FITZROY, Lord Augustus (1716-41).
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Family and Education
b. 16 Oct. 1716, 3rd s. of Charles Fitzroy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, and yr. bro. of George Fitzroy, Lord Euston. educ. Eton 1728. m. March 1734, Elizabeth, da. of Col. William Cosby, gov. of New York, 3s.
Lt. R.N. by 1734, capt. 1736.
‘This brave and gallant young man’, writes Charnock, ‘was of a very amorous disposition.’1 As a naval lieutenant, aged 17, he contracted a marriage which his father refused to recognize. Three years later, now a captain, he told his wife ‘the night before he left her to go to sea that he had received with much transport a letter’ from the wife of Sir William Morice ‘that she would lie with him the following night and go to sea with him’. The couple were caught flagrante delicto at an inn on the road to the harbour where his ship lay; Lady Morice was seized but made her escape to France; her husband secured a divorce and damages of £5,000 against Fitzroy; while the Duke of Grafton
was so touched with the barbarity of his son that he went to see his daughter-in-law, which he had never done before, and assured her that he would be kind to her and never let her want while he lived.2
Returned for Thetford by the Duke of Grafton in 1739, Fitzroy was absent on active service from the division on the Spanish convention in March but voted with the Government against the place bill in January 1740. In April he took part in an engagement resulting in the capture of a Spanish man-of-war.3 Sailing in October under Sir Chaloner Ogle to reinforce Admiral Vernon in the West Indies, he died in Jamaica of a disease contracted at Cartagena, 28 May 1741. He was the father of the 3rd Duke of Grafton, who became prime minister under George III.