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Beauclerk family

Several members of the family of Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St Albans are buried or commemorated in Westminster Abbey.

Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans

He was born in London on 8th May 1670, an illegitimate son of Charles II and Nell Gywnne. His father created him Earl of Burford and in 1684 Duke of St Albans. He served in the army against the Turks and with William III in Flanders. In 1694 he married celebrated beauty Diana de Vere, daughter of Aubrey de Vere, 20th Earl of Oxford. They had eight sons. He held the hereditary office of Master Falconer and was Ambassador Extraordinary to Paris. In 1718 he was created a Knight of the Garter. He was buried in St John the Evangelist's chapel, off the north transept, on 20th May 1726 but has no monument or marker. He was succeeded by his eldest son Charles.

Lord William Beauclerk

Lord William Beauclerk was born 22nd May 1698 and married in 1722 Charlotte Werden. He died at Bath and was buried with his father Charles on 2nd March 1733. 

Lord Aubrey Beauclerk

Aubrey has a monument of white and grey marbles in the north transept of Westminster Abbey. The sculptor was Peter Scheemakers and it shows a bust within a niche and naval trophies. His coat of arms is shown. He was killed in 1740 and presumably buried at sea. The verses were composed by Edward Young and the inscription written by poetess Mary Jones, at the request of Aubrey's widow. The inscription reads:

Whilst Britain boasts her Empire o'er the deep this marble shall compell the brave to weep. As men, as Britons, & as soldiers, mourn, tis dauntless, loyal, virtuous BEAUCLERK'S urn. Sweet were his manners, as his soul was great, and ripe his worth, tho' immature his fate. Each tender grace that joy and love inspires, living, he mingled with his martial fires; dying, he bid Britannia's thunder roar, and Spain still felt him when he breath'd no more.
The LORD AUBREY BEAUCLERK was the youngest son of CHARLES, DUKE OF ST ALBANS by DIANA, daughter of AUBREY DE VERE EARL OF OXFORD. He went early to sea and was made a Commander in 1731. In the year 1740 he was sent upon that memorable expedition to Cartagena, under the command of Admiral Vernon in his Majesty's ship the Prince Frederick, which with three others was order'd to cannonade the castle of Bocachica. One of these being oblig'd to quit her station, the Prince Frederick was expos'd not only to the fire from the castle, but to that of Fort St Joseph and to two ships that guarded the mouth of the harbour; which he sustain'd for many hours that day and part of the next, with uncommon intrepidity. As he was giving his commands upon deck, both his legs were shot off, but such was his magnanimity that he would not suffer his wounds to be drest till he had communicated his orders to his First Lieutenant, which were "to fight his ship to the last extremity". Soon after this he gave some directions about his private affairs and then resign'd his soul, with the dignity of a hero and a Christian. Thus was he commander of superior fortitude and clemency: amiable in his person, steady in his affection and equall'd by few in the social and domestick virtues of politeness, modesty, candour and benevolence. He marry'd the widow of Coll. Fr[ancis] Alexander, a daughter of Sr. Henry Newton Kt. envoy extraordinary to the court of Florence and the republic of Genoa and judge of the High Court of Admiralty etc.

His brothers were politician Lord Vere Beauclerk and James Beauclerk, bishop of Hereford.

Charles Beauclerk, 2nd Duke of St Albans

He was born on 6th April 1696 and succeeded his father Charles as Duke. He was governor of Windsor Castle, Lord Warden of the Forests, and Master Falconer of England among other offices. His wife Lucy, daughter of Sir John Werden and sister of the wife of Lord William Beauclerk, was buried in the Abbey in November 1752 and he was buried with his father on 3rd August 1751.

George Beauclerk, 3rd Duke of St Albans

He was the only son of Charles and Lucy and was buried 11th March 1786 in the Duke of Ormond's vault in Henry VII's chapel. His name is inscribed on the stone over that vault. He married Jane Roberts but had no legitimate children.

Further reading for the family

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004 for Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans

Field

Sailor

Location

North Transept

Memorial Type

Bust

Material Type

Marble

Beauclerk family
Lord Aubrey Beauclerk monument

© Dean and Chapter of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Related Commemorations

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