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Duke of Berwick

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Duke of Berwick

The title Duke of Berwick (/ˈbɛrɪk/) was created in the Peerage of England on 19 March 1687 for James FitzJames, the illegitimate son of King James II and Arabella Churchill. The title refers to the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed in England by the border with Scotland. At the same time the titles Baron Bosworth and Earl of Tinmouth were created which are subsidiary to the dukedom.

The peerage and its subsidiary titles were generally considered to have been forfeit by the English parliament in 1695, when the Duke was attainted following the enforced exile of his father. The College of Arms in its Roll of the Peerage does not list any such title which means it is non-existent today in England.

Nevertheless, the titles were recognized in France as de facto Jacobite Peerages by King Louis XIV, this to please the exiled King James II & VII, along with other Jacobite Peerages recognized in France, like Duke of Perth, Duke of Melfort, etc. On 13 December 1707, King Philip V confirmed or issued the title in Spain, and conferred the dignity Grandee of Spain to James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick. The Grandeeship is attached to the Spanish title of Duke of Berwick.

If the English peerage were still extant, the title is only inheritable in the male line. At the death of Don Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart, 17th Duke of Alba and 10th Duke of Berwick, the English title would have been inherited by his nephew Don Fernando FitzJames Stuart, 15th Duke of Peñaranda de Duero (1922–1971), and subsequently Fernando's son Don Jacobo FitzJames Stuart, 16th Duke of Peñaranda de Duero and current head of the House of FitzJames (born in 1947 and without children).

The Spanish title, with the accompanying dignity Grandee of Spain, follows the inheritance rules of that country. Spanish noble titles historically have followed the rule of male-preference primogeniture, which allows a female to succeed if she has no living brothers and no deceased brothers who left surviving legitimate descendants. With the death of the 10th Duke of Berwick in September 1953, his only daughter and child, Doña Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba, succeeded him in his Spanish titles, amongst which is title Duquesa de Berwick. With her death in November 2014, the dukedom passed to her eldest son Don Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Martínez de Irujo, 14th Duke of Huéscar.

Spanish Dukes of Berwick (1707–present)

Before 1953, the Spanish Dukes were also the Jacobite Dukes of Berwick. The line split due to the differences between the Spanish and Jacobite succession laws (male-preference primogeniture and agnatic primogeniture respectively).


Duke of Berwick Wikipedia

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