Person:Charles Somerset (7)

Charles Noel Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort
b.12 Sep 1709
d.28 Oct 1756
m. 26 Feb 1706
  1. Henry Somerset, 3rd Duke of Beaufort1707 - 1745
  2. John Somerset1708 - 1708
  3. Charles Noel Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort1709 - 1756
m. 1 May 1740
  1. Lady Anne Somerset1740/41 - 1763
  2. Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort1744 - 1803
  3. Lady Henrietta Somerset1747/48 - 1770
  4. Lady Mary Isabella Somerset1756 - 1831
  5. Lady Elizabeth Somerset - 1760
  6. Lady Rachael Somerset
Facts and Events
Name Charles Noel Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort
Gender Male
Birth[1] 12 Sep 1709
Marriage 1 May 1740 to Elizabeth Berkeley, Duchess of Beaufort
Death[1] 28 Oct 1756
Reference Number? Q642090?

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Charles Noel Somerset, later 4th Duke of Beaufort, was born on 12 September 1709, the younger son of Henry Somerset, 2nd Duke of Beaufort and his second wife, Rachel Noel. He was educated at Winchester School and graduated from University College, Oxford in 1727.

Like his elder brother, Henry Scudamore, 3rd Duke of Beaufort, Somerset was a High Tory and 'a most determined and unwavering Jacobite.' He was first elected to Parliament as MP for his family's seat in Monmouthshire in 1731, but at the next election transferred to Monmouth and remained its MP until his brother's death in February 1745, when he became 4th Duke of Beaufort. Somerset adopted a traditional Tory line in Parliament, which included voting against the repeal of the Test Act in 1736; this demonstrates the complexity of the English Jacobite movement, which was staunchly anti-Catholic, yet in theory supported a Catholic monarchy.

The era was dominated by the Whigs under the premiership of Robert Walpole with the Tories excluded from power; in February 1742, Walpole was finally ousted by a coalition of Tories, Patriot Whigs who opposed his foreign policy and members of the 'Prince's Party,' a group of younger politicians, most notably William Pitt who associated themselves with Frederick, Prince of Wales. However, to the fury of their Tory allies, the Patriot Whigs did a deal with their Whig colleagues to shut them out of the new government, while in 1744, the Tory leader the Earl of Gower joined the so-called Broad Bottom ministry and Somerset assumed leadership of the party. However, the government simply ignored him and continued to treat Gower as the Tory leader when negotiating the award of offices.

Somerset's brother, the 3rd Duke, had been one of those who contacted the French government in late 1742 asking their support for an invasion to restore the Stuarts; Somerset himself (or the 4th Duke, as he became in February 1745) also joined the project, sending assurances of support to the French in August 1745, and pressing a month later ‘for a body of troops to be landed near London.' Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, executed for his part in the 45 Rebellion later declared ‘if the Duke of Beaufort had not promised to raise £12,000, he would not have concerned himself’ but as with many aristocratic Jacobite sympathisers, the Government took no action against Beaufort.

One of the complexities of 18th century politics was the hostility between Hanoverian monarchs and their heirs; as George II supported the Whigs, his son Frederick, Prince of Wales described himself as a Tory even though many of them were in theory Jacobites. Since the Prince's 'programme' effectively amounted to ousting the current incumbents, Beaufort agreed to support him and in May 1749, Horace Walpole reported his presence at a meeting ‘between the Prince's party and the Jacobites.' In September 1750, Beaufort and Lord Westmorland jointly presided at a meeting of English Jacobites held during Charles Stuart's secret visit to London in September 1750, which effectively signalled the last flicker of the Jacobite movement.

He died 28 October 1756 and was buried in the family vault at Badminton, Gloucestershire; a contemporary described him as 'a man of sense, spirit and activity, unblameable in his morals, but questionable in his political capacity.'

On 1 May 1740, he married Elizabeth Berkeley, sister of Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt. Elizabeth died on 9 April 1799. The couple had one son and five daughters:

  1. Lady Anne Somerset (11 March 1741 – 18 May 1763), married Charles Compton, 7th Earl of Northampton on 13 September 1759 and had issue
  2. Lady Elizabeth Somerset (12 March 1742 – 7 May 1760)
  3. Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort (1744–1803), his heir and successor
  4. Lady Rachel Somerset (August 1746 – May 1747)
  5. Lady Henrietta Somerset (26 April 1748 – 24 July 1770), married Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, 4th Baronet on 6 April 1769, without issue
  6. Lady Mary Isabella Somerset (1 August 1756 – 2 September 1831), married Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland on 26 December 1775 and had issue
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Charles Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Charles Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
  2.   Charles Noel Somerset, 4th Duke of Beaufort, in Lundy, Darryl. The Peerage: A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe.
  3.   Cokayne, George Edward, and Vicary Gibbs; et al. The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant [2nd ed.]. (London: St. Catherine Press, 1910-59)