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James Grenville, 1st Baron Glastonbury

Portrait of James Grenville c.1810

James Grenville, 1st Baron Glastonbury, PC (6 July 1742 – 26 April 1825) of Butleigh Court, Somerset was a United Kingdom politician, who was a member of both houses of Parliament during his career.[1]


Grenville was the eldest son of James Grenville MP (12 February 1715 – 14 September 1783) and a first cousin of George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, 1st Marquess of Buckingham. He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford.

The Grenvilles were the most prominent aristocratic family in the south-eastern English county of Buckinghamshire in the 18th and early 19th centuries. For much of this time they supplied one of the two parliamentary representatives of Buckinghamshire and both of those from the town of Buckingham. The family produced some prominent national political figures, including two Prime Ministers (George Grenville and William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville). They were also related to William Pitt the Elder and William Pitt the Younger.


Grenville served as Member of Parliament for the Yorkshire borough of Thirsk 1766–1768. He sat for his family borough of Buckingham 1770–1790, from 1774 to 1780 in partnership with his twin brother, Richard. He then represented the county seat of Buckinghamshire 1790–1797.

He succeeded his father in 1783. As a politician he generally followed his family connection up to 1801 and after 1806, but between those years he continued to support William Pitt the Younger instead of becoming closer to Charles James Fox as most of his politically active Grenville relatives did.

He held junior ministerial office as a Lord of the Treasury March 1782 – March 1783. William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne offered to make Grenville Chancellor of the Exchequer or Secretary at War, but he declined these appointments. He was sworn of the Privy Council on 26 December 1783. He was a member of the Board of Trade from 1784 until his death.

On 20 October 1797 he was created Baron Glastonbury. Lord Glastonbury never married and the title became extinct on his death in 1825. He left his estate to the bibliophile Thomas Grenville, with a remainder, including Butleigh Court, to a relative, the Reverend George Neville of Windsor, later Dean of Windsor, who then added the name of Grenville to his own.[2]


  1. ^ "GRENVILLE, James (1742–1825), of Butleigh Court, Som". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Butleigh". British History Online. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  • The House of Commons 1754–1790, by Sir Lewis Namier and John Brooke (HMSO 1964)
  • Political Change and Continuity 1760–1885: A Buckinghamshire Study, by Richard W. Davis (David & Charles 1972)
  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844–50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Frankland, Bt
Henry Grenville
Member of Parliament for Thirsk
With: Sir Thomas Frankland, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Frankland, Bt
William Frankland
Preceded by
George Grenville
Henry Grenville
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
With: Henry Grenville 1770–1774
Richard Grenville 1774–1780
Richard Aldworth-Neville 1780–1782
William Wyndham Grenville 1782–1784
Charles Edmund Nugent 1784–1790
George Nugent 1790
Succeeded by
George Nugent
Sir Alexander Hood
Preceded by
William Grenville
The Earl Verney
Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire
With: The Earl Verney 1790–1791
Marquess of Titchfield 1791–1797
Succeeded by
Earl Temple
Marquess of Titchfield
Peerage of Great Britain
New creation Baron Glastonbury