GREVILLE, Hon. Francis (1667-1710), of the Castle, Warwick
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Family and Education
b. 1 July 1667, 1st s. of Fulke Greville†, 5th Baron Brooke, and bro. of Hon. Algernon*, Hon. Dodington* and Hon. Robert Greville*. educ. travelled abroad (France, Italy, Low Countries) 1685–7. m. c.26 Jan. 1693, Lady Anne Wilmot (d. 1703), da. of John, 2nd Earl of Rochester, and sis. and coh. of Charles, 3rd Earl of Rochester, wid. of Henry Bayntun*, 2s. 2da.1
Commr. rebuilding Warwick 1695.2
Greville appears to have completed his education by embarking on an extensive foreign tour in September 1685 in the company of a governor and servants. In 1695 he entered Parliament as a Tory on his father’s interest and though he played no active part in proceedings he took a consistently anti-Court line on important questions: he was forecast as a probable opponent of the Court in January 1696 on the proposed council of trade, opposed fixing the price of guineas at 22s., and on 25 Nov. opposed the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Despite initially refusing to sign the Association in February, he retained his place on the bench. He was granted a month’s leave of absence on 1 Feb. 1697. He did not stand for re-election in 1698, but in a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments was classed as a supporter of the Country party. He resumed his seat in the first general election of 1701. In spite of his earlier antipathy towards Court measures he was listed in February as likely to support the Court in connexion with the ‘Great Mortgage’. Before the second election in 1701 he was blacklisted as an opponent of preparations for war with France. Returned unopposed in November, he was classed by Robert Harley* as a Tory. He voted on 26 Feb. 1702 for the motion vindicating the Commons’ proceedings in the impeachments, and in the contested election at Warwick in 1702 topped the poll in an easy victory.3
Though Greville’s parliamentary activities cannot be distinguished from those of his two younger brothers, Algernon and Dodington, it would seem likely that references in the Journals to ‘Mr Greville’ relate mostly to Francis, he being both the senior and longest-serving of the brothers: this assumption gains additional support from the fact that these references cease in 1709, a year before he died. On 15 and 17 Dec. 1702 he was instrumental in setting up a conference with the Lords to discuss their amendments to the bill against occasional conformity. Sometime in mid-March 1704 Lord Nottingham (Daniel Finch†) noted him as a likely supporter in the event of an attack over the Scotch Plot. He affirmed his support for the renewed attempt to outlaw occasional conformity in the 1704–5 session, acting as teller on 23 Nov. for giving the reintroduced bill a second reading; and on the 28th voting for the Tack.4
Returned for Warwick in 1705, Greville voted on 25 Oct. against the Court candidate for the Speakership. A published analysis of the new Parliament classed him as a ‘True Churchman’. In the 1705–6 session a ‘Mr Greville’, quite probably Francis, was teller on four occasions: on 6 Feb. 1706, against the privilege committee hearing causes on Thursdays, Saturdays and Tuesdays; on the 18th, on an amendment to the regency bill; on the 27th, against the Whig John Lawton*, in the Newcastle-under-Lyme election; and on 4 Mar., against passing the bill for further preventing the growth of popery. There was just one likely tellership in the following session, on 23 Jan. 1707 in support of the Tory, Philip Herbert*, in the disputed Rye election. An analysis of Members compiled early in 1708 naturally classed Greville as a Tory. He was returned unopposed later that year, and in the first session of the new Parliament may have acted as a teller six times: on 21 Dec., in favour of interrupting consideration of the Whitchurch election case by adjourning the House; on 1 Feb. 1709, opposing the election of John Lawton for Newcastle-under-Lyme; on the 5th, supporting the election of the Tory Sir Charles Blois, 1st Bt.*, for Dunwich; on the 24th, in favour of giving a second reading to the tobacco bill; on 1 Mar., against the Whig candidates in the disputed return for Coventry; and finally on the 3rd, also in connexion with the Coventry case, against the Whig Sir Orlando Bridgeman, 2nd Bt.* As a man of High Church sympathy, Greville opposed the impeachment proceedings against Dr Sacheverell during February and March 1710.
Greville died on 11 Oct. 1710, the day after suffering ‘a fit of an apoplexy which ended in convulsions’, just seven days after being returned unopposed in the general election, and was buried at St. Mary’s, Warwick. He was followed to the grave 11 days later by his father, and the barony to which Francis had been heir was now inherited by his elder son, Fulke, whose own enjoyment of the honour was to end in an early death in February 1711 while still an undergraduate at University College, Oxford. Francis Greville’s next son, William, thereupon succeeded as 7th Lord Brooke.5
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes ed. Crisp, xi. 154–7; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 22; v. 325.
- 2. Great Fire of Warwick (Dugdale Soc. xxxvi), 121.
- 3. Warws. RO, Warwick Castle mss CR 1886/Box 412, ‘accounts, 1686’; CSP Dom. 1685, p. 442; Bodl. Ballard 25, f. 20; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs. 122; Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. lix. 54.
- 4. CSP Dom. 1703–4, p. 279.
- 5. Warws. RO, Mordaunt mss CR 1386/iii/62, Ld. Godolphin (Sidney†) to Sir John Mordaunt, 5th Bt.*, 10 Oct. 1710; Vis. Eng. and Wales Notes, xi. 155.