Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford
|The Most Honourable
The Marquess of Stafford
|Lord Privy Seal|
|Prime Minister||The Duke of Newcastle
The Duke of Devonshire
|Preceded by||The Duke of Marlborough|
|Succeeded by||The Earl Temple|
|Prime Minister||Hon. William Pitt the Younger|
|Preceded by||The Duke of Rutland|
|Succeeded by||The Earl Spencer|
|Lord President of the Council|
|Prime Minister||The Earl of Chatham
The Duke of Grafton
|Preceded by||The Earl of Northington|
|Succeeded by||The Earl Bathurst|
|Prime Minister||Hon. William Pitt the Younger|
|Preceded by||The Viscount Stormont|
|Succeeded by||The Lord Camden|
|Born||4 August 1721|
|Died||26 October 1803
Trentham Hall, Staffordshire
|Spouse(s)||(1) Elizabeth Fazakerley
(2) Lady Louisa Egerton
(3) Lady Susannah Stewart
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford|
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford PC (4 August 1721 – 26 October 1803), known as Viscount Trentham from 1746 to 1754 and as The Earl Gower from 1754 to 1786, was a British politician.
Stafford was a son of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower (1694-1754) and his wife Lady Evelyn Pierrepont. His maternal grandparents were Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull and his first wife Lady Mary Feilding. Mary was a daughter of William Feilding, 3rd Earl of Denbigh and his wife Mary King. His father was a prominent Tory politician who became the first major Tory to enter government since the succession of George I of Great Britain, joining the administration of John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville in 1742. Gower was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford.
In 1744, Stafford was elected to parliament. With the death of his elder brother in 1746, he became known by the courtesy title of Viscount Trentham until he succeeded his father as Earl Gower in 1754. Stafford was associated with the faction of the Duke of Bedford, who was his brother-in-law, and as a member of that faction was given many governmental positions. Following Bedford's death in 1771, Gower became leader of the group, and as Lord President in the administration of Frederick North, Lord North was a key supporter of a hard-line policy towards the American colonists.
Gower was frustrated by what he saw as the North administration's inept handling of the American Revolutionary War, and he resigned from the cabinet in 1779. When North resigned in March 1782, Gower was approached to form a ministry, but he refused, and he refused subsequent overtures from both Lord Shelburne and the Fox-North coalition to enter the government. Instead, he became a key figure in bringing about the fall of the Fox-North coalition, and was rewarded with the position of Lord President once again in the new administration of William Pitt the Younger. Although he soon exchanged this office for that of Lord Privy Seal, and gradually began to withdraw from public affairs, he remained a cabinet minister until his retirement in 1794. In 1786, he had been created Marquess of Stafford as a reward for his services.
Marriages and children
Stafford married secondly Lady Louisa, daughter of the Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgewater, in 1748. She died in 1761. They were parents to four children:
- George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland (9 January 1758 – 19 July 1833).
- Lady Louisa Leveson-Gower (d. 29 July 1827). She married Sir Archibald MacDonald, 1st Baronet.
- Lady Margaret Caroline Leveson-Gower (d. 27 January 1824). She married Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle and was the mother of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle.
- Lady Anne Leveson-Gower (d. 16 November 1832). She married the Right Reverend the Hon. Edward Venables-Vernon-Harcourt, Archbishop of York.
Stafford married thirdly Lady Susannah, daughter of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway, in 1768. They were parents to four children:
- Lady Georgiana Augusta Leveson-Gower (13 Apr 1769 - 24 March 1806). She married William Eliot, 2nd Earl of St Germans.
- Lady Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower (b.Feb 1771, c.12 Feb 1771 St Martin In The Fields, Westminster - 12 August 1854). She married Henry Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort and was mother of Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort and Lord Granville Somerset.
- Lady Susan Leveson-Gower (b.Sep 1772, c.15 Sep 1772 Trentham - 26 May 1838). She married Dudley Ryder, 1st Earl of Harrowby.
- Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville (b.12 October 1773, c.5 Nov 1773 Trentham – 8 January 1846).
Lord Stafford died at Trentham Hall, Staffordshire, in October 1803, aged 82. He was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son from his second marriage, George, who was created Duke of Sutherland in 1833. The Marchioness of Stafford died in August 1805.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Barker, George Fisher Russell (1893). "Leveson-Gower, Granville (1721-1803)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co.