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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 722 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GEORGE NUGENT TEMPLE GRENVILLE, ISt marquess of Buckingham (1753-1813), was the second son of George Grenville, and was born on the 17th of June 1753. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, he was appointed a teller of the ex-chequer in 1764, and ten years later was returned to parliament as one of the members for Buckinghamshire. In the House of Commons he was a sharp critic of the American policy of Lord North. In September 1779 he succeeded his uncle as 2nd Earl Temple; in 1782 was appointed lord-lieutenant of Buckingham-shire; and in July of the same year became a member of the privy council and lord-lieutenant of Ireland in the ministry of the earl of Shelburne. On his advice the Renunciation Act of 1783 was passed, which supplemented the legislative independence granted to Ireland in 1782. By royal warrant he created the order of St Patrick in February 1783, with himself as the first grand master. Temple left Ireland in 1783, and again turned his attention to English politics. He enjoyed the confidence of George III., and having opposed Fox's East India Bill, he was authorized by the king to say that " whoever voted for the India Bill was not only not his friend, but would be considered by him as an enemy," a message which ensured the defeat of the bill. He was appointed a secretary of state when the younger Pitt formed his ministry in December 1783, but resigned two days later. In December 1784 he was created marquess of Buckingham " in the county of Buckingham." In November 1787 he was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland under Pitt, but his second tenure of this office was hardly as successful as the first. He was denounced by Grattan for extravagance; was censured by the Irish Houses of parliament for refusing to transmit to England in address calling upon the prince of Wales to assume the regency; and he could only maintain his position by resorting to bribery on a large scale. Having become very unpopular he resigned his office in September 1789, and subsequently took very little part in politics, although he spoke in favour of the union with Ireland. He died at his residence, Stowe House, Buckingham, on the 11th of February 1813, and was buried at Wotton. In 1775 he had married Mary Elizabeth (d. 1812), daughter of Robert, Earl Nugent. His elder son, RICHARD GRENVILLE, ISt duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1976—1839), was one of the members of parliament for Buckinghamshire from 1797 to 1813, and, as Earl Temple, took an active part in politics. In February 1813 he succeeded his father as marquess of Buckingham; and having married the only child of the 3rd duke of Chandos, he was created duke of Buckingham and Chandos in 1822. He died in 1839. Owing to financial embarrassments, the duke lived out of England for some time, and in 1862 an account of his travels was published, as The Private Diary of Richard, Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. He was succeeded by his only child, RICHARD GRENVILLE, 2nd duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1797—1861). Educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford, he was known as Earl Temple and subsequently as marquess of Chandos. He was member of parliament for Buckinghamshire from 1818 to 1839, and was responsible for the " Chandos clause " in the Reform Bill of 1832. He was lord privy seal from September 1841 to January 1842, and partly owing to his opposition to the repeal of the corn laws was known as the " Farmers' Friend." He found the estates heavily encumbered when he succeeded to the dukedom in 1839, and his own generous and luxurious tastes brought matters to a climax. In 1847 his residences were seized by his creditors, and the duke left England. His personal property and many of his landed estates were sold, and returning to England he devoted himself to literature. He died in London, on the 29th of July 1861. His wife, whom he married in 1819, was Mary (d. 1862), daughter of John, 1st marquess of Breadalbane, and she obtained a divorce from him in 185o. Bucking-ham's chief publications are, Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George III. (London, 1853—1855); Memoirs of the Court of England, 1811—1820 (London, 1856); Memoirs of the Court of George IV. (London, 1859); and Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of William IV. and Victoria (London, 1861).

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