Grenville , an E. county of Ontario, Canada, bordering on the St. Lawrence, and bounded X. by the Rideau river and canal; area, 463 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 22,010. It is well watered, and is traversed by the Grand Trunk and the St. Lawrence and Ottawa railroads. Capital, Prescott.
Grenville , Greenville, or Granville, Sir Richard, an English naval officer, born in the west of England in 1540, died at sea in 1591. He was nearly related to Sir Walter Raleigh. At the age of 16 he served in the German imperial army as a volunteer against the Turks. On his return he was appointed to a command in Ireland, and was made sheriff of Cork. In 1571 he represented Cornwall in parliament, and afterward, being made high sheriff of that county, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. He entered with ardor into Raleigh's schemes of colonization in America, and in 1585 commanded the fleet of seven vessels carrying 108 colonists which Raleigh despatched to Carolina, sailing from Plymouth April 9. The fleet touched at the Canaries and at the West Indies, where it captured two Spanish frigates, and on June 20 made the mainland of Carolina, or Florida, as it was then called. It narrowly escaped wreck on the cape to which Grenville, in consequence, gave its present name of Cape Fear. It anchored at Wocoken June 20, and passing through Oeracoke inlet made its way to Roanoke. Grenville with a party explored the country for eight days, and in revenge for the theft of a silver cup burned an Indian village and destroyed the standing corn.
In August, leaving the colonists under command of Ralph Lane, he sailed for England. On his way home he took a rich Spanish vessel, and was received at Plymouth with high honors, Sept. 18. The next year he recrossed the Atlantic with three ships laden with supplies, but found his colony broken up and the settlers gone. They had departed about three weeks before in a fleet commanded by Sir Francis Drake, who on his way home from the West Indies had paid them a visit, and found them tired of their situation. Grenville, to keep possession of the country, left 15 men on Roanoke island, and sailed again for England. In 1588 he was made a member of the council created to devise means of defence against the Spanish armada, and in 1591 was raised to the rank of vice admiral and sent with five ships to cruise against the Spaniards in the West Indies. Oft the Azores he encountered a Spanish fleet of 53 ships with 10,000 men on hoard. He gave them battle at 3 P. M., fought them till daybreak, and beat them off 15 times. Four of the Spanish ships sank during the action or soon afterward, and 1,000 Spaniards were killed. Grenville was wounded early in the fight, but refused to go below, and had his wounds dressed on deck.
At length he was shot through the body, and was carried into his cabin, upon which the remnant of his crew surrendered. He was taken on board a Spanish ship and well treated, but died in three days.