Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford


Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford

Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, 2nd Earl Gower PC (4 August 1721 – 26 October 1803) was a British politician.

Family

He was a son of John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower and his wife Lady Evelyn Pierrepont. His maternal grandparents were Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull and his first wife Lady Mary Feilding. Mary was a daughter of William Feilding, 3rd Earl of Denbigh and his wife Mary King.

His father was a prominent Tory politician who became the first major Tory to enter government since the succession of George I of Great Britain, joining the administration of John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville in 1742.

Career

Gower himself was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1744, the younger Gower was elected to parliament. With the death of his elder brother in 1746, he became known by the courtesy title of Viscount Trentham until he succeeded his father as Earl Gower in 1754.

Gower was associated with the faction of the Duke of Bedford, who was his brother-in-law, and as a member of that faction was given many governmental positions. Following Bedford's death in 1771, Gower became leader of the group, and as Lord President in the administration of Frederick North, Lord North was a key supporter of a hard-line policy towards the American colonists.

Gower was frustrated by what he saw as the North administration's inept handling of the American Revolutionary War, and he resigned from the cabinet in 1779. When North resigned in March 1782, Gower was approached to form a ministry, but he refused, and he refused subsequent overtures from both Lord Shelburne and the Fox-North coalition to enter the government. Instead, he became a key figure in bringing about the fall of the Fox-North coalition, and was rewarded with the position of Lord President once again in the new administration of William Pitt the Younger. Although he soon exchanged this office for that of Lord Privy Seal, and gradually began to withdraw from public affairs, he remained a cabinet minister until his retirement in 1794. In 1786, he had been created Marquess of Stafford as a reward for his services.

Stafford died at Trentham Hall in 1803.

Marriages and children

Stafford married three times.
*He married first in 1744 Elizabeth Fazakerley, a daughter of Nicholas Fazakerley. Elizabeth died of smallpox two years later.
*In 1748 he married again to Lady Louisa Egerton, daughter of the Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgewater (and Bedford's niece). She died in 1761. They were parents to four children:
**George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland (9 January, 175819 July, 1833).
**Louisa Leveson-Gower (d. 29 July, 1827). She married Sir Archibald MacDonald, 1st baronet.
**Margaret Caroline Leveson-Gower (d. 27 January, 1824). She married Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle and was mother of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle.
**Anne Leveson-Gower (d. 16 November, 1832). She married Edward Harcourt, Archbishop of York.
*He married a third time in 1768 to Lady Susannah Stewart. She was a daughter Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Galloway. They were parents to four children:
**Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Granville (12 October 17738 January, 1846).
**Georgiana Augusta Leveson-Gower (d. 24 March, 1806). She married William Eliot, 2nd Earl of St Germans.
**Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower (d. 12 August, 1854). She married Henry Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort and was mother of Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort.
**Susan Leveson-Gower (d. 26 May, 1838). She married Dudley Ryder, 1st Earl of Harrowby.

Honours and Offices


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