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Grosvenor, 2nd marquis of Westminster, Richard

British, 1795 - 1869


Richard Grosvenor was the eldest son of Robert, 2nd earl Grosvenor and 1st marquis of Westminster (1767-1845). He was born on 27 January 1795, and was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated M.A. in 1818 (Forster, Alumni Oxon. 1888, ii. 573). As Lord Belgrave he entered parliament at the general election in 1818 as member for Chester. He represented the city in 1820, and again from 1826 to 1830. Between 1831 and 1832 he was M.P. for his county, and from 1832 to 1835 sat for South Cheshire. When in the lower house he voted steadily for the liberal party. He patronised the turf, and won the St. Leger with Touchstone in 1834. In 1840-1 he made a yacht voyage in the Mediterranean, of which the Countess Grosvenor published a 'Narrative' (London, 1842, 2 vols. cr. 8vo). He succeeded his father as second marquis on 17 February 1845. He seldom spoke in the House of Lords, and devoted himself chiefly to the improvement of his London property. From 1845 to 1867 he was lord-lieutenant of Cheshire, and acted as lord steward of the household (1850-2) in Lord Russell's administration. He received the order of the Garter on 6 July 1857. After a short illness he died at Fonthill Gifford, Wiltshire, on Sunday, 31 October 1869, in his seventy-fifth year. A leading article in the 'Times' states that 'he administered his vast estate with a combination of intelligence and generosity not often witnessed, and his life was illustrated with some noble acts.' Of reserved habits and inexpensive tastes, he disliked any kind of ostentation and extravagance. He gave generously to charitable projects, and built and restored many churches and schools, principally in Cheshire. To Chester he presented a large park. He married, on 16 September 1819, the Lady Elizabeth Mary Leveson-Gower, second daughter of the 1st duke of Sutherland, and by her had four sons and nine daughters. He was succeeded by his second son, Hugh Lupus Grosvenor (1825-1899), 1st duke of Westminster. His fourth son, Richard, was created Baron Stalbridge in 1886. Grosvenor bequeathed a painting (now at the NGA) to his daughter, Lady Theodora Guest. (Taken from Dictionary of National Biography)

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