Carolina Lords Proprietors

John Grenville, 1st Earl of Bath

August 29, 1628 to August 22, 1701

John Grenville, 1st Earl of Bath (August 29, 1628 - August 22, 1701) was the eldest son and heir of Sir Bevil Grenville (1596-1643) lord of the manors of Bideford in Devon and Stowe, Kilkhampton in Cornwall, a Royalist soldier killed in action in heroic circumstances at the Battle of Lansdowne in 1643 during the English Civil War. John's mother was Grace Smythe, daughter by his second marriage of Sir George Smith (d.1619) of Madworthy, near Exeter, Devon, a merchant who served as MP for Exeter in 1604, was three times Mayor of Exeter and was Exeter's richest citizen, possessing 25 manors or part manors. John had thirteen siblings, all by Royal Warrant of Precedence granted the rank and title of Earl's children by King Charles II on 20 August 1675, in recognition of their father's services.

In October of 1652, at Kilkhampton John Grenville married Jane Wyche, daughter of Sir Peter Wyche, English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire - they had two sons (Charles and John), and three daughters (Jane, Catherine, and Grace).

Grenville was richly rewarded for his services in securing the Restoration and became the most powerful magnate in the West Country. Among other honors, he was created first Earl of Bath, Warden of the Stanneries, Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall and Governor of Plymouth. He continued his loyal service to King Charles II and was present at the King's deathbed conversion to Catholicism in 1685.

Despite losing influence upon the succession of James II, Grenville commanded an infantry regiment against the Duke of Monmouth during Monmouth's Rebellion of 1685. When William of Orange invaded England in 1688, however, Grenville changed his allegiance. He made no attempt to defend Exeter and surrendered Plymouth to William's forces. Under William III, Grenville added the lieutenancy of Devon and the governorship of the Isles of Scilly to his offices. However, he was disappointed when William granted the earldom of Albemarle to a favorite in 1697, a title claimed by Bath through his connection to the Monck family.

His final years were spent in a bitter six-year long legal dispute over the Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle estate, which almost bankrupted him. Two weeks after his death in August of 1701 in London, his son and heir Charles Grenville shot himself, apparently overwhelmed by the debts he had inherited. Father and son were buried on September 22, 1701 in the family vault at Kilkhampton.

Upon the death of William Craven, 1st Baron Craven on April 9, 1697, John Grenville, 1st Earl of Bath was named the fifth Palatine of Carolina.

Upon his death, his second son, John Grenville, 1st Baron Granville of Potheridge, inherited his share of Carolina. He also gained the title of Palatine, the sixth Palatine of Carolina.
Over time, historians accepted that his last name of Grenville would also be spelled as Granville, which leads to much confusion among later researchers.
Click Here for more information on John Grenville, 1st Earl of Bath from Wikipedia online.

Click Here for more information on John Grenville, 1st Earl of Bath from the British Civil Wars website online.


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