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Chandos, Barons And Dukes Of

CHANDOS, BARONS AND DUKES OF. The English title of Chandos began as a barony in 1554, and was continued in the family of Brydges (becoming a dukedom in 1719) till 1789. In 1822 the dukedom was revived in connexion with that of Buckingham.

John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos (c. 1490-1557), a son of Sir Giles Brydges, or Bruges (d. 1511), was a prominent figure at the English court during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI. and Mary. He took part in suppressing the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat in 1554, and as lieutenant of the Tower of London during the earlier part of Mary's reign, had the custody, not only of Lady Jane Grey and of Wyat, but for a short time of the princess Elizabeth. He was created Baron Chandos of Sudeley in 1554, one of his ancestors, Alice, being a grand-daughter of Sir Thomas Chandos (d. 1375), and he died in March 1557. The three succeeding barons, direct descendants of the 1st baron, were all members of parliament and persons of some importance. Grey, 5th Baron Chandos (c. 1580-1621), lord-lieutenant of Gloucestershire, was called the "king of the Cotswolds," owing to his generosity and his magnificent style of living at his residence, Sudeley Castle. He has been regarded by Horace Walpole and others as the author of some essays, Horae Subsecivae. His elder son George, 6th Baron Chandos (1620-1655), was a supporter of Charles I. during his struggle with Parliament, and distinguished himself at the first battle of Newbury in 1643. He had six daughters but no sons, and after the death of his brother William in 1676 the barony came to a kinsman, Sir James Brydges, Bart. (1642-1714), who was English ambassador to Constantinople from 1680 to 1685.

James Brydges, 1st duke of Chandos (1673-1744), son and heir of the last-named, had been member of parliament for Hereford from 1698 to 1714, and, three days after his father's death, was created Viscount Wilton and earl of Carnarvon. For eight years, from 1705 to 1713, during the War of the Spanish Succession, he was paymaster-general of the forces abroad, and in this capacity he amassed great wealth. In 1719 he was created marquess of Carnarvon and duke of Chandos. The duke is chiefly remembered on account of his connexion with Handel and with Pope. He built a magnificent house at Canons near Edgware in Middlesex, and is said to have contemplated the construction of a private road between this place and his unfinished house in Cavendish Square, London. For over two years Handel, employed by Chandos, lived at Canons, where he composed his oratorio Esther. Pope, who in his Moral Essays (Epistle to the Earl of Burlington) doubtless described Canons under the guise of "Timon's Villa," referred to the duke in the line, "Thus gracious Chandos is belov'd at sight"; but Swift, less complimentary, called him "a great complier with every court." The poet was caricatured by Hogarth for his supposed servility to the duke. Chandos, who was lord-lieutenant of the counties of Hereford and Radnor, and chancellor of the university of St Andrews, became involved in financial difficulties, and after his death on the 9th of August 1744 Canons was pulled down. He was succeeded by his son Henry, 2nd duke (1708-1771), and grandson James, 3rd duke (1731-1789). On the death of the latter without sons in September 1789 all his titles, except that of Baron Kinloss, became extinct, although a claimant arose for the barony of Chandos of Sudeley. The 3rd duke's only daughter, Anna Elizabeth, who became Baroness Kinloss on her father's death, was married in 1796 to Richard Grenville, afterwards marquess of Buckingham; and in 1822 this nobleman was created duke of Buckingham and Chandos (see Buckingham, Dukes of).

See G.E. C(okayne), Complete Peerage (1887-1898); and J.R. Robinson, The Princely Chandos, i.e. the 1st duke (1893).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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