LEVESON GOWER, George Granville, Visct, Trentham (1758-1833).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



26 Jan. 1779 - 1784
15 May 1787 - 25 Feb. 1799

Family and Education

b. 9 Jan. 1758, 1st surv. s. of Granville Leveson Gower, Visct. Trentham, by his 2nd w. Lady Louisa Egerton, da. of Scroop, 1st Duke of Bridgwater.  educ. Westminster 1767-74; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 1775.  m. 4 Sept. 1785, Elizabeth, s.j. Countess of Sutherland [S], da. and h. of William, 18th Earl of Sutherland [S], 5s. 2da.  Styled Visct. Trentham until 1786, Earl Gower 1 Mar. 1786-26 Oct. 1803; summoned to the Lords in his father’s barony as Baron Gower 25 Feb. 1799;  suc. to estates of his uncle Francis, 3rd Duke of Bridgwater, 8 Mar. 1803, and fa. as 2nd Mq. of Stafford 26 Oct. 1803; K.G. 22 Mar. 1806; cr. Duke of Sutherland 28 Jan. 1833.

Offices Held

P.C. 28 May 1790; ambassador to France 1790-2; joint postmaster gen. 1799-1801.

Ld. lt. Sutherland 1794-1831, Staffs. 1755-1800.


Trentham was returned on the family interest for Newcastle soon after he had come of age. In each of the seven recorded divisions February 1779-April 1780 he voted with Administration, and until February 1782 was always classed as one of their dependable followers. His vote of 20 Feb. 1782, on the censure motion against the Admiralty, is the last he is known to have given for North’s Administration; he was absent from the division of 22 Feb.; did not vote in those of 27 Feb. and 8 Mar.; and on 15 Mar. went away before the division.1

Trentham’s father, Earl Gower, was at first well disposed towards Shelburne’s Administration; but in the Lords’ debate on the peace preliminaries, 17 Feb. 1783, declared that ‘the peace did not come up to his expectations’ and abstained from voting.2 Trentham in the Commons voted against the peace, according to Horace Walpole3 under pressure from the Duke of Bridgwater, ‘who hated Lord Shelburne’.

Trentham did not vote on Fox’s East India bill. In December 1783 Gower took office with Pitt, and Trentham was classed as ‘Administration’ in Robinson’s list of January 1784 and Stockdale’s of 19 Mar. He was not a candidate at the general election of 1784, which is surprising in view of his father’s political position; but was returned unopposed for Staffordshire in 1787. He voted with Pitt on the Regency. There is no record before 1790 of his having spoken in the House.

He seems to have been a shy young man, with little interest in politics. Lord Carlisle, his brother-in-law, wrote about him to Gower from Dublin, 23 Nov. 1781:4 ‘I have the pleasure to acquaint you that he succeeds amongst us beyond my most sanguine expectation; his reserve is amazingly worn off, he is perfectly well bred, and has as much the manners of a gentleman as any young person I ever met with.’

He died 19 July 1833.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. I. R. Christie, End of North’s Ministry, 357, 383.
  • 2. Debrett, xi. 93.
  • 3. Last Jnls. ii. 482.
  • 4. HMC Carlisle, 533.