George Villiers 2d duke of Buckingham

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Buckingham, George Villiers, 2nd duke of (1628–87). Heir to his renowned father the 1st duke (assassinated August 1628), he was brought up with the royal children and, despite frequent provocations, Charles II always felt a fraternal bond with Buckingham. He fought in the Civil War, but his youth recovered his estates for him in 1647. Personally involved in the Scottish invasion on Charles II's behalf in 1651, Buckingham was able to return to England from exile in 1657, when he married a daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax. Naturally enjoying preferment at the Restoration, lack of managerial capacity combined with pathological irresponsibility rendered Buckingham the least weighty of ‘the cabal's’ members. His public support for the dissenting community, and the personal standing he acquired with Louis XIV, together bear out contemporary estimates of Buckingham's capricious shallowness. Pope's account, in the Epistle to Bathurst, of Buckingham's wretched end is a ludicrous exaggeration.

David Denis Aldridge

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Buckingham, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of (1628–87) English courtier and political figure, son of the 1st Duke of Buckingham. He was educated with Charles I's sons and supported the Royalists in the Civil War (1642–48). A dashing, rakish courtier in Restoration England, he was a member of the group of ministers known as the Cabal, but later joined the opposition to Charles II. He wrote several comedies, notably The Rehearsal (1671).