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Buckingham, John Sheffield, 1st duke of

Buckingham, John Sheffield, 1st duke of (1647–1721). Buckingham succeeded as 3rd earl of Mulgrave at the age of 10, served in the army and navy, and was gentleman of the bedchamber to Charles II. He was in favour with James II, who appointed him lord chamberlain. He stayed with James until the end, but accepted William and Mary and was created marquis of Normanby in 1694. Anne, whom he had courted in 1682, made him lord privy seal and promoted him in 1703 to the dukedom made available by the death of the second Villiers duke. Until 1714 he was an influential high Tory, serving on the commission to negotiate union with Scotland, as lord steward 1710–11, and lord president of the council 1711–14. After 1714 his political career was over. He was a poet of some repute, though Johnson was disparaging. His house at the end of the Mall, built in 1703, was sold to George III in 1762 and became the nucleus of Buckingham palace.

J. A. Cannon

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