The following extract is taken from Gardner's Directory 1852
Greys, or Rotherfield Greys or Grays parish, comprise 3,460 acres. Its population in 1831 was 1,145; and in 1841, 1,535 souls. The rateable value is £5,080; and the amount of assessed property in 1815 was £5,156. The chief proprietors of the soil are, Lord Camoys, of Stonor Park; the Misses Stapleton, of Greys Court (who also possess the manorial rights); Henry Baskerville, Esq., of Crowsley Park; and Mr James Champion, of Nettlebed.
The parish acquires the distinctive part of its appellation from John de Grey, created baron Grey in 1297. This John was of a younger branch of the family of Walter Grey, the powerful archbishop of York and chancellor of England, who purchased the manor and estate in the reign of Henry III. The manor continued in this family till Joan, the only daughter and heiress of Robert de Grey, carried it in marriage to Sir John d'Eincourt. The daughter of this Sir John, marrying William lord Lovell, the estate came into the possession of the Lovell's, and with them it continued until the reign of Henry VII; when, by attainder, it reverted to the crown, and was granted to Jasper, duke of Bedford. In the following reign it was granted to Robert Knollys; and it afterwards belonged to the family of Paul. Catherine Paul, an heiress, brought it in marriage to Sir William Stapleton, who was created a baronet by Charles II, in 1679. The lineal descendants of Sir William (the Misses Stapleton, aunts of the baroness Le Despencer, and the Hon. and Rev. Sir Francis Jervis Stapleton, bart.), are the present owners.
The noble family of Grey built an extensive baronial residence here (called Grey's Court), some parts of which still remain attached to the present edifice. The ancient mansion appears to have consisted of two quadrangles. The present building, the seat of the Misses Stapleton, is of the Elizabethean period. It is delightfully situated about 3 miles west from Henley, in the midst of a beautiful and very picturesque park, from many parts of which the views are most enchanting. The park is embellished by noble forest trees, and well stocked with deer. The halls and several rooms in the mansion contain portraits of the Fane's and Westmoreland's, of which family the late lady Stapleton (mother of the Misses Stapleton), was a member; and in the windows are some armorial bearings in stained glass.
This parish is about six miles from east to west, but there is no great assemblage of houses that may be called a village. Grey's Green is situated about 2.5 miles west from Henley. The view from the top of this green is magnificent.
The Parish Church is an ancient structure, in excellent repair, with a wooden turret. The chancel is very ancient, and formed the whole of the original edifice. In the chancel are fine monumental brasses in a good state of preservation, one of which is to the memory of Sir Robert de Grey, who died in 1387. Beneath a spacious recess, on the north of the chancel, is the burial place of the Knollys family. In this recess a monument of elaborate workmanship was raised by William, earl of Banbury, in 1605. Under a canopy supported by pillars of black marble, lie the effigies of Sir Francis Knollys and his lady, by whose side is the effigy of a child who died in infancy. Seven sons and six daughters, with the countess of Banbury (daughter-in-law), are represented kneeling, on two of the sides. In the upper part of the monument the earl of Banbury is represented with his lady, robed, and kneeling before a desk and open book. This monument bore no inscription originally, but a brass plate bearing an inscription was lately placed on it by Colonel Knollys, of Blount's Court. This plate is said to have been the same which was originally intended for the monument, and was found, after a search, in the parish chest among other records. In the same recess is a monument in memory of Sir Thomas Stapleton, bart. There is also one of his wife, lady Stapleton, which together with a handsome one of Sir Thomas Stapleton's eldest son, lord Le Despencer, was erected by the Misses Stapleton. There is a neat tablet to the memory of General Stapleton, second son of Sir Thomas and lady Stapleton, and several other monumental records of that family.
The font of this church is Saxon; and the bell turret contains three bells. The benefice is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10.12s. 8.5d: it is in the deanery of Henley, and in the gift of the president and fellows of Trinity college, Oxford. The present rector is the Rev. Joseph Smith, B.D. The tithes were commuted in 1843, for a rent charge of £802.
The Rectory House stands about 0.25 mile NW from the church, in a beautiful situation, on the slope of a hill, overlooking a fine valley.
Near the town of Henley, about 2.5 miles eastward of the parish church, a District Church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected in 1848, at a cost of about £2,500. It is built of flint and chalk with stone facings, in the pointed style of architecture, and consists of nave, chancel, side aisles, with a bell gable at the west end of the nave. The chancel arch is deeply moulded; the east window is of four lights; and the open roofs of the nave and chancel are of stained oak. The side windows of the whole edifice are couplets. The Parsonage House adjoins the church yard on the south, and is a substantial building corresponding in style with the church. The buildings are from designs by Mr Benjamin Ferrey, architect. The patronage rests for the first two terms with the bishop of the diocese, after which it reverts to the rector of Greys for the time being. The Rev. William Pinkney, M.A., is the present incumbent. Trinity district Infant School, built in 1850, stands on the west of the church.
The Parish School on Greys Green is a picturesque little building, erected by the Rev. J.R. Roberts, a late rector. It is supported by the subscriptions of the rector, inhabitants, and the Misses Stapleton; the latter also clothing the children. About 70 children attend the Sunday school. There is another school at Witheridge Hill, which receives a subscription from Trinity college, Oxford.
Augustine Knapp, by will dated November, 1602, left an annual rent charge of 20s. towards the clothing of poor people in this parish.