Duke of Grafton

Along with the Duke of Norfolk, Kirby also snagged the Duke of Grafton as a subscriber to the Twelve Prints and Historical Account. The Duke of Grafton was a title created for Henry Fitzroy, one of the numerous illegitimate children of King Charles II. Henry Fitzroy married the daughter of the Earl of Arlington (who gave his name to a portion of Washington DC). The marriage may have been a love match: he was nine, she was five. In Kirby’s time, it was his son, Charles Fitzroy (1683—1757), the 2nd Duke, who held the title. The first Duke sided with William of Orange in the 1688 Revolution and died in 1690 of wounds received fighting with William’s forces at Cork. His son was six.

The 2nd Duke went on to great things. He was Lord High Steward at King George I’s coronation, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1720 to 1724, and Lord Chamberlain from 1724 until his death. He was a strong supporter of the Royal Academy of Music, and, perhaps mindful of his own background, one of the original Governors of the Foundling Hospital, along with William Hogarth.

Here he is as a young man painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller in a ‘Kit-cat’-sized portrait.

And later on in a portrait by William Hoare.

The Dukes of Grafton also have subsidiary titles of Viscount Ipswich and Baron Sudbury. The family seat is at Euston Hall in Suffolk. At the time of Kirby’s book, along with being Lord Chamberlain, the Duke of Grafton was Lord-Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum (keeper of the records) of Suffolk and could be expected to patronize worthy projects such as Kirby’s.

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