Henry James Bridges, first duke of Chandos
Person Male Born 1673 Died 1744
Born the son of a Herefordshire squire. His first wife's dowry included the Canons estate in Little Stanmore. He remodelled the house and in 1715 practically rebuilt the estate's church of St. Lawrence. He became immensely wealthy and in 1717 was created first Duke of Chandos. As a lavish patron of the arts he commissioned Handel to write what became known as the Chandos Anthems.
In 1720 he lost his fortune when the South Sea bubble burst. To pay the family debts the second Duke of Chandos sold off the house and it was demolished in 1747. Architectural salvage is not a new idea: one of the statues ended up in Golden Square; another in Leicester Square; the original colonnade went to the front of the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square; the gates to Trinity College, Oxford. The church of St Lawrence survives intact but from what the memorial says, we guess that it was the church railings and gate that were used in Hampstead.