The 2nd Earl Grey
His eldest son, Charles, became 2nd Earl Grey and he is the best-known member of the family. The leading Whig politician of the early 1800s. Succeeding Charles James Fox, when the Tories were in the ascendant for 30 years under George III and IV, before becoming Prime Minister in 1830. The 2nd Earl Grey introduced the Great Reform Bill of 1832. The first major step towards modern parliamentary democracy, in the teeth of opposition from the Duke of Wellington, his predecessor in 10 Downing Street. In addition he had 15 children from one wife, all of whom survived. He inherited Howick from his bachelor uncle, Sir Henry Grey, on the condition that he renounced all claim to Fallodon.
The 3rd, 4th & 5th Earl Grey
Henry, 3rd Earl Grey was another active Whig politician and for a time was Colonial Secretary in the 1840s. As a result of which there are a number of places called Howick in Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. He retired suddenly to Howick in middle age and took no further part in public life. Although married, he had no children, and the title passed on his death in 1894 to his eldest nephew.
Albert 4th Earl Grey, the son of General Sir Charles Grey who was Queen Victoria’s first Private Secretary. Albert was a great believer in the British Empire, working in South Africa and Rhodesia. Before ending up as Governor-General of Canada. Charles 5th Earl was his son, who spent most of his life paying off his ancestors’ debts deriving from their political activities. He and his wife, Mabel Palmer, were great gardeners and transformed the gardens at Howick to what they now are.