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Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent

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Preceded by  The Earl of Jersey
Preceded by  The Duke of Devonshire
Preceded by  The Duke of Kingston
Name  Henry 1st
Died  June 5, 1740
Succeeded by  The Duke of Shrewsbury
Succeeded by  The Duke of Argyll
Succeeded by  The Duke of Kingston
Role  Politician
Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent
Children  Anthony Grey, Earl of Harold, Lady Amabel Grey
Parents  Mary Grey, Countess of Kent, Anthony Grey, 11th Earl of Kent
Grandchildren  Jemima Yorke, 2nd Marchioness Grey
Grandparents  Henry Grey, 10th Earl of Kent
Great grandchildren  Annabella Yorke, Countess de Grey of Wrest, Mary Robinson, Baroness Grantham

Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent

Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent, KG PC (1671 – 5 June 1740) was a British politician and courtier.



He was a son of Anthony Grey, 11th Earl of Kent, and Mary Grey, 1st Baroness Lucas of Crudwell. He succeeded his father as 12th Earl of Kent in 1702, having succeeded his mother as 2nd Baron Lucas earlier the same year.

Political career

Having taken his seat in the House of Lords and though regarded as lacking talent and ambition he, as the politically expedient candidate, was made Lord Chamberlain and a Privy Counsellor in 1704. Unpopular, Grey was nicknamed Bug for his body odour. In 1710 he traded his position for a Dukedom and was succeeded as Lord Chamberlain by the Duke of Shrewsbury. It should be noted that contemporary commentators including John Macky and Jonathan Swift did defend Grey. He may have been, for his time, the right man in the right place.

After 1710 he served in politically minor positions: lord of the bedchamber, constable of Windsor Castle, lord steward of the household from 1716 until 1718, and lord keeper of the privy seal from 1719 until 1720. Grey was one of the Lords Justices appointed during the absence of George I of Great Britain.

In 1719 he was one of main subscribers in the Royal Academy of Music (1719), a corporation that produced baroque opera on stage. At the age of 68, a year before his death, Grey took part, as a founding governor, in the creation of Britain's first home for abandoned children, London's Foundling Hospital.


Grey succeeded his father as 12th Earl of Kent in 1702, having succeeded his mother as 2nd Baron Lucas earlier the same year. He was created Marquess of Kent, Earl of Harold and Viscount Goderich in 1706, Duke of Kent in 1710 for relinquishing his Lord Chamberlain position, and made a Knight of the Garter in 1712. Left without a male heir after the death of his son George Grey, Earl of Harold, in 1733, he was created Marquess Grey in 1740, with a special remainder to his granddaughter Lady Jemima Campbell and her heirs male. She also succeeded to the Barony of Lucas. All his other titles became extinct at his death.

Marriages and children

Henry married first Jemima Crew (d. 2 July 1728), a daughter of Thomas Crew, 2nd Baron Crew, and his second wife, Anne Armine, daughter of Sir William Airmine, 2nd Baronet. They had at least six children:

  • Anthony Grey, Earl of Harold (d. 1723). Married Mary Tufton, a daughter of Thomas Tufton, 6th Earl of Thanet, and Lady Catharine Cavendish.
  • Henry Grey (c. 1696 - 1717).
  • Amabel Grey (d. 2 March 1726). Married John Campbell, 3rd Earl of Breadalbane and Holland.
  • Jemima Grey (c. 1699 - 7 July 1731). Married John Ashburnham, 1st Earl of Ashburnham.
  • Anne Grey (d. 20 September 1733). Married Lord Charles Cavendish.
  • Mary Grey. Married David Gregory of Christ Church.
  • He married secondly Sophia Bentinck (died 5 June 1741) on 24 March 1729, a daughter of William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, and his second wife Jane Martha Temple. They had a son and a daughter:

  • George Grey, Earl of Harold (c. 1732–1733)
  • Anne Sophia Grey (d. 24 March 1780). Married John Egerton, Bishop of Durham.
  • References

    Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent Wikipedia