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Edward Adolphus Seymour, Duke of Somerset 

British Isles Genealogy | Biographical Peerage Of The Empire Of Great Britain



     This family, from the station of ancient gentry, rose at once into the highest rank, in the reign of Henry VIII. in consequence of the marriage of queen Jane Seymour, with the monarch himself. Sir Edward Seymour, her brother, was created viscount Beauchamp, to him and the heirs male of his body, on June 5, 1536, to grace the solemnity of his sister's marriage. In the following reign, he makes a conspicuous figure as protector to the young king; but fell a sacrifice to family and political intrigues, and lost his head, 1552, in consequence of which, this dukedom, like that of Norfolk, was suspended till after the restoration.  A singular piece of retributive justice has attended the eldest branch of his male descendants By the unhappy ascendancy of his second wife, Anne Stanhope, he was induced to surrender up his first patent of peerage, which was in favor of the issue male of his first marriage, and to obtain a re-grant, postponing the succession of this elder branch to the issue male of his second wife; and, when he was created duke of Somerset, 1547, by Edward VI. followed the same unjust line of entail. In this younger branch the honors descended till all their male issue failed in 1750, when they fell on sir Edward Seymour, of Maiden Bradley, in Wiltshire, bart. the descendant of the first marriage of the first duke, thus unjustly postponed.
     The title of earl of Hertford was enjoyed by this family during the suspension of the dukedom; from whence Charles I. raised them to the rank of Marquis, a title conspicuous during the civil wars. The marriage of duke Charles, called the Proud Duke, in 1862, with the heiress of the great house of Percy, gave a vast addition to their splendor. His grand-daughter and heir carried the name of Percy , the earldom of Northumberland, and the greater part of his estates to Sir Hugh Smithson; while other part; with the celebrated mansion of Petworth, and the earldom of Egremont, were transferred to the house of Wyndham, by the marriage of his daughter Catharine with sir William Wyndham, bart.
     Sir Edward Seymour, immediate ancestor of the present duke, and of the marquis of Hertford, makes a figure temp. Charles II. as speaker of the House of Commons, 1672, and again 1679, and a violent patriot.
     The present duke is son of lord Webb Seymour, who succeeded to the dukedom, 1792, and died 1793. He was born 1775, and married, 1800, lady Charlotte, daughter of the present duke of Hamilton. He is sail to be a young man of amiable disposition, and to do honor to his rank, by patronizing the Literary Fund, and other beneficial institutions.
     Female descent.] Fillol, Walsh, Champernon, Killegrew, Portman, Wale, Popham , Webs, Bonnel.
     Chief Seat.] Maiden-Bradley, in Wiltshire; Bury Pomeroy Cattle, the ancient residence of this branch, being a ruin. The earl of Ailesbury inherits, by female descent, the most ancient parts of the Seymour estates, about Tottenham and Savernake Forest, in Wiltshire.
     Heir.] His brother, (or infant son, if he has one.)
    Younger Branches.) Marquis of Hertford, &e.

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