On 26 Mar. he acted as teller again in a further division in a committee of the whole considering the Union improvement bill.52

Richmond was present on approximately two thirds of all sitting days. In November 1709 he brought an action in queen’s bench against William Costerman (or Costello), an alderman of Chichester, for scandalum magnatum and was awarded £50 damages.53 On 11 Mar. 1710 Richmond was again noted as being in company with Ossulston and several other peers at the George, and three days later (14 Mar.) he acted as teller on the question of whether to adjourn during the trial of Henry Sacheverell.54 Two days later, during the Lords’ debate on the Sacheverell impeachment, Richmond interrupted the ‘tediously long speech’ being delivered by Peregrine Osborne, then styled marquess of Carmarthen, later 2nd duke of Leeds (sitting as Baron Osborne), complaining that it was ‘a long story’.55 Carmarthen ignored the interruption and persevered with his speech. Richmond found Sacheverell guilty on 20 March. He was also responsible for ensuring that his notoriously weak-willed half-brother, Charles Fitzroy, duke of Cleveland, did likewise. Richmond undertook to guide him in the House, having rescued Cleveland from his chamber, where he had been imprisoned by his pro-Sacheverell duchess.56 The following day (21 Mar.) Richmond acted as teller on the question of whether to make an amendment to the details of Sacheverell’s punishment.

Richmond convened a special meeting of the Kit Cat Club in April 1710 in response to rumours that his fellow member and former associate, Somerset, had been engaged in secret talks with Robert Harley, later earl of Oxford and Mortimer. Somerset was duly expelled from the club.57 Richmond took his seat in the new Parliament on 25 Nov. 1710 and the same month seconded the motion proposed by Richard Lumley, earl of Scarbrough, to thank John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, for his services in the war.58 In January 1711 he attracted criticism for being a ‘time server’ when he backed the move to censure Henri de Massue de Ruvigny, earl of Galway [I].59 Present for just under half of all sitting days in the 1710-11 session, on 22 May he lodged a petition against the coal trade bill, which he claimed infringed his rights to collect revenue on coal from Newcastle. His petition (and that of other interested parties) was heard on 26 May, and following deliberation in a committee of the whole on 30 May, the bill was passed with amendments. Richmond had received St Albans’ proxy on 29 Apr. which was vacated the day after the passing of the coal trade bill (31 May) when he registered his own proxy with his son-in-law, James Berkeley, 3rd earl of Berkeley. This was vacated by Richmond’s resumption of his seat on 4 June. On 7 June he received Berkeley’s proxy, which was vacated by the close of the session.

Before the 1711-12 session Richmond was one of those peers listed by Harley to be canvassed on the question of ‘No Peace without Spain’. He resumed his seat on 20 Dec. 1711 and the same day voted in favour of barring Scots peers at the time of Union from sitting by virtue of post-Union British titles. Richmond attended approximately 38 per cent of all sitting days in the session. On 14 Feb. 1712 he registered his proxy with Berkeley again; it was vacated by his return to the House the following day. He registered his proxy with Berkeley once more on 26 May, who held it to the end of the session.

Richmond’s attendance of the House declined markedly in the last years of Queen Anne’s reign. He also appears to have undergone a change of political loyalty as he was listed by Oxford as a possible or doubtful supporter in June 1712. His apparent volte-face seems to have elicited a bewildered missive from his mother. In August Richmond undertook to explain his actions to her:

You must allow me to justify myself in some way, and let you see that I have been misrepresented. You know well that I have always been attached to the Whig party, and that for four years in succession in parliament I have always obeyed the Queen’s commands. It is not for me to enter into the reasons for changing the ministry, for so long as the crown is well served I shall be content. But permit me to remind you that, as I have the honour to be a king’s son, and an English duke, I cannot change with whatever wind may blow …60

Despite his apparent reconciliation with Oxford, Richmond maintained close connections with his old friends, and in November 1712 he was in company with Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun, and General George Macartney at the Queen’s Arms the day before Mohun’s fatal encounter with James Hamilton, 4th duke of Hamilton [S].61 After the affray Richmond secured ‘whatever he thought of value’ for the widowed Lady Mohun.62 He was also responsible for concealing Macartney and facilitating his escape to the continent. For this last action he was again upbraided by Portsmouth, which elicited a further spirited response:

Is it enmity to the queen to try to save one’s intimate friend that has been unfortunate enough to be second to poor ill-fated Lord Mohun? … I am sure that when poor Macartney asked my protection you would not have had me betray him. Think well of it; you would have saved him as I did … One word more and I have done. I do not understand why, because the duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun killed each other because they could not agree, it should be a matter of state importance. I cannot make it out.63

Richmond was undoubtedly unashamed of his role in the affair and took great umbrage at the government’s action in having his house searched in their quest for Macartney.64 He recounted at least one version of the duel himself at Tom’s coffee house in Covent Garden, and he was subsequently the subject of a Tory satirical poem, in which Mohun’s troubled ghost urged him to desist from opposing the peace:

Cease R––d, cease to rage, ’tis all in vain
For Machavillian Plots to rack your Brain:
’Tis now for Politick Intrigues too late,
Fix’d is the irrevocable Will of Fate
Albion no more the rage of War shall mourn,
But Halcyon Days to her shall soon return …65

Richmond was again noted by Oxford as a peer to be contacted in a list of 26 Feb. 1713, and in or about March Jonathan Swift estimated Richmond as a likely supporter of the ministry. Despite this, Richmond attended just two days of the third session in April 1713 and one day of the new Parliament in March 1714. His low attendance at this time is in part explained by lengthy periods in France, where Richmond appears to have been active in pressing his claims for at least the previous four years.66 On 17 Apr. the marquis de Torcy wrote to Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, to assure him that:

The duke of Richmond is at liberty to come hither whenever he pleases; but, my Lord, beware how you send over such dangerous personages as the duchess of Richmond, and her daughter: let us remain true to the English church, but depend upon it, that ministerial functions and philosophy, are a poor defence against certain modes of seduction.67

Richmond was in Paris between May and July 1713. He attended the court at Fontainebleau and was also noted as having been in company with James II’s natural son, James Fitzjames, duke of Berwick, at a dinner hosted by his mother, Portsmouth.68 Before departing on his journey he left a blank proxy form with the queen (at her request), who gave it to John Poulett, Earl Poulett,69 The duchess of Richmond (who had remained in England no doubt to de Torcy’s relief) assured her husband that, ‘no mortal could take more caution in using your proxy than he [Poulett], did, and I am almost sure he never did use it but once.’70 During his absence Richmond continued to feature on Oxford’s lists. In May he was noted as a possible opponent of the French commercial treaty, though a subsequent list of 13 June noted him as a supporter. Towards the end of June Richmond entered into negotiations with Oxford and Bolingbroke to procure a pension for the duchess of Portsmouth, writing to the former:

to thank you for all your favours, and if you will add one more to them be as sincere a friend to the duchess of Portsmouth as you have been to me. She has great pretensions, and very just, but she is not unreasonable, therefore I beg to know what is fitting for her to do, and when it may be consistent and convenient for her to pay her respects to the queen.71

On 30 July Bolingbroke responded to Richmond’s request excusing the delay in settling the matter:

Till the bill passed for enabling the Queen to pay the civil list debts, it was in vain to apply in the duchess of Portsmouth’s behalf; and since that time, the Treasurer has been so ill, that for many days together, his most intimate friends have not had access to him…72

In August Richmond’s brother-in-law, James Brudenell, was returned for Chichester on Richmond’s interest in partnership with William Elson (a Tory).73 Despite this success, in January 1714 Richmond was involved in a heated dispute with one of the town’s worthies. Describing the affair to his mother, Richmond related how his adversary, Sir John Miller, ‘attempted to be insolent. I took him by the scruff of the neck and told him that if he didn’t leave the room I would have him given a hundred strokes with a stick by my servant! He took my advice.’74

A frequent traveller to France throughout his life, Richmond appears to have been eager to put his extensive foreign connections to good use. In May 1714 he wrote to Oxford to volunteer his services as an envoy to the French court to convey the queen’s sympathies on the death of the duke of Berry. He was consequently out of the country at the time of the queen’s death, only returning to England in mid-August.75

Confirming his notoriety as a political weathervane, Richmond was rewarded by the new regime with a place in the king’s bedchamber in October 1714, and the following year he was appointed to the Irish Privy Council.76 In his latter years Richmond appears to have gained a reputation as a hardened drunkard, but he continued to attend the House regularly for the remainder of his life and to exercise his interest.77 In April 1715 he wrote to Charles Trimnell, bishop of Norwich, on behalf of a candidate for a place as chaplain to the king, emphasizing that ‘were it not for the indisposition of my Lord Sunderland and my Lord Wharton [Thomas Wharton, marquess of Wharton], they would both join with me heartily.’78 In the aftermath of the 1715 uprising he joined with his half-brother, St Albans, in presenting a petition for some of the condemned men to be reprieved but was then prevailed upon to vote against it.79

Richmond struggled to maintain his electoral interest into the new reign. James Brudenell was beaten into fourth place in the election for Chichester of January 1715. Richmond’s heir, the earl of March, was returned in March 1722, but by that time Richmond, ‘extremely decayed’, appears to have all but disappeared into an alcoholic stupor.80 Thus, although March was returned on the family interest, he owed his election rather to the efforts of his uncle, Brudenell, and father-in-law, William Cadogan, Earl Cadogan, than to his father who, according to the duchess was ‘no longer capable of any business’ and who ‘has never appeared for you [March], nor will he pay a forty shilling bill … to get a vote.’81 Richmond attended the House for the final time on 9 Mar. 1723. He died at Goodwood on 27 May and was buried in Westminster Abbey the following month at a cost of £665 3s. 1d. In 1750 his body was exhumed and re-interred in the newly constructed family vault in Chichester cathedral.82 In his will Richmond made a number of substantial bequests totalling £2,900, including £1,000 to his daughter Anne, countess of Albemarle. Richmond’s brother-in-law, James Brudenell, was constituted an executor with Richmond’s son, March, who succeeded as 2nd duke of Richmond.


  • 1 Collins, Peerage (1812 edn) i. 207..
  • 2 TNA, PROB 11/591.
  • 3 Add. 29588, f. 98; Add. 70073-4, newsletter, 21 Nov. 1702; Add. 28055, ff. 111-13, 136-7.
  • 4 Suss. Arch. Coll. xcviii. 156; A. Dasent, History of St James’s Square, appendix A; Add. 22267, ff. 164-71.
  • 5 Hearne’s Colls, (Oxford Hist. Soc. l), viii. 82; Macky, Mems. 36.
  • 6 Bodl. ms Eng. misc. c. 116, f. 6; Add. 75376, ff. 59-60.
  • 7 Verney ms mic. M636/28, W. Fall to Sir R. Verney, 5 and 11 Aug. 1675.
  • 8 Verney ms mic. M636/28, W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 15 July 1675.
  • 9 J.P. Kenyon, Robert Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, 90.
  • 10 Haley, Shaftesbury, 589, 604.
  • 11 Bodl. Carte 232, f. 145; Verney ms mic. M636/33, J. to Sir R. Verney, 1 Dec. 1679.
  • 12 Verney ms mic. M636/33, J. to Sir R. Verney, 15 Dec. 1679.
  • 13 Add. 75376, f. 59.
  • 14 Petworth House Archive, 11352.
  • 15 Verney ms mic. M636/40, Lady P. Osborne to Sir R. Verney, 4 Aug. 1685.
  • 16 B. Bevan, Charles the Second’s French Mistress, pp. 170-1.
  • 17 HMC Hastings, ii. 344; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 361.
  • 18 LPL, ms 933, 62; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 456; Bodl. Carte 79, f. 452.
  • 19 Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 583.
  • 20 Beinecke Lib. OSB mss 1, box 3, folder 112, Yard to Poley, 17 Jan. 1693; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 9; Remarks and Collections of Thomas Hearne, (Oxford Hist. Soc. 1907), viii. 25; C.H.G. Lennox, A Duke and his Friends, i. 8-9.
  • 21 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 222.
  • 22 Ibid. 318.
  • 23 Ibid. 336, 338.
  • 24 HEHL, HM 30659 (58).
  • 25 CSP Dom. 1698, pp. 183, 198-9.
  • 26 Ibid. 373.
  • 27 North Yorks. RO, Bolton Hall mss ZBO VIII, 0850-60.
  • 28 Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 587.
  • 29 Cheshire ALS, Cholmondeley mss DCH/K/3/14.
  • 30 T.J. McCann, Corresp. Dukes of Richmond and Newcastle 1724-1750, (Suss. Rec. Soc. lxxiii), xxvi.
  • 31 Cheshire ALS, Cholmondeley mss DCH/L/50/2.
  • 32 Add. 29588, f. 98.
  • 33 CSP Dom. 1702-3, p. 340.
  • 34 Nicolson, London Diaries, 183; Add. 40803, f. 106.
  • 35 TNA, C104/116, pt. 1.
  • 36 Add. 28055, ff. 96, 111-13, 136-7.
  • 37 Add. 61458, f. 160.
  • 38 HMC Portland, iv. 185.
  • 39 HP Commons 1690-1715, ii. 596-7.
  • 40 W. Suss. RO, Goodwood ms 19.
  • 41 Worcs. RO, Hampton (Pakington) mss 705:349/4739/1 (iii)/4; HP Commons 1690-1715, ii. 703-4.
  • 42 Nicholson London Diaries, 315.
  • 43 TNA, C104/116, pt. 1.
  • 44 Verney ms mic. M636/53, Fermanagh to Sir T. Cave, 18 Nov. 1707.
  • 45 Beinecke Lib. OSB mss fc 37, vol. 13, no. xvii.
  • 46 HP Commons 1690-1715, ii. 605.
  • 47 NAS, GD124/15/850.
  • 48 Add. 61628, ff. 98, 114-17, 135-7; NAS, Mar and Kellie, GD124/15/831/18.
  • 49 Add. 61389, f. 31.
  • 50 Add. 61546, f. 112.
  • 51 Christ Church, Oxford, Wake mss 14/171, 317.
  • 52 Nicolson, London Diaries, 489; HMC Lords, viii. 275-6.
  • 53 Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 242; Add. 61546, ff. 162-3.
  • 54 TNA, C104/113, pt. 2.
  • 55 Nicholson London Diaries, 97.
  • 56 G. Holmes, Trial of Dr Sacheverell, 224.
  • 57 Clavering Corresp. (Surtees Soc. clxxviii) 76; Brit. Pols, 297-8.
  • 58 Wentworth Pprs. 159.
  • 59 Clavering Corresp. 109.
  • 60 A Duke and his Friends, 20-21.
  • 61 A Particular Account of the Tryal of John Hamilton Esq.; Post Boy, 13-16 Dec. 1712.
  • 62 Add. 61454, ff. 145-6.
  • 63 A Duke and his Friends, i. 22-24.
  • 64 Wentworth Pprs. 306.
  • 65 Add. 36772, ff. 18-19; The Lord M—n’s Ghost to the D— of R—–nd … concerning the Murder of Duke Hamilton, and the Peace.
  • 66 Add. 61130, ff. 72-75; Bodl. ms Eng. hist. d. 147, ff. 132-3.
  • 67 Bolingbroke Corresp. iv. 591.
  • 68 Daily Courant, 26 Sept. 1713; Bodl. Carte 211, f. 231.
  • 69 W. Suss. RO, Goodwood ms 21/10/2-3.
  • 70 A Duke and his Friends, i. 17-18.
  • 71 W. Suss. RO, Goodwood ms 21/10/6; HMC Portland, v. 299.
  • 72 Bolingbroke Corresp. ed. Parke, iv. 211.
  • 73 HP Commons 1690-1715, i. 372; ii. 606.
  • 74 A Duke and his Friends, i. 25.
  • 75 HMC Portland, v. 435, 489.
  • 76 Wentworth Pprs. 428.
  • 77 A Duke and his Friends, i. 3.
  • 78 Bodl. Tanner 305, f. 59.
  • 79 Add. 72493, ff. 162-3.
  • 80 HP Commons 1715-54, i. 333-4; W. Suss. RO, Goodwood ms 102/37.
  • 81 W. Suss. RO, Goodwood ms 102/38-39.
  • 82 Ibid. Goodwood ms 106/572; Steer, ‘The Funeral Account of the First Duke of Richmond’, 163.