Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey

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The Earl de Grey

First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
22 December 1834 8 April 1835
Monarch William IV
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded by The Lord Auckland
Succeeded by The Lord Auckland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
In office
11 September 1841 17 July 1844
Monarch Queen Victoria
Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Preceded by Viscount Ebrington
Succeeded by The Lord Heytesbury
Personal details
Born8 December 1781 (1781-12-08)
Died14 November 1859 (1859-11-15) (aged 77)
Nationality British
Political party Tory
Spouse(s) Lady Henrietta Cole
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge
Arms of Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey, KG, PC, FRS. Grey quartering: Vert, a chevron between three bucks standing at gaze or (Robinson (Robinson baronets of Newby, cr.1660)) Shield of arms of Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey, KG, PC, FRS.png
Arms of Thomas de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey, KG, PC, FRS. Grey quartering: Vert, a chevron between three bucks standing at gaze or (Robinson (Robinson baronets of Newby, cr.1660))

Thomas Philip de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey, 3rd Baron Grantham, 6th Baron Lucas (8 December 1781 14 November 1859), KG, PC, FRS (known as Lord Grantham from 1786 to 1833), of Wrest Park in the parish of Silsoe, Bedfordshire, was a British Tory statesman. Born "Thomas Philip Robinson", his surname changed to "Weddell" in 1803 and to "de Grey" in 1833. [1]



Detail from a silver gilt dish made in 1802 for the 3rd Baron Grantham by Robert Garrard of London, showing the engraved arms of Robinson quartering Weddell Central part of an engraved escutcheon Robinson quartering Weddell, for 3rd Lord Grantham, on silver gilt, 1802.jpg
Detail from a silver gilt dish made in 1802 for the 3rd Baron Grantham by Robert Garrard of London, showing the engraved arms of Robinson quartering Weddell

He was the eldest son of Thomas Robinson, 2nd Baron Grantham (1738–1786) of Newby Hall, Newby-on-Swale, a deserted medieval village and of adjacent Rainton, both in the parish of Topcliffe in Yorkshire, [2] by his wife Mary Yorke (1757–1830), the younger daughter of Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke by his wife Jemima Campbell, suo jure 2nd Marchioness Grey. His younger brother was the Prime Minister Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon, 1st Viscount Goderich, known to history as "Lord Goderich".


In 1786 he succeeded his father as 3rd Baron Grantham. In 1792 he became the heir of his distant cousin [3] William Weddell (1736–1792) of Newby Hall in Yorkshire, a notable art collector. Also in 1792 he became the 6th Robinson Baronet "of Newby", succeeding his father's first cousin Norton Robinson, 5th Baronet (died 1792). [4] In 1833 he succeeded his maternal aunt Amabel Hume-Campbell, suo jure 1st Countess de Grey and 5th Baroness Lucas (1750–1833), as 2nd Earl de Grey (according to a special remainder) and as 6th Baron Lucas, of Crudwell. He also inherited her estate of Wrest Park in Silsoe, Bedfordshire.


In 1798 he was admitted to St John's College, Cambridge, graduating MA in 1801. [5] He was made Privy Counsellor in December 1834 while holding office as First Lord of the Admiralty till April 1835, and a Knight of the Garter in 1844. He was colonel-commandant of the Yorkshire Hussars, a part-time Yeomanry Cavalry regiment, for over forty years and was appointed yeomanry aide-de-camp to William IV and held similar position under Queen Victoria. Lord Grantham was nominated as Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 1818, an office which he held until his death. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from September 1841 to July 1844. During his time in Ireland he disagreed with Peel's religious conciliation of Ireland, claiming that economic conciliation was a greater priority. [6] He called for more legislation focused on Ireland whilst Peel pursued economic legislation aimed at benefitting the UK as a whole. [6]

Other public positions

On the founding of the Institute of British Architects in London in 1834 he was invited to become its first president remaining so till his death in 1859. [7] The institute received its Royal Charter in 1837 becoming Royal Institute of British Architects in London; he was also the first president of the Royal Architectural Museum. Earl de Grey was also a fellow of the Royal Society from 1841, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and served as one of the New Buckingham Palace Commissioners from 1848. He remodelled his London townhouse at No.4 St James's Square (now the Naval & Military Club) and between February 1833 and October 1839 rebuilt Wrest Park, his seat in Bedfordshire, in the French style, assisted by James Clephan. He redesigned the deer park and added decoration and several statues.

Marriage and children

In 1805 he married Lady Henrietta Cole, a daughter of William Cole, 1st Earl of Enniskillen, by whom he had two daughters and co-heiresses:

Death & succession

Lord de Grey died in November 1859, aged 77, having survived his wife by eleven years. He was succeeded in the Barony of Lucas of Crudwell by his daughter, Ann de Grey (Countess Cowper), who married George Cowper, 6th Earl Cowper. His other titles, unable to pass via a female line, passed to his heir male, namely his nephew, George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon, 2nd Earl of Ripon.

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  1. "Person Page". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. 'Parishes: Topcliffe', in A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2, ed. William Page (London, 1923), pp. 70-80
  3. Margaret Robinson, a sister of his great-great-grandfather Sir Thomas Robinson (died 1676) (younger brother of Sir Metcalf Robinson, 1st Baronet (1609–1668) and father of Sir William Robinson, 1st Baronet (died 1736) (created 1689)), married William Weddell of Earswick, York (The Tourist's Guide; being a concise history and description of Ripon, 1838, pp.120-1 )
  4. The Tourist's Guide; being a concise history and description of Ripon, 1838, pp.120-1
  5. "Grantham, Lord Thomas Philip (GRNN798TP)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  6. 1 2 C. Read, "Peel, De Grey and Irish Policy 1841–44" History, January 2014, p. 1-18.
  7. "Thomas Philip de Grey, 2nd Earl de Grey - Person - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Upper Ossory
Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire
Succeeded by
The Duke of Bedford
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Auckland
First Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
The Lord Auckland
Preceded by
Viscount Ebrington
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Succeeded by
The Lord Heytesbury
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Amabel Hume-Campbell
Earl de Grey
Succeeded by
George Robinson
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Amabel Hume-Campbell
Baron Lucas
Succeeded by
Anne Cowper
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Robinson
Baron Grantham
Succeeded by
George Robinson
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Norton Robinson
(of Newby)
Succeeded by
George Robinson