GREY, Sir Henry (1547-1614), of Pirgo, Essex; later of Groby, Leics.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. 1547, o.s. of Lord John Grey of Pirgo by Mary, da. of Sir Anthony Browne, 1st Visct. Montagu. educ.?Christ Church, Oxf. 1563, BA 1565, MA 1568. m. Anne, da. of William Windsor, 2nd Lord Windsor, 4s. inc. Sir John 3da. suc. fa. 1564. Kntd. 1587; cr. Baron Grey of Groby 1603.

Offices Held

Gent. pens. by 1569, lt. of gent. pens. by 1588-1603; master of the Queen’s buckhounds 1596.

J.p. Essex from c.1573, Leics. from c.1583; dep. lt. Essex 1586-90, 1595, commr. subsidy 1596, musters 1599-1603, subsidy Leics. 1610.1


Grey was a courtier, the cousin of Lady Jane Grey. His father was the younger brother of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk and son of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset. His own ambition was to re-establish his family on the ancestral Leicestershire estates and to be restored to the marquessate. Though he lived for some time at Pirgo, near Romford, he was not a great landowner in Essex, and his return as knight of the shire was secured by the intervention of the Privy Council, who wrote to Robert Rich, 3rd Baron Rich, then supporting a rival candidate, requiring him to

forbear to deal any further therein, as well in respect of the inconvenience ... in case so great numbers repair to the said place of assembly, as also in regard of the worthiness of both the parties nominated for that place.

Grey was a member of the subsidy committee (11 Feb. 1589) and of the committee on the purveyors bill (15 Feb.). On 27 Feb. he was one of those appointed to attend the Lords to hear the Queen’s message, conveying her dislike of the purveyors bill. On his return from the Lords, he was appointed to a committee to discuss the bill in the light of the Queen’s stand upon the royal prerogative. He attended the Queen with a petition from the House concerning the purveyors bill on 6 Mar. On the last day of the 1589 Parliament (29 Mar.), he was named to a conference with the Lords to consider a declaration of war with Spain.

Grey died 26 July 1614, and was buried at Bradgate, being succeeded by his grandson Henry, a minor. In his will, dated 20 June 1614 and proved 2 Nov., he described himself as ‘of Leicestershire’, and made provision for the administration of the manors of Broughton and Willoughby by his executors on behalf of his two younger sons, his one surviving daughter and his servants. The executors, who were to have plate worth £40 each, were Sir Thomas Beaumont, Anthony Byninge of Ipswich, and Francis White, ‘clerk’.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.H.


  • 1. CP; R. B. Colvin, Lts. and Keepers of Rolls of Essex, passim; E407/1/12; APC, xvi. 318; xxvi. 93; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 292.
  • 2. Lansd. 21, f. 179; 860A, f. 58; APC, xvi. 318; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 36; Neale, Commons, 293-5; D’Ewes, 431, 433, 440, 443, 454; Quorndon Recs. ed. Farnham, 326; Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xix. 339; PCC 107 Lawe.