Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond

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, 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 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 Duke of Richmond and Lennox

Portrait by George Romney, circa 1777
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
In office
23 May 1766  29 July 1766
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Rockingham
Preceded byHenry Conway
Succeeded byThe Earl of Shelburne
Personal details
Born(1735-02-22)22 February 1735
Westminster, London, England
Died29 December 1806(1806-12-29) (aged 71)
Goodwood, Sussex, England
Resting placeChichester Cathedral
Spouse(s)Mary Bruce
ParentsCharles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond
Sarah Cadogan
AwardsKnight of the Garter
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Great Britain
Branch/service British Army
Years of service1752–1806
RankField Marshal
Commands33rd Regiment of Foot
72nd Regiment of Foot
Battles/warsSeven Years' War


The son of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond and Sarah Cadogan, daughter of William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan. Brother of the famous Lennox sisters, he was educated at Westminster School and Leiden University and succeeded his father as Duke of Richmond in August 1750.[1] He was commissioned as an ensign in the 2nd Foot Guards in March 1752,[2] promoted to captain in the 20th Regiment of Foot on 18 June 1753[3] and was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society on 11 December 1755.[4]

Richmond became lieutenant colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot on 7 June 1756.[5] 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).[6] 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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1]

Richmond's anti-colonial positions earned him the sobriquet "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.[1] He 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.[12] 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.[13][1]

Richmond joined the Second Rockingham Ministry as Master-General of the Ordnance in March 1782;[13] he was appointed a Knight of the Garter on 17 April 1782[14] and promoted to full general on 20 November 1782.[15] He resigned as Master-General when the Fox–North coalition came to power in April 1783.[1]

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).[1] 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.[1][13] 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.[1] He became colonel of the Royal Horse Guards on 18 July 1795[16] and was promoted to field marshal on 30 July 1796.[17] 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.[18]

In retirement Richmond built the famous racecourse at the family seat of Goodwood.[1] He was also a patron of artists such as George Stubbs, Pompeo Batoni, Anton Raphael Mengs, Joshua Reynolds and George Romney.[19]

Richmond died at Goodwood on 29 December 1806 and was buried in Chichester Cathedral; he had married Lady Mary Bruce, daughter of the Earl of Ailesbury, on 1 April 1757 but left no legitimate children, so was succeeded in the peerage by his nephew Charles.[10] He did have three illegitimate children by his housekeeper.[1]

Richmond is the namesake of Richmond County, Georgia, created in 1777.[20]


  1. "Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  2. "No. 9147". The London Gazette. 7 March 1752. p. 3.
  3. "No. 9279". The London Gazette. 23 June 1753. p. 2.
  4. "Lists of Royal Society Fellows" (PDF). Royal Society. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  5. "No. 9590". The London Gazette. 8 June 1756. p. 2.
  6. Heathcote, p. 199
  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. 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. "Duke of Richmond". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  13.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: McNeill, Ronald John (1911). "Richmond, Earls and Dukes of". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 306.
  14. "No. 12288". The London Gazette. 16 January 1782. p. 1.
  15. "No. 12391". The London Gazette. 23 September 1782. p. 1.
  16. "No. 13796". The London Gazette. 14 July 1795. p. 741.
  17. "No. 13918". The London Gazette. 2 August 1796. p. 743.
  18. Barlow & Smith, p. 7.
  19. "Goodwood House painting collection". Goodwood. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  20. Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 188. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.


  • Brereton, J.M.; Savoury, A.C.S. (1993). History of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Duke of Wellington's Regiment. ISBN 978-0952155201.
  • Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals, 1736–1997: A Biographical Dictionary. Barnsley: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-696-5.
  • L. Barlow & R.J. Smith, The Uniforms of the British Yeomanry Force 1794–1914, 1: The Sussex Yeomanry Cavalry, London: Robert Ogilby Trust/Tunbridge Wells: Midas Books, ca 1979, ISBN 0-85936-183-7.
Military offices
New regiment Colonel of the 72nd Regiment of Foot
Regiment disbanded
Preceded by
The Viscount Townshend
Master-General of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
The Viscount Townshend
Preceded by
The Viscount Townshend
Master-General of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
The Marquess Cornwallis
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Seymour Conway
Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards
Succeeded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
The Earl of Hertford
British Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
The Earl of Rochford
Political offices
Preceded by
Hon. Henry Seymour Conway
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Succeeded by
The Earl of Shelburne
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Egremont
Lord Lieutenant of Sussex
Succeeded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Richmond
3rd creation
Succeeded by
Charles Lennox
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Lennox
2nd creation
Succeeded by
Charles Lennox
French nobility
Preceded by
Charles Lennox
Duke of Aubigny
Succeeded by
Charles Lennox
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