Thomas Grey, 7th Baron Ferrers of Groby, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, and 1st Marquess of Dorset (1455 – 20 September 1501), was a nobleman, courtier and the eldest son of Elizabeth Wydeville and her first hubby, Lancastrian John Grey of Groby. Her second marriage was to Edward VI, improving Grey’s status at court and in the realm as the stepson, whoring partner and friend of the King.
Despite his inexhaustible sexual prowess with ladies of court and of the night (of the knight?), through his mother’s non stop endeavours, he made two materially advantageous marriages to wealthy heiresses – his first wife being Anne Holland, daughter of the King’s sister Anne of York and the second to Cecily Bonville, by whom he had 14 children.
Thomas later went on to become the great grandfather of the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey who completely lost her head over religious issues.
As has already been mentioned, Grey – Dorset – is known to have many lovers, the best known being Elizabeth Shore. Others include Jane Shore a supposed sister of Elizabeth, Elizabeth Lambert, Jane Lambert and lots of other women who all also included Hastings as their beau.
In his later life Grey was haunted by the memory of lovers whom he had thrown over and the ghosts of those who had died. He named fifty previous lovers as ghosts who would never leave him in peace night or day and was so troubled that he was constantly attended by priests, who performed exorcisms to rid him of these shades. This was described in great depth in the Wriothesley Chronicles – ‘A Chronicle of England During the Reigns of the Tudors’. Wriothesley’s Chronicle was written by Charles Wriothesley (Call me Risley) of the College of Arms in London and has a whole section devoted to the “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
Historical writers in the 21st century stole the title of this section for a book and subsequent film based very loosely on Thomas’ life and one particular love hate relationship with a ‘lady’ and the rest, as they say, is history.
* Blind man’s buff Blind man’s buff or blind man’s bluff is a children’s game, a variant of tag in which the player who is “It” is blindfolded. The traditional name of the game is “blind man’s buff”, wherein the word buff is used in its older sense of a small push.
Jeff Jefferty Jeff is currently researching the history of internet dating by joining as many dating sites online as possible. Mrs JJ has indicated that she will be seeking a divorce and the two small people that hang around the house are currently eating blackberry and apple crumble from Sainsbury’s. Mrs Shonas is no longer in the picture, having gone to visit the late Arthur’s brother Jonas Shonas and found true love and happiness.
Sorcery, sources and sauces:
Wolf Hall (BBC2 TV drama)
Tandoori Raj Birmingham Take Away Menu
Some book in the waiting room at Euston Station
Yellow Pages Telephone Directory UK 1978-79
A comment on a Facebook group
© Jeff ”Jefferty” Jeff February 16th 2015