Online Encyclopedia

EDWARD SOMERSET

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 820 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EDWARD SOMERSET, 2nd marquess of Worcester (1601–1667), is better known by the title of earl of Glamorgan, this earldom having been conferred upon him, although somewhat irregularly, by Charles I. in 1644. He became very prominent in 1644 and 1645 in connexion with Charles's scheme for obtaining military help from Ireland and abroad, and in 1645 he signed at Kilkenny, on behalf of Charles, a treaty with the Irish Roman Catholics; but the king was obliged by the opposition of Ormonde and the Irish loyalists to repudiate his action. Under the Common-wealth he was formally banished from England and his estates were seized. At the Restoration his estates were restored, and he claimed the dukedom of Somerset promised to him by Charles I., but he did not obtain this, nor was his earldom of Glamorgan recognized. He was greatly interested in mechanical experiments, and his name is intimately connected with the early history of the steam-engine (q.v.). His Century of the Names and Scantlings of such Inventions as at present I can call to mind to have tried and perfected (1663) has often been reprinted. He died on the 3rd of April 1667. See Henry Dircks, Life, Times and Scientific Labours of the 2nd Marquess of Worcester (1865); Sir J. T. Gilbert, History of the Irish Confederation and the War in Ireland (Dublin, 1882–1891). His only son HENRY (1629—1700), the 3rd marquess, abandoned the Roman Catholic religion and was a member of one of Cromwell's parliaments. But he was quietly loyal to Charles II., who in 1682 created him duke of Beaufort. As the defender of Bristol, the duke took a considerable part in checking the progress of the duke of Monmouth in 1685, but in 1688 he surrendered the city to William of Orange. He inherited Badminton, still the residence of the dukes of Beaufort, and died there on the 21st of January 1700. The Worcester title was henceforth merged in that of Beaufort (q.v.). Henry, the 7th duke (1792–1853), was one of the greatest sportsmen of his day, and the Badminton hunt owed much to him and his successors, the 8th duke (1824–1899) and 9th duke (b. 1847).
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