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Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton
|Term:||14 October 1768–28 January 1770|
|Predecessor:||The Earl of Chatham|
|Date of Birth:||28 September 1735|
|Date of Death:||14 March 1811|
|Place of Death:||Euston Hall, Suffolk|
He was a son of a senior Augustus FitzRoy and Elizabeth Cosby, daughter of Colonel William Cosby who served as a colonial Governor of New York. The younger Augustus was grandson to Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton and Lady Henrietta Somerset, great-grandson to both Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton and Charles Somerset, Marquess of Worcester. Augustus was notably a fourth-generation descedant of Charles II of England and Barbara Villiers, 1st Duchess of Cleveland. His younger brother was Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton .
Augustus was educated at the Westminster School and at Peterhouse, Cambridge. In 1756, FitzRoy entered Parliament as MP for Boroughbridge, a pocket borough; several months later, he switched constituencies to Bury St. Edmunds, which was controlled by his family. However, one year later, his grandfather died, and he inherited a peerage, Duke of Grafton, elevating him to the House of Lords.
He first became known in politics as an opponent of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, a favourite of King George III. Grafton allied with the Duke of Newcastle against Lord Bute, whose term as Prime Minister was short-lived. In 1765, Grafton was appointed a Privy Counsellor, then following discussions with William Pitt the Elder, he was appointed Secretary of State for the Northern Department in Lord Rockingham's first government. However, he retired the following year, and Pitt (by then created Earl of Chatham) formed a ministry in which Grafton was First Lord of the Treasury but not Prime Minister.
Chatham's illness at the end of 1767 resulted in Grafton becoming the government's effective leader (he is credited with entering the office of Prime Minister in 1768), but political differences and the attacks of "Junius" led to his resignation in January 1770. He became Lord Privy Seal in Lord North's ministry (1771) but resigned in 1775, being in favour of conciliatory action towards the American colonists. In the second Rockingham ministry of 1782 he was again Lord Privy Seal. In later years he was a prominent Unitarian.
Besides his successor, the 4th Duke (1760–1844) and numerous other children, Grafton was the father of General Lord Charles Fitzroy (1764–1829), whose sons Sir Charles FitzRoy (1798–1858), governor of New South Wales, and Robert Fitzroy, the hydrographer, were notable for their achievements.
The Duke of Grafton's Government
- Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, and Leader of the House of Lords: The Duke of Grafton
- Lord Chancellor: Lord Camden
- Lord President of the Council: Lord Gower
- Lord Privy Seal: Lord Bristol
- Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons: Lord North
- Secretary of State for the Northern Department: Henry Seymour Conway (1766–1768), Lord Weymouth (1768), Lord Rochford (1768–1770)
- Secretary of State for the Southern Department: Lord Shelburne (1766–1768), Lord Weymouth (1768–1770)
- Secretary of State for the Colonies: Lord Hillsborough
- Master-General of the Ordnance: Lord Granby
- First Lord of the Admiralty: Sir Edward Hawke
|- style="text-align: center;"
| width="30%" |Preceded by:
The Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire | width="40%" style="text-align: center;" |Lord Privy Seal
1771–1775 | width="30%" |Succeeded by:
The Earl of Dartmouth
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