Grey, William (d.1674) (DNB00)

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GREY, WILLIAM, Lord Grey of Werke (d. 1674), a descendant of Sir Thomas Gray of Heton (d. 1369) [q. v.], was the son of Ralph Grey of Chillingham, Northumberland, by Isabel, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Grey, knt., of Horton in the same county. He was created a baronet on 15 June 1619, and was raised to the peerage on 11 Feb. 1624 as Baron Grey of Werke, Northumberland. When Charles I announced his intention of proceeding against the Scots in 1639, Grey was commanded to attend upon him at York with horses and equipage by 1 April 1639; but he was subsequently ordered to repair to his estate in Northumberland by 1 March at the latest, so as to be in readiness to defend the county (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1638-1639, pp. 366-7, 372). During the civil war he timidly supported the parliament. In December 1642 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces raised in the eastern counties, and in the early summer of 1643 he received orders to march to the lord general's assistance (Commons' Journals, iii. 36, 51). His attendance was, however, dispensed with upon his being nominated in July one of the parliamentary commissioners to Scotland. For refusing to serve he was imprisoned in the Tower, and his military commission cancelled (ib. iii. 172, 176, 177). He was soon released, and on Lord-keeper Littleton's flight was chosen to succeed him as speaker of the House of Lords. In 1648, when the parliament were appointing commissioners of the great seal, Grey was at the lords' request added to them by an ordinance dated 15 March, and he performed the duties for nearly eleven months. He is not charged with concurring in the king's execution. In satisfaction of his losses during the war parliament granted him 5,120l. He was constituted a member of the council of state on 13 Feb. 1649, but refused to subscribe the engagement (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1649-50, pp. 6, 9). At the Restoration he availed himself of the king's general pardon (ib. 1660-1, p. 37). He died in July 1674. By his wife Anne, daughter and coheiress of Sir John Wentworth of Gosfield, Essex, he had issue Ralph (d. 1675), his successor, and father of Forde Grey, earl of Tankerville [q. v.], Elizabeth (d. 1668), and Katherine.

[Burke's Extinct Peerage, p. 253; Clarendon's Rebellion, 1849, iii. 117, 284, 316; Commons' Journals, vols. iii. iv. v. vi.; Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep.; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1641-3, p. 475; Foss's Judges, vi. 441-2; Whitelocke's Memorials, pp. 295, 377, 381, 488.]

G. G.