BRUDENELL, Hon. Robert (1726-68).
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Family and Education
Ensign 1 Ft. Gds. 1748, lt. and capt. 1751; capt. 3 Ft. Gds. and lt.-col. 1758; col. 1762; col. 16 Ft. 1763- d.
Lt.-gov. Windsor castle 1752; groom of the bed-chamber to Duke of York 1760-7; vice-chamberlain to the Queen 1767- d.
Brudenell, like his brother James, took little interest in the House of Commons and politics. Promotion and military office were his main concern, and in Parliament he naturally supported Administration. On 6 Aug. 1760 he wrote to Newcastle that Col. Roger Townshend, governor of North Yarmouth castle, was dying, and asked to succeed him because, he wrote, ‘though the income is but £182 10s. a year, it will be of great assistance to us’.1 But the Townshend family had claims to Yarmouth, so Newcastle obtained for Brudenell the governorship of Cowes castle instead. Appointed aide-de-camp to the King, he wrote to his younger brother, Lord Bruce, on 20 July 1762:2
I may safely say that I am exceedingly happy, and though it has always been the ill-humoured turn of the world to say I am never happy without a grievance... yet I may with great truth affirm that I never complained without apparent reason ... I am glad to acknowledge myself in a very pleasing comfortable situation in life and am very grateful for it. But notwithstanding I am so, I hope by it I am not precluded from wishing to advance still further, and by aspiring to something greater, may not with any degree of propriety, be looked on as a grumbler and a discontented man.
In January 1763 he informed Bruce that he had written to Lord Bute ‘telling him that I assumed no merit to myself, that I asked for no rewards, as most men did, but that my object, whenever the King thought me entitled to one, is a regiment’. He was gratified when four days later the King agreed to give him ‘a good old regiment’.3
Upon the whole, I have reasons to be happy and satisfied [he told Bruce], and am most truly so ... I must observe to you that my regiment in Ireland, after the reduction, will be but a trifle better than my company and aide-de-campship together, but I am tired of having so many commanding officers over me in a regiment as six, and have pride and ambition enough to wish to command a fine body of men myself.
Brudenell voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act, 22 Feb. 1766, but otherwise appears to have supported each successive Administration with silent votes—there is no record of his having spoken in the House.
He died 20 Oct. 1768.