Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Grey, Zachary

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GREY, ZACHARY (1688–1766), antiquary, born at Burniston, Yorkshire, 6 May 1688, was of a Yorkshire family, and a descendant, probably grandson of a younger son, of George Grey of Sudwiche, Durham, by Frances, daughter of Thomas Robinson of Rokeby, Yorkshire (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. viii. 414). Earl Grey was descended from this marriage, and Grey was also related to Mrs. Montagu (born Robinson). He had one brother, George, a 'chamber counsellor at Newcastle.' He was admitted a pensioner at Jesus College, Cambridge, 18 April 1704; but migrated to Trinity Hall, where he was elected a scholar 6 Jan. 1706-7. He graduated LL.B. 1709 and LL.D. 1720; but was never a fellow of his college. He became rector of Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire, 4 April 1725 (Surtees, Hist. of Durham); and was vicar of St. Giles and St. Peter's, Cambridge. He passed his winters at Cambridge, and lived during the rest of the year at Ampthill, the nearest market town to Houghton Conquest, at which place he appears now to have officiated (Nichols, Illustrations, iv. 322). Cole praises his sweet and communicative disposition ; and his epitaph at Houghton Conquest assigns to him the usual Christian virtues. He had a very large correspondence with learned men. He died at Ampthill 25 Nov. 1766. He was twice married, first to Miss Tooley; secondly, in 1720, to Susanna, a relation of Dean Moss, by whom he had a son (died 1726) and two daughters, married to the Rev. William Cole of Ely and to the Rev. M. Lepipre, rector of Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire. His widow died 13 Feb. 1774. Many of his papers were bought in 1778 by John Nichols.

Grey was a man of much reading, and as a strong churchman became known in many controversies with the dissenters. The works assigned to him, which, with the exception of Hudibras and those against Neal, are anonymous, are: 1. ` A Vindication of the Church of England,' by a presbyter of the church of England (in answer to James Peirce [q. v.]), 1720. 2. 'Presbyterian Prejudice displayed,' 1722. 3. ` A Pair of Clean Shoes for a Dirty Baronet; or an answer to Sir Richard Cox' [q. v.], 1722. 4. 'The Knight of Dumbleton Foiled at his own Weapon … by a Gentleman and no Knight,' 1723. 5. 'A Century of Presbyterian Preachers,' 1723 (collection from sermons preached before parliament in the civil wars). 6. 'A Letter of Thanks to Mr. Benjamin Bennet' [q. v.] (author of a ` Memorial of the Reformation '), 1723. 7. 'A Caveat against Mr. Benjamin Bennet, a mere pretender to History and Criticism, by a Lover of History,' 1724. 8. 'A Defence of our Antient and Modern Historians against the frivolous cants of a Late Pretender to Critical History, &c.,' John Oldmixon [q.v.], who replied in a ` Review of Dr. Zachary Grey's Defence, &c.,' and was answered by Grey in 9. ` An Appendix by way of answer …' 1725. 10. 'A Looking-glass for Schismaticks … by a Gentleman of the University of Cambridge,' 1725. 11. 'The Ministry of the Dissenters proved to be null and void …' 1725. 12. 'The Spirit of Infidelity detected, in answer to Barbeyrac, with a defence of Dr. Waterland,' 1736. 13. `English Presbyterian Eloquence, by an Admirer of Monarchy and Episcopacy,' 1736. 14. 'Examination of Dr. [Samuel] Chandler's [1693-1766, q. v.] " History of Persecution,'" 1736. 15. 'The True Picture of Quakerism,' 1736. 16. `Caveat against the Dissenters,' 1736. 17. 'An Impartial Examination of the second volume of Mr. Daniel Neal's "History of the Puritans," ' 1736. The first volume was answered by Isaac Madox [q. v.] in 1733. Grey answered Neal's third volume in 1737 and his fourth in 1739. 18. 'Examination of the 14th chapter of Sir Isaac Newton's " Observations upon … Daniel,"…' 1736. 19. 'An Attempt towards the Character of … Charles I,' 1738. 20. 'Schismatics delineated … in reply to Neal,' 1739. 21. 'Vindication of the Government … of the Church of England' against Neal, 1740. 22. 'The Quakers and Methodists compared,' 1740. 23. 'A Review of Mr. Daniel Neal's "History of the Puritans"… in a letter to Mr. David Jennings,' 1744. 24. 'Hudibras in three parts, written in the time of the late Civil Wars, corrected and amended ; with large annotations and a preface ; adorned with a new sett of cuts' [by Hogarth], 1744. This edition was published by subscription, which is said to have produced 1,500l. Grey's knowledge of puritan literature enabled him to illustrate his author by profuse quotations from contemporary authors, a method comparatively new. Fielding, in the preface to his `Voyage to Lisbon,' calls it the 'single book extant in which above five hundred authors are quoted, not one of which could be found in the collection of the late Dr. Mead.' Grey obtained some notes from Warburton through their common friend James Tunstall [q. v.], the public orator at Cambridge. Warburton (see Nichols, Illustrations, ii. 124) says that he gave the notes purely to oblige Tunstall ; and Grey made proper acknowledgments in his preface, but for some reason Warburton seems to have been aggrieved, and said in the preface to his Shakespeare (1747) that he doubted whether so 'execrable a heap of nonsense had ever appeared in any learned language as Grey's commentaries on "Hudibras."' A second edition of the 'Hudibras' appeared in 1764, and a 'Supplement' in 1752. 25. 'A Serious Address to Lay Methodists,' 1745. 26. 'Popery in its Proper Colours;' Grey attacked Warburton in these pamphlets. 27. 'A Word or Two of Advice to William Warburton, a dealer in many words, by a Friend. With an appendix containing a taste of William's spirit of railing' (1746). 28. 'Remarks upon a late edition of Shakespeare, with a long string of emendations borrowed by the celebrated author from the Oxford edition without acknowledgment. To which is prefixed a defence of the late Sir Thomas Hanmer, bart, addressed to the Rev. Mr. Warburton,' n.d. 29. 'A Free and Familiar Letter to that great refiner of Pope and Shakespeare, the Rev. Mr. W. Warburton … by a Country Curate,' 1750. 30. 'Critical, Historical, and Explanatory Notes on Shakespeare …' 1754. 31. 'Chronological Notes on Earthquakes.'

Grey's materials for a life of his friend Thomas Baker (1656-1740) [q. v.] were bought by Nichols and used by Masters. Nichols also bought manuscript lives of Dean Moss (to whose sermons in 1732 a preface was prefixed either by Grey or Andrew Snape) and Robert Harley, earl of Oxford. Grey helped in Whalley's edition of 'Ben Jonson' and Peck's 'Desiderata Curiosa.'

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 532-9 viii. 414-15 for the life; Nichols's Illustrations, iv. 241-394, contains his correspondence, with a portrait. Many other references are in both works. See also Watson's Life of Warburton, pp. 236, 322, 333-42; Surtees's Hist. of Durham; W. Cole in Addit. MS. 5830; I. D'Israeli's Calamities of Authors and Quarrels of Authors.]

L. S.