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Robert Grosvenor, 1st Baron Ebury PC (24 April 1801 – 18 November 1893), styled Lord Robert Grosvenor from 1831 to 1857, was a British courtier and Whig politician. He served as Comptroller of the Household between 1830 and 1834 and as Treasurer of the Household between 1846 and 1847. In 1857 he was ennobled as Baron Ebury.

The Lord Ebury

Lord Ebury caricatured by 'Ape' in Vanity Fair in 1871.
Comptroller of the Household
In office
23 November 1830 – 9 July 1834
MonarchWilliam IV
Prime MinisterThe Earl Grey
The Viscount Melbourne
Preceded byLord George Beresford
Succeeded byHenry Lowry-Corry
Treasurer of the Household
In office
3 August 1846 – 23 July 1847
Prime MinisterLord John Russell
Preceded byEarl Jermyn
Succeeded byLord Marcus Hill
Personal details
Born24 April 1801 (1801-04-24)
Died18 November 1893 (1893-11-19) (aged 92)
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Hon. Charlotte
Wellesley (d. 1891)
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford


Background and educationEdit

Grosvenor was the third son of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster and his wife Eleanora, daughter of Thomas Egerton, 1st Earl of Wilton. He was the younger brother of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster and Thomas Grosvenor Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton, who had succeeded their maternal grandfather in the earldom of Wilton 1814, while Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster and Richard Grosvenor, 1st Baron Stalbridge were his nephews.[1] He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford.[2]

Political careerEdit

In 1821 Grosvenor was returned to Parliament for Shaftesbury, a seat he held until 1826,[3] and then sat for Chester until 1847.[4] When the Whigs came to power in November 1830 under Lord Grey, Grosvenor was appointed Comptroller of the Household and admitted to the Privy Council.[5] He retained this office also when Lord Melbourne became Prime Minister in July 1834. The Whig government fell in November the same year. Grosvenor did not serve in Melbourne's second administration which lasted from 1835 to 1841. However, when the Whigs returned to office in 1846 under Lord John Russell he was made Treasurer of the Household,[6] which he remained until his resignation in July 1847.[7] The latter year Grosvenor was returned to Parliament for Middlesex, a seat he held until 1857.[8] However, he never returned to office. In September 1857 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Ebury, of Ebury Manor in the County of Middlesex.[9]

Apart from his political career Lord Ebury was an active campaigner for Protestantism in the Church of England, and was the founder and President of the society for the "revision of the prayer-book". He was also involved in the movement led by Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury for the improvement of factory working hours. In later life he came to oppose William Ewart Gladstone on the issue of Irish Home Rule. In September 1893, at the age of 92, Lord Ebury voted against the Second Home Rule Bill, by far the oldest peer to vote in the matter.

Lord Ebury was also a fervent supporter of Homeopathy, the medical doctrine introduced by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. He was a patron of both Dr Curie's short-lived Homoeopathic Hospital in Bloomsbury Square and Dr Quin's London Homoeopathic Hospital. Lord Ebury served as Chairman and President of the London Homoeopathic Hospital from its foundation in 1849 and during that time even defended the practice and the institution against its opponents in Parliament.[2]

Lord Ebury's mansion at Moor Park

In 1860 Lord Ebury led a business venture with the Great Western Railway to build a 13-kilometre (8.1 mi) railway from Watford, near his mansion at Moor Park, to Uxbridge in Buckinghamshire. The scheme failed and the line, the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway, only reached as far as Rickmansworth, 7.2 kilometres (4.5 mi) south of Watford. The railway never operated at a profit and eventually closed in 1952, but has since been converted into a cycle path which bears his name, the Ebury Way.[10]


Lord Ebury married the Honourable Charlotte Arbuthnot Wellesley, eldest daughter of Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley, in 1831. They had five sons and two daughters. One of the sons, the Honourable Norman Grosvenor, represented Chester in Parliament. Lord Ebury died in November 1893, aged 92, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son Robert.[2]


  1. ^ Robert Grosvenor, 1st Baron Ebury
  2. ^ a b c Lee, Sidney; Lee, Sidney, eds. (1901). "Grosvenor, Robert (1801-1893)" . Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). 22. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 2)
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 3)
  5. ^ "No. 18753". The London Gazette. 3 December 1830. p. 2537.
  6. ^ "No. 20632". The London Gazette. 14 August 1846. p. 2953.
  7. ^ "No. 20759". The London Gazette. 27 July 1847. p. 2752.
  8. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 2)
  9. ^ "No. 22039". The London Gazette. 11 September 1857. p. 3075.
  10. ^ Cooper, John (2014). "The Watford & Rickmansworth Railway". Rickmansworth Through Time. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445640839. Retrieved 20 January 2015.

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