Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fitzroy, Charles (1662-1730)

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FITZROY, CHARLES, first Duke of Southampton and Cleveland (1662–1730), natural son of Charles II, by Barbara, countess of Castlemaine [see Villiers, Barbara], was born in 1662 and baptised on 18 June in that year in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, the king, the Earl of Oxford, and Lady Suffolk (sister of the Countess of Castlemaine) being sponsors. The entry in the register was ‘Charles Palmer, lord Limerick, son to the Right Honourable Roger, earl of Castlemaine, by Barbara,’ and he bore the title of Lord Limerick until 1670, when the patent which created his mother Countess of Southampton and Duchess of Cleveland, with remainder in tail male, conferred upon him the right to use the title of Earl of Southampton during his mother's life, and from that date he is commonly referred to as Lord Southampton. He was installed knight of the Garter on 1 April 1673, and on 10 Sept. 1675 was created Baron of Newbury in the county of Berkshire, Earl of Chichester in the county of Sussex, and Duke of the county of Southampton. On the death of his mother in 1709 he succeeded to the barony of Nonsuch in the county of Surrey, the earldom of Southampton, and the dukedom of Cleveland. He took his seat in the House of Lords as Duke of Cleveland on 14 Jan. 1710. His life was uneventful. He was suspected of intriguing for the restoration of James II in 1691, received a pension of 1,000l. per annum, charged on the proceeds of the lotteries in 1697, took little or no part in the debates of the House of Lords, but joined in the protest against the abandonment of the amendments to the Irish Forfeitures and Land Tax Bill in 1700. He died in 1730. Fitzroy married, first, Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Wood, one of the clerks of the green cloth, through whom, as next of kin to her father, he acquired after much litigation in 1692 a life interest of the annual value of 4,000l.; secondly, in November 1694, Ann, daughter of Sir William Pulteney of Misterton, Leicestershire. By his first wife he had no issue; by his second, three sons and three daughters. His eldest son and successor, William, died without issue in 1774. Two other sons died in his lifetime. Of his daughters, Grace married Henry Vane [q. v.], third baron Barnard, and their grandson, William Harry Vane, created Duke of Cleveland in 1833, was father of the second, third, and fourth dukes of this creation.

[Gent. Mag. new ser. 1850, p. 368; Pepys's Diary, 26 July 1662; Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. App. 367, 7th Rep. App. 210 b, 465 b; Nicolas's Knighthood, ii. lxviii; Lords' Journals, xix. 37; Luttrell's Relation, ii. 606, 630, iii. 397, iv. 636; Cal. Treas. Papers, 1697–1701–2, p. 76; Hist. Reg. Chron. Diary, 1730, p. 58; Nicolas's Peerage (Courthope).]

J. M. R.