Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges, an English author, born at Wooton Court, Kent, Nov. 30, 1762, died in Geneva, Sept. 8, 1837. He was educated at Cambridge, and studied law, but never practised. After the death of the last duke of Chandos, in 1790, he induced his elder brother, the Rev. E. T. Brydges, to prefer a claim to the ancient barony of Chandos as a descendant from Anthony Brydges, third son of the first Lord Chandos. In 1803 the house of lords decided against the validity of this claim; but after the death of his brother Mr. Egerton Brydges insisted that he could assert his rights at common law, and usually added to his signature the words "Per legem terrae Chandos of Sudeley." After several unsuccessful attempts to obtain a seat in parliament, he was elected for the borough of Maidstone, for which he sat from 1812 to 1818. In parliament he exerted himself mainly to effect changes in the poor law and the copyright act. He was created a baronet in 1814. Having lost his seat in parliament, he resided chiefly on the continent, at last taking up his residence at Geneva, where he lived in great seclusion.
The failure of his attempt to obtain a seat in the house of peers, and pecuniary embarrassments growing out of extravagance on his Kentish estates, threw a gloom over his life, and affected the tone of his writings. His literary labors included romance, poetry, criticism, politics, biography, genealogy, topography, and classical literature. Shortly before his death he stated that he had written more than 14,000 sonnets. He edited the poetical works of Milton, and his abilities as a genealogist, topographer, and bibliographer are attested by his Censura Literaria (10 vols.), Restituta (4 vols.), Theatrum Poetarum, Stemmata Illustria, Lex Terra, and "British Bibliographer.1' He also edited a "British Peerage," full of varied information. His "Autobiography, Times, and Opinions" was published in 2 vols, in 1834.