Earls of Jersey - Encyclopedia


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EARLS OF. JERSEY Sir Edward Villiers (c. 1656-1711), son of Sir Edward Villiers (1620-1689), of Richmond, Surrey, was created Baron Villiers and Viscount Villiers in 1691 and earl of Jersey in 1697. His grandfather, Sir Edward Villiers (c. 1585-1626), master of the mint and president of Munster, was halfbrother of George Villiers, ist duke of Buckingham, and of Christopher Villiers, 1st earl of Anglesey; his sister was Elizabeth Villiers, the mistress of William III., and afterwards countess of Orkney. Villiers was knight-marshal of the royal household in succession to his father; master of the horse to Queen Mary; and lord chamberlain to William III. and Queen Anne. In 1696 he represented his country at the congress of Ryswick; he was ambassador at the Hague, and after becoming an earl was ambassador in Paris. In 1699 he was made secretary of state for the southern department, and on three occasions he was one of the lords justices of England. In 1704 he was dismissed from office by Anne, and after this event he was concerned in some of the Jacobite schemes. He died on the 25th of August 1711. The 2nd earl was his son William (c. 1682-1721), an adherent of the exiled house of Stuart, and the 3rd earl was the latter's son William (d. 1769), who succeeded his kinsman John Fitzgerald (c. 1692-1766) as 6th Viscount Grandison. The 3rd earl's son, George Bussy, the 4th earl (1735-1805), held several positions at the court of George III., and on account of his courtly manners was called the "prince of Maccaronies." The 4th earl's son, George, 5th earl of Jersey (1773-1859), one of the most celebrated fox-hunters of his time and a successful owner of racehorses, married Sarah Sophia (1785-1867), daughter of John Fane, 10th earl of Westmorland, and granddaughter of Robert Child, the banker. She inherited her grandfather's great wealth, including his interest in Child's bank, and with her husband took the name of Child-Villiers. Since this time the connexions of the earls of Jersey with Child's bank has been maintained. Victor Albert George Child-Villiers (b. 1845) succeeded his father George Augustus (1808-1859), 6th earl, who had only held the title for three weeks, as 7th earl of Jersey in 1859. This nobleman was governor of New South Wales from 1890 to 1893.

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