GREY (GRAY), Hon. Anchitell (c.1624-1702), of Risley, Derbys.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



16 Feb. 1665 - Mar. 1681
1689 - 1695

Family and Education

b. c.1624, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Henry Grey†, 1st Earl of Stamford (d. 1673), by Lady Anne, da. and coh. of William Cecil†, 2nd Earl of Exeter; bro. of Hon. John* and Thomas Grey†, Baron Grey of Groby.  m. by 1657, Anne (d. 1688), da. and coh. of Sir Henry Willoughby, 1st Bt., of Risley, wid. of Sir Thomas Aston, 1st Bt.†, of Aston, Cheshire, 1s. d.v.p. 1da.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Notts. 1657–8; commr. oyer and terminer, Midland circuit 1665, recusants, Derbys. 1675.2

Gent. of privy chamber (extraordinary) June 1660.3


Grey’s favourable marriage brought him considerable property and influence in south Derbyshire. His seat at Risley lay only six miles from Derby, near the Nottinghamshire border. Having sat for the borough continuously between 1665 and 1681, and again in the Convention, he was returned unopposed in 1690. It seems likely that the influence of the Cavendish family, which was instrumental in securing him the seat in the first place, continued to be exercised in his favour. Following his election Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) classed him as a Whig. Grey’s chief importance lies in his role as a recorder of parliamentary debates. However, now in the twilight of his career in the Commons, his attendance was limited by ill-health and consequently his accounts are less valuable. For some of the time he was forced to rely on the letters of his fellow member, Robert Wilmot. Furthermore, Grey’s activities in the Commons are difficult to distinguish from those of his brother, Hon. John. The evidence suggests that it was John who was the more active Member, chairing the committees of privileges and elections and the committee of the whole on the state of the nation. Grey attended the short 1690 session, but did not attend at all during the following session, receiving leave of absence for health reasons on 24 Nov. 1690. In April 1691, Robert Harley* classed him as a Country supporter. His first record of debate in the next session is on 7 Nov. 1691 and his last entry on 13 Jan. 1692. Two days later he received leave of absence for three weeks. In the 1692–3 session, his first record of a debate is on 4 Nov. and his last on the 28th. He received leave on 16 Dec. for health reasons. In the following session his record of debates begins on 7 Nov. 1693 and ends on 22 Dec. On the 30th he again received leave for health reasons. He was classed as a Court supporter on Grascome’s list of 1693, extended to 1695, but did not attend the 1694–5 session.4

Grey did not stand again, retiring to Risley where he maintained an interest in political affairs. Indeed, on 11 Mar. 1702 he was summoned to see the Duke of Devonshire (William Cavendish†), presumably to discuss the electoral implications of King William’s death. Grey died on 8 July 1702, having been afflicted with gout and cancer of the mouth. His estate, variously valued at between £3,500 and £4,000 p.a., was left to his only daughter Elizabeth, and then returned to the Willoughby family.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Stuart Handley


  • 1. Collins, Peerage, iii. 359; Bull. IHR, v. 55–56.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 791–2.
  • 3. LC 3/2.
  • 4. W. Woolley, Hist. Derbys. (Derbys. Rec. Soc. vi.), 62–64; HMC 15th Rep. VII, 174; Morrice ent’ring bk. 2, p. 642; Grey, x. 151, 387; H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 129.
  • 5. HMC Cowper, ii. 383, 449; iii. 1; Flying Post, 11–14 June 1702; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 194; Woolley, 64.