1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Grantham, Thomas Robinson, 1st Baron

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 12
Grantham, Thomas Robinson, 1st Baron

GRANTHAM, THOMAS ROBINSON, 1st Baron (c. 1695–1770), English diplomatist and politician, was a younger son of Sir William Robinson, Bart. (1655–1736) of Newby, Yorkshire, who was member of parliament for York from 1697 to 1722. Having been a scholar and minor fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Thomas Robinson gained his earliest diplomatic experience in Paris and then went to Vienna, where he was English ambassador from 1730 to 1748. During 1741 he sought to make peace between the empress Maria Theresa and Frederick the Great, but in vain, and in 1748 he represented his country at the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. Returning to England he sat in parliament for Christchurch from 1749 to 1761. In 1754 Robinson was appointed a secretary of state and leader of the House of Commons by the prime minister, the duke of Newcastle, and it was on this occasion that Pitt made the famous remark to Fox, “the duke might as well have sent us his jackboot to lead us.” In November 1755 he resigned, and in April 1761 he was created Baron Grantham. He was master of the wardrobe from 1749 to 1754 and again from 1755 to 1760, and was joint postmaster-general in 1765 and 1766. He died in London on the 30th of September 1770.

Grantham’s elder son, Thomas Robinson (1738–1786), who became the 2nd baron, was born at Vienna on the 30th of November 1738. Educated at Westminster School and at Christ’s College, Cambridge, he entered parliament as member for Christchurch in 1761, and succeeded to the peerage in 1770. In 1771 he was sent as ambassador to Madrid and retained this post until war broke out between England and Spain in 1779. From 1780 to 1782 Grantham was first commissioner of the board of trade and foreign plantations, and from July 1782 to April 1783 secretary for the foreign department under Lord Shelburne. He died on the 20th of July 1786, leaving two sons, Thomas Philip, who became the 3rd baron, and Frederick John afterwards 1st earl of Ripon.

Thomas Philip Robinson, 3rd Baron Grantham (1781–1859). in 1803 took the name of Weddell instead of that of Robinson. In May 1833 he became Earl de Grey of Wrest on the death of his maternal aunt, Amabell Hume-Campbell, Countess de Grey (1751–1833), and he now took the name of de Grey. He was first lord of the admiralty under Sir Robert Peel in 1834–1835 and from 1841 to 1844 lord-lieutenant of Ireland. On his death without male issue his nephew, George Frederick Samuel Robinson, afterwards marquess of Ripon (q.v.), succeeded as Earl de Grey.