Grey, John de (1268-1323) (DNB00)

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GREY, JOHN de, second Lord Grey of Wilton (1268–1323), was the grandson of John de Grey (d. 1266) [q. v.], and the son of Reginald de Grey, the first lord Grey of Wilton. The father, having been justice of Chester, received in 1282 a grant of the castle of Ruthin, with the cantreds of Duffryn Clwyd and Englefield (Tegeingl), in the marches of North Wales; married Maud, daughter and heiress of Henry de Longchamp of Wilton; was summoned to parliament in 1297 and died in 1308. John had already been actively engaged in public life some years before his father's death. His acts are easily confused with those of his namesake, John de Grey of Rotherfield (d. 1312). He was, however, vice-justice of Chester in 1296 and 1297 (Welsh Records in Thirty-first Report of Deputy-keeper of Records, p. 202). In consideration of the son's good services to the crown Edward I remitted part of a debt which in 1306 Reginald the father owed to the king (Rolls of Parliament, i. 199).

John de Grey was first summoned to parliament on 9 June 1309. He had not yet become a prominent partisan when in March 1310 he was appointed one of the lords ordainers (Stubbs, Chron. Edward I and II, ii.37; cf. Const. Hist. ii. 328). His continued hostility to the court is also shown by his being one of the permanent council nominated in 1318 to keep Edward II in check as the result of Lancaster's triumph. He was, however, constantly acting against the Scots, and seems to have shown some activity in enrolling foot soldiers from his Welsh estates. On 15 Feb. 1315 he was also appointed justice of North Wales and constable of Carnarvon Castle (Breese, Calendars of Gwynedd, p. 125). In 1316 he was ordered to raise all the forces he could to put down the insurrection of Llewelyn Bren. In 1320 he was a conservator of the peace for Bedfordshire.

In 1322, when the final struggle between Edward II and Lancaster broke out, Grey seems to have abandoned his old associates for the royal cause. He was commanded to raise troops in Wales and join the royal muster at Coventry, and also sat in the parliament at York which consummated the king's triumph. He complained, however, that the Welsh tenants of the king had attacked Ruthin, plundered himself and the townsfolk, and almost succeeded in burning the town (Rolls of Parliament, i. 397 b).

Grey died in 1323. He is said to have married twice. His first wife was Anne, daughter of William Ferrers, lord of Groby, by whom he left a son named Henry, forty years old at his father's death, who became the ancestor of the Lords Grey de Wilton. By a second wife, Maud, daughter of Ralph, lord Basset of Drayton, he left a son, Roger de Grey [q. v.], the ancestor of the Lords Grey of Ruthin.

[Dugdale's Baronage, i. 713; Collins's Peerage, ii. 509-10, ed. 1779; Nicolas's Historic Peerage, p. 228; Parliamentary Writs, ii. iii. 950-1; Rolls of Parliament, vol. i.; Rymer's Fœdera, vols. i. ii., Record edit.; Stubbs's Chronicles of Edward I and II (Rolls Ser.)]

T. F. T.