George Grenville: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Right Honourable
 George Grenville


In office
16 April 1763 – 13 July 1765
Monarch George III
Preceded by The Earl of Bute
Succeeded by The Marquess of Rockingham

In office
16 April 1763 – 16 July 1765
Monarch George III
Preceded by Sir Francis Dashwood, 2nd Bt.
Succeeded by William Dowdeswell

Born 14 October 1712(1712-10-14)
Westminster, London
Died 13 November 1770 (aged 58)
London
Political party Whig
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford

George Grenville (14 October 1712 – 13 November 1770) was a British Whig statesman who rose to the position of Prime Minister of Great Britain. Grenville was born into an influential political family and first entered Parliament in 1741 as an MP for Buckingham. He emerged as one of Cobham's Cubs, a group of young MPs associated with Lord Cobham.

In 1754 Grenville became Treasurer of the Navy, a position he held twice until 1761. In 1761 he chose to stay in government and accepted the new role of Leader of the Commons causing a rift with his brother-in-law and political ally William Pitt who had resigned. Grenville was subsequently made Northern Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty by the new Prime Minister Lord Bute.

In 1763 Grenville succeeded Bute as Prime Minister. His government tried to bring public spending under control and pursued an assertive foreign policy. His best known policy is the Stamp Act 1765 which provoked widespread opposition in Britain's American colonies and was later repealed. Grenville had increasingly strained relations with his colleagues and the King and in 1765 he was dismissed by George III and replaced by Lord Rockingham. For the last five years of his life Grenville led a group of his supporters in opposition and staged a public reconciliation with Pitt.

Contents

Early life

George Grenville was born at Wotton House on 14 October 1712. He was the second son of Richard Grenville and Hester Temple (later the 1st Countess Temple). His elder brother was Richard Grenville, later the 2nd Earl Temple. It was intended by his parents that George Grenville should become a lawyer.[1] Grenville received his education at Eton College and at Christ Church, Oxford, and was called to the bar in 1736.

Politics

Advertisements

Patriot Whigs

Stowe House in Buckinghamshire was the political base of the Cobham faction. In 1749 the estate passed to Grenville's brother Richard.

He entered Parliament in 1741 as member for Buckingham, and continued to represent that borough for the next twenty nine years until his death. He was disapointed to be giving up what appeared to be a promising legal career for the uncertanties of opposition politics.[2]

In Parliament he suscribed to the "Boy Patriot" party which opposed Sir Robert Walpole. In particular he enhoyed the patronage of Lord Cobham, the leader of a faction that included George Grenville, his brother Richard, William Pitt and George Lyttelton that became known as Cobham's Cubs.

Joins Administration

In December 1744 he became a Lord of the Admiralty in the administration of Henry Pelham. He allied himself with his brother Richard and with William Pitt (who became their brother-in-law in 1754) in forcing Pelham to give them promotion by rebelling against his authority and obstructing business. In June 1747, Grenville became a Lord of the Treasury.

In I754 Grenville was made a Treasurer of the Navy and Privy Councillor. Along with Pitt and several other colleagues he was dismissed in 1755 after speaking and voting against the government on a debate about a recent subsidy treaty with Russia.

He and Pitt joined the opposition, haranguing the Newcastle government. Grenville and Pitt both championed the formation of a British militia to provide additional security rather than the deployment of Hessian mercenaries favoured by the government.[3] As the military situation deteriorated following the loss of Minorca, the government grew increasingly weak until it was forced to resign in Autumn 1756.

In Government with Pitt

Treasurer of the Navy

Pitt then formed a government led by the Duke of Devonshire. Grenville was returned to his position as Treasurer of the Navy, which was a great disappointment as he had been expecting to receive the more prestigious and lucrative post of Paymaster of the Forces.[4] This added to what Grenville regarded as a series of earlier slights in which Pitt and others had passed him over for positions in favour of men he considered no more talented than he was. From then on Grenville felt a growing resentment towards Pitt, and grew closer to the young Prince of Wales and his advisor Lord Bute who were both now opposed to Pitt.[5]

In 1758, as Treasurer of the Navy, he introduced and carried a bill which established a fairer system of paying the wages of seamen and supporting their families while they were at sea which was praised for its humanity if not for its effectiveness.[6] He remained in office during the years of British victories, notably the Annus Mirabilis of 1759 for which the credit went to the government of which he was a member. However his seven year old son died after a long illness and Grenville remained by his side at their country house in Wooton and barely came to London.[7]

In 1761, when Pitt resigned upon the question of the war with Spain, and subsequently functioned as Leader of the House of Commons in the administration of Lord Bute. Grenville's role was seen as an attempt to keep someone closely associated with Pitt involved in the government, in order to prevent Pitt and his supporters actively opposing the government. However, it soon led to conflict between Grenville and Pitt. Grenville was also seen as a sutiable candidate because his reputation for honesty meant he commanded loyalty and respect amongst independent MPs. [8]

Northern Secretary

Lord Bute, Prime Minister between 1762 and 1763 who Grenville served under and later succeeded.

In May 1762, he was appointed Secretary of State for the Northern Department, where he took an increasingly hard-line in the negotiations with France and Spain designed to bring the Seven Years War to a close. Grenville demanded much greater compensation in exchange for the return of British conquests, while Bute favoured a more generous position which eventually formed the basis of the Treaty of Paris. In spite of this, Grenville had now become associated with Bute rather than his former political allies who were even more vocal in their opposition to the peace treaty than he was. In October he was made in First Lord of the Admiralty.

Bute's position grew increasingly untenable as he was extremely unpopular, which led to him offering his resignation to George III on several occasion. With reluctance George III eventually accepted Bute's resignation and accepted that Grenville should be his successor, in spite of his personal dislike of him. In April 1763, Grenville became First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer succeeding Bute as first Minister.

Prime Minister

This cartoon depicts the repeal of the Stamp Act as a funeral, with Grenville carrying a child's coffin marked "born 1765, died 1766".

Grenville's most immediate task was to restore the nation's finances which had been depleted by the unprecedent expense of the recent war. He also had to deal with the fall-out from Pontiac's Rebellion, which erupted in North America in 1763. Prominent measures of his administration included the prosecution of John Wilkes and the passing of the American Stamp Act 1765, which led to the first symptoms of alienation between American colonies and Great Britain.

Stamp Act

Foreign policy

In disputes with Spain and France, Grenville managed to secure British objectives by deploying what was later described as gunboat diplomacy.[9] During his administration Britain's international isolation increased, as Britain failed to secure alliances with other major European powers, a situation that subsequent governments were unable to reverse leading to Britain fighting several countries during the American War of Independence without a major ally.

Dismissal

The King made various attempts to induce Pitt to come to his rescue by forming a ministry, but without success, and at last had recourse to Lord Rockingham. When Rockingham agreed to accept office, the king dismissed Grenville in July 1765. He never again held office.

The nickname of "gentle shepherd" was given him because he bored the House by asking over and over again, during the debate on the Cider Bill of 1763, that somebody should tell him "where" to lay the new tax if it was not to be put on cider. Pitt whistled the air of the popular tune Gentle Shepherd, tell me where, and the House laughed. Though few surpassed him in a knowledge of the forms of the House or in mastery of administrative details, he lacked tact in dealing with people and with affairs.

Later career

After a period of active opposition to the Chatham Ministry led by Pitt between 1766, and 1768 Grenville became an Elder statesman during his last few years - seeking to avoid becoming associated with any faction or party in the House of Commons. [10] He was able to oversee the re-election of his core group of supporters in the 1768 General Election. His followers included Robert Clive and Lord George Sackville and he received support from his elder brother Lord Temple.

In late 1768 he reconciled with Pitt and the two joined forces, re-uniting the partnership that had broken up in 1761 when Pitt had resigned from the government.[11] Grenville was successful in mobilising the opposition during the Middlesex election dispute. Although personally opposed to Wilkes, Grenville saw the government's attempt to bar him from the commons as unconstitutional and opposed it on principal. In 1770 Grenville steered a bill concerning the results of contested elections, a major issue in the eighteenth century, into law - despite strong opposition from the government.[12]

Grenville died on 13 November 1770. His personal following divided after his death, with a number joining the government of Lord North. In the long-term the Grenvillites were revived by William Pitt the younger who served as Prime Minister from 1784. Grenville's own son, William Grenville, later served briefly as Prime Minister.

Legacy

He was one of the few prime ministers (others include William Pitt the Younger, Sir Winston Churchill, George Canning, Spencer Percival, William Gladstone, Edward Heath and John Major) who never acceded to the peerage.

Family life

In 1749 Grenville married Elizabeth Wyndham (before 1731-5 December 1769), daughter of Sir William Wyndham, by whom he had seven children:

Styles from birth to death

  • Mr. George Grenville (1712-1741)
  • Mr. George Grenville, MP (1741-1749)
  • The Hon. George Grenville, MP (1749-1754)
  • The Rt. Hon. George Grenville, MP (1754-1789)

See also

References

  1. ^ Lawson p.3
  2. ^ Lawson
  3. ^ Lawson p.84-87
  4. ^ Brown p. 133
  5. ^ Lawson p.110-113
  6. ^ Lawson p.107-08
  7. ^ Lawson p.108-09
  8. ^ Anderson p.487-488
  9. ^ Thomas p.114
  10. ^ Johnson p.297
  11. ^ Lawson p.273
  12. ^ Lawson p.285-286
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • The Grenville Documents, being the Correspondence of Richard Grenville, Earl Temple, K.G., and the Right Hon. George Grenville, their Friends and Contemporaries, were published at London in 1852, and afford the chief authority for his life. But see also Horace Walpole's Memoirs of the Reign of George II (London, 1845); Lord Stanhope's History of England (London, 1858); Lecky's History of England (1885); and ED Adams, The Influence of Grenville on Pitt's Foreign Policy (Washington, 1904).

Bibliography

  • Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. Faber and Faber, 2000.
  • Black, Jeremy. Pitt the Elder. Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  • Brown, Peter Douglas. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham: The Great Commoner. George Allen & Unwin, 1978.
  • Johnson, Allen S. A prolouge to revolution: the political career of George Grenville (1712-1770) . University Press of America, 1997.
  • Lawson, Phillip. George Grenville: A political life. Oxford University Press, 1984.
  • Thomas, Peter David Garner George III: king and politicians, 1760-1770. Manchester University Press, 2002.
Political offices
Preceded by
Henry Legge
Treasurer of the Navy
1756
Succeeded by
George Dodington
Preceded by
George Dodington
Treasurer of the Navy
1756 – 1762
Succeeded by
The Viscount Barrington
Preceded by
William Pitt the Elder
Leader of the House of Commons
1761 – 1762
Succeeded by
Henry Fox
Preceded by
The Earl of Bute
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
1762
Succeeded by
The Earl of Halifax
Preceded by
The Earl of Halifax
First Lord of the Admiralty
1762 – 1763
Succeeded by
The Earl of Sandwich
Preceded by
The Earl of Bute
Prime Minister of Great Britain
16 April 1763 – 13 July 1765
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Rockingham
Preceded by
Sir Francis Dashwood, 2nd Bt
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1763 – 1765
Succeeded by
William Dowdeswell
Preceded by
Henry Fox
Leader of the House of Commons
1763 – 1765
Succeeded by
Henry Seymour Conway
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
George Chamberlayne
Richard Grenville
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
with George Chamberlayne 1741–1747
Richard Grenville 1747–1753
Temple West 1753–1754
James Grenville 1754–1768
Henry Grenville

1741 – 1770
Succeeded by
Henry Grenville
James Grenville

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GEORGE GRENVILLE (1712-1770), English statesman, second son of Richard Grenville and Hester Temple, afterwards Countess Temple, was born on the 14th of October 1712. He was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, and was called to the bar in 1735. He entered parliament in 1741 as member for Buckingham, and continued to represent that borough till his death. In parliament he was a member of the "Boy Patriot" party which opposed Sir Robert Walpole. In December 1744 he became a lord of the admiralty in the Pelham administration. He allied himself with his brother Richard and with William Pitt in forcing their feeble chief to give them promotion by rebelling against his authority and obstructing business. In June 1747 he became a lord of the treasury, and in 1754 treasurer of the navy and privy councillor. As treasurer of the navy in 1758 he introduced and carried a bill which established a less unfair system of paying the wages of the seamen than had existed before. He remained in office in 1761, when his brother Lord Temple and his brother-in-law Pitt resigned upon the question of the war with Spain, and in the administration of Lord Bute he was entrusted with the leadership of the House of Commons. In May 1762 he was appointed secretary of state, and in October first lord of the admiralty; and in April 1763 he became first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer. The most prominent measures of his administration were the prosecution of Wilkes and the passing of the American Stamp Act, which led to the first symptoms of alienation between America and the mother country. During the latter period of his term of office he was on a very unsatisfactory footing with the young king George III., who gradually came to feel a kind of horror of the interminable persistency of his conversation, and whom he endeavoured to make use of as the mere puppet of the ministry. The king made various attempts to induce Pitt to come to his rescue by forming a ministry, but without success, and at last had recourse to the marquis of Rockingham, on whose agreeing to accept office Grenville was dismissed July 1765. He never again held office, and died on the 13th of November 1770.

The nickname of "gentle shepherd" was given him because he bored the House by asking over and over again, during the debate on the Cider Bill of 1763, that somebody should tell him "where" to lay the new tax if it was not to be put on cider. Pitt whistled the air of the popular tune "Gentle Shepherd, tell me where," and the House laughed. Though few excelled him in a knowledge of the forms of the House or in mastery of administrative details, his tact in dealing with men and with affairs was so defective that there is perhaps no one who has been at the head of an English administration to whom a lower place can be assigned as a statesman.

In 1749 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Wyndham, by whom he had a large family. His son, the second Earl Temple, was created marquess, and his grandson duke, of Buckingham. Another son was William, afterwards Lord Grenville. Another, Thomas Grenville (1755-1846), who was, with one interval, a member of parliament from 1780 to 1818, and for a few months during 1806 and 1807 president of the board of control and first lord of the admiralty, is perhaps more famous as a book-collector than as a statesman; he bequeathed his large and valuable library to the British Museum.

The Grenville Papers, being the Correspondence of Richard Grenville, Earl Temple, K.G., and the Right Hon. George Grenville, their Friends and Contemporaries, were published at London in 1852, and afford the chief authority for his life. But see also H. Walpole's Memoirs of the Reign of George II. (London, 1845); Lord Stanhope's History of England (London, 1858); Lecky's History of England (1885) and E. D. Adams, The Influence of Grenville on Pitt's Foreign Policy (Washington, 1904).


<< Sir Bevil Grenville

Sir Richard Grenville (Naval Commander) >>


Simple English

The Rt Hon George Grenville
File:George


In office
16 April 1763 – 13 July 1765
Preceded by The Earl of Bute
Succeeded by The Marquess of Rockingham

In office
April 16, 1763 – July 16, 1765
Preceded by Sir Francis Dashwood, 2nd Bt.
Succeeded by William Dowdeswell

Born 14 October 1712
Westminster, London
Died 13 November 1770
London
Political party Whig

George Grenville (14 October 171213 November 1770) was Prime Minister of Great Britain. He was a member of the Whig Party. He was one of the few prime ministers who never was given a title of nobility.

Grenville was the second son of Richard Grenville and Hester Temple. His older brother was Richard Grenville-Temple. Grenville went to school at Eton College and at Christ Church College, Oxford. He entered Parliament in 1741 as member for Buckingham, and represented Buckingham until his death.

As Treasurer of the Navy in 1758 he introduced and carried a bill which established a fairer system of paying the wages of sailors. He stayed in office in 1761, when Pitt resigned, and in the administration of Lord Bute acted as Leader of the House of Commons. In May 1762 he became Secretary of State for the Northern Department, and in October First Lord of the Admiralty; and in April 1763 he became First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

While Prime Minister, his government oversaw the prosecution of John Wilkes and the passing of the American Stamp Act 1765, which led to the first disagreements between American colonies and Great Britain that lead to the American Revolutionary War.

After many years of being Prime Minister, he began to have disagreements with young king George III. The king started to think that the Prime Minister was using him as a puppet. The king convinced Rockingham to become the new Prime Minister and Grenville never held an office again.

Grenville was called the "gentile shepherd" because he bored the House by asking over and over again, during the debate on the Cider Bill of 1763, that somebody should tell him "where" to lay the new tax if it was not to be put on cider. Pitt whistled the air of the popular tune Gentle Shepherd, tell me where, and the House laughed. Though few excelled him in a knowledge of the forms of the House or in mastery of administrative details, he lacked tact in dealing with people and with affairs.

In 1749 Grenville married Elizabeth Wyndham (before 1731-5 December 1769), daughter of Sir William Wyndham. They had seven children.


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message