Biography of Robert "Beau Handsome" Fielding 1650-1712

Around 1650 Robert "Beau Handsome" Fielding was born in Solihull.

On 14 Apr 1659 Roger Palmer 1st Earl Castlemaine (age 25) and [his future wife] Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland (age 18) were married. She the daughter of William Villiers 2nd Viscount Grandison and Mary Bayning Countess Anglesey (age 36).

Pepy's Diary. 13 Jul 1660. Up early, the first day that I put on my black camlett coat with silver buttons. To Mr. Spong, whom I found in his night-down writing of my patent, and he had done as far as he could "for that &c". by 8 o'clock. It being done, we carried it to Worcester House to the Chancellor, where Mr. Kipps (a strange providence that he should now be in a condition to do me a kindness, which I never thought him capable of doing for me), got me the Chancellor's receipt to my bill; and so carried it to Mr. Beale (age 28) for a dockett; but he was very angry, and unwilling to do it, because he said it was ill writ (because I had got it writ by another hand, and not by him); but by much importunity I got Mr. Spong to go to his office and make an end of my patent; and in the mean time Mr. Beale (age 28) to be preparing my dockett, which being done, I did give him two pieces, after which it was strange how civil and tractable he was to me. From thence I went to the Navy office, where we despatched much business, and resolved of the houses for the Officers and Commissioners, which I was glad of, and I got leave to have a door made me into the leads. From thence, much troubled in mind about my patent, I went to Mr. Beale (age 28) again, who had now finished my patent and made it ready for the Seal, about an hour after I went to meet him at the Chancellor's. So I went away towards Westminster, and in my way met with Mr. Spong, and went with him to Mr. Lilly (age 41) and ate some bread and cheese, and drank with him, who still would be giving me council of getting my patent out, for fear of another change, and my Lord Montagu's fall. After that to Worcester House, where by Mr. Kipps's means, and my pressing in General Montagu's name to the Chancellor, I did, beyond all expectation, get my seal passed; and while it was doing in one room, I was forced to keep Sir G. Carteret (age 50) (who by chance met me there, ignorant of my business) in talk, while it was a doing. Went home and brought my wife with me into London, and some money, with which I paid Mr. Beale (age 28) £9 in all, and took my patent of him and went to my wife again, whom I had left in a coach at the door of Hinde Court, and presented her with my patent at which she was overjoyed; so to the Navy office, and showed her my house, and were both mightily pleased at all things there, and so to my business. So home with her, leaving her at her mother's door. I to my Lord's, where I dispatched an order for a ship to fetch Sir R. Honywood home, for which I got two pieces of my Lady Honywood by young Mr. Powell. Late writing letters; and great doings of music at the next house, which was Whally's; the King and Dukes there with [his future wife] Madame Palmer (age 19)1, a pretty woman that they have a fancy to, to make her husband a cuckold. Here at the old door that did go into his lodgings, my Lord, I, and W. Howe, did stand listening a great while to the music. After that home to bed. This day I should have been at Guildhall to have borne witness for my brother Hawly against Black Collar, but I could not, at which I was troubled. To bed with the greatest quiet of mind that I have had a great while, having ate nothing but a bit of bread and cheese at Lilly's (age 41) to-day, and a bit of bread and butter after I was a-bed.

Note 1. Barbara Villiers (age 19), only child of William, second Viscount Grandison, born November, 1640, married April 14th, 1659, to Roger Palmer (age 26), created Earl of Castlemaine, 1661. She became the King's (age 30) mistress soon after the Restoration, and was in 1670 made Lady Nonsuch, Countess of Southampton, and Duchess of Cleveland. She had six children by the King, one of them being created [his illegitimate step-son] Duke of Grafton, and the eldest son succeeding her as [his illegitimate step-son] Duke of Cleveland. She subsequently married Beau Fielding (age 10), whom she prosecuted for bigamy. She died October 9th, 1709, aged sixty-nine. Her life was written by G. Steinman Steinman, and privately printed 1871, with addenda 1874, and second addenda 1878.

In 1670 [his future wife] Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland (age 29) was created 1st Duke Cleveland, 1st Earl of Southampton and 1st Baron Nonsuch by King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland (age 39) for having given birth to five of his illegitimate children.

In 1676 Robert Villiers and [his future wife] Margaret Burke Lady Muskerry were married. She the daughter of Ulick Burke 1st Marquess Clanricarde and Anne Compton Lady Rushout.

Before 14 Aug 1698 Robert "Beau Handsome" Fielding (age 48) and Margaret Burke Lady Muskerry were married. She the daughter of Ulick Burke 1st Marquess Clanricarde and Anne Compton Lady Rushout.

On 14 Aug 1698 [his wife] Margaret Burke Lady Muskerry died.

On 09 Nov 1705 Robert "Beau Handsome" Fielding (age 55) and Anne Deleau were married. He pursuing her believing her to be an heiress worth £60,000 her friends sought to prevent the marriage at the ceremony Anne Deleau was substituted with Mary Wadsworth.

On 25 Nov 1705 Robert "Beau Handsome" Fielding (age 55) and Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland (age 64) were married bigamously. She the daughter of William Villiers 2nd Viscount Grandison and Mary Bayning Countess Anglesey.

Around Apr 1706 Robert "Beau Handsome" Fielding (age 56) conducted an affair with his wife's grand-daughter Charlotte Lee Baroness Baltimore (age 27).

On 04 Dec 1706 Robert "Beau Handsome" Fielding (age 56) was found guilty of bigamy. The marriage between him and [his wife] Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland (age 66) was annulled. He escaped sentence by producing a letter from Queen Anne of England Scotland and Ireland (age 41) suspending his sentences. He lived out his days with Mary Wadsworth.

On 09 Oct 1709 [his wife] Barbara Villiers 1st Duchess of Cleveland (age 68) died at Chiswick Mall. Her son [his illegitimate step-son] Charles Fitzroy 1st Duke Southampton 2nd Duke Cleveland (age 47) succeeded 2nd Duke Cleveland, 2nd Earl of Southampton and 2nd Baron Nonsuch. Anne Pulteney Duchess Southampton Duchess of Cleveland (age 45) by marriage Duchess Cleveland.

On 12 May 1712 Robert "Beau Handsome" Fielding (age 62) died.