12 June 2007
A SET OF FOUR GEORGE III SILVER MEAT-DISHES FROM THE MARTINIQUE SERVICE
MARK OF ROBERT MAKEPEACE, LONDON, 1795
Oval and with a gadrooned rim, engraved with a coat-of-arms below a baron's coronet and an inscription within a laurel border, marked on the back, each further engraved with a number and a scratchweight 'No. 5 32"14'; 'No. 6 32"10'; 'No.7 33"7' and 'No. 8 33"0'
14 7/8 in. (37.7 cm.) wide
125 oz. (3,896 gr.)
The arms are those of Charles, 1st Baron Grey (1729-1807). Charles Grey was the 4th but only surviving son of Sir Henry Grey 1st Bt. (1691-1749) and as such he inherited his father's baronetcy and the estate of Howick, co. Northumberland. He had a distinguished career in the army and served as commanding officer during the First American War. Appointed a Major General in 1777, he became a Lieutenant General in 1782 and a General in 1796. He was created Baron Grey of Howick in 1801 and was later elevated to Viscount Howick and Earl Grey in 1806.
The inscription on the dinner-plates, Donné par la MARTINIQUE relate to the expedition which Grey and John Jervis, later Admiral and 1st Earl St. Vincent, led against the French in the West Indies from 1793. By March 1794 they had taken Martinique and by the end of April St. Lucia, the Saints and Guadeloupe had come under British control. Family tradition, supported by these facts, records that the dinner service was given to Lord Grey by the grateful landowners of Martinique. (4)
Charles, 1st Earl Grey (1829-1807) and then by descent to
Lady Mary Grey (d.2002), daughter of the 5th Earl de Grey, wife of 1st Baron Howick of Glendale
Lady Howick of Glendale; Christie's London, 21 November 1973, lot 31
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