Gerard Grey, born of an ancient, wealthy family, came to his title as Earl of Melton quite early, and in 1715 raised a regiment in support of the king during the Jacobite Rising. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Sheriffmuir, and King George I rewarded him with a newly created dukedom. It was around this time that Grey met and married Benedicta, a young widow from a Scottish Border family.
After Sheriffmuir, the newly elevated Duke of Pardloe invested in the South Sea Company, at the urging of his wife's uncle. In 1719, when the Jacobite threat recurred, Grey sold his shares in the company and turned his attention to expanding his regiment. A mere week after selling his shares, the stock in the company began to decline, and by 1720 the market had crashed, to the economic ruination of a good many people. Grey came under suspicion by many as a responsible party in the crash, but the House of Lords declined to try him. Still, the suspicion of Jacobitism lingered on Grey's name for years, and it didn't help that some of his close friends and Scottish in-laws came under suspicion as well.
In 1741, as rumors of a renewed Jacobite effort rumbled once more, one of Grey's own friends, Victor Arbuthnot, was arrested and tortured for information about the Jacobites. Though Arbuthnot staunchly refuted that he himself submitted Gerard Grey's name, he admitted that he, Arbuthnot, had not in fact written his statement, but merely signed it under the guidance of Hubert Bowles.
Events of the NovelsEdit
Gerard resembled his sons, being of a slight yet muscular build.
- Gerard is derived from the Germanic element ger "spear" combined with hard "brave, hardy".
- Grey has two possible origins: 1) an Anglo-Saxon, Old English nickname for someone with grey hair or a grey beard, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word "graeg", grey; 2) from the place called "Graye" in Calvados, Normandy, so called from the Old Gallo-Roman personal name "Gratus" meaning "Welcome" or "Pleasing", with the suffix "acum" meaning settlement or village.