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OF GEORGE GRANVILLE, :
or as others write Greenville, or Grenville, afterwards lord Landsdown of Biddeford in the county of Devon, less is known than his name and rank might give reason to expect. He was born about 1667, the son of Bernard Greenville, who was entrusted by Monk with the most private transactions of the Restoration, and the grandson of Sir Bevil Greenville, who died in the King's cause, at the battle of Landsdowne.
His early education was superintended by Sir William Ellis; and his progress was such, that before the age of twelve he was sent to Cambridge, where he pronounced a copy of his own verses to the princess Mary d’Esté of Modena, then dutchess of York, when she visited the university.
At the accession of king James, being now at eighteen, he again exerted his poetical powers, and addressed the new monarch in three short pieces, of which the first is profane, and the two others such as a boy might be expected to produce; but he was commended by old Waller, who perhaps was pleased to find himself imitated, in fix lines, which, though they begin with nonsense and
end with dulness, excited in the young author a rapture of acknowledgement, in numbers such as Waller's self might use.
It was probably about this time that he wrote the poem to the earl of Peterborough, upon his accomplishment of the duke of York's marriage with the princess of Modena, whose charms appear to have gained a strong prevalence over his imagination, and upon whom nothing ever has been charged but imprudent piety, an intemperate and misguided zeal for the propagation of popery.
However faithful Granville might have been to the King, or however enamoured of the Queen, he has left no reason for supposing that he approved either the artifices or the violence with,
which the King's religion was infinuated or obtruded. He endeavoured to be true at once to the King and to the Church.
Of this regulated loyalty he has transmitted to posterity a sufficient proof, in the letter which he wrote to his father about a month before the prince of Orange landed.
6 Mar, near Doncaster, Oet. 6, 1688. - To the honourable Mr. Barnard Gran.
“ ville, at the earl of Bathe's, St. 55 James's.
“SIR, * Your having no prospect of obtain« ing a commission for me, can no way *“ alter or cool my desire at this impor