On July 16, 1377, Thomas of Woodstock, youngest son of Edward III of England, was created Earl of Buckingham. Although Thomas's Dukedom of Gloucester was forfeit upon his execution in 1397, his short-lived son Humphrey was known as Earl of Buckingham, and following Humphrey's death, his sister Anne was known as Countess of Buckingham. On September 14, 1444, Humphrey Stafford, Anne's son, was created Duke of Buckingham. He was an important Lancastrian in the Wars of the Roses, and was killed at the Battle of Northampton in July 1460. He was succeeded by his grandson, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who aided Richard III in his usurpation in 1483, but who then led a revolt against Richard and was executed later that same year. His son, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was restored to the title upon Henry VII's ascension to the throne in 1485, but he was ultimately executed for treason in 1521 due to his opposition to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIII's chief advisor. At this time the title became extinct.
It was created anew for James I's favorite, George Villiers, who was successively Earl (1617), Marquess (1618), and Duke of Buckingham (1623). Buckingham, who continued in office as chief minister into the reign of James's son, Charles I, was responsible for a policy of war against Spain and France, and was assassinated by a Puritan fanatic in 1628 as he prepared an expedition to relieve the Huguenots of La Rochelle. His son, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, was a notable advisor in the reign of Charles II, and, along with Lord Ashley made up the protestant axis of the famous Cabal. When he died in 1687, the title again became extinct.
The title of Duke of Buckingham and Normanby was created in 1703 for John Sheffield, Marquess of Normanby, a notable Tory politician of the late Stuart period, who served under Queen Anne as Lord Privy Seal and Lord President of the Council. He died in 1721 and was succeeded by his son. Following the death of the 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Normanby without heirs in 1735, the title became extinct.
In 1784, George Nugent Temple Grenville, 2nd Earl Temple, a son of Prime Minister George Grenville, was created Marquess of Buckingham in the peerage of Great Britain. He served as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, among other offices. In 1822 his son, Richard Nugent Temple Grenville was created Duke of Buckingham and Chandos in 1822. His grandson, the 3rd Duke, was a prominent Conservative politician. When he died in 1889, the Dukedom became extinct.
Dukes of Buckingham, first Creation (1444)
Dukes of Buckingham, second Creation (1623)
Dukes of Buckingham and Normanby (1703)
Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos (1821)