The Cobham Arms was named after Sir Richard Temple became Baron Cobham in 1714. The Baron was the owner of Stowe House and his descendants, the Marquess’ of Buckingham, rapidly became hugely influential over the lives of Buckingham residents, buying up property and dominating local politics.
The Inn was a place to stay for visitors to the House, the arches share a similar style to many in the main grounds of Stowe House including the famous Palladian Bridge. The Cobham Arms were also often used for political purposes and celebrations that the family wanted to share with the town.
In 1823 after the birth of an heir to the 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, there was an ox-roast provided by the Duke in the Market Square. After, a party for invited guests was held at the Cobham Arms, where one reveller drank so much that he fell face down into the mud on the way home. A passer by went to help him, but was stopped by a resident.
“Stop, stop, you marnt meddle wi’ him; he’s a freeman, and he’s a right to lay there.”Robert Gibbs Bucks. Miscellany
Perhaps dubiously, twice in 1784 elections were also held in the Cobham Arms while the Town Hall was being rebuilt. By 1830 all of those elected to the local government corporation were tenants of or employed by the Duke of Buckingham.
“His lordship gave the Buckingham men beer in exchange for their independence.”Robert Gibbs, Bucks. Miscellany
Finally, in 1835 the Reform Act allowed more men to vote and the political dominance of the Temple family was broken.