Grosvenor, Richard, 1st Earl Grosvenor (1731 -1802)

Richard Grosvenor was born at Eaton Hall, Cheshire, the elder son of Sir Robert Grosvenor, 6th Baronet. He was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, graduating MA in 1751 and Doctor of Civil Law in 1754. He became Member of Parliament for Chester in 1754 and continued to represent the city until 1761, when he became Baron Grosvenor and was elevated to the House of Lords. He was mayor of Chester in 1759, and in 1769 he paid for the building of the Eastgate in the city. Grosvenor extended his estate by the purchase of the village of Belgrave, and the manor of Eccleston in 1769. He succeeded as 7th baronet on the death of his father in 1755, and was created Baron Grosvenor in 1761. He voted against Fox's India Bill in 1783 and was rewarded by William Pitt the Younger with the title of Earl Grosvenor the following year.
For his art collection he acquired works from Italy, and also bought paintings from Benjamin West (including The Death of General Wolfe), Thomas Gainsborough, Richard Wilson and George Stubbs. In 1777 he was appointed Fellow of the Royal Society. His passion for horse-racing is reflected in the establishment of stud farms at Wallasey and at Eaton. His horses won the Derby on three occasions and the Oaks six times.
On 19 July 1764 he married Henrietta Vernon, daughter of Henry Vernon of Hilton Park, Staffordshire; they had four sons. But the marriage was not happy, and Henrietta had an affair with Henry, Duke of Cumberland, the younger brother of George III. The couple were discovered in flagrante delicto in 1769, which led to Grosvenor bringing an action against the Duke for adultery. However, he could not sue for divorce, as Grosvenor was known regularly to seek out prostitutes around Leicester Square.
Grosvenor died at Earls Court in 1802 and was buried in the family vault at St Mary's Church, Eccleston. He was succeeded at Eaton Hall by his eldest son Robert, who eventually became the 1st Marquess of Westminster.

Seat / Residence(s): Eaton Hall
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Grosvenor, Richard, 1st Earl Grosvenor (1731 - 1802) (Stamp 1) Motto: Virtus non stemma
Crest: A talbot statant
Arms: A garb
Heraldic Charges: garb, Heraldic Charges: talbot
Grosvenor, Richard, 1st Earl Grosvenor (1731 - 1802) (Stamp 2) Motto: Virtus non stemma
Crest: A talbot statant [reversed]
Arms: A garb
Coronet: Earl
Heraldic Charges: garb, Heraldic Charges: talbot
Grosvenor, Richard, 1st Earl Grosvenor (1731 - 1802) (Stamp 3) Crest: A talbot statant
Arms: A garb
Coronet: Duke
Heraldic Charges: garb, Heraldic Charges: talbot