Death of Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset, cabinet minister under Russell and Palmerston

Born into a noted Whig family, Edward Seymour served as MP for Okehampton 1830-31 and Totnes 1834-55, when he succeeded to the dukedom. Somerset first served under Lord Melbourne and joined the cabinet in October 1851 as First Commissioner of Works under Lord John Russell. He later served as First Lord of the Admiralty under Lord Palmerston and Russell but in 1868 refused the offer of a post in Gladstone’s first administration, although he was supportive of much of the government’s programme. On leaving ministerial office Somerset turned to writing and authored a number of books including Christian Theology and Modern Scepticism and Monarchy and Democracy.