Grosvenor Road, TW10

Place Name

Field-Marshal Thomas Grosvenor (May 30, 1764 – January 20, 1851), a nephew of the incredibly wealthy 1st Earl Grosvenor, lived at Mount Ararat House from at least 1830 until his death. Grosvenor was a British Army officer whose early career saw him lead the defence of the Bank of England during the Gordon Riots and later taking part in the Flanders Campaign including the retreat into Germany during the French Revolutionary Wars. He served as a brigade commander at the Battle of Copenhagen and was then deployed to Walcheren in the Netherlands where he served as deputy commander of a division led by Sir Eyre Coote during the disastrous Walcheren Campaign. In 1795 he succeeded his father as Whig Member of Parliament for Chester, a seat he held until 1826, followed by one in Stockbridge, which he held until 1830. A few years earlier, in 1820, he had a narrow escape when during a speech in his constituency he spoke out against the Cato Street conspirators, who had plotted to murder the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. An angry mob overturned his carriage into the River Dee and a petition was raised to stop him standing again – which was rejected. A keen race goer he started renting Warren House in Loughton, probably as it was on the way to Newmarket Racecourse and in June 1825 one of his horses, Wings, won the Epsom Oakes. It was reported that after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Grosvenor gave his dogs and horses names such as Nelson, Trafalgar and Temeraire. His first wife, Elizabeth, died in July 1830, and, at the age of 67, he married his former colleague George Wilbraham’s sister, then “aged 40 and said to be an old maid, disagreeable, cross, and peevish”, upon whom £15,000 was settled. He informed the Duke of Rutland: “I cannot live alone; and have been so fortunate to find a gentle lady that takes pity on my singleness… The fact is (I speak for my humble self) I have done with all politics and public men and business. I shall shut my eyes to all newspapers and I must open them on something.” He became a field marshal in 1846 and died at his residence, Mount Arrarat, having bequeathed his land in Gloucestershire, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and Surrey, and almost all his personal estate to his widow. The road was named in 1865 and the building of numerous villas took place shortly afterwards.

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