Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond

British politician and army officer

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The Duke of Richmond

Portrait circa 1777
Southern Secretary
In office
23 May 1766 – 29 July 1766
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Marquess of Rockingham
Preceded by Henry Conway
Succeeded by The Earl of Shelburne
Personal details
Born (1735-02-22)22 February 1735
Westminster, London, England
Died 29 December 1806(1806-12-29) (aged 71)
Goodwood, Sussex, England
Resting place Chichester Cathedral
Spouse Mary Bruce
Parent(s) Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond
Sarah Cadogan
Awards Knight of the Garter
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Great Britain
Branch/service Royal Army
Years of service 1752–1806
Rank Field Marshal
Commands 33rd Regiment of Foot
72nd Regiment of Foot
Sussex Militia
Battles/wars Seven Years’ War
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 1758 portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds
“Racehorses Exercising at Goodwood”, 1759 painting by George Stubbs, showing jockeys and grooms wearing yellow livery of Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 3rd Duke of Lennox

Field Marshal Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 3rd Duke of Lennox, 3rd Duke of Aubigny, KG, PC, FRS (22 February 1735 – 29 December 1806), styled Earl of March until 1750, of Goodwood House in Sussex and of Richmond House in London, was a British Army officer and politician. He associated with the Rockingham Whigs and rose to hold the post of Southern Secretary for a brief period. He was noteworthy for his support for the colonists during the American Revolutionary War, his support for a policy of concession in Ireland and his advanced views on the issue of parliamentary reform. He is believed by many to be the source of the second parchment copy of the US Declaration of Independence, known as the ‘Sussex Declaration‘. He went on to be a reforming Master-General of the Ordnance first in the Rockingham ministry and then in the ministry of William Pitt the Younger.


He was the son and heir of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond of Goodwood and of Richmond House, by his wife Sarah Cadogan, a daughter of William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan.[1]


He was educated at Westminster School and Leiden University and succeeded his father as Duke of Richmond in August 1750.[2] He was commissioned as an ensign in the 2nd Foot Guards in March 1752,[3] promoted to captain in the 20th Regiment of Foot on 18 June 1753[4] and was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society on 11 December 1755.[5]

Richmond became Lieutenant-Colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot on 7 June 1756.[6] A second battalion (2nd/33rd) of this regiment was raised and in 1757, and the following year it became an independent regiment, the 72nd Foot; Richmond was appointed its lieutenant colonel, while his younger brother George took command of the 33rd Regiment (1st/33rd).[1] In May 1758 he became Colonel of the 72nd Regiment.[7]

Richmond took part in the Raid on Cherbourg in August 1758 and served as aide-de-camp to Prince Frederick of Brunswick at the Battle of Minden in August 1759.[2] Promoted to major general on 9 March 1761, he saw the 72nd Regiment disbanded in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years’ War.[8] He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Sussex on 18 October 1763.[9]

Richmond was appointed British ambassador extraordinary in Paris and made a Privy Counsellor in 1765, and in the following year he briefly served as Southern Secretary in the Rockingham Whig administration, resigning office on the accession of Pitt the Elder in July 1766.[2] He was promoted to lieutenant general on 30 April 1770[10] and was briefly leader of the parliamentary Whigs in opposition in 1771 when Rockingham’s wife was ill.[2] Richmond’s anti-colonial positions earned him the epithet “the radical duke.”[11]

In the debates on the policy that led to the American Revolutionary War Richmond was a firm supporter of the colonists, and he initiated the debate in 1778 calling for the removal of British troops from America, during which Pitt (now the Earl of Chatham) was seized by his fatal illness.[2] Nevertheless, as Lord Lieutenant he raised the Sussex Militia for home defence and took personal command as Colonel (a position he held until 1804, despite his advanced age).[12][13]

Richmond also advocated a policy of concession in Ireland, with reference to which he originated the phrase “a union of hearts” which long afterwards became famous when his use of it had been forgotten.[14] In 1779 Richmond brought forward a motion for retrenchment of the civil list, and in 1780 he embodied in a bill his proposals for parliamentary reform, which included manhood suffrage, annual parliaments and equal electoral areas.[15][2] He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1787.[16]

Richmond joined the Second Rockingham Ministry as Master-General of the Ordnance in March 1782;[15] he was appointed a Knight of the Garter on 17 April 1782[17] and promoted to full general on 20 November 1782.[18] He resigned as Master-General when the Fox–North coalition came to power in April 1783.[2]

In January 1784 he joined the First Pitt the Younger Ministry as Master-General of the Ordnance; in this role he reformed the Department, introducing salaries for office holders, starting a survey of the South Coast (which led to the formation of the Ordnance Survey) and introducing new artillery (leading to the formation of the Royal Horse Artillery).[2]

He now developed strongly Tory opinions, and his alleged desertion of the cause of reform led to accusations of apostasy, and an attack on him by Lord Lauderdale in 1792, which nearly led to a duel.[2][15] In November 1795, when Thomas Hardy and John Horne Tooke were charged with treason and cited his publications on reform in their defence, Richmond became a liability to the Government and was dismissed in February 1795.[2] He became colonel of the Royal Horse Guards on 18 July 1795[19] and was promoted to field marshal on 30 July 1796.[20] On 15 June 1797 he raised a Yeomanry artillery troop, the Duke of Richmond’s Light Horse Artillery at his estate at Goodwood. The troop was equipped with his own design of Curricle gun carriage.[21]

In retirement Richmond built the famous racecourse at the family seat of Goodwood.[2] He was also a patron of artists such as George Stubbs, Pompeo Batoni, Anton Raphael Mengs, Joshua Reynolds and George Romney.[22]


Mary Bruce, wife of the 3rd Duke of Richmond, engraving by William Wynne Ryland after Angelica Kauffman

On 1 April 1757, he married Lady Mary Bruce (d.1796), a daughter of Charles Bruce, 3rd Earl of Ailesbury and his third wife, Lady Caroline Campbell. The wedding was held at the house of Major-General Henry Conway in Warwick Street, St James, with the consent of the Major-General, one of Mary’s guardians, by special licence of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral, given the then vacancy of the See of Canterbury, and performed by Frederick Keppel, then Canon of Windsor and the future Bishop of Exeter.[23] The marriage failed to produce any legitimate issue.[1]

Mistresses and illegitimate issue[edit]

Mrs Mary Bennett[edit]

As he acknowledged in his will he had three illegitimate daughters (Elizabeth, Caroline and Mary)[24] by Mrs Mary Bennett (1765-1845), described as “his housekeeper”,[2] also known at sometime as Mrs. Mary Blesard,[25] 30 years his junior.[24] To these daughters he bequeathed the sum of £10,000 each, and to Mrs Bennett he bequeathed his estate in Earl’s Court, Kensington.[24]

  • Mary Bennett, who at the age of 19 married William Light (1786-1839), founder of the City of Adelaide in Australia.[26]
  • Caroline Bennett (9 August 1806 – 5 September 1836), who married her first cousin Henry Edward Napier, son of Colonel Hon. George Napier and Lady Sarah Lennox, sister of the 3rd Duke. He was the author of Florentine History from the earliest Authentic Records to the Accession of Ferdinand the Third, Grandduke of Tuscany, and a brother of General Sir Charles James Napier, conqueror of the Sindh. She died at the Villa Capponi in Florence and her inscribed gravestone survives in the “English Cemetery” of the Cimitero di Pinti, Florence, next to that of her mother.[27]

Vicomtesse de Cambis[edit]

By his French mistress Gabrielle d’Alsace-Hénin-Liétard (d.1808),[28] (Vicomtesse de Cambis),[29] wife of the Comte de Cambis and sister of the Prince de Chimay,[30] he had another illegitimate daughter:

Henrietta Anne le Clerc (1773-1846), 1796 portrait by George Romney; collection of the Duke of Richmond, Goodwood House
  • Henrietta Anne le Clerc (1773-1846), variously called “a protégée of the Duchess” and “a long acknowledged daughter of His Grace”.[31] The 3rd Duke referred to her in his will as “Miss Henrietta Anne le Clerc, who resides with me and though Christened by the name of Anne only, is called Henrietta and whom I have [educated?] from her childhood”, and bequeathed her an annual income of £2,000.[32] In 1778, aged 5, Henriette had been brought from France by the Duke’s sister Lady Louisa Conolly, to live at Goodwood House.[33]: 265  It was in Henrietta’s bedroom in Richmond House in London where in 1791 the fire started which destroyed that building.[34] By the Duke’s will she received the life tenure of West Lavant House and Park and other lands and farms on the Goodwood Estate. On 28 March 1808, at St. James’s Church, Westminster, she married General John Dorrien (1758-1825), Royal Regiment of Horseguards,[35][36][37] by whom she had a son, Charles Dorrien. After her husband’s death she turned to the management of her estate, where she bred Merino sheep and hunted with Colonel Wyndham’s foxhounds.[38]

Death, burial and succession[edit]

Richmond died at Goodwood on 29 December 1806 and was buried in nearby Chichester Cathedral in Sussex. As he left no legitimate issue he was succeeded in the peerage by his nephew Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond.[10]

The Sussex Declaration[edit]

On April 21, 2017, the Declaration Resources Project at Harvard University announced that a second parchment manuscript copy had been discovered at West Sussex Record Office in Chichester, England.[39] Named the “Sussex Declaration” by its finders, Danielle Allen and Emily Sneff, it differs from the National Archives copy (which the finders refer to as the “Matlack Declaration”) in that the signatures on it are not grouped by States. How it came to be in England is not yet known, but the finders believe that the randomness of the signatures points to an origin with signatory James Wilson, who had argued strongly that the Declaration was made not by the States but by the whole people.[40][41] The Sussex Declaration was probably brought to Sussex, England by Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond.[42]


Richmond County, Georgia, created in 1777 was named after him.[43]


Coat of arms of Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
A Coronet of a Duke
On a chapeau Gules turned up Ermine a lion statant guardant Or crowned with a Ducal Coronet Gules and gorged with a Collar compony of four pieces Argent and Gules charged with two roses of the last; (Richmond crest with Lennox collar and coronet). Overall, an Escutcheon Gules charged with three Buckles Or (the Dukedom of Aubigny).
The Royal Arms of King Charles II of England (viz. quarterly: 1st and 4th, France and England quarterly; 2nd, Scotland; 3rd, Ireland); the whole within a Bordure compony Argent charged with Roses Gules barbed and seeded proper and the last.
Dexter: A unicorn Argent armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a Collar company as the crest.
Sinister: An antelope Argent, also armed, crined and unguled Or, gorged with a Collar company as the crest.
En la rose je fleuris (French: “Like the rose, I flourish”)


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  1. ^ a b c Heathcote, p.199
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a,.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F} .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){ .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}Lowe, William C. (2004). “Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond”. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16451. Retrieved 21 June 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ “No. 9147”. The London Gazette. 7 March 1752. p. 3.
  4. ^ “No. 9279”. The London Gazette. 23 June 1753. p. 2.
  5. ^ “Lists of Royal Society Fellows” (PDF). Royal Society. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  6. ^ “No. 9590”. The London Gazette. 8 June 1756. p. 2.
  7. ^ “No. 9789”. The London Gazette. 6 May 1758. p. 2.
  8. ^ Brereton & Savoury, p. 41
  9. ^ “No. 10357”. The London Gazette. 15 October 1763. p. 1.
  10. ^ a b Heathcote, p. 200
  11. ^ Yuhas, Alan (22 April 2017). “Rare parchment manuscript of US Declaration of Independence found in England”. The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  12. ^ Western, pp. 199, 213, 311, 327.
  13. ^ Hay, p. 344.
  14. ^ “Duke of Richmond”. Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  15. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainMcNeill, Ronald John (1911). “Richmond, Earls and Dukes of“. In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 306.
  16. ^ “Charles Lennox”. American Philosophical Society Member History. American Philosophical Society. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  17. ^ “No. 12288”. The London Gazette. 16 January 1782. p. 1.
  18. ^ “No. 12391”. The London Gazette. 23 September 1782. p. 1.
  19. ^ “No. 13796”. The London Gazette. 14 July 1795. p. 741.
  20. ^ “No. 13918”. The London Gazette. 2 August 1796. p. 743.
  21. ^ Barlow & Smith, pg. 7.
  22. ^ “Goodwood House painting collection”. Goodwood. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  23. ^ The Register of Marriages solemnized in the Parish Church of St James within the Liberty of Westminster & County of Middlesex. 1754-1765. No. 811. 1 April 1757.
  24. ^ a b c Peill, James (2019). Glorious Goodwood: A Biography of England’s Greatest Sporting Estate. Little, Brown Book Group. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-4721-2823-2.
  25. ^ “Grant of an annuity from Lord John George Lennox to James Brownson of Norwich, esq., secured on properties [named] in Sussex”. National Archives. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  26. ^ “Tribute to our first lady, Maria”. 22 November 2011.
  27. ^ julia. “epitaphs”. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  28. ^ Died at Richmond Green in Surrey, apparently in the household of Lady Ailesbury and her daughters (Elle s’établit à Richmond Green et elle prit en affection une certaine lady Ailesbury et ses filles)
  29. ^ “Goodwood: The French Connection”, 2013 special exhibition exploring Goodwood’s French heritage” (PDF).
  30. ^ She had also been the mistress of Edward Gibbon (Edward Gibbon: History Books, Essays & Autobiographical Writings)
  31. ^ The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1807. 1807.
  32. ^ “The Literary Panorama, and National Register, Volume 2”. 1807. p. 1088.
  33. ^ Brian Fitzgerald (1957). Letters of Lady Louisa Conolly and William, Marquis of Kildare (2nd Duke of Leinster). Correspondence of Emily Duchess of Leinster (1731–1814). Vol. 3. Irish Manuscripts Commission. ISBN 9780903532211.
  34. ^ Burke, Edmund (1824). Annual Register of 1791.
  35. ^ “Release by Charles Dorrien of Ash Dean in West-bourne, esq. | The National Archives”. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  36. ^ “Grant of an annuity from Lord John George Lennox to James Brownson of Norwich, esq., secured on properties [named] in Sussex. | The National Archives”. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  37. ^ Obituary, The Gentleman’s Magazine, Volume 95, Part 1; Volume 137. 1825.
  38. ^ “Goodwood: The French Connection”
  39. ^ Wang, Amy B. (24 April 2017). “A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence has been found — in England”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  40. ^ Yuhas, Alan (22 April 2017). “Rare parchment copy of US Declaration of Independence found in England”. The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  41. ^ “The Sussex Declaration”. Declaration Resources Project. Harvard University. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  42. ^ “Rare Parchment American Declaration of Independence Found in Chichester Records Office”. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  43. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 188. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.


External links[edit]

Military offices
New regiment Colonel of the 72nd Regiment of Foot
Regiment disbanded
Preceded by

Master-General of the Ordnance
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Master-General of the Ordnance
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards
Succeeded by

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by

British Ambassador to France
Succeeded by

Political offices
Preceded by

Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Succeeded by

Honorary titles
Preceded by

Lord Lieutenant of Sussex
Succeeded by

Peerage of England
Preceded by

Duke of Richmond
3rd creation
Succeeded by

Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by

Duke of Lennox
2nd creation
Succeeded by

French nobility
Preceded by

Duke of Aubigny
Succeeded by