Friday, 15 May 2020

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;
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; who 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;
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;
Elizabeth; Catherine; Grace.
Sir Thomas was succeeded, in 1549, by his eldest son,

THOMAS GROSVENOR, of Eaton, Cheshire, who married Anne, daughter of Roger Bradshaigh, of Haigh, Lancashire, and had issue,
RICHARD, his heir;
Mary; Anne;
Mr Grosvenor was succeeded at his decease, in 1579, by his eldest son,

RICHARD GROSVENOR, of Eaton, High Sheriff of Chester, 1602, who 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, designated of Eaton, Cheshire.

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

Sir Richard was succeeded 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 its great estates in London and its vicinity.

Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Baronet. Photo Credit: The National Trust

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, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
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, in 1761, in the dignity of Baron Grosvenor.

In 1784, his lordship was advanced to the dignities of Viscount Belgrave and Earl Grosvenor.

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, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
THOMAS, Earl of Wilton;
Robert, created BARON EBURY; ancestor of Bendor Grosvenor.
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, in 1874, as DUKE OF WESTMINSTER.

Gerald, 6th Duke of Westminster

GERALD, 6th Duke (1951-2016), KG etc, was born at Omagh, County Tyrone.

Grosvenor House, London

GROSVENOR HOUSE, the former London residence of the Dukes of Westminster, was originally hidden from Park Lane by a high fence.

The quiet garden was pleasantly secluded in the very midst of London.

The entrance to the splendid mansion was in Upper Grosvenor Street, the fine colonnade having been erected in 1842.

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

Former London residence ~ Grosvenor House.

First published in November, 2015.  Westminster arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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