LEVESON-COWER, Granville George, 2nd Earl Granville

LEVESON-COWER, Granville George, 2nd Earl Granville (1815-91). colliery owner, Hanley.

Earl Granville was born at Great Stanhope Street, London on 11 May 1815, the son of 1st  Earl Granville by his second wife, Lady Henrietta Cavendish, daughter of the 5th duke of Devonshire.

He was educated at Eton and Christ Church Oxford. Earl Granville entered Parliament, sitting for Morpeth, in 1836 and for Lichfield in 1841. He attained high office under a number of Liberal governments. He became lord president of the council 1852-8 and 1859-66; was secretary of state for the colonies 1868, foreign secretary 1870-4 and 1880-5, and again secretary of state for the colonies in 1S86. He was created Knight of the Garter in 1857.

In the Potteries he owned Shelton collieries and was the principal owner of Etruria Iron Works. (see ) "The mines of Iron-stone are of incalculable richness and extent, and are wholly in his Lordship's hands, as a lessee under the Duchy of Lancaster.

His properties in Hanley paid nearly one third of the rates of the town. He supported the local school of art, founded Granville schools at Cobridge in 1854, and in the mid-1850s built two model rows of cottages for his workers at the southern end of Waterloo Road. His decision, in  July 1842, at a time of trade depression, to give notice of a reduction of 6d. a day in miners' wages, precipitated a miners' strike, which was an element in the background to the Chartist riots of August 1842.

Ward ("The borough of Stoke-on-Trent") added an account of the events as part of an appendix to his book:

..... On Monday the 15th, after some inflammatory sermons by Cooper (a talented Chartist orator from Leicester), on the day before at Longton and Hanley, the fraternity of Chartists and the surly advocates for a fair day's wages (which was all the Colliers in general sought for, and no more than they had a right to expect), assembled in formidable array at the Crown Bank in Hanley, where the Chartist Meetings had been usually held, proceeded thence to stop the engines at Earl Granville's works, broke open the Police Office at Hanley, also a print-works, also a principle pawnbroker's shop there, and the house of the tax collector; proceeded to Stoke....

(see link: )

He married twice, (1) in 1840, Marie Louise Acton, daughter of the Duc de Dalbert and widow of Sir F. R. E. Acton and (2) in 1865 Castalia Rosalind Campbell.

He died at South Audley Street, London, on 31 March 1891 and was buried in St. Michael's churchyard, Stone, Staffs.

Sources: Burke's Peerage; J. Epstein and D. Thompson, The Chartist Experience; Local Pamphlets Vol. 37 (HRL); VCH viii. "People of the Potteries, ISBN 0 903160 23 4, Ward "The borough of Stoke-on-Trent"