GREGG, John, of London and Guildford, Surr.
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Family and Education
It was fairly common for members of the Grocers’ Company of London to set up in business outside the capital during the 15th century, and Gregg had clearly established strong connexions with the burgesses of Guildford by 1417, the date of his first return to Parliament. He had no doubt been living in the borough for some time, when, in March 1420, described as both ‘grocer’ and ‘late citizen of London, dwelling in Guildford’, he obtained royal letters of protection for a year to be spent in Ireland in the company of the King’s lieutenant, James Butler, earl of Ormond. Similar letters were accorded to him in 1421, 1422, 1424 and 1429, but this time for service in France under four different commanders, including John, duke of Bedford. By February 1431, however, he was preparing to return to Ireland in the company of Sir Thomas Stanley†, who then held the lieutenancy. Shortly before, probably in consideration of his imminent departure, Gregg had been pardoned his outlawry in Middlesex for not answering Robert Thornburgh on a plea of debt for £10 13s.4d. He continued to do business as a grocer (or spicer) throughout this period, so it looks very much as if he was employed by the royal army as a victualler. The licence permitting him to negotiate a letter of exchange worth four marks payable abroad with Alexander Ferentinis, a member of the Florentine banking house of Albertini, in June 1425, may also be seen as further evidence of his activities overseas, albeit on a more personal level. Nevertheless, further letters of protection made out in his name for six months’ absence in France as a member of Hugh Standish’s retinue were revoked in July 1437 on the ground that he had been seen in the city and suburbs of London and at Guildford during this time.1
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Variants: Gregge, Grigge, Grygge.
- 1. CPR, 1416-22, p. 261; 1429-36, pp. 95, 109; 1436-41, p. 72; DKR, xliv. 637-8; xlviii. 237, 264.