Chatsworth House of Names

Chatsworth House, from toffsmen.com

You’d think, given that I’ve spent the last fortnight in the USA that I’d want to talk more about American names. It seems not because Chatsworth House is on my mind, which is one of the closest stately homes to me. It also happens to be home to the 12th Duke of Devonshire and some of the fascinating names you’d expect from the aristocracy.

First, a moment to mention that no, I haven’t quietly moved south. Chatsworth House is in North Derbyshire, but like many rich families, the Cavendishs bought the title Duke of Devonshire in 1616 from James I. The first, William, reportedly paid in the region of £10,000 for it.

But, back to the modern day crop of the family and we’ll start with the eldest living tier. Or, we would do, except Nook has already spoken about the Mitford sisters of which the youngest, Deborah ‘Debo’, is the mother of the current Duke. With Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire, she actually had several offspring, including:

  • Mark
  • Emma
  • Peregrine
  • Victor
  • Mary
  • Sophia

Since Mark died shortly after birth it is her second son who is the current (12th) Duke of Devonshire: Peregrine Andrew Morny. He took the title in 2004 following the death of his father. Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire is still around, though.

The name Peregrine comes from Latin and means traveller – rather setting me on the thought train of ‘Wow! Wouldn’t Beatrix and Peregrine work well together?’. Those feeling in the dark, Beatrix could come from the Late Latin name Viatrix which means means voyager, albeit with influence from the Latin word beatus, meaning blessed.

Morny is an interesting choice, with aristocratic links. French ones, though, as there was once a Duc de Morny. It’s after him that the horse race, Prix Morny, is named since he was a great lover of the sport.

As for Peregrine, Duke of Devonshire, he married a lady named Amanda on 28 June 1967 and together they have three children:

William ‘Bill’

Celina

Jasmine

The youngest, Jasmine, was born in 1975, a whole 17 years prior to Aladdin being released in 1992 – a film often associated with the popularity of the name. Then we have Celina, which isn’t all that dissimilar to a rather more modern-day Disney-associated name: Selena, as in, Selena Gomez whom appears in Wizard of Waverley Place – she herself was named after the Mexican singer.
As for their third child, should William become the 13th Duke of Devonshire, he’ll be the 8th Duke to bear the name William. Infact, it was an unbroken chain of Williams from the 1st to the 7th, a pattern broken by Spencer, 8th Duke of Devonshire. This is because his elder brother, William, died young. The 10th Duke’s eldest son was also called William, but he was killed in WWI before the death of his father, hence stopping him from becoming the 11th Duke of Devonshire, which then passed onto the aformentioned Andrew.
Moving onto the youngest generation, William currently has two children with his wife, Laura:
  • Maud
  • James
Maud is certainly one of those names I can see more and more people using – the popular name Madison means son of Maud (Maud as a nickname for Madison? Probably too different in style – no?).  Maud herself is a medieval form of Matilda. Personally, I feel myself leaning towards Maud with an e: Maude and I love the idea of using her with something overly girly: Maude Eulalie; Maude Felicity; Maude Cecily, to name just a few.
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Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Chatsworth House of Names

  1. I’d say Maud/Maude is already on the way to becoming the next Florence in “certain circles.” The Devonshires aren’t the only family with one — another very prominent recent Maud is Princess Martha of Norway’s eldest daughter, born 2003 (and did you know that her third daughter has the middle name Tallulah?).

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  2. Pingback: Phantom Manor of Names « Mer de Noms

  3. Maude definitely has that clunky sound the upper classes can’t get enough of. In fact Florence Maude or Maude Florence sounds a likely combo.

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  4. Pingback: Downton Abbey of Names Pt. I « Mer de Noms

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