Grenville, George, 1712-1770

Alternative names
Birth 1712-10-14
Death 1770-11-13

Biographical notes:

George Grenville, British Whig statesman and Prime Minister from 16 April 1763 - 13 July 1765.

From the description of George Grenville manuscript material : 2 items, 1732-1767 (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 261127049

English statesman.

From the description of Document signed : [London], 1763 May 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270509636

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Stowe, to his brother in Italy, 1731 Dec. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270503750

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Treasury Chambers, to an unidentified recipient, 1748/9 Mar. 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270505555

From the description of Document signed : [London], 1754 Nov. 9. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270509610

From the description of Document signed : [London], 1751 Oct. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270509644

Grenville, George (1712-1770), Whig prime minister, entered Parliament in 1741 as member for Buckingham, which he continued to represent till his death. In Parliament he was part of the "Boy Patriot" party which opposed Sir Robert Walpole. In December 1744 he became a lord of the admiralty in the administration of Henry Pelham in 1747 a Lord of the Treasury; and in 1754 Treasurer of the Navy and Privy Councillor. In 1758, he introduced and carried Navy Act of 1758 that speeded up the payment of seamen's wages. When his brother Richard and brother-in-law William Pitt resigned from the ministry, he remained in the administration of Lord Bute, functioning as Leader of the House of Commons. In May 1762 he was appointed Secretary of State for the Northern Department; in October First Lord of the Admiralty; and in April 1763 First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Prominent measures of his administration included the prosecution of John Wilkes and the passing of the American Stamp Act in 1765. However, when Rockingham agreed to accept office in 1765, the king dismissed Grenville. He never held office again.

From the description of Correspondence, 1742-1762. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702186223

British Prime Minister George Grenville (1712-1770) was born to Richard Grenville and Hester Temple. He studied law at Oxford and became a member of Parliament in 1741, sitting for the borough of Buckingham, which he represented until his death in 1770. Initially, Grenville allied with his uncle Lord Cobham and William Pitt. The Pelham ministry appointed him lord of the admiralty in 1744, and the lord of the treasury in 1747. Grenville married Elizabeth Wyndham in 1749 and they had nine children.

During the Duke of Newcastle's administration, Grenville served as treasurer of the navy beginning in 1754. Grenville's tenure in this post was interrupted twice. In 1755 he was dismissed for criticism of Newcastle's foreign policy; he returned to office in 1756 with the Devonshire ministry, but resigned the following year after the dismissal of Pitt and Temple. He again returned to office in June 1757, and continued to hold the position until 1762. Notably as treasurer, Grenville helped pass the Navy Act of 1758, which improved payment methods for naval workers. Grenville earned a reputation in the House of Commons as an effective speaker and an expert in parliamentary maneuverings, and maintained close associations with Temple and Pitt. However, he cut ties with Pitt in 1762, in favor of Lord Bute, who made him secretary of state for North America and first lord of the admiralty. In 1763, King George II appointed Grenville prime minister. In addition to his domestic initiatives, Grenville was a leading voice behind efforts to tax the American colonies, specifically through the Stamp Act (1765). Relations between Grenville and the king soured, and George II dismissed Grenville from the cabinet in 1765. He spent his remaining years as a member of the opposition party in the House of Commons. He died on November 13, 1770.

From the guide to the George Grenville papers, Grenville, George, papers, 1755-1757, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)


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