- 1748-1894 (Creation)
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Howick in Northumberland has been the ancestral seat of the Grey family since the fourteenth century. In 1746 Henry Grey was created 1st Baronet Grey of Howick, and in 1801 his son Charles was raised to the peerage as 1st Baron Grey of Howick following a successful military career. In 1806 he was created Earl Grey and Viscount Howick in the County of Northumberland.
Charles’ eldest surviving son, also named Charles, was born in 1764 and it through his marriage that the connection of the Grey family to the Ponsonby, Cavendish and Wood families derives. Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845) married in 1794 Mary Elizabeth Ponsonby (1776-1861), daughter of William Brabazon Ponsonby (1744-1806), 1st Baron Ponsonby of Imokilly, and his wife Lady Louisa, nee Molesworth. Mary’s paternal grandmother was Lady Elizabeth Ponsonby, née Cavendish, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Devonshire, and she counted among her siblings the ambassador John Ponsonby (1770-1855), 1st Viscount Ponsonby of Imokilly who married Frances, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Jersey; Major General Sir William Ponsonby (1772-1815), who died at the Battle of Waterloo; and Richard Ponsonby (1772-1853), Bishop of Derry.
Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, was a prominent Whig politician who rose to become Prime Minister between 1830 and 1834. His government saw the passage of Reform Act of 1832 and the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire the following year. He retired from politics in 1834 and died at Howick in 1845.
Charles and Lady Mary had sixteen children together, including Admiral Sir Frederick Grey (1805-1878) who became First Naval Lord in 1861; Lady Louisa Grey (1797-1841), who married John George Lambton, later 1st Earl of Durham; Lady Mary Grey (1807-1884), who in 1829 married Charles Wood of Hickleton, Yorkshire, 1st Viscount Halifax; and Lady Georgiana Grey (1801-1900), who never married and who passed her family papers, including those of her mother, Countess Grey, to her nephew Charles Lindley Wood, 2nd Viscount Halifax, at her death in 1900.
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- Ponsonby family of Ireland (Subject)