GROSVENOR, Richard (1731-1802), of Eaton Hall, nr. Chester.
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Family and Education
b. 18 June 1731, 1st s. of Sir Robert Grosvenor, 6th Bt., and bro. of Thomas Grosvenor. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1748. m. 19 July 1764, Henrietta, da. of Henry Vernon of Hilton Park, Staffs., 4s. suc. fa. as 7th Bt. 1 Aug. 1755; cr. Baron Grosvenor 8 Apr. 1761; Earl Grosvenor 5 July 1784.
Richard Grosvenor, like his father, was a Tory. But when Pitt took office Grosvenor became one of his strongest supporters; and on 23 Nov. 1758, when seconding the Address, described the Newcastle-Pitt Administration as ‘the glory of this country’, and ‘ended with particular compliments to Mr. Pitt, who was the shining light or rather the blazing star of this country’.1 Pitt flattered him, and Grosvenor responded. ‘If you think it necessary for me to be at the meeting of the Parliament’, he wrote to Pitt on 31 Oct. 1759,2 ‘a summons from you shall be immediately obeyed by your most sincere friend and servant.’ To which Pitt replied:3 ‘As you are manifesting your zeal for his Majesty and for your country in so essential a manner where you are [with the militia], it would be unpardonable selfishness in me to express the regret which losing the pleasure of seeing [you] must always occasion.’ Grosvenor obtained his peerage on Pitt’s recommendation.
In the Lords he did not follow Pitt. He seconded the Address of thanks for the peace preliminaries, 9 Dec. 1762, protested against the repeal of the Stamp Act, and supported the American war. His great object was to become lord lieutenant of Cheshire—‘this is a thing I am very earnest about’, he told Bute in 1761;4 and when again refused the office in 1780, felt slighted and hung back from supporting North. But William Knox assured North there was no fear of Grosvenor’s going into opposition, ‘for the family principles are too strongly monarchical to allow of a combination with republicans; and, besides, his Lordship does not forget, as some others have done, that he owes his peerage to the grace of his present Majesty’.5 He voted against Fox’s East India bill, and received his earldom at the recommendation of the younger Pitt.
He died 5 Aug. 1802.