The Villiers family had long been a noteworthy one before George Villiers saw the light. Beauty was their inheritance; and they were further distinguished by a grace of manner, a lively wit, and irresistible charm. It was in the old family hall of the village of Brooksby that George - second son of Sir George Villiers and that extraordinary lady who rose from the rank of a serving-maid to the Lady Villiers and Lady Compton by marriage and Countess of Buckingham by creation - was born. (There's a story in itself.)
The early youth of the lad, who was destined soon to distinguish himself as the more ardent and successful in the realm of gaiety and pleasure, was spent amid rural quiet and the unromantic associations connected with life at a boarding-school. Withdrawn from school at thirteen years of age, Villiers remained for the following three years under his mother's training. Even at this early age so handsome was the youth in person, and so bright and pleasing in mental gifts, that his mother resolved upon sending him for the completion of his education to France, in order that the advantages which had been so lavishly bestowed upon him by nature should be touched to their finest issues by art.
For more, see Essex - Part Four available now as a single volume, or together with the complete series on Essex.
If you are looking for inspiration for a romantic hero, look no further.