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Special Collections

Description of Special Collection

Collection Level Description: Earl Grey Family Papers
University Library

Collection Level Description: Earl Grey Family Papers

Collection name: Earl Grey Family Papers
Collection code: GB 033 GRE
Date range: 16th-20th century (predominantly 18th-20th century)
Extent: 250 metres
Language: English
Created by: Family of the Earls Grey of Howick
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections

The papers are a major source for British military history of the 18th century, and political, colonial, and diplomatic history of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and also contain much of interest for social history.
They fall into the following sections:
About the creator:
The family papers of the Earls Grey of Howick constitute one of England's great political archives, and also include extensive estate papers. Charles 1st Earl Grey (1719-1807) was a soldier who fought in the American War of Independence, and was raised to the peerage as Baron Grey of Howick (1801) and Viscount Howick and Earl Grey (1806). Charles 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845) was Prime Minister from 1830-1834. Henry George 3rd Earl Grey (1802- 1894) was Secretary at War 1835-1839 and Secretary for the Colonies 1846-1852. General Charles Grey (1804-1870) was Private Secretary to Prince Albert and later to Queen Victoria. Albert 4th Earl Grey was Governor-General of Canada 1904-1911. The archive also includes the papers of several relatives by marriage, notably the diplomat John Viscount Ponsonby (ca. 1770-1855, brother-in-law of 2nd Earl Grey), and Evelyn Baring, 1st Baron Howick of Glendale (1903-1973), colonial governor, who married Lady Mary Grey, daughter and heiress of 5th Earl Grey. There are also papers of Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of Cromer (1841-1917) and his second wife, parents-in-law of Lady Mary Grey, and papers of various female members of the family. The archive does not, however, include the papers of the Fallodon branch of the Grey family.
The estate papers mainly relate to the Greys' estates in Northumberland.
Deposited with the University of Durham Department of Palaeography and Diplomatic (from 1990 part of the Archives and Special Collections department of Durham University Library) by the 5th Earl Grey, 1956, with further deposits by Mary, Baroness Howick and the 2nd Baron Howick, 1962-1994. Some additional papers of General Charles Grey were purchased by the University Library in 1991.
Open for consultation
Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.
See the separate descriptions for each section of the Earl Grey Papers (linked in contents section above).
R.P. Doig, Earl Grey's papers: an introductory survey (Private Libraries Association, 1961).

Index terms

Grey family, Earls Grey of Howick.
Howick estate (Northumberland, England)
Northumberland (England)
Family and personal papers.
Political papers.
Diaries -- 19th century.
Diaries -- 20th century.
Correspondence -- 18th century.
Correspondence -- 19th century.
Correspondence -- 20th century.
Estate papers.

Date last modified: 16 November 2008