Talk:Robert Kaye Greville

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Greville as an MP[edit]

I have just removed from this article the assertion that "In 1856 he was elected MP for [[Edinburgh]".

The source quoted is ... which is an intro on an archives site. No sources are cited for this, but it appears that it may have been drawn from the DNB article on Greville:

G. S. Boulger, ‘Greville, Robert Kaye (1794–1866)’, rev. Yolanda Foote, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 (, accessed 9 April 2009)

I believe that this part DNB's article on Robert Kaye Greville is wrong.

The article says that in 1856 he was elected as Member of Parliament for Edinburgh, but I can find no confirmation of this in other sources. F.W.S Craig's "British parliamentary election results 1832–1885" (2nd ed, 1977; ISBN 0-900178-26-4) lists two candidates at the Edinburgh by-election in 1856: "A. Black" (the winner) and "C. Cowan". Nowhere in Craig's index is there any R.K. Greville (or R. K-Greville), and the closest match is one R.F. Greville, who was an unsuccessful candidate for Linlithgowshire in 1837

The Hansard 1803-2005 website does not list him (see ), nor does Leigh Rayment's historical list of MPs at

The Edinburgh Gazette of 15 February 1856 confirms that Adam Black was the winner of the Edinburgh by-election in February 1856:

I have asked the DNB to review that article, and I will report back here on any response I receive. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:08, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

How impressive. Nice to see that wiki is questioning even "reliable sources". Well done Victuallers (talk) 13:11, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! I try to treat reliable sources as "usually reliable", rather than as tablets of stone :) --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:33, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

DNB has removed assertion that Greville was an MP[edit]

Just thought I should report back on my contacts with the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (the DNB).

It has taken some time for the DNB to update its entry on Greville, because they appear to post revisions on a 6-monthly cycle. However, DNB has now removed from its article the relevant sentence, which read "He was also elected MP for Edinburgh in 1856." (that was in the 2004 edition of the article). For anyone with access to the DNB, the current (revised) article is at ... while the previous version (with the erroneous claim) is at

I'm rather pleased that Wikipedia has triggered a correction to a reliable source ... and now that they DNB is corrected I will remove from the article any mention of this claim. It is referenced only to this talk page, and as a self-reference to wikipedia it uses an unreliable source. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:06, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Now done, in this edit. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 13:09, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
You may be interested to know that the false claim that Robert Kaye Greville had been elected MP for Edinburgh in 1856 appeared first in print in vol. 23 of the first edition of the Dictionary of National Biography, published in 1890 (on pages 165-6). It has taken 109 years to get this mistake corrected! Sam Blacketer (talk) 18:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

A copy of what is now on the female brunettes talk page[edit]

WikiDefender Barnstar.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
BrownEyedGirl!, a girl who won't take yes for an answer! Finding out that reliable sources make Robert Kaye Greville an M.P. our female brunette, gets the source changed. Cos of course everyone knows wikipedia is right. Well done. Victuallers (talk) 18:49, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

.... I wonder if ODNB gives wikipedia as the source? Victuallers (talk) 18:49, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Please be a little calmer and less personal, Victualler. I can tell you that the authoritative source on exactly who was returned to Parliament is known as the "Official Return", published in 1879 as a return to an order of the House of Commons. This source confirms that the Member returned to serve for Edinburgh on 9 February 1856 was:
Furthermore the most reliable source for election results, F. W. S. Craig's series, shows the result was A. Black 2,429, F.B. Douglas 1,786. Robert Kaye Greville was not a candidate at any election in the period 1832-1885. Sometimes otherwise reliable sources make mistakes. That's why best practice is to cross-check against other sources. Sam Blacketer (talk) 19:08, 2 November 2009 (UTC)