William Grey, a white Canadian teacher who had taught in Barbados, won the case. He became 9th Earl of Stamford in May 1892. Letters in the family archive confirm that the new earl maintained a warm relationship with his South African relatives.
After Harry’s death, Martha Solomon, now Dowager Countess of Stamford, was left financially secure. She founded Battswood School in Wynberg, Cape Town. This became a training college, which still educates young South Africans.
Harry and Martha’s third child, a daughter born within marriage, was able to style herself Lady Mary Grey throughout her life.
A lasting legacy
Roger Grey (1896–1976), the 9th Earl’s son, was just 13 when he inherited Dunham Massey on the death of his father. Roger spent much of his time bringing back to the house some of the family’s principal treasures, including the family portraits and Huguenot silver.
Never marrying, he left Dunham Massey to the National Trust in 1976 – one of the biggest gifts received by the organisation.
On 16 August 1819, thousands of pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters gathered in St Peter’s Field in Manchester. A cavalry charge to disperse the crowd left an estimated 18 people dead and nearly 700 injured.
The massacre was a turning point in our democracy, leading directly to the founding of the Manchester Guardian newspaper and becoming a catalyst for Chartism and other workers' rights movements.
Dunham Massey's connection
George Harry Grey, 6th Earl of Stamford and Warrington became the owner of Dunham Massey after his father’s death in 1819, and served as Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire at the time of the massacre. One of the Lord Lieutenant’s most important responsibilities was keeping the peace and good order within the county, by order of the King.
On the day of Peterloo George Harry was not present, but he was within the chain of command that instructed the Cheshire militia to attend the meeting. We know from sources at the time that George Harry believed that those in charge of the protest incited the working classes to believe they had a chance of personal liberty, and in doing so endangered their lives. Although he couldn’t have known the extent of the casualties on the day, evidence suggests that he did support the suppression of the protest.
In 2019 we marked the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre with artwork inspired by conversations with people about rights and responsibilities, freedoms and the power to create change. Under the artistic direction of Turner Prize-winner Jeremy Deller, we worked with artist family Grace Surman and Gary Winters and their two young children Hope and Merrick on two artworks – one at Dunham Massey and one at Quarry Bank.