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Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford
Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford KG, PC, PC (5 July 1718 – 14 June 1794) was born in Chelsea, Londonmarker, and died in Surreymarker, Englandmarker.

Family

He was a descendant of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and his first wife Catharine Fillol. Their marriage was annulled and their children declared illegitimate. Their son Sir Edward Seymour (d. 6 May 1593) later served as a Sheriff of Devon.

The Sheriff of Devon was father to Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Baronet, grandfather of Sir Edward Seymour, 2nd Baronet, great-grandfather of Sir Edward Seymour, 3rd Baronet and a fourth-generation ancestor of Sir Edward Seymour, 4th Baronet.

The 4th Baronet was father to Sir Edward Seymour, 5th Baronet and grandfather to Edward Seymour, 8th Duke of Somerset. His younger son was Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Lord Conway (1679–1732).

Lord Conway married Charlotte Shorter, a daughter of John Shorter of Bybrook. They were the parents of the Marquess. His father died when the younger Francis was about fourteen years old. The first few years after his father's death were spent in Italymarker and Parismarker. On his return to England he took his seatmarker, as 2nd Baron Conway, among the Peers in November 1739. Henry Seymour Conway, politician and soldier, was his younger brother.

Marriage

On 29 May 1741 he married Lady Isabella Fitzroy, daughter of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, and they became the parents of thirteen children:



Career

In August 1750 he was created Viscount Beauchamp and Earl of Hertford. In 1755, according to Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, "The Earl of Hertford, a man of unblemished morals, but rather too gentle and cautious, to combat so presumptuous a court, was named Ambassador to Paris." However, due to the demands of the French, the journey was suspended.

From 1751 to 1766 he was Lord of the Bedchamber to George II and George III. In 1756 he was made a Knight of the Garter and, in 1757, Lord-Lieutenant and Guardian of the Rolls of the County of Warwick and City of Coventrymarker.

In 1763 he became Privy Councillor and, from October 1763 to June 1765, was a successful ambassador in Paris. In the autumn of 1765 he became Viceroy of Ireland where, as an honest and religious man, he was well liked.

An anonymous satirist in 1777 described him as "the worst man in His Majesty's dominions", and also emphasised Hertford's greed and selfishness, adding "I cannot find any term for him but avaricious." However, this anonymous attack does not seem to be justified.

In 1782 when she was only fifty-six, his wife died after having nursed their grandson at Forde's Farmmarker, Thames Dittonmarker where she caught a violent cold. According to Walpole, "Lord Hertford's loss is beyond measure. She was not only the most affectionate wife, but the most useful one, and almost the only person I ever saw that never neglected or put off or forgot anything that was to be done. She was always proper, either in the highest life or in the most domestic." (Walpole visited Forde's Farm on several occasions from his residence at Strawberry Hillmarker, Twickenham.) Within two years of the tragedy, Lord Hertford had sold Forde's Farm to Mrs Charlotte Boyle Walsingham, and a further two years later, she had re-developed the estate, building a new mansion which she called Boyle Farm, a name still in use today.

In July 1793 he was created Marquess of Hertford, with the subsidiary title of Earl of Yarmouth. He enjoyed this elevation for almost a year until his death at the age of seventy-six, on 14 June 1794, at the house of his daughter, the Countess of Lincoln. He died as the result of an infection following a minor injury he received while riding. He was buried at Arrowmarker, in Warwickshiremarker.


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