Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Miss Sybil Grey
(1848-1871)
13 May 1861

Volume 3, page 225, sitting number 3590.

Born in Scotland on 28 November 1848, Sybil Mary Grey was the eldest daughter of Lieutenant-General the Honourable Charles Grey, second son of Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, who served as Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. Her mother was Caroline Elizabeth née Farquhar, daughter of Sir Thomas Farquhar, 2nd Bt.

On 20 June 1867 she married William Amelius Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk, who had been 10th Duke of St Albans since the death of his father in 1849. Their marriage produced a son and two daughters.

When the census was taken on the night of 2 April 1871, the Duke and Duchess of St Albans were visiting the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. Also present that night were Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, husband of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Helena; Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge; her daughter Mary Adelaide, Princess of Teck; and the last named's husband, Prince Francis of Teck. The party also included the Earl and Countess of  Shrewsbury, the Earl and Countess of Rosslyn, Lord and Lady Wharncliffe and Earl Ferrers. All of these guests arrived with their own attendants in tow. Including those who belonged to the household, there were a total of 73 servants at the castle that night.

The Duchess of St Albans died, aged only 22, on 7 September 1871, shortly after the birth of her second daughter on 21 August 1871.

‘The death of the Duchess of St Albans took place at an early hour on Friday morning, at her residence in Cromwell Road, South Kensington. The late duchess was the eldest daughter of the late Lieut.-Gen. the Hon. Charles Grey. The deceased married the Duke of St Albans, June 20, 1867, and leaves a son and two daughters, the youngest of whom was born on the 21st ult. We are informed upon the highest authority that the death of the Duchess of St Albans was not caused by puerperal fever, as reported’ (Newcastle Courant, 15 September 1871). According to her death certificate, the cause of death was 'Exhaustion & her system gradually supervening upon a recent confinement.' 



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