Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fitzroy, George (1665-1716)

667724Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 19 — Fitzroy, George (1665-1716)1889James McMullen Rigg

FITZROY, GEORGE, Duke of Northumberland (1665–1716), third and youngest son of Charles II, by Barbara, countess of Castlemaine [see Villiers, Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland], born at Oxford in December 1665, was created Baron of Pontefract in the county of York, Viscount Falmouth in the county of Cornwall, and Earl of Northumberland on 1 Oct. 1674. He was employed on secret service at Venice in 1682, and on his return to England was created Duke of Northumberland (6 April 1683), and elected and installed knight of the Garter (10 Jan. and 8 April 1684). He served as a volunteer on the side of the French at the siege of Luxembourg in the summer of the same year, returning to England in the autumn. Evelyn, who met him at dinner at Sir Stephen Fox's soon after his return, describes him as 'of all his majesty's children the most accomplished and worth the owning,' and is 'extremely handsome and well shaped.' He particularly praises his skill in horsemanship (Diary, 24 Oct. and 18 Dec. 1684). He commanded the second troop of horse guards in 1687, was appointed a lord of his majesty's bedchamber in December 1688, constable of Windsor Castle in 1701, and succeeded the Earl of Oxford as colonel of the royal regiment of horse March 1702-3 On 10 Jan. 1709-10 he obtained the rank of lieutenant-general, waa sworn of the privy council on 7 April 1713, and was appointed lord-lieutenant of Surrey on 9 Oct. 1714. He was also chief butler of England. Frogmore House, Berkshire, was one of his seats. He died without issue at Epsom on 28 June 1716. He married in 1686 Catherine, daughter of Robert Wheatley, a poulterer, of Bracknell, Berkshire, and relict of Robert Lucy of Charlecote, whom he is said, with the assistance of his brother, Henry Fitzroy [q. v.], first duke of Grafton, to have privately conveyed abroad soon afterwards.

[Lodge's Peerage of Ireland (Archdall), iv. 89; Courthope's Hist. Peer.; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Secret Services of Charles II and James II (Camd. Soc), p. 66; Luttrell's Relation of State Affairs, i. 295, 304, 307, 322, 373, 434, 544, 615, v. 46, 268, 277, 278. vi. 711, 723; Magn. Brit. Notit. 1702, p. 549; Angl. Notit. 1687 pt. i. p. 179, 1714 pt. ii. p. 336; Lysons's Magn. Brit. i. 433; Haydn's Book of Dignities; Hist. Reg. i. 352.]

J. M. R.