Elizabeth Grenville

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Elizabeth Grenville
Elizabeth Wyndham

1719 (1719)
Westminster, England
Died5 December 1769(1769-12-05) (aged 49–50)
(m. 1749)
Children8; including George, Charlotte, Thomas and William

Elizabeth Grenville (née Wyndham; 1719 – 5 December 1769) was a British artist and writer. She was the wife of George Grenville, prime minister from 1763 to 1765; the daughter of Sir William Wyndham, a prominent Tory politician; and the mother of William Grenville, prime minister from 1806 to 1807.

Early life[edit]

She was born Elizabeth Wyndham in 1719 to Sir William Wyndham and his first wife, Lady Catherine Seymour, the daughter of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset. She was baptised on 31 January 1719 in Westminster and had two older brothers, Charles and Percy.

Her father was a prominent politician in the 1710s and 1720s, serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the Tories. Wyndham's mother, Catherine, died in 1731 and William remarried in 1734 to Maria Catherina de Jonge.

Wyndham suffered from smallpox when she was young, which left scarring on her face.[1]

Writing and art[edit]

Wyndham kept a book of newspaper cuttings, mostly relating to political subjects, and kept a diary of her husband's political career.[1][2] She was also an amateur artist and produced several pastel works, including a self-portrait that was sold as part of the Stowe House sale of 1848.[3][4]

Marriage and family[edit]

On 16 May 1749, Wyndham married George Grenville, then a lord of the Treasury and an MP for Buckingham. Her grandfather, the Duke of Somerset, did not approve of the marriage and left Wyndham only a small amount of money in his will.[5] The couple took over the running of Wotton House in Buckinghamshire, where they raised their eight children:[6]

In 1763 George Grenville became prime minister. Although his ministry lasted only two years he remained at the forefront of politics throughout the 1760s. Elizabeth died on 5 December 1769 and was buried eight days later in Wotton Underwood, as was her husband following his death a year later.[7]


  1. ^ a b Beckett, J. V. (21 May 2009). "Grenville, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11489. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Smith, William James (1853). The Grenville Papers, volume 3. London: John Murray. p. 315.
  3. ^ Jeffares, Neil (2016). Dictionary of pastellists before 1800 (PDF).
  4. ^ Forster, Henry Rumsey (1848). Stowe Catalogue. London: David Bogue. p. 167. hdl:2027/gri.ark:/13960/t5s75qp1r.
  5. ^ Thompson, Andrew. "George Grenville (Whig 1763-1765)". History of Government. gov.uk. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Wotton House (1000608)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Mrs Elizabeth Wyndham Grenville". Find a Grave. Retrieved 27 July 2018.