About Richard Temple-Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, KG GCH PC FSA (11 February 1797 – 29 July 1861), styled Viscount Cobham from birth until 1813, Earl Temple between 1813 and 1822 and Marquess of Chandos between 1822 and 1839, was a British Tory politician. He served as Lord Privy Seal between 1841 and 1842.
Two events in his life were remarkable, given the era he lived in and the position he held in society as a duke: firstly, he obtained a divorce at a time when that required an act of parliament; secondly, despite the great wealth he was born to, he declared bankruptcy with debts of over a million pounds in 1847.
Background and education
Born at Stowe House, Buckinghamshire, Buckingham was the son of the Earl Temple (later created The 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos) and Lady Anne, daughter of The 3rd Duke of Chandos. He was a paternal grandson of The 1st Marquess of Buckingham and a great-grandson of Prime Minister George Grenville. He was educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford.
Buckingham sat as Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire between 1818 and 1839, when he succeeded his father in the dukedom and entered the House of Lords. Two years later, in September 1841, he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Lord Privy Seal by Sir Robert Peel, a post he only held until February 1842. He was created a Knight Grand Cross of the Hanoverian Order in 1835, elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1840 and made a Knight of the Garter in 1842.
In 1847, eight years after succeeding his father as Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, George was declared bankrupt with debts over a million pounds. This occasioned the auction sale of the contents of Stowe House in August–September 1848, one of the handful of most prominent English country house contents auctions of the 19th century.
In 1819, Buckingham married Lady Mary, daughter of Lt-General The 4th Earl of Breadalbane (later created The 1st Marquess of Breadalbane). They had one son and one daughter, but were divorced in 1850. At that time, divorce required an Act of Parliament. Buckingham died at the Great Western Hotel, Paddington, London, in July 1861, aged 64, and was succeeded in the dukedom by his only son, Richard. His sometime wife died less than a year later in June 1862, aged 66.
Richard Temple-Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos's Timeline
February 11, 1797
September 10, 1823
July 29, 1861