William's daughter Frances married James Rea and the Rea family lived at Berrington until at least the 1940s. From County Families p 865.
‘William's signature from his will. Reproduced by permission of Durham University Library (DPRI/2/31 p50)

William Grey of Nesbit and later of Kimmerston married Alison Bell. 1753- 16 Mar 1782

Will dated 29 February 1792. Son of John Grey of Longhorsley.

Buried at St. Michael and All Angels, Ford on 20 March 1792.

NORTHUMBERLAND TO be LET now, and entered upon at Whitsuntide, 1788, All those several Farms near Wooler, in the County of Northumberland called Fenton Town, Fenton Demesnes, Fenton Mill, and Nesbitt. Fenton Town, now, in the Possession of Mess. Matthew and George Cully, contains - 1124 Acres or thereabouts, of good Arable, Meadow, and Pasture Land. Fenton Demesnes, now in the Possession of Mr. Thomas Vardy, contains 513 Acres or thereabouts of good Arable, Meadow, and Pasture Land. Fenton Mill, and about fourteen Acres of Land adjoining the Mill. N.B. A Modus in lieu of all Tythes is annually paid for the said three Farms of Fenton Town, Fenton Demesnes, and Fenton Mill. Nesbitt, now in the Possession of Mess. William and George Grey, contains 728 Acres or thereabouts of good Arable, Meadow, and Pasture land. All the said Farms are conveniently situated for Coal, and Lime: Thomas Carr, of Fenton, will shew the respective Premises. All Persons intending to take the said Farms, are desired to give their Proposals in Writing, on or before the first Day, of September next, to Captain Durnford, of the Engineers, at Chatham; or to Mr. Anderson, of Glanton, near Alnwick, who will acquaint such Persons with further Particulars

The Public Advertiser, 19 August 1786, Page 4

http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/344087 00/

The Will of Wm. Grey late of Kimmerston in the County of Northumberland Decd. Regd Febry. 29th 1792 This is the Last will and Testament of Wm. Grey of Kimmerston.

In the name of God Amen- This 29th Day of February in the Year of our Lord 1792 I William Grey of Kimmerston in the Parish of Ford being very weak and Sick of Body but of sound & Disposing Mind and Memory Do make and ordain This my Last Will and Testament in Manner and form following that is to say first and principally I commit my Soul to the mercies of God thro’ Jesus Christ my Saviour and my Body to a Christian Burial at the Discretion of my Executors hereafter mentioned and as to such worldly goods as it hath pleased God to bestow on me in this Life I Dispose of the same as follows I leave and Bequeath my dearly beloved Daughter Frances Grey the sum of Fifteen Hundred Pounds to be Paid when her Brothers comes to the age of Twenty one years; - I leave and Bequeath to my Dearly beloved Daughter Allie Grey the sum of Fifteen Hundred Pounds to be Paid her when she comes to the age of Twenty One years--- I leave and Bequeath to my Dearly beloved Sons John Grey and James Grey Equal shares and share alike all my Leases Ready Monyes Stocks Crops and all Emoluments whatsoever that may arise from the Farms or any other profits of any kind whatsoever They paying the Legacies when become Due I leave my Dearly beloved Wife Allie Grey the sole power and Direction of her Family respecting Education Cloathing and Maintainence in her whole power and Direction till they come of age After they come of age if it should be found Convenient or Necessary for them and their mother to Divide Then at what ever time that may Happen she receives half the House hold Furniture and Fifty Pounds a year to be paid Yearly and every Year at Equal half yearly payments During her life by her Sons or whoever enjoys their Effects In Case any one of my Daughters should Die before they enjoy their Fortune the other to receive Five Hundred Pounds more In case they should both Die their Fortunes to rest with their Brothers. In case one of the Brothers Die the other Brother to enjoy his Effects – In case only one of the brother’s die the other brother to enjoy his effects In case only on of my Children should survive He or She to enjoy the whole of their Effects In case both my sons should Die before they come of age and one or both of my Daughters living; If both living the Effects to be equally Divided betwixt my two Daughters If only one Living to enjoy the whole In case all my Children should Die before they come of age Then I leave to my Brother John’s Children my Late Brother George’s Children my Late Sister Margt Vardy’s Children and my Brother Edwd. Son Henry Grey or whatever Children that may then be Living all my Effects Equal share and share alike to be Divided by the Trustees, their Heirs or Executors – Also the said Trustees their Heirs or Executors at whatever time that may Happen my Wife to have all my Household Furniture and the said Trustees to secure such a sum of Interest as the Interest will pay my Wife Two Hundred Pounds a year at Equal half yearly payments During her life- At her Decease the money to be Equally Divided share and share alike as before Mentioned. Trustees for my Family I appoint my Dearly Beloved Wife Allie Grey John Bell of Berwick, John Grey of Heaton, Edward Grey of Morpeth and Thos Vardy of Fenton As my Brothers John and Vardy will have most of the Trouble they will accept of each Ten Pounds a year for their Trouble over and above all Necessary Expenses attending my Business- Which Trust I hope they will execute to the Best of their judgment I hereby Ratify and Confirm this to be my last Will and Testament and no other Hereunto I have set my Hand Wm Grey In the presence of ThoS Vardy Geo Fairbairn Wm ?Mortom Mortone N.B. A Power resrvd of granting a Probate of this Will to Edward Grey & Thomas Vardy the other Trustees & Executors therein named, when they or either of them shall apply the same 7th Feby. 1793. Allie Grey, John Bell and John Grey Three of the Executors above named were Sworn to the truth of this Will before the Revd. Geo. Marsh B.A. Surrogate & lawfully appointed- under £5,000- Wood, Proctor.
Durham University Library :William GREY, of Kimmerston in the parish of Ford [Ford, Northumberland]; also spelt Gray Date of probate: 7 February 1793 will, 29 February 1792 (DPRI/1/1793/G8/1-2) registered copy of will, 29 February 1792 (DPRI/2/31 p50) Transcribed by Claire Grey.


William Grey was the son of John Grey of Longhorsley and is mentioned in his father’s will. His father died in 1778. He married Alison Bell on 16 December 1779 at Berwick. His daughter Frances was born in Kyloe in 1782, which may mean that he was living at Berrington at the time, since it is thought that he owned both Berrington and Kimmerston. In 1786 he it is likely that he is the William living with his brother George at Nesbit the farm that had belonged to his father John. His wife Allie appears to have no more children until 1787, their son James is said to be 88 at the time of his death in 1875.

William's other three children were all born at Kimmerston. There are some doubts about the birth date of his son James who is variously recorded as being born between 1785 and 1805 on four different censuses. A James inherits Kimmerston and the presumption has been made that it is the same James although this may be incorrect. Similarly there are doubts about the birthday of John who appears to be born too late to be William's son. However there is a John who is mentioned in his father's will and therefore must have been a John born before 1792. A John Grey lived at Berrington which it is thought was owned by William.

William's sister Margaret had died in 1786 at the age of 37 and his brother George died at a very young age in 1791 in his late 30s or early 40s.

William wrote his will on 29 February 1792 “ being very weak and sick”. He left money to his daughters Frances and Allie, sons John and James and his wife Allie. If all his children died he left the estate to his dead brother’s George’s children, or his dead sister Margaret Vardy’s children, or his brother Edward’s son Henry. The trustees were John Bells of Berwick, John Grey of Heaton, Edward Grey of Morpeth and Thomas Vardy of Fenton. He died at Kimmerston and was buried at St. Michael and All Angels, Ford on 20 March 1792.

His daughter Ally died two years later at the age of 5. His son John had no children. James never married. So it was only his daughter Frances who carried on his line.

John Grey of Berrington.

Birth at Kimmerston.

Married Eleanor Ormond 14 June 1821 at Berwick

Died 24 June 1853 at Berrington.

Poll books (see below) record John Grey living at Berrington House in Kyloe parish, it appears he was a tenant of James Grey of Kimmerston. There is a George Henry Grey living in Berrington Mansion House in 1832, 1834, 1835, although no longer at the mansion in 1838. John Grey continued to be there for voting purposes from 1841 with James Grey until 1847 when James is no longer recorded.

John also appears on the census for 1841 and 1851. John Grey, farmer, 45 with his wife Eleanor, 25 with Richard and John Ormond, aged 4 and 2.

The 1851 census records the farm as having 600 acres employing 24 labourers. Here his age is given as 56 with Eleanor aged 47, who was born in Middlesex.

A branch of the Grey family had lived at Kyloe since the 1400s, two of the last being Bryan Grey and Marmaduke Grey who died unmarried in 1823. His sister Dorothy married a Charles Forster Bacon, whose descendants took the name of Bacon Grey when succeeding to the Kyloe estate in 1823. Marmaduke is in a poll book of 1747 at "Whatton", and was buried at Kyloe in 1823. Charles Bacon Grey is shown in the above poll book at Styford. Initial research has not shown any close connection to the descendants of the Longhorsley Greys.

John died on 24 June 1853 .

1854 Will of John Grey of Berrington in the Parish of Kyloe in the County of Northumberland Farmer deceased.

This is the last Will and Testament of me John Grey of Berrington in the county of Northumberland Farmer I give and bequeath unto my dear wife Eleanor Grey all my personal Estate and Effects To and for her own absolute use and benefit and subject to the payment of my just debts I give and Devise unto my said wife Eleanor Grey and her Assigns All my real Estate whatsoever for and during the Term of her Natural life and from and after her decease I give and Devise the same unto my Brother James Grey for and during the Term of his Natural life and from and after his decease I give and Devise the same unto my nieces Margaret Rae and Eleanor Rae and Richard Ormond and John Ormond the nephews of my said Wife Eleanor Grey their Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns To hold the same as tenants in Common and not as joint Tenants and in case of the death of the said Richard Ormond the I give and devise his share so given to him by this my Will to his Brother John Ormond and in case of the death of John then I give and devise the share so given to him by this my Will unto his brother Richard Ormond should he survive his Brother John that is to say if they should depart this life without leaving lawful ?issue. I appoint the said Eleanor Grey and the Reverend William Hewitt of Ancroft Executor and Executor of this my Will and I hereby revoke all other Wills made by me at any time or times heretofore. In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this Eighteenth day of March One Thousand Eight hundred and Fifty One. Signed by the said John Grey in the joint presence of us who in his presence have hereto set our hands as Witnesses Jane Knowles ?Wm ?Fall John Grey

On the 25 day of January 1854 Eleanor Grey of Berrington in the parish of Kyloe in the County of Northumberland, Widow, one of the Executors named in the before written will was duly sworn as usual under £2,000 And that the Testator died on the 24th day of June 1853 (Power for the Rev’d William Hewitt, clerk other Exor) Before me James Raine ?Lue/ ?Dur

(DPRI/1/1854/G17/1-2) (DPRI/2/60 p45) Durham Wills.

13 June 1821 allegation, with bond, by John Grey, of Kyloe, Northumberland, gentleman, bachelor for marriage to Eleanor Ormond, of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, spinster at Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland sworn before Joseph Barnes (surrogate) surety in bond: Clement Pattison, of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, solicitor.

DDR/EJ/MLA/1/182 1/169

John was born in 1795 according to the 1851 census. His father William wrote his will on 7 February 1793 having a son called John. William owned Kimmerston and Berrington and John was born at Kimmerston and lived at Berrington.

It is not clear which Berrington John lived in. Raine described him living in the mansion house at the top of the hill and suggested that John Grey built it.

Berrington had belonged to Edward Clavering, Esq. “the remainder 531 acres, with the mansion house built by the vendor, to John Grey of Kimerston, Esq, the vendor reserving a life interest for himself and his wife. Mrs Clavering was living a widow, in 1826. The mansion house of the Claverings, with its garden and grounds, stood low and warm on the South side of the hill. The present proprietor, some ten or twelve years ago, built himself a more airy dwelling place on higher ground."

The History and Antiquities of North Durham by the Rev. James Raine, M.A. published in 1852.

However Pevsner disagrees saying:

"ALNWICK. BERRINGTON HOUSE, 1 ½m. s. Not a large house, just three by two bays. It looks a characteristically early c 19 house for this area, in fine ashlar with no more decoration than raised quoins, a moulded eaves cornice, a plain parapet and, above the centre bay, a higher parapet with some guilloche moulding. Inside, the staircase has the same balustrade as Barmoor Castle, with wrought-iron balusters in the form of stylised palm fronds. Raine, writing in 1852, says that the house was rebuilt for John Grey of Kimmerston 'some ten or twelve years since'. It looks older than that, and, indeed, Mackenzie suggested in 1825 that it had already been built for John Clavering. The WALLED GARDEN is a splendid affair, with walls of many periods from the late medieval to the c18. Incorporated into the s side are parts of the c17 manor house of the Claverings. A gable and some windows are clearly visible."

The Buildings of England. Northumberland. Nikolaus Pevsner and Ian Richmond.

Right: The garden walls at Berrington House showing the gable end that Pevsner describes. Photo by Peter Ryder. From the web site "Keys to the Past" made by the Conservation Team of Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland. NE61 2EF here

© Northumberland County Council & Peter Ryder.

Pevsner dates the new house earlier than Raine and William Hutchinson wrote in 1823: " To the southward, at a little distance from Ancroft, is Berrington, where Edward Clavering Esq. has lately built a beautiful mansion, on a fine elevated situation. This was anciently the manor of the family of Maners... The village consists only of a few cottages, for the reception of labourers." The History & Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham , By Willm. Hutchinson Volume III Durham , 1823.

It appears that Hutchinson's may be the more reliable informant.

View Greys in Northumberland in a larger map

John's wife Eleanor can be found in 1861 staying with the Campbell Blackadder family at 118, Bloomsbury, Chorlton on Matlock, Manchester in Lancashire. William Campbell, a surgeon, Alithia Francis Campbell, his wife and two of their children Frances and Alithia. Eleanor Gray here spelled with an “a”, widowed, was a visitor with her age given as 45. The household has one domestic servant. If she was born in 1806 she would be 55 not 45 as here.

She was living at Berrington House, Berrington Back Hill in 1871 where she gave her age as 65, making her birthday 1806. She described herself as "Farmer’s Widow Income ?Inter & money." She had three servants a cook, a housemaid and a groom. Eleanor Grey is buried with her husband at Ford. She was 79, which would make her birth about 1799. The birth of an Eleanor Ormond in 1799 has been found at the Scotch Church, Wells Street, Oxford Street, London.

No children are listed in his will. It is possible that they had a daughter who died. There is a record of an Isabella Grey baptised at Wooler on 27 March 1827 whose father is a John Grey with a mother called Eleanor. But this may be another family.

James Grey of Kimmerston

Born at Kimmerston. Baptised on 13 April 1787 at St Michael and All Angels, Ford.

Died 3 June 1875 at Kimmerston.
Buried at Ford B - 307

Poll books show James to be at Kimmerston between 1832 and 1841 but also as having freehold land at Berrington, with John Grey as his tenant. In 1847 & 1852 he is shown in poll books at Kimmerston. He also appears on the census for 1841 at Kimmerston as a farmer aged 35 with two female servants. In 1851, aged 46 and unmarried he is farming 2010 acres and employing 70 labourers. In 1861 he is still there farming 1220 acres, employing 17 men and 3 boys. In 1871 aged 70 he is farming 1988 acres, employing 32 men, 25 women and 7 boys. He died at Kimmerston on 3 June 1875 at the age of 88. The cause of death was given as "Senile Gangrene 42 days Exhaustion". Mary Telfer was the the informant.

On Ancestry it is suggested that he fathered six children with Sarah Hardy between 1826 and 1837. There is a Sarah Hardy at Kimmerston from 1841, who is described as an agricultural labourer in 1851 and a housekeeper in 1861. She lived at Kimmerston till 1881. In 1891 when she was 90 and still single she lived at Weetwood Hill Farm at Chatton. She was born at Kyloe. We do not have James's will to check this story.

Left: John Hardy. 1830 -1916 Surveyor. Educated to be a minister in the church but became a school teacher. Emigrated to Australia in 1856. Possibly the son of James. The only male child of Sarah Hardy to survive and very unusual to be educated for the church if your mother was an agricultural labourer. More on the Hardys and their descendants can be found on Ancestry. He has a typically tall forehead if he is a Grey.

Frances Grey

Born in 1782 in Kyloe

Married James Rea on 28 April 1808

Died 9 February 1871.

For information about Frances Grey and the Rea family look here.

Reproduced by permission of Durham University Library (DPRI/1/1854/G17/1-2) (DPRI/2/60 p45)
Here lies the remains of WILLIAM GREY late of Kimmerston who died 16 March 1792 in the 40th year of his age. Also of ALLEY widow of the above WILLIAM GREY died October 5 1826 aged 80 years. Also JAMES GREY son of the above died at Kimmerston June 3 1875 aged 88 years.
Ford Church B - 307
Photo from Coldstream Local History Society

Sacred to the memory of JOHN GREY late of Berrington who departed this life 24 June 1853. Also of ELEANOR his wife who died 18 September 1878 in her 80th year.
Ford Church Section - B - 306
Photo by Coldstream Local History Society.