Robert Fulke Greville

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Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Fulke Greville FRS (3 February 1751 – 27 April 1824) was a British Army officer, courtier and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1774 and 1807.


The son of Francis Greville, 1st Earl of Warwick and Elizabeth Hamilton, and brother to Charles Francis Greville, he was educated at Edinburgh University. He was commissioned as a cornet in the 10th Dragoons in 1768, and promoted to lieutenant in 1772; he became a captain in the 1st Foot Guards in 1775 and lieutenant-colonel in 1777. He saw little or no active service and perhaps the most notable aspect of his army career was as an equerry to King George III from 1781 to 1797. This included the king's first bout of physical and mental illness, then known as madness, for which Greville's diaries are a valuable primary source[1][2]. Some incidents from them were incorporated into the play The Madness of George III and its film adaptation - a fictionalised Greville appears in both of them, played in the film by Rupert Graves.

Greville's duties as an equerry did not prevent him starting a parliamentary career, initially as Member of Parliament for Warwick from 1774 to 1780, supporting the Tory government of Lord North[3]. He went with the king's household on its 1794 season in Weymouth, again recording it in his diary in considerable detail. 1794 also saw Greville elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[4]

In 1796, a year before leaving his post as equerry, he was elected Member of Parliament for New Windsor, holding the constituency for ten years.[5] On 19 October 1797, he married Louisa Murray (née Cathcart), Countess of Mansfield - she was the widow of David Murray and daughter of Charles Cathcart, 9th Lord Cathcart. He returned to the royal household as Groom of the Bedchamber from 1800 to 1818 (from 1812 at Windsor Castle after the final onset of George III's illness). His diaries recounting the period are now held in the Royal Collection.[6]

Fanny Burney referred to Greville as "Colonel Wellbred"[7] and he was a favourite at court. Emma, Lady Hamilton, who had been the mistress of his brother Charles, wrote to Robert on several occasions, seeking financial assistance.[8]

Greville died in 1824. His brother Charles Francis had founded the port of Milford Haven and Robert's son and namesake attempted to make improvements to it[9].


  1. ^ "ROBERT FULKE GREVILLE (1751-1824), Journal of His Majesty's Most Serious and Afflicting Illness. 1788-89.". Royal Collections Trust. Retrieved 2018-02-12. 
  2. ^ F. McKno Bladon (ed.), The Diaries of Colonel The Hon. Robert Fulke Greville, Equerry to His Majesty George III (London: The Bodley Head, 1930).
  3. ^ Lewis Namier & John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754-1790 (London: HMSO, 1964)
  4. ^ "Fellow details". Royal Society. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "GREVILLE, Hon. Robert Fulke (1751-1824), of Richmond Park, Surr". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Journal of His Majesty's Most Serious and Afflicting Illness. 1788-89". Royal Collection. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  7. ^ Mary M. Drummond. "GREVILLE, Hon. Robert Fulke (1751-1824)". History of Parliament. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  8. ^ Flora Fraser (11 March 2012). Beloved Emma: The Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton. A&C Black. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-1-4088-3256-1. 
  9. ^ "Welsh Biography Online". 

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Hon. Charles Greville
Paul Methuen
Member of Parliament for Warwick
With: Hon. Charles Greville
Succeeded by
Hon. Charles Greville
Robert Ladbroke
Preceded by
The Earl of Mornington
William Grant
Member of Parliament for New Windsor
With: Henry Isherwood 1796–1797
Sir William Johnston 1797–1800
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for New Windsor
With: Sir William Johnston 1801-02
John Williams 1802-04
Arthur Vansittart 1804-06
Succeeded by
Edward Disbrowe
Richard Ramsbottom