Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Cleveland

Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Cleveland, Duke and Earl of Southampton, Earl of Chichester, Baron of Newbury and Nonsuch, Knight of the Garter, was buried on 3rd November 1730 in the Duke of Ormond's vault at the east end of Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey. He has no monument but his name is inscribed on a modern stone on the floor of what is now the RAF chapel.

He was the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II by Barbara Villiers, Countess of Southampton and Duchess of Cleveland. Her first husband was Roger Palmer who was created Baron of Limerick and Earl of Castlemaine in the peerage of Ireland. Charles was baptised at St Margaret's Westminster on 18th June 1662 as "Charles Palmer, Lord Limerick, son to Roger, Earl of Castlemaine by Barbara". In 1675 he was created Earl of Chichester and Duke of Southampton and on his mother's death succeeded to her titles. At age nine he was married to Mary Wood (the marriage was repeated in 1677) but they had no children. She was buried in the vault on 16th November 1680. His second wife was Ann, daughter of Sir William Pulteney and she was buried on 28th February 1746. Their daughter Ann married a footman and daughter Grace married Henry Vane, Earl of Darlington. Sons Henry and Charles died in 1708 and 1723 respectively and are buried with their parents. Their surviving son William inherited the titles.

Charles's brother, George Fitzroy, Earl and Duke of Northumberland, was buried in a vault in the north aisle of Henry VII's chapel (with his two wives) on 11th July 1716.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


3rd November 1730


Lady Chapel

Memorial Type


Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Cleveland
Lady Chapel (Picture: Jim Dyson)

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