Grosvenor, Thomas (1656-1700) (DNB00)


GROSVENOR, Sir THOMAS, third baronet (1656–1700), born in 1656, was son of Roger Grosvenor, and grandson and heir of Sir Richard Grosvenor (d. 1664), the second baronet, of Eaton, near Chester. The family was of great antiquity in Cheshire, but of moderate fortune. In 1676 young Grosvenor laid the foundation of his family's wealth by marrying, at the church of St. Clement Danes, Strand, London, Mary, aged 11, the only daughter and heiress of Alexander Davies, a scrivener (d. 1665). The rector of St. Clement Danes, the girl's grandfather, who had Cheshire connections, encouraged her early marriage, but husband and wife did not live together for some years. Her marriage portion consisted of a large sum of ready money and a considerable estate, known as Ebury farm 'towards Chelsea,' over which Belgrave Square and Pimlico now extend, and another large holding between Tyburn Brook and Park Lane, on part of which Grosvenor Square was afterwards built. Grosvenor was M.P. for Chester in the reigns of Charles II, James II, and William and Mary, and was elected mayor of Chester in 1685. By a commission dated 22 June 1685 he had a troop of horse in the Earl of Shrewsbury's regiment, and was in the camp on Hounslow Heath. He refused to support the bill for repealing the penal laws, in spite of a personal offer from James of 'a regiment and a peerage' (Wotton, British Baronetage, 1741, i. 498*). He was made sheriff of his county in 1688. He died in June 1700, at the age of forty-four, and was buried in the family burial-place at Eccleston, near Eaton. There is a portrait of him by Lely at Eaton, where there is also preserved a picture of his wife, who died, aged 65, 12 Jan. 1729–30, and who was also buried at Eccleston. Her mind had given way before her husband's death, as the Eaton archives contain an Inq. de lunatico, dated 15 March 1705-6, stating that she had been 'non compos for six years past' (Croston, County Families, p. 332). She never recovered her reason. In 1726 by a private act of parliament the custody of her person and estate was committed to Robert Middleton, of Chirk Castle in Denbigh.

The children of the marriage were Thomas and Roger, who died young; Richard (1689–1732), who succeeded as fourth baronet, but had no son; Thomas (1693–1733) and Robert (d. 1755), successively fifth and sixth baronets; Elizabeth and Mary, who both died young; and Anne, born posthumously (1700–1731), who married William Leveson-Gower, second son of Sir John Leveson-Gower, of Trentham. Richard, first earl Grosvenor [q. v.], was son of Sir Robert, sixth baronet.

[Ormerod's Cheshire (Helsby), ii. 837 (for a pedigree of Grosvenor of Eaton see pp. 841–4); Collins's Peerage (Sir E. Brydges), 1812, v. 262; Croston's County Families of Lancashire and Cheshire, 1887, pp. 327–32. An account of Alexander Davies, his daughter, and the Grosvenor estates in London is given in Loftie's Hist. of London, 1884, ii. 101–5, 405–11.]

H. R. T.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.143
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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283 ii 8 Grosvenor, Sir Thomas: for 1705 read 1705-6