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Pascoe Grenfell MP (1761 - 1838)

Portrait of Pascoe Grenfell (1761-1838)GRENFELL, PASCOE (1761-1838), politician, was born at Marazion in Cornwall, and baptised at St. Hilary Church 24 Sept. 1761. His father, Pascoe Grenfell, born in 1729, after acting as a merchant in London, became commissary to the States of Holland, and died at Marazion 27 May 1810, having married Mary, third child of’ Wllliam Tremenheere, attorney, Penzance. The son went to the grammar school at Truro in 1777,where he was contemporary with Richard Polwhele, the historian and Dr John Cole, rector of Exeter College, Oxford. Afterwards proceeding to London he entered into business with his father and uncle, who were merchants and large dealers in tin and copper ores. In course of time he connected himself with Thomas Williams of Temple House, Great Marlow, then occupied with the development of the industries of Anglesey and Cornwall, and the largest manufacturer in the products of those districts in the kingdom.

Grenfell soon became principal managing partner of these concerns, and having purchased Taplow House as a residence, was chosen parliamentary representative residence for Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire on the death of Williams in1802, for which place he sat from 14 Dec. 1802 to 29 Feb. 1820. He represented Penryn in Cornwall from 9 March 1820 to 2 June 1826. In parliament he was a zealous supporter of William Wilberforce in the debates on slavery, a vigilant observer of the actions of the Bank of England, and a great authority on finance. On the latter subject he made many speeches, two of which he published in 1816, and it was chiefly through his efforts that the periodical publication of the accounts of the bank was commenced (Hansard, vols. xxii. xxx-xxxvii.)

He was governor of the Royal Exchange Insurance Company, and a commissioner of the lieutenancy for London. He died at 38 Belgrave Square, London, 23 Jan. 1838. He married, first, his cousin, Charlotte Granville, who died in 1790, and secondly, on 16 Jan. 1798, Georgiana St. Leger, seventh and youngest daughter of St. Leger St. Leger, first viscount Doneraile. She died 12 May 1818.

[Private information; Gent. Mag. April 1838, p. 429; D.Gilbert’s Cornwall, ii. 216; Polwhele’s Reminiscences (1836), i. 12, 110; Lipscombe’s Buckinghamshire, i; 304; Boase and Courtney’s Bibl. Cornub. pp. 189, 1205; Duke of Buckingham’s Memoirs of Court of George 1V (1859), i. 282-3]


Text reproduced from the Dictionary of National Biography, Earliest Times to 1900 Vol. V111, edited by Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee, by permission of Oxford University Press

Portrait in the possession of Penny Watts-Russell

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