James Fitz-James Stuart, 2nd Duke of Berwick

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James FitzJames Stuart
Duke of Berwick
James FitzJames Stuart, 2nd Duke of Berwick.png
Born 21 October 1696
Saint Germain en Laye, France
Died 2 June 1738 (1738-06-03) (aged 41)
Naples, Kingdom of Naples
Noble family FitzJames
Spouse(s) Catalina Ventura de Portugal-Columbus, 9th Duquesa de Veragua y de La Vega
Jacopo Stuart-FitzJames-Stuart y Colon de Portugal
James Fitz-James Stuart, 3rd Duke of Berwick
Pedro Stuart-FitzJames-Stuart y Colon de Portugal, Marques de San Leonardo
Catalina Stuart-FitzJames-Stuart y Colon de Portugal
Ventura Stuart-FitzJames-Stuart y Colon de Portugal
Maria Guadalupe Stuart-FitzJames-Stuart y Colon de Portugal
Father James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick
Mother Honora de Burgh

James Francis (Jacobo Francisco) Fitz-James Stuart, 2nd Duke of Berwick, (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, 21 October 1696 – Naples, Italy, 2 June 1738) was a Jacobite and Spanish nobleman.

He inherited titles in the Jacobite and Spanish nobility on the death of his father in battle in 1734 at Philippsburg, during the War of the Polish Succession. He was also Consort Duke of Veragua and of la Vega and a Consort-Marquis of four further titles by his Spanish marriage in 1716. His full title was 2nd Duke of Berwick, 2nd Earl of Tinmouth, 2nd Baron Bosworth, 2nd Duke of Liria and Xerica, Grandee of Spain 1st class (from 1716), Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (from 29 September 1714), as well as the holder of several earldoms.


His father was James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick, an illegitimate son of King James II of England by Arabella Churchill, sister of the 1st Duke of Marlborough.

His mother was Lady Honora Burke (1675–1698), second daughter of William Burke, (d. 1687), the seventh Earl of Clanricarde and widow of the Irish Jacobite nobleman Patrick Sarsfield, 1st Earl of Lucan. Sarsfield and Berwick were both veterans of James II's Irish Army and went into continental exile as part of the Flight of the Wild Geese.

Unfortunately, his mother died young at Pezenas, in the Languedoc, South of France, on the 16 January 1698, when he was less than 18 months old. His father later remarried and so the 2nd Duke of Berwick had 12 younger half brothers and half sisters, the eldest half brother being the origin of the line of French Dukes of Fitzjames (a title extinguished in 1967).

James Fitz-James Stuart, 2nd Duke of Berwick, by Hyacinthe Rigaud

Marriage and descent[edit]

On 31 December 1716, the 2nd Duke of Berwick became the second husband of the dowager Catalina Ventura Colón de Portugal y Ayala-Toledo, 9th Duchess of Veragua (14 July 1690 – 3 October 1739). Catalina Ventura was the daughter of Pedro Manuel Colon de Portugal y de la Cueva, (25 December 1651 - 9 September 1710). This made the 2nd Duke of Berwick also duke-consort of Veragua and of la Vega.

They had 6 children, of whom 4 survived to adulthood:[1]


The Anglo-Franco-Spanish James Fitz-James Stuart was employed by Elizabeth of Parma to achieve her military purposes, being involved in the battles on land and sea from 1717 to 1719 to regain Naples from its Austrian rulers and Sicily from the Duchy of Savoy, thus creating the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. He fought as colonel of the Irish Regiments of Spain and Lieutenant General of the Spanish Royal Armies, being promoted to Field Marshal in February 1724.

He then served as Spanish ambassador to Russia under Emperor Peter II (December 1726 to 1730), taking with him Ricardo Wall (1694–1777), later a minister in the Spanish government. During his time in Russia he was made a Knight of the Russian Order of Saint Andrew (28 March 1728), a Knight of the Russian Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky and a Knight of the Garter (by the pretender James Stuart on 3 April 1727). From 1730 to 1733 Stuart was ambassador in Vienna, then from 1733 to his death in 1738 ambassador to the "recovered" Kingdom of Naples (taking Wall with him again on both missions).


James Fitz-James Stuart was a grandson of King James II of England by his illegitimate son James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick whom he fathered with his mistress Arabella Churchill.


  • (in Spanish) A. Paz y Meliá. Conquista de Nápoles y Sicilia y relación de Moscovia, por el Duque de Berwick. Precede una noticia de la vida y escritos del autor por A. Paz y Meliá. 468 pages, Madrid (1890). Imprenta y Fundición de M.Tello. Impresor de Cámara de S. M.
  • (in Spanish) Duque de Liria y Jérica, Diario de Viaje a Moscovia, edit. by Á.L. Encinas, I. Arranz, M. Rodríguez, ISBN 978-84-7813-324-6, Ed. Miraguano, April 2008.
  • (in Spanish) http://indigo.ie/~wildgees/honora3.htm
  • (in Spanish) http://www.tcd.ie/CISS/mmspain.php
  • Research Group on Irish and Spanish Military Migration to Spain by Professor Ciaran Brady, Dr. Declan Downey and Dr. Oscar Morales e-mail at TCD (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland). February 2008.