Lieut-Gen John Sheffield,
3rd Earl of Mulgrave,
1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby KG

John Sheffield was born on 7th April 1648 and was a poet and Tory politician. He served as Lord Privy Seal and Lord President of the Council. His father was the 2nd Earl of Mulgrave and he succeeded to that title in 1658 at the age of 10. He was a commander of a ship and also Colonel of an Infantry regiment. He was a strong supporter of the Duke of York and continued his support when James became King in 1685. He went out of favour under William's reign but returned to court with Queen Anne. His home was on the site of the present Buckingham Palace where he died in 1721. As a poet and essay writer he adapted Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and collaborated with Pope who wrote choruses between acts. He was Pope's patron and friend. He always had Jacobite tendencies and had his work censored as a result.

He was Colonel of the Holland Regiment (The Buffs) from 12th Dec 1673 to 5th Nov 1682. He fell out of favour with King Charles II when he tried to woo Princess Anne the King's daughter and was deprived of his commission. He was replaced by the Earl of Chesterfield who held the post with great reluctance until he resigned in 1684. The Earl of Mulgrave was now back in favour and re-appointed. When Charles II died in Feb 1685 Mulgrave continued in his post as Colonel of the regiment but in October he was made Lord Chamberlain of the Household and Vice-Admiral of York. He had already been given a seat on the Privy Council in July, and he could no longer perform his duty as Colonel of the Regiment.

He died at his home on 24th Feb 1721 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He married three times, having 3 children by the third marriage and 3 illegitimate children by mistresses during the first two marriages.

1666 He joined the Fleet in the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War
1658 Inherited title 3rd Earl of Mulgrave
1672 Battle of Sole Bay
1673 Commissioned Colonel of the Holland Regiment (The Buffs)
1674 Made Knight of the Garter
1680 Commanded at the aborted relief of Tangier
1682 Falls from favour and his commission is withdrawn
1684 Re-instated as Colonel of the Holland Regiment
1685 James II gave him a seat on the Privy Council (July)
1685 Made Lord Chamberlain of the Household and Vice-Admiral of York (Oct)
1685 Married first wife Ursula Stawell (died 13 Aug 1697)
1698 Married second wife Catherine Greville
1703 created Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
1705 Married third wife Lady Catherine Darnley
1710 Made Lord Steward
1711 Lord President of the Council
1721 Died on 24th Feb at home in St James's Park

Regimental Details | Colonels


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by Stephen Luscombe