Monday, September 16, 2002

Grafton made a reliable officer and was popular with his crews, with whom he was capable of unbending. He showed courage under fire and in 1682, through parental influence, was appointed Vice-Admiral of England in succession to Prince Rupert. He gained his father’s warm affection and, on Charles’s death, the goodwill of his uncle James II, who regarded him as the most dependable of his nephews. He helped crush the Monmouth Rebellion and obtained the release of English prisoners from the Dey of Algiers. He then became colonel of the first regiment of Foot Guards. However, he increasingly mistrusted James’s determination to restore Roman Catholicism and, when William of Orange landed, followed the Duke of Marlborough into the latter’s camp. Although his relationship with the new king was at first cool, he soon won William’s respect through his bravery. He dies of wounds received when leading the English regiments against James II’s Irish supporters at the siege of Cork in 1690.

Arthus Foss, The Dukes of Britain (36)

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