The Dukes of Chandos
The Chandos title originated in 1554, when John Brydges helped suppress Wyatt's rebellion against Queen Mary. She created him Baron Chandos and Constable of Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. His son, Edmund was Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and successive Barons held this post while at Sudeley.
(6 January 1674 to 9 August 1744).
James Brydges was the ninth Baron of Chandos. He married Mary, heiress of Sir Thomas Lake of Canons, Edgware. After her death he married twice more, the last to a wealthy heiress, Lydia Catherine Van Hutten. He held the lucrative post of Paymaster General of the Forces from 1705 to 1713; it was common practice to accumulate the interest from such a position for personal use. In 1711, the House of Commons launched an enquiry which found £35 million missing, which Brydges blamed on accounting difficulties. No action was taken against him and it is possible that Brydges gained £3 million this way.
In 1714, Chandos was created Viscount Wilton and Earl of Carnarvon. On 29 April 1719, he was created Marquis of Carnarvon and Duke of Chandos. He:
During the Duke's later years, he lost most of his fortune in the African Company, the Mississippi scheme, and the South Sea Bubble. He died in 1744 and is buried at Whitchurch. His wife died six years later
James was succeeded by his sixth and only surviving son (by his first wife). Henry first married Mary, daughter of the Earl of Aylesbury; she died in 1738. His second marriage to Ann was unusual, even for the day. The following is taken from Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, VI, 179; 27 August, 1870 [quoted from Temple Memoirs]:
Told to me by an old lady, a native of Newbury, who was ten years old when it happened. The Duke of Chandos and a companion dined at the Pelican, Newbury, on the way to London. A stir in the Inn yard led to their being told that a man was going to sell his wife, and they are leading are up with a halter around her neck. They went to see. The Duke was smitten with her beauty and patient acquiescence in a process which would (as then supposed) free her from a harsh and ill-conditioned husband. He bought her, and subsequently married her (at Keith’s Chapel) Christmas Day, 1744. His first wife had died in 1738, but whether the same time the Duke was a widower or whether a considerable time intervened between the date of her purchase and her becoming Duchess of Chandos, does not appear.
Ann was the daughter of John Wells of Newbury and a chambermaid at the Pelican Inn, Newbury. She was married to Jeffries the Ostler of the Inn. Lord Orrery remarked of her: "Of her person & character people speak variously, but all agree that both are very bad." Ann preferred to live at Keynsham Abbey, Somerset and died in 1759, leaving a daughter, Augusta Ann.
James held many public offices, chiefly in the household of Frederick, Prince of Wales.
(16 December 1731 to 29 September 1789)
The second Duke died in 1771 and was succeeded by James, his only son by his first wife. The third Duke was an amiable and charitable man. He lived at Chandos House in London. His sister was Lady Caroline Brydges (later Leigh), who became guardian of the first Duchess.
In addition to his father’s titles, James was from 1747 also Baron Kinloss and a Baronet. He held many public offices:
He lived at Avington and married twice:
James Brydges died in 1789 (obituary).
Chandos or Chandois?
When Nugent Buckingham meets the 3rd Duke of Chandos in 1786, he writes about the meeting to his brother, William Wyndham Grenville (HMC Fortescue I, 259). In this letter, he spells the name "Chandois" suggesting a French pronunciation. Without reviewing the original Fortescue document, however, this spelling cannot be confirmed. The Fairburn Map of London, Westminster and the New Docks. Seventh Edition 1802 records "Chandois Street", adding weight to the idea that the pronunciation was Chandois.
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