Sir Ralph Grey of Chillingham Castle, Knight. (1552 – 1623)

Sir Ralph Grey is my 12x great-grandfather, he was born in Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, England which was also his ancestral home, the castle is reportedly the most haunted in England.

Grey’s ancestors were Northumberland gentry by the early 1300s. In the following century they moved conspicuously onto the national stage, producing two bishops, and marrying into the Yorkist branch of the royal family. Ralph was a 6x great-grandson of King Edward III, At around this time they established their main seat at Chillingham castle, in the north-east of the county. Grey’s father and elder brother both served as sheriff of Northumberland, maintaining a long family tradition, while the latter sat for the county in 1586. Although Grey was a younger son, he inherited in 1570 most of the lands of his maternal grandfather, Sir Thomas Grey of Horton, himself a former knight of the shire. Twenty years later, he also succeeded to the Chillingham patrimony. With a cumulative estate of almost 250,000 acres, he was possibly Northumberland’s richest resident.

After two marriages he had no less than 16 children.

My own descent is through his son John Grey Esq of Bradford and Tawney.