On This Day

George Villiers

Courtier and Statesman George Villiers

Full Name: George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Profession: Courtier and Statesman


Biography: A favorite of King James I of England and very likely his lover, George Villiers rose to become a major figure at the courts of James I and his son Charles I. Bishop Godfrey Goodman called him "the handsomest-bodied man in all of England".

As a 20 year old Villiers was appointed royal cup-bearer at court then gentleman of the bedchamber, supplanting the king's former favorite Robert Carr. In 1616 Villiers was made a Viscount then a Duke.

On James' death in 1625 Villiers became Charles' most influential adviser and was appointed Lord Admiral. However Villiers had became increasingly unpopular at court. Regarded as extravagant, the announcement the king was to marry the catholic French prince Henrietta Marie was badly received. Villiers' various naval campaigns were unsuccessful, with his efforts to fight the French Protestant Huguenots especially enraging Protestant England. He was assassinated in Portsmouth in 1628 by a disgruntled army officer who was proclaimed a hero.

Born: August 28, 1592
Birthplace: Brooksby, Leicestershire, England, Kingdom of England
Star Sign: Virgo

Died: August 23, 1628 (aged 35)
Cause of Death: Assassinated by army officer John Felton at the Greyhound Pub in Portsmouth

Historical Events

  • 1617-01-06 English court favorite George Villiers is made Earl of Buckingham by King James I
  • 1625-10-08 English Admiral George Villiers' fleet sails from Plymouth to Cadiz, Spain
  • 1627-07-10 English fleet under George Villiers reach La Rochelle [NS=June 20]
  • 1627-07-12 English invasion fleet under George Villiers lands on the Île de Ré, forced to withdraw after 3 months of combat and losing 4,000 of 7,000 troops
  • 1627-10-27 English invasion force under George Villiers assaults the French island of Île de Ré
  • 1627-11-08 English fleet under George Villiers leaves Île de Ré

Famous English People