Tuesday, 15 December 2020

1st Earl of Stamford

This was one of the most ancient and illustrious families in the peerage.

It deduced an uninterrupted line from the Conquest, and allied with the Plantagenets and Tudors.

HENRY DE GREY (1155-1219) obtained from RICHARD I the manor of Thurrock in Essex, and had the same confirmed by KING JOHN, with the privilege of hunting the fox and hare in any lands belonging to the crown except the King's own demesnes.

In the reign of HENRY III, he had a grant of the manor of Grimston, in Nottinghamshire, from Robert Bardolf, whose niece and co-heiress, Isolda, he married and eventually shared in the shared inheritance of the said Robert's lands.

From his second son by this lady,

JOHN DE GREY, descended the Lords Grey de Ruthyn, the extinct Earls and Dukes of Kent, the extinct Dukes of Suffolk, the Earls of Wilton, and the house of which we are now treating.

the second son of Reginald, 3rd Baron Grey de Ruthyn,

SIR EDWARD GREY (c1415-57), wedded Elizabeth, 6th Baroness Ferrers of Groby, daughter and heiress of Henry, son and heir-apparent of William, Baron Ferrers of Groby, and in consequence assumed that title.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR JOHN GREY (c1432-61), of Groby, who espoused Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, by whom he had two sons.

Sir John fell at the second battle of St Albans fighting under the banner of HENRY VI, and his widow became subsequently Queen Consort of EDWARD IV.

Sir John Grey's eldest son and heir,

SIR THOMAS GREY (1455-1501), through the influence of his mother, was created Earl of Huntingdon, and four years later advanced to a marquessate, in 1475, in the dignity of MARQUESS OF DORSET.

After King Edward's death, however, his lordship was attainted of high treason, but restored upon the accession of HENRY VII to the throne.

He was succeeded by his eldest surviving son (by his second wife, Cecily, daughter and heiress of William Bonville, 6th Baron Harington),

THOMAS, 2nd Marquess (1477-1530), KG KB, who carried the Sword of State at the celebrated meeting between HENRY VIII and FRANCIS I, King of France, at Ardres in 1520.

His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

HENRY, 3rd Marquess (1517-54), KG KB; who married for his second wife, the Lady Frances Brandon, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Charles, 1st Duke of Suffolk, by Mary, Queen Dowager of France, and sister of HENRY VIII, and was in consequence advanced, in 1551, to a dukedom, as DUKE OF SUFFOLK, and installed a Knight of the Garter.

The Lady Jane Grey

The issue of this marriage were three daughters: the eldest, the amiable and unfortunate LADY JANE GREY (1537-54), having, through the ambition of her father, and father-in-law, for a few days usurped the empty trappings of royalty, was attainted and, subsequently, in consequence of her father's second rebellion, brought with her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, to the block, 1554.

The Lady Katherine Grey (1540-68), the second daughter, marrying Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford, without the permission of ELIZABETH I, was committed to the Tower by Her Majesty, where she died, 1568.

The youngest daughter, the Lady Mary Grey (1545-78), espoused Thomas Keyes, of Kent, Sergeant Porter to ELIZABETH I, and died without issue, 1578.

The unhappy father, having rebelled again after receiving the Queen's pardon, suffered soon after his eldest daughter and his brother, Thomas, following.

From that period the honours of the family were eclipsed until revived by JAMES I, who created

SIR HENRY GREY, Knight (1547-1614), in 1603, Baron Grey of Groby.

His lordship wedded Anne, daughter of William, 2nd Baron Windsor, of Bradenham, Buckinghamshire; and dying in 1614, was succeeded by his grandson,

HENRY, 2nd Baron (c1599-1673), who was created, in 1628, EARL OF STAMFORD.

His lordship wedded the Lady Anne Cecil, youngest daughter and co-heiress of William, Earl of Exeter, in whose right he became possessed of the Castle, Borough, and Manor of Stamford.

Henry, 1st Earl of Stamford

The 1st Earl was a parliamentary military commander during the civil wars, as was his son, Thomas, Lord Grey, who predeceased him.

His lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

THOMAS, 2nd Earl (c1654-1720), PC; imprisoned for the part he had taken in the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion, but was admitted to bail; and he finally secured his safety under the amnesty granted, 1685-6.

His lordship married twice; but leaving no issue at his decease, the honours reverted to his cousin,

HARRY GREY, as 3rd Earl (1685-1739), grandson of the 1st Earl through his third son, the Hon John Grey, of Enville Hall, Shropshire.

His lordship wedded Dorothy, daughter of Sir Nathan Wright, 2nd Baronet, of Caldecote Hall, Warwickshire, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal in the reigns of WILLIAM III and QUEEN ANNE.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

HARRY, 4th Earl (1715-68), who married, in 1736, the Lady Mary Booth, only daughter and heiress of George, 2nd and last Earl of Warrington, and had issue,
GEORGE HARRY, his successor;
Mary; Anne Grey.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE HARRY, 5th Earl (1737-1819); who was created, in 1796, Baron Delamer and EARL OF WARRINGTON, the honours enjoyed by his maternal grandfather.

His lordship espoused, in 1763, the Lady Henrietta Bentinck, daughter of William, 2nd Duke of Portland, and had issue,
GEORGE HARRY, his successor;
William Booth;
Henrietta; Marie; Maria; Louisa; Sophia; Ameila.
His lordship was succeeded by his eldest son,

GEORGE HARRY, 6th Earl (1765-1845), who wedded, in 1797, Henrietta Charlotte, sister of Francis, 8th Earl of Wemyss, and had issue,
GEORGE HARRY  (1802-35), father of the 7th Earl;
Henrietta Charlotte; Jane.
His lordship was succeeded by his grandson,

GEORGE HARRY, 7th Earl (1827-83), who espoused firstly, in 1848, Elizabeth, daughter of John Billage; and secondly, in 1855, Katherine, second daughter of Henry Cocks, though the marriages were without issue, when the honours reverted to his lordship's kinsman,

HARRY, 8th Earl (1812-90),
Harry Grey, 8th Earl (1812-90);
William Grey, 9th Earl (1850–1910);
Roger Grey, 10th Earl (1896–1976).
Ancestral seats ~ Enville Hall, Staffordshire; Dunham Park, Cheshire.

First published in December, 2018.  Stamford arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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