This famous and interesting name is of locational origin from "Greville" in La Manche, Normandy, France, and is composed of the Germanic personal name "Creiz" and the Old French word "ville", settlement. Lower in his "Patronymica Britannica" states that "Greville, is a parish at the extremity of the isthmus of La Hague, in Normandy". The surname itself first appears in records in the mid 12th Century (see below). The Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire record one John de Greville in 1273. His grandson William Greville made a loan to Richard 11 in 1397, and his descendants include Faulke Greville (1554 - 1628), a favourite of Elizabeth 1st, who was granted Warwick castle. The family also hold the earldom of Warwick. Shirley's "Noble and Gentle Men" says that "the family was founded by the wool trade in the 14th Century by William Grevel, "the flower of the wool-merchants in the whole realm of England", who died and was buried at Campden, in Gloucestershire in 1401. Robert Greville (1608 - 1643), was second Baron Brook and a cousin of Sir Faulke Greville, and speaker of the House of Lords, 1642. He was a parliamentarian general who was killed at Lichfield in 1642. Another namebearer, Algernon Frederick Greville (1789 - 1864), was private secretary to the Duke of Wellington from 1827 - 1842, having been his aide-de-camp and ensign in the Grenadier Guards at Waterloo. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Greiuill, which was dated 1154, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northumberland", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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