Full Name: George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Profession: Courtier and Statesman
Why Famous: 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.
- 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 fleet under George Villiers lands on the Rhe [NS=June 22]
- 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