Grey, Richard (1694-1771) (DNB00)

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GREY, RICHARD, D.D. (1694–1771), author of 'Memoria Technica,' the son of John Grey of Newcastle, was born in Newcastle in the early part of 1694. He matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford, 20 June 1712, and graduated B.A. in 1716 and M.A. 16 Jan. 1719. He was ordained in 1719, and became chaplain and secretary to Nathaniel Crew, bishop of Durham [q. v.], who caused him to be presented in the following year to the rectory of Hinton, Northamptonshire. Through the same influence Grey obtained the little rectory of Steane Chapel, and in 1725 the additional living of Kimcote, near Lutterworth, Leicestershire. He was also appointed a prebendary of St. Paul's, London, and official and commissary of the archdeaconry of Leicester. It was believed by his friends that his intimate relations with the discredited Crew alone prevented him from attaining like episcopal honours. He was a sound scholar, and gave up much of his time to authorship. His numerous publications commenced with 'An Answer to Barbeyrac's Spirit of the Ecclesiastics of all Ages as to the Doctrines of Morality,' 1722. In 1730 he published 'A System of English Ecclesiastical Law, extracted from the "Codex Juris Ecclesiastici Angli"' of Bishop Gibson, for the use of students for holy orders. In recognition of this work, which passed through four editions in a few years, the university of Oxford gave him the degree of D.D. 28 May 1731. In 1730 also appeared his 'Memoria Technica; or a new Method of Artificial Memory.' Grey's system consisted in changing the last syllable of names into letters which represented figures according to an arbitrary table, and in stringing together the new formations in lines with a hexametric beat. The 'Memoria Technica' was applied to the dates and figures of chronology, geography, measures of weight and length, astronomy, &c., and though uncouth and complicated met with great favour. The book went through several editions in the author's lifetime, and continued to be reprinted with modifications till 1861. On Grey's system were founded Lowe's 'Mnemonics,' and several 'aids to memory' connected with other names. In 1736 Grey published 'The Miserable and Distracted State of Religion in England,' after previous consultation with Dr. Zachary Grey [q. v.]; in 1738 'A New and Easy Method of Learning Hebrew without points, to which is added by way of Praxis the Book of Proverbs divided according to the metre, with the Masoretical readings in Roman letters,' 3 parts; in 1739 'Tabula exhibens Paradigmata Verborum Hebraicorum' and 'Historia Josephi Patriarchi; præmittitur nova methodus Hebraice discendi;' in 1742 'Liber Jobi in versiculos metrice divisus; accedit canticum Moysis;' in 1744 'An Answer to Mr. Warburton's "Remarks on several Occasional Reflections" so far as they concern the preface to a late edition of the Book of Job,' in allusion to which Warburton in the second part of his 'Remarks' calls him an 'impotent railer;' 'The Last Words of David, divided according to Metre, with Notes Critical and Explanatory;' in 1754 'Of the Immortality of the Soul, from the Latin of I. H. Browne.' Grey also printed a number of sermons and pamphlets on religious subjects. Some of his letters to Zachary Grey are preserved in Nichols's 'Literary Illustrations,' iv. 319-23. He was a friend of Philip Doddridge, was well known to Johnson, who admired his learning, and was intimate with John Moore, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. He died 28 Feb. 1771, and was buried at Hinton, where he had been rector for fifty years. He married Joyce, youngest daughter of John Thicknesse, rector of Farthingo, Northamptonshire, whose brother, Philip Thicknesse [q. v.], relates that Grey said to her on their engagement, 'Miss Joyce, I own you are too good for me, but at the same time I think myself too good for anybody else.' Mrs. Grey died on 12 Jan. 1794, aged 89. He left three daughters, of whom the eldest, Joyce, married at the age of forty-five Dr. Philip Lloyd, dean of Norwich, and was 'well known for her genius in working in worsted and for her painted windows in that cathedral;' and the youngest, Bridget, married the Rev. W. T. Bowles, and was mother of William Lisle Bowles [q. v.]

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 425, ii. 17, 81, 86, 105, 129, 133, 152, 172, 176, 215, 268, 295, ix. 722; Nichols's Leicestershire, iv. 208, 215; Baker's Northamptonshire, i, 626; P. Thicknesse's Memoirs and Anecdotes, i. 9, 13, ii. 186; Doddridge's Correspondence, v. 40.]

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