Born on 21 September 1721, Robert Carteret was the only surviving son of John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville and Frances Worsley. He succeeded to the titles of 3rd Baron Carteret of Hawnes, 4th Baronet Carteret, 3rd Earl Granville and 3rd Viscount Carteret on the death of his father on 2 January 1763. He died childless on 13 February 1776 at age 54, without issue. On his death, his titles became extinct.
He studied at St John's College, Oxford, and lived off a generous allowance from his father, who preceded him as Bailiff of Jersey. Contemporary writers described him as "in his youth, what is styled a Buck; his dress, his address, his manners all united to proclaim him one".
Elizabeth Wyndham wrote in 1744:
- "Young Carteret has been at Wooburn, where he has raised the Devil in a manner so indecent that I cannot give you details. The Duke has told his father that he ought to have him put under control, for his head appears to be turned, as it may well be, for he drinks brandy from morning till night."
Horace Walpole, a political opponent of his father, wrote of Robert:
- "A fortnight ago he was at the Duke of Bedford's. At five in the morning he waked the Duke and Duchess all bloody, with the lapel of his coat held up full of ears. He had been in the stables and cropped all the horses."
Evidently his behaviour did not improve with age, because 20 years later Elizabeth Montagu wrote of him:
- "It is grievous to see such a creature represent the late Earl, who had all the grace and dignity of manner added to great talents".
His father had disowned him, but Robert, described in A Biographical Dictionary of Jersey by George Balleine as this drunken nitwit succeeded him as Bailiff of Jersey, a position which had become more or less hereditary. He never visited the Island, but was quite happy to pocket the fees due to the Bailiff.
Another contemporary report described him in 1776 as:
- "rather deficient in his intellects, fond of low company, profuse, fickle and debauched. He appeared constantly in the mean garment of a groom or coachman, shunning his equals, and rioting in taverns with pimps and prostitutes. The conclusion of his inglorious amours was a Fleet marriage with one Molly Paddock, a woman of vile extraction, bold, loose and vulgar, the superintendent of a bagnio".
|John Carteret 1715-1763||Robert Carteret
|Henry Frederick Carteret|