Berkeley, George 1601-1658, eighth Baron Berkeley (since the writ of 1421), and thirteenth baron (since the writ of 1295) [see Berkeley, Family of], son of Sir Thomas Berkeley, by Elizabeth Cary, daughter of George, Lord Hunsdon, was born at Lowlayton on 7 Oct. 1601, and succeeded to the honours of Berkeley, Mowbray, Segrave and Bruce, on 26 Nov. 1613, by the death of his grandfather, Henry. He married, 13 April 1615, Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Michael Stanhope of Sudborn, Suffolk. The ceremony was performed in the church of Great Bartholomew, London, in the presence of the parents of the contracting parties, who were respectively thirteen and nine years of age. The bride continued to reside with her father at St. John Jerusalem (St. John's Square, Clerkenwell). In the following year the bridegroom was made a knight of the Bath on the occasion of the creation of Charles Prince of Wales (3 Nov.). In 1619 (21 May) he was entered as a canon-commoner at Christ Church, Oxford, having hitherto been under the care of tutors. Here he was actually, says Wood, created M.A. 18 July 1623. He was regarded by his family as a linguist, and, as he spent most of his time in foreign travel, probably he succeeded in picking up a smattering of modern languages. He appears to have had landed property in Carolina. He showed his appreciation of an eccentric genius by presenting Burton, who had previously (1621) dedicated the Anatomy of Melancholy to him, to the living of Segrave in Leicestershire in 1630. He died in 1658, and was buried at Cranford, Middlesex. He had two sons, of whom the elder, Charles, was drowned while crossing the Channel, 27 Jan. 1641. The younger, George [qv.], succeeded to the family honours, and in 1679 was created Viscount Dursley and Earl of Berkeley.

     Fosbrooke's Berkeley MSS. p. 217
     Berkeley Peerage Claim, vol. ii. Auths. and Precs. p. 174
     Wood's Fasti Oxon. i. 413
     Cal. State Papers
     Dom., (1627-1628) 169, (1638-1639) 478
     Nichols's Leicestershire, iii. 414
     Collins's Peerage (Brydges), Berkeley Title
     Cal. State Papers, Colonial (1574-1660), 115
     Kennet's Register, 321.

Contributor: J. M. R. [James McMullen Rigg]

Published: 1885