GRENVILLE, Richard II (c.1542-91), of Stowe in Kilkhampton, Cornw. and Buckland Abbey, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1542, 1st s. of Roger Grenville by Thomasine, da. of Thomas Cole of Slade. educ. M. Temple 1559. m. c.1565, Mary, da. of Sir John St. Leger of Annery, Devon, 4s. inc. Bernard 3da. suc. fa. 1545. Kntd. 1577.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cork c.1568; j.p. Cornw. from c.1573; sheriff 1576-7, commr. musters by 1577, dep. lt. 1587; v.-adm. to Sir Thomas Howard 1591.


Of an old Cornish family with a tradition of public service, Grenville was an obvious choice as knight of the shire. He was on good terms with the find Earl of Bedford, and, unlike his cousin Ralegh and Sir Francis Drake, he remained above all a country gentleman. No speeches by him are recorded in either of his Parliaments, and it is difficult to distinguish his committee activity from that of, particularly, George Grenville I. However, as he was a knight of the shire in 1571 it is probable that it was he who was the Mr. ‘Greithfield’, ‘Grenefeld’ or ‘Greenfeild’ who is mentioned in the journals as serving on the subsidy committee (7 Apr.). The Mr. Greenefelde or Grenefeld on committees concerned with religion (28 Apr., 4 May) could have been either man. In 1584 he was given his correct first name (but still called Greenfield etc.) when appointed to committees concerning the Sabbath day (27 Nov.), tithes (3 Dec.), the hue and cry (3 Dec.) and a private bill for Walter Ralegh (14 Dec.). As knight for Cornwall he was eligible to attend the subsidy committee appointed on 24 Feb. 1585.

It was in 1591 that, as vice-admiral to Sir Thomas Howard, he sailed in the Revenge on his last and fatal voyage upon which his legendary fame rests. Administration of his estate was granted to his son Bernard in February 1593. An inquisition post mortem was taken at Bodmin 27 Sept. 1592, when it was stated that he had died circa 1 Sept. 1591.

DNB; A. L. Rowse, Sir Richard Grenville; Bedford mss. Grenville to Bedford, 1 Nov. 1579; CJ, i. 83, 86, 87; D’Ewes, 159, 180, 181, 333, 335, 339; Lansd. 43, anon. jnl. f. 171; PCC admon. act bk. 1593, f. 45; C142/233/119.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.