Baron Grey of Codnor
Baron Grey, of Codnor in the County of Derby, is a title in the Peerage of England. Sir Henry Grey, grandson of Richard de Grey and who saw military service under Edward I, was summoned to Parliament by writ in 1299. However it was held in 1989 that he and his two successors did not sit in Parliament after being summoned, and the barony was therefore dated 1397 after evidence was found that Richard Grey, known as the fourth Baron, did sit in Parliament. The title fell into abeyance in 1496 on the death of Henry Grey, known as the seventh Baron, and after 493 years was terminated in the favour of Charles Cornwall-Legh, subsequently fifth Baron after the re-dating. The title is currently held by his son, Richard Cornwall-Legh, 6th Baron Grey of Codnor.
The barony, though technically simply Grey as it was created by writ, is often termed "Grey of Codnor" or "Grey (of Codnor)" to distinguish it from the other Grey baronies throughout history and from the extant Grey earldom; though the holder is by convention styled simply as "The Right Honourable The Lord Grey".
This branch of the Grey family was based at Codnor Castle. Together with the other branches of the Grey nobility, they share descent from the Norman knight Anchetil de Greye, a vassal of William the Conqueror.
Abeyance and termination
In 1496, the title became abeyant on the death of the seventh Baron between his aunts, the three daughters of the fourth Baron: Elizabeth Zouche, Eleanor Newport, and Lucy Lenthall. A termination petition was first made by Charles Walker, later Cornwall-Legh, who claimed one twelfth of the title in 1926. Later that year a select committee chaired by John Hamilton, Baron Sumner recommended that, inter alia, no abeyance should be considered which is longer in date than 100 years and that only claims where the claimant lays claim to at least one third of the dignity by considered. Cornwall-Legh died in 1934, and his son, Charles Legh Shuldham Cornwall-Legh, was permitted a relaxation of these conditions in 1936 as the original claim was begun before the committee reported. After grants for extensions of time for various reasons submitted by Cornwall-Legh, in 1989 the House of Lords Committee for Privileges, chaired by Richard Wilberforce, Baron Wilberforce, examined the claim.
It found that although the first, second and third Barons were summoned to Parliament, there was no evidence that they sat in a properly constituted Parliament. Richard Grey, fourth Baron was summoned, in 1397, and did sit, and they held that the barony should be dated from then. It was satisfied that all proper and possible inquiries had been made to trace the descendants of Lucy, Eleanor and Elizabeth, which included Richard Bridgeman, 7th Earl of Bradford (a descendant of Eleanor). The abeyance was subsequently terminated by Elizabeth II in favour of Cornwall-Legh, a descendant of Lucy, who succeeded as the fifth Baron.
Historic Barons Grey of Codnor (1299)
The following have been historically referred to as holders of the title. During the 1989 abeyance termination it was found that they were summoned to Parliament, but there was no evidence that they sat in a properly constituted Parliament.
- Henry Grey, 1st Baron Grey of Codnor (died 1308)
- Richard Grey, 2nd Baron Grey of Codnor (c. 1281–1335)
- John Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Codnor (1305 or 1311 – 1392)
Barons Grey of Codnor (1397)
The 1989 termination of the 1496 abeyance held that the barony be dated 1397, as there was evidence the fourth Baron sat in parliament. The holders of the title from that date were renumbered, with Charles Cornwall-Legh succeeding as the fifth Baron in 1989.
- Richard Grey, 1st (4th) Baron Grey of Codnor (c. 1371–1418)
- John Grey, 2nd (5th) Baron Grey of Codnor (1396–1431)
- Henry Grey, 3rd (6th) Baron Grey of Codnor (1406–1444)
- Henry Grey, 4th (7th) Baron Grey of Codnor (1435–1496) (abeyant 1496)
- Charles Legh Shuldham Cornwall-Legh, 5th Baron Grey of Codnor (1903–1996) (abeyance terminated 1989)
- Richard Henry Cornwall-Legh, 6th Baron Grey of Codnor (born 1936)
The heir apparent is the present holder's son the Hon. Richard Stephen Cayley Cornwall-Legh (born 1976). The heir apparent's heir apparent is his son Caspian Richard Cornwall-Legh (born 2008).
- Burke, Bernard .. With supplement (1884). The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and wales comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time. London: Harrison and Sons. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- Burke, John (1831). A general and heraldic dictionary of the peerages of England, Ireland, and Scotland, extinct, dormant, and in abeyance. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley. p. 235. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- Martine, Roddy (4 January 1997). "Lord Grey of Codnor". The Herald. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "HL Deb 27 July 1989 vol 510 cc1569-77. Barony of Grey of Codnor". Hansard. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Grey (of Codnor), Baron (E, 1397)". Cracroft's Peerage. Heraldic Media. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- Burke, John (1831). A general and heraldic dictionary of the peerages of England, Ireland, and Scotland, extinct, dormant, and in abeyance. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley. p. 235. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- Codnor & District Local History & Heritage website - Lord Grey of Codnor Pedigree