George Grenville 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 members of Parliament associated with Lord Cobham. In 1754 Grenville became Treasurer of the Navy, a position he held twice until 1761. In October 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. On 8 April 1763, Lord Bute resigned, Grenville assumed his position as Prime Minister, his government pursued an assertive foreign policy. His best known policy is the Stamp Act, a common tax in Great Britain onto the colonies in America, which instigated widespread opposition in Britain's American colonies and was repealed.
Grenville had 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. George Grenville was born at Wotton House on 14 October 1712, he was the second son of Hester Temple. He was one of five brothers, his sister Hester Grenville married the leading political figure William Pitt. His elder brother was Richard Grenville the 2nd Earl Temple, it was intended by his parents. Grenville received his education at Eton College and at Christ Church and was called to the bar in 1736, he entered Parliament in 1741 as one of the two members for Buckingham, continued to represent that borough for the next twenty-nine years until his death. He was disappointed to be giving up what appeared to be a promising legal career for the uncertainties of opposition politics. In Parliament he subscribed to the "Boy Patriot" party.
In particular he enjoyed 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. 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 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 1754 Grenville was made Treasurer of the 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 which they believed was unnecessarily costly, would drag Britain into Continental European disputes. Opposition to European entanglements was a cornerstone of Patriot Whig thinking, he and Pitt joined the opposition. 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.
As the military situation deteriorated following the loss of Minorca, the government grew weak until it was forced to resign in Autumn 1756. Pitt formed a government led by the Duke of Devonshire. Grenville was returned to his position as Treasurer of the Navy, a great disappointment as he had been expecting to receive the more prestigious and lucrative post of Paymaster of the Forces; 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 on Grenville felt a growing resentment towards Pitt, grew closer to the young Prince of Wales and his advisor Lord Bute who were both now opposed to Pitt. 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, praised for its humanity if not for its effectiveness, 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 Wotton and came to London. In 1761, when Pitt resigned upon the question of the war with Spain, 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 associated with Pitt involved in the government, in order to prevent Pitt and his supporters opposing the government. However, it soon led to conflict between Pitt. Grenville was seen as a suitable candidate because his reputation for honesty meant he commanded loyalty and respect amongst independent MPs. In May 1762, Grenville was appointed Northern Secretary, where he took an 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 favored a more generous position which 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
Great Britain in the Seven Years' War
Great Britain was one of the major participants in the Seven Years' War which lasted between 1754 and 1763, although warfare in the European Theatre involving countries other than Britain and France only commenced in 1756. Britain emerged from the war as the world's leading colonial power, having gained a number of new territories at the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and established itself as the world's pre-eminent naval power; the war started poorly for Britain, which suffered many deaths from the plague and scurvy, at the hands of France in North America during 1754–55. The same year Britain's major ally Austria aligned itself with France. For the next seven years these two nations were ranged against a growing number of enemy powers led by France. After a period of political instability, the rise of a government headed by the Duke of Newcastle and William Pitt the elder provided Britain with firmer leadership, enabling it to consolidate and achieve its war aims. In 1759 Britain enjoyed an Annus Mirabilis, "year of miracles", with success over the French on the continent, in North America, in India.
In 1761 Britain came into conflict with Spain. The following year British forces captured Havana and Manila, the western and eastern capitals of the Spanish Empire, repulsed a Spanish invasion of Portugal. By this time the Pitt-Newcastle ministry had collapsed, Britain was short of credit and the generous peace terms offered by France and its allies were accepted. Through the crown, Britain was allied to the Electorate of Hanover and Kingdom of Ireland, both of which fell under British military command throughout the war, it directed the military strategy of its various colonies around the world including British America. In India British possessions were administered by the East India Company; the last major conflict in Europe, the War of the Austrian Succession, had ended in 1748 with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, following a bloody war which had left large parts of Central Europe devastated. The peace terms were unpopular with many, however, as they retained the status quo—which led the people of states such as France and Austria to believe they had not made sufficient gains for their efforts in the war.
By the early 1750s many saw another major war as imminent, Austria was preparing its forces for an attempt to retake Silesia from Prussia. The British Prime Minister, the Duke of Newcastle, had acceded to the premiership in 1754 following the sudden death of his brother Henry Pelham, led a government made up of Whigs. Newcastle had thirty years' experience as a Secretary of State and was a leading figure on the diplomatic scene. Despite enjoying a comfortable majority in the House of Commons he was cautious and vulnerable to attacks led by men such as William Pitt, leader of the Patriot Party. Newcastle fervently believed that peace in Europe was possible so long as the "Old System" and the alliance with Austria prevailed and devoted much of his efforts to the continuance of this. One of the major concerns for the British government of the era was colonial expansion. During the eighteenth century the British colonies in North America had become more populous and powerful – and were agitating to expand westwards into the American interior.
The territory most prized by the new settlers was the Ohio Country, claimed by France. As well as having economic potential, it was considered strategically key. French control of that territory would block British expansion westwards and French territory would surround the British colonies, pinning them against the coast. A number of colonial delegations to London urged the government to take more decisive action in the Ohio dispute; the Ohio Country located between Britain's Thirteen Colonies and France's New France saw France and Britain clash. In 1753 the French sent an expedition south from Montreal that began constructing forts in the upper reaches of the Ohio River. In 1754 the Province of Virginia sent the Virginia Regiment led by George Washington to the area to assist in the construction of a British fort at present-day Pittsburgh, but the larger French force had driven away a smaller British advance party and built Fort Duquesne. Washington and some native allies ambushed a company of French scouts at the Battle of Jumonville Glen in late May 1754.
In the skirmish the French envoy Joseph Coulon de Jumonville was left dead leading to a diplomatic incident. The French responded in force from Fort Duquesne, in July Washington was forced to surrender at the Battle of Fort Necessity. Despite the conflict between them, the two nations were not yet formally at war; the government in Britain, realising that the existing forces of America were insufficient, drew up a plan to dispatch two battalions of Irish regular troops under General Edward Braddock and intended to massively increase the number of Provincial American forces. A number of expeditions were planned to give the British the upper hand in North America including a plan for New England troops to defeat Fort Beauséjour and Fortress Louisbourg in Acadia, others to act against Fort Niagara and Fort Saint-Frédéric from Albany, New York; the largest operation was a plan for Braddock to dislodge the French from the Ohio Country. In May 1755 Braddock's column blundered into an enemy force composed of French and Native Americans at the Battle of the Monongahela near Fort Duquesne.
After several hours' fighting the British were defeated and forced to retreat, Braddock died a few days of his wounds. The remainder of his force returned to Philadelphia and took up
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford
Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford PC, known as Viscount Trentham from 1746 to 1754 and as The Earl Gower from 1754 to 1786, was a British politician from the Leveson-Gower family. Stafford was a son of 1st Earl Gower and his wife Lady Evelyn Pierrepont, his maternal grandparents were Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull and his first wife Lady Mary Feilding. Mary was 3rd Earl of Denbigh and his wife Mary King, his father was a prominent Tory politician who became the first major Tory to enter government since the succession of George I of Great Britain, joining the administration of John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville in 1742. Gower was educated at Christ Church, Oxford. Stafford was elected to parliament in 1744. With the death of his elder brother in 1746, he became known by the courtesy title of Viscount Trentham until he succeeded his father as Earl Gower in 1754, he built the earlier Lilleshall Hall, converting a 17th-century house located in the village of Lilleshall into a country residence around the late 1750s.
Stafford was associated with the faction of the John Russell, Duke of Bedford, his brother-in-law, as a member of that faction, called the "Bloomsbury Gang", was given many governmental positions. Following Bedford's death in 1771, Gower became leader of the group, as Lord President in the administration of Frederick North, Lord North, he was a key supporter of a hard-line policy towards the American colonists. Between 1775-1778, Stafford proceeded to make substantial alterations to his home at Trentham Hall based on the designs by Henry Holland. By 1779, Gower resigned from the cabinet being frustrated by what he saw as the North administration's inept handling of the American Revolutionary War, and when North resigned in March 1782, Gower was approached to form a ministry, but he refused, he refused subsequent overtures from both Lord Shelburne and the Fox-North coalition to enter the government. Instead, he became a key figure in bringing about the fall of the Fox-North coalition, was rewarded with the position of Lord President once again in the new administration of William Pitt the Younger.
Although he soon exchanged this office for that of Lord Privy Seal, began to withdraw from public affairs, he remained a cabinet minister until his retirement in 1794. He was elected F. S. A. on 28 April 1784. In 1786, he was created Marquess of Stafford as a reward for his services, he died at Trentham Hall, Staffordshire, on 26 October 1803. He was the last surviving member of the Bloomsbury Gang. Stafford married three times, he married firstly Elizabeth Fazakerley, daughter of Nicholas Fazakerley, in 1744. Elizabeth died of smallpox two years later, they had no children. Stafford married secondly Lady Louisa Egerton, daughter of the Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgewater, in 1748, she died in 1761. They were parents to four children: 1st Duke of Sutherland. Lady Louisa Leveson-Gower, she married Sir Archibald MacDonald, 1st Baronet. Lady Margaret Caroline Leveson-Gower, she married Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle and was the mother of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle. Lady Anne Leveson-Gower.
She married the Right Reverend Archbishop of York. Stafford married thirdly Lady Susanna Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway, in 1768, they were parents to four children: Lady Georgiana Augusta Leveson-Gower. She married William Eliot, 2nd Earl of St Germans. Lady Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower, she married Henry Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort and was mother of Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort and Lord Granville Somerset. Lady Susanna Leveson-Gower, she married 1st Earl of Harrowby. Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville; when Lord Stafford died at the age of 82, he was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son George from his second marriage, created Duke of Sutherland in 1833. The Marchioness of Stafford died in August 1805. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Barker, George Fisher Russell. "Leveson-Gower, Granville". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co. Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages
The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest ranking among those Great Officers of State which are appointed in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking the Prime Minister. The Lord Chancellor is outranked only by the Lord High Steward, another Great Officer of State, appointed only for the day of coronations; the Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister. Prior to the Union there were separate Lord Chancellors for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Ireland; the Lord Chancellor is a member of the Cabinet and, by law, is responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts. In 2007, there were a number of changes to the legal system and to the office of the Lord Chancellor; the Lord Chancellor was the presiding officer of the House of Lords, the head of the judiciary in England and Wales and the presiding judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice, but the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 transferred these roles to the Lord Speaker, the Lord Chief Justice and the Chancellor of the High Court respectively.
The current Lord Chancellor is David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice. One of the Lord Chancellor's responsibilities is to act as the custodian of the Great Seal of the Realm, kept in the Lord Chancellor's Purse. A Lord Keeper of the Great Seal may be appointed instead of a Lord Chancellor; the two offices entail the same duties. Furthermore, the office of Lord Chancellor may be exercised by a committee of individuals known as Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal when there is a delay between an outgoing Chancellor and their replacement; the seal is said to be "in commission". Since the 19th century, only Lord Chancellors have been appointed, the other offices having fallen into disuse; the office of Lord Chancellor of England may trace its origins to the Carolingian monarchy, in which a Chancellor acted as the keeper of the royal seal. In England, the office dates at least as far back as the Norman Conquest, earlier; some give the first Chancellor of England as Angmendus, in 605. Other sources suggest that the first to appoint a Chancellor was Edward the Confessor, said to have adopted the practice of sealing documents instead of signing them.
A clerk of Edward's, was named "chancellor" in some documents from Edward's reign. In any event, the office has been continuously occupied since the Norman Conquest; the staff of the growing office became separate from the king's household under Henry III and in the 14th century located in Chancery Lane. The chancellor headed chancery; the Lord Chancellor was always a churchman, as during the Middle Ages the clergy were amongst the few literate men of the realm. The Lord Chancellor performed multiple functions—he was the Keeper of the Great Seal, the chief royal chaplain, adviser in both spiritual and temporal matters. Thus, the position emerged as one of the most important ones in government, he was only outranked in government by the Justiciar. As one of the King's ministers, the Lord Chancellor attended Royal Court. If a bishop, the Lord Chancellor received a writ of summons; the curia regis would evolve into Parliament, the Lord Chancellor becoming the prolocutor of its upper house, the House of Lords.
As was confirmed by a statute passed during the reign of Henry VIII, a Lord Chancellor could preside over the House of Lords if not a Lord himself. The Lord Chancellor's judicial duties evolved through his role in the curia regis. Petitions for justice were addressed to the King and the curia, but in 1280, Edward I instructed his justices to examine and deal with petitions themselves as the Court of King's Bench. Important petitions were to be sent to the Lord Chancellor for his decision. By the reign of Edward III, this chancellery function developed into a separate tribunal for the Lord Chancellor. In this body, which became known as the High Court of Chancery, the Lord Chancellor would determine cases according to fairness instead of according to the strict principles of common law; the Lord Chancellor became known as the "Keeper of the King's Conscience." Churchmen continued to dominate the Chancellorship until the 16th century. In 1529, after Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of York, was dismissed for failing to procure the annulment of Henry VIII's first marriage, laymen tended to be more favoured for appointment to the office.
Ecclesiastics made a brief return during the reign of Mary I, but thereafter all Lord Chancellors have been laymen. Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury was the last Lord Chancellor, not a lawyer, until the appointment of Chris Grayling in 2012; the three subsequent holders of the position, Michael Gove, Elizabeth Truss and David Lidington are not lawyers. However, the appointment of David Gauke in January 2018 meant that once again the Lord Chancellor was a lawyer; when the office was held by ecclesiastics, a "Keeper of the Great Seal" acted in the Lord Chancellor's absence. Keepers were appointed when the office of Lord Chancellor fell vacant, discharged the duties of the office until an appropriate replacement could be found; when Elizabeth I became queen, Parliament passed an Act providing that a Lord Keeper of the Great Seal would be entitled to "like place, pre-eminence, juri
Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington
Sir Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington, PC was the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain. He was known for his wit and writing. Born the second son of Anthony Henley, Robert Henley was from a wealthy family in Hampshire, his grandfather, Sir Robert Henley, had been Master of the Court of the King's Bench a defence counsel. Henley's father Anthony Henley was interested in literature; when he moved to London, he became the friend of the Earls of Dorset and Sunderland, as well as a friend of Swift and Burnet. After becoming a married man, Anthony Henley had been the Member of Parliament for Andover in 1698, he died in August, 1711 and was succeeded in turn by his eldest son and his second son, Robert. Henley attended St. John's College in Oxford, he gained a fellowship at the All Souls College in 1727, entered the Inner Temple to study law in 1729 and was called to the bar on 23 June 1732. He succeeded his elder brother in 1746, inheriting The Grange, Northington in Hampshire, built for his grandfather by Inigo Jones.
He was elected a Member of Parliament for Bath in 1747 and became Recorder of the town in 1751. He was appointed Attorney General and knighted in 1756 and promoted the next year to Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, the last person to receive this title. Although as Lord Keeper he presided over the House of Lords, he was not made a peer until 1760 when he became Baron Henley of Grange in the County of Southampton; when George III ascended to power, Henley was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1761 and made Earl of Northington in 1764. The delay in raising him to the peerage was due to the hostility of George II, who resented Henley's former support of the Prince of Wales's faction, known as the Leicester House party, he resigned from his position in 1767 and died at his residence in Hampshire on 14 January 1772. In 1743, Henley had married Jane Huband, the daughter of Sir John Huband of Ipsley of Warwickshire, he had five daughters. The names of his daughters were: Lady Catherine Henley, Lady Bridget Henley, Jane Henley, Lady Elizabeth Henley, Mary Henley.
He was succeeded by 2nd Earl of Northington. Vernon v Bethell 28 ER 838, "necessitous men are not speaking, free men, but, to answer a present exigency, will submit to any terms that the crafty may impose upon them." Shanley v Harvey 2 Eden 126, 127, as “soon as a man sets foot on English ground he is free.” Brown v Peck 1 Eden 140, provisions discouraging cohabitation were void against public policy, as where a will promised £5 a month to a beneficiary to split up from her husband, or £2 otherwise. She was entitled to the £5. Hussey v. Dillon 2 Amb 603, 604, testament and meaning of "grandchildren" 1 Eden 5, “The Court has always in cases of this nature considered the question of consent with great latitude, adhering to the spirit and not the letter; the maxim Qui tacet satis loquitur has therefore been respected, constructive consents have been looked upon as entitled to as much regard as if conveyed in express terms.” Earl of Buckinghamshire v Drury Pike v Hoare, 2 Eden, 182. 428, on conflict of laws, a will affecting lands in the Colonies “is not triable” in this country.
Burgess v Wheate 1 Eden, 251 A memoir of the life of Robert Henely, earl of Northington, lord high chancellor of Great Britain The Complete peerage of England, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdoms, Extinct or Dormant Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage re: Penancoet Family Complete Baronetage Burke's Peerage and Baronetage A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe
The government of Great Britain was under the joint leadership of William Pitt the Elder and William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire from November 1756 to 1757. Following Pitt's dismissal, a new ministry was formed in July 1757 under Pitt and Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle; the principal ministers of the Crown were as follows: Pitt -- Chris. British Historical Facts 1688–1760. Macmillan. Pp. 44–5
Ministry of All the Talents
The Ministry of "All the Talents" was a national unity government formed by Lord Grenville on his appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 11 February 1806, following the death of William Pitt the Younger. With the country remaining at war, Grenville aimed to form the strongest possible government and so included most leading politicians from all groupings, although some followers of the younger Pitt, led by George Canning, refused to join; the inclusion of Charles James Fox raised eyebrows as King George III had been hostile to Fox, but the King's willingness to put aside past enmities for the sake of national unity encouraged many others to join or support the government as well. The ministry boasted a progressive agenda, much of it inherited from Pitt; the Ministry of All the Talents had comparatively little success, failing to bring the sought-after peace with France. In fact, the war continued for nearly another decade, it did, abolish the slave trade in Britain in 1807 before breaking up over the question of Catholic emancipation.
It was succeeded by the Second Portland ministry, headed by William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland. The term has since been used in politics to describe an administration with members from more than one party or a non-coalition government that enjoys cross-party support due to gifted and/or non-partisan members. Examples include the coalition government which led Great Britain through the Second World War and the Canadian government that won the 1896 election. Members of the Cabinet are in bold face. Notes