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FitzRoy, Henry, duke of Richmond

FitzRoy, Henry, duke of Richmond (1519–36). FitzRoy was Henry VIII's illegitimate son by Elizabeth Blount, a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon. Since Henry had no surviving male heir until 1537, and his marriage to Catherine was disputed, the future of FitzRoy produced much comment. In 1525 he was given the Garter and created duke of Richmond, a title held by Henry's father. His appointments as lord high admiral (1525) and lord-lieutenant of Ireland (1529), though nominal, were taken as favours to come. In 1533 he was married to a daughter of the duke of Norfolk. The second Act of Succession in 1536 bastardized both Mary and Elizabeth and gave Henry the power, should Jane Seymour not have children, to name his successor. It was presumed that he would use this on behalf of FitzRoy. Parliament dissolved on 18 July and five days later the young prince died aged 17, of consumption. ‘Not a bad thing for the interests of the Princess [Mary]’, wrote the imperial ambassador laconically.

J. A. Cannon

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