Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 721 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARQUESSES AND DUKES OF EARLS BUCKINGHAM. The origin of the earldom of Buckingham (to be distinguished from that of Buckinghamshire, q.v.) is obscure. According to Mr J. H. Round (in G. E. C.'s Peerage, s.v.) there is some charter evidence for its existence under William Rufus; but the main evidence for reckoning Walter Giffard, lord of Longueville in Normandy, who held forty-eight lordships in the county, as the first earl, is that of Odericus Vitalis, who twice describes Walter as " Comes Bucchingehamensis," once in 1097, and again at his death in 1102. After the death of Walter Giffard, 2nd earl in 1164, the title was assumed by Richard de Clare, earl of Pembroke (" Strongbow "), in right of his wife, Rohais, sister of Walter Giffard I.; and it died with him in 1176. In 1377 Thomas of " Woodstock " (duke of Gloucester) was created earl of Buckingham at the coronation of Richard II. (15th of July), and the title of Gloucester having after his death been given to Thomas le Despenser, his son Humphrey bore that of earl of Buckingham only. On Humphrey's death, his sister Anne became countess of Buckingham in her own right. She married Edmund Stafford, earl of Stafford, and on her death (1438) the title of Buckingham passed to her son Humphrey Stafford, earl of Stafford, who in 1444 was created duke of Buckingham. This title remained in the Stafford family until the attainder and execution of Edward, 3rd duke, in 1521 (see BUCKINGHAM, HENRY STAFFORD, 2nd duke of). In 1617 King James I. created George Villiers earl, in 1618 marquess, and in 1623 duke of Buckingham (see BUCKINGHAM, GEORGE VILLIERS, 1st duke of). The marquessate and dukedom became extinct with the death of the 2nd (Villiers) duke (q.v.) in 1687; but the earldom was claimed, under the special remainder in the patent of 1617, by a collateral line of doubtful legitimacy claiming descent from John Villiers, 1st Viscount Purbeck. The title was not actually borne after the death of John Villiers, styling himself earl of Buckingham, in 1723. The claim was extinguished by the death of George Villiers, a clergy-man, in 1774. In 1703 John Sheffield, marquess of Normanby, was created " duke of the county of Buckingham and of Normanby " (see below). He was succeeded by his son Edmund who died in October 1735 when the titles became extinct. The title of marquess and duke of Buckingham in the Grenville family (to the holders of which the remainder of this article applies) was derived, not from the county, but from the town of Buckingham. It originated in 1784, when the 2nd Earl Temple was created marquess of Buckingham in the county of Bucking-ham," this title being elevated into the dukedom of Buckingham and Chandos for his son in 1822.

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