Richard Grey is Agnes' father. He is a clergyman in northern England. He is the husband of Alice Grey and father to Agnes and Mary. Although Richard is not rich, he has provided his family a comfortable life and lots of love. He is not well in the beginning of the novel and is concerned about what his family's life would be like if he were to pass away. For this reason, he sends what little money he has with a friend who plans to invest this money for him. Unfortunately, the ship on which the man is sailing crashes and both the man and the money are lost. Agnes' father's health is even worse after the shock of this loss. He does consent to allow Agnes to work as a governess, but will not take any of the money that she earns through the job. When Agnes' father does pass away, Agnes and her mother make their living by opening a day school.