Open main menu

Lennox, Charles (1764-1819) (DNB00)


LENNOX, CHARLES, fourth Duke of Richmond and Lennox (1764–1819), born in 1764, was eldest son of Lieutenant-general Lord George Henry Lennox [q. v.], by Louisa, daughter of the fourth Marquis of Lothian. While captain in the Coldstream foot-guards in 1789 he challenged the Duke of York [see Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany] to a duel. It took place on 26 Aug. on Wimbledon Common, the bullet of Lennox grazing the Duke of York's curl, and the duke firing in the air (Gent. Mag. 1789, pt. ii. pp. 463, 565). The Duke of York declared that he had no animosity against Lennox, and had merely come out to give him satisfaction. The officers of the guards having passed a resolution that Lennox had ‘behaved with courage, but from the peculiarity of the circumstances not with judgment,’ Lennox, on 20 June, exchanged with Lord Strathnairn his captaincy in the guards for the colonelcy of the 35th foot, then stationed in Edinburgh. Previous to joining his regiment he fought a second duel on 3 July in a field near Uxbridge Road, London, with Theophilus Swift [q. v.], who had published a pamphlet reflecting on his character. Swift was hit in the body, but the wound was not fatal. On Lennox joining the regiment in Edinburgh, the castle was illuminated in his honour. He was also presented with the freedom of the city, and elected an honorary member of the corporation of goldsmiths. He made himself very popular with his regiment by playing cricket with the common soldiers, then an unusual condescension in an officer. Subsequently he served with his regiment in the Leeward islands. At St. Dominica in 1794 the regiment was attacked by the yellow fever, no fewer than forty officers and six hundred rank and file succumbing. In 1795 Lennox obtained the rank of colonel, and was appointed aide-de-camp to the king, and in 1798 he became major-general. In 1800 he was made colonel-commandant, and in 1803 was promoted colonel of the 35th foot. He became lieutenant-general in 1805, and general in 1814. In 1790 he was returned to parliament for Sussex, in succession to his father, as a supporter of Pitt, and he continued to represent the same constituency till he succeeded to the dukedom of Richmond and Lennox on the death of his uncle, 29 Dec. 1806. On 1 April of the following year he was sworn a privy councillor, and appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland, Colonel Wellesley (afterwards Duke of Wellington) being chief secretary. He retained this office till 1813, after which he took up his residence with his family in Brussels. On 15 June, the night before Quatre Bras, the Duke and Duchess of Richmond gave the ball referred to in Byron's well-known verses (see Sir William Fraser's Words on Wellington, 1889, pp. 278–344; and Notes and Queries, 7th ser. vi. 441, 472, 515, vii. 34, and viii. 176). Richmond was present at the battle of Waterloo, in the suite of the Duke of Wellington. In 1818 he was appointed governor-general of British North America, and he died near Richmond, Canada, of hydrophobia, 20 Aug. the following year. In all probability the disease resulted from the bite of a young fox (see Gent. Mag. 1819, pt. ii. pp. 466–7). By his wife, Lady Charlotte, eldest daughter of the fourth Duke of Gordon, whom he married 9 Sept. 1789, he had seven sons and seven daughters, and he was succeeded in the dukedom by his eldest son, Charles Gordon Lennox [q. v.] His third daughter, Georgiana, born in 1795, married 7 June 1824 William, twentieth baron de Ros, and died 16 Dec. 1891. There is a portrait of the duke as Colonel Lennox in Kay's ‘Edinburgh Portraits.’

[Kay's Edinburgh Portraits; Short Review of the Recent Affair of Honor between the Duke of York and Lieutenant-colonel Lenox, &c., by the Captain of a Company in one of the Regiments of Guards, 1789; Theophilus Swift's Letter to the King, 1789; Burke's Peerage.]

T. F. H.

LENNOX, CHARLES GORDON-, fifth Duke of Richmond (1791–1860), the eldest son of Charles, fourth duke [q. v.], was born on 3 Aug. 1791. He was educated at Westminster School, and was gazetted lieutenant in the 13th regiment of (light) dragoons on 21 June 1810. After serving as aide-de-camp to his father, then lord-lieutenant of Ireland, Lord March, as he was called by courtesy, joined the forces in Portugal as aide-de-camp and assistant military secretary to the Duke of Wellington (July 1810 to July 1814). On being made captain in the 52nd regiment of foot, he served with the first battalion of his regiment at the battle of Orthes on 27 Feb. 1813, and was severely wounded in the chest. He was twice sent home with despatches. During the campaign in the Netherlands he was aide-de-camp to the Prince of Orange, and after the prince had been wounded at Waterloo, joined Wellington's staff as extra aide-de-camp. He