Sue Young Histories

Hugh Lupus Grosvenor 1st Duke of Westminster 1825 – 1899

January 02, 2010

Hugh Lupus Grosvenor 1st Duke of Westminster KG, PC, JP 1825 – 1899, styled Viscount Belgrave between 1831 and 1845 and Earl Grosvenor between 1845 and 1869 and known as The Marquess of Westminster between 1869 and 1874, and The Duke of Westminster from 1874, was a British politician and race horse owner.

Hugh Lupus Grosvenor was the son of Richard Grosvenor Earl Grosvenor 2nd Marquess of Westminster, the nephew of Thomas Egerton 2nd Earl of Wilton, and the nephew of Robert Grosvenor 1st Baron Ebury (who was one of the founders of the British Homeopathic Association), and the nephew of Francis Egerton 1st Earl of Ellesmere, all staunch advocates of homeopathy,

Hugh Lupus Grosvenor was also a staunch advocate of homeopathy, he hosted British homeopaths in Grosvenor House for fundraising events (see Homeopathic Convalescent Home in Eastbourne See also The History of the Convalescent Home at Eastbourne by Peter Morrell and Sylvain Cazalet), and was an early Sponsor of the enlargement of the London Homeopathic Hospital, eventually completed by Henry Whatley Tyler, he became a Vice President of the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1878, and in 1894, he gave orders to his agents that none of his properties in the West End of London should be leased to allopathic physicians, for fear they will drive away his fashionable tenants (See Robert Newton Tooker, James Eldridge Gross, Charles Gatchell (Eds.), Medical era, Volume 8, (Era Pub. Co., 1890). Page 348. See also Anon, The British Homeopathic Review, Volume 34, (1890). Multiple pages. See also Anon, Maryland medical journal: medicine and surgery, Volume 31, Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland, (The Medical Journal Company., 1894). Page 394).

Hugh Lupus Grosvenor was also active in the campaign to stop the trafficking of young girls, and he funded the provision of nurses for the poor,

Hugh Lupus Grosvenor 1st Duke of Westminster was the eldest son of Richard Grosvenor Earl Grosvenor 2nd Marquess of Westminster and Lady Elizabeth Mary, daughter of George Leveson Gower 1st Duke of Sutherland. Richard Grosvenor, 1st Baron Stalbridge, was his youngest brother. He was educated at Eton and the University of Oxford.

Westminster represented Chester as a Liberal in the House of Commons between 1847 and 1869, when he succeeded as third Marquess of Westminster on the death of his father. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1870 and on 27 February 1874 he was created Duke of Westminster, in the County of Middlesex, the most recent person neither born into nor related by marriage to the British Royal Family to be advanced to the highest degree of the peerage.

He was a member of William Ewert Gladstone’s second administration as Master of the Horse between 1880 and 1885 and was sworn of the Privy Council in 1880. He was also Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire between 1883 and 1899 and of London between 1889 and 1899. On 21 February 1891 he was appointed an honorary colonel of the Cheshire Yeomanry.

By the time of Westminster’s elevation to a dukedom in 1874 the family’s London property in Mayfair, Belgravia and Pimlico had made it the richest family in the United Kingdom. His main country seat, Eaton Hall in Cheshire, was reconstructed at great expense.

Westminster inherited Eaton Stud and was highly successful as a Thoroughbred breeder as well as on the track. A major name in racing, among his most famous horses was the Epsom Derby winner Bend Or, the undefeated Triple Crown champion, Ormonde and a second Triple Crown champion, Flying Fox.

It is believed that the character “Colonel Ross” in Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story Silver Blaze is modeled on Westminster.Westminster married, firstly, his first cousin Lady Constance Gertrude, daughter of George Sutherland Leveson Gower 2nd Duke of Sutherland and Lady Harriet Elizabeth Georgiana Howard, on 28 April 1852. They had five sons and three daughters:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Lord Arthur Hugh Grosvenor (31 May 1860 – 29 April 1929), married Helen, daughter of Sir Robert Sheffield, 5th Baronet.
  • Lord Henry George Grosvenor (23 June 1861 – 27 December 1914), married (1) Dora Mina, daughter of James Erskine Wemyss, and was the father of William Grosvenor 3rd Duke of Westminster; (2) Rosamund Angharad, daughter of Edward Lloyd.
  • Lord Robert Edward Grosvenor (19 March 1869 – 16 June 1888), died unmarried.
  • Captain Lord Gerald Richard Grosvenor (14 July 1874 – 10 October 1940), died unmarried.

He married, secondly, Hon. Katherine Caroline Cavendish, daughter of William Cavendish 2nd Baron Chesham and Henrietta Frances Lascelles, on 29 June 1882. They had two sons and two daughters:

  • Lady Mary Cavendish Grosvenor (12 May 1883 – 14 January 1959), married (1) Henry Crichton, Viscount Crichton (1872-1914), and was the mother of John Crichton 5th Earl Erne; (2) Colonel the Hon. Algernon Francis Stanley (1874-1962).
  • Lady Helen Frances Grosvenor (5 February 1888 – 21 October 1970), married Brigadier-General Lord Henry Seymour (1878-1939) and was the mother of Hugh Seymour 8th Marquess of Hertford.
  • Lord Edward Arthur Grosvenor (27 October 1892 – 26 August 1929), married Lady Dorothy Margaret, daughter of Valentine Browne, 5th Earl of Kenmare.

Westminster died in December 1899, aged 74, and was succeeded in the dukedom by his grandson, Victor. The Duchess of Westminster died in December 1941.


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