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Richard Griffin-Neville, Baron Braybrooke (1783-1858)
Born: 26th September 1783 at Stanlake Park, Hurst, Berkshire
3rd Baron Braybrooke
Died: 13th March 1858 at Audley End
, Littlebury, Essex

Richard, the eldest son of Richard Aldworth Griffin-Neville, 2nd Baron Braybrooke, was born at Stanlake, in the parish of Hurst in Berkshire, on 26th September 1783. He was educated at Eton from 1790 until 1801. On 17th January 1801, he matriculated at Christ Church College, Oxford, and was created DCL on 5th July 1810. He then passed to Magdalene College, Cambridge, whence he graduated MA in 1811.

During the panic of the French Invasion of 1803, Richard served with the Berkshire Militia. He sat in the House of Commons as M.P. successively for Thirsk 1805-6, Saltash 1807, Buckingham 1807-12 and Berkshire 1812-25. In 1825, he succeeded his father as 3rd Baron Braybrooke, assumed the name of Griffin, and at the same time removed the chief family seat from Billingbear Park, near Wokingham in Berkshire, to Audley End in Essex which had been left to his father in 1798 by his distant relative, Lord Howard de Walden. As owner of Audley End he became Visitor of Magdalene College, and Patron of the Mastership. He was Recorder of Saffron Walden till the passing of the Municipal Reform Act in 1835, and was also High Steward of Wokingham. He was an active county magistrate and chairman of the bench at Saffron Walden. He spent much care upon his stately residence at Audley End, and upon the estate and its neighbouring villages. In politics, he supported the Reform Bill and the measures which admitted dissenters and Roman Catholics to the right of sitting in Parliament. Although generally friendly to the ministry of Earl Grey, he subsequently grew more conservative in his political views. From 1834, he voted with Sir Robert Peel and, after the rupture of 1840, he became a follower of Lord Derby.

Braybrooke is now chiefly remembered for the part he took in publishing Samuel Pepys' 'Diary' for the first time. The manuscript of this work, belonging to Magdalene College, was deciphered about 1821 from the stenographic characters by John Smith, a member of this college. Lord Braybrooke brought out a carefully abridged and expurgated version, with a selection of Pepys' private correspondence and many useful notes, in two volumes, in 1825. This was several times reprinted.

Braybrooke also published the 'History of Audley End and Saffron Walden' in 1835 and, in 1842, he edited the 'Life and Correspondence of Jane, Lady Cornwallis.' On 13th March 1858, he died at Audley End and was buried at Littlebury in Essex. He had married, on 13th May 1819, Jane, the eldest daughter and co-heiress of Charles, 2nd Marquis Cornwallis. She was born at Culford, Suffolk, on 5th October 1798, and died on 23rd September 1856. Their eldest son, Richard Cornwallis Neville, succeeded as 4th Baron Braybrooke.

Edited from Sidney Lee's 'Dictionary of National Biography' (1894)


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