GRANVILLE (GRENVILLE), Bernard (1631-1701), of The Mews Gatehouse, Westminster; Apps Court, Walton-on-Thames, Surr. and Marr, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



18 May 1661
Mar. 1679

Family and Education

b. 4 Mar. 1631, 4th but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Bevil Granville (d.1643) of Stowe, Cornw. by Grace, da. of Sir George Smith of Exeter, Devon; bro. of John, 1st Earl of Bath, and Denis, dean of Durham 1684-91. educ. academy at Angers 1651. m. lic. 25 Feb. 1664, Anne (d. 20 Sept. 1701), da. and h. of Cuthbert Morley of Hawnby, Yorks., 3s. 2da.2

Offices Held

Gent. of the bedchamber to the Duke of Gloucester May-Sept. 1660; equerry ?Sept. 1660-72; groom of the bedchamber 1672-Dec. 1688; envoy extraordinary to Genoa and Savoy 1675-6; jt. surveyor and receiver of green-wax fines 1677-9; master of the swans 1683-92; comptroller-gen. of wine licences 1685-90.3

Under-keeper, St. James’s Park Aug. 1660-d.; commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1661-80, Westminster 1665-9, 1679-80, Surr. 1673-80, Cornw. and Yorks. (N. Riding) 1689-90, loyal and indigent officers, Cornw. 1662, jt. keeper of Petersham Walk, Surr. 1663-d.; recorder, Doncaster 1685-?Oct. 1688; freeman, Liskeard, East Looe, Plymouth and Plympton Erle 1685.4


Granville was in arms for the King in the second Civil War, assisting his brother in the defence of Scilly, after which he joined his uncle, Sir Richard Granville, in exile. On his return to England he endured five years’ imprisonment. This, he later claimed, was for political offences, but he was certainly a debtor in the Fleet in 1659, and ‘had £3,000 given him to fetch him out’, or so it was said. On the eve of the Restoration he was acting as courier between his kinsman George Monck and the exiled Court; but he was much less prominent than his brother and the pension of £500 which he expected did not at once materialize. He had to be satisfied with two minor posts and the reimbursement of his expenses.5

At the general election of 1661 Granville was returned for Camelford and Bodmin, but in neither case did he secure the mayor’s signature to his indenture. While his petition for Camelford was still pending, he was returned at a by-election for Liskeard on a vacancy created by his brother-in-law, Peter Prideaux, who chose to sit for Honiton. He was moderately active in the Cavalier Parliament, in which he was named to 89 committees, though few were of political importance. He was appointed to the committee on the bill to confirm the grants made to Monck, now Duke of Albemarle (18 Mar. 1662), and added to that for the sale of the lands of his future father-in-law (19 Mar. 1663). He was listed as a court dependant in 1664. In 1666 his committees included that for the private bill promoted by his brother-in-law Sir Thomas Higgons. He appealed to the House of Lords in 1667 against a Chancery decision concerning the mortgage of the Morley estate, but this was ultimately dismissed three years later. A friend of Ormonde and a King’s servant, he was on both lists of the court party in 1669-71. He petitioned the King

for a pension to relieve his great extremity, or for payment of £2,000 lent by the father of his wife to the late King, before the rebels forced him from Whitehall. ... [He] has exhausted himself in ten years unprofitable employment, and, but for being a Member of Parliament, would end his days in the gaol where he spent five years in his Majesty’s service.

He was appointed to the committees to receive information about the insolencies of nonconformists (5 Mar. 1668), to inquire into arrears of taxes owed by officials (24 Mar. 1670), and to consider the transfer of the Cornish assizes from Bodmin to Launceston (14 Mar. 1671). In 1672 he was made groom of the bedchamber with a pension of £500. In the list of excise pensions, however, he was put down for only £300 p.a. His name appeared on the Paston list and the list of officials in 1675, and he was given rank as an earl’s younger son. In Italy on a diplomatic mission, he missed the autumn session; ‘the King loseth a vote’, as Sir Richard Wiseman commented. Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’ in 1677, and the author of A Seasonable Argument alleged that he had ‘got in boons at several times £20,000’. He was one of the syndicate headed by the Earl of Peterborough and Lord Yarmouth (Robert Paston I) to whom was granted with dubious legality the right of farming the fines imposed in the Exchequer. In 1678 he was appointed to the committees to consider the bill for duchy of Cornwall leases and to prepare instructions for disbanding the army, and he was on both lists of the court party.6

At the first general election of 1679 Granville was returned both for Saltash and Launceston in contested elections, and marked ‘vile’ on Shaftesbury’s list. Despite a petition from the unsuccessful candidates in the former constituency he occupied both seats for the duration of the first Exclusion Parliament. But he was not active, being appointed only to the elections committee that buried the Saltash petition, and to those to inquire into the decay of the woollen industry and abuses in the Post Office. He voted against exclusion, and, as one of the ‘unanimous club’, was defeated at Saltash in the autumn. The patent for green-wax fines was cancelled after Danby’s fall, and in 1680 Granville experienced in his turn the frustration of an election petition that was never reported from committee. He regained his seat in 1681, but there is no evidence that he attended the Oxford Parliament.7

Lord Bath lost his place as groom of the stole to the Roman Catholic Earl of Peterborough under James II, but Granville, rather to his surprise, was not only allowed to retain his post in the bedchamber, but also given the office of comptroller-general of wine licence accounts, with a salary of £200 p.a. He gratefully expressed the hope that he might be returned ‘to serve in the Parliament and prove his loyalty’. He was elected at Plymouth, where his brother was recorder, but no activity can definitely be ascribed to him in this Parliament, in which his nephew John also served. He was returned to the Convention for Saltash unopposed, and according to Ailesbury’s list voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. But he was otherwise probably inactive, for there are no references to ‘Mr Granville’ in the Journals until after his nephew’s return at a by-election. He sat as a Tory in the next two Parliaments, refusing the Association in 1696. He died on 14 June 1701 and was buried at Lambeth.8

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Returned for either Launceston or Saltash.
  • 2. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 192; R. Granville, Hist. Granville Fam. 328, 336, 404; C66/3056; Evelyn Diary, iv. 11, 24; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 586; HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1 (1881), 115.
  • 3. Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 688; E. Handasyde, Granville the Polite, 5, 7, 11; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 677; Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 1271; v. 795; vi. 121; viii. 124; ix. 873; HMC 5th Rep. 186; N. F. Ticehurst, Mute Swan in England, 65.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 213; 1663-4, p. 75; 1685, pp. 65, 66, 87; Plymouth Municipal Recs. ed. Worth, 8.
  • 5. Handasyde, 4; CSP Dom. 1659-60, pp. 269, 279; 1670, p. 617; 1671, p. 432; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 688; v. 5, 9; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 80.
  • 6. CJ, viii. 250, 373; HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1 (1881), 115; LJ, xii. 321; CSP Dom. 1670, p. 617; 1675-6, pp. 246, 264; Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 1271.
  • 7. CJ, ix. 569, 645; Cal. Treas. Bks. vi. 121.
  • 8. HMC 5th Rep. 186; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 124; J. Tanswell, Hist. Lambeth, 150-1.