Her husband George Grey.

Christian Margaret Grey of Middle Ord was born on 11 Jan 1860 at Old Heaton, Cornhill. She was married to George Grey of Milfield on 24 July 1878 at Berwick. They had 7 children. She died on 10 July 1932 at the age of 72 at Barelees Cornhill on Tweed and was buried at Fireburn.

Left: This photograph probably taken to record the sheep, was kept by the children of Ivar Grey as the only image they had of Christian Margaret as an adult.
Although baptised Christiana she used the name Christian. She was the only daughter of George Grey of Heton and his wife Mary McLaren. Christian's father George had been given Middle Ord by his Uncle George Grey, who had no children. She therefore became sole heiress. Her mother died when she was 3 and her father when she was 5 and she was made a ward of court. On 6 March 1863 he made a will in which he made his two trustees his daughter’s guardians: Robert George Bolam a land agent of Barmoor and William Douglas a bank agent in Coldstream. Her cousin John Grey also wanted to marry her, and was very angry with George Grey of Milfield. There are family stories which indicate that she was actually in love with one of her tutors. Left: A recently discovered (2016) photograph of Christian originally owned by her son Gervase. By 1882 she would have already given birth to Jock and possibly Ivar and go on to have 5 more children. Thanks to Frances Cumming for the picture.

In the 1861 census, Christian can be found aged one at Old Heaton, a farm of 900 acres, with her father aged 41 (employing 11 men, 9 women and 3 boys) and her mother Mary, 30, her uncle John aged 45, with a cook, a house maid and another servant.

Orphaned in 1865, by the time of the 1871 census she is attending a girls boarding school run by the Misses Simson: Jane 49, Marian, 38 and and Margaret, 37 at 24 Buckingham Terrace in Edinburgh, with 22 other pupils. Her guardian lived at Barmoor so she may have spent time there. She married in 1878 and on the 1881 census she is 21 and living at Fenton Hill farm near Milfield with George aged 29 now a land agent, and their first child John Neil aged one. They have a cook, a nurse, a housemaid and two grooms.

The 1891 census for Milfield Hill shows George at the head of the household, profession J. P. Land Agent, aged 39, Christian aged 31, and their children John Neil 11, George Henry Ivar, 8, Christian Elfreda 7, Eric Ida 5, Mary Lizette, 4, Charles Boyd 3, and Gervase Minto 4 months.

The children's governess was Jane Linton aged 43, born in Scotland. There were 7 servants, all single women: Jane Edington 53, nurse from Scotland, Ellen Elder, 33, the cook, from Scotland. Ellen Hill 36 laundrymaid from Ancroft, Isabella Speedy 23, dairymaid, from Norham, Euphenia Gibbison 19 housemaid from Chatton, Margaret Yule, 24 tablemaid from Scotland, and Elizabeth Shiel 18, under nurse from Felton.

There were also 6 families living at Milfield Demesne, the Robsons, Atkinsons, Currys, Youngs, Weddles and Scotts, and two in Milfield, whose names are the same as the field names: Thomas Tarbit, a mason, and William Lowrey the baker. There is also James Cleghorn aged 25 from Belford who was George Grey's chief clerk and left £100 in his will.

The census of 1901 for Milfield Hill shows George as head of the family aged 49, " Landed Estate Agent" His wife Christian M. Grey aged 40. Their children George H. I. aged 18, occupation Land Agent, Eric I. aged 15, Mary L. Grey aged 14, Charles B. aged 13, and Gervase M. Grey aged 10. Alice Jane Calvert aged 47 and born in Putney was their governess. Agnes A. Brunton, aged 38 born in Scotland was the cook. There were also Colina Macpherson, 36 Margaret Purvis, aged 32, housemaid born in Pegswood , Northumberland, Margaret Phillipson, 17, the kitchenmaid born in Gateshead, Christina D. Wood, ladysmaid, aged 31 born in Scotland, Rachel A. Hewitt housemaid, aged 17 born in Rothbury.

In the row of cottages at the bottom of Milfield Hill drive: at No. 2 William Davidson aged 30, dairyman born in Scotland, with his wife Margaret aged 33 also born in Scotland and his 3 children, Annie aged 3, John aged 2 and Andrew 10 months all born in Scotland. At No. 3 Robert Fleming aged 36 shepherd from Scotland, his wife Elizabeth also 36 and their children, James 10 and Margaret 7. Both the children born in Branxton Northumberland. They have a boarder George Welsh, a shepherd, born in Chatton. At No. 4 lived Peter Ballantyne aged 43, domestic coachman, his wife Jane aged 44, and their 2 children Agnes aged 18 and James aged 13 all of them born in Scotland.

In 1911 she was still at Milfield Hill with George, but only her youngest daughter Mary, 24 and son Gervase, 20 are still at home, there are 5 domestic servants. George died in 1915. She lived at Milfield with her son Neil who inherited it, but when he died in 1924 she lived the last years of her life at Barelees the home of her son Charles Boyd Grey. She wrote her will at Barelees in 1929 particularly mentioning the portrait of her great great grandmother Christian Woodford.


Christian was supposed to be very artistic and two designs burnt into a wooden box and a stool have been attributed to her. A small notebook of sketches by her and George can be seen here.
Above: Christian gave this book to her son Ivar on his 14th birthday in 1896, the year it was published. Christian was supposed to be a friend of Lady Waterford. George was agent for the Ford estate. Her lady's maid was used as a model for one of the portraits in the school room at Ford.
Below: The flyleaf of "Land of Romance" a book about the history of Northumberland.
Right: Christian's stool "Roses have Thorns" with two quotes from Amoretti: Sonnet 26 by Edmund Spenser
"Sweet is the rose, but growes upon a brere;
Sweet is the iunipeer; but sharpe his bough;
Sweet is the eglantine, but pricketh nere;
Sweet is the firbloome, but his braunches rough;
Sweet is the cypresse, but his rynd is rough;
Sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill;
Sweet is the broome-flowre, but yet sowre enough;
And sweet is moly, but his root is ill.
So every sweet with soure is tempred still,
That maketh it be coveted the more:
For easie things, that may be got at will,
Most sorts of men doe set but little store.
Why then should I accompt of little paine,
That endlesse pleasure shall unto me gaine!"
Above: Christian's son Ivar's baby shoe. His nickname was Ivy. Patented F. Pinet Paris and dated '82, the year of his birth.

THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me CHRISTIAN MARGARET GREY formerly of Milfield but at present residing at Barelees near Cornhill- on- Tweed all in the County of Northumberland window WHEREBY I devise bequeath and appoint all real and personal estate belonging to me ( including the worked chairs and screen and the picture of my great great grandmother which belonged to my mother ) or over which I may have a general power of appointment or disposition by will (but not intending to exercise any power of appointment reserved to me by my Marriage settlement) to and in favour of my son Charles Boyd Grey absolutely but if he shall predecease me then to and in favour of my daughter Mary Lizette Grey absolutely with the request but without imposing any trust or obligation that the said Charles Boyd Grey if he shall survive me or the said Mary Lizette Grey if he shall predecease me and she shall survive me will at his or her death leave anything of family interest to my son Eric Ida Grey or if he shall then be dead to his son James Eric Ida Grey And being confident that the said Charles Boyd Grey or the said Mary Lizette Grey (as the case may be) will give effect to any wishes I may express in any memorandum signed by me or which may be in my handwriting which I may leave in regard to the disposal of any article or articles I APPOINT my said son Charles Boyd Grey if he shall survive me sole Executor of this my Will but if he shall predecease me then I appoint my said son Eric Ida Grey and my said daughter Mary Lizette Grey Executor and Executrix hereof and I Revoke all former Wills IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand the twenty-first day of June one thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine SIGNED by the said Christian Margaret Grey (the Testatrix) as her last will in our and by us in her and each other's presence. J .TURNBULL, Milfield House. Wooler, House-keeper C. M. GREY. Arnold Ashcroft Milfield Hill, Wooler, Estate Agent’s Clerk On the 27th Day of October 1932 Probate of this Will (save and except Settled Land) was granted at NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE.

BE IT KNOWN that CHRISTIAN MARGARET GREY of Barelees near Cornhill-on- Tweed in the county of Northumberland, widow died there on the 10th day of July 1932 having made and duly executed her last Will and Testament. THAT on the 27th day of October 1932 Probate of the said will save and except Settled Land was granted at the NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE District Probate Registry to CHARLES BOYD GREY, son deceased, the soul Executor therein named. AND BE IT FURTHER KNOWN that at the date hereunder written the last Will and Testament of the said deceased was proved in the District Probate Registry of His Majesty's High Court of Justice at NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE and that Administration of the Estate of the said deceased was granted by the aforesaid Court to the said CHARLES BOYD GREY of Barelees aforesaid, and CHARLES DAVISON FORSTER of Burradon in the said County, esquires, the trustees at the date of death of the said Testatrix of settled land vested in the be said Testatrix under the Will of JOHN NEIL GREY proved at the District Probate Registry at NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE on the 14th day of May 1925 and as such the Executors as to the said Settled Land limited to the Said Settled Land Dated the 28th day of March 1933. Gross value of the Estate… £675-0-0. Extracted by: - C. D. Forster & Lester, Solicitors, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The picture above is labeled on the back: "Christian Margt Grey of Middle Ord aged 6 yrs Wife of Geo Grey of Milfield. However the faint signature on the portrait appears to be by Keturah Collings nee Beedle who married in 1887. She was a well known photographer born in 1862. This picture could be of one Christian's daughters, possible Christian born in 1883 (but known in the family as Freddie) who would have been 6 in 1889, although Collings was then working in Brighton & Hove. Collings moved her studio to London in about 1905 and worked up to WW2, so the portrait could even be a daughter from the next generation. Or it could be an old photo taken in 1866 and given to Collings to make up into a portrait at a later date. There is no photographer's trade card details on the reverse and it is not a standard carte or cabinet size.
Miniature painting, cut down to fit an oval frame, with C.M. Grey's signature on the back. The portrait was not recognised as their grandmother by her grandchildren and only opening the frame (in 2018) has revealed this to be Christian Margaret.