GREVILLE, Hon. Algernon (c.1677-1720), of Knowle, Warws. and Dean Street, London
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Family and Education
b. c.1677, 4th but 1st surv. s. of Fulke Greville†, 5th Baron Brooke, of Beauchamps Court, Warws. by Sarah, da. of Francis Dashwood of London, merchant and alderman, and sis. of Sir Francis, 1st Bt.*, and Sir Samuel*; bro. of Hon. Dodington*, Hon. Francis* and Hon. Robert Greville*. educ. Magdalen Coll. Oxf. matric. 22 June 1694, aged 17. m. 24 Dec. 1711, Mary, da. and coh. of Ld. Arthur Somerset (s. of Henry Somerset†, 1st Duke of Beaufort, and bro. of Charles Somerset, Mq. of Worcester*), 1s. 2da.1
Ent. RN 1693, capt. 1703, half-pay by 1713.2
Initially commissioned in the navy in 1693, Greville may have owed his further advancement to Admiral Sir George Rooke*, an acquaintance of Greville’s father. He was returned for Warwick on the family interest at the by-election in December 1699 brought about by the death of his elder brother Robert. In 1700 Lord Brooke settled on Algernon, as the next eldest of his sons, the manors of Knowle in Warwickshire and Sawley in Yorkshire which Robert had held for life. Since Greville continued to pursue his naval career during his time in the Commons, it is unlikely that he paid much attention to his parliamentary duties. References to ‘Mr Greville’ in the Journals are more likely to mean his eldest brother Francis. Algernon stood down in the first election of 1701, but was returned again, unopposed, at the second. It is possible that he was not so committed a Tory as his brothers. Analysing the returns to the Parliament of December 1701, Lord Spencer (Charles*) went so far as to conclude that Greville’s election had been a Whig ‘gain’, while Robert Harley* on the other hand classed him as a Tory. He was seen as a probable opponent of the Tack in a forecast prepared on 30 Oct. 1704 and was also included among the Members whom Harley wished to be lobbied. It is not clear how Greville actually behaved in the division on 28 Nov.: the published list of the vote shows him supporting the Tack, while another annotated list seems to suggest that he either opposed or abstained. Such uncertainty evidently arose because of his very infrequent attendance.3
On 31 Mar. 1703 Greville was commissioned captain of the frigate Garland, but in August was one of five commanders of ships-of-the-line put on trial for failing to attack three French men-of-war in an engagement ‘on the northern coast’, though he and two others were ‘honourably acquitted’. By 1705 he was in command of a man-of-war, a fact noted in a list of placemen published in that year. It may well have been the demands of active service that induced him to stand down at the 1705 election. In November, while on patrol in the Channel, he captured a French frigate, the sole distinguishing feature of an otherwise unremarkable naval career. The death of his brother Francis occasioned another by-election at Warwick in December 1710, and, as the senior representative of the family, Greville put himself forward, only to be defeated by a Tory opponent, Hon. Charles Leigh*. He retired from active naval service probably at about the time of his marriage in 1711: certainly by May 1713 his name was on the half-pay list. His union with Mary Somerset, a cousin of the 2nd Duke of Beaufort, reinforced a pre-existing connexion between their two families, the Duke having in 1706 married Greville’s niece. In May 1712 he secured a private Act, managed through the Commons by the Warwickshire Tory, Sir John Mordaunt, 5th Bt., to confirm a marriage article settling Sawley on his wife in the event of his demise, and thereafter on any male issue of the marriage. In 1715 he was appointed executor to the will of Mary, Duchess of Beaufort, his wife’s grandmother and the widow of the first Duke.4
Greville died on 28 Apr. 1720 and, in accordance with his wishes, was interred ‘privately’ in the family vault at St. Mary’s, Warwick. A man of considerable wealth, he had been able to provide his two daughters with a portion of £6,000 each. His only son and heir Fulke† (Greville) was returned for Monmouth in 1747 by his kinsman, the 4th Duke of Beaufort (Lord Charles Noel Somerset†).5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, xi. 154–7; HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 218; IGI, London; PCC 106 Shaller.
- 2. Add. 70310, ‘General list of the captains of her Majesty’s fleet’, 22 Aug. 1711; Charnock, Biog. Navalis, iii. 246–7; CJ, xvii. 374.
- 3. HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 217–18.
- 4. Charnock, 246–7; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 326; Add. 70310, ‘General list of the captains . . .’; HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 2