Somerset, family, Dukes of Beaufort
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Charles Somerset (c.1460-1526), natural son of Henry Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset (executed 1464), married in 1492 Elizabeth, daughter and heir of William Herbert (c.1455-91), 2nd Earl of Pembroke and Earl of Huntingdon. William Herbert (d. 1469), created Earl of Pembroke in 1468, had inherited Raglan Castle (Monmouthshire), and had acquired estates in Monmouthshire (Chepstow, etc, with Tidenham in Gloucestershire), Breconshire (Crickhowell and Tretower), Glamorganshire (Gower and Kilvey), Pembrokeshire (surrendered in 1479) and Somerset (Dunster: later restored to the Luttrell family). Charles Somerset was created Baron Herbert in 1503 and Earl of Worcester in 1514. The second Earl of Worcester (d. 1549) acquired Tintern Abbey lands (mainly Monmouthshire, but including Woolaston in Gloucestershire) in 1537, and the reversion of Chalton (Hampshire) in 1542. The Troy (Monmouthshire) estate was purchased in 1584 but settled on a younger son.
The 4th Earl (c.1550-1628) purchased Badminton (Gloucestershire) in 1612, and settled this property on his younger son Thomas (d. 1649), later Viscount Somerset of Cashel. The 5th Earl (d. 1646) married in 1600 Anne Russell, daughter and heir of Lord Russell, son of the 2nd Earl of Bedford, through whom properties including Acton (Middlesex: settled on a younger son), Chulmleigh and Denbury (Devon) and Chaldon Herring (Dorset) came to the Somerset family. The 5th Earl also acquired Poston (Herefordshire: again later settled on a younger son) and the manor of Monmouth. He was created Marquess of Worcester in 1643, but suffered the destruction of Raglan Castle and its library and the sequestration of his estates.
The 3rd Marquess of Worcester (1629-1700) restored the family fortunes, inheriting Badminton from his cousin Elizabeth Somerset, daughter of Viscount Somerset of Cashel, in 1655, and purchasing Troy from his uncle Charles Somerset in 1663. He made Badminton, which he largely rebuilt, the principal seat, and was created Duke of Beaufort in 1682. The 2nd Duke (1684-1714) married in 1706 Rachel, daughter and co-heir of the second Earl of Gainsborough (see Cavendish-Bentinck, Dukes of Portland; Noel, Earls of Gainsborough): the Beaufort moiety was sold in 1742. The third Duke (1707-45) married Frances Scudamore, but her Holme Lacy (Herefordshire) estate later descended through her daughter by her second husband (see Fitzalan-Howard, Dukes of Norfolk).
The 4th Duke (1709-56) married in 1740 Elizabeth, sister and heir of Norborne Berkeley, Baron Botetourt (d. 1770), through whom estates in Gloucestershire (Stoke Gifford, Stapleton, etc), Wiltshire (Hilmarton), Norfolk (Brancaster) and Suffolk were eventually inherited. During the time of the 5th Duke (1765-1803) the outlying estates of Chalton, Chaldon Herring, Chulmleigh and Denbury, together with Beaufort Buildings (Strand, Middlesex: the site of Worcester (previously Russell) House) and the former Berkeley estates in Norfolk and Suffolk, were sold, but the Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire estates were extended (notably by the purchase of the Usk and Trelleck (Monmouthshire) estate from Lord Clive in 1770).
The Stapleton estate was sold in 1859-65, and Tidenham and Woolaston in 1872. During the time of the 9th Duke (succeeded 1899, d. 1924) further and more extensive sales took place, leaving a reduced Badminton estate and some Glamorganshire property.
The 5th Duke was executor of Lady Anne Somerset (d. 1763), daughter of the 1st Duke and wife of the 2nd Earl of Coventry, through which connection some Coventry papers came to Badminton House.
Estates in 1883: Gloucs 16,610 acres, Wilts 1,939 acres, Monmouthshire 27,299 acres, Breconshire 4,019 acres, Glamorganshire 1,218 acres, total 51,085 acres worth £56,226 a year.
|Sources of authority:||Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Guide to principal estate and family collections L-W, 1999.|
|Name authority reference:||GB/NNAF/F88890 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F10798 )|
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The second Duke of Beaufort married Rachel daughter and coheir of the second Earl of Gainsborough in 1706
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