Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville - Encyclopedia

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CHARLES CAVENDISH FULKE GREVILLE (1794-1865), English diarist, a great-grandson by his father of the 5th earl of Warwick, and son of Lady Charlotte Bentinck, daughter of the duke of Portland, formerly a leader of the Whig party, and first minister of the crown, was born on the 2nd of April 1794. Much of his childhood was spent at his grandfather's house at Bulstrode. He was one of the pages of George III., and was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford; but he left the university early, having been appointed private secretary to Earl Bathurst before he was twenty. The interest of the duke of Portland had secured for him the secretaryship of the island of Jamaica, which was a sinecure office, the duties being performed by a deputy, and the reversion of the clerkship of the council. Greville entered upon the discharge of the duties of clerk of the council in ordinary in 1821, and continued to perform them for nearly forty years. He therefore served under three successive sovereigns, - George IV., William IV. and Victoria, - and although no political or confidential functions are attached to that office, it is one which brings a man into habitual intercourse with the chiefs of all the parties in the state. Well-born, well-bred, handsome and accomplished, Greville led the easy life of a man of fashion, taking an occasional part in the transactions of his day and much consulted in the affairs of private life. Until 1855 when he sold his stud he was an active member of the turf, and he trained successively with Lord George Bentinck, and with the duke of Portland. But the celebrity which now attaches to his name is entirely due to the posthumous publication of a portion of a Journal or Diary which it was his practice to keep during the greater part of his life. These papers were given by him to his friend Mr Henry Reeve a short time before his death (which took place on the 18th of January 1865), with an injunction that they should be published, as far as was feasible, at not too remote a period after the writer's death. The journals of the reigns of George IV. and William IV. (extending from 1820 to 1837) were accordingly so published in obedience to his directions about ten years after that event. Few publications have been received with greater interest by the public; five large editions were sold in little more than a year, and the demand in America was as great as in England. These journals were regarded as a faithful record of the impressions made on the mind of a competent observer, at the time, by the events he witnessed and the persons with whom he associated. Greville did not stoop to collect or record private scandal. His object appears to have been to leave behind him some of the materials of history, by which the men and actions of his own time would be judged. He records not so much public events as the private causes which led to them; and perhaps no English memoirwriter has left behind him a more valuable contribution to the history of the 19th century. Greville published anonymously, in 1845, a volume on the Past and Present Policy of England to Ireland, in which he advocated the payment of the Roman Catholic clergy; and he was also the author of several pamphlets on the events of his day.

His brother, Henry Greville (1801-1872), attache to the British embassy in Paris from 1834 to 1844, also kept a diary, of which part was published by Viscountess Enfield, Leaves from the Diary of Henry Greville (London, 1883-1884).

See the preface and notes to the Greville Memoirs by Henry Reeve. The memoirs appeared in three sets - one from 1817 to 1837 (London, 1875, 3 vols.), and two for the period from 1837 to 1860, three volumes in 1885 and two in 1887. When the first series appeared in 1875 some passages caused extreme offence. The copies issued were as far as possible recalled and passages suppressed.

Grevin, Jacques (c. 1 539 - 1 57 0), French dramatist, was born at Clermont about 1539. He studied medicine at the university of Paris. He became a disciple of Ronsard, and was one of the band of dramatists who sought to introduce the classical drama in France. As Sainte-Beuve points out, the comedies of Grevin show considerable affinity with the farces and soties that preceded them. His first play, La Mlaubertine, was lost, and formed the basis of a new comedy, La Tresoriere, first performed at the college of Beauvais in 1558, though it had been originally composed at the desire of Henry II. to celebrate the marriage of Claude, duchess of Lorraine. In 1560 followed the tragedy of Jules Cesar, imitated from the Latin of Muret, and a comedy, Les Ebahis, the most important but also the most indecent of his works. Grevin was also the author of some medical works and of miscellaneous poems, which were praised by Ronsard until the friends were separated by religious differences. Grevin became in 1561 physician and counsellor to Margaret of Savoy, and died at her court in Turin in 1570.

The Theatre of Jacques Grevin was printed in 1562, and in the Ancien Thedtre francais, vol. iv. (1855-1856). See L. Pinvert, Jacques Grevin (1899).

Grevy, Francois Paul Jules (1813-1891), President of the French Republic, was born at Mont-sous-Vaudrey in the Jura, on the 15th of August 1813. He became an advocate in 1837, and, having steadily maintained republican principles under the Orleans monarchy, was elected by his native department to the Constituent Assembly of 1848. Foreseeing that Louis Bonaparte would be elected president by the people, he proposed to vest the chief authority in a president of the Council elected and removable by the Assembly, or in other words, to suppress the Presidency of the Republic. After the coup d'etat this proposition gained Grevy a reputation for sagacity, and upon his return to public life in 1868 he took a prominent place in the republican party. After the fall of the Empire he was chosen president of the Assembly on the 16th of February 1871, and occupied this position till the 2nd of April 1876, when he resigned on account of the opposition of the Right, which blamed him for having called one of its members to order in the session of the previous day. On the 8th of March 1876 he was elected president of the Chamber of Deputies, a post which he filled with such efficiency that upon the resignation of Marshal MacMahon he seemed to step naturally into the Presidency of the Republic (30th January 1879), and was elected without opposition by the republican parties (see France: History). Quiet, shrewd, attentive to the public interest and his own, but without any particular distinction, he would have left an unblemished reputation if he had not unfortunately accepted a second term (18th December 1885). Shortly afterwards the traffic of his son-in-law (Daniel Wilson) in the decorations of the Legion of Honour came to light. Grevy was not accused of personal participation in these scandals, but he was somewhat obstinate in refusing to realize that he was responsible indirectly for the use which his relative had made of the Elysee, and it had to be unpleasantly impressed upon him that his resignation was inevitable (2nd December 1887). He died at Mont-sous-Vaudrey on the 9th of September 1891. He owed both his success and his failure to the completeness with which he represented the particular type of the thrifty, generally sensible and patriotic, but narrow-minded and frequently egoistic bourgeois. See his Discours politiques et judiciaires, rapports et messages. .. accompagnes de notices historiques et precedes d'une introduction par L. Delabrousse (2 vols., 1888).

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