William Brydges (1681-1764) of Tibberton (or Tyberton) in Herefordshire and London, landowner and lawyer, was the son of Francis Brydges of Castle Street, Hereford (d. 1727) and a cousin of James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos (1673-1744). He was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1702; the admissions register for Gray's Inn lists William Brydges in 1713 as one of the Six Clerks of Chancery, but other sources suggest that that office was held by his father Francis or by a Thomas Brydges. William married as his first wife Jane, the daughter of Chandos's longtime lawyer Andrew Card; a daughter Elizabeth was born in 1718. His uncle, another William Brydges (1663-1736), stood unsuccessfully for the constituency of Wells (Somerset) in a Parliamentary by-election in 1719.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of personal, family, legal and business correspondence of a Herefordshire gentry family with strong ties to the London legal community and with some slight connection to their more important relative James Brydges 1st Duke of Chandos (1673-1744). Of particular interest to the correspondents are: (1) the social activities and illnesses of their friends, family, and servants; (2) a long-running dispute over the repair of the chancel of Tibberton's church, involving a dispute with the Dean and Chapter of the diocese over tithes to be used for the repairs, and involving William Brydges' legal research in London's government archives to substantiate his position; and (3) very substantial buying and selling of various estates and other lands, chiefly as an investment. Brydges engaged the noted Bath architect John Wood (1705?-1754) to work on a newly acquired property in Bristol. There are relatively few references to the Duke of Chandos or to national affairs.