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Grenville, Richard Temple Nugent Brydges Chandos (DNB00)


GRENVILLE, RICHARD TEMPLE NUGENT BRYDGES CHANDOS, first Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1776–1839), elder son of George Nugent Temple Grenville, marquis of Buckingham [q. v.], by Lady Mary Elizabeth, baroness Nugent, only daughter and heiress of Robert, earl of Nugent, was born in London 20 March 1776, and completed his education at Oxford, where he matriculated as a member of Brasenose College 7 Dec. 1791, being known as Earl Temple from 1784 to 1813. He was elected member of parliament for Buckinghamshire 30 June 1797, and sat till 11 Feb. 1813, during which time he was an active representative, and frequently spoke on general politics. His support was given to his kinsman William Pitt while the first French war continued, but afterwards he generally sided with the opposition. He first took office as a commissioner for the affairs of India 2 July 1800, but resigned in the following March. On the formation of the ministry of his uncle, William Wyndham, lord Grenville [q.v.], he was appointed deputy president of the board of trade, and joint paymaster-general of the land forces 5 Feb. 1806, and sworn of the privy council 6 Feb. He relinquished office with the administration in March 1807. On 3 June 1800 he became captain-lieutenant of the Bucks regiment of gentry and yeomanry and 11 Oct. 1803 colonel of the Bucks regiment of militia. At the installation of his uncle, Lord Grenville, as chancellor of the university of Oxford, the degree of D.C.L was conferred on him 3 July 1810, and on 5 July 1819 he was made an LL.D. of Cambridge. On the death of his father, 11 Feb 1813, he succeeded as second Marquis of Buckingham, and in the same year was gazetted lord-lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. He was created Earl Temple of Stowe, Marquis of Chandos, and Duke of Buckingham and Chandos 4 Feb. 1822, being the only person elevated to ducal rank by George IV, who had made him a knight of the Garter 7 June 1820. In 1827 Buckingham found himself in embarrassed circumstances. His expenditure in the luxuries of art and literature had been enormous, and the munificence with which he had entertained the royal family of France on one of his estates had burdened him with debt. He therefore went abroad. A new yacht called the Anna Eliza was built for him; in her he sailed from Southampton on 4 Aug., and remained absent from England about two years. An account of his voyage and travels was published by his son in three volumes in 1862 under the title of ‘The Private Diary of Richard, Duke of Buckingham and Chandos,’ his portrait forming the frontispiece to the first volume. The last office he held was that of steward of the household, 28 July to 22 Nov. 1830. At one time he was a strong advocate of Roman catholic emancipation, but afterwards changed his opinions; he was, however, a consistent supporter of measures for the abolition of the slave trade. For some years he lived in retirement on account of bodily infirmities brought on by violent attacks of the gout. He, however, found employment among the books and works of art with which Stowe, Buckinghamshire, his favourite residence, abounded. Here he laid out a large sum of money in making a collection of rare and curious prints. Five years before his death some portion of this collection was disposed of in a sale lasting thirty days (Gent. Mag. September 1834, pp. 288-9). There is a portrait of him by J. Jackson. He died at Stowe 17 Jan. 1839, and was buried in the mausoleum at Wotton 20 Jan. He married, 16 April 1796, Anne Eliza Brydges, only daughter and heiress of James, third duke of Chandos. She was born in November 1779, died at Stowe 15 May 1836, and was buried at Avington, Hampshire, 24 May.

[Gent. Mag. 1836 pt. i. p. 95, 1839 pt. i. pp. 309-10; Doyle's Official Baronage, i. 264.]

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