GRIFFITH, Sir George (by 1503-59), of Burton Agnes, Yorks; Wichnor, Staffs. and London.
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Family and Education
b. by 1503, 1st s. of Sir Walter Griffith of Burton Agnes and Wichnor by Jane, da. of Sir John Ferrers of Tamworth, Staffs. m. by 1524, Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Skeffington of London, 1s. 3da. suc. fa. 20 Oct. 1531. Kntd. 1 Nov. 1532.1
Esquire of the body by 1532, knight by 1533; j.p. Staffs. 1538-54; commr. musters 1539, 1546, relief 1550; other commissions 1538-47.2
Of Welsh origin, the Griffith family had acquired its lands in Staffordshire and Yorkshire by marriage, but whereas Sir Walter Griffith had identified himself with Yorkshire his son’s local career was to be mainly confined to Staffordshire. Of his two recorded excursions abroad, the first occurred in October 1532, when he attended the King at Calais and was knighted, and the second in 1544 on the French campaign. His abandonment of his wife in favour of a mistress led both Cromwell and Bishop Rowland Lee to remonstrate with him in the spring of 1540: ordered by Cromwell either to take back his wife or to pay her jointure, he chose the first course because he could not afford the second. His private irregularities did not prevent Griffith from taking the first knighthood of the shire in the Parliament of 1545, and since most Staffordshire gentlemen were elected once only his absence from the Commons thereafter was no reflection on him. Eight years later he and Humphrey Welles, who had also made his sole appearance in 1545, were to be accused of fomenting trouble at another shire election in support of the 1st Baron Stafford’s son, so that Griffith may himself have benefited from Stafford’s influence.3
It was as of London, Burton Agnes, Orby (Lincolnshire) and Wichnor that Griffith sued out a pardon on 20 Nov. 1548. He died intestate in 1559 and his son and heir Walter had licence to enter on his lands on 26 Feb. 1560.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: Alan Davidson
- 1. Date of birth estimated from marriage. J. C. Wedgwood, Staffs. Parl. Hist. (Wm. Salt Arch. Soc.), i. 314; Vis. Staffs. (Harl. Soc. lxiii), 113; Glover’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 524; LP Hen. VIII, iv, v; Chron. Calais (Cam. Soc. xxxv), 122-3; C142/52/11, 31, 34.
- 2. HMC Bath, iv. 6; LP Hen. VIII, ii, xii-xvi, xviii, xx, xxi; CPR, 1547-8, pp. 75-76, 89; 1553, p. 357; 1553-4, p. 24.
- 3. Staffs. Rec. Soc. (ser. 4), viii. 107; Yorks. Arch. Jnl. xxv. 73-74; Test. Ebor. v (Surtees Soc. lxxix), 287; LP Hen. VIII, iv, viii, xv, xix; Arch. Cant. x. 41; Chron. Calais, 122-3; Wm. Salt Arch. Soc. (n.s.) 1907, pp. 164-5.
- 4. CPR, 1548-9, p. 162; 1558-60, p. 449; Staffs. Rec. Soc. 1938, p. 190; C142/127/47.