Sir George Grey, 2nd Baronet

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The Right Honourable
Sir George Grey
Bt
Sir George Grey, 2nd Bt.jpg
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
23 June – 30 August 1841
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister Viscount Melbourne
Preceded by The Earl of Clarendon
Succeeded by Lord Granville Somerset
Home Secretary
In office
8 July 1846 – 23 February 1852
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister Lord John Russell
Preceded by Sir James Graham, Bt
Succeeded by Spencer Horatio Walpole
In office
8 February 1855 – 26 February 1858
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded by The Viscount Palmerston
Succeeded by Spencer Horatio Walpole
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
22 June 1859 – 25 July 1861
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded by The Duke of Montrose
Succeeded by Edward Cardwell
Home Secretary
In office
25 July 1861 – 28 June 1866
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Palmerston
The Earl Russell
Preceded by Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bt
Succeeded by Spencer Horatio Walpole
Personal details
Born 11 May 1799 (2014-07-22UTC10:17:07)
Died 9 September 1882(1882-09-09) (aged 83)
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Liberal
Spouse(s) Anna Sophia Ryder
Alma mater Oriel College, Oxford

Sir George Grey, 2nd Baronet, PC (11 May 1799 – 9 September 1882) was a British Whig politician. He held office under four Prime Ministers, Lord Melbourne, Lord John Russell, Lord Aberdeen, and Lord Palmerston, and notably served three times as Home Secretary.

Background and education[edit]

Grey was the only son of Sir George Grey, 1st Baronet, third son of Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey, and younger brother of Prime Minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey. His mother was Mary Whitbread, daughter of Samuel Whitbread. Grey was educated privately and at Oriel College, Oxford. Originally intending to become a priest, he instead chose law as his profession, and was called to the bar in 1826. He began a successful legal practice, but soon turned to politics.

Political career, 1832–1853[edit]

Grey was elected to parliament for Devonport in 1832, and quickly made his mark in the House of Commons. He did not hold office in the Whig administration of his uncle Lord Grey, but when Lord Melbourne became Prime Minister in 1834, he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The government fell in December of that year, but returned to power in May 1835, when Grey resumed the post of Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies (succeeding William Ewart Gladstone). He retained this office until 1839, when he was made Judge Advocate General. The same year Grey was also admitted to the Privy Council. He was then briefly Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1841, with a seat in the cabinet for the first time. However, the Whigs were defeated in the general election of that year.

The Whigs returned to power in 1846 under Lord John Russell, who appointed Grey Home Secretary, the first of his three spells in this position. In 1846, Grey, "himself a zealous advocate of hydropathy"[1] succeeded in getting passed The Baths and Washhouses Act, which promoted the voluntary establishment of public baths and washhouses in England and Wales. A series of statutes followed, which became known collectively as "The Baths and Wash-houses Acts 1846 to 1896".[2][a] This was an important milestone in the improvement of sanitary conditions and public health in those times.[1]

Grey's first tenure at the Home Office notably saw him deal with relief efforts to the victims of the Irish Potato Famine and trying to subdue the Irish rebellion of 1848. The latter year also saw the peak of the Chartist movement, which staged a massive rally in London in April. In 1847, Grey had left his old Devonport seat and was instead elected for Northumberland North. He remained Home Secretary until the 1852 general election, when, despite enjoying widespread popularity, he lost his seat.

Political career, 1853–1874[edit]

Grey remained out of parliament until January 1853, when he was returned for Morpeth. He at first refused to join the coalition government of Lord Aberdeen, but in June 1854 he accepted the post of Colonial Secretary. The coalition fell in February 1855, and the Whigs returned to office under Lord Palmerston. Grey was appointed to his old office of Home Secretary, which he retained until the government resigned in February 1858. The Conservative administration under the Earl of Derby which took office only lasted until June the following year, when Palmerston again became Prime Minister. Grey was now appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, but in 1861 he became Home Secretary for the third time. The government fell in 1866, and Grey was not to hold office again. Before the 1874 general election, he was overlooked as the Liberal candidate for Morpeth in favour of miners' leader Thomas Burt. This marked the end of Grey's public life and he spent the remainder of his life in retirement at his Fallodon estate in Northumberland.

Family[edit]

Grey married Anna Sophia Ryder, eldest daughter of Henry Ryder, Bishop of Lichfield. They had one son, George Henry Grey (1835–1874). Grey died in September 1882, aged 83. As his only son had predeceased him, he was therefore succeeded in the baronetcy by his grandson, Edward. He was also to become a prominent Liberal politician, and served as Foreign Secretary from 1905 to 1916, when he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Grey of Fallodon.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

a.' ^ Online searches for reference to the relevant acts have so far yielded listings from the London Gazette.[3] See also the Parliamentary Archives website.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Metcalfe, Richard (1877). "Chapter IV Re-Introduction of the Turkish Bath, with Observations on the Vapour Bath". in Sanitus Sanitum et omnia Sanitus. Vol.1. London: The Co-operative Printing Co. p. 101. S.a. pp. 11–12, 16. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  Full text at Internet Archive (archive.org)
  2. ^ "'Action of Baths on the Human System': Sub-section in 'Baths' article". 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica (1911encyclopedia.org). Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  3. ^ "London Gazette listings for 'Baths and Wash-houses Act'". London Gazette. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  4. ^ "Parliamentary Archives search portal for listings of 'Baths and Wash-houses Act'". Portcullis – Gateway to Parliamentary Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-05. . Typing (or copying-and-pasting) the phrase: Baths and Wash-houses reliably yields 10 lisings, including that for the original 1846 act and its amendment of the same year, along with other results.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Devonport
18321847
With: Edward Codrington to 1839
Henry Tufnell from 1839
Succeeded by
John Romilly
Henry Tufnell
Preceded by
Addison Cresswell
Lord Ossulston
Member of Parliament for North Northumberland
18471852
With: Lord Ossulston
Succeeded by
Lord Lovaine
Lord Ossulston
Preceded by
Edward Howard
Member of Parliament for Morpeth
1853–1874
Succeeded by
Thomas Burt
Political offices
Preceded by
John Shaw-Lefevre
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
1834
Succeeded by
Hon. John Stuart-Wortley
Preceded by
William Ewart Gladstone
Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
1835–1839
Succeeded by
Henry Labouchere
Preceded by
The Earl of Clarendon
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1841
Succeeded by
Lord Granville Somerset
Preceded by
Sir James Graham, Bt
Home Secretary
1846–1852
Succeeded by
Spencer Horatio Walpole
Vacant
Title last held by
Welbore Ellis
Secretary of State for the Colonies
1854–1855
Succeeded by
Sidney Herbert
Preceded by
The Viscount Palmerston
Home Secretary
1855–1858
Succeeded by
Spencer Horatio Walpole
Preceded by
The Duke of Montrose
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1859–1861
Succeeded by
Edward Cardwell
Preceded by
Sir George Lewis, Bt
Home Secretary
1861–1866
Succeeded by
Spencer Horatio Walpole
Legal offices
Preceded by
William St Julien Arabin
Judge Advocate General
1839–1841
Succeeded by
Richard Lalor Shiel
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Grey
Baronet
(of Fallodon)
1828–1882
Succeeded by
Edward Grey