Brydges, Grey (DNB00)

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BRYDGES, GREY, fifth Lord Chandos (1579?–1621), born about 1579, was son of William, fourth lord, by Mary, daughter of Sir Owen Hopton, lieutenant of the Tower [see Brydges, Sir John]. His father died on 18 Nov. 1602, his mother on 23 Oct. 1624 (Lysons, Environs, iii. 450). He was M.P. for Cricklade, 1597. He and his family were friendly with the Earl of Essex. A cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of his uncle Giles, third lord, has been identified with the fair Mrs. Bridges to whom Essex showed so much attention as to offend the queen (Sidney Papers). His father visited Essex at Essex House on the Sunday morning (8 Feb. 1600–1) of Essex's insurrection, but he was not deemed by the government far enough implicated in the conspiracy to prevent his sitting on the commission appointed to try the earl. His son, Grey Brydges, was, however, suspected of immediate complicity, and was sent to the Fleet prison with Cuffe and others after the insurrection (Lodge, Illustrations, iii. 120), but he was soon released. He succeeded his father in the barony (18 Nov. 1602), attended James I's parliament (19 March 1603–4), was made knight of the Bath when Prince Charles was created duke of York (January 1604–5), visited Oxford with James I and was granted the degree of M.A. (30 Aug. 1605), and attended Prince Henry's funeral in 1612. In all the court masques and tournaments Chandos took an active part. It was reported at court on 9 Sept. 1613 that a duel was to be fought by Chandos and the king's favourite, Lord Hay, afterwards Viscount Doncaster and Earl of Carlisle. On 2 July 1609 he was appointed keeper of Ditton Park, Buckinghamshire, for life. In 1610 he was appointed one of the officers under Sir Edward Cecil in command of an expedition to the Low Countries (News from Cleaveland, 1611). The emperor's forces were besieging Juliers, and the English had combined with Holland and France to protect the town. Lord Herbert of Cherbury was Chandos's companion through this campaign. Chandos lodged at Juliers with Sir Horace Vere, but does not seem to have taken much part in the fighting (Lord Herbert, Autobiography, ed. S. Lee, pages 112–13). On 27 April 1612 Lord Salisbury (Sir Robert Cecil) stayed with Chandos at Ditton on his journey to Bath, where he died on 24 May following. On 23 July of the same year Chandos visited Spa for his health. On 14 July 1616 there was some talk of making him president of Wales, and on 8 Nov. 1617 he was appointed to receive the Muscovite ambassadors then in England. His health was still failing, and after a trial in 1618 of the waters of Newenham Mills in Warwickshire, he returned to Spa, where he died suddenly on 10 Aug. 1621. His body was brought to Sudeley and there buried. Lucy, countess of Bedford, writing on 30 Aug. 1621, states that his death was hastened by the Spa waters. An elegy was written by Sir John Beaumont. A few years before his death he married Anne, daughter of Ferdinando Stanley, earl of Derby, by whom he had two sons, George and William. His widow afterwards became the second wife of the infamous Earl of Castlehaven.

Chandos lived sumptuously at Sudeley Castle; thrice a week his house was open to his neighbours; he was lavish in his gene- rosity to the poor, and came up to London with an extraordinarily elaborate retinue. His liberality gained for him the title of ‘king of the Cotswolds.’ There are very many references in the ‘State Papers’ to a family quarrel which Chandos inherited from his father, and which reflects little credit on his character. His first cousin, Elizabeth, to whom reference has already been made, appears to have claimed Sudeley and other parts of the Chandos property as the daughter and coheiress of Giles, the third lord. In his father's lifetime Grey Brydges assaulted the lady's representative at a conference held to settle the dispute (June 1602). In the following October it was proposed that Grey should marry Elizabeth, but finally, in December, when he had become fifth lord Chandos, it was stated that the controversy had been otherwise ‘compounded.’ Immediately after James I's accession Elizabeth married Sir John Kennedy, one of the king's Scotch attendants. Chandos appears to have opposed the match, and it was rumoured early in 1604 that Kennedy had a wife living in Scotland. But James I wrote to Chandos (19 Feb. 1603–4) entreating him to overlook Sir John's errors because of his own love for his attendant. Elizabeth apparently left her husband and desired to have the matter legally examined, but as late as 1609 the lawfulness of the marriage had not been decided upon. Lord Chandos declined to aid his cousin, and she died deserted and in poverty in October 1617.

Horace Walpole credits Chandos with the authorship of an anonymous collection of highly interesting essays, entitled ‘Horæ Subsecivæ,’ 1620, published by Edward Blount [q. v.] Anthony à Wood (Athenæ, iii. 1196) and Bishop Kennett (Memoirs of the Cavendish Family, 1708) state, however, that Gilbert Cavendish, eldest son of the first earl of Devonshire, was the author of the work. From some topical references the book would appear to have been written about 1615. Several copies are extant with the name of Lord Chandos inscribed on the title-page in seventeenth-century handwriting. Wood states that Gilbert Cavendish died young, and the general style of the essays precludes the supposition that they were the production of a young man. Malone and Park, the editor of Walpole, attributed the book on this ground to William, a brother of Gilbert, but Dr. Michael Lort and Sir S. E. Brydges adhered to Horace Walpole's opinion that Grey Brydges was the author. The opposite opinion of Wood and Kennett, the earliest writers on the subject, deserves great weight, but it seems impossible to decide the question finally with the scanty evidence at our disposal.

Grey Brydges's eldest son, George, who became sixth Lord Chandos, was a sturdy royalist, fought bravely at the first battle of Newbury, and afterwards in the west of England (see Washbourne's Bibliotheca Glocestrensis). He paid a large fine to the parliament at the close of the war, killed Henry Compton in a duel at Putney on 13 May 1652, was tried and found guilty of manslaughter after a long imprisonment, 17 May 1654. He died of smallpox in February 1654–5, and was buried at Sudeley. He married first Susan, daughter of Henry, earl of Manchester, by whom he had three daughters, and secondly Jane, daughter of John Savage, earl Rivers, by whom he had three daughters. His brother William succeeded him as seventh lord Chandos.

[State Paper Calendars (Dom.), 1600–21; Nichols's Progresses of James I; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Dugdale's Baronage; Brydges's Peers of the Reign of James I, vol. i.; Wood's Fasti (Bliss); Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. viii. 13, 5th ser. v. 303, 352; Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors (Park); Cooper Willyams's Hist. of Sudeley Castle.]

S. L. L.