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Baron Grey of Codnor

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Title: Baron Grey of Codnor  
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Subject: Abeyance, High Sheriff of Cheshire, Baron Grey, Codnor Castle, John Oldcastle
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Baron Grey of Codnor

Grey of Codnor ancestral arms: Barry of six argent and azure, in chief three torteaux.[1][2]

Baron Grey, of Codnor in the County of Derby, is a title in the Peerage of England.

Sir Henry Grey, grandson of Richard de Grey and who saw military service under Edward I, was summoned to Parliament by writ in 1299. However it was held in 1989 that he and his two successors did not sit in Parliament after being summoned, and the barony was therefore dated 1397 after evidence was found that Richard Grey, known as the fourth Baron, did sit in Parliament. The title fell into abeyance in 1496 on the death of Henry Grey, known as the seventh Baron, and after 493 years was terminated in the favour of Charles Cornwall-Legh, subsequently fifth Baron after the re-dating. The title is currently held by his son, Richard Cornwall-Legh, 6th Baron Grey of Codnor.

The barony, though technically simply Grey as it was created by writ, is often termed "Grey of Codnor" or "Grey (of Codnor)" to distinguish it from the other Grey baronies throughout history and from the extant Grey earldom; though the holder nowadays is by convention styled simply as "The Right Honourable The Lord Grey".

This branch of the Grey family was seated at Codnor Castle. Together with the other noble branches of the Greys, they share descent from the Norman knight Anchetil de Greye, a vassal of King William I.


  • Abeyance and termination 1
  • Historic Barons Grey of Codnor (1299) 2
  • Barons Grey of Codnor (1397) 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Abeyance and termination

In 1496, the title became abeyant on the death of the seventh Baron between his aunts, the three daughters of the fourth Baron: Elizabeth Zouche, Eleanor Newport, and Lucy Lenthall. A termination petition was first made by Charles Walker, later Cornwall-Legh, who claimed one twelfth of the title in 1926.[3] Later that year the House of Lords Select Committee chaired by John Hamilton, Baron Sumner recommended that inter alia no abeyance should be considered which is longer in date than 100 years and that only claims where the claimant lays claim to at least one third of the dignity by considered. Cornwall-Legh died in 1934, and his son, Charles Legh Shuldham Cornwall-Legh, was permitted a relaxation of these conditions in 1936 as the original claim was begun before the committee reported. After grants for extensions of time for various reasons submitted by Charles Cornwall-Legh, in 1989 the House of Lords Committee for Privileges, chaired by Richard Wilberforce, Baron Wilberforce, examined his legal right to the peerage title.[4]

It found that although the first, second and third Barons were summoned to Parliament, there was no evidence that they sat in a properly constituted Parliament. Richard Grey, fourth Baron was summoned, in 1397, and did sit, and they held that the barony should be dated from then. It was satisfied that all proper and possible enquiries had been made to trace the descendants of Lucy, Eleanor and Elizabeth, which included Richard Bridgeman, 7th Earl of Bradford (a descendant of Eleanor (Newport)).[4] The abeyance was subsequently terminated by Elizabeth II in favour of Cornwall-Legh, a descendant of Lucy (Lenthall), who succeeded as the fifth Baron.[5]

Historic Barons Grey of Codnor (1299)

The following have been historically referred to as holders of this Grey title.[6] During the 1989 abeyance termination it was found that they were summoned to Parliament, but there was no evidence that they sat in a properly constituted Parliament.

  • Henry Grey, 1st Baron Grey of Codnor (died 1308)
  • Richard Grey, 2nd Baron Grey of Codnor (c. 1281–1335)
  • John Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Codnor (1305 or 1311 – 1392)

Barons Grey of Codnor (1397)

The 1989 termination of the 1496 abeyance held that the barony be dated 1397, as there was evidence the fourth baron sat in parliament. The holders of the title from that date were renumbered, with Charles Cornwall-Legh CBE JP DL succeeding as the fifth Baron in 1989.

The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son, the Hon Richard Stephen Cayley Cornwall-Legh (born 1976). The heir apparent in line is his son Caspian Richard Cornwall-Legh (born 2008).[5]

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Martine, Roddy (4 January 1997). "Lord Grey of Codnor".  
  4. ^ a b "HL Deb 27 July 1989 vol 510 cc1569-77. Barony of Grey of Codnor".  
  5. ^ a b "Grey (of Codnor), Baron (E, 1397)". Cracroft's Peerage. Heraldic Media. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  6. ^  

External links

  • Codnor & District Local History & Heritage website - Lord Grey of Codnor pedigree
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