The Dukes of the Peerage of the United Kingdom

The Dukes

The Duke of Westminster

Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster (1825-1899)

Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster, who also held the titles Earl Grosvenor and Marquess of Westminster.

Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster KG (13 October 1825 – 22 December 1899) was the son of Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster and Lady Elizabeth Mary Leveson-Gower.

He married, firstly, Lady Constance Gertrude Leveson-Gower, daughter of George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland and Lady Harriet Elizabeth Georgiana Howard, on 28 April 1852. He married, secondly, Hon. Katherine Caroline Cavendish, daughter of William George Cavendish, 2nd Baron Chesham and Henrietta Frances Lascelles, on 29 June 1882.

Creation of the Duke of Westminster 

He was created Duke of Westminster on 27 February 1874, the most recent person neither born into nor related by marriage to the British Royal Family to be advanced to the highest degree of the peerage. He had succeeded as 3rd Marquess of Westminster and 4th Earl Grosvenor in 1869.

By the time of his elevation the family's London property in Mayfair, Belgravia and Pimlico had made it the richest family in the United Kingdom. He had his main country seat, Eaton Hall in Cheshire, reconstructed at enormous expense. He was one of the most successful British race horse owners of all time.

He spent 22 years in the House of Commons before he inherited the Marquessate, elected as a member of the Liberal Party. He later served as Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and of London.

He was appointed honorary colonel of the Cheshire Yeomanry on February 21, 1891.

The 1st Duke of Westminster and Thoroughbred horse racing

Hugh Grosvenor inherited Eaton Stud and was highly successful as a Thoroughbred breeder as well as on the track. A major name in racing, among his most famous horses was the Epsom Derby winner Bend Or, the undefeated Triple Crown champion, Ormonde and a second Triple Crown champion, Flying Fox.

It is believed that the character "Colonel Ross" in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story Silver Blaze is modeled on Hugh Grosvenor.

1st Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor Family

He was the father of sixteen children by two wives, and the second to fifth dukes were all grandsons of his through three different sons.

Children by Lady Constance Gertrude Leveson-Gower:

  • Lady Elizabeth Harriet Grosvenor (d. 25 March 1928)
  • Lady Beatrice Constance Grosvenor (d. 12 January 1911)
  • Victor Alexander Grosvenor, Earl Grosvenor (28 April 1853 – 22 January 1884)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Arthur Hugh Grosvenor (31 May 1860 – 29 April 1929)
  • Lord Henry George Grosvenor (23 June 1861 – 27 December 1914)
  • Lord Robert Edward Grosvenor (19 March 1869 – 16 June 1888)
  • Lady Margaret Evelyn Grosvenor (9 April 1873 – 27 March 1929)
  • Captain Lord Gerald Richard Grosvenor (14 July 1874 – 10 October 1940)
  • Children by Hon. Katherine Caroline Cavendish:
  • Lady Mary Cavendish Grosvenor (12 May 1883 – 14 January 1959)
  • Captain Lord Hugh William Grosvenor (6 April 1884 – 30 October 1914)
  • Lady Helen Frances Grosvenor (5 February 1888 – 1970)
  • Lord Edward Arthur Grosvenor (27 October 1892 – 26 August 1929)

Death of the 1st Duke of Westminster 

Hugh Grosvenor died on pneumonia in 1899, in the presence of his family.

Further related reading

other related links:

He is a descendant of William the Conqueror:

Cheshire yeomanry:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:


Horse pedigree:

Descendants of Sir John Cavendish:

National Archives:

Metropolitan Museum of Art:

NYT coverage of his death in 1899: