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Duke of Grafton

Arms of the Duke of Grafton

Arms: Quarterly: 1st and 4th, France and England, quarterly; 2nd, Scotland; 3rd, Ireland; over all a baton in bend sinister compony of six, argent and azure.

Crest: On a chapeau, gules turned up ermine, a lion statant guardant, or, crowned with a ducal coronet, azure, and gorged with a collar, countercompony, argent and azure.

Supporters: Dexter, a lion, guardant, or, crouned with a ducal coronet, azure, and gorged with a collar, countercompony, argent and azure; Sinister, a greyhound argent, gorged as in the dexter.

Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Grafton, was the 2nd illegitimate son of King Charles II by Barbara Villers, Duchess of Cleveland. Born in 1663, Henry was created Baron Sudbury, Viscount Ipswich, and Earl of Euston in 1672 (ripe old age of 8-1/2). Henry was created Duke of Grafton in 1675, just before his 12th birthday.

This explains the Coat of Arms held by the Dukes of Grafton. The Royal Arms of Charles II debruised by a baton sinister showing that the 1st Duke was related by blood to the Sovereign but unable to succeed to the Throne because of being born out of wedlock.

During Charles II's exile under the Cromwell Protectorate, Charles lived in France and fathered several illegitimate children. Many of them were raised to the Peerage as Dukes, of which four remain today (Buccleuch, Richmond, Grafton, and St. Albans), and all of whom use the Baton Sinister or Bordure Compony to signify their relation to Charles II.

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