Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans
Person Male Born 1605 Died 2/1/1684
Diplomat and courtier. Favourite of Queen Henrietta Maria (wife of Charles I). Fought on the King's side in the Civil War and after his execution continued to support the Queen and two princes in exile. On the Restoration he was appointed ambassador to France where he and the Queen promoted closer ties between France and England. Charles II repaid royalty's financial debt to Jermyn partly by granting him property including the area we know as St James's. Jermyn encouraged the development of this area in the classical style and commissioned Wren to design the church. Thus his sobriquet 'founder of the West End'. Died, unmarried, at his house in St James's Square. Suggestions that Charles II may actually be Jermyn's son overlook the facial similarities between the two kings.