GREY, Edward (c.1611-76), of Ulgham Grange, Northumb. and Covent Garden, Westminster.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

22 June 1660
1661 - Feb. 1676

Family and Education

b. c.1611, 5th but 4th surv. s. of Sir Ralph Grey (d.1623) of Chillingham, being 2nd s. by 2nd w. Dorothy, da. of Thomas Malet of Enmore, Som., wid. of Sir Thomas Palmer of Fairfield, Stogursey, Som. educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. matric. 18 Nov. 1625, aged 14; Christ’s, Camb. 1626; G. Inn 1629. m. aft. 1640, Mary (d.1650), da. and coh. of Robert Delaval of Cowpen, Northumb., wid. of Robert Mitford of Seghill, Northumb., s.p.1

Offices Held

Col. of dgns. (royalist) 1642-6, 1648; capt. of King’s Ft. Gds. (later Grenadier Gds.) 1661, maj. 1664, lt.-col. 1665-d.2

Freeman, Berwick 1648; j.p. Northumb. July 1660-d., Westminster 1665-d.; commr. for assessment, Berwick Aug. 1660-74, Northumb. 1673-4, loyal and indigent officers, Northumb. 1662; commr. for hackney coaches, London and Westminster 1667-d.; dep. lt. Northumb. 1669-d.3

Gent. of the privy chamber by June 1660-d.; commr. for licensing pedlars 1665, loyal and indigent officers’ accounts 1671.4

Biography

Grey’s half-brother, the father of Thomas Grey, was raised to the peerage in 1624. Grey himself inherited a modest patrimony, rated at only £272 p.a. in 1663, and despite his varied and expensive education failed to adopt a profession. He took the opposite side to his father’s first family in the Civil War, serving as a colonel in the royalist army until the surrender of Newark. After subscribing to the Covenant and the negative oath he was allowed to compound at £389 10s. But he was in arms again in the second Civil War, and for a time commanded the royalist garrison of Berwick. ‘There is not a man in the North of England’, Sir Arthur Hesilrige told the Commons, ‘who hath done you more mischief than Colonel Grey.’ His estate was sold by the treason trustees in 1652. Grey, who had fled abroad, returned in the same year, ostensibly to make his peace with the republican regime, but actually to work for a restoration as one of the leaders of the ‘action party’. He was arrested on 6 Feb. 1655; proof of his relations with the exiled Court was obtained, but he was reprieved from transportation on grounds of ill-health. In 1657 he accepted a pension of 10s. a week from the Protectorate, and dropped out of further conspiracy.5

Grey was, of course, ineligible as a Cavalier at the general election of 1660, but he was returned for Berwick at a by-election in June. In his only recorded speech he told the House why the Royalist conspirator Dr Hewitt had refused to plead at his trial in 1658. As ‘Colonel Grey’ he was appointed to the committees on the bill for the better observation of the Lord’s day, and the Earl of Cleveland’s estate bill. Shortly after the dissolution of the Convention, he was given a commission in the guards, and remained a serving officer until his death. He was re-elected to the Cavalier Parliament, and listed as a moderate by Lord Wharton. He was a moderately active Member, being appointed to 57 committees, including that for the corporations bill. Various small boons came his way, such as a share in the receipts from pedlars’ licences and in moneys embezzled from the Vaudois relief fund, if he could discover any, and his name appears on both lists of the court party in 1669-71. He continued to take an interest in Northumberland affairs, serving on bills to prevent theft and rapine on the northern borders, and to prevent the import of corn upon pack-horses from Scotland, as well as on that to appoint commissioners to negotiate a union of the two kingdoms. In 1675 he was appointed to the committees for the prevention of illegal exactions and the suppression of pedlars. His name appeared on the Paston list and the list of court dependants, while on the working lists he was expected to influence his step-brother Peregrine Palmer. He was buried at St. Paul, Covent Garden on 17 Feb. 1676.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Gillian Hampson

Notes

  • 1. Hist. Northumb. ix. 66; xiv. 328-9.
  • 2. HMC Ancaster, 411.
  • 3. J. Scott, Bertwick-upon-Tweed, 210; C181/7/373; CSP Dom. 1668-9, p. 250; 1675-6, p. 173.
  • 4. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 165; CSP Dom. 1