“Beaufort—pronounced “boe,” not “bue” (except in South Carolina)—is a French name that means “handsome” or “great” or “strong,” as in a fortress. The name originated in
Europe in the 900’s, when a strong man built his fortress to protect local interests from the Vikings who had landed on the continent and were plundering . In any case, France has 13 Beauforts, and several others exist around the world. France
In the 1600’s the name Beaufort was brought into English by Henry Somerset (1629-1700), an exceptional Englishman.
His wealthy family supported the last Catholic rulers of
and thereby lost their fortune in the civil war that resulted in Protestant rule. England
Henry spent those tumultuous years in Catholic France and upon return home to
, rebuilt his fortune and political power by marriage to Mary Capel Somerset, (1630-1715) an aristocratic woman of equal intelligence and energy. England
The Somersets were at the forefront of Enlightenment science and rationalism, and they built an extraordinary home and garden at Badminton House. The game of the same name was first played there after Royal Horse Guards brought it from
Mamre Marsh Wilson wrote in Beaufort, North Carolina, "the second Duke of Beaufort was Henry Somerset, born in 1684 to Rebecca Child Somerset and Charles Somerset, Marquis of Worcester. It was he for whom Beaufort was eventually named."
Beaufort, was named for Henry Somerset, the 2nd Duke of Beaufort. (1684-1719) North Carolina
Duke of Beaufort is included in Queen Anne and the Knights
of the Garter
by Peter Angelis (1685-1734)
NOTE: Beaufort County was first called Pamptecough, the name being changed about 1712. It was also named, as was Beaufort, South Carolina, for Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort, who in 1709 became one of the Lords Proprietors. To add more confusion, Beaufort, South Carolina is the county seat for its county - Beaufort!