Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fitzroy, Charles (1737-1797)

1150585Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 19 — Fitzroy, Charles (1737-1797)1889James McMullen Rigg

FITZROY, CHARLES, first Baron Southampton (1737–1797), third son of Lord Augustus Fitzroy (second son of Charles, second duke of Grafton), by Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel William Cosby, was born on 25 June 1737. He was gazetted to a lieutenancy in the 1st regiment of foot in 1756, was rapidly advanced to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and served as aide-de-camp to Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick at the battle of Minden (1 Aug. 1759), when he carried the famous order for the advance of the cavalry, which Lord George Sackville (afterwards Sackville-Germain) neglected. He gave evidence before the court-martial on Sackville [see Germain, George Sackville]. He was M.P. for Oxford 1759–61, for Bury St. Edmunds 1761–74, and for Thetford 1774–80. In 1760 he was appointed groom of the bedchamber to the king, an office which he resigned in 1762. He was present at the battle of Kirchdenkern on 15 July 1761. On 11 Sept. 1765 he succeeded the Marquis of Lorne in the command of the 14th regiment of dragoons. On 20 Oct. 1772 he was appointed colonel of the 3rd or king's own dragoons. On 17 Oct. 1780 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Southampton, and on 27 Dec. following he became groom of the stole to the Prince of Wales. He moved the address to the throne at the opening of parliament in 1781, and spoke (18 Feb. 1782) on Lord Carmarthen's motion protesting against the elevation to the peerage of ‘any person labouring under a heavy censure of a court-martial,’ a motion aimed at Lord George Sackville-Germain, who had just been created Viscount Sackville of Drayton, denying that, as had been alleged or insinuated, the court-martial in question had been animated by a factious spirit. He also spoke, without definitely committing himself to either side, on the Regency Bill on 16 Feb. 1789. He was advanced to the rank of general on 25 Oct. 1793. He died on 21 March 1797. He married, on 27 July 1758, Anne, daughter of Sir Peter Warren, K.B., vice-admiral of the red, by whom he had issue nine sons and seven daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest son, George Ferdinand. He was lord of the manor of Tottenham Court, Middlesex, and had his principal seat at Fitzroy Farm, near Highgate, the grounds of which he laid out in the artificial style then in vogue.

[Brydges's Peerage (Collins), vii. 451; Gent. Mag. 1756 p. 362, 1759 p. 144, 1760 pp. 47, 136, 1761 p. 331, 1762 p. 391, 1765 p. 444, 1797 i. 355; Beatson's Polit. Index, i. 429, 455; Lords' Journ. xxxvi. 180 b; Parl. Hist. xxii. 637, 1013, xxvii. 1274; Walpole's Journ. of the Reign of Geo. III. ii. 475; Lysons's Environs, 1795, iii. 272 n.]

J. M. R.