Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford

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A 1638 painting of Henry Grey by Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen

Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford (c. 1599 – 21 August 1673), known as the Lord Grey of Groby from 1614 to 1628, was an English nobleman and military leader. He was the eldest son of Sir John Grey and Elizabeth Nevill. His mother was probably a daughter of Edward Nevill, 8th Baron Bergavenny (died 1622) and his wife Rachel Lennard.

Henry succeeded his paternal grandfather, Henry Grey, 1st Baron Grey of Groby, as second Baron Grey of Groby in July 1614. His paternal grandmother was Anne Windsor, youngest daughter of William Windsor, 2nd Baron Windsor and his first wife Margaret Sambourne.

His great-grandfather Lord John Grey of Pirgo was son of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset and younger brother of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk.

Life and career[edit]

Contemporary engraving of Henry Gray by Wenceslas Hollar

Grey matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1615, and was granted an M.A. on the King's visit that year.[1] He married Anne Cecil, daughter of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Exeter, the heiress of the borough and manor of Stamford, and in March 1628 was created Earl of Stamford. Just before the outbreak of the English Civil War he was included as one of Charles I's opponents, and was made lord lieutenant of Leicestershire. After some operations around Leicester he occupied Hereford, and, when compelled to abandon the city, marched to Cornwall.

At the Battle of Stratton, on 16 May 1643, his troops were beaten by the Royalists; driven into Exeter, Stamford was forced to surrender the city after a siege of three months. He was certainly no general, and was charged with cowardice. He took no further part in the military operations of the war, although once or twice he was employed on other business. The ravages of the Royalists had reduced him to poverty, and, distrusted by the House of Commons, he had great difficulty in getting any compensation from Parliament. After a period of retirement he declared for Charles II of England during a rising in August 1659, and was arrested, but was soon released. He died on 21 August 1673; his earldom passed to his grandson Thomas Grey, 2nd Earl of Stamford.


He and Anne Cecil had at least nine children:


  1. ^ "Gray, Henry (GRY615H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 


Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Stamford
1628 – 1673
Succeeded by
Thomas Grey
Preceded by
Henry Grey
Baron Grey of Groby
1614 – 1673