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|House of FitzJames|
Arms of the House of FitzJames
|Parent house||House of Stuart|
|Country||Kingdom of England, Kingdom of France, Kingdom of Spain|
|Founder||James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick|
|Current head||Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y Gómez, 12th Duke of Berwick|
|Connected families||House of Alba|
House of Silva
The House of FitzJames (or House of Fitz-James Stuart) is a noble house founded by James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick. He was the illegitimate son of James II & VII, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, a monarch from the House of Stuart. After the Revolution of 1688, the 1st Duke of Berwick followed his father into exile and much of the family's history since then has been in Spain and France, with several members of the family serving in a military capacity.
The house has two main branches. The senior branch, carrying the title of Duke of Berwick and residing in Spain, derived from the 1st Duke's first marriage to Honora Burke, Countess of Lucan. This branch has collected many titles throughout its history, including a few grandeeships of Spain, with some members acting as ambassadors or military officers.
The junior branch was associated with France and derived from the 1st Duke's second marriage to an Englishwoman, Anne Bulkeley. Perhaps the best-known member of this branch was Édouard de Fitz-James, 6th Duke of Fitz-James (1776-1838), an ultraroyalist who escaped to Italy after the French Revolution and returned to France around the time of the Bourbon Restoration, after which he became a prominent politician. This branch became extinct in the male line upon the death of the 10th Duke of Fitz-James in 1967.
This branch gained the Spanish title of Duke of Alba after the death in 1802 of the childless María Cayetana de Silva, 13th Duchess of Alba. The branch's ancestral link to the dukedom of Alba was through the 4th Duke of Berwick, whose mother was the granddaughter of the 11th Duchess of Alba.
Upon the death of the 10th Duke of Berwick in 1953, his Spanish titles (including the dukedoms of Alba and of Liria) went to his daughter while the Jacobite dukedom of Berwick went to his nephew (who was already the 19th Duke of Peñaranda de Duero), due to differences between the Spanish and Jacobite succession laws (male-preference primogeniture and agnatic primogeniture respectively).
The title became extinct in 1967 upon the death of the 10th Duke of Fitz-James.