Esmé Stewart, 3rd Duke of Lennox
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Esmé Stewart, 3rd Duke of Lennox (1579 – 30 July 1624), KG, lord of the Manor of Cobham, Kent, was a Scottish nobleman and through their paternal lines was a second cousin of King James VI of Scotland and I of England. He was a patron of the playwright Ben Jonson who lived in his household for five years.
He was the younger son of Esmé Stewart, 1st Duke of Lennox (1542-1583), a Frenchman of Scottish ancestry and a favourite of King James VI of Scotland (of whose father, Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, he was a first cousin), by his wife Catherine de Balsac (d.post-1630), a daughter of Guillaume de Balsac, Sieur d'Entragues, by his wife Louise d'Humières.
At the death of his childless elder brother Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond (1574-1624), he inherited their paternal title of Duke of Lennox, the Dukedom of Richmond having become extinct. He was by then already Earl of March and Baron Clifton of Leighton Bromswold (in the peerage of England) (1619) as well as 7th Seigneur d'Aubigny in France.
On 9 February 1608 he performed in the masque The Hue and Cry After Cupid at Whitehall Palace as a sign of the zodiac, to celebrate the wedding of John Ramsay, Viscount Haddington to Elizabeth Radclyffe .
Marriage and childrenEdit
In 1609 he married Katherine Clifton, 2nd Baroness Clifton, by whom he had eleven children, third cousins of King Charles I, for whom many of them fought and died in the Civil War:
- James Stewart, 4th Duke of Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond (1612–1655), eldest son and heir. He resided at Cobham Hall in Kent (granted in 1606 to his uncle Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond (1574-1624), by his second cousin King James VI & I) and served as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, based at Dover Castle in Kent;
- Henry Stewart, 8th Seigneur d'Aubigny (1616–1632). He studied in the City of Bourges (the capital of the former province of Berry, in which was situated Aubigny) and later at Paris, then visited Venice with the statesman Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland (father of his sister's husband) where he died aged 17 and was buried in the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice;
- Francis Stewart (1616–1617), died in infancy;
- George Stewart, 9th Seigneur d'Aubigny (1618–1642), killed aged 24 fighting for the royalist cause in the English Civil War. He married Katherine Howard (d.1650), a daughter of Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, by whom he was the father of Charles Stewart, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 6th Duke of Lennox (1638–1672), of Cobham Hall and of Richmond House in London, the last in the male line of the Stewarts of Aubigny, who was the heir of his infant first cousin Esmé Stuart, 2nd Duke of Richmond, 5th Duke of Lennox (1649-1660), the son and heir of James Stewart, 1st Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Lennox (1612-1655), of Cobham Hall;
- Ludovic Stewart, 10th Seigneur d'Aubigny (1619–1665), who shortly before his death became a cardinal;
- Lord John Stewart (1621–1644) killed aged 23, unmarried, fighting for the royalist cause in the English Civil War;
- Lord Bernard Stewart (1623–1645) killed aged 22, unmarried, fighting for the royalist cause in the English Civil War. For his war services he was due to be created Earl of Lichfield, but died before the formalities were completed, and the title was instead awarded to his nephew Charles Stewart (1638–1672), later 3rd Duke of Richmond, 6th Duke of Lennox.
Death and burialEdit
He died in 1624 and was buried, on 6 August 1624, in Westminster Abbey, in the Richmond Vault in the south east apsidal chapel of the Chapel of King Henry VII (himself formerly Earl of Richmond).
- Cust, Lady Elizabeth, Some Account of the Stuarts of Aubigny, in France, London, 1891, pp.12-14 
- Johnston, G. Harvey, The Heraldry of the Stewarts, Edinburgh, 1906, p.47 
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lennox". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 420.
- Edmund Lodge, Illustrations of British History, vol. 3 (London, 1838), p. 223.
- Gaspard Thaumas de la Thaumassiere, Histoire de Berry, Paris, 1689, p.697 
The 3rd Lord St John of Bletso
| Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire
jointly with The 4th Lord St John of Bletso
The 4th Lord St John of Bletso
The Viscount Mandeville
|Peerage of Scotland|
| Duke of Lennox
|Peerage of England|
|New title|| Earl of March