Grantley Berkeley

The Honourable George Charles Grantley FitzHardinge Berkeley (10 February 1800 – 20 February 1881), known as Grantley Berkeley, was a British politician, writer and sportsman.

Background and education

Berkeley was the sixth son of Frederick Berkeley, 5th Earl of Berkeley, by Mary Cole, daughter of William Cole. He was the brother of William Berkeley, 1st Earl FitzHardinge, Maurice Berkeley, 1st Baron FitzHardinge, Henry FitzHardinge Berkeley, Thomas Berkeley, 6th Earl of Berkeley and Craven Berkeley and the nephew of Sir George Cranfield Berkeley. He was educated at Corpus Christi College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards and afterwards transferred to the 82nd Regiment of Foot.

Political career

Berkeley sat as Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire West from 1832 to 1852 as a Whig. In 1836 he proposed the admission of ladies to the gallery of the House of Commons; this was granted in 1841. After 1852 he devoted himself largely to field sports and writing.


Berkeley was the author of a number of books, including Berkeley Castle, Sandron Hall, or the Days of Queen Anne (1840), and My Life and Recollections, 4 volumes, (1865–66).


In 1836, Berkeley assaulted magazine publisher James Fraser over a review he published in Fraser's Magazine of Berkeley Castle. He subsequently fought a duel with the review's author William Maginn. Three rounds of shots were fired, but no one was struck.


Berkeley married Caroline Martha Benfield (1804–1873), daughter of Paul Benfield (1741–1810) and wife Mary Frances, née Swinburne (1771–1828), on 16 August 1824. Their two sons Swinburne and Edward died in 1865 and 1878 respectively. Berkeley died on 20 February 1881, aged 81.


  • "Hon. George Charles Grantley FitzHardinge Berkeley". The Peerage. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  • "Berkeley, George Charles Grantley Fitzhardinge" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

Further reading

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire West
With: Hon. Augustus Moreton 1832–1835
The Marquess of Worcester 1835
Robert Blagden Hale 1836–1852
Succeeded by
Robert Blagden Hale
Robert Kingscote

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