Selected items copied from a book of Sir Richard Grosvenor

Scope and Content

Manuscript book containing various tracts and writings concerning the monarchy, constitutional history and royal revenue compiled by Sir Richard Grosvenor, 1637, and copied 'at Sir Roger Mostyn of Mostyns house at my being there from Christmas to May, which was drawen out of the books of . . . Richard Grosevenor Esqr sole son and heire until Sir Richard Grosevenor Knight and Barronett of Eathen [Eaton]-Coate in Cheshsire . . . finished and bound upp the 25th of Aprill 1637". A list of contents shows 23 items: 'An appollogy for the raigne of Queene Eliz'; 'A discourse of Courte and Courtiers'; 'Consideracions of Intercourse dedicated to the Kinge'; 'De sepultura by Sir Hen.Spelman'; 'A tracte sheweinge howe all the kings of England . . . have made meanes for money in their wants, with an Abstracte of the Revenue of most of the Princes of Christendome'; 'The Cause of the Marches of Walles'; 'Off the office of Composicions for Alienacions by Sir Francis Bacon'; 'A Treatise of the Lawe of wrecke of the sea, of the Inundation of the sea, and Cases uppon the Comission of Sewers'; 'The oppinion of the Judges uppon divers questions Concerninge parishes, and . . . toucheing the Comission, by which the Comissioners sitt at Newegate, 1633'; 'Letters of Sir Francis Bacon uppon several occacions'; 'Mr Cuff his letter to Secretary Cecill declareinge the Instruccions [of] the Earle of Essex, to the scottishe Ambassador touchinge the Kings Tytle to the Crowne of England'; 'The Lord Norris his letter to the Kinge after hee had slayne a servant of the Lord Willoughbies; 'The Lord Chancellor Ellesmore his letter to King James desireinge to bee dischardged of his office'; 'A Letter by the Lords of the Counsell to King James toucheinge meanes to advance the Kings Revenues by unusuall wayes soe as the Kinge would take the Acte uppon himself'; 'A Letter from the Bishopp of Lincolne to the Minister of Grantham concerninge the placeinge of the Communion Table' [1636]; 'Twoe Lettres . . . one from the States of Bohemia to the Elector of Saxony, the other from the Pope to the Emperor concerninge the Trobles of Germany'; 'Sir Tho. Smythe his protestacion toucheinge the speeche used to the Earle of Essex'; 'An admonition from a friend nameles to Sir Edward Cooke after his degradation 1616'; 'A Speech of Sir Francis Bacon Lord Keeper at the takeinge of his place in Chancery 1617'; 'Sir Edw.Cooke his speech at the instellation of 11 Serjeants 1614'; 'The lyfe of Sir Tho. Bodley'; 'The death of Queene Eliz'; 'Mr Seldens discourse of the twoe greate offices of state, the Chancellorshipp and Keepeinge of the greate seale of England 1617'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Grosvenor, Sir Richard, first baronet (1585-1645), magistrate and politician, born Eaton Hall, near Chester, Cheshire, 9 January 1585; educated in the puritan household of John Bruen of Stapleford, Cheshire, and at Queen's College Oxford, where he matriculated on 26 October 1599 and graduated BA on 30 June 1602; married in 1600 Lettice, daughter of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley of Cholmondeley, Cheshire; had one son and three daughters before Lettice's death on 20 January 1612; married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Wilbraham of Woodhey, Cheshire, 1614 and after her death, he married Elizabeth (d. 1627), daughter of Sir Peter Warburton of Grafton, Cheshire; Grosvenor was knighted on 24 August 1617 and made a baronet on 23 February 1622; Grosvenor made his principal mark in local affairs; succeeded his father as a JP for Cheshire in 1619 and he served on the bench until his removal, as part of a purge by George Villiers, first duke of Buckingham, on 26 October 1626; sheriff of Cheshire in 1623-4 and of Flintshire in 1624-5; although not one of the foremost Cheshire gentry in terms of wealth or landholdings, Grosvenor became the most influential local governor in the area of his main estate, immediately to the south of Chester: this was because of his industry and his abilities as a man of affairs, and also because of his reputation as a supporter of puritan ministers; William Hinde, who had probably been his tutor at Queen's College, described him as a paragon of the godly gentleman, and another leading Cheshire puritan preacher, Nathaniel Lancaster, hailed him in 1628 as `a father of the country' (Lancaster, sig. A2); represented Cheshire in the parliaments of 1621, 1626, and 1628-9; not in the front rank of Commons spokesmen, but he was an effective public speaker and a diligent attender of committees; many of his interventions in parliament were concerned either with the welfare of his Cheshire constituents or with the defence of the Calvinist religion; In 1621 he spoke out against the patentee Sir Giles Mompesson, and the 'popish threat' to the palatinate, and in 1629 he delivered a notable attack on the influence of the King's Arminian advisers; He was also a meticulous parliamentary diarist, providing the fullest known account of debates in 1626, 1628, and 1629; 1629 and 1638 he was imprisoned in the Fleet, 1629-1638, having become liable for the debts of his brother-in-law, Peter Daniel; Although he was not restored to the bench after his return to the county, he remained an influential figure in local politics, in May 1640 he arbitrated a dispute over the parliamentary election for Chester, and in July 1642 he played a leading role in organizing, and probably also drafting, the Cheshire remonstrance, a petition containing over 8000 signatures, which called on the King and Parliament to settle their differences and avoid civil war; During the war Grosvenor remained neutral; he is not to be confused with his eldest son, Richard Grosvenor esq., who played a prominent part in the royalist defence of Chester. Grosvenor's speeches and writings make it possible to reconstruct his political views in considerable detail. He was a firm believer in the divine right of kingship and in patriarchal authority, but at the same time he staunchly defended the liberties of the subject and of parliament's role as `the representative of the people'. Above all, he was concerned to root out the evil of popery and to overcome the influence of `evil counsellors' close to the King; died at Eaton Hall on 14 September 1645 and was buried in Eccleston church, Cheshire.


Arranged as set out above Scope and Content.

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Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by J Etherton.

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Custodial History

Book-plate of Sir William Betham, Ulster King of Arms; Phillipps Ms 13219

Geographical Names