"John Henry was an invalid, having had an accident that caused a rib to penetrate the lung"

Six Brides of Dilston, p,34

Written on the back of this picture: "John Grey 2nd son of John Grey of Milfield & Dilston died at sea and buried off cape of Good Hope 1844.

John Henry Grey

Born 8th July 1817

Died at sea 1844

His parents John and Hannah.
A note of the back of this picture records that this is "John Henry Grey died on a sea voyage "off the Cape in 1844" However the painting is signed by Mole and dated 1846. It is possible that it is a portrait of another family member or it was painted as a memorial.

" I cannot tell when brother John came on the scene of my life – but I remember he was ill and walked on crutches for a long time and was an object of reverence and devotion to me. He was tall and dark and very handsome and so kind – when able to get about the garden or wood he always called me to go too, and we used to sit down and he cut me whistles – big and little, a family of whistles out of bits of branches. If allowed to go into his room when he was resting or asleep, I would remain sitting close to his sofa as quiet as possible."

" When John was ordered a long sea voyage as the last hope of getting strong (he had had an accident and I believe broken and crushed ribs had injured his lungs). Mother, Jane and I went with him to Liverpool. It was my first long journey - train to Carlisle  - then canal boat to – I think – Maryport – then steamboat to Liverpool. I was not seasick and thought it delightful. I believe we all went to the Garstons – near Liverpool – and it was shortly after their marriage - and John went in a sailing vessel bound for China, but though he rallied for a time he got worse and died about halfway. I did not know much about it then, but quite remember a general gloom and sadness over everyone and that when I was building a “Tower of Babel” with my bricks, not little toy box of bricks like one sees now, but great solid ones made by a carpenter and as many as filled a large hair trunk – horse or cow skin with the hair on – in the schoolroom. Father came in looking very grave and took me in his arms and said “Your brother John is dead” and carried me to the drawing room where all were sitting in a sad circle round the fire – talking now and again in low tones. I remember a long time afterwards seeing his sea-chest come home and watching my Mother and Jane unpacking and hanging up all his clothes and among them one of my little holland smocks and I was told that it had been packed in by mistake and that the kind mate who waited on him and wrote all that he could about his last days – said he was so amused and smiled when one day he pulled out “his little sister’s garment”. I believe it was a dreadful blow for the parents and it seemed like a shadow for a long time."