Monck, Christopher (DNB00)

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MONCK, CHRISTOPHER, second Duke of Albemarle (1653–1688), born in 1653, only surviving son of George Monck, duke of Albemarle [q. v.], was known as Earl of Torrington from 1660 to 1670. He succeeded his father as second duke on his death, 3 Jan. 1670. Charles II had designed to bestow the first duke's vacant garter on his friend and kinsman, John Grenville, earl of Bath [q. v.], in accordance with a promise under the king's sign-manual made to the first duke that the Earl of Bath should be made Duke of Albemarle, in case his own son died without issue. The Earl of Bath, however, generously refused the garter, and warmly solicited it for the son of his friend. Accordingly when the young duke went to Windsor to deliver to the king his father's ensigns of the order, Charles returned them to him, and declared his election as knight of the Garter (Biog. Brit.)

In 1673 Monck was made colonel of a regiment of foot, and on 15 Oct. 1675 privy councillor. In the same year he became lord-lieutenant of Devonshire (except Plymouth) and joint lord-lieutenant of Essex. In 1678 he was made colonel of the 'Queen's' regiment of horse, and was again sworn privy councillor in April of the next year. In the following November he became captain and colonel of the 1st (King's Own) troop of horse guards, in place of Monmouth, with whom lie shortly afterwards quarrelled, and captain of all the king's guards of horse; in 1681 joint lord-lieutenant of Wiltshire; in 1682 chancellor of the university of Cambridge, in place of the Duke of Monmouth, and a lord of trade and foreign plantations. He was also recorder of Colchester, and at the coronation of James II (25 April 1685) bearer of the sceptre with the dove. In 1685 he raised the militia of Devonshire and Cornwall against the Duke of Monmouth, when he landed at Lyme in Dorset, but retired on the approach of Monmouth, who wrote to Monck commanding him to lay down his arms and repair to his camp, where he 'should not fail of receiving a very kind receptionm' on pain of being denounced as a rebel and traitor. Monck replied that he 'never was nor never will be a rebell to my lawful king, who is James the Second.' On 23 June 1685, a fortnight before the battle of Sedgemoor, Albemarle sent from Taunton to the Earl of Sunderland for his 'diversion' 'severall proclamations' issued in the city by Monmouth. In May 1686 he gave sumptuous entertainment to the king at

his seat of New Hall in Essex. In 1687 he subscribed largely to a plan started by one Captain Phipps for fishing on a Spanish wreck off Hispaniola. The adventure was successful, and he received 40,000l. as his share of the profits. On 26 Nov. 1687 Monck was made governor-general of Jamaica, an honour he did not long enjoy, as he died there early in the autumn of the next year. He left no issue.

Sir Hans Sloane, who accompanied him to Jamaica as his physician,, gives a detailed account of his last illness, which commenced before he left England, and appears to have been aggravated, if not caused, by his intemperate habits. Sloane describes the duke as 'of a sanguine complexion, his face reddish and eyes yellow, as also his skin, and accustomed by being at court to sitting up late and often being merry' (Collection of Sir Hans Sloane's loose papers). He married, at the age of sixteen, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Henry Cavendish, second duke of Newcastle, and after his death she married Ralph Montagu, first duke of Montagu [q. v.], but left no family by either husband.

[Biographia Britannica; Doyle's Official Baronage of England; Minutes of the Council of Jamaica, 1687–8; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Reresby's Memoirs, passim; Hatton Correspondence (Camden Soc.), i. 207, ii. 12, 67, 69; Egerton MS. 2395; Add. MS. 5852; Sloane MS. 3984; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. i. 77, 137.]

L. M. M. S.