Henry Grey 1641-1740

From Book Owners Online

Henry GREY, 1st Duke of Kent 1671-1740

Biographical Note

Son of Anthony Grey, 11th Earl of Kent, from whom he inherited the title and family estates in 1702. He began a court career in 1704 when he was made Lord Chamberlain; in 1710 he gave that up on being made Duke of Kent. Thereafter, he held a series of "politically minor court offices" (ODNB), without ever being seriously involved in government; historical assessments of his career are deeply unflattering of his abilities and personal characteristics. Although twice married, all his sons predeceased him and the Dukedom expired on his death.


Grey used a series of engraved armorial bookplates, made at various points through his career, dated between 1713 and 1738 (Franks 12828-32). He will have inherited a family library from his father, who was also a bookplate user; the extent of the library at the time of his death is not known. An armorial stamp is attributed to him in the Armorials Database, but without identifying a surviving example. Bookplates were also made for his first wife Jemima (Franks 12833-4); for his eldest son Anthony, Earl of Harold (Franks 12835); and for his eldest son's wife Mary (Franks 12836).