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Arms of Temple of Stowe: Or, an eagle displayed sable

Sir Richard Temple, 3rd Baronet, KB (28 March 1634 – 8 May 1697) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1654 and 1697.


Temple was the son of Sir Peter Temple, 2nd Baronet of Stowe and his second wife Christian Leveson, daughter of Sir John Leveson.[1] He was admitted at Gray's Inn on 6 November 1648 and at Emmanuel College, Cambridge on 23 December 1648. He inherited the baronetcy on the death of his father in September 1653.[2]

In 1654, Temple was elected Member of Parliament for Warwickshire in the First Protectorate Parliament and in 1659, he was elected MP for Buckingham in the Third Protectorate Parliament.[3]

Temple was elected MP again for Buckingham in 1660 for the Convention Parliament. He was made Knight of the Bath on 18 April 1661. He was re-elected in 1661 for the Cavalier Parliament and sat until 1679.[3] He was a member of the Council for foreign plantations in 1671 and commissioner of customs from 1672 to 1694. He took a leading part against the Popish Plot, and for excluding James, Duke of York from the crown.[2] In the February 1679 election there was a double return and Sir Peter Tyrell was declared elected. However Temple regained the seat in August 1679 and held it until his death in 1697.[3] In 1676 Temple commissioned a new house at Stowe which forms the core of the present building.[4]


Sir Richard Temple, 3rd Baronet, died at the age of 63.


St John the Baptist Church, Hagley, memorial to Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Baronet (1686–1751) and his wife Christian, née Temple

Temple married Mary Knapp, daughter of Henry Knapp of Woodcote, South Stoke, Oxfordshire on 25 August 1675.[3] He had several children:

  • His son Sir Richard Temple, 4th Baronet, inherited the baronetcy and was raised to the peerage as Viscount Cobham.[1]
  • His eldest daughter Maria married Richard West.[5]
  • His 2nd daughter Hester married, 25 Nov 1710 in Wotton Underwood, Bucks., England, Richard Grenville (1678-1727)[6] She (Hester) had succeeded to the estate of her brother Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham, at Stowe, which henceforth became the family's chief seat, and with which Wotton descended until the death of the last Duke of Buckingham and Chandos in 1889. She then became the 1st Countess of Temple.
  • Christian, a younger daughter, married Sir Thomas Lyttelton, 4th Baronet. When her brother Sir Richard Temple, 4th Baronet was created Viscount Cobham, it was with special remainder (in default of his own heirs male) to his sister Hester and her heirs male and in default of them to the heirs male of Christian. This latter remainder took effect in 1889 when her descendant Charles, Lord Lyttelton succeeded as Viscount Cobham.


  1. ^ a b Account of the Temple family
  2. ^ a b "Temple, Richard (TML648R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ a b c d History of Parliament Online - Temple, Sir Richard
  4. ^ National Trust - Stowe Archived 11 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^, West, Temple (1713-57), of Upper Grosvenor St., London.
  6. ^ Source for her is G.E.C. Peerage, ii, 324. From: 'Parishes : Wotton Underwood', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4 (1927), pp. 130-134. URL:


5 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Comapnion
3rd Bt (1634-97). M.P. for Warwickshire 1654, and for Buckingham borough 1659, 1660,1661-95 (except for the first Exclusion Parliament). A member of the Duke of Buckingham's faction in the '60s, he attempted in 1663 to gain office (and a badly-needed income) by a promise to manage the Commons. On the failure of the scheme he resumed his attacks and led the parliamentary critics of Coventry and Clarendon in 1667-8. He went over to the court interest in 1670 and was given a place on the Council for Foreign Plantations 1671, and the Customs commission 1672. He later became a Whig and an Exclusionist.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

TEMPLE, Sir RICHARD, third baronet (1634-1697), politician; son of Sir Peter Temple, second baronet of Stowe; M.P., Warwickshire, 1654, Buckingham, 1659 and 1660-97 (except in the parliament of 1679); a secret royalist; K.B., 1661; senior commissioner of customs, 1671; prominent member of the country party; zealous against those accused in the Popish plot, and for the exclusion bill; dismissed by James II; later supporter of William III in the Commons; author of works on taxation and the coinage.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

Bill  •  Link

Sir Richard Temple, commissioner of the customs, which is worth 1200l. per annum.
---A Seasonable Argument ... for a New Parliament. Andrew Marvell, 1776.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

In 1677 Sir Richard Temple decided he needed a nice country estate, with a house worthy of the Temple family.
This article has lovely photos of what is now Stowe School, and the story of what happened to this ... palace, frankly ... and a visit by Queen Victoria.
Stowe is magnificent ... all the major public rooms were placed in a line, and by opening the doors you could look for 1/6 of a mile down this wealth of opulance and gilt.
Christopher Wren and Sir Richard were not responsible for all of that, obviously.

In the meantime, look for hidden tennis balls.…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.