The suggested manufacturing date of 1813 is not arrived at by accident. It was in this year that Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (1776-1839) assumed the title of 2nd Marquess of Buckinghamshire upon the death of his father, George in 1813. Richard was later made 1st Duke of Buckingham. 1813 is also the transitional year of the Barr, Flight & Barr (1804-1813) and the Flight, Barr & Barr (1813-1840) factories and factory marks for both are found on pieces of the service. The service, the original complement of which is not known, was likely commissioned from the Worcester factory in celebration of the 2nd Marquess' assuming the titles and estates of his father and the stewardship of Stowe Park, one of the grandest of English houses.
Due to the bankruptcy of Richard's son in 1847, the effects of Stowe and other residences were seized by bailiffs. The following year saw a series of forced sales of the Duke's estates in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire, culminating with the sale of the contents of Stowe Park. The monumental auction was entrusted to Messrs. Christie and Manson who held the auction in the State Dining Room over the course of forty days, 15 August - 7 October 1848. Table china was sold on the eighth day, with the 186-piece 'Stowe Service', as lot 956, fetching 28.18.0 to T. Delarue of Bunhill Row.
In fact, the son of the bankrupt 2nd duke, the Marquess of Chandos, bought back many pieces at the sale and the family continued over time to recover pieces sold at the auction, including 82 pieces of the glorious armorial service. However, by 1921 the family was again bankrupt, and the contents of Stowe Park again came up for sale. This time, what remained of 'The Stowe Service' was bought by the noted porcelain dealer J. Rochelle-Thomas of St. James's, who described it in an advertisement in a 1923 issue of Connoisseur as 'The Most Magnificent Dinner Service Ever Made'.
Since then, parts of the service have passed through the salerooms on many occasions, including a large group acquired by Mrs. Jessie Woolworth Donahue, sold Sotheby's, London, 12 March 1974, lot 63. Most recent auction sales include two single plates sold Christie's, London, 11 December 2000, lot 57 and Christie's, New York, 18 May 2006, lot 515; a square salad bowl sold Christie's, New York, 23-24 January 2002, lot 256; and two vegetable dishes, covers and liners sold Christie's, New York, 11 October 2006, lot 166.