Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 23.djvu/140

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Grenville
Grenville
132

the personalty being 79,942l. 5s. 5d., besides landed property.

[Doyle's Official Baronage, 1886, i. 265-6; C. Brown's Life of Lord Beaconsfield, 1882, ii. 50, with portrait; Illustrated London News, 1862 xl. 215, 225, 1867 l. 132, 142,and 6 April 1889, p. 443, with portrait; Graphic, 22 May 1875, p. 501, with portrait, and 6 April 1889, p. 360, with portrait; Times, 28 March 1889, p. 7, and 3 April, p. 11 ; Pictorial World, 4 and 11 April 1889, with portrait.]

G. C. B.

GRENVILLE, THOMAS (1719–1747), captain in the navy, seventh son of Richard Grenville (1678-1728) of Wotton Hall in Buckinghamshire, younger brother of Richard Grenville, second earl Temple (1711-1779) [q. v.], and of George Grenville (1712-1770) [q. v.], was born on 3 April 1719. Having passed rapidly through the lower ranks in the navy, he was, on 6 April 1742, posted to the command of the Romney, in which, off Cape St. Vincent in the following March, he had the good fortune to capture a French ship from Vera Cruz to Cadiz with an extremely valuable cargo. In a letter to his brother George, Grenville estimated his share as being probably between 30,000l. and 40,000l., but it does not seem to have actually amounted to more than half. In the beginning of 1745 he was appointed to the Falkland, on the coast of Ireland, and in the following year to the Defiance of 60 guns, in which, in the spring of 1747, he was ordered on an independent cruise, by the influence of his brother George, then one of the lords of the admiralty. Much to their annoyance, however, the ship was at the last moment detained and attached to the squadron under Anson [q. v.], who wrote to George Grenville, promising that the detention should be for as short a time as possible, and adding ‘if there should be any service, I know he would be glad to be in it.’ On 3 May Anson met and captured the French squadron off Cape Finisterre. The success was complete; but ‘the joy of it,’ wrote George Lyttelton, ‘is palled to our family by the loss of poor Captain Grenville, one of the most promising young men in the navy, and who, had he lived, would have been an honour not to his family only, but to his country.’ About two hours after the action began his left thigh was smashed by a huge splinter, and though the mangled limb was at once amputated, he died in the course of five hours. His body was brought to England, and buried at Wotton. A column to his memory was erected in the gardens at Stowe by his uncle, Lord Cobham.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. v. 190; The Grenville Papers, vol. i. freq.]

J. K. L.

GRENVILLE, THOMAS (1755–1846), statesman and book collector, third son of George Grenville (1712-1770) [q. v.], by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Wyndham, was born 31 Dec. 1755. He entered Christ Church, Oxford, as a gentleman-commoner, and matriculated 9 Dec. 1771. On 18 May 1778 he was appointed ensign in the Coldstream guards, and in October 1779 was gazetted as lieutenant in the regiment of foot afterwards known as the 80th or the Rutland regiment. These appointments he was ultimately driven to resign. North was attacked for the political bias shown in military appointments. Grenville, who was elected in 1780 as member for Buckinghamshire, was called upon by Fox in the following session to detail to the house the ill-treatment he had received in this capacity, and made a statement which was very damaging to the ministry. Grenville joined the Fox party, and subsequently became a warm friend of Fox. This choice placed him in antagonism to the politics of his family, and the estrangement continued until the period of the French revolution, though the warm affection existing between himself and his brothers was never impaired. Grenville was prepossessing in person and a good speaker. Pitt sought his alliance ; Fox had a high opinion of his abilities, and if the India Bill had passed meant to appoint him governor-general.

In 1782 Grenville was entrusted by Rockingham and Fox with the task of arranging the terms of the treaty with the United States. Grenville went to Paris and made some progress with his mission, when he was suddenly recalled by the death of Lord Rockingham. He adhered to Fox, and supported the coalition ministry. After the dissolution of 1784 he lost his seat, but was returned for Aldborough in 1790. In 1791 Grenville brought forward a motion against the increased naval force known as the ‘Russian armament,’ but his resolution was defeated by 208 to 114. While member for Aldborough, Grenville joined the old whigs, and gave a general support to Pitt. In 1793 Grenville supported the Alien Bill and other government measures ; and in the following year he was sent with Earl Spencer as minister extraordinary to the court of Vienna. At the elections of 1796 Grenville was returned for the town of Buckingham, which he continued to represent until his retirement from parliament. In 1798 he was created a privy councillor.

In 1799 Grenville accepted the post of ambassador to Berlin, to propose an alliance against France. The ship in which he sailed was driven back by ice, and the Proserpine, to which he transferred himself, was wrecked