Date: 1721 - 1803 (c.)
Description: Granville Leveson-Gower was born in August 1721, the son of John Leveson-Gower, first Earl Gower (1694-1754) and his first wife Lady Evelyn Pierrepont (1691-1727). Granville married three times. His second marriage to Lady Louisa Egerton in 1748 linked the Leveson-Gower family with the wealthy and influential Egerton family, the canal Dukes of Bridgewater. Granville and Louisa’s son George Granville Leveson-Gower (1758-1833) would later become the first Duke of Sutherland.
Granville played an important role in local and national politics. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire from 1755 to 1800 and was appointed High Steward of Stafford in 1769. In terms of national politics he was appointed Lord Privy Seal numerous times, and also served as Lord President of the Council in the 1770s and 1780s.
In addition to his political role, Granville was influential in the development of navigable waterways in the later eighteenth century. He shared an enthusiasm for canals with his brother in law, Francis Egerton (1736-1803) the third Duke of Bridgewater and was instrumental in the expansion of the canal network in Staffordshire, Shropshire and beyond.
The Sutherland Papers contain a wealth of documents and correspondence relating to Granville Leveson-Gower’s political career and his involvement in the development of the canal network. His influential role in Staffordshire politics and his active involvement in the construction of canals make his papers particularly valuable for learning about political and social culture in the eighteenth century.