Duke of Aubigny was a title in the Peerage of France, held by Scottish noblemen. The Scottish Dukes of Aubigny (French: Ducs d'Aubigny) had their origins in Aubigny-sur-Nère, France, from the 15th century, which was an important honour throughout the Auld Alliance and Ancien Régime. Its importance was gradually displaced for the ducal title of Clan Gordon (see Duke of Gordon), during a long and turbulent period between the French Revolution and French Third Republic.
The first ducal holder was Louise de Kérouaille, who in 1684 was created Duchess of Aubigny in the Peerage of France at the request of Charles II, King of England and Scotland; her son by Charles, Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, was jointly ennobled with her. However the letters patents creating the Duchy were not registered by the Paris Parliament, so the Dukedom became extinct at the Duchess' death in 1734. In 1777 King Louis XV issued lettres de suranation which restored the 1684 peerage to the heirs of Duchess Louise. The 2nd Duke of Richmond had already received a brevet de duc, which gave him the honours of a Duke at the Court. The Duchy was confiscated during Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792-1803 and 1806-1814), but finally returned to Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond. The 4th Duke was the nephew of the 3rd Duke, so his succession to the Dukedom of Aubigny is according to ancient Salic Law, thus the Dukes of Richmond and Lennox have since used this title.
The arms of the Lennox Dukes of Aubigny exhibit an inescutcheon gules, three buckles or which stand for the Duchy of Aubigny. These arms are in fact derived from the arms of the Stewart of Darnley lords of Aubigny. As descendants to the Stewarts of Bonkyl, they bore a fess chequy Azure and Argent, a bordure gules with buckles or (an example of canting arms: buckles for Bonkyl). In 1428 John Stewart of Aubigny was awarded the right to incorporate the arms of France (azure, three fleur-de-lys or) into his coat of arms. His descendants quartered France with Stewart.
Property concerning the Château of Aubigny is no longer in the possession of the title-bearers, sold off in order to maintain the Dukes' personal finances within the UK itself. Aubigny is the chief tourist attraction in France which attests to the Auld Alliance, the honour now only an historic title.
|Duke of Aubigny|
|Monarch||Charles II of England|
|Peerage||Peerage of France|
|First holder||Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth|
|Present holder||Charles Gordon-Lennox, 11th Duke of Richmond|
|Heir apparent||Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara|
|Former seat(s)||Château des Stuarts|