Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
George Grenville Papers, 1755-1757

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, March 2011

Summary Information
Title: George Grenville papers
Creator: Grenville, George, 1712-1770
Inclusive dates: 1755-1757
Extent: 63 items
Abstract:
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.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1937, 1957. M-355, M-1053.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Alternate Format:

The collection has been microfilmed.

Preferred Citation:

George Grenville Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

This collection is organized chronologically with one undated item at the end.


Biographical/Historical Note

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.


Collection Scope and Content Note

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.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • France. Marine.
    • Grenville, George, 1712-1770--Correspondence.
    • Great Britain--History--18th century.
    • Great Britain--Politics and government--History--18th century.
    • Great Britain--Relations--Prussia.
    • Great Britain. Royal Navy.
    • Hessians.
    • Seven Years' War, 1756-1763.
    • United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763--Naval operations.
    Contributors:
    • 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.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
     
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folder   1
     [September 1755]. Thomas Potter to George Grenville
    Folder   2  
     January 3, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   3  
     January 3, 1756. Thomas Potter to George Grenville
    Folder   4  
     March 21, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   5  
     April 20, 1756. Elizabeth Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   6  
     May 25, 1756. Gilbert Elliot to George Grenville
    Folder   7  
     May 27, 1756. Gilbert Elliot to George Grenville
    Folder   8  
     June 3, 1756. Richard Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   9  
     June 5, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   10  
     June 11, 1756. Thomas Potter to George Grenville
    Folder   11  
     June 16, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   12  
     June 23, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   13  
     July 13, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   14  
     August 20, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   15  
     September 11, 1756. Thomas Potter to George Grenville
    Folder   16  
     October 10, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   17  
     October 15, 1756. Richard Grenville, "Minutes upon Memory of a paper dated October 15  1756 laid before the [King] by Lord Granville…" [sic]
    Folder   18  
     October 17, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   19  
     October 26, 1756. Wills Hill 1st Earl of Hillsborough to George Grenville
    Folder   20  
     November 15, 1756. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   21  
     November 27, 1756. Simon Harcourt to George Grenville
    Folder   22  
     November 30, 1756. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   23  
     December 1, 1756. Richard Grenville to William Cavendish Duke of Devonshire
    Folder   24  
     December 2, 1756. William Cavendish Duke of Devonshire to George Grenville
    Folder   25  
     December 2, 1756. James Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   26  
     December 4, 1756. Elizabeth Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   27  
     December 12, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   28  
     December 14, 1756. Richard Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   29  
     December 15, 1756. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   30  
     January 6, 1757. Thomas Potter to George Grenville
    Folder   31  
     April 1, 1757. Sir Henry David Erskine to George Grenville
    Folder   32  
     April 4, 1757. Richard Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   33  
     April 8, 1757. Richard Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   34  
     April 9, 1757. Grenville to Robert D'Arcy Earl of Holdernesse
    Folder   35  
     April 11, 1757. Robert D'Arcy Earl of Holderness to George Grenville
    Folder   36  
     May 13, 1757. Horace Walpole to George Grenville
    Folder   37  
     June 30, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   38  
     July 1, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   39  
     July 9, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   40  
     July 19, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   41  
     July 21, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   42  
     August 4, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   43  
     August 9, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   44  
     August 11, 1757. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   45  
     September 23, 1757. George Brydges Rodney to George Grenville
    Folder   46  
     September 29, 1757. George Brydges Rodney to George Grenville
    Folder   47  
     October 6, 1757. Gilbert Elliot to George Grenville
    Folder   48  
     October 6, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   49  
     October 8, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   50  
     October 11, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   51  
     October 13, 1757. George Brydges Rodney to George Grenville
    Folder   52  
     October 18, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   53  
     October 18, 1757. Gilbert Elliot to George Grenville
    Folder   54  
     October 19, 1757. George Brydges Rodney to George Grenville
    Folder   55  
     October 21, 1757. George Brydges Rodney to George Grenville
    Folder   56  
     October 22, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   57  
     October 27, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   58  
     October 29, 1757. Charles Jenkinson to George Grenville
    Folder   59  
     October 29, 1757. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   60  
     November 15, 1757. William Pitt to George Grenville
    Folder   61  
     November 24, 1757. Richard Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   62  
     December 13, 1757. Richard Grenville to George Grenville
    Folder   63  
     Undated,  [January 1756]: Henry Fox Holland, "Observations sur le Memoire de Monsr. Rouillé" (Copy in George Grenville's hand)
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    following collections contain letters to and from Grenville:

    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.

    Bibliography

    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.