BRUDENELL, Hon. James (c.1687-1746), of Luffenham, Rutland
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Family and Education
b. c.1687, 2nd s. of Francis Brudenell, Ld. Brudenell (1st s. d.v.p. of Robert Brudenell, 2nd Earl of Cardigan), by Lady Frances, da. of Thomas Savile†, 1st Earl of Sussex. educ. travelled abroad (Italy) 1703–6; Padua 1704. m. Mar. 1725, Susan, da. of Bartholomew Burton of Ashwell, Rutland, sis. of William† and Bartholomew Burton†, 2s. 2da.1
Master of jewel office 1716–30; ld. of trade 1730–d.; groom of bedchamber 1733–d.
Recorder, Chichester 1730–d.
Like all his family, Brudenell had been brought up a Roman Catholic, but while he was visiting Italy with his brother George, 3rd Earl of Cardigan, they were both converted to Anglicanism, probably by the Duke of Shrewsbury, although Cardigan did not publicly renounce Catholicism until 1709. The young Brudenells lived a wild life and while they were still in Rome, Shrewsbury, at the request of their tutor, ‘called at Lord Cardigan’s and preached to Mr [James] Brudenell about his neglecting his studies’. Despite being ordered back to England in the autumn of 1704 by their guardian, Robert Constable, 3rd Earl of Dunbar [S], the two young men went on to Venice. Shortly after their arrival, Cardigan wrote to Shrewsbury that James had ‘brought an ugly strain from Rome’. This may have been a reference to the smallpox, which he developed before Christmas. The brothers finally returned to England at the end of April 1706.2
Brudenell successfully contested Chichester in 1713 on the interest of his brother-in-law, the 1st Duke of Richmond. In contrast to his Tory brother, but like his patron Richmond, Brudenell was a Whig, voting on 18 Mar. 1714 against the expulsion of Richard Steele, and being classified as a Whig in the Worsley list. He continued to sit after 1715, voting consistently on the government side, until his death from apoplexy on 9 Aug. 1746.