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Authors: Brian Masters

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The Dukes

BOOK: The Dukes
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and for

© Brian Masters
1975, 1977, 1980, 1988
All rights reserved

First published in Great Britain in
by Blond & Briggs Ltd.
Second impression with additional material

This revised and updated edition first published in Great Britain in
by Frederick Muller, an imprint of

Century Hutchinson Ltd, Brookmount House,
Ghandos Place,

Century Hutchinson Australia Pty Ltd

PO Box
496, 16-22
Church Street, Hawthorn, Victoria

Century Hutchinson New Zealand Limited

PO Box
Glenfield, Auckland
New Zealand

Century Hutchinson South Africa (Pty) Ltd
PO Box
South Africa

isbn o

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Masters, Brian,

The dukes: the origins, ennoblement

and history of

1. Great Britain, dukes to

I. Title





Mr E. K. Timings,
m.a., f.s.a
., Principal Assistant Keeper of the
Public Record Office, has assiduously read every word of the MS and
has made many helpful suggestions; I should like his contribution to
the book which follows to be acknowledged first. Lady Camilla
Osborne has substantially helped to track down some details of fact
which have proved most useful, and undertook the task of proof­reading, for which I am deeply grateful. I wish particularly to mention
Miss Stevenson of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Miss Evans
and Miss Wimbush of the National Portrait Gallery, Miss Frankland
of Ladbrokes Ltd, and Mr J. M. Keyworth of the Second Covent
Garden Property Co. Ltd, all of whom have remained most helpful
in spite of constant enquiries. The staff of the London Library are
unfailingly obliging.

I am grateful to the Duke of Devonshire for permission to consult
the papers in the Devonshire Collections, and to his librarian T. S.
m.b.e., t.d
., for his guidance through them; also to the Duke
of Atholl, who allowed me to consult his family papers at Blair Castle,
to the Duke of Hamilton, for permission to see the Hamilton Papers
currently being catalogued at the Scottish National Register of
Archives, and to the Marquess of Londonderry, for permission to see
the Londonderry Papers at Durham County Record Office. The
Duke of Buccleuch and the Duke of Newcastle have both kindly
involved themselves in lengthy correspondence with the author.

Those who have been personally very helpful with information
include the Duchess of Devonshire, the Duke of Richmond, the Duke
and Duchess of Somerset, the Duke of St Albans, the Duke of
Bedford, the Duke of Hamilton, the Duke of Argyll, the Duke of Atholl,
the Duke of Northumberland,
., the Marquess of Tavistock, the
Marquess of Kildare, the Countess of Sutherland, and Mr Charles
Janson. To all I should like here to express my gratitude.

For allowing me to take their time and plunder their knowledge I
am indebted to Francis W. Steer,
m.a., f.s.a
archivist to the Duke
of Norfolk; J. N. R. James, Esq., Managing Trustee of the Grosvenor
Estates; Michael Hanson, Esq.; and those descendants of the Duke of
Somerset in the St Maur line - Mr Edward St Maur, Mr Joseph
Hoare, and Mrs G. Kemmis-Betty.

Permission to use photographs of pictures in public collections and
in private hands is gratefully acknowledged with each illustration,
and due credit is likewise recorded to the photographers. I am also
happy to record my thanks to various authors who have allowed me
to quote from their works, specified in reference notes at the end of
each chapter, and I trust they will accept this collective appreciation.
Mrs Cecil Woodham-Smith in particular has been most generous in
allowing me the freedom of her personal library.

The patience and industry of Mrs Diana Steer, who typed the
manuscript, deserve to be recorded in rose-banks, and the generosity
of the Marquess of Londonderry, who enabled me to write the final
draft at his home in Co. Cleveland in the most peaceful conditions,
is something for which gratitude seems woefully inadequate.


Wynyard, 1975
Preface to 1988 Edition

In 1972 Anthony Blond made a bold suggestion. There had never,
he said, been a book devoted to the history of all surviving
dukedoms following each family from the date of creation to the
present day in one volume. Many dukes were well known to history
because they had been Prime Minister, or had won famous battles,
or had distinguished themselves in some other way in the service of
their country. A few were known for their slightly dotty per­sonalities. There remained scores of other dukes whose lives
languished unexamined in archive rooms and who perhaps deserved
to be restored to their place in the genetic flow. Blond invited me to
undertake the task of putting them all together and tracing family
characteristics which persisted, sometimes obliquely, through
many generations, and I spent the next three years in a gloriously
eclectic ramble through five hundred years of history. Though intended to be informative and entertaining,
The Dukes
has, since it first appeared in 1975, earned a gratifying reputation as
a work of reference. It is for this reason that the reader might like to
be acquainted with events which have occurred since the main text
was published twelve years ago. The second edition of 1980 made
some amendments in added footnotes; in some cases these too are
out of date and have required revision. There are still twenty-six
dukes (who will reduce to twenty-four in the next generation), but
we now have a new Duke of Somerset, a new Duke of Beaufort, a
new Duke of Portland, and a new Duke of Manchester. The young
Duke of Roxburghe now has an infant son and heir (Marquess of
Bowmont and Cessford), while his almost as young brother-in-law
the Duke of Westminster still has not; until that day comes, he will
remain potentially the last duke of the Grosvenor family. Further­more, Elizabeth II's son Prince Andrew was created Duke of York
one hour after his marriage to Sarah Ferguson in 1986. As a royal
duke, he is without the scope of this book, although his grandson
will fall within it when he inherits the title seventy or eighty years
from now; even so, he has a tangential relevance in that he is reported
to have proposed marriage to Miss Ferguson while staying at Floors
Castle with the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe. HRH The Duke
of York may also justly be credited with an encouraging influence
over the pages which follow, as the enthusiasm generated by his
wedding kindled a whole new interest in the subject of dukes, their
descent and their position in the land.

BOOK: The Dukes
6.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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