Neville, Richard Aldworth Griffin- (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 40
Neville, Richard Aldworth Griffin-

by Gerald le Grys Norgate

NEVILLE, RICHARD ALDWORTH GRIFFIN-, second Baron Braybrooke (1750–1825), only son and heir of Richard Neville Aldworth Neville [q. v.], was born on 3 July 1750 in Duke Street, Westminster. He matriculated at Merton College, Oxford, on 20 June 1768, was created M.A. 4 July 1771, D.C.L. 3 July 1810, and was incorporated LL.D. of Cambridge in 1819 (Grad. Cantabrig.) He was M.P. for Grampound from 10 Oct. 1774 till the dissolution in 1780, and for Buckingham in the next parliament till his appointment as agent to the regiment of Buckinghamshire militia in February 1782. On the 21st of the same month he was returned for Reading, and was re-elected for the same place to the three succeeding parliaments (1784, 1790, 1796).

On the death, in May 1797, of his father's maternal uncle John, baron Braybrooke and Lord Howard de Walden, by whom he had been adopted as heir, he succeeded to the Braybrooke barony, the latter having become extinct by limitation of patent [see Griffin, John, first Baron Braybrooka and Lord Howard de Walden]. He then assumed the additional surname and arms of Griffin, but did not actually come into possession of the Audley End estate until the death in 1802 of Dr. Parker, son-in-law of the late lord, who had a life interest in it. Braybrooke increased the property by the purchase of neighbouring manors and farms from the Earls of Bristol and Suffolk, besides making smaller acquisitions. He became lord-lieutenant and custos rotulorum of the county of Essex immediately after his accession to the peerage (19 Jan. 1798), and was also vice-admiral of Essex, recorder of Saffron Walden, high steward of Wokingham, hereditary visitor of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and provost-marshal of Jamaica.

Braybrooke died on 28 Feb. 1825, after a lingering illness, at his seat at Billingbear, and was buried at Laurence Waltham. In the house at Audley End there is a portrait of him in baron's robes, at the age of fifty-three, by Hoppner (engraved by C. Turner in ‘History of Audley End’); as well as a painting of him when young by Romney; and a ‘conversation piece,’ painted at Rome about 1774, representing him with a spaniel on his knee and several friends standing round. There is also a miniature in the library.

He married in June 1780, at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, Catherine, youngest daughter of George Grenville [q. v.], by whom he had issue, besides twin sons, who died immediately after birth, four sons—viz., Richard, afterwards third baron Braybrooke [q. v.]; Henry, captain in the dragoons, who died in 1809 while serving in Spain (see Gent. Mag. 1809, ii. 386); George (see below); and William, who died young. Of his four daughters, Catherine died unmarried in 1841; Mary married Sir Stephen Glynne, bart., of Hawarden; Caroline married Paul Beilby-Thompson, esq.; and Frances died young.

The son, George Neville, afterwards Grenville (1789–1854), educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (M.A. 1810), was nominated by his father, the hereditary visitor, to the mastership of Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 1813. From 1814 to 1834 he was rector of Hawarden, Flintshire. In 1825 his uncle, Thomas Grenville [q. v.], made over to him Butleigh Court and the large property in Somerset which he had derived from James Grenville, lord Glastonbury (d. 1825), and Neville thereupon assumed the surname of Grenville. In 1846 Sir Robert Peel made him dean of Windsor. Neville died at his residence, Butleigh Court, on 10 June 1854. By his wife Charlotte, daughter of George Legge, earl of Dartmouth, he left four daughters and six sons (Gent. Mag. 1854, ii. 72).

[Rowland's Account of the Neville Family, table v.; Burke's Peerage; Ann. Reg. 1825, App. to Chron. p. 230; Foster's Peerage and Alumni Oxon.; Hist. of Audley End, by third Lord Braybrooke, pp. 53, 54, 55, 128, 132; Return of Members of Parliament.]

G. Le G. N.