Open main menu

Stuart, Bernard (1623?-1645) (DNB00)

STUART, Lord BERNARD, titular Earl of Lichfield (1623?–1646), born about 1623, was the sixth son of Esmé, third duke of Lennox (1579–1624) [see under Stuart, Ludovick, second Duke of Lennox]. His mother Katherine (d. 1637), only daughter and heiress of Gervase, lord Clifton of Leighton-Bromswold in Huntingdonshire, was after her father's death in 1618 Baroness Clifton in her own right. James Stuart, fourth duke of Lennox [q. v.], was his eldest brother. Bernard was brought up under the direction of trustees appointed by the king, having a distinct revenue assigned for his maintenance (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1623–5, p. 488). On 30 Jan. 1638–9 he obtained a license to travel abroad for three years (ib. 1638–9, p. 378). On the outbreak of the civil war in 1642 he was appointed captain of the king's own troop of lifeguards, and he was knighted on 18 April.

Bernard was present at the battle of Edgehill, 23 Oct. 1642, at which his brother George, lord D'Aubigny, was killed. On 29 June 1644, at the head of the guards, he supported the Earl of Cleveland [see Wentworth, Thomas] in his charge on the parliamentarians at Cropredy Bridge, which resulted in the capture of Waller's park of artillery. In 1645 Charles I designated him Earl of Lichfield; but to such pecuniary straits was he reduced that he could not pay the necessary fees, and Sir Edward Nicholas [q. v.] in consequence wrote to the king recommending him to command his patent to pass without fees (ib. 1645–7, p. 111). Before anything was done, however, Bernard fell in battle. After the defeat at Naseby, at which he was present, he accompanied Charles on his march to relieve Chester, and entered the town with the king on 23 Sept. On the following day, while Sir Marmaduke Langdale engaged the parliamentary forces on Rowton Heath, Stuart headed a sally from the city. For a time he was successful, but he was eventually driven back and slain in the rout that followed. ‘He was,’ says Clarendon, ‘a very faultless young man, of a most gentle, courteous, and affable nature, and of a spirit and courage invincible, whose loss all men exceedingly lamented, and the king bore it with extraordinary grief.’ He died unmarried, and his burial in Christ Church, Oxford, is recorded on 11 March 1645–6. A portrait of Lord John and Lord Bernard Stuart by Vandyck is in the possession of the Duke of Richmond at Cobham Hall; it has been engraved by R. Thomson and by McArdell. There was also a portrait of Bernard Stuart in the collection of the Duke of Kent, which was engraved by Vertue.

[Doyle's Official Baronage; Clarendon's Hist. of the Civil War, ed. Macray, 1888, ii. 348, 368, iii. 367, iv. 115; Gardiner's Hist. of the Civil War, ii. 345; G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage, v. 74; Stuart's Genealogical Hist. of the Stewarts, pp. 267, 276–7; Simms's Bibliotheca Staffordiensis, p. 440; Lloyd's Memoirs, 1668, p. 351.]

E. I. C.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.261
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
73 i 19 Stuart, Lord Bernard, titular Earl of Lichfield: for 1646) read 1645)