GREVILLE, Henry Richard, Lord Brooke (1779-1853).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1802 - 2 May 1816

Family and Education

b. 29 Mar. 1779, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of George Greville, 2nd Earl of Warwick, and bro. of Sir Charles John Greville*. educ. Winchester 1790-3; Eton 1794; Edinburgh Univ. 1798;1 European tour 1801-3. m. 21 Oct. 1816, Lady Sarah Elizabeth Savile, da. of John Savile*, 2nd Earl of Mexborough [I], wid. of John George, 3rd Baron Monson, 1s. suc. fa. as 3rd Earl of Warwick 2 May 1816; KT 10 May 1827.

Offices Held

Ld. of bedchamber 1828-Nov. 1830, in waiting 1841-6.

Recorder, Warwick 1816-35; ld. lt. Warws. 1822-d.

Capt. Warws. yeomanry 1797-1803; lt.-col. commdt. Loyal Birmingham vols. 1799; col. Warws. militia 1803.


As soon as he was of age to do so, Lord Brooke came in for Warwick on the family interest and held the seat unopposed until he succeeded to the title. Having gone to Russia in 1801, he was absent on the Continent until August 1803. Caroline Fox, Lord Holland’s sister, who had a soft spot for him despite his lack of ‘brilliant abilities’, remarked: ‘It was lucky he sailed when he did for Constantinople or he might have been detained with others of his countrymen in Italy’.2 In March 1804 he engaged as a Pittite, after voting for Wrottesley’s motion on the Irish rising and Pitt’s naval motion that month; he joined the opposition minorities on defence that brought down Addington’s government on 23 and 25 Apr. He then supported Pitt’s second ministry, voting with them on Melville’s case, 8 Apr. 1805. On 2 July he presented a petition from his uncle Charles Francis Greville, patron of the American settlement at Milford Haven, against the southern whale fishery bill; but when on 5 July he moved an amendment exempting the Americans’ whaling ships from the alien duty it was exposed as a job by George Rose and defeated. He opposed the Grenville ministry on their repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806, and on the Hampshire petition, 13 Feb. 1807; but was listed ‘friendly’ to their abolition of the slave trade.

Brooke was badly off and hoped to marry the heiress of Sir George Shuckburgh Evelyn in 1807, but Lady Harriet Cavendish saw his chief disadvantage: ‘Lord Brooke, whose very look is bore, indefatigable bore and whose "tongue keeps good the promise of his face"'. Apparently, when he began a story, 'he went on working it up till there was nothing for it but to pretend to go into a fit, for nothing short of that would satisfy him as to the degree of astonishment and interest he wished to excite in his hearers'.3 As early as 1799, Lady Holland had noticed that he was 'rather handsome, talkative, like his father, but less tiresome, though he promises a fair rivality. A few years of baronial retirement at Warwick Castle, with the benefit of his father's loquacious society, will secure his inheritance of the taste.'4

Brooke supported the Portland and Perceval ministries silently, but he declined a place at the Treasury board offered by the latter in November 1809.5 The Whigs were 'doubtful' of him in 1810, when he voted with ministers on the address and Scheldt questions, 23, 26 Jan., 5 and 30 Mar. He voted against Burdett's imprisonment in the Tower, 5 Apr., but against the discharge of his fellow radical Gales Jones, 16 Apr. He opposed parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810. He was in the government minority on the Regency, 1 Jan. 1811. On 7 and 24 Feb. and 4 May 1812 he indicated his hostility to sinecure reform. He was listed a Treasury supporter after the election of 1812. He had voted for Catholic relief on 24 Apr. 1812 and did so throughout in 1813. On 1 Apr. 1813 he spoke, as a member of the Weymouth election committee in exoneration of the Duke of Cumberland, whose supposed unconstitutional interference the committee had refused to accept as proven. On 27 June 1814 he rejected as calumny an allegation of cruelty against his lieutenant in the Warwickshire militia. He joined the ministerial majorities on the civil list, 14 Apr., 8 and 31 May 1815, and his last known vote in the House was with their minority for the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816. When in January 1819 he moved the address in the Lords, Henry Goulburn* remarked: 'Happy for the House that he did not inherit his father's volubility or rapidity'.6 In the other House he was inconspicuous and proved a protectionist Tory.7 He died 10 Aug. 1853.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Add. 51731, Caroline Fox to Holland, 25 Mar. [1794]; 51735, same to same, 24 Aug. [1797].
  • 2. Add. 51736, same to same, 20 Aug. [1803]; 51744, same to Lady Holland, 19 Aug. [1798], n.d. [1801].
  • 3. Letters of Lady Harriet Cavendish, 273, 302.
  • 4. Jnl. of Lady Holland, i. 238.
  • 5. Geo. III Corresp.. v. 4032.
  • 6. Surr. RO, Goulburn mss 3/6, Goulburn to his wife, 22 Jan. 1819.
  • 7. Gent. Mag. (1853), ii. 307.