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Grey, Leonard, 1st Viscount Grane

Grey, Leonard, 1st Viscount Grane [I] (1490–1541). Grey was one of many who perished in the mire of Tudor Ireland. He was a younger son of the 1st marquis of Dorset. His grandmother was Elizabeth, queen of Edward IV, and his nephew's daughter was Lady Jane Grey. A tough soldier, he was sent to command in Ireland in 1535, where Thomas Fitzgerald, son of Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th earl of Kildare, was in rebellion. The rising was crushed and Fitzgerald and five of his uncles sent to England and executed. Grey was appointed lord deputy in 1536 and given an Irish peerage. He presided over the Dublin Parliament which effected the Reformation, including dissolution of the monasteries. But his rough manner made many enemies and the 9th earl of Kildare's young son, in flight, was his nephew. Despite considerable military success, Grey was accused of treason. In a long submission, the council charged him with not doing all he could to apprehend his nephew and of overbearing behaviour: ‘when contradicted in the council, he falleth in fury with menacing words and great oaths, laying his hand on his dagger or sword.’ Though he sounds brutish, the charges seem to fall far short of treason. Nevertheless, he was found guilty and executed in July 1541.

J. A. Cannon

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