Viscount Cobham

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Viscount Cobham is a title in the Peerage of Great Britain. It was created in 1718 for Field Marshal Sir Richard Temple, 1st Baron Cobham and 4th Baronet, of Stowe. The Viscount holds the subsidiary titles of Baron Cobham, of Cobham in the County of Kent, (1718), Baron Westcote, of Ballymore in the County of Longford (1776), and Baron Lyttelton, of Frankley in the County of Worcester (1794). All the titles are in the Peerage of Great Britain, except the barony of Westcote, which is in the Peerage of Ireland. The Viscount is also a Baronet, of Frankley in the County of Worcester (1618).

The barony and viscountcy of Cobham were subsidiary titles of the earldom of Temple from 1750 to 1784, of the Marquessate of Buckingham from 1784 to 1822 and of the Dukedom of Buckingham and Chandos from 1822 to 1889. Since the latter year the titles are merged with the barony of Lyttelton and barony of Westcote.


Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham

The Temple family descended from Peter Temple of Burton Dassett. His younger son Anthony Temple founded the Irish branch of the family from whom the Viscounts Palmerston descended.[1] Peter Temple's eldest son, John Temple, acquired the Stowe estate in Buckinghamshire. The latter's son Thomas Temple represented Andover in Parliament. In 1611 he was created a Baronet, of Stowe in the County of Buckingham, in the Baronetage of England. His son, the second Baronet, represented Buckingham in both the Short Parliament and the Long Parliament. He was succeeded by his son, the third Baronet. He sat in Parliament for Warwickshire and Buckingham.

His son, the fourth Baronet (pictured), was a noted soldier and politician. In 1714 he was raised to the Peerage of Great Britain as Baron Cobham, of Cobham in the County of Kent, with remainder to heirs male of his body. Four years later he was created Baron Cobham, of Cobham in the County of Kent, and Viscount Cobham, with remainder, failing heirs male of his own, to (1) his sister Hester Temple and the heirs male of her body and failing which to (2) his third sister Lady Christian, wife of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Baronet, of Frankley (see the Baron Lyttelton). Lord Cobham died childless and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his cousin, the fifth Baronet, the great-grandson of Sir John Temple, second son of the first Baronet. The baronetcy became dormant in 1786 on the death of the seventh Baronet. Furthermore, on Lord Cobham's death the barony of 1714 became extinct while he was succeeded in the barony and viscountcy of 1718 according to the special remainder by his sister Hester Temple. She was the widow of Richard Grenville. In 1751 she was created Countess Temple in the Peerage of Great Britain, with remainder to the heirs male of her body. Lady Temple's younger son was Prime Minister George Grenville.

She was succeeded by her eldest son, the second Earl. He inherited the Temple estates, including Stowe House, and assumed the additional surname of Temple. Lord Temple was also involved in politics and held office as First Lord of the Admiralty and as Lord Privy Seal. On his death the titles passed to his nephew, the third Earl, the son of George Grenville. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1782 and 1783 and 1787 and 1789. In 1784 he was created Marquess of Buckingham in the Peerage of Great Britain. Lord Buckingham married Lady Mary Nugent, daughter of Robert Nugent, 1st Earl Nugent. Mary was in 1800 created Baroness Nugent in her own right in the Peerage of Ireland, with remainder to her second son George (see the Baron Nugent). In 1788 Lord Buckingham also succeeded his father-in-law as second Earl Nugent according to a special remainder in the letters patent. He assumed by Royal license the additional surname of Nugent at the same time.

The 719 heraldic quarterings of the Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville family.

He was succeeded by his son, the second Marquess. He was also involved in politics and served as Joint Paymaster of the Forces from 1806 to 1807. He married Lady Anne Eliza Brydges, the only child of James Brydges, 3rd Duke of Chandos (a title which became extinct on his death in 1789), and assumed by Royal license the additional surnames of Brydges-Chandos in 1799. In 1822 Lord Buckingham was created Earl Temple of Stowe, in the County of Buckingham, Marquess of Chandos and Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, all in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The earldom was created with remainder, failing male issue of his own, to (1) the heirs male of the body of his deceased great-grandmother Hester Grenville, 1st Countess Temple, and (2) in default thereof to his granddaughter Lady Anne Eliza Mary Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, daughter of his son Richard, Earl Temple, who succeeded as second Duke. He was a Tory politician and served as Lord Privy Seal from 1841 to 1842.

On his death the titles passed to his son, the third Duke. He was also a prominent politician and served as Lord President of the Council and as Secretary of State for the Colonies. In 1868 the Duke established his right to the Scottish lordship of Kinloss before the Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords. However, on his death in 1889 without male issue, the dukedom and its subsidiary titles the marquessate of Buckingham, marquessate of Chandos, earldom of Temple and earldom of Nugent became extinct. The lordship of Kinloss passed to his daughter Mary. The earldom of Temple of Stowe passed to his sister's son William Temple-Gore-Langton because the title had been created with a special remainder to her heirs male (see these titles for more information).

As the barony and viscountcy of Cobham could only descend to patrilineal descendants of Hester Temple or Christian Lyttelton, they were inherited according to the special remainders by the 3rd Duke's distant relative Charles Lyttelton, 5th Baron Lyttelton, who became the eighth Viscount Cobham. He was the great-great-grandson of the aforementioned Lady Christian and Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Baronet, of Frankley (see the Baron Lyttelton for earlier history of the Lyttelton family). The eighth Viscount had previously represented East Worcestershire in Parliament as a Liberal. His son, the ninth Viscount, was Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire from 1923 to 1949. He was succeeded by his son, the tenth Viscount. He notably served as Governor-General of New Zealand from 1957 to 1962. As of 2010 the titles are held by his younger son, the twelfth Viscount, who succeeded his elder brother in 2006.

The family seat is Hagley Hall, near Stourbridge, Worcestershire. Most owners of Hagley Hall are buried at the parish church of St John the Baptist in the adjacent Hagley Park.

Another member of the Grenville family was Prime Minister William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville. He was the younger son of George Grenville and the younger brother of the first Marquess of Buckingham. Another member of the Lyttelton family was the Hon. Alfred Lyttelton. He was the eighth son of the fourth Baron Lyttelton. His son was the politician Oliver Lyttelton, 1st Viscount Chandos. Yet another member of the family was the jazz musician Humphrey Lyttelton. He was the son of the Hon. George William Lyttelton, second son of the eighth Viscount Cobham.

Temple Baronets, of Stowe (1611)[edit]

Arms of Temple of Stowe: Or, an eagle displayed sable

Viscounts Cobham (1718)[edit]

Earls Temple (1751)[edit]

Marquesses of Buckingham (1784)[edit]

Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos (1822)[edit]

Viscounts Cobham (1718; reverted)[edit]

Family Tree[edit]

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Hon. Oliver Christopher Lyttelton (born 1976).

Peter Temple
Anthony Temple
John Temple
Sir William Temple
Sir Thomas Temple, 1.Bt.
Sir Alexander Temple
Sir John Temple
Sir Peter Temple, 2.Bt.
John Temple
James Temple
Sir John Temple
Sir Richard Temple, 3.Bt.
Sir Peter Temple
Henry Temple,
1st Visc. Palmerston
Richard Temple,
1st Visc. Cobham
Eleanor Temple
m. Richard Grenville
Christian Temple
m. Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4.Bt.
Henry, Lord Temple
Hester, Countess Temple,
2nd Visc. Cobham
Richard Grenville
George, 1st
Lord Lyttelton
William Henry, 1st
Lord Lyttelton
Henry Temple,
2nd Visc. Palmerston
Richard Grenville-Temple,
2nd Earl Temple,
3rd Visc. Cobham
George Grenville
PM 1763–65
Hester Grenville
m. William Pitt the Elder,
1st Earl of Chatham

PM 1766–68
George, 2nd
Lord Lyttelton
William Henry, 3rd
Lord Lyttelton
Henry John Temple,
3rd Visc. Palmerston

PM 1855–58, 1859–65
George N-T-Grenville,
3rd Earl Temple,
1st Marq. of Buckingham,
4th Visc. Cobham
William Wyndham Grenville,
Lord Grenville

PM 1806–07
William Pitt the Younger
PM 1783–1801, 1804–06
George William, 4th
Lord Lyttelton
Richard T-N-B-C-Grenville,
2nd Marq. &
1st Duke of Buckingham,
5th Visc. Cobham
Charles Lyttelton,
8th Visc. Cobham
Richard T-N-B-C-Grenville,
2nd Duke of Buckingham,
6th Visc. Cobham
John Lyttelton,
9th Visc. Cobham
Richard T-N-B-C-Grenville,
3rd Duke of Buckingham,
7th Visc. Cobham
Charles Lyttelton,
10th Visc. Cobham
John Lyttelton,
11th Visc. Cobham
C. C. Lyttelton,
12th Visc. Cobham

See also[edit]