John Seymour, 19th Duke of Somerset

John Michael Edward Seymour, 19th Duke of Somerset, DL FRICS (born 30 December 1952), styled Lord Seymour between 1954 and 1984, is a British aristocratic landowner in Wiltshire and Devon, and a member of the House of Lords.

The Duke of Somerset

Portrait by Allan Warren
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
10 December 2014
as an excepted hereditary peer
Preceded byThe Lord Cobbold
In office
15 November 1984  11 November 1999
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded byThe 18th Duke of Somerset
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Personal details
John Michael Edward Seymour

(1952-12-30) 30 December 1952
Bath, Somerset, UK
Spouse(s)Judith-Rose Hull
ChildrenSebastian Seymour, Lord Seymour
Lady Sophia Seymour
Lady Henrietta Seymour
Lord Charles Seymour
ParentsPercy Seymour, 18th Duke of Somerset
Jane Thomas
ResidenceMaiden Bradley House, Wiltshire
Known forLandowning;
HoL member
Other titlesBaron Seymour


Educated at Hawtreys and Eton College, he qualified as a chartered surveyor[1] before succeeding to the dukedom in 1984 on the death of his father.[2] Having lost his seat in the House of Lords under the House of Lords Act 1999, he was elected at the December 2014 House of Lords by-elections,[3] to sit as a crossbencher in the Upper House.[4]

The Duke's principal seat is Bradley House, Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire,[5] and he also owns Berry Pomeroy Castle in Devon.

He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Wiltshire in 1993[6] and for Devon in 2003.[7]

The Duke and his wife are patrons and official hosts of the Queen Charlotte's Ball.[8]


The present Duke is the son of Percy Seymour, 18th Duke of Somerset, and Jane née Thomas (died 2005). His paternal grandmother, Edith Mary Parker, was a daughter of William Parker and Lucinda Steeves, daughter of William Steeves, one of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation.

He married at All Saints' Church, Maiden Bradley, on 20 May 1978, Judith-Rose Hull, daughter of John Folliott Hull; the Duke and Duchess have four children:

  • Sebastian Edward, Baron Seymour (b. Queen Charlotte's Hospital, London, 3 February 1982), m. 27 August 2006 Arlette Marie Léontine, daughter of Daniel Lafayeedney, of La Grasse, France,[9] divorced 2011.
  • Lady Sophia Rose Seymour (b. 1987)
  • Lady Henrietta Charlotte Seymour (b. 1989)
  • Lord Charles Thomas George Seymour (b. 1992).[10]


In 2015 the Duke was involved in a dispute over a plan to build housing on ancestral land he owns at Totnes, Devon.[11]

Titles, styles and arms

Titles and styles

  • 30 December 1952 – 26 April 1954: The Honourable John Seymour
  • 26 April 1954 – 15 November 1984: Lord Seymour
  • 15 November 1984 – present: His Grace The Duke of Somerset


Coat of arms of John Seymour, 19th Duke of Somerset
That of a Duke
Out of a Coronet Or a Phoenix of the Last issuing from Flames Proper
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Or on a Pile Gules between six Fleurs-de-Lis Azure three Lions of England (being the Augmentation of Honour granted by King Henry VIII on his marriage with Jane Seymour); 2nd and 3rd, Gules two Wings joined in lure the tips downwards Or (Seymour)
Dexter: an Unicorn Argent armed maned and tufted Or gorged with a Coronet per pale Azure and Or to which is affixed a Chain of the Last; Sinister: a Bull Azure gorged with a Coronet chained hoofed and armed Or
Medieval French for: FAITH FOR DUTY

See also


  2. ‘SOMERSET, 19th Duke of’, in Who's Who 2012 (A. & C. Black, 2012); online edition (subscription required) by Oxford University Press, December 2011, accessed 8 December 2011.
  3. "Crossbench Hereditary Peers' By-Election, December 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  8. Smith, Julia Llewellyn (September 2013). "Why today's 'debutantes' are having a ball again".
  10. Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 3678 (SOMERSET, D). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  11. "Totnes' Great Court Farm plans get the go-ahead despite demo". Torquay Herald Express. 14 January 2015. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.


Peerage of England
Preceded by
Percy Seymour
Duke of Somerset
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Preceded by
The Lord de Mauley
as Master of the Horse
The Duke of Somerset
Succeeded by
The Duke of Richmond
Order of precedence in Scotland
Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Somerset
Succeeded by
The Duke of Richmond
Order of precedence in Northern Ireland
Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Somerset
Succeeded by
The Duke of Richmond

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