Charles Grey 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC 1764 – 1845, known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was a Liberal (whig) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 November 1830 to 16 July 1834.
Charles Grey was a colleague of Henry John Temple Viscount Palmerston, Henry Peter Brougham 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, Charles Gordon Lennox 5th Duke of Richmond, Robert Grosvenor 1st Baron Ebury, and Thomas Babington Macaulay.
Charles Grey was the cousin of the mother of Josephine Elizabeth Butler, and he was the lover of Georgiana Cavendish Duchess of Devonshire (whose friend Elizabeth Christiana Hervey Duchess of Devonshire was reputedly the mother of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, who one of the very first homeopaths in Britain). Charles Grey and Georgiana Cavendish Duchess of Devonshire met at Devonshire House – the centre of Whig society in London in the 1780s and 1790s, Georgiana Cavendish Duchess of Devonshire became pregnant by Grey in 1791, but she refused to leave her husband William Cavendish 5th Duke of Devonshire, and live with Grey, when William Cavendish 5th Duke of Devonshire threatened that if she did so she would never see their children again. She went abroad with Elizabeth Christiana Hervey Duchess of Devonshire, and on 20 February 1792 at Aixen Provence, gave birth to a daughter who was given the name Eliza Courtney. After their return to England in September 1793 the child was taken to Fallodon and brought up by Grey’s parents as though she were his sister. This affair was a significant step in the process by which he became a member of the Whig party, led by Charles James Fox.
Georgiana Cavendish Duchess of Devonshire raised the legitimate children of William Cavendish 5th Duke of Devonshire, alongside the other illegitimate children in this family (which included William Cavendish 5th Duke of Devonshire‘s illegitimate daughter, Charlotte, who was conceived with a maid), and this extended familywhich may have included Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, who became the became the personal physician to Elizabeth Christiana Hervey Duchess of Devonshire, attending her in her final illness in 1824.
Charles Grey married Mary Elizabeth Ponsonby (1776–1861), only daughter of William Brabazon Ponsonby 1st Baron Ponsonby, the son of Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the William Cavendish 3rd Duke of Devonshire.
John Ponsonby 1st Viscount Ponsonby, the son of William Brabazon Ponsonby 1st Baron Ponsonby, was an advocate of homeopathy, and a close friend of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, who encouraged Frederick Hervey Foster Quin to come to London to ‘try your luck, or rather show your science; if you fail, what then, you can only fail by the failure of homeopathy; you know that to be true, and that it cannot fail…’
Charles Grey descended from a long established Northumbrian family seated at Howick Hall, Grey was the second but eldest surviving son of General Sir Charles Grey and his wife, Elizabeth (1743/4–1822), daughter of George Grey of Southwick, co. Durham. He had four brothers and two sisters.
Charles Grey was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, acquiring a facility in Latin and in English composition and declamation that enabled him to become one of the foremost parliamentary orators of his generation.
Grey was elected to Parliament at the age of 22 in 1786. He became a part of the Whig circle of Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and the Prince of Wales, and soon became one of the major leaders of the Whig party. He was the youngest manager on the committee for prosecuting Warren Hastings….
Grey was also noted for advocating Parliamentary reform and Catholic emancipation. His affair with Georgiana Cavendish Duchess of Devonshire, herself an active political campaigner, did him little harm although it nearly caused her to be divorced by her husband.In 1806, Grey, by then Lord Howick owing to his father’s elevation to the peerage as Earl Grey, became a part of the Ministry of All the Talents (a coalition of Foxite Whigs, Grenvillites, and Addingtonites) as First Lord of the Admiralty.
Following Charles James Fox‘s death later that year, Howick took over both as Foreign Secretary and as leader of the Whigs.
The government fell from power the next year, and, after a brief period as a Member of Parliament for Appleby from May to July 1807, Howick went to the Lords, succeeding his father as Earl Grey.
He continued in opposition for the next 23 years.
In 1830, the Whigs finally returned to power, with Grey as Prime Minister.
His Ministry was a notable one, seeing passage of the Reform Act 1832, which finally saw the reform of the House of Commons, and the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833.
As the years had passed, however, Grey had become more conservative, and he was cautious about initiating more far-reaching reforms. In 1834 Grey retired from public life, leaving Lord Melbourne as his successor.
Grey returned to Howick but kept a close eye on the policies of the new cabinet under Lord Melbourne, whom he, and especially his family, regarded as a mere understudy until he began to act in ways of which they disapproved.
Grey became more critical as the decade went on, being particularly inclined to see the hand of Daniel O’Connell behind the scenes and blaming Lord Melbourne for subservience to the radicals with whom he identified the Irish patriot.
He made no allowances for Lord Melbourne‘s need to keep the radicals on his side to preserve his shrinking majority in the Commons, and in particular he resented any slight on his own great achievement, the Reform Act, which he saw as a final solution of the question for the foreseeable future.
He continually stressed its conservative nature. As he declared in his last great public speech, at the Grey Festival organized in his honour at Edinburgh in September 1834, its purpose was to strengthen and preserve the established constitution, to make it more acceptable to the people at large, and especially the middle classes, who had been the principal beneficiaries of the Reform Act, and to establish the principle that future changes would be gradual, “according to the increased intelligence of the people, and the necessities of the times”.
It was the speech of a conservative statesman. Grey spent his last years in contented, if sometimes fretful, retirement at Howick, with his books, his family, and his dogs.
He became physically feeble in his last years and died quietly in his bed on 17 July 1845, forty four years to the day since going to live at Howick. He was buried in the church there on the 26th in the presence of his family, close friends, and the labourers on his estate.
Earl Grey tea, a blend which uses bergamot oil to flavour the beverage, is named after Grey. He is commemorated by Grey’s Monument in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, which consists of a statue of Lord Grey standing atop a 41 m (135 ft) high column. The monument lends its name to Monument Metro station on the Tyne and Wear Metro located directly underneath. Grey Street in Newcastle upon Tyne and Grey College, Durham are also named after Grey.
Grey married Mary Elizabeth Ponsonby (1776–1861), only daughter of William Ponsonby 1st Baron Ponsonby and Hon. Louisa Molesworth in 1794. The marriage was a happy and fruitful one; between 1796 and 1819 the couple had ten sons and six daughters:
- [a dau.] Grey (stillborn, 1796)
- Louisa Elizabeth Grey ( 7 Apr 1797-26 November 1841) married John Lambton 1st Earl of Durham
- Lady Elizabeth Grey (10 July 1798- 8 November 1880) married John Bulteel
- Lady Caroline Grey (30 August 1799-28 April 1875) married Capt. the Hon. George Barrington
- Lady Georgiana Grey (17 Feb 1801-1900) never married
- Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey (28 December 1802- 9 October 1894), eldest son, who became a politician like his father
- General Sir Charles Grey (15 March 1804-31 March 1870), father of Albert Grey 4th Earl Grey
- Admiral Frederick William Grey (23 August 1805- 2 May 1878)
- Mary Grey ( 2 May 1807- 6 July 1884) married Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax
- Hon. William Grey (13 May 1808-11 Feb 1815)
- Admiral George Grey (16 May 1809- 3 October 1891)
- Hon. Thomas Grey (29 Dec 1810- 8 Jul 1826)
- Rev. Hon. John Grey ( 2 March 1812-11 November 1895)
- Rev. Hon. Sir Francis Grey (31 March 1813-22 March 1890)
- Hon. Henry Cavendish Grey (16 October 1814- 5 September 1880)
- Hon. William George Grey (15 February 1819-19 December 1865)
Mary was frequently pregnant and during his absences in London or elsewhere Grey had a series of affairs with other women.
The first, most notorious, and most significant, which antedated his engagement to his future wife, was with Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, whom he met at Devonshire House – the centre of Whig society in London in the 1780s and 1790s – shortly after his arrival in the capital as a young recruit to the House of Commons.
Impetuous and headstrong, Grey pursued Georgiana with persistence until she gave in to his attentions. She became pregnant by Grey in 1791, but she refused to leave her husband the duke, and live with Grey, when the duke threatened that if she did so she would never see their children again.
She went abroad with Elizabeth Foster, and on 20 February 1792 at Aix-en-Provence, gave birth to a daughter who was given the name Eliza Courtney. After their return to England in September 1793 the child was taken to Fallodon and brought up by Grey’s parents as though she were his sister.
This affair was a significant step in the process by which he became a member of the Whig party, led by Charles James Fox.
In 1844 Frederick Hervey Foster Quin established the British Homeopathic Society with ten colleagues, which included Paul Francois Curie (grandfather of the scientist Pierre Curie), William Leaf, a rich London Silk Merchant, and Thomas Roupell Everest, the younger brother of Sir George Everest.
General Sir Charles Grey, on of Charles Grey, served as secretary to Prince Albert (who came from a family tradition of homeopathy, and when he came to England to marry Queen Victoria, he renewed the Royal patronage of homeopathy – Robert Liston, a close friend of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, was his Surgeon in Ordinary), and he was also secretary to Queen Victoria (was a patient of James Manby Gully, and her own household physician John Forbes was a student of homeopath Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Fleischman),
Edward Grey, great, great grandson of Charles Grey, was the Foreign Secretary to Henry Campbell Bannerman Liberal Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1905 to 1908 (who was a cousin of homeopath George Wyld, and a patient of Allan Broman),
Henry George Grey 3rd Earl Grey, eldest son of Charles Grey, was a friend of Charles Dickens, and a colleague of William Thomas Denison (who was a subscriber and a patron of the Sydney Homeopathic Dispensary in 1859, and he was related to Edmund Becket Lord Grimthorpe, who was an enthusiastic and ardent devotee of homeopathy), and William Ewert Gladstone (who was a patient of homeopath James Manby Gully and Joseph Kidd),
S Bulteel, ?relative of John Bulteel, son in law of Charles Grey, was a sponsor of homeopathy in 1872,
Eliza Courtney, the illegitimate daughter of Charles Grey and Georgiana Cavendish Duchess of Devonshire, married Lt. Col. Robert Ellice (1784–1856), a younger brother of her “brother-in-law” Edward “Bear” Ellice,
George Thomas Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle was the Vice President of the London Homeopathic Hospital. George Thomas Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle was on the Committee of the Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method, with William Pitt Amherst 2nd Earl Amherst, Henry Charles FitzRoy Somerset 8th Duke of Beaufort, Ralph Buchan, William Alleyne Cecil Lord Burghley 3rd Marquess of Exeter, William Coutts Keppel Viscount Bury 7th Earl of Albemarle (the Earl of Albemarle’s son), James Key Caird 1st Baronet (Vice Chairman), Colonel Challoner, George Grimston Craven 3rd Earl of Craven, Henry William Dashwood 5th Baronet, Patrick Dudgeon, Robert Grosvenor 1st Baron Ebury, Francis Richard Charteris 10th Earl of Wemyss Lord Elcho, Arthur Algernon Capell 6th Earl of Essex, Philip Howard Frere, Richard Grosvenor Earl Grosvenor 2nd Marquess of Westminster, Edward Kerrison, Henry Charles Keith Petty Fitzmaurice 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, Lord Llanover, Colonel Farnaby Lennard, George Loch, Archibald Keppel MacDonald, Arthur de Vere Capell Viscount Malden, John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough (Chairman), Frederick Francis Maude, William Miles, James Moore, Charles Gordon Lennox 5th Duke of Richmond, Charles Marsham 3rd Earl of Romney, Sir Anthony Rothschild, John Villiers Shelley, John Robert Townshend 1st Earl Sydney, Lt. Colonel Charles Towneley, Augustus Henry Vernon, William Warren Vernon, Arthur Richard Wellesley 2nd Duke of Wellington (1807-1884) , William Wells,
In 1866, the Treasury placed rooms at Adelphi Terrace at the disposal of John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough, who was the Chairman of the Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method, based on the research done in Belgium by Edward Hamilton, with John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough overseeing the work of Edward Hamilton, George Lennox Moore, James Moore and Alfred Crosby Pope.
William Coutts Keppel Viscount Bury 7th Earl of Albemarle issued an address or report for the Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method in 1866. Bury reported that the Dutch had experienced such success with homeopathy against that cattle plague, that they had authorised Edward Hamilton to visit Holland to investigate this.
Edward Hamilton discovered that the Dutch had treated 4798 cattle, 1031 were destroyed = 3767 were treated (with a mixture of allopathic and homeopathic treatments), the survival rate for the beasts treated was 45%, and the survival rate for the beasts treated only by homeopathy was 72-5%.
The Dutch Government had agreed to allow E Seutin, a homeopathic chemist, the total control of infected cattle in Matterness, and initially, E Seutin saved 70% of the cattle, though latterly, he had saved 9 out of every 10 beasts brought to him for treatment, and E Seutin’s use of homeoprophylaxic treatment of unifected beasts brought the epidemic under control entirely within four weeks. Matterness was pronounced free from infection and it has remained thus ever since. The remedies used were arsenicum, phosphorus, phos ac, rhus tox and sulphur.
In 1866, George Lennox Moore became involved with Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method, alongside Edward Hamilton and Alfred Crosby Pope, and overseen by John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough.
George Lennox Moore wrote a detailed report on these trials, including a refutation of the falsities published in The Lancet regarding the homeopathic treatment of the cattle plague, attacking William Coutts Keppel Viscount Bury 7th Earl of Albemarle and accusing him of ‘being completely misinformed on this matter‘, and inventing a trail of misleading mistruths about the situation.
The orthodox statistics of this clinical trial revealed 8640 cases, 8% killed, 77% died and 15% recovered, though John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough subsequently issued the interim homeopathic results claiming up to 50% recovery rates with arsenicum, belladonna, phosphorus, rhus tox and turpentine as the main homeopathic remedies used.
The Times wrote an article wishing the homeopaths success in these homeopathic trials, but they also made a pithy comment that the allopaths would probably rather see all the cattle die than have homeopathy proved successfull.
The final report on the homeopathic trials in the treatment of cattle plague was issued by John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough. The orthodox statistics of this clinical trial revealed 8640 cases, 8% killed, 77% died and 15% recovered, though John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough subsequently issued the interim homeopathic results claiming up to 50% recovery rates with arsenicum, belladonna, phosphorus, rhus tox and turpentine as the main homeopathic remedies used.