GRENVILLE, William Wyndham (1759-1834), of Dropmore Lodge, Bucks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



19 Feb. 1782 - 1784
1784 - 25 Nov. 1790

Family and Education

b. 25 Oct. 1759, 3rd s. of George Grenville of Wotton, and bro. of Thomas Grenville*. educ. Eton 1770-6; Christ Church, Oxf. 1776-80; L. Inn 1780. m. 18 July 1792, Hon. Anne Pitt, da. of Thomas Pitt, 1st Baron Camelford, s.p. cr. Baron Grenville 25 Nov. 1790.

Offices Held

Chief sec. to ld. lt. [I] Aug. 1782-May 1783; PC [I] 15 Sept. 1782; PC 31 Dec. 1783; paymaster-gen. Jan.-Mar. 1784; jt. paymaster-gen. Mar. 1784-Sept. 1789; member of Board of Trade Mar. 1784-Aug. 1786, vice-pres. Aug. 1786-Aug. 1789; commr. Board of Control Sept. 1784-Mar. 1790, pres. Mar. 1790-June 1793; sp. mission to The Hague July-Sept. 1787, to Paris Sept. 1787-Jan. 1788; sec. of state for Home affairs June 1789-June 1791; sec. of state for Foreign affairs Apr. 1791-Feb. 1801; ranger, St. James’s and Hyde Parks 1791-4; auditor of Exchequer 1794-d.; first ld. of Treasury Feb. 1806-Mar. 1807; commr. of Treasury [I] 1806; commr. for building new churches 1818.

Gov. Levant Co. 1800; high steward, Bristol 1810.

Maj. Bucks. yeomanry 1798, lt.-col. S. Bucks. 1803.

Speaker of House of Commons Jan.-June 1789.


In 1790 Grenville, by now one of his cousin Pitt’s two most influential coadjutors in government, was returned unopposed for Buckinghamshire on the family interest, but he did not take his seat in the new House of Commons. Pitt arranged his elevation to the peerage, which took place on the day Parliament met, in order to take the lead in the Lords and to exercise a restraining influence on Lord Chancellor Thurlow. The Duke of Richmond, piqued at being passed over for the role, argued that Grenville would put himself politically hors de combat, but he was apparently quite content with the move.1

As a peer Grenville, an able, serious-minded, reserved and austere man, widely known as ‘Boguey’,2 remained a major political figure for most of this period and achieved the highest office. He died 12 Jan. 1834.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Geo. III Corresp. i. 635, 636; Buckingham, Court and Cabinets, ii. 179-81; PRO 30/8/171, f. 157.
  • 2. Minto, i. 140.