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Stuart, James (1612-1655) (DNB00)


STUART, JAMES, fourth Duke of Lennox and first Duke of Richmond (1612–1655), son of Esmé, third duke of Lennox, and Katherine Clifton, daughter and heiress of Gervase, lord Clifton of Leighton Bromswold, was born at Blackfriars on 6 April 1612, and baptised at Whitehall on the 25th. Esmé Stuart, first duke of Lennox [q. v.], was his grandfather; Ludovick Stuart, the second duke [q. v.], was his uncle; and Bernard Stuart, titular earl of Lichfield [q. v.], was his brother. He succeeded his father in 1624, and King James, being the nearest heir male of the family, became, according to Scots custom, his legal tutor and guardian. He was made a gentleman of the bedchamber in 1625, and was knighted on 29 June 1630. After studying at the university of Cambridge he travelled in France, Spain, and Italy, and in January 1632 he was made a grandee of Spain of the first class. In 1633 he was chosen a privy councillor, and accompanied Charles I to Scotland. When the king the same year resolved to endow the bishopric of Edinburgh, Lennox sold to him lands for this purpose much cheaper than he could otherwise have obtained them (Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, i. 182). It would appear, however, that he was not regarded in Scotland as specially favourable to episcopacy; for when in September 1637 he came to Scotland to attend the funeral of his mother, the ministers entrusted him with supplications and remonstrances against the service book, being induced to do so by the consideration that he ‘was a nobleman of a calm temper, and principled by such a tutor, Mr. David Buchanan, as looked upon episcopacy and all the English ceremonies with an evil eye’ (Gordon, Scots Affairs, i. 18); he was also entreated by the privy council ‘to remonstrate to his majesty the true state of the business, with the many pressing difficulties occurring therein’ (Balfour, Annals, ii. 235). It would seem that Lennox acted perfectly honourably in the matter, and, though he clung to the king, it was more from personal loyalty than devotion to his policy. It is, however, worth noting that in November of the same year he received a grant of land in various counties amounting in annual value to 1,497l. 7s. 4¼d., and making, with former grants, an income of 3,000l. (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1637, p. 575).

In 1638 Lennox was appointed keeper of Richmond Park, and in 1640 warden of the Cinque ports. On 8 Aug. 1641 he was created Duke of Richmond, with a specific remainder, failing heirs male of his body, to his younger brother. Shortly afterwards he accompanied the king to Scotland, but, not having at first signed the covenant, was not permitted to take his place in parliament (Balfour, Annals, iii. 44) until the 19th, when he subscribed ‘the covenant band and oath’ (iii. 46). On 17 Sept. he was chosen one of the Scottish privy council (ib. p. 66).

During the civil war Lennox was a generous supporter of the king, contributing at one time 20,000l., and at another 46,000l. He was a commissioner for the defence of Oxford in 1644–6, for the conference at Uxbridge in January 1644–5, and for the conference at Newport in September 1648. He was one of the mourners who attended the funeral of Charles I at Windsor. He died on 30 March 1655, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 18 April. Although his personal devotion to the king was unquestioned, he was never regarded by the covenanters with hostility; and while he is eulogised by Clarendon as always behaving honourably, and ‘pursuing his majesty's service with the utmost vigour and intentness of mind’ (History of the Rebellion, iii. 237), Gordon affirms that, as regards Scotland, he ‘never declared himself one way or other, never acted anything for the king or against him, and was never at any time quarrelled or questioned by any party, but lived and died with the good liking of all, and without the hate of any’ (Scots Affairs, i. 62). A portrait of Lennox, by Vandyck, belonged in 1866 to Mr. W. H. Pole-Carew, and an anonymous portrait to the Duke of Richmond (Cat. First Loan Exhib. Nos. 634, 720). By his wife Mary (d. 1685), daughter of George Villiers, first duke of Buckingham, and widow of Lord Herbert of Shurland, he had an only son and heir, Esmé (d. 1660), fifth duke of Lennox and second duke of Richmond, on whose death at Paris in his eleventh year the dukedom passed to Charles Stuart, sixth duke of Lennox and third duke of Richmond [q. v.]

[Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion; Sir James Balfour's Annals; Gordon's Scots Affairs, and Spalding's Memorials in the Spalding Club; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser.; Robert Baillie's Letters and Journals in the Bannatyne Club; Burke's Peerage.]

T. F. H.