Edward St Maur, 11th Duke of Somerset

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File:ArmsOf EdwardSeymour 1stDukeOfSomerset Died1552.png
Arms of the Seymour Dukes of Somerset: Quarterly, 1st and 4th: Or, on a pile gules between six fleurs de lys azure three lions of England (special grant to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (c. 1500–1552)); 2nd and 3rd: Gules, two wings conjoined in lure or (Seymour)[1]

Edward Adolphus St Maur, 11th Duke of Somerset KG, FRS (24 February 1775 – 15 August 1855), styled Lord Seymour until 1793, of Maiden Bradley in Wiltshire and Stover House, Teigngrace, Devon, was a British landowner and amateur mathematician.


Seymour was born at Monkton Farleigh in Wiltshire, the son and heir of Webb Seymour, 10th Duke of Somerset (1718-1793) by his wife Mary Bonnell, daughter of John Bonnell, of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire. He was baptised on 4 April 1775 at Monkton Farleigh,[2] with the name of Edward Adolphus Seymour, but later changed it to Edward Adolphus St. Maur,[citation needed] in the belief it was the original ancient form of the name.

Early origins

He was descended from Lord Edward Seymour (1529–1593) of Berry Pomeroy, Devon, the eldest son, but by special entail not the heir, of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, KG, (c.1500-1552) the eldest brother of Queen Jane Seymour (d.1537), third wife of King Henry VIII (1509-1547) and mother of King Edward VI (1547-1553), the latter whom as his uncle and during his minority he served as Lord Protector of England.


In 1793 he succeeded his father in the dukedom. In 1795, in the company of Reverend John Henry Michell, he undertook a tour through England, Wales and Scotland, which he recorded in a journal, published in 1845.[3] The tour took him as far as the Isles of Staffa and Iona in the Hebrides. He was a patron of the Free Church of England. He was a gifted mathematician and served as President of the Linnean Society of London from 1834 to 1837 and as President of the Royal Institution from 1826 to 1842. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Purchases London townhouse

In 1808 he purchased a London townhouse on Park Lane which he named Somerset House, and where he spent much of his time.[4]

Purchases Stover

File:StoverHouse Teigngrace Devon WestFront.PNG
Stover House, west front, showing the dominant porte cochere added by the 11th Duke

In 1829 he purchased from George Templer (1781-1843) the Devonshire estate of Stover in the parish of Teigngrace, near Newton Abbott, and thenceforth made Stover House his principal residence, where he displayed the valuable "Hamilton" art collection brought as her marriage portion by his wife Lady Charlotte Hamilton, a daughter of the 9th Duke of Hamilton. This included paintings by Rubens, Lawrence and Reynolds.[5] His ancestor Lord Edward Seymour (d.1593) had acquired the feudal barony of Berry Pomeroy, the caput of which was Berry Pomeroy Castle, near Totnes, about 8 miles south of Stover. Thus Stover served as a useful residence from which to oversee his large estates in South Devon. The principal seat of the Seymour family had been Maiden Bradley in Wiltshire, but for one more generation it remained Stover.[6] The Stover purchase included the Stover Canal and the Haytor quarries and Haytor Granite Tramway.[7] He added a large porte cochere with Doric columns to Stover House and built a matching entrance lodge.

Appointed Knight of the Garter

In 1837 he was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria.[8]

Marriages & Progeny

Somerset married twice, and produced progeny from the first marriage only:

First marriage

Firstly on 24 June 1800 to Lady Charlotte Douglas-Hamilton (6 April 1772 – Somerset House, Park Lane, London, 10 June 1827), daughter of Archibald Hamilton, 9th Duke of Hamilton, by his wife Harriet Stewart, by whom he had seven children:

  • Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset (20 December 1804 – 28 December 1885), eldest son and heir, of Stover House. He married beneath his social station, as his relatives considered, and died childless, when the dukedom passed by law to his heir male, his younger brother, with whom he had developed an enmity due to the latter having called his wife Georgiana Sheridan as a "low-bred greedy beggar woman, whose sole object was to get her hands on the property and leave it away from the direct heirs".[9] The 12th Duke thus bequeathed Stover and its priceless contents, including the Hamilton treasures, in trust for his illegitimate grandson Harold St. Maur, which caused uproar on the part of his younger brother the 13th Duke, who considered the treasures to be family heirlooms which should have passed to him. He inherited Maiden Bradley House, presumably under an entail, but almost entirely stripped of its contents.[10]
  • Archibald Seymour, 13th Duke of Somerset (30 December 1810 – 12 January 1891), second son, who succeeded his childless brother in the dukedom.
  • Algernon St. Maur, 14th Duke of Somerset (22 December 1813 – 2 October 1894)
  • Lady Charlotte Jane Seymour (1803 – 7 October 1889), who on 31 March 1839 married William Blount (d. 27 July 1885), of Orelton, Herefordshire
  • Lady Jane Wilhelmina Seymour
  • Lady Anna Maria Jane Seymour (d. 23 September 1873), who on 13 September 1838 married William Tollemache (7 November 1810 – 17 March 1886), son of Hon. Charles Manners Tollemache of the Earls of Dysart by his wife Gertrude Florinda Gardiner.
  • Lady Henrietta Seymour

Second marriage

Following his first wife's death in 1827 he married secondly on 28 July 1836 at Marylebone, Portland Place, London, to Margaret Shaw-Stewart (d. Somerset House, Park Lane, London, 18 July 1880), daughter of Sir Michael Shaw-Stewart, 5th Baronet of Blackhall, Renfrewshire by his wife Catherine Maxwell, daughter of Sir William Maxwell, 3rd Baronet. The marriage was without progeny.[11]

Death & burial

Somerset died at Somerset House, in Park Lane, London, in August 1855, aged 80, and was buried like his second wife at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.[12]



  1. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.1036
  2. The Complete Peerage vol.XIIpI, p.85.
  3. Michell, John Henry, Rev. The Tour of the Duke of Somerset, and the Rev. J. H. Michell, Through Parts of England, Wales, and Scotland in the Year 1795, R. Clay, London 1845
  4. 'Park Lane', in Survey of London: volume 40: The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings) (1980), pp. 264-289, accessed 15 November 2010
  5. Masters, Brian, The Dukes: Origin, Ennoblement and History of 26 Families, 1980, p.49
  6. Masters, Brian, The Dukes: Origin, Ennoblement and History of 26 Families, 1980, p.50[1]
  7. M.C. Ewans, The Haytor Granite Tramway and Stover Canal, David & Charles, Newton Abbott, 1966, p. 23
  8. The London Gazette: no. 19486. p. 1026. 21 April 1837.
  9. Masters, The Dukes, 1980
  10. Masters, The Dukes, 1980
  11. http://www3.dcs.hull.ac.uk/cgi-bin/gedlkup/n=royal?royal15537
  12. Paths of Glory. Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery. 1997. p. 92. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Honorary titles
Title last held by
The Earl of Egmont
Vice-Admiral of Somerset
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Webb Seymour
Duke of Somerset
Succeeded by
Edward Seymour