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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 386 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SEYMOUR, Or ST MAUR.) The Seymours of Berry Pomeroy were the elder branch of the family, being descended from the protector Somerset by his first marriage, the issue of which had been excluded from succession to the titles and estates until after the failure of the issue of his second marriage (see above), which failure occurred on the death of the above-named Algernon, 7th duke. Sir Edward Seymour (1695–1757), who thus became 8th duke of Somerset, was grandson of Sir Edmund Seymour, Speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of Charles II. His two sons succeeded in turn to the dukedom, and his grandson Edward Adolphus, 11th duke (1775–1855), was a mathematician and scientist of some distinction. The latter's son Edward Adolphus, 12th duke (1804–1885), was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, and from 183o till he succeeded to the peerage in 1855 he was a Liberal member of the House of Commons as Lord Seymour, first for Okehampton, and afterwards for Totnes. He held various offices in Lord Melbourne's administration from 1835 to 1841; was a member of Lord John Russell's cabinet in 1851; and first lord of the admiralty from 1859 to 1866. In 1863 he was created Earl St Maur of Berry Pomeroy. He refused to join W. E. Gladstone's ministry in 1868, but he gave independent support to the chief measures of the government. He died in November 1885. In 183o, while still Lord Seymour, he married Jane Georgiana, youngest of the three celebrated daughters of Thomas Sheridan, who was the " Queen of Beauty " at the famous Eglinton Tournament in 1839. The duke was the author of Christian Theology and Modern Scepticism (1872), and Monarchy and Democracy (188o). As his two sons both died unmarried in his lifetime, the family titles, except the earldom of St Maur, which became extinct, devolved on his two brothers successively; the younger of whom, Algernon Percy Banks, 14th duke (1813–1894), was succeeded by his son Algernon (b. 1846) as 15th duke of Somerset. The title of Earl St Maur adopted by the 12th duke in 1863 is said to have been the original form of the family name of which Seymour was a later corruption, and since the last-mentioned date it has been assumed as the family surname of the dukes of Somerset. See SEYMOUR, Or ST MAUR, and the authorities there cited. (R. J. M.)
End of Article: SEYMOUR

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