GREY, Richard (by 1492-1533), of Tutbury, Staffs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1492, illegit. s. of Henry, 7th Lord Grey of Codnor. educ. ?Oxf. supp. BA 1513; L. Inn. m. (1) Catherine; (2) Jane; 7s. 2da.2

Offices Held


Under his father’s will of 1492 Richard Grey received the manor of Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire. Until he was 18 years old he was entrusted with two other bastard children to the care of Catherine Lady Grey: she was to be assisted by the heads of several monastic houses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, priests and gentlemen, with whose help she was to send him to school and then to an inn of court ‘to learn the law’. Presumably Lady Grey complied with these wishes, for in 1513 a Richard Grey supplicated for a degree at Oxford and then went on to study at Lincoln’s Inn where he was twice nominated as butler: the style ‘esquire’ which Grey was to use in his will was doubtless derived from legal attainment. Lady Grey perhaps also commended her charge to the principal magnates in the north midlands, Edward, 3rd Duke of Buckingham (a patron of Lincoln’s Inn) from whom Richard Grey obtained a small annuity, and George, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury to whom he was distantly linked.3

The attainder of Buckingham may have briefly harmed Grey’s prospects, but it left his kinsman Shrewsbury supreme in Staffordshire. During the 1520s the earl consolidated his position in the county and the series of grants that the King pressed upon him included the duchy of Lancaster stewardships of Tutbury, where Grey made his home, and Newcastle-under-Lyme, where in 1529 Grey was elected to Parliament. Grey and his fellow-Member John Peshall were both called on the day that the Parliament opened, and attended the Commons regularly, but in 1537 the borough denied in a chancery action against Peshall (q.v.) that either Member had been duly elected. By that time Grey had been dead for four years, having died during the fifth session of the Parliament. He had been a sick man when on 13 Feb. 1533 he made his will, asking to be buried in the chancel of the church at Holcot (where his brother-in-law, John Heydon, was parson) and providing for his wife and children. He instructed his executors to give his daughter Elizabeth £8 13s.4d. ‘in full payment for her marriage money that I owe unto her and her husband, and it is to be paid of the money that I must have for my costs and charges being one of the burgess[es] of the Parliament’. Grey also noted that Sir John Byron, one of the knights for Nottinghamshire, still owed him money for a wardship. The will was proved on the following 2 Apr. Presumably a by-election was held to replace Grey in the remaining three sessions of the Parliament, but its outcome is not known.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: L. M. Kirk / A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. PCC 34 Vox, 2 Hogen; Emden, Biog. Reg. Univ. Oxf. 1501-40, p. 247; Staffs. Rec. Soc. (ser. 4), viii. 138.
  • 3. PCC 34 Vox. 2 Hogen; CP, vi. 131-2; Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 199, 202, 206; information from Dr. Carole Rawcliffe.
  • 4. C1/862/14; PCC 2 Hogen.