George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham
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|The Most Honourable
The Marquess of Buckingham
KG KP PC
|Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs|
19 December 1783 – 23 December 1783
|Prime Minister||William Pitt|
|Preceded by||Charles James Fox|
|Succeeded by||Marquess of Carmarthen|
|Lord Lieutenant of Ireland|
27 October 1787 – 24 October 1789
|Prime Minister||William Pitt|
|Preceded by||The Duke of Rutland|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Westmorland|
Background and education
Buckingham, as the second son of George Grenville, Prime Minister of Great Britain, and of Elizabeth Wyndham, daughter of Sir William Wyndham, 3rd Baronet, was the nephew of Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple, and the elder brother of Thomas Grenville and of William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, also Prime Minister of Great Britain. He received his education at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford.
Buckingham was appointed a Teller of the Exchequer in 1764. Ten years later, he 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 Earl Temple and moved to the House of Lords. In 1782, Buckingham was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire; in July of the same year, he became a member of the Privy Council and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the Ministry of Lord Shelburne. He was instrumental in the enactment of the Renunciation Act of 1783, which supplemented the legislative independence granted to Ireland in 1782. In his capacity as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and by Royal Warrant, he created the Order of St Patrick in February 1783, with himself as the first Grand Master. He left Ireland in 1783 and again turned his attention to English politics. He enjoyed the confidence of King 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 (who was his first cousin, being his father's sister's son) formed his Ministry in December 1783, but resigned only three days later.
In December 1784, he was created Marquess of Buckingham. In November 1787, he was again appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, this time 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 an 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. He subsequently took very little part in politics, although he spoke in favour of the Act of Union of 1800. He died at his residence, Stowe in Buckinghamshire, and was buried at Wotton whence his ancestors had hailed.
In 1775, George married Lady Mary Nugent, daughter of the 1st Viscount Clare (later the 1st Earl Nugent). When his father-in-law died in 1788, George succeeded him as 2nd Earl Nugent. However, since he already held the higher rank of Marquess, he was never known by this title. His wife died in 1812 and he died the following year.
George and Mary had two sons: Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos; and George Nugent-Grenville, 2nd Baron Nugent.
Styles from birth to death
- George Grenville, Esq. (1753–1774)
- George Grenville, Esq., MP (1774–1779)
- The Rt Hon. The Earl Temple (1779–1782)
- The Rt Hon. The Earl Temple, PC (1782–1784)
- The Most Hon. The Marquess of Buckingham, PC (1784–1786)
- The Most Hon. The Marquess of Buckingham, KG, PC (1786–1813)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Marquess of Buckingham