Who is the youngest person to become a duke?
#70961. Asked by smartie806. (Sep 24 06 3:20 PM)
The designation was first applied to barbaric tribal leaders and various military commanders and became a formal Roman title in the Roman Empire over time.|
Theoretically, it's possible to become a Duke at birth, assuming the pre-decease of the father. The title would be in abeyance from the death of the previous holder until the sex of the baby was ascertained (and the achievement of a live birth, too, of course).|
I know this thread is getting old, but I thought I'd add a more definitive answer to the question of the youngest person to become a duke.|
First of all, let's assume we are talking about British peerages (the peerages of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, United Kingdom).
There are two ways to become a duke: (a) you are created one - ie, some kindly king decides to make you a duke or (b) you inherit the title from a relative - normally your father (in unusual cases, also your mother), or as the next male in line when a duke dies without sons (or in unusual cases - without sons OR daughters).
First let's get rid of the boring candidates. Royal children have often been made dukes at their birth by their father simply saying so: "Behold my son, the Duke of Cornwall!" So let us remove all created dukes from the list.
We then have in contention, dukes who inherited their titles upon the death of the previous duke.
The winner is:
Aubrey Beauclerk, the 7th Duke of St. Albans, born 7th April 1815.
His father, the 6th Duke, died 12th August 1815 when he was 127 days old (4 months).
He then went on to live another 64 days before dying himself aged 9 months (poor chap).
A runner up with greater longevity would be:
George Villiers, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, born 10th January 1628.
He inherited his title at 7 months of age when his father was assassinated on 23rd August 1628.
He lived till he was 59 and died 16th April 1687.
Also worth a mention!
 James Hamilton, who at age 3 in 1758 became the 7th Duke of Hamilton AND the 4th Duke of Brandon.
 Frederick Gordon-Lennox who in 1935 at the tender age of 31 became the Duke of Gordon, the Duke of Richmond and the Duke of Lennox.
Also on the subject of dukes and ages...
All the currently alive dukes are aged over 42.
The oldest duke ever was Charles Fitzroy, the 7th Duke of Grafton who died at 97.
The second oldest one ever is the still-alive, wonderfully-named Brigadier Arthur Valerian Wellesley, the 8th Duke of Wellington. Will he become the first duke to get a century? He was born on 2nd July 1915 - so four-and-a-bit years to go at the time of writing.
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