The Earl Granville
Portrait by Thomas Lawrence
Ambassador to Russia
In office
Preceded bySir John Borlase Warren, Bt
Succeeded byThe Lord Cathcart
In office
Preceded byThe Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale
Succeeded byThe Viscount Cathcart
Ambassador to France
In office
Preceded byCharles Stuart
Succeeded byThe Lord Stuart de Rothesay
In office
Preceded byThe Lord Stuart de Rothesay
Succeeded byThe Lord Cowley
In office
Preceded byThe Lord Cowley
Succeeded byThe Lord Cowley
Personal details
Born(1773-10-12)12 October 1773
Died8 January 1846(1846-01-08) (aged 72)
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Lady Harriet Cavendish
Parent(s)Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford
Lady Susanna Stewart
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford

Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville, GCB, PC (12 October 1773 – 8 January 1846), styled Lord Granville Leveson-Gower from 1786 to 1815 and The Viscount Granville from 1815 to 1833, was a British Whig statesman and diplomat from the Leveson-Gower family.

Background and education

Granville was the second son and youngest child of Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford from his marriage to Lady Susanna Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway. His elder, paternal half-brother was George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland.

Granville was educated at Dr. Kyle's school at Hammersmith, and then privately by the Revd. John Chappel Woodhouse. He matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, in April 1789 but never took a degree. Nevertheless, ten years later, in 1799, the honorary degree of DCL was conferred upon him.[1]


Granville began his career as a member of the House of Commons, representing Lichfield from 1795 to 1799, and Staffordshire for the next sixteen years. From 1797 to 1799 he was Colonel of the 2nd Staffordshire Militia.[2] Granville served as British ambassador to Russia (10 August 1804 – 28 November 1805 and 1806–1807) and France (1824–1828, 1830[3]–1835, 1835–1841).

In 1815 he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Granville of Stone Park in the County of Stafford.[4] In 1833 during his second stint as ambassador to France, he was created Earl Granville and also Baron Leveson of Stone Park in the County of Stafford.[5][6]

Personal life

A recent historian says that Granville "was a drab figure, the original stuffed-shirt – starch outside, sawdust within."[7]

Lord Granville married Lady Harriet Cavendish (1785–1862), daughter of William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire and Lady Georgiana Spencer, in 1809. They had two sons and two daughters:

Lord Granville died in January 1846, aged 72. The Countess Granville died in November 1862, aged 77.[8] A younger son William died in 1833.[9]

Lord Granville, prior to marrying Lady Harriet Cavendish, was the lover of Lady Harriet's maternal aunt, Henrietta Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough, née Lady Henrietta Frances Spencer, with whom he fathered two illegitimate children: Harriette Stewart and George Stewart. For seventeen years she "loved to idolatry" this younger man,[10] but then, she understood that he must marry in order to further his career and assure his posterity, and so she actively collaborated in the arrangements for his wedding to Harriet (known in the family as "Harry-O"), who was understandably reluctant to marry her aunt's lover.[11]


  1. ^ Chamberlain, 2008
  2. ^ Staffordshire Militia at 'This Re-Illuminated School of Mars'.
  3. ^ "No. 18755". The London Gazette. 10 December 1830. p. 2579.
  4. ^ "No. 17040". The London Gazette. 15 July 1815. p. 1425.
  5. ^ "No. 19044". The London Gazette. 3 May 1833. p. 835.
  6. ^ Chamberlain, 2008
  7. ^ David Wetzel, A Duel of Giants: Bismarck, Napoleon III, and the Origins of the Franco-Prussian War (2001) p. 217
  8. ^ Chamberlain, 2008
  9. ^ Coleridge, Henry James. Life of Lady Georgiana Fullerton, London. Richard Bentley & Son. 1888, p. 78Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ Lord David Cecil Lord Melbourne Pan Books edition 1965 p. 39
  11. ^ Paul Douglass Lady Caroline Lamb New York: Palgrave-MacMillan 2004 p. 87-88

Further reading

Parliament of Great Britain Preceded byThomas GilbertThomas Anson Member of Parliament for Lichfield 1795–1799 With: Thomas Anson Succeeded bySir John WrottesleyThomas Anson Preceded byEarl GowerSir Edward Littleton, Bt Member of Parliament for Staffordshire 1799–1801 With: Sir Edward Littleton, Bt Succeeded byParliament of the United Kingdom Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byParliament of Great Britain Member of Parliament for Staffordshire 1801–1815 With: Sir Edward Littleton, Bt 1801–1812Edward John Littleton 1812–1815 Succeeded byEarl GowerEdward John Littleton Diplomatic posts Preceded bySir John Borlase Warren, Bt British Ambassador to Russia 1804–1805 Succeeded byThe Lord Cathcart Preceded byMarquess of Douglas and Clydesdale British Ambassador to Russia 1807–1812 VacantTreaties of TilsitTitle next held byThe Viscount Cathcart Preceded bySir Charles Stuart British Ambassador to France 1824–1828 Succeeded byThe Lord Stuart de Rothesay Preceded byThe Lord Stuart de Rothesay British Ambassador to France 1830–1835 Succeeded byThe Lord Cowley Preceded byThe Lord Cowley British Ambassador to France 1835–1841 Political offices Preceded bySir James Murray-Pulteney, Bt Secretary at War 1809 Succeeded byThe Viscount Palmerston Peerage of the United Kingdom New creation Earl Granville 2nd creation1833–1846 Succeeded byGranville Leveson-Gower Viscount Granville 1815–1846