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Lady Eliza Lucy Grey

1819 – 1898

Eliza Lucy Spencer (c.1819 - 1898) was the daughter of the Government Resident at Albany, who was succeeded by George Grey. Eliza married Grey in 1839; on their way back from England, in 1840, she bore a son. When the baby died in Adelaide, Grey blamed his wife. She was never reconciled to life in Adelaide or New Zealand, where contemporaries described her 'a perfect devil', ill natured, untrustworthy, and given to tantrums. After a nervous breakdown in 1858 she returned to England; Grey followed in 1859. On board a ship in 1860 she committed an indiscretion involving a flirtatious letter. The ship's doctor swore that Grey would either kill his wife or himself unless she was put off the vessel at Rio de Janeiro. She was, and the Greys were separated for the next 37 years. A reconciliation in 1896 only imposed more strain on both parties and they both died, after separating again, in late 1898.

Updated 2018