Papers relating to the Executorship of Dorothy Wrighte

Scope and Content

George Harry Grey (1737-1819), 5th Earl of Stamford, and his brother the Honourable Booth Grey (1740-1802) were appointed executors under the last will of Dorothy Wrighte (see EGR4/1/7/11). In 1704 the 3rd Earl of Stamford had married one Dorothy Wrighte, daughter of Sir Nathan Wrighte, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. She died in 1738. The Dorothy Wrighte whose executorship is the subject of these records is almost certainly a member of the same Leicestershire family. A pedigree of the Wrighte family is given in John Nichols, History of Leicestershire, vol. 3 p. 219.

The documents relate primarily to two aspects of the executorship. First, Dorothy Wrighte had been a creditor of the Honourable John Grey (d 1777), brother of the 4th Earl of Stamford and Clerk of the Green Cloth. Wrighte died a spinster but apparently bore two sons to John Grey, who covenanted to provide annuities and a legacy for their maintenance (EGR4/1/7/4). However, at his death John Grey owed Wrighte £4100 plus interest (EGR4/1/7/8 & EGR4/1/7/12). His estate was greatly encumbered by debt, and Wrighte's executors were able to recover a mere £1979 from his trustees, George Bridges Brudenell and Richard Hopkins, by executing a release to enable the estate to be sold (EGR4/1/7/27). See generally EGR4/1/7/3-31.

Secondly, Dorothy Wrighte was a beneficiary under the will of her father William Wrighte esq. Her father's trustees, Thomas Wrighte and Nathan Wrighte, were to invest £1500 for her to receive 5% interest annually until her marriage whereupon she was to receive the principal (EGR4/1/7/1-2). As she died unmarried the principal remained untouched. Her sisters, Ann Hewitt and Catherine Fraine, their spouses, and her niece Susannah Wrighte Cooper (daughter of a third sister) brought a bill in Chancery claiming their right to the £1500 from the surviving trustee (EGR4/1/7/35). See generally EGR4/1/7/1-2, EGR4/1/7/32-40.

The series comprises largely of correspondence and copies or drafts of legal documents exchanged between John Jackson esq, legal and financial adviser to the 5th Earl of Stamford, William Bray, solicitor to the trustees of John Grey, John Adams, solicitor to the claimants of the £1500, and F. Pares, solicitor to the trustees of William Wrighte.

Later documents relate to the distribution by Dorothy Wrighte's executors of her estate between her sons, Charles Grey and John Grey jun, upon their reaching the age of twenty-one (EGR4/1/7/41-48).


Items EGR4/1/7/1-47 came from the same location with a label "Earl of Stamford about Mrs D. Wrighte".

Acquisition Information

Items EGR4/1/7/1-47 were received from Dunham Massey Hall on 12 September 1978; item EGR4/1/7/48 was received from Dunham Massey Hall on 8 May 1992.

Custodial History

Letters to Lord Stamford appear to be copies, suggesting that many items derive from John Jackson's office, and were transferred to Lord Stamford at a later date: see EGR4/1/6/9/7-9 above for reference to the return of papers belonging to Lord Stamford after Jackson's death in 1797.