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Biography of George Grieve

George Grieve was born in Alnwick in 1748 to a prominent Northumbrian family and graduated MA from the University of Glasgow in 1766.

University records state that Grieve was "engaged in Revolutionary movements". This is evidenced early on in his activity against the Duke of Northumberland and also when he lead a mob in his native land. In 1780 he moved to America where he knew some of the founding fathers, including Washington. After being sent on a mission to Holland he went to Paris, possibly representing America in revolutionary demonstrations.

It was in France that Grieve made his name, becoming the persecutor of Madame Du Barry and being a key figure in her downfall. He persuaded two of her servants to join the revolutionary cause and had her arrested. After she was briefly released he wrote the pamphlet L'égalité controuvée on petite histoire … de la Du Barry and signed it:

Greive, défendeur officieux des braves sans-culottes de Louveciennes, ami de Franklin et de Marat, factieux et anarchiste de premier ordre, et désorganisateur du despotisme dans les deux hémisphères depuis vingt ans

Grieve continued to conspire relentlessly against Madame Du Barry, even being a witness in her trial. It is said that he was to dine with Marat on the night of Marat's assassination.

Following Robespierre's fall Grieve was arrested and taken to Versailles, upon being released (on unknown grounds) he moved back to America and then went to Brussels, where he died in 1809.


George Grieve
GU Degree: MA, 1766;
University Link: Graduate
Record last updated: 14th Jul 2014

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