Papers of George Harry Grey (1827-1883), 7th Earl of Stamford, and of Katherine, Countess of Stamford & Warrington

Scope and Content

The archives from Dunham Massey Hall contain very few papers of the 7th Earl of Stamford or of Katherine, Countess of Stamford & Warrington. In 1855 the Earl quit Dunham Massey, reputedly because his marriage to Katherine Cocks met with disapproval from the local community. For the rest of his life he resided at the other Grey family residences, Enville Hall and Bradgate Park, where he would have kept his personal papers. The few items that have survived either pre-date the move, or have found their way back to Dunham, probably during the twentieth century. These are: two school exercise books, 1844 (EGR4/5/1-2); a petition to Lord Stamford from the Altrincham and Bowdon Literary Institution, 1851 (EGR4/5/3); two bundles of miscellaneous papers and tradesmen's bills, 1851-7 (EGR4/5/4-5); letters from Edward, Prince of Wales, to the 7th Earl and to his widow, Katherine, 1882-3 (EGR4/5/6-9); and an address to the Countess of Stamford & Warrington from tenants on the Leicestershire estate, 1893 (EGR4/5/10).

The papers of George Harry Grey (1765-1845), 6th Earl of Stamford, contain three letters exchanged between him and George Harry Grey (1827-83), 1842-3 (EGR4/2/11/13-15). There is a reference to the 7th Earl of Stamford's childlessness in a letter from Rev Harry Grey among the papers of various members of the Grey family (EGR4/10/22/9). Within the subfonds EGR11, Papers from Dunham Massey Hall relating to the Cheshire and Lancashire Estates, there are accounts for donations by the 7th Earl of Stamford to Bowdon parish church and the Chester Infirmary, 1859-62 (EGR11/3/4/5-9, EGR11/3/5/71 & EGR11/3/5/92). There is a further account for a donation by the 7th Earl to the Chester Infirmary among the miscellaneous papers from Dunham Massey Hall, 1860 (EGR13/26/7).

Administrative / Biographical History

George Harry Grey, eldest son of George Harry Grey (1802-35), was born on 7 January 1827 at Enville Hall co. Staffs, and baptized at Enville on the following day. He succeeded to the title Baron Grey of Groby at the death of his father on 24 October 1835. He was educated at Eton, 1840-43, and Trinity College, Cambridge, matriculating in 1845. On the death of his grandfather George Harry Grey (1765-1845) on 26 April 1845 he succeeded to the titles of Earl of Stamford, Earl of Warrington and Baron Delamer of Dunham Massey.

George Harry Grey was a Captain in the Cheshire Regiment of Yeomanry, 1845-56, and Honorary Colonel of the 7th Battalion, Lancashire Rifle Volunteers, from 1871 until his death. He was Master of the Quorn Hunt, 1856-63, a prominent racehorse owner and an accomplished amateur cricketer.

George Harry Grey married first, on 23 December 1848, Elizabeth ("Bessie") daughter of John Billage, who is alleged to have been either a shoemaker in Cambridge, or a college servant. She died without issue at Brighton on 22 October 1854. He married, secondly, Katherine daughter of Henry Cocks, on 29 August 1855 at Clever co. Bucks. She too was a woman of humble origins: her father was a farm-hand, her mother a gypsy, and she herself was an equestrienne in a London circus act.

George Harry Grey died without issue on 2 January 1883 at Bradgate Park co. Leics, when the Earldom of Warrington and Barony of Delamer of Dunham Massey became extinct. His widow survived until 1905. Source: G.E.C., Complete peerage, vol. 12, pt. I, p. 226.


Because of the small number and diversity of items, no attempt has been made to group them into series.