Papers of General Charles Grey

Scope and Content

General Grey's papers mainly concern matters relating to his position in the royal household but include political and military correspondence, on such topics as army reorganisation and reform, the Crimean war, the Indian army, parliamentary reform, Fenian plots and the state of Ireland, the Schleswig-Holstein question, and the crown of Greece. His wife's papers are primarily of social interest.

The volumes include original letters from Grey while private secretary to his father, the 2nd earl, and numerous diaries and journals (some of which relate to his travels to Turkey, Canada and the U.S.A., and on the continent), as well as financial records and game books. They also include diaries of his daughter, Sybil, Duchess of St Albans (d.1871), which describe her travels in Egypt and on the continent 1867-71, with some photographic illustrations.

Administrative / Biographical History

Second surviving son of 2nd Earl Grey. Married Caroline, daughter of Sir Thomas Farquhar, Bart, in 1830. Two sons, the younger of whom succeeded as 4th Earl Grey, and four daughters. Served in the army from 1820, served with his regiment in Canada 1838-1839 and again in 1841, went on half-pay in 1842, but continued to advance in rank and attained that of general in 1865. Grey's military service in Canada coincided with the mission of his brother-in-law, John George Lambton, Earl of Durham, to investigate the causes of the 1837 rebellions. Grey was involved in a special mission to Washington, accompanied Lord Durham to Upper Canada, and took part in the suppression of the second rebellion in Lower Canada. As well as his military career, he was M.P. for High Wycombe 1831-37, and was for some time private secretary to his father when First Lord of the Treasury. He became equerry-in-waiting to Queen Victoria from 1837, private secretary to the Prince Consort from 1849 until the prince's death in 1861, and subsequently to Queen Victoria until his own death in 1870.


Deposited loose papers in files alphabetically by correspondent (with one subject file under Army), followed by the Additional (purchased) papers, acquired in 1991. The deposited volumes are shelved in a separate sequence (GRE/V/D).

Access Information

Open for consultation.


Part of : Earl Grey Papers

Other Finding Aids

Available online at online catalogue

Separated Material

Public Archives, Canada: journals of General (then Colonel) Grey in Canada, 1 Jan. to 31 March 1839, and 1 June to 18 July 1841, together with photostat copies of Grey's other journals and letters from Canada, from the originals in Durham.


Crisis in the Canadas, 1838-1839: the Grey journals and letters, ed. by William Ormsby from journals of General Grey among his papers in Durham and others in the Public Archives of Canada (Toronto, 1964)The early years of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, compiled under the direction of Her Majesty the Queen (London, 1867)Some account of the life and opinions of Charles, second Earl Grey (London, 1861)

Corporate Names