|Lord John Grey|
|Full Name||Lord John William Grey|
|Family Members|| Gerard Grey, Duke of Pardloe, Earl of Melton (deceased) |
Benedicta Stanley, neé Armstrong
Isobel Dunsany (deceased)
William Ransom, Earl of Ellsmere (step-son)
General Sir George Stanley (step-father)
Paul DeVane (half-brother)
Lord John William Grey is a secondary character in the Outlander novels and the protagonist of a subseries of historical mysteries, the Lord John novels and novellas. His first appearance is as an English soldier, age sixteen, at the Battle of Culloden in Dragonfly in Amber and subsequently he appeared as the Governor of Ardsmuir Prison, where he struck up a tenuous friendship with Jamie Fraser. He has had appearances in each subsequent novel, although his appearance in The Fiery Cross is limited to a series of letters exchanged between him and the Fraser family. The Lord John stories take place during the period of time in which Jamie is at Helwater.
Lord John William Grey was born around June 1729 to Gerard Grey, Duke of Pardloe and Earl of Melton, and his wife Benidicta Grey, nee Armstrong. Grey had four elder brothers; Harold Grey, his elder brother from his parents marriage, and Paul and Edgar DeVane, from his mother's marriage to Captain DeVane. It is unclear just how much older Grey's siblings are, although Grey is about ten when Edgar married.
Grey was enrolled in the Beefstake Club upon his birth by his godfather began taking him there for lunch every Wednesday starting when he was seven. As an adult, Grey continues to frequent the club, preferring it to White's Club, of which he is also a member. At the time of the Lord John series it is not uncommon for him to sleep at the Beefstake instead of returning to his mother's home, where he keeps his rooms. Grey is a fine swordsman, having first begun lessons with one at the age of three; at a young age he once struck Hal on the leg with a sword, doing no lasting damage but leaving a scar.
On Grey's twelfth birthday he was given a pocket watch by his father, his brother having received an identical one on his own twelfth birthday. The next day Grey's father was found dead by his mother, having been murdered in the night. Not knowing who had committed the murder and wanting to protect her family Grey's mother covered it up, making it appear as though Pardloe had committed suicide; at the time, he had been under the suspicion of having been a Jacobite supporter and thus his death was seen as proof of such. The family was firmly dishonoured by the allegations, and an attempt to have the dukedom of Pardloe revoked was briefly made. Thoroughly shamed, Grey's elder brother Harold chose to be referred to by his second title, the Earl of Melton, rather than take on one that was associated with such a scandal. As the head of the family, Melton was able to push his will onto his mother, who became known as the Dowager Countess, but not Grey, who insisted on being called Lord John, as befitting a duke's younger son, instead of the Honourable John, as befitting an earl's younger son. Immediately after his father's death Grey was sent to Aberdeen, Scotland, to stay with his mother's family and avoid the scandal, although it was not until much later in his life that Grey came to realize this.
Dragonfly in AmberEdit
During Dragonfly in Amber, when the character of Grey is first introduced, Grey is sixteen-years-old and a member of the 46th Regiment, which his brother, Lord Melton, had raised in order to restore his family's honour and prove that they were not Jacobite supporters. Acting as a forager and scout, Grey came across Jamie and Clare Fraser, assuming that he was witnessing the notorious Red Jamie Fraser with an abducted English woman. Honour pushed him to attempt to save her and capture Fraser, leading to a rather dismal failure. For a time Grey would be thoroughly ridiculed by his regiment and others who heard the tale. While still a member of the regiment, during the Battle of Culloden Grey was prevented from joining the fight by his brother.
Voyager, part 1Edit
At the age of twenty-four another scandal would result in the now Major Grey being sent to Scotland, where he served as the Governor of Ardsmuir Prison. One of the prisoners under his care was Jamie Fraser, who easily assumed a leadership role amongst the other prisoners. At the encouragement of his predecessor and long time friend, Harry Quarry, Grey began to have regular dinners with Fraser to discuss prison matters. Eventually the two would strike up a tenuous friendship, with Grey forming a great, albeit unrequirted, love for the other man. Upon the completion of a fortress at Ardsmuir Grey was charged with transporting the prisoners; however in the case of Fraser he made an exception, instead choosing to have him paroled at Helwater where Grey's family friends, the Dunsany's, lived.
"Lord John and the Hellfire Club"Edit
After returning to London from Ardsmuir Grey became caught up in the investigation of the death of Robert Gerald, the cousin-by-marriage to Quarry. Grey met Gerald early on the night of his death and was so shocked by it that he vowed to find Gerald's murderer. His investigation leads him to a meeting of the Hellfire Club, to which he is invited by his former lover George Everett. There he discovers that Everett was Gerald's killer and, in a moment of self defence, kills Everett himself.
Lord John and the Private MatterEdit
In 1757 Grey found himself investigating his cousin Olivia's betrothed, Joseph Trevelyan. While at the Beefstake Grey caught a glance at Trevelyan in the washroom and spotted what he suspected to be a syphillis sore. Not wanting to incite a public scandal that would definitely taint his cousin's reputation, Grey began to investigate the matter more privately, in an attempt to force Trevelyan to end the engagement without ruining Olivia. While looking into this, Grey also became responsible for investigating the death of a soldier from the 46th Regiment, who had been suspected of espionage. His investigation of Trevelyan would lead Grey back to the Lavender House, a discreet London club that caitered to gay men, which he had previously frequented while in the company of Everett. While there Grey would be introduced to Percy Wainwright for the first time, although not intimately. During this investigation he also met Henry Bowles, a spymaster, and Stephen von Namtzen, who would become a good friend of Grey's, and Tom Byrd, who would become his valet.
"Lord John and the Succubus"Edit
Following the events of Lord John and the Private Matter Grey was invited to join von Namtzen's regiment in Prussia, where he served as a liason officer. While there rumours of a succubus emerged, causing Grey to look into the deaths of British and Prussian soldiers. During his time in Prussia Grey's friendship with von Namtzen grew, and Grey continued to speculate as to the other man's sexuality.
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the BladeEdit
Some time after returning to London Grey met General Sir George Stanley, his mother's fiance, and, formally, Percy Wainwright, Stanley's stepson from his first marriage. Grey and Wainwright became romantically involved, despite Grey's continued feelings for Jamie Fraser. Wainwright would also join the 46th Regiment, which was assigned to fight under Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick in the Rhine Valley during 1758. While in the Rhine Valley Wainwright was caught in flagrante delicto with another man by Grey and two other soldiers. The man was then discreetly shot by his commanding officer, von Namtzen, while Wainwright was arrested and sent back to London to await a court martial. Before returning to London Grey fought at the Battle of Crefeld, where he took charge of a gun crew that had lost its commanding officer. During the battle the cannon blew up, severely injuring Grey. Once back in London and on the path to mending, Grey arranged to have Wainwright escape from prison and flee to Ireland. He also uncovered his father's murderer, and cleared his family's once tarnished name. It is during the course of this novel that Geneva Dunsany gave birth to a son, William Ransom, before both she and her husband died.
"Lord John and the Haunted Soldier"Edit
Following the Battle of Crefeld a Royal Commission of Inquiry was conveened to investigate the cannon that blew up under Grey's command. Grey was called to stand before a tribunal lead by Nathaniel Twelvetrees during the investigation, the acqusations of which lead him to investigate the matter himself.
"The Custom of the Army"Edit
While at an electric eel party in 1759 Grey entered into a duel, resulting in the death of the other man. In order to avoid the ensuing scandal, and the demand that he marry the woman in whoms name the duel took place, Grey fled London for Canada on the grounds of appearing as a character witness for his friend and former-lover Charlie Carruthers. While in Canada Grey joins General Wolfe's forces during the siege of Quebec, and partakes in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. He also takes a two week fishing trip with an Indian guide, Manoke, who becomes his lover. It is at this point that he is officially made a Lieutenant Colonel in the army, because of his involvement in the Battle of Krefeld.
The Scottish PrisonerEdit
After returning to England Grey is given a package of documents that once belonged to Carruthers, which explicitely detail the illegal actions of an English soldier. Grey must embark upon a mission to arrest him and return him to England to face a court martial, a course of action which requires the assistance of Jamie Fraser and a trip to Ireland. During the course of this novel, Grey pieces together the relationship between Fraser and William Ransom, while he and Fraser begin to rebuild their friendship. It is also during this novel that Grey enters into a duel with Edward Twelvetrees, whom he kills.
"Lord John and the Plague of Zombies"Edit
In 1761 Grey travels to Jamaica in response to a plee for help from the island's governor. There Grey investigates a slave rebellion and the rumours of zombies.
Voyager, part 2Edit
Drums of AutumnEdit
The Fiery CrossEdit
A Breath in Snow and AshesEdit
An Echo in the BoneEdit
Over the course of his life, Grey has had many sexual partners, although few of whom he would say that he ever loved. In addition to his partners, he has also long harboured a love for Jamie Fraser, although an unrequited one. He has also slept with a few female prostitutes and has married twice, both times because of Jamie Fraser.
Hector was Grey's first love, a twenty-year-old lieutenant in the 46th Regiment. Grey's attempts to capture Jamie Fraser prior to the Battle of Culloden were done in part to impress Hector, who in turn was one of the few people who didn't mock him for his own capture. Hector died during the Battle of Culloden, which haunted Grey for some years afterwards.
In the years following Hector's death, Grey became acquainted with George Everett. The two would frequent Lavender House together and developed a sexual relationship. It is believed that their relationship had ended before 1755, when Grey was sent to Ardsmuir. During the events of "Lord John and the Hellfire Club" Grey is forced to kill Everett in self defence.