George Grenville papers, 1755-1757
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Grenville, George, 1712-1770
- The George Grenville papers contain letters from Grenville's political associates from 1756 to 1757 during his tenure as treasurer of the navy. The letters concern military operations in North America at the start of the Seven Years War (French and Indian War), maneuvers of the French and British fleets in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, ministerial policies, parliamentary acts, news of political appointments, and social gossip.
- 63 items
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Philip Heslip, March 2011
- Scope and Content:
The George Grenville papers (62 items) contain letters from Grenville's political associates from 1756 to 1757, during his tenure as treasurer of the navy. The letters concern military operations in North America at the start of the Seven Years’ War (French and Indian War), maneuvers of the French and British fleets in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, ministerial policies, parliamentary acts, news on political appointments, and social gossip. Included are 16 letters from Charles Jenkinson, earl of Liverpool; 14 from William Pitt, earl of Chatham; and 8 from his brother Richard Grenville, 2nd earl Temple.Items of note:
- April 20, December 4, 1756: Two letters from Grenville's wife Elizabeth Wyndham Grenville, which contain discussions of foreign affairs
- May 25 and 27, 1756: Letters from Elliott to Grenville concerning the Militia Bill
- June 5, 1756: Letter from Pitt to Grenville concerning Admiral Byng's failure to take Minorca
- December 12, 1756: Letter from Pitt to Grenville regarding a proposed bill for quartering Hessian troops before their departure from England
- April 9, 1757: Grenville's resignation from the Naval Treasury
- October 27, 1757: Letter from Jenkinson to Grenville with news that Sir John Ligonier was appointed commander of the British Army
These papers have been published in volume one of Richard Grenville-Temple's The Grenville Papers: Being the Correspondence of Richard Grenville, Earl Temple, K.G., And the Right Hon: George Grenville, pages 137-230.
- Biographical / Historical:
British Prime Minister George Grenville (1712-1770) was born to Richard Grenville and Hester Temple. He studied law at Oxford and became a member of Parliament in 1741, sitting for the borough of Buckingham, which he represented until his death in 1770. Initially, Grenville allied with his uncle Lord Cobham and William Pitt. The Pelham ministry appointed him lord of the admiralty in 1744, and the lord of the treasury in 1747. Grenville married Elizabeth Wyndham in 1749 and they had nine children.
During the Duke of Newcastle's administration, Grenville served as treasurer of the navy beginning in 1754. Grenville's tenure in this post was interrupted twice. In 1755 he was dismissed for criticism of Newcastle's foreign policy; he returned to office in 1756 with the Devonshire ministry, but resigned the following year after the dismissal of Pitt and Temple. He again returned to office in June 1757, and continued to hold the position until 1762. Notably as treasurer, Grenville helped pass the Navy Act of 1758, which improved payment methods for naval workers. Grenville earned a reputation in the House of Commons as an effective speaker and an expert in parliamentary maneuverings, and maintained close associations with Temple and Pitt. However, he cut ties with Pitt in 1762, in favor of Lord Bute, who made him secretary of state for North America and first lord of the admiralty. In 1763, King George II appointed Grenville prime minister. In addition to his domestic initiatives, Grenville was a leading voice behind efforts to tax the American colonies, specifically through the Stamp Act (1765). Relations between Grenville and the king soured, and George II dismissed Grenville from the cabinet in 1765. He spent his remaining years as a member of the opposition party in the House of Commons. He died on November 13, 1770.
- Acquisition Information:
- 1937, 1957. M-355, M-1053 .
- Processing information:
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
This collection is organized chronologically with one undated item at the end.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
- Additional Descriptive Data:
Related Materialsfollowing collections contain letters to and from Grenville:
- The William Knox papers
- The William Henry Lyttelton papers
- The Viscounts Melville papers
- The William Petty, 1st Marquis of Lansdowne, 2nd Earl of Shelburne papers
- The John Wilkes Papers
The Clements Library Graphics Division has an engraved portrait of Grenville: Houston, Richard, and William Hoare. The Right Honourable George Grenville, Treasurer of His Majesty's Navy and one of His Majesty's Most Honble. Privy Council. London: Sold by R. Houston ... 1750-1775.
The Clements Library Maps Division has one map related to Grenville: Craskell, Thomas, and James Simpson. To the Right Honorable George Grenville Esqr. First Lord Commissioner of the Treasury...&c, &c, This Map of the County of Surry [sic] in the Island of Jamaica (laid Down From the Papers and Under the Direction of Henry Moore Esqr His Majesty's Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of that Island in the Years 1756,-57,-58,-59,-60, & 61, & from a Great Number of Actual Surveys Performed by the Publishers).... London: Fournier, 1763.
Beckett, J. V. and Peter D. G. Thomas. "Grenville, George (1712--1770)."Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . New York: Oxford University Press, 2004
Grenville, George, and John R. G Tomlinson. Additional Grenville Papers, 1763-1765. [Manchester]: Manchester University Press, 1962.
Temple, Richard Grenville-Temple, and George Grenville. The Grenville Papers: Being the Correspondence of Richard Grenville, Earl Temple, K.G., And the Right Hon: George Grenville, Their Friends And Contemporaries. Now First Published from the Original Mss.... London: J. Murray, 1852-1853.
- Alternative Form Available:
The collection has been microfilmed.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Seven Years' War, 1756-1763.
- Letters (correspondence)
Great Britain. Royal Navy.
Grenville, George, 1712-1770--Correspondence.
Buchan, Henry David Erskine, Earl of, 1710-1767.
Chatham, Hester Grenville Pitt, Countess of, 1720-1803.
Devonshire, William Cavendish, Duke of, 1720-1764.
Downshire, Wills Hill, Marquis of, 1718-1793.
Grenville, Elizabeth Wyndham, 1719-1769.
Harcourt, Simon Harcourt, Earl, 1714-1777.
Holderness, Robert D'Arcy, Earl of, 1718-1778.
Liverpool, Charles Jenkinson, Earl of, 1727-1808.
Minto, Gilbert Elliot, Lord, 1693-1766.
Pitt, William, Earl of Chatham, 1708-1788.
Potter, Thomas, 1718-1759.
Rodney, George Brydges Rodney, Baron, 1719-1792.
Temple, Richard Grenville-Temple, Earl, 1711-1779.
Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797.
Great Britain--History--18th century.
Great Britain--Politics and government--History--18th century.
United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763--Naval operations.
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright status is unknown
- PREFERRED CITATION:
George Grenville Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan