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THE STAMFORD PEERAGE.

SIR GEORGE GREY'S COUSIN SUCCESSFUL. (From the Dunedin * Evening Star's ' London Correspondent. ) London, May 14. Mr William Grey, the cousin of Sir George Grey, of Auckland, who has just made good his title to the earldom of Stamford, called on me yesterday to ask me to correct a number of erroneous statements and impressions, which have, no doubt, arisen from the partial revelations, concerning the late peer's life at the Cape, which transpired daring the recent proceedings before the Committee of Privileges of tbe House of Lords. Mr Grey (who was, you may remember, in New Zealand when be succeeded to the title) has a large number of friends, both in that colony and the Australias, and he is anxious they should know the facts of the family story, and not the farrago of absurd lies popularly current. f he history, in bo far as it concerns us, begins with tbe death of tbe seventh Earl of Stamford and Warrington, Baron Delamere and Baron Grey of Groby, in 1883. He had no male issue, and the earldom of Warrington and barony of Delamere consequently became extinct. The estates, etc., barring a moderate allowance to the title, were left to the countess, who still lives, and to Mrs Arthur Dunoombe, his nearest and dearest relative. The eighth earl, the Rev, fl. Grey, was an old man of seventy-one when he inherit ed, and waß living at the Cape. From the circumstances which transpired before the Bouse of Lords, many mistakenly concluded that he was a mauvais sujet, and at variance with the rest of the family. It is certainly true that before Mr Harry Grey became Earl of Stamford he, whilst managing a station "up country," cohabited with a woman of color, who bore him two children o— a boy and girl. In 1880 a Dutch clergyman happened to visit the farm, aud Mr Grey was married to the colored woman, Martha Solomons. It is not true, as asserted by ignorant and mendacious persons in the papers, that Mrs Grey was a negress. She was a light-brown lady, a comfortable body, full of kindliness and common sense, and an exoellent cook. In 1881 a third child (now known as Lady Mary Grey) was born in wedlock. Two years later Mr Grey became E*rl of Stamford. From that time till his death in 1890 the old man's life was not merely blameless, but unselfish, his one idea being to save and to make money, so as to provide for the three children satisfactorily. This, your readers will be glad to learn, he lived loug enough to do. Though the eighth Earl's marriage with Martha Solomons legitimised his half-caste son John, according to the Gape law, it had, of course, no effect outside Cape Colony. His Lordship perfectly understood this, and took care to make the fact clear both to the lad himself and to bis real heir. The latter was Mr William Grey I — the present peer — who, soon after his uncle succeeded, visited him at the Cape and made the acquaintance of bis relatives The Earl then publicly recognised Mr Grey as bis legal heir, and signed a will to that effect. In 1889 Mr William Grey, who had been over- working amongst tbe poor at the I East End of London, was ordered an Aus tralian tour, and visited a number of Antipodean cities and scenes. The newspapers dub him " Rev,," but he is no more a " Rev." than I am, though, aa a reader of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and one experienced in mission work, he occasionally preaches or (as be prefers to say) lectures on special subjects. When the eighth Earl of Stamford died in June, 1890, his successor was, as has been said, staying with his relative Sir George Grey in Auckland. He hurried home, and then found that before he inherited either money or title he would have to establish his claim before the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords. This vexatious and costly process was not, Lord Stamford is moi-t anxious it should be known, forced upon him through any hostile action on the part of the dusky dowager countess or* her ohildren. On the contrary, they have helped him to establish bis claim, Mr Moore (the late lord's secretary and solicitor), who came over aud gave such important evidence in William Grey's favor at the trial, being the boy John Grey's guardian. The family, in fact, were agreed as to the present peer's rights, and it was purely "cussedness" on the Lord Chan- ! cellor's part that obliged him to prove them. The statements to the effect that the " black I dowager" and her son are over here have no foundation on fact. The woman married a negro within a few months of Lord Stamford's death, and no longer oalls herself countess. This remarriage made it easy to remove the young folks from her care, and they are being suitably brought up by kindly Christian folk. Lady" Mary, who is a bright clever child, may presently come to England, but, for obvious reasons, che other two will probably prefer to live permanently in South Africa. The j new Lord Stamford intends henceforward to live in England. He takes the warmest interest in all that concerns his " splendid relative," Sir George Grey, and looks back with delight to the good times he enjoyed in the Sunny South.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TT18920713.2.27

Bibliographic details

THE STAMFORD PEERAGE., Tuapeka Times, Volume XXIV, Issue 1912, 13 July 1892

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THE STAMFORD PEERAGE. Tuapeka Times, Volume XXIV, Issue 1912, 13 July 1892

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