Grenville Berkeley


1848-52, 1855-56

When Craven Berkeley was unseated on petition in 1848, Berkeley Castle suddenly needed a new candidate to keep the seat warm.  Step forward cousin Grenville who narrowly won the by-election and then graciously stood aside for the returning Craven at the following General Election in 1852, despite having been appointed a ‘whip’ in the meantime.  He secured his own election as MP for Evesham but when Craven died in Germany in 1855, Grenville yet again responded to the family’s call and resigned his Evesham seat to stand in Cheltenham.  Whether in sympathy for the family, through his own talents or simply by outspending his bank manager opponent, he secured a whopping 81% of the vote at a second by-election. Having caused a third by-election in Evesham by resigning, he sat for Cheltenham for less than a year before forcing yet another by-election by accepting the post of Commissioner of Customs, a crown office that disqualified him as an MP.