Grey, John (d.1569) (DNB00)

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GREY, Lord JOHN (d. 1569), youngest son of Thomas Grey, second marquis of Dorset (1477–1530) [q. v.], was deputy of Newhaven in the reign of Edward VI. He received considerable grants of land at various times, i.e. the rectory of Kirkby Beler, Leicestershire, 1550, and other estates in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire in 1551. These grants were renewed to him and his wife in 1553, and under Mary in 1555, when the site of the monastery of Kirkby Beler was added, together with Bardon Park, Leicestershire, and other lands in 1554 (see Nichols, Leicestershire, ii. 228. iii. 674). Grey was involved in Wyatt's rebellion, and he was taken prisoner with his brother Henry, duke of Suffolk [q. v.], in Warwickshire, and brought with him to the Tower, 10 Feb. 1554. On the 20th he was first brought to trial, and allowed on account of his gout to ride from the Tower to Westminster; he was again tried on 11 June, and condemned to death. He had married Mary, the daughter of Sir Anthony Browne, granddaughter of the lord chamberlain, Sir John Gage [q. v.], and sister to the newly created Viscount Montacute, and owed his life to her 'painful travail and diligent suit.' She obtained a free pardon for him through her relatives' influence with Mary, while his two brothers were executed, He was released on 30 Oct., and lived obscurely under Mary, but with Elizabeth's accession was appointed one of the noblemen to attend her on her first progress to London, and appeared at court as the head of the Grey family. He presented the queen with a costly cup of mother-of-pearl as a new year's gift (1558-9), but wrote in March to Cecil to beg him to acquaint her with his embarrassed circumstances. On 24 April Eliiabeth granted him not only the manors of Higham and Stoke Dennys' in Somersetshire, but the more important place of Pyrgo in Essex, which henceforth became his chief residence (Lemon, State Papers, 1547-80,pp. l27,128). He was also restored in blood, and was released from the act of attainder passed on himself and his family under Mary. Being like Suffolk a strong protestant, he was chosen by Cecil's influence one of the four nobles allowed to privately superintend the alterations in the service book (1558). In the summer of 1563, when the plague raged in London, his unfortunate niece, Catherine Seymour[q. v.],was sent from the Tower to Lord John's care at Pyrgo. He warmly espoused her cause, to the ultimate detriment of his own favour at court, and applied earnestly for Cecil's intervention, on her behalf (see Lansd. MS. edited by Sir H. Ellis in Original Letters, vol. ii. 2nd series). In 1564 there is a note of the charges incurred by Grey for his niece and her train, and in May the Earl of Hertford is desired to send 114l. to Pyrgo to defray them(Lemon, State Papers,ib. pp.235,240). The publication of the book by John Hales (d. 1572)[q.v.] on the succession (1564) got Lord John into trouble, Catherine was removed from his charge, and he was in custody for a time at court. He was, however, released, and returned to Pyrgo, but Strype reports that in the autumn of 1569 be fell under another cloud for meddling in the matter concerning the Queen of Scots. Before anything was proved against him he died on 19 Nov. at Pyrgo, where he was buried in his own chapel. His will is dated 17 Nov. Cecil writes, a few days after his death, that it was reported by his friends that 'he died of thought,' but gout, from which he had suffered much, seems to be a sufficient explanation. His family consisted of three sons, only one of whom survived him, and four daughters, and from him the Earls of Stamford and Warrington trace their descent. His youngest son and heir, Henry Grey, was made Baron Grey of Groby 21 July 1603, and this Lord Grey's grandson (Lord John's great-grandson), Henry Grey [q. v.], was first Earl of Stamford, and was father of Thomas, lord Grey of Groby (1623?-1657) [q. v.] the regicide.

[Holinshed's Chronicle; Strype's Memorials, 1822, vol. ii. pt. i. p. 319, vol. iii. pt. i. pp. 145, 194; Strype's Annals, ed. 1824, vol. i. pt. i. p. 468, pt. ii. pp. 117, 391, vol. iii. pt. i. p. 656; Machyn's Diary, pp. 54, 56; Queen Jane and Queen Mary, pp, 37, 54, 63, 77, 124; Burnet's Reformation, vol. ii. pt. i. p. 756; Dugdale's Baronage, i.722; Wright's Hist. of Essex, ii. 930; Sharp's Peerage, &c.]

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