Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset

Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset

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Sir Edward Adolphus Seymour (later St. Maur), 12th Duke of Somerset, etc. KG
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

, PC (Piccadilly
Piccadilly
Piccadilly is a major street in central London, running from Hyde Park Corner in the west to Piccadilly Circus in the east. It is completely within the city of Westminster. The street is part of the A4 road, London's second most important western artery. St...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, 20 December 1804 or 1805 – Stover Lodge, nr Torquay
Torquay
Torquay is a town in the unitary authority area of Torbay and ceremonial county of Devon, England. It lies south of Exeter along the A380 on the north of Torbay, north-east of Plymouth and adjoins the neighbouring town of Paignton on the west of the bay. Torquay’s population of 63,998 during the...

, 28 November 1885), styled Baron Seymour until 1855, was a British Whig aristocrat and politician, who served in various cabinet positions in the mid-19th century. He was also a baronet
Seymour Baronets
There have been three Baronetcies created for persons with the surname Seymour, two in the Baronetage of England and one in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom...

.

Background and education


Somerset was the eldest son of Edward St. Maur, 11th Duke of Somerset, and Lady Charlotte, daughter of Archibald Hamilton, 9th Duke of Hamilton
Archibald Hamilton, 9th Duke of Hamilton
Archibald Douglas-Hamilton, 9th Duke of Hamilton and 6th Duke of Brandon was a Scottish peer and politician.Hamilton was the eldest son of the 5th Duke of Hamilton and his third wife, Anne, and was educated at Eton...

. He was baptized on 16 February 1805 at St. George's, Hanover Square
Hanover Square
Hanover Square may refer to:* Hanover Square, London, England* Hanover Square, Manhattan, New York City, USA** Hanover Square , elevated station* Hanover Square, Syracuse, USA-See also:* Hanover Square Rooms, London...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. He was educated at Eton
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 and Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church or house of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England...

.

Political career


Somerset sat as Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Okehampton
Okehampton (UK Parliament constituency)
Okehampton was a parliamentary borough in Devon, which elected two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in 1301 and 1313, then continuously from 1640 to 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Great Reform Act.-History:...

 between 1830 and 1831 and for Totnes
Totnes (UK Parliament constituency)
Totnes is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament , using the first-past-the-post voting system....

 between 1834 and 1855. He served under Lord Melbourne
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, PC, FRS was a British Whig statesman who served as Home Secretary and Prime Minister . He is best known for his intense and successful mentoring of Queen Victoria, at ages 18-21, in the ways of politics...

 as a Lord of the Treasury
Lord of the Treasury
In the United Kingdom, there are at least six Lords of the Treasury who serve concurrently. Traditionally, this board consists of the First Lord of the Treasury, the Second Lord of the Treasury, and four or more junior lords .Strictly they are commissioners for exercising the office of Lord...

 between 1835 and 1839, as Joint Secretary to the Board of Control
Secretary to the Board of Control
The Secretary to the Board of Control was a British government office in the late 18th and early 19th century, supporting the President of the Board of Control, who was responsible for overseeing the British East India Company and generally serving as the chief official in London responsible for...

 between 1839 and 1841 and as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
-Non-permanent and parliamentary under-secretaries, 1782-present:*April 1782: Evan Nepean*April 1782: Thomas Orde*July 1782: Henry Strachey*April 1783: George North*February 1784: Hon. John Townshend*June 1789: Scrope Bernard*July 1794: The Hon...

 between June and August 1841 and was a member of Lord John Russell
John Russell, 1st Earl Russell
John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, KG, GCMG, PC , known as Lord John Russell before 1861, was an English Whig and Liberal politician who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century....

's first administration as First Commissioner of Woods and Forests between 1849 and 1851, when the office was abolished. He served on the Royal Commission on the British Museum
Royal Commission on the British Museum
The Royal Commission on the British Museum was set up to review the activities of the British Museum particularly in relation to its Library....

 (1847–49). In August 1851 he was appointed to the newly created office of First Commissioner of Works
First Commissioner of Works
The First Commissioner of Works and Public Buildings was a position within the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It took over some of the functions of the First Commissioner of Woods and Forests in 1851 when the portfolio of Crown holdings was divided into the public...

 by Russell. In October of the same year he entered the cabinet and was sworn of the Privy Council. He remained First Commissioner of Works until the government fell in February 1852.

Somerset succeeded his father in the dukedom in 1855 and entered the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

. He did not serve in Lord Palmerston
Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, KG, GCB, PC , known popularly as Lord Palmerston, was a British statesman who served twice as Prime Minister in the mid-19th century...

's first administration, but when Palmerston became Prime Minister for a second time in 1859, Somerset was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, with a seat in the cabinet. He held this post until 1866, the last year under the premiership of Russell. He refused to join William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

's first ministry in 1868, but gave independent support to the chief measures of the government.

He was made a Knight of the Garter
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

 in 1862 and in 1863 he was created Earl St. Maur, of Berry Pomeroy
Berry Pomeroy
Berry Pomeroy is a village and civil parish in the South Hams district of Devon, England, about two miles east of Totnes. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 973...

 in the County of Devon. "St Maur" was supposed to have been the original form of the family name and "Seymour" a later corruption. From some time in the early 19th century until 1923, "St. Maur" was used for the family name, but since 1923 the dukes have again used the familiar "Seymour".

Somerset was also the author of Christian Theology and Modern Scepticism (1872), and Monarchy and Democracy (1880). Between 1861 and 1885 he served as Lord Lieutenant of Devon
Lord Lieutenant of Devon
This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of Devon. Since 1711, all the Lord Lieutenants have also been Custos Rotulorum of Devon.*John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford 1552–1555*John Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Bath 1556–1561...

.

Family


Somerset married in Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Square is a large garden square in the exclusive Mayfair district of London, England. It is the centrepiece of the Mayfair property of the Duke of Westminster, and takes its name from their surname, "Grosvenor".-History:...

, London, on 10 June 1830 Jane Georgiana Sheridan (5 November 1809 – London, 14 December 1884, interred at Gerrard's Cross, Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

), daughter of Thomas Sheridan and wife Caroline Henrietta Callender, daughter of Colonel Sir James Callander of Craigforth and Ardkinglas. She was the younger sister of Helen Blackwood, 4th Baroness of Dufferin and Claneboye
Helen Blackwood, Baroness Dufferin and Claneboye
Helen Selina Blackwood, Baroness Dufferin and Claneboye, later Helen Selina Hay, Countess of Gifford, born Helen Selina Sheridan, , was a British song-writer, composer, poet, and author...

, song-writer, composer, poet, and author, and Caroline Norton
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton was a famous British society beauty, feminist, social reformer, and author of the early and mid nineteenth century.-Youth and Marriage:...

, society beauty, feminist, social reformer, and author . Jane, Helen, and Caroline were the granddaughters of Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan was an Irish-born playwright and poet and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. For thirty-two years he was also a Whig Member of the British House of Commons for Stafford , Westminster and Ilchester...

. Known for her loveliness, Jane was chosen to be the "Queen of Beauty" at the Eglinton Tournament in 1839. The Somersets had two sons and three daughters:
  • Lady Jane Hermione Seymour (1 January 1832 – 4 April 1909), m. 26 October 1852 Sir Frederick Ulric Graham, of Netherby, 3d Baronet (2 April 1820 – 8 March 1888), and had female issue (the 3rd Countess of Verulam
    James Grimston, 3rd Earl of Verulam
    James Walter Grimston, 3rd Earl of Verulam , known as Viscount Grimston from 1852 to 1895, was a British Conservative Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1892. He inherited his peerage in 1895.Grimston was the eldest son of James Walter Grimston, 2nd Earl of Verulam, and...

     and the 5th Duchess of Montrose
    Douglas Graham, 5th Duke of Montrose
    Douglas Beresford Malise Ronald Graham, 5th Duke of Montrose KT was a Scottish nobleman.The 3rd son of 4th Duke and Caroline Agnes, youngest daughter of the 2nd Lord Decies, he was educated at Eton College and succeeded his father in 1874.He joined the Coldstream Guards in 1872, transferred to...

    )
  • Lady Ulrica Frederica Jane Seymour (Burton Hall
    Burton Hall
    Burton Hall is in the small village of Burton to the southeast of the larger village of Tarvin, Cheshire, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building....

    , 12 January 1833 – 26 or 28 January 1916), m. 1 June 1858 Rt. Hon. Lord Henry Frederick Thynne
    Lord Henry Frederick Thynne
    Lord Henry Frederick Thynne PC, DL was a British Conservative politician. He served under Benjamin Disraeli as Treasurer of the Household between 1875 and 1880.-Background:...

     (2 August 1832 – 28 January 1904), Privy Councilor, Member of Parliament and Treasurer of the Household
    Treasurer of the Household
    The position of Treasurer of the Household is theoretically held by a household official of the British monarch, under control of the Lord Steward's Department, but is, in fact, a political office held by one of the government's Deputy Chief Whips in the House of Commons...

     (1859), son of the 3rd Marquesses of Bath
  • Edward Adolphus Ferdinand Seymour, Earl St. Maur (17 July 1835 – London, 30 September 1869). He had two illegitimate children by Rosina Eliabeth Swan: a son, Richard Harold St. Maur, who asserted that his parents had been married and claimed his father's titles; and a daughter, Ruth Mary St. Maur, a women's suffragist
    Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom
    Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom as a national movement began in 1872. Women were not prohibited from voting in the United Kingdom until the 1832 Reform Act and the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act...

     and socialist, who married (William George) Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck.
  • Lord Edward Percy Seymour (19 August 1841 – Yellapoor, India, 20 December 1865), diplomat, unmarried and without issue; died after being mauled by a bear
  • Lady Helen Guendolen Seymour (1846 – 14 August 1910), m. 2 August 1865 Sir John William Ramsden, 5th Baronet
    Sir John Ramsden, 5th Baronet
    Sir John Ramsden, 5th Baronet was a British Liberal Party politician.The fifth Baronet was elected as a Member of Parliament for Hythe in 1857 and served as Under-Secretary of State for War from 1857 to 1858. He resigned through appointment as Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds on 9 February 1859...

     (14 September 1831 – 15 April 1914), son of John Charles Ramsden
    John Charles Ramsden
    John Charles Ramsden was a British Whig and Liberal Party politician from Newby Park in Yorkshire. He sat in the House of Commons between 1812 and 1836.- Family :...

     (30 April 1788 – 29 December 1836), Member of Parliament, and wife (m. 4 May 1814) Hon. Isabella Dundas (1790 – 6 December 1887), daughter of 1st Baron Dundas


The Duchess of Somerset died in December 1884. Somerset survived her by less than a year and died in November 1885, aged 80. As his two sons had both died in his lifetime, the family titles (except the Earldom of St. Maur, which became extinct) devolved on his younger brother, Lord Archibald St Maur
Archibald Seymour, 13th Duke of Somerset
Archibald Algernon Henry St. Maur, formerly Seymour, 13th Duke of Somerset, etc. was the son of Edward St. Maur, 11th Duke of Somerset and Lady Charlotte Douglas-Hamilton. He was also a baronet. Motto - Foy Pour Devoir - Faith for Duty now adopted by HMS Somerset by kind permission.He was baptized...

.

The 12th Duke left his London residence, Somerset House
Somerset House, Park Lane
Somerset House, Park Lane , was an 18th century town house on the east side of Park Lane, where it meets Oxford Street, in the Mayfair area of London, England...

 in Park Lane
Park Lane (road)
Park Lane is a major road in the City of Westminster, in Central London.-History:Originally a country lane running north-south along what is now the eastern boundary of Hyde Park, it became a fashionable residential address from the eighteenth century onwards, offering both views across Hyde Park...

, to his eldest daughter Lady Hermione Graham.

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