William, 2nd Viscount Grandison was the son of Sir Edward Villiers (c.1585-1626) and his wife Barbara, daughter of Sir John St. John (c.1560-1620) of Lidiard Tregoze, Wiltshire, and niece of Sir Oliver St. John, 1st Viscount Grandison of Limerick, Co. Leitrim. William succeeded to the title on the death of his grand-uncle on 20 December 1630. He married Mary, daughter of Paul, 1st Viscount Bayning, on 21 October 1639. William actively supported the cause of King Charles I and in the siege of Bristol on 24 July 1643 he was mortally wounded and died two days later. His only child was Barbara (1641-1709), who was created Duchess of Cleveland by King Charles II in 1670. Sir Edward's second and third sons, George and John succeeded as 3rd and 4th Viscounts Grandison. The fourth son, Sir Edward (1620-1689), was father of Edward Villiers, 1st Earl of Jersey.
The coats-of-arms attached to the reverse of the stretcher are those of Stanhope with Fleming in pretence for Charles, 2nd Earl of Harrington (1753-1825) and his wife Jane (d.1824), daughter and co-heir of Sir John Fleming 1st Bt.; and Bentinck for the Dukes of Portland.