Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

11th Feb 1797 - 29th Jul 1861

Claimant or beneficiary


Politician and bankrupt aristocrat.

Born at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, the only child of Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, first duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1776–1839) and Anna Eliza (1779–1836), only child and sole heir of James Brydges, third and last duke of Chandos. Styled Lord Cobham from birth and then Earl Temple from 1813 to 1822.

On his father's death in 1839 he inherited the following titles:

2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos; 2nd Earl Temple of Stowe; 2nd Marquess of Chandos; 3rd Marquess of Buckingham; 6th Baron Cobham, of Cobham; 6th Viscount Cobham

Educated at Eton and, for a year, at Oxford.

Inveterate womaniser and keeper of louche company.

Married (13 May 1819) Lady Mary Campbell, daughter of Lt.-Gen. Sir John Campbell, 1st Marquess of Breadalbane and Mary Turner Gavin but his affairs led to Mary separating from him in 1848 (legal separation, 1850).

Two legitimate children; also fathered an illegitimate daughter (1816-1887). She later styled herself Countess Anna Ellen St George Chandos and was supported by the Grenvilles until her death).

For his political career, see notes under Political legacies but note that he was chairman of the West India Committee (the Society of West India Planters and Merchants) until his resignation in January 1833.

By 1847-1848 he was bankrupt: he had inherited a heavily encumbered estate from his father but added to it: by 1847 he had debts of £1.5m with £66,000+ annual interest and an income of no more than £61,000.

Hence over 40 days of August–September 1848, the ‘great Stowe sale’ took place: the entire contents of the house were auctioned. The Times (14 August 1848) wrote that he ‘has flung all away by extravagance and folly, and reduced his honours to the tinsel of a pauper and the bauble of a fool’.

The story is one, as Thompson puts it, of ‘his own folly, extravagance, and breathtaking incompetence which turned a serious situation into a hopeless case of unprecedented disaster’.

After his bankruptcy he lived on an allowance from his son and died in the Great Western Hotel, Paddington, in 1861.


T71/865 St Andrew claim no. 114 (Hope Estate).

Entry by F. M. L. Thompson, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; see also J. V. Beckett, The rise and fall of the Grenvilles: dukes of Buckingham and Chandos, 1710 to 1921 (1994) and F. M. L. Thompson, 'The end of a great estate', Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 8 (1955–6), pp. 36–52.

Further Information

Lady Mary Campbell (1819-1848: separation; 1850: legal separation)
Anna Eliza Mary Grenville (1820-1879), Richard, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1823-1889)
Oriel College, Oxford [1815-1816 ]

Associated Claims (1)

£6,630 5s 6d

Legacies Summary

Physical (2)

Stowe Landscape Gardens 
notes →
"From 1840 the 2nd Duke of Buckingham's gardener Mr Ferguson created rock and water gardens in the new garden. The architect Edward Blore was also employed to build the Lamport Lodge and Gates as a...
Country house
Stowe House 
notes →
Hence over 40 days of August–September 1848, the ‘great Stowe sale’ took place: the entire contents of the house were auctioned. The Times (14 August 1848) wrote that he ‘has flung all away...

Political (1)

election →
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire
1818 - 1839

Relationships (4)

Grandson → Grandmother
Grandson → Grandfather
Son → Father
Son → Mother

Addresses (1)

Stowe House, Buckinghamshire, Central England, England