GRANVILLE, Sir Bevill (1665-1706).
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Family and Education
bap. 10 Mar. 1665, 1st s. of Bernard Granville I* and bro. of Bernard II* and George Granville*. educ. travelled abroad (France) 1676; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1677, MA 1679; acads. at Paris 1682–5. unm. Kntd. 28 May 1686; suc. fa. 1701.1
Capt. 10 Ft. 1685, maj. 1687, col. 1693–1703; maj.-gen. 1704; gov. Pendennis Castle 1696–1703; gov. Barbados 1703–6.2
Freeman, Portsmouth 1686.3
Master of the swans 1690–d.4
Granville was returned for Lostwithiel in 1690, no doubt owing to the influence of his uncle the Earl of Bath, lord lieutenant of Cornwall. He was classed as a Court supporter by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) in 1690, although the marquess was doubtful as to his party allegiance, possibly owing to the feud between himself and Bath. Robert Harley* also classed him as a Court supporter in April 1691. Granville was not active in the Commons, spending considerable periods abroad as an army officer. He served with distinction in Flanders and in 1692 led Bath’s regiment at the battle of Steenkerk. On coming home from Flanders in December 1693 he was received by the King, to whom he gave an account of the military situation on the continent. Soon afterwards he succeeded his uncle as colonel of the 10th Foot. During this Parliament his name appears on various lists of placemen, although Grascome thought him a placeman but not a Court supporter in a list originally drawn up in 1693, but taken up to 1695. He was also listed as a ‘friend’ by Henry Guy*, probably in connexion with the attack upon Guy in the 1694–5 session. Granville fought a duel in June 1695 with the Marquis de Rada, a French colonel in the allied army.5
Returned for Fowey in the general election of 1695, Granville was forecast as likely to oppose the government in the division of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade, but signed the Association, and voted for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. He was in the House on 25 Nov., the day of the crucial division on Sir John Fenwick’s† attainder, but ‘went away’ before the vote was taken. In July 1697 he was accused by several officers of illegal practices in running his regiment and court-martialled, but was later acquitted. He was listed twice as a placeman in 1698 and after his re-election in that year, was listed as a placeman and a Court supporter. He voted against the disbanding bill on 18 Jan. 1699. Following a petition to the Commons, in February and March 1699 he managed through the House a bill to naturalize a Protestant refugee who had served in his regiment. At the end of the year his regiment was reduced in England and transferred to the Irish establishment. In a list of interests compiled in the first half of 1700 he was grouped with the Bath connexion. He did not stand for Parliament again.6
After the death of his father in 1701, Granville petitioned for the arrears on his father’s pension, amounting to £8,000, and also for a bounty of £300, but received only £100 from the King. With the accession of Queen Anne, which saw his uncle Hon. John* and brother George in favour at court, he was appointed governor of Barbados in July 1702. After much delay he sailed in mid-March 1703, arriving on 10 May. As early as July 1703 the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†) was being applied to as Sir Bevill’s ‘sole patron’ to offer his protection to him, otherwise ‘your Grace’s kind intentions in sending him to Barbados will prove mightily to his prejudice’. Such foreboding was to prove prescient as several key members of his force died shortly after his arrival, and he was ill himself by October 1703. He seems to have been in constant conflict with the planters, who accused him of tyranny and extortion, and he survived an attempt on his life in 1704. These disputes were communicated to London for resolution. Fortunately, his brother George proved a more than adequate advocate of his interests and Granville was vindicated by the Privy Council in July 1705. However, his Barbadian critics returned to the fray with a petition to the Lords. With that postponed to the following session, Granville was given leave to return home. In the meantime his brother had been active in trying to secure a new post for him. In September 1705 he approached Lord Treasurer Godolphin (Sidney†) for the governorship of Guernsey, only to be told that Marlborough had promised this post to his own brother, Charles Churchill*. In September 1706 George Granville was concerned that his brother’s successor should not be declared until his arrival home so as not to ‘give occasion of triumph to those enemies who have so much persecuted him, and whom he has acquired by nothing but pursuing strictly her Majesty’s service and the interest of the island’. As George Granville informed Marlborough, via Henry St. John II*, Granville ‘comes back no richer than he went . . . and has reaped no advantage by being so long in the West Indies, but the satisfaction of having served [the Queen] faithfully and zealously’. St. John himself thought that Bevill had probably ‘brought from the Barbados enough to make him easy, though not in any degree such a fortune as governors usually amass’. However, Granville did not live to enjoy it, dying on 15 Sept. 1706 shortly after setting sail from Barbados. News of his death reached England early in November 1706. He bequeathed his estate to his brother George.7
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley
- 1. Westminster City Lib. St. Martin-in-the-Fields par. reg.; E. Handasyde, Granville the Polite, 7, 10.
- 2. Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 33.
- 3. R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 368.
- 4. Post Man, 20–22 Apr. 1690; N. F. Ticehurst, Mute Swan in Eng. 65.
- 5. Boyer, Wm. III, ii. 337; R. Granville, Granville Fam. 408; Luttrell, iii. 240, 491; Post Boy, 27–29 June 1695.
- 6. Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, i. 82; Luttrell, iv. 254, 392; CJ, xii. 410.
- 7. Granville, 408–10; CSP Dom. 1702–3, p. 171; CSP Col. 1702–3, p. 485; 1704–5, pp. xxix–xxxii, 255–60, 407–11; Add. 61306, f. 110; 61131, f. 187; HMC Lords, n.s. vi. 363–7; HMC Portland, iv. 170–1; HMC Bath, i. 77, 121; Luttrell, vi. 105; PCC 234 Eedes.