Susannah Budd

It has long been thought that the Thomas Grey who married Susanna/Susan Faben had a considerable family with her, including the famous, or infamous, John Budd Grey. However, recent research offers a different explanation with the union of Thomas Grey, a widower, to Susannah Budd in Hilgay, Norfolk in the autumn of 1795.

Is it possible that Thomas Grey and Susan Faben were parents only to the Joseph Grey who was baptised on the 15th July at Burwell, Cambridgeshire, and buried just two weeks later, and that his mother, Thomas’s wife, died.

This would surely explain not only the calling of banns and the union of widower Thomas Grey and Susannah Budd on 1st September 1795, but, importantly, the naming of a son John Budd Grey, baptised at March, Cambridgeshire, in 1798.

Thomas himself, once thought to be the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Grey, was baptised at Benington, in Hertfordshire on 23rd August 1772, the son of travellers – and, it turns out, is surely the son of Fowk Grey and Mary Thorpe, who were naming their first son in tribute to Fowk’s brother, Thomas Grey.

This confusion between family names and the repetition of favoured ones is not at all unusual. However, the second marriage of a Thomas Grey to a Susannah Budd is a significant find in indicating the mother of John Budd Grey to be a Susannah/Susan, just not Susan Faben.