Duke George Granville  Sutherland-Leveson-Gower

Duke George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower

Male 1758 - 1833  (75 years)    Has more than 100 ancestors and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower 
    Prefix Duke 
    Relationshipwith Adam
    Born 9 Jan 1758 
    Gender Male 
    Died 19 Jul 1833 
    Person ID I77526  Geneagraphie
    Links To This person is also George Leveson-Gower at Wikipedia 
    Last Modified 9 Aug 2006 

    Father Earl Granville Leveson-Gower,   b. 4 Aug 1721,   d. 26 Oct 1803  (Age 82 years) 
    Mother Louisa Egerton,   b. 30 Apr 1723, Little Gaddesen, Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Mar 1761  (Age 37 years) 
    Siblings 3 siblings 
    Family ID F95767  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Countess Elizabeth Gordon,   b. 24 May 1765,   d. 29 Jan 1839  (Age 73 years) 
    Married 4 Sep 1785  London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Duke George Granville Leveson-Gower-Sutherland,   b. 8 Aug 1786, Portland Place, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Feb 1861, Trentham Hall, Stafford, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
     2. Charlotte Sophia Sutherland-Leveson-Gower,   b. 8 Jun 1788,   d. 7 Jul 1870  (Age 82 years)
     3. Elizabeth Marie Leveson-Gower,   b. 8 Nov 1797,   d. 11 Nov 1891, Inwood, Somerset Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years)
     4. Earl Francis Egerton,   b. 1 Jan 1800,   d. 18 Feb 1857  (Age 57 years)
    Last Modified 5 Jun 2006 
    Family ID F31973  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 4 Sep 1785 - London, Middlesex, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    George Granville Leveson-Gower
    George Granville Leveson-Gower

  • Notes 
    • 1st Duke of Sutherland
      2nd Marquess of Stafford

      Three generations earlier his ancestor was only a Baronet but, within the space of three generations, they rose to a dukedom and also, as it happened, from nonentity to notoriety. However, only a few generations later they could also claim to be the 'richest, most powerful, and most disliked family in England'.

      In 1785 he married the Countess of Sutherland and, as a dowry, she brought him 1735 square miles of land, or two-thirds of the county of Sutherlands in Scotland. A year later his father was created Marquess of Stafford, a title he inherited in 1803 together with estates inShropshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. In the same year, his uncle, the bachelor Duke of Bridgwater, died, leaving him the finest art collection in the country at that time, and a still greater fortune.

      Sadly, neither he nor his wife possessed the intelligence to know how best to use all this money. Neither subtlety nor sensitivity had been passed on to them either. From 1803 to 1833 they were known as Marquess and Marchioness of Stafford, names which during that period were loathed in the shire of Sutherland because of the infamous 'clearings'. Sutherland needed improving, as in 1812 there was not a single road in the whole county, and only one bridge.

      For twenty years the Marquess never saw anything of Sutherland except what was visible from Dunrobin Castle. In 1811 the Parliament offered to pay half the expense of building roads in Scotland if landowners would bear the other half. First he bought the Reay estate for £300,000, making him owner of almost the entire county, and then he set to work. Twenty years later he had built 450 miles of excellent roads, among the best in Great Britain, 134 bridges, and an iron bridge with a span of 150 feet, uniting Sutherland and Ross-shire at Bonar. He had opened up the county to the mail service, which now went as far as Thurso, when previously it did not penetrate Sutherland at all. Improvements had been made but, in the process, the lives of the people had been made a misery.

      These 'ignorant, illiterate and slothful people' had no business to object. Stafford's agents came to thousands of huts, with orders for the tenants to move to the coast. Not only were they evicted but were also expected to contribute four shillings each towards the cost of the road-building, which otherwise Stafford would have to pay. The huts left behind were burned to the ground, sometimes with the few belongings still inside. The Marquess and his wife witnessed nothing of these evictions, but, even if they had, would not have spared more than a moment's reflection.

      There is no record of how many people were removed but it was conjectured at somewhere between 5,000 and 15,000. Some moved to the coast while others emigrated to Northern America. Donald Macleod, a stonemason, immortalised the events several years later: 'The country was darkened by the smoke of burnings, and the descendants were ruined, trampled upon, dispersed, and compelled to seek asylum across the sea'. Donald Macleod was hounded by Stafford's men, and driven eventually into exile; his wife was driven into madness by the persecution she suffered.

      However, the cruelty of the Sutherland evictions became known and fierce arguments raged as to whose fault it was. The Staffords were appalled when it became known what had happened in their name but history convicted their criminal responsibility. The clearance policy did enormous good in the long run but personally the Staffords gained nothing from it.

      Stafford had no imagination; even his own grandson, Lord Ronald, described him as 'a bottomlessly dull man' and that he never did or said anything that was worth remembering, and what he wrote was boring beyond comprehension. However, he also suffered from gout and myopia, and was conspicuous by his huge hawk-like nose.

      He had inherited most titles and, as a result, desperatly wanted to become a duke. In 1833 he achieved his aim and this Englishman became Duke of Sutherland, but lived only another six months to enjoy his new status.


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