Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Neville, Grey

NEVILLE, GREY (1681–1723), politician, elder son of Richard Neville (1655–1717) of Billingbear, Berkshire, and Catharine, daughter of Ralph Grey, baron Grey of Werke, was born in the parish of St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, London, 23 Sept. 1681. His father, who represented Berkshire in seven parliaments, was third son of Richard Neville (1615–1676) of Billingbear, a gentleman of the privy chamber, and colonel of the forces to Charles I. Grey was elected M.P. for Abingdon 10 May 1705. A petition against his return was unsuccessfully presented by his tory opponent, Sir Simon Harcourt [q. v.] (Journal of House of Commons, vol. xv.) In the next parliament, elected in 1708, Neville sat for Wallingford. On 1 Feb. 1715 he was elected for Berwick-on-Tweed, and was re-elected for the same constituency 31 March 1722. He supported the Act for naturalising foreign protestants in 1708, voted for the impeachment of Dr. Sacheverell, and generally acted with the whigs. When the first schism broke out in the party, he joined the Walpole section, and voted with the majority which threw out the Peerage bill of 1719. Neville's most prominent action as a member of the House of Commons was his defence in 1721 of James Craggs the elder [q. v.] and John Aislabie [q. v.], late chancellor of the exchequer, who had been implicated in the affairs of the South Sea Company.

Neville died on 24 April 1723 at his seat, Billingbear. He was very popular with the dissenters, and left a sum of money to Jeremiah Hunt [q. v.], pastor of the congregational church at Pinner's Hall, to preach a sermon after his death. One condition of the bequest was that his name should not be mentioned in the sermon.

By his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Boteler of Woodhall, who died 16 Nov. 1740, Neville had only one child, a daughter, who died in infancy. His portrait was painted by Dahl in 1720, and engraved by G. White. His brother Henry, who was born 17 Aug. 1683, succeeded to the Billingbear estates, and assumed the additional name of Grey. He was elected to the House of Commons for Wendover 21 Nov. 1709, and died in September 1740.

[Daniel Rowland's Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nevill family (Table V gives the pedigree of the Billingbear branch); Noble's Continuation of Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, iii. 247–8; Playfair's British Families of Antiquity, ii. 305 (in which there are slight mistakes); Historical Register, 1723 (Chron. Diary); O'Byrne's Repres. Hist. of Great Britain and Ireland, pp. 85, 180; Official Ret. Memb. Parl.; Parl. Hist. vii. 627, 793, 831, 847–55.]

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