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Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford

Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, PC (4 August 1721 – 26 October 1803), 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.


The Marquess of Stafford

1stMarquessOfStafford.jpg
Lord Privy Seal
In office
1755–1757
MonarchGeorge II
Prime MinisterThe Duke of Newcastle
The Duke of Devonshire
Preceded byThe Duke of Marlborough
Succeeded byThe Earl Temple
In office
1784–1794
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterHon. William Pitt the Younger
Preceded byThe Duke of Rutland
Succeeded byThe Earl Spencer
Lord President of the Council
In office
22 December 1767 – 24 November 1779
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Chatham
The Duke of Grafton
Lord North
Preceded byThe Earl of Northington
Succeeded byThe Earl Bathurst
In office
19 December 1783 – 1 December 1784
MonarchGeorge III
Prime MinisterHon. William Pitt the Younger
Preceded byThe Viscount Stormont
Succeeded byThe Lord Camden
Personal details
Born4 August 1721 (1721-08-04)
Died26 October 1803 (1803-10-27) (aged 82)
Trentham Hall, Staffordshire
NationalityBritish
Political partyTory
Spouse(s)(1) Elizabeth Fazakerley
(d. 1746)
(2) Lady Louisa Egerton
(d. 1761)
(3) Lady Susanna Stewart
(d. 1805)
Children
ParentsJohn Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower
Lady Evelyn Pierrepont
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford

BackgroundEdit

Stafford was a son of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower (1694–1754) 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 a daughter of William Feilding, 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 Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford.[1]

 
Lodge at Lilleshall Abbey, home of the Leveson family after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
 
Coat of arms of Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, KG, PC

Political careerEdit

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, who was his brother-in-law, and 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, and 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, and 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, and 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, and gradually began to withdraw from public affairs, he remained a cabinet minister until his retirement later 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.[1]

He died at Trentham Hall, Staffordshire, on 26 October 1803.[1] He was the last surviving member of the Bloomsbury Gang.[2]

Marriages and childrenEdit

 
Trentham Hall, 1880

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:

Stafford married thirdly Lady Susanna Stewart, daughter of Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway, 23 May 1768. They were parents to four children:

When Lord Stafford died at the age of 82, he was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son George from his second marriage who was created Duke of Sutherland in 1833. The Marchioness of Stafford died in August 1805.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Barker 1893.
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Stafford, Earls and Marquesses of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 25 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 756.
Attribution

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBarker, George Fisher Russell (1893). "Leveson-Gower, Granville (1721-1803)". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

External linksEdit

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Marquess of Carnarvon
Andrew Hill
Member of Parliament for Bishop's Castle
1744–1747
With: Andrew Hill
Succeeded by
Samuel Child
John Lytton
Preceded by
Viscount Perceval
Charles Edwin
Member of Parliament for Westminster
1747–1754
With: Sir Peter Warren 1747–53
Edward Cornwallis 1753–54
Succeeded by
Sir John Crosse
Edward Cornwallis
Preceded by
Henry Vernon
Thomas Anson
Member of Parliament for Lichfield
1754
With: Thomas Anson
Succeeded by
Henry Vernon
Thomas Anson
Political offices
Preceded by
The 3rd Duke of Marlborough
Lord Privy Seal
1755–1757
Succeeded by
The Earl Temple
Preceded by
The Duke of Dorset
Master of the Horse
1757–1760
Succeeded by
The Earl of Huntingdon
Preceded by
The 4th Duke of Marlborough
Lord Chamberlain
1763–1765
Succeeded by
The Duke of Portland
Preceded by
The Earl of Northington
Lord President of the Council
1767–1779
Succeeded by
The Earl Bathurst
Preceded by
The Viscount Stormont
Lord President of the Council
1783–1784
Succeeded by
The Lord Camden
Preceded by
The Duke of Rutland
Lord Privy Seal
1784–1794
Succeeded by
The Earl Spencer
Court offices
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Robinson
Master of the Great Wardrobe
1760–1763
Succeeded by
The Lord Le Despencer
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl Gower
Lord Lieutenant and
Custos Rotulorum of Staffordshire

1755–1799
Succeeded by
Earl Gower
Preceded by
The Marquess of Downshire
Senior Privy Counsellor
1793–1803
Succeeded by
The Marquess Townshend
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Marquess of Stafford
1786–1803
Succeeded by
George Leveson-Gower
Preceded by
John Leveson-Gower
Earl Gower
1754–1803
Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Leveson-Gower
Baron Gower
1754–1799
Succeeded by
George Leveson-Gower