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     A brass memorial plate to Lord Arthur Somerset can be found in St Bartholomew's church, Vowchurch. It is described as a late example of a church brass, very plain and much thinner than older brasses attached to floor slabs, though that seems to have been its original location given the wording of the inscription: 
“Also, here lyeth the body of the right honorable Lord Arther Somerset, youngest son of Henry Duke of Beaufort: he died at Poston, June the 21  1743, aged 72.”  
The word “also” implies a shared tomb, possibly with his wife Lady Mary, whose monument is no longer evident but was recorded in Vowchurch in 1872 by Charles Robinson.


Photo by Steve Edwards
[Creative Commons licence]

Lord Arthur Somerset was the fifth son of Henry, first Duke of Beaufort. Henry was a royalist but did reach a settlement with Cromwell during the Commonwealth period. He was born at Raglan Castle in 1629. In 1682 Charles II granted him the dukedom, recognising his illustrious descent from Sir John Beaufort Earl of Somerset, eldest son of John of Gaunt and therefore grandson of Edward III.  Henry’s principal residence was Badminton in Gloucestershire, but he had many possessions in South Wales and the marches including the manor of Poston. His father Edward Somerset, Lord Herbert and second Marquess of Worcester, was a scientific entrepreneur, carrying out early experiments with the use of steam power, as well as being a major investor in the royalist cause.

Beaufort's wife (and mother of Lord Arthur) was Mary Capel, 1630-1715, daughter of Arthur Capel of Hadham, Herts, a royalist officer and politician. Her brother, also Arthur Capel, was created Earl of Essex in Charles II’s coronation honours list.  Beaufort’s will settled the “manor and farm at Poston in the county of Hereford” on his son Arthur, while protecting the rights of usage by the tenants. Various holdings in Breconshire were also left to Arthur.  Lord Arthur Somerset was the second husband of Mary, daughter of Sir William Russell, bart., of Laugharne, Carmarthenshire (d.1712/13 aged 80), and of Hester (née Rouse) who died at Poston in 1717.  Lady Mary died in 1724.

As Lord Arthur and Lady Mary had only daughters, Poston passed to the eldest, Mary, who married Algernon Greville, and thence to their daughter Mary Greville who married Shuckburgh Boughton (1703-1763, son of Sir William Boughton, bart., died 1716).


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Portrait of Henry, first Duke of Beaufort


  Photo by Lisby1   [Some rights reserved]