Monday, 30 November 2015

1st Duke of Westminster

This noble family traces its descent in the male line to an illustrious house which flourished in Normandy for a century and a half before the conquest of England, and obtained its surname from having held the high and powerful office in that principality of LE GROVENOUR, from which they took their surname, variously written Grosvenor, Le Grosvenour, Grovenor, Le Groveneur, and Le Grovenour.

The founder of the English Grosvenors,

GILBERT LE GROSVENOR, came over in the train of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, and was nephew of Hugh (Lupus) d'Avranches (c1047-1101), afterwards 1st Earl of Chester, uncle of the victorious monarch.

ROBERT, son of Gilbert, obtained lands in Cheshire from the said Hugh, Earl of Chester, and was lineal ancestor, through six generations, of

SIR ROBERT GROSVENOR, who proved his pedigree before a court of chivalry in defence of his arms, azure, a bend or, against Richard le Scrope, who challenged them.

The descent of Sir Robert was fully admitted, but the arms were adjudged to Scrope, and in conclusion Sir Robert Grosvenor was recommended to bear azure, a garb or, from the arms of the ancient Earls of Chester, which has ever since continued the cognizance of his descendants.

The immediate ancestor of the ennobled family before us,

SIR THOMAS LE GROSVENOR, Lord of Hulme, married a daughter of Sir William Phesant, Knight, and had three sons, viz.
ROBERT, Lord of Hulme;
RALPH, of whom presently;
THOMAS.
The second son,

RALPH LE GROSVENOR, wedded firstly, Joan, only daughter and heiress of John Eton (now Eaton), of Cheshire, and had, with other issue, his heir,

ROBERT GROSVENOR, who espoused Catherine, daughter of Sir William Norris, of Speke, Lancashire, and was succeeded by his second, but eldest surviving son,

RICHARD GROSVENOR. This gentleman married, in the first year of HENRY VIII, Catherine, third daughter and one of the co-heiresses of Richard Cotton, of Hamstall Ridware, Staffordshire, and had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Richard;
John;
Anthony;
Elizabeth; Eleanor; Catherine;
Anne; Margaret; Maud; Dorothy;
Mary; Ursula.
Richard Grosvenor was succeeded at his decease, in 1542, by his eldest son,

SIR THOMAS GROSVENOR, Knight, who wedded Maud, daughter of Sir William Pole, Knight, of Poole, Cheshire, and by her had issue,
THOMAS, his heir;
Richard;
Elizabeth; Catherine; Grace.
Sir Thomas was succeeded, in 1549, by his eldest son,

THOMAS GROSVENOR, of Eaton. This gentleman married Anne, daughter of Roger Bradshaigh, of Haigh, Lancashire, and had,
RICHARD, his heir;
Mary; Anne;
Julian.
Thomas was succeeded at his decease, in 1579, by his eldest son,

RICHARD GROSVENOR, of Eaton, who served the office of High Sheriff of Chester, 1602.

He wedded Christian, daughter of Sir Richard Brooke, of Norton Priory, Cheshire, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Anne; Christian; Frances;
Catherine; Eleanor; Margaret.
Mr Grosvenor was succeeded at his decease, in 1619, by his only surviving son,

SIR RICHARD GROSVENOR, Knight (1585-1645), who was created a baronet in 1622.

He married firstly, in 1600, Lettice, second daughter of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, Knight, and had by her,
RICHARD, his heir;
Christian; Mary; Grace.
Sir Richard wedded secondly, in 1614, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Wilbraham, of Woodhey; aand thirdly, in 1621, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Peter Warburton, of Grafton, both in Cheshire, but had no other issue.

The 1st Baronet was succeeded at his decease by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD GROSVENOR, 2nd Baronet (1604-64), who espoused, in 1628, Sydney, daughter of Sir Roger Mostyn, Knight, of Mostyn, Flintshire, and had several children.

Sir Richard was succeeded by his grandson,

SIR THOMAS GROSVENOR, 3rd Baronet (1656-1700), who wedded, in 1677, Mary, only daughter and heiress of Alexander Davies, of Ebury, Middlesex, by which alliance the Grosvenor family acquired their great estates in London and its vicinity.

Sir Thomas was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD GROSVENOR, 4th Baronet (1689-1732), who espoused firstly, Jane, daughter of Sir Edward Wyndham, of Orchard Wyndham, Somerset, by whom he had no surviving issue.

He married secondly, Diana, only daughter of Sir George Warburton, of Arley, Cheshire, but had no issue.

Sir Richard was succeeded by his brother,

SIR THOMAS GROSVENOR, 5th Baronet (1693-1733), MP for Chester, who died unmarried and was succeeded by his brother,

SIR ROBERT GROSVENOR, 6th Baronet (1695-1755), who espoused, in 1730, Jane, only surviving child and heiress of Thomas Warre, by whom he had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Thomas;
Mary; Elizabeth; Dorothy.
Sir Robert was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR RICHARD GROSVENOR, 7th Baronet (1731-1802), twentieth in descent from Gilbert le Grosvenor, the companion-in-arms of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

Sir Richard was elevated to the peerage by the title of Baron Grosvenor, in 1761; and advanced to the dignities of Viscount Belgrave and Earl Grosvenor, in 1784.

His lordship wedded, in 1764, Henrietta, daughter of Henry Vernon, of Hilton Park, Staffordshire, and his wife, Henrietta, daughter of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, by whom he left an only surviving child,

ROBERT, 2nd Earl (1767-1845), who espoused, in 1794, Eleanor, only daughter of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Wilton, by whom he had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
THOMAS, Earl of Wilton;
Robert, 1st Baron Ebury.
His lordship was advanced to the dignity of a marquessate, in 1831, as Marquess of Westminster.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

RICHARD, 2nd Marquess (1795-1869), KG, PC, who wedded, in 1819, Elizabeth, younger daughter of George, 1st Duke of Sutherland.

His second and eldest surviving son,

HUGH LUPUS, 3rd Marquess (1825-99), KG, PC, JP, was advanced to the dignity of a dukedom, as DUKE OF WESTMINSTER, in 1874.


GERALD, 6th and present Duke, was born at Omagh, County Tyrone.

Grosvenor House, London

Ancestral and former seats ~ Eaton Hall, Cheshire; Halkin Castle, Flintshire; Motcombe House, Dorset; Moor Park, Hertfordshire.

Former town residence ~ Grosvenor House, London.

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