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The Duke of Sandringham is an English aristocrat with an eye for young men and unclear political leanings. He met a teenaged Jamie Fraser at Castle Leoch, and years later resumes the acquaintance after meeting Jamie's wife, Claire Fraser.

Personal History[]

Little is known about the Duke's personal life, other than his political activity, and even that is shrouded in uncertainty. In 1945, historian Frank Randall and the Reverend Wakefield make some discoveries about the Duke's alliance with Captain Jonathan Randall, who was in the Duke's employ to stir up Jacobite sentiments in the Highlands, but it remains unclear to what end the Duke was interested in the Jacobite cause: was he a Jacobite himself, or did he seek to subvert the coming rebellion?

Events of the Novels[]


In 1743, the Duke visits Castle Leoch and goes hunting with Jamie, who intends to seek the Duke's favor to help clear him of the price on his head. While hunting a boar, a gang of broken men attempt to kill Jamie with an arrow, but it hits his shield instead. The Duke thinks the men are trying to kill him and calls for help just as the huge boar they are hunting rushes out of the bush. Jamie saves the Duke from the boar and kills it. In gratitude, the Duke tells Jamie he will take care of the wrongful murder charge hanging over him.[3] Jamie has to leave the hunting party abruptly to rescue Claire from the witch trial.

Dragonfly in Amber[]

In 1744, the Duke arrives at the Palace of Versailles with his secretary Alexander Randall. The Duke makes an offer to Charles Stuart of fifty thousand pounds, contingent upon his setting foot on English soil. He is invited as a guest at the dinner party that Claire and Jamie host on the evening in which Claire and Mary Hawkins are attacked in the alleyway on their way home.

The Duke arrives with an unexpected extra guest – Mary's uncle, Silas Hawkins. After the scandalous appearance of Mary apparently being attacked by Alex Randall, the Duke quietly slips away before the gendarme arrives.

Claire and Jamie go to visit the Duke at his Paris residence, ostensibly to discuss investments, but in reality to try and extract information from him. While Jamie and the Duke are engaged in business, Claire slips away to look for Alex Randall. The Duke tells Jamie that he has dismissed Alex Randall from his employment and Jamie leaves to find Claire to tell her.

The Duke invites Jamie to accompany him to the Royal stables in Argentan, as he wishes Jamie to advise him on the purchase of some broodmares. The Duke sits with Claire during the picnic lunch and asks her if Jamie still has a price on his head in Scotland. On learning that he does, the Duke puts a proposition to Claire. If Jamie severs his ties to Charles Stuart, he will be pardoned and can return home.

After Jamie is arrested for dueling with Jonathan Randall, the Duke demands that he suffers the full penalty and remain imprisoned for a long time.

In January 1746, the Duke is at his home, Bellhurst Manor, with his goddaughter Mary Hawkins, when he receives a visit from a group of English soldiers escorting a Mrs. Beauchamp who was captured by, and rescued from, Red Jamie Fraser. The Duke has asked anyone with knowledge of Red Jamie to be sent to him to share what they know. When 'Mrs. Beauchamp' is brought into his room, he discovers that his new guest is in fact, Claire Fraser. The Duke starts to question Claire – he demands to know if she is an English hostage, a fervent Jacobite or a French agent.

He tells Claire that she is very hard to kill, and when she reacts blankly, he summons his valet, Albert Danton, to the room. Claire doesn't recognize the man at first, but then sees that he has a small beauty mark above the fork of his thumb and realizes that he is one of the men who attacked her and Mary in Paris. The Duke reveals to Claire that he arranged for Danton to dispose of her in that attack and that it was ironical bad luck that Mary was with her at the time and was despoiled, thus ruining the marriage that the Duke had arranged for her. The Duke also admits that Jack Randall works for him, and that he controls Jack and binds him to him by offering him what he desires – punishment. When Claire asks why the Duke wanted to have her killed, he tells her that she and Jamie were attempting to thwart an affair that he had interested himself in.

He was responsible for the seamen's attack on Jamie, but when Dougal arrived in Paris, the Duke wondered whether Jamie was actually working for the Stuarts. The Duke tried to lure Jamie away from France by offering to secure a pardon for him, but when that didn't work, he decided that Claire's death would be enough to stop Jamie. When Claire states that the Duke is a Jacobite, he replies, "Not necessarily." He then demands to know whether Claire is really a Jacobite, as she was first working against the cause, and then in favor of it. When Claire refuses to tell him, he orders her to be taken to her room and tells her that her one invaluable attribute as a house guest is that she is Red Jamie's wife, and can be used to lure Jamie there.

Hugh Munro had followed Claire to the Duke's house, but he is caught on the property and hanged for being a poacher. Jamie and Murtagh arrive to rescue Claire, and Murtagh kills the Duke to avenge the rape of Mary Hawkins and the killing of Hugh Munro. Murtagh puts the Duke's head into his saddlebag and presents it to Hugh Munro's widow. Thus, the Duke dies without fulfilling his promise of fifty thousand pounds to Charles Stuart.


Jamie tells Claire the Duke is brighter than he seems and knows that people think him a fool because of his voice and uses that to his advantage.[4]

Physical Appearance[]

A big, fit solid man with a high pitched voice, a weather-beaten face and light blue eyes.[4] Claire describes his voice as being a 'piping tenor'.[5] He has fair hair, and small, white even teeth.[6]


  • Clarence comes from the Latin title Clarensis which belonged to members of the British royal family. The title ultimately derives from the name of the town of Clare in Suffolk.[7] While it is possible that the place name is Latin in origin,[8] its precise history is uncertain.[9]
  • Marylebone is a district of London, taking its name from the church of St. Mary-le-bourn ("St. Mary-on-the-brook").[10]


  • While there is an estate in Sandringham, Norfolk, England, the Duke of Sandringham was not a real title in the peerage of Great Britain.
  • The Duke's crest is a leopard couchant with a bunch of lilies, or possibly crocuses, in its paw.
  • The Duke of Sandringham has a large Boucher on the wall of his Paris residence.[11]
  • The Duke of Sandringham has a spinet in his home, Bellhurst Manor.[12]

TV Series[]

English actor Simon Callow portrays the Duke of Sandringham in the STARZ Outlander television series.


Season One

Season Two



  1. Cited as March 1746 in Voyager, though late January/early February fits better with the overall timeline of the Rising and the sequence of events in the novel.
  2. Outlander, chapter 24
  3. The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel, chapter 8
  4. 4.0 4.1 Outlander, chapter 26
  5. Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 44
  6. Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 22
  7. Behind The Name: Clarence- Accessed 07 April 2016
  8. She Knows: Clarence, meaning "bright; shining; gentle." - Accessed 07 April 2016
  9. Keith Briggs, 'Clare, Clere, and Clères', Journal of the English Place-Name Society, 41, 7-25 (2009)
  10. Local Etymology: A Derivative Dictionary of Geographical Names by Richard Stephen Charnock. Accessed 17 May 2016.
  11. Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 21
  12. Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 44