George Granville 1666-1735

From Book Owners Online

George GRANVILLE or GRANDVILLE 1st Baron Lansdowne 1666-1735

Biographical Note

Born in Westminster, son of Bernard Granville, a member of a wealthy Cornish family whose elder brother was the Earl of Bath. Matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge 1677, but did not graduate; he was further educated in France. He began writing plays in his teens, which began to be staged in the 1690s; he was encouraged by John Dryden and in 1706 his musical play The British enchanters was a great success. He continued to develop his literary career while becoming MP for Fowey 1702-10; in 1701 he had inherited significant wealth from his father and uncle. He was secretary at war 1710-12, and held other government offices until 1714, when he was out of favour after the Hanoverian accession. He inherited Stowe, Cornwall in 1711 and the following year was made Baron Lansdowne. A Jacobite, he was arrested in 1715 and in 1720 moved to Paris where he became a member of the court of the Old Pretender; he subsequently made peace with the English establishment and returned to London in 1729.


Granville used an engraved armorial bookplate, made after his elevation to the peerage in 1712 (Franks 12491). His library was auctioned in London, beginning 22 June 1724; no catalogue survives, but the sale was advertised in several newspapers, comprising "the remainder of the lease of ... Sheffield House in Kensington, with all the improvements made there, by ... the Right Honourable Lord Lansdown ... together with ... the fine library lately belonging to the said noble Lord". His estates were much encumbered with debt when he died.