25 JUNE 1864, Page 11


AFTER the full and explicit statement which has been given on the authority of the Earl of Glamorgan himself it is un- necessary to pursue the subjectof his proceedings in Ireland through the labyrinth of falsehood, duplicity, and blundering of which they consist. Suffice it to say that the Earl's secret negotiations with the Irish Catholics in the King's name leaking out, the Lord Digby, one of the Protestant Counsellors of the Crown, accused him at the Council Board at Dublin of high treason, and he was imprisoned by Ormonde till the King managed to hint to the latter that the Earl acted by his orders, when Ormonde released the Earl, and in- timated to him in dignified terms that he was at liberty to pursue his designs, of the nature of which he was himself ignorant, at his pleasure. Nor can we give any idea of the contradictory instruc- tions and protestations given and made by the:King during this crisis. They remain side by side to establishbeyond all dispute his astonishing duplicity, and the sophistical casuistry by which he persuaded himself that he was at liberty to involve himself in such a tissue of lying and treachery. Everything recoiled on him- self. The arrest of the Earl stopped the treaty with the Irish rebels, and when it was renewed the disavowals of the King con- tinually shook the confidence of the Catholics in the reality of the Earl's powers or the reliableness of his undertakings. The Queen interfered with a negotiation of her own with the Pope more favourable still to the Catholics, some of the Royal correspondence was intercepted, and some fell into the hands of the Parliament at the battle of Naseby, so that at last the negotiation, utterly discredited on all sides, came to an end for the time, and the Earl quitted Ireland, passing first into France, but afterwards, in a few years, returning to England. He died April 3,1667, without having taken any further prominent part in political affairs. He was the author of a work called " A Century of the Names and Scantlings of such Inventions as at present I can call to mind to have tried and perfected, which (my former notes being lost) I have at the instance of a powerful friend endea- voured now, in the year 1665, to set these down in such a way as may sufficiently instruct me to put any of them to practice." This was first printed in 1663. Horace Walpole calls it an amazing piece of folly ; another writer considers it to establish the Marquis as a man of the greatest mechanical genius. It is popularly said that the idea of the steam-engine was derived from one of the experi- ments detailed by the Marquis. He was evidently not a man of much real ability in political affairs, but an honest, brave, Catholic enthusiast, in some points tainted with the casuistical craft of Jesuit- ism, but, as is so often the case with such men, with the character in all ordinary matters of an honourable Englishman. 1{e was twice married, and was succeeded as third Marquis of Worcester by his son Henry, whose political career was not the most consistent. He was a professed Protestant, in later years of the extreme High Church or Anglo-Catholic type ; but he seems, like other young Cavalier noblemen who had lost their lands in the Civil War, to have thought it a good way to recover them to make love to the ladies of the dominant party. Accordingly, we find Oliver Cromwell, in April, 1651, thinking it neces- sary to warn his wife in a letter from Edinburgh :—" Beware of my Lord Herbert's resort to your house. if he do so it may occasion scandal, as if I were bargaining with him. Indeed, be wise—you know my meaning." Royalist scandal sets down Mrs. Claypole, Cromwell's favourite daughter, as the great attraction to Lord Herbert in the General's family. The young Lord seems to have shaped his political opinions at this time by this friendly feeling towards Cromwell's family, for on a tiny bit of paper pasted on the back of a letter of Oliver's, of December, 1652, are these words, " God bless the now Lord Protector !" and crosswise, " Marquis Worcester writt it." However, the Restoration of course changed all this, and we find after a time the Oliverian Lord Herbert of 1651 be- come a staunch advocate of the Stuart doctrines of right divine and passive obedience. On July 30, 1660, he was appointed Lord- Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, in 1672 Lord President of the Council in the principality of Wales, and Lord-Lieutenant of the counties of Anglesey, Brecon, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Glamorg an Radnor, Carnarvon, Denbigh, Merioneth, Montgomery, Flint, and Pembroke, Lord-Lieutenant of the comity and city of Bristol, one of the Privy Council, and a Knight of the Garter. On December 2, 1682, he was raised to the title of Duke of Beaufort. His great uncle Thomas, Viscount Somerset of Cashel, had purchased of Nicholas Boteler, the last of a very old family, the manor of Ban- aillstrow, in Gloucestershire, and Lord Somerset's daughter and heiress dying unmarried left this estate to her cousin, the Lord Herbert, the proximate Duke of Beaufort. The estate was a fine one, and the park a very noble one, so Ragland Castle, the old family seat, having been reduced to a ruin, the bead of the Somersets preferredtransferTing hi s residence to Badminton, and in 1682 began the erection of a large house there, which thenceforth became the scene of the most magnificent festivities and lavish hospitalities, resembling rather a court in its stately magnificence than the residence of a subject. " The power of Beaufort," says Macaulay, " bears some faint resemblance to that of the great barons of the fifteenth century. He was President of Wales and Lord-Lieuten- ant of four English counties. His official tours through the ex- tensive region in which he represented the Majesty of the throne were scarcely inferior to Royal progresses. His household at Badminton was regulated after the fashion of an earlier generation.

The land to a great extent round his pleasure-grounds was in his own hands, and the labourers who attended it formed part of his family. Nine tables were every day spread under his roof for two hundred persons. A crowd of gentlemen and pages were under the orders of his steward. A whole troop of cavalry obeyed the master of the horse. The fame of the kitchen, the cellar, the kennel, and the stables was spread over all England. The gentry many miles round were proud of the magnificence of their great neighbour, and were at the same time charmed by his affa- bility and good-nature." But there was always and still is in the Somerset's something of the princely mode of life befitting their origin.

James II. heaped favours upon the Duke, his somewhat am- biguous religion no doubt adding to the claims of his exuberant

loyalty. He was made Lord President of Wales, and confirmed in the Lord-Lientenancies above mentioned. At the coronation he carried the Queen's crown. He raised all his family interest against the Duke of Monmouth, and at the Revolution pursued a similar course, overpowering and making a prisoner of Lord Love- lace, who was endeavouring to join William in the west. But his efforts failed before the general national feeling, and he disbanded his forces and retired sullenly to Badminton. On the accession of William, after a short demur, to the astonishment and conster- nation of the Jacobites, Beaufort emerged from his retreat to take the oaths of allegiance to the new King. He also afterwards enter- tained him splendidly at Badminton in 1690, after William's return from his Irish campaign. He died January 21,1699, in the seventieth year of his age. He married Mary, daughter of Arthur, the well-known Lord Capel of Charles I.'s reign, and had by her five sons and four daughters. His eldest son died an infant, his second, Charles, Marquis of Worcester, was a man of considerable learning, but died in the lifetime of his father, in the thirty- eighth year of his age (July 13, 1698), from the effects of a leap from his coach, the horses of which were running away with him down a steep. hill. He had married Rebecca, daughter of Sir Josiah Child, of Wanted, Essex, and sister to Richard Earl 'filmy, and by her had three sons and three daughters. Henry, the eldest son, born April 2, 1684, succeeded his grandfather as second Duke of Beau- fort in 1699. When Queen Anne visited the University of Oxford in 1702, going thence to Bath, the Duke met her not far from. Cirencester, accompanied by great numbers of gentlemen, clergy, and freeholders, and conducted her to Badminton, where the Duke splendidly entertained her and her husband. He was a strong Tory, or rather Jacobite, and would not go to Court till after the• change of Ministry in 1710 which the Jacobites looked upon as the prelude to the establishment of the succession in the Chevalier.. He is reported to have said to Anne on this occasion that he could now call her Queen in reality. On January 10, 1712, he was made Captain of the Band of Pensioners. He was also made Lord- Lieutenant of Hampshire and Warden of the New Forest, Lord- Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and of the cities and counties of. Bristol and Gloucester, in February following, and August 4,1713,. a Knight of the Garter. He was also of the Queen's Privy Council, but dying May 24, 1714, a few months before the Queen, he was saved from making up his mind as to a demonstration in favour of the Chevalier, and his eldest son being then a child of seven years old, the House of Somerset also escaped this perplexing, dilemma. Henry, the third Duke of Beaufort, was in 1729 elected High Steward of Hereford. He married Frances, daughter and, heiress of Sir James Scudamore, Viscount Scudamore, in Ireland, but obtained a divorce from her in 1744. His politics were con- sidered to be those of a concealed Jacobite, but, like his father,. he died in the midst of a political crisis, February 24, 1746„ in the interval between the battles of Falkirk and Culloden. He was succeeded by his brother Charles Noel Somerset, fourth Duke of Beaufort, who sat for Monmouthshire in 1731, in 1735 for the town of Monmouth, and for the same place till he succeeded to the family honours. He was throughout a very high Church- man, honoured on that account with D.C.L. by the University of Oxford, and a sturdy opponent of the Court and Cabinets of George IL Like the Somersets generally, he was a social favourite in private life. He died October 28, 1756. He married in 1740 Elizabeth, daughter of John Berkeley, Esq., of Stoke Gifford, Gloucestershire, and sister of Norborne Lord Botetourt, whose barony she inherited._ Her eldest son Henry succeeded as fifth Duke of Beaufort, seventh. Marquis and eleventh Earl of Worcester. He distinguished himself at Oxford by his acquirements in English literature, went on his foreign travels, was appointed, January 20, 1768, Master of the Horse, which post he held till 1770, was Lord-Lieutenant of Monmouth- shire, and in 1786 a Knight of the Garter. He died October 11, 1803. The writer of an obituary notice speaks of this Duke in the following terms :—" He maintained the dignity of his station rather by the noble simplicity of his manners, and by his provin,- cial hospitality, than by attentions to exterior splendour and dis- play of fashion. It was not to his taste, nor did it suit with his fancy, to solicit notice by any of those attractions at which the public gaze with temporary admiration. Grosvenor-Square was not disturbed by his festivities ; but at Badminton, and Troy House (Monmouthshire) every visitor felt the honour of his reception and was delighted with the satisfaction that accompanied it. In polities he supported a tranquil dignified independence. He never engaged in the ranks of opposition, and the support he generally gave to His Majesty's Ministers could never be justly attributed to any motives but such as were perfectly consistent with the integrity which distinguished his honourable life." He was succeeded by his eldest son, Henry Charles, sixth Duke of Beaufort, who married Lady Charlotte Leveson-Gower, daughter of the first Marquis of Stafford. His youngest brother, Fitzroy-James-Henry, was the well-known Lord Fitzroy Somerset, the misrepresented General of the Crimean War, created 20th October, 1852, Baron Raglan, whose son now enjoys that title. The sixth Duke, who died November 23,1885, was elected in March, 1788, to the House of Commons for the borough of Monmouth, in 1790 for the city of Bristol, and for the county of Gloucester from 1796 down to his accession to the Dukedom. He also suc- ceeded his father as Lord-Lieutenant of the counties of Monmouth and Brecon. In 1805 he became Knight of the Garter, and on the death of the Duke of Portland, in 1809, was brought forward unwillingly as a candidate for the Chancellorship of the University of Oxford, in opposition to Lord Grenville and Lord Eldon. After a severe contest the Duke was left at the bottom of the poll with 238 votes, Lord Grenville polling 406, and Lord Eldon 398. In 1810 he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, and in 1812 Constable of St. Briaval's Castle and Warden of the Forest of Dean. He bore the Queen's crown at the coronation of William IV. in 1831. He never took any prominent part in politics, though steadily supporting the successive Tory administrations. He was a liberal supporter of charitable and religious institu- tions, and much beloved in his own neighbourhoods for his genial and kindly manners, and his lavish private charities. For many years during the hunting season he resided at Bey- throp, in Oxfordshire, where he kept a pack of fox-hounds. Soon after the destruction of that house by fire he removed the kennel and his stud altogether into Gloucestershire. His second son, Lord Granville Charles Henry Somerset, attained to some eminence in Parliament and in the Peel administrations. Henry, the eldest son, who succeedel as seventh Duke, entered the army as an officer in the 16th Hussars, and served in the Peninsula on the staff of the Duke of Wellington. He was taken prisoner by the French under Soult, but remained captive only a few months. In 1813 he was returned to Parliament for the borough of Monmouth, for which place he sat down to the general election in 1832. From May 24, 1816, to March 15, 1819, he was a junior Lord of the Admiralty. In 1832, the first election after the Reform Act, the Marquis of Worcester was defeated at Monmouth by the present Lord Llanover, then Mr. Benjamin Hall, but in ' January, 1835, was returned for West Gloucestershire. Sir Robert Peel gave him the Garter on the accession of the Conservatives to power in 1841. Like all his family he was courtly and courteous in his bearing in an eminent degree, and these manners were en- hanced by a singularly fine and stately person. He had much the same tastes with his father, and survives on canvass as a Master of the "Royal Hunt" and the "Badminton Hunt," and in the writings of enthusiastic sportsmen. "In the palmy days of Mel- ton, when 'the Old Club ' flourished, a discussion arose as to who was the most popular sportsman in England, and it was at once unanimously conceded that the Marquis of Worcester was the man." He was pre.eminent as a " whip " in the days of stage-coach- ing, and when the " Four-in-Hand Club " was started, some thirty years ago, " his Grace's team of skewbalds and well-appointed drag was always considered the crack turn-out." He had also a small but well-appointed racing stud. He was a liberal patron of music and the drama, a great supporter of Her Majesty's

Theatre in its days of disaster, and gave the name of his seat to a drink he had invented, now better known as claret-cup.

He died November 17, 1853, and was succeeded as eighth and present Duke by his son, Henry Charles Fitzroy, chiefly known in connection with the usual family tastes and magnificence and as the Master of the Badminton Hunt. The family

have remained consistent Tories, but have exercised little per- sonal influence in politics independently of that commanded by

their great social position and the " sustained magnificence of their stately lives." There is little need to analyze a character which, with one exception, has been for four centuries perfectly consis- tent, and may be summed up in a dozen words. The Somersets are Plantagenets with a bad drop in them.