Eliza Grey

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Lady Eliza Lucy Grey
Lady Grey, 1854.JPG
Lady Grey portrait by William Gush (c. 1854)
Born Elizabeth Lucy Spencer
circa 1823
Lyme Regis, Dorset
Died 4 September 1898 (aged 75)
Christchurch, Hampshire
Known for Estranged wife of Sir George Grey

Lady Eliza Lucy Grey (née Spencer) (c. 1823 – 4 September 1898), was the daughter of British Royal Navy officer Captain Sir Richard Spencer and Lady Ann Warden Liddon.[1] She was the wife of Sir George Grey.

Early life[edit]

In 1833, Sir Richard Spencer was appointed Government Resident at Albany, Western Australia. He purchased the Government Farm, and resided there with his wife and ten children. They lived in a pise cottage until, in 1836, the current two-storey stone house was built adjoining the older home.[2][3]

Marriage[edit]

A photograph of Strawberry Hill Farm, Albany
A portrait painting of Lady Eliza Grey at Mansion House, Kawau Island.

George Grey was a visiting magistrate in Albany when he met young Eliza Lucy, the seventh child of Sir Richard and Lady Spencer, at their Strawberry Hill Farm. George and Eliza married on 2 November 1839 at the farm after a brief courtship. She was sixteen and he was twenty-seven.

Their only child, a son named George, born 1841, lived only five months. It has been said that George blamed Eliza for his death, claiming their child was neglected.[4][5]

They journeyed to England but would return to South Australia and New Zealand where George undertook stints as Governor. In 1854 George arrived in the Cape as Governor of the colony. On a return voyage from a visit to England in 1860, which seemed somewhat of a round tour as the route took in South America on the way back to Cape Town, the marriage hit stormy waters. George accused Eliza of flirting with the ship's captain, Admiral Henry Keppel. The boat was quickly turned around and the disgraced Eliza was left ashore at Rio de Janeiro. George continued his voyage back to Cape Town alone.

Later life[edit]

George Grey and his wife Eliza had an unhappy marriage; they were estranged for 36 years and reconciled, it has been said, through the intervention of Queen Victoria and the Gladstones, only a year before they both died in 1898.[6] George Grey died on 19 September in London, having been nursed by Eliza during his last illness which lasted for 18 months. Eliza, however, pre-deceased him by 14 days.[7][8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Lady Barbarina Charlotte Grey, My dear Maria: the Cape letters and journal of Barbarina Charlotte, Lady Grey, 1857-1860, Friends of the South African Library, 1997 ISBN 0869681206
  • Harry Bioletti, Whatever Happened to Lady Grey? Or, The Many Shades of Grey: Being a Look Into the Private Lives of Lady Eliza Lucy Grey and Her Husband Sir George Grey, H. Bioletti, 2001 ISBN 0473059320

External links[edit]