James Brydges 1st Duke of Chandos
Biography of James Brydges 1st Duke of Chandos
James Brydges (1674-1744), 1st Duke of Chandos, was a wealthy politician and music patron who contributed to the cost of building the University's new library in the 18th century.
Chandos was the eldest son of the 8th Baron Chandos and became MP for Hereford in 1698. He made a huge fortune while serving as Paymaster of the Queen's Forces, 1705-1713, much of which he spent on building a magnificent house on his estate at Cannons in Middlesex. In 1719 he was promoted as Duke of Chandos in recognition of his services to the state.
In 1720 Chandos gifted £500 to the University. Plans for a new University library were drawn up by Robert Adam in 1723 and the Chancellor, the Duke of Montrose, decided three years later that Chandos' gift should be put towards the cost of building it. The new library was completed in 1743.