Richard Grosvenor, 1st Baron Stalbridge

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For other people named Richard Grosvenor, see Richard Grosvenor (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
The Lord Stalbridge
The Lord Stalbridge.jpg
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
In office
25 February 1872 – 17 February 1874
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by Viscount Castlerosse
Succeeded by The Viscount Barrington
Parliamentary Secretary
to the Treasury
In office
28 April 1880 – 9 June 1885
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by Sir William Hart Dyke, Bt
Succeeded by Areas Akers-Douglas
Personal details
Born (1837-01-28)28 January 1837
Died 18 May 1912(1912-05-18) (aged 75)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Party
Liberal Unionist
Spouse(s) (1) Hon. Beatrice Vesey
(d. 1876)
(2) Eleanor Hamilton-Stubber (d. 1911)
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Richard de Aquila Grosvenor, 1st Baron Stalbridge PC (28 January 1837 – 18 May 1912), styled Lord Richard Grosvenor between 1845 and 1886, was a British politician and businessman. Initially a Liberal, he served under William Ewart Gladstone as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household between 1872 and 1874 and as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury between 1880 and 1885. However, he broke with Gladstone over Irish Home Rule in 1886 and joined the Liberal Unionists.

Background and education[edit]

Grosvenor was the third and youngest son of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, and Lady Elizabeth Mary, daughter of George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland. Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster, was his elder brother.[1] He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2][3] During an adventurous youth, he toured the western United States and was present at the sack of the Summer Palace during the Second Opium War.[citation needed] On 20 April 1858, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Dorsetshire Yeomanry[4] and promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 19 July 1866.[5] He succeeded Lord Digby as lieutenant-colonel commandant on 20 September 1870.[6]

Political career[edit]

Grosvenor was Liberal Party Member of Parliament for Flintshire from 1861 until 1886.[7] In 1872 he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household by William Ewart Gladstone, a post he held until the government fell in 1874. When the Liberals returned to power in 1880 under Gladstone, Grosvenor was made Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury. He remained in this post until 1885. He disagreed with Gladstone over Irish Home Rule and resigned his seat in protest (by accepting appointment as a Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds) in 1886. He was subsequently raised to the peerage as Baron Stalbridge, of Stalbridge in the County of Dorset, and became a leader of the Liberal Unionist Party from the House of Lords.[citation needed]

Later life[edit]

On 15 April 1882, Grosvenor resigned the command of the Dorsetshire Yeomanry and was appointed honorary colonel of the regiment,[8] a post he held until 1895. In 1891, he was appointed chairman of the London and North Western Railway, of which he had been a director since 1870 and had eagerly promoted. In 1867 he was the head of an international committee to promote the Channel Tunnel, which contemplated a submarine railroad between England and France.[3]

He inherited Motcombe House in 1891. The house was demolished after he contracted typhoid fever in 1894 and a new house built in 1895. However, much of the estate was sold off in 1905 to raise money, and the family moved to London. Lord Stalbridge had, in 1887, agreed to pay off some of the debts of his fellow Liberal, Lord Sudeley, and the resulting financial entanglement severely reduced his wealth.[citation needed]


Grave of Beatrice Charlotte Elizabeth (née Vesey), first wife of Richard Grosvenor, 1st Baron Stalbridge

Lord Stalbridge married as his first wife the Hon. Beatrice Charlotte Elizabeth Vesey, daughter of Thomas Vesey, 3rd Viscount de Vesci, on 5 November 1874.[1] She died of pleurisy in 1876,[citation needed] shortly after the birth of their only child:

  • Hon. Elizabeth Emma Beatrice Grosvenor (1875–1931), who on 1 June 1899 married Aubrey Clare Hugh Smith, RN, who later became an admiral.

Stalbridge married his second wife, Eleanor Frances Beatrice Stubber (d. 1911), daughter of Robert Hamilton-Stubber, on 3 April 1879. They had five children:

  • Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Baron Stalbridge (1880–1949), twin
  • Hon. Blanche Grosvenor (1880–1964), twin, married Lieutenant-Colonel James Holford
  • Hon. Gilbert Grosvenor (1881–1939), married Effie E. Cree; no issue
  • Captain Hon. Richard Eustace Grosvenor, MC (1883–1915), killed in the First World War
  • Hon. Eleanor Lilian Grosvenor (1885–1977), married Major Josceline Grant; mother of Elspeth Huxley

Lady Stalbridge died in March 1911. Lord Stalbridge survived her by a year and died at his London home in May 1912, aged 75. He was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, Hugh.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Richard de Aquila Grosvenor, 1st Baron Stalbridge
  2. ^ "Grosvenor, Lord Richard de Aquila; afterwards Baron Stalbridge (GRSR855R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ a b "Lord Stalbridge" (Obituaries). The Times (London). Monday, 20 May 1912. (39903), col B, p. 10.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22130. p. 2004. 23 April 1858.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23145. p. 4239. 27 July 1866.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23661. p. 4246. 23 September 1870.
  7. ^ House of Commons: Fairfield to Fylde South
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25095. p. 1698. 14 April 1882.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Lloyd-Mostyn
Member of Parliament for Flintshire
Succeeded by
Samuel Smith
Political offices
Preceded by
Viscount Castlerosse
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
Succeeded by
The Viscount Barrington
Preceded by
Sir William Hart Dyke, Bt
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Aretas Akers-Douglas
Military offices
Preceded by
The Lord Digby
Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the
Dorsetshire Yeomanry (Queen's Own)

Succeeded by
Charles J. T. Hambro
Business positions
Preceded by
Sir Richard Moon
Chairman of the London and North Western Railway
Succeeded by
Gilbert Claughton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Stalbridge
Succeeded by
Hugh Grosvenor