Elizabeth Wallop, Countess of Portsmouth

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Elizabeth Wallop, Countess of Portsmouth (30 November 1691 – 13 August 1762), born Elizabeth Griffin and called Elizabeth Grey in her first marriage, was an English landowner.

She was born Elizabeth Griffin, eldest daughter of James and Anne Griffin at Dingley, Northamptonshire, and baptised 30 November 1691.

On 14 May 1720 Elizabeth married Henry Grey. On his death in 1740, Elizabeth inherited his property, including his country house at Billingbear, Berkshire, and a town house in London.

Elizabeth’s second marriage, in 1741, was to John Wallop, 1st Viscount Lymington, and she became countess of Portsmouth when her husband was created an earl in 1743. She retained control of her existing property and gained the estate of Saffron Walden after a successful legal challenge against her distant relative, Thomas Howard, 2nd earl of Effingham.[1] She purchased the dilapidated country house Audley End, which had previously been in the Griffin family, from Effingham in 1752, and began renovations to the house and grounds which retained its Jacobean style on the advice of the London builders John Phillips and George Shakespear.[2]

In 1760, she used her Griffin family right to nominate the master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, appointing George Sandby.

She died on 13 August 1762. In her will, she left Audley End to her nephew John Griffin Griffin, stipulated that the successors of her estates would always adopt the name Griffin, and made provision for her sister, nieces and cousin which would not pass to their husbands.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Griffin [married name Grey], Elizabeth [other married name Elizabeth Wallop, countess of Portsmouth] (bap. 1691, d. 1762), landowner". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/62679. Retrieved 2023-11-23.
  2. ^ "History of Audley End House and Gardens". English Heritage. Retrieved 2023-11-23.