Granville, Granville George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl

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Granville, Granville George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl (1815–91). Politician. Son of the 1st Earl Granville and the grandson, on his mother's side, of the 5th duke of Devonshire, he was educated at Eton and Oxford. A lifelong Whig, he was MP for Morpeth (1836–41) and Lichfield (1841–6) before succeeding to the title. He was under-secretary for foreign affairs 1840–1 and, after holding various minor offices, succeeded Lord Palmerston as foreign secretary 1851–2. Granville was considered a possible prime minister in 1859 and 1865 but tended to hold honorific offices until he became colonial secretary (1868–70), foreign secretary (1870–4, 1880–5), and colonial secretary (1886) under Gladstone. An urbane and well-liked man, he was not an energetic politician. He was at the Colonial Office during the transfer of the Hudson Bay territories to Canada and the Red River rebellion of 1869. His greatest test in foreign affairs was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1, when he maintained British neutrality. He had little understanding of the new forces of imperialism during his third term at the Foreign Office, which saw the British occupation of Egypt and the death of General Gordon at Khartoum.

Muriel Evelyn Chamberlain