BRUDENELL, Hon. James (c.1687-1746).
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Family and Education
b. c.1687, 2nd s. of Francis, Lord Brudenell by Lady Frances Savile, da. of Thomas, 1st Earl of Sussex. educ. Rome and Venice 1703-6. m. Susan, da. of Bartholomew Burton of Ashwell, Rutland, sis. of William Burton, 2s. 2da.
Master of the jewel office 1716-30, ld. of Trade 1730-d., groom of the bedchamber to George II 1733-d., gent. of the horse to George II 1737-d.; recorder, Chichester 1730-d.
In the 17th century the Brudenells were Roman Catholics and Royalists but under Anne the 3rd Earl of Cardigan and his only brother, James Brudenell, went over to the Church of England, having apparently been converted by their first cousin, the Duke of Shrewsbury, while in Rome completing their education in 1703-4.1 Lord Cardigan remained a lifelong Tory but James was returned as a Whig for Chichester on the interest of his brother-in-law, the 1st Duke of Richmond, in 1713. Defeated at Chichester in 1715, but brought in by his friend, Lord Lymington, at a by-election for Andover,2 he was appointed to the jewel office at £450 p.a., voting regularly with the Government. Re-elected unopposed for Andover in 1722 and 1727, he was promoted in 1730 to the board of Trade (£1,000 p.a.), which he seldom attended. After he left the jewel office it was discovered that a quantity of royal plate which he had taken home had been seized by one of his creditors and was being offered for sale.3 In 1731 he became groom of the bedchamber (£500 p.a.), his wife, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, being already woman of the bedchamber to the Queen (£300 p.a.). In 1734 he headed the poll at Chichester as the nominee of his nephew, the 2nd Duke of Richmond, under whom as master of the horse he became a gentleman of the horse (£250 p.a.), bringing his own and his wife’s official emoluments to over £2,000 p.a. Apart from consistently voting with the governments of the day the only surviving record of his thirty-three years in Parliament is that on 14 Nov. 1722
there was a very large committee, and Mr. Brudenell for want of a seat got into the Speaker’s chair, and though all the House took notice of it as well as the chairman, yet he continued there the whole committee with great confidence, a thing never done before.4
He died 9 Aug. 1746.