chapter  10
38 Pages

1628: ‘The Duke shall die’

The new year, 1628, opened auspiciously for Buckingham, for on 30 January Kate gave birth to a boy. The bells of Westminster - of which the Duke was Steward — rang out to welcome the infant Earl of Coventry, who automatically became heir to his father’s dignities, and from Dover Jack Hippesley wrote to give his patron ‘good joy of your young son’ and to express the hope that the Duke would ‘long enjoy him to your great comfort’. Laud recorded the birth in his diary, and two weeks later he made his way to Wallingford House to officiate at the christening ceremony. The baby was named George, after his father, and the King and Theophilus Howard, Earl of Suffolk, were present as godparents. The Queen had also agreed to act in this capacity, but since she could not take part in a protestant function she was represented by the Duchess of Richmond.1