Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Baronet

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Sir Thomas Grosvenor, Bt
Grosvenor, Thomas, 3rd Baronet.jpg
Grosvenor in 1678 by Peter Lely
Personal details
Born (1655-11-20)20 November 1655
Eaton Hall, Cheshire, England
Died 2 July 1700(1700-07-02) (aged 44)
Resting place St Mary's Church, Eccleston, Cheshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Tory

Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Baronet (20 November 1655 – 2 July 1700) was an English Member of Parliament and an ancestor of the modern day Dukes of Westminster. He was the first member of the family to build a substantial house on the present site of Eaton Hall in Cheshire.

Early life and education[edit]

Grosvenor succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his grandfather Sir Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Baronet on 31 January 1665. His father had been killed in a duel in 1661 and at the time of the succession he was aged eight.[1] He had been born at Eaton Hall, Cheshire, and his mother was Christian, daughter of Thomas Myddleton of Chirk Castle, Denbighshire.[1] He was educated by a private tutor, who also accompanied him when he undertook the Grand Tour, in his case, a three-year educational tour of France, Italy and the Levant, starting in 1670.[2] On his return he set about building a new house at Eaton. At that time the family house was a medieval moated house. The new house was the first substantial one to be built and it was constructed to the north of the older house. Grosvenor appointed the architect William Samwell to design it and building started in 1675. By 1683 over £1,000 (£140,000 as of 2014)[3] had been spent on the hall.[4] The money for this venture came partly from the estates, and also from coal and lead mines, and from stone quarries in north Wales, that were owned by the family.[1]

Marriage[edit]

Mary, Lady Grosvenor, by Michael Dahl

In 1677 Grosvenor married; he was aged 21 and his wife, Mary Davis, was only 12.[1] She was the daughter of Alexander Davis, a scrivener (scribe) and had inherited land to the west of London. This was part of the Manor of Eia (or Ebury) and Mary's portion consisted of "swampy meads" (or meadows).[1] The area was later to become the Mayfair, Park Lane and Belgravia areas of London, a prosperous part of the Grosvenor estate. The couple had three daughters and five sons. Two of the sons, Thomas and Roger, died young; the other three sons all succeeded to the baronetcy, Richard became the 4th Baronet, Thomas the 5th, and Robert the 6th.[2]

Public life[edit]

Grosvenor played his part in public life. In 1677 he was granted the freedom of Chester and later the same year he became an alderman. Two years later he was returned as a Member of Parliament for Chester for the first time, in what became known as the Habeas Corpus Parliament; in all he was to serve in six parliaments. In 1685 he became Mayor of Chester and later that year raised a troop of horses to support James II in the Monmouth Rebellion. Grosvenor served as sheriff of Cheshire in 1688–89.[2]

Later life[edit]

Mary, Lady Grosvenor, converted to Roman Catholicism shortly after her marriage.[1] Because of this, and because Eaton Hall was used as a meeting place for Catholics, Grosvenor's loyalty to the king was questioned.[2] However he continued openly as an Anglican until his death. This occurred in 1700, and he was buried in Eccleston church. His surviving sons were all under age; Sir Richard Myddelton, 3rd Baronet, and Thomas and Francis Cholmondeley were appointed as guardians.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Newton, Diana; Lumby, Jonathan (2002). The Grosvenors of Eaton. Eccleston, Cheshire: Jennet Publications. pp. 8–12. ISBN 0-9543379-0-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d Handley, Stuart (2004) (online edition 2008) 'Grosvenor, Sir Thomas, third baronet (1655-1700)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Retrieved on 6 April 2010. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  3. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2013), "What Were the British Earnings and Prices Then? (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  4. ^ Eaton Halls. Eaton Estate. 2002. p. 2. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Robert Werden
William Williams
Member of Parliament for Chester
1679–1681
With: William Williams
Succeeded by
William Williams
Roger Whitley
Preceded by
William Williams
Roger Whitley
Member of Parliament for Chester
1685–1689
With: Robert Werden
Succeeded by
Roger Whitley
George Mainwaring
Preceded by
Roger Whitley
George Mainwaring
Member of Parliament for Chester
1690–1700
With: Sir Richard Levinge 1690–1695
Roger Whitley 1695–1698
Thomas Cowper 1698
Peter Shakerley 1698–1700
Succeeded by
Peter Shakerley
Sir Henry Bunbury, Bt
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Richard Grosvenor
Baronet
(of Eaton)
1665–1700
Succeeded by
Richard Grosvenor