Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville

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The Right Honourable
The Earl Granville
GCB PC
Thomas Lawrence, Portrait of Lord Granville Leveson-Gower, later 1st Earl Granville (c. 1804–1809).jpg
Ambassador to Russia
In office
1804–1805
Preceded by Sir John Borlase Warren, Bt
Succeeded by The Lord Cathcart
In office
1807–1812
Preceded by The Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale
Succeeded by The Viscount Cathcart
Ambassador to France
In office
1824–1828
Preceded by Charles Stuart
Succeeded by The Lord Stuart de Rothesay
In office
1830–1835
Preceded by The Lord Stuart de Rothesay
Succeeded by The Lord Cowley
In office
1835–1841
Preceded by The Lord Cowley
Succeeded by The Lord Cowley
Personal details
Born 12 October 1773 (1773-10-12)
Died 8 January 1846(1846-01-08) (aged 72)
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Lady Harriet Cavendish
(1785–1862)
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville GCB PC (12 October 1773 – 8 January 1846), known as Lord Granville Leveson-Gower from 1786 to 1815, as Viscount Granville from 1815 to 1833, and as Earl Granville from 1833 onwards, was a British Whig statesman and diplomat.

Background and education[edit]

Granville was the second son and youngest child of Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford and his third wife Lady Susannah Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway. His elder, paternal half-brother was George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland.

Granville was educated at Dr. Kyle's school at Hammersmith, and then privately by the Revd. John Chappel Woodhouse. He matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, in April 1789 but never took a degree. Nevertheless, ten years later, in 1799, he was conferred the DCL.[1]

Career[edit]

Granville began his career as a member of the house of commons, representing Lichfield from 1795 to 1799, and Staffordshire for the next sixteen years. Granville served as British ambassador to Russia (10 August 1804 – 28 November 1805 and 1806–1807) and France (1824–1828, 1830–1835, 1835–1841).

In 1815, he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Granville of Stone Park in the County of Stafford.[2] In 1833, during his second stint as ambassador to France, he was created Earl Granville and also Baron Leveson of Stone Park in the County of Stafford.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

A recent historian says that Granville "was a drab figure, the original stuffed-shirt – starch outside, sawdust within."[5]

Lord Granville married Lady Harriet Cavendish (1785–1862), daughter of William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire and Lady Georgiana Spencer, in 1809. They had two sons and two daughters. Their eldest son, Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville, became a distinguished politician. Their second son the Hon. Frederick Leveson-Gower was also a politician. Their daughter Lady Georgiana married Alexander Fullerton. She was a biographer, novelist and great philanthropist. Lord Granville died in January 1846, aged 72. The Countess Granville died in November 1862, aged 77.[6]

Lord Granville, prior to marrying Lady Harriet Cavendish, was the lover of Lady Harriet's maternal aunt, Henrietta Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough, née Lady Henrietta Frances Spencer, with whom he fathered two illegitimate children: Harriette Stewart and George Stewart. She was deeply hurt when he left her and even more so when he married her niece; she reflected bitterly that for seventeen years she had "loved to idolatry" the man whom, as she came to believe, had loved her least of all those in her life.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chamberlain, 2008
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 17040. p. 1425. 15 July 1815. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 19044. p. 835. 3 May 1833. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
  4. ^ Chamberlain, 2008
  5. ^ David Wetzel, A Duel of Giants: Bismarck, Napoleon III, and the Origins of the Franco-Prussian War (2001) p. 217
  6. ^ Chamberlain, 2008
  7. ^ Lord David Cecil Lord Melbourne Pan Books edition 1965 p. 39

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Gilbert
Thomas Anson
Member of Parliament for Lichfield
1795–1799
With: Thomas Anson
Succeeded by
Sir John Wrottesley
Thomas Anson
Preceded by
Earl Gower
Sir Edward Littleton, Bt
Member of Parliament for Staffordshire
1799–1801
With: Sir Edward Littleton, Bt
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Staffordshire
1801–1815
With: Sir Edward Littleton, Bt 1801–1812
Edward John Littleton 1812–1815
Succeeded by
Earl Gower
Edward John Littleton
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir John Borlase Warren, Bt
British Ambassador to Russia
1804–1805
Succeeded by
The Lord Cathcart
Preceded by
Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale
British Ambassador to Russia
1807–1812
Vacant
Title next held by
The Viscount Cathcart
Preceded by
Sir Charles Stuart
British Ambassador to France
1824–1828
Succeeded by
The Lord Stuart de Rothesay
Preceded by
The Lord Stuart de Rothesay
British Ambassador to France
1830–1835
Succeeded by
The Lord Cowley
Preceded by
The Lord Cowley
British Ambassador to France
1835–1841
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir James Murray-Pulteney, Bt
Secretary at War
1809
Succeeded by
The Viscount Palmerston
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl Granville
2nd creation
1833–1846
Succeeded by
Granville Leveson-Gower
Viscount Granville
1815–1846