GREVILLE, John (by 1492-1547), of Milcote, Weston-upon-Avon, Warws.

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, 1st s. of Sir Edward Greville, and bro. of Sir Fulke. m. (1) by 1517, Elizabeth, da. of John Spencer of Hodnell, Warws., 1s. 1da.; (2) settlement 1 Sept. 1527, Eleanor, da. of Sir Ralph Verney of Pendley in Tring, Herts. suc. fa. 22 July 1528. Kntd. 22 Feb. 1547.2

Offices Held

Gent., household of Princess Mary c.1525; j.p. Warws. 1531-d.; commr. suppression monasteries 1536, benevolence 1544/45, musters 1546; other commissions 1537-d.3


Before his father yielded to Elizabeth Willoughby’s preference for his brother Fulke, John Greville was her intended husband: he was to marry twice but neither of his wives brought him wealth comparable to hers. Inheriting property extending from Warwickshire to Gloucestershire, he compounded for knighthood under Henry VIII but was knighted at the coronation of Edward VI. As a young man he served in Princess Mary’s household in the Welsh marches, but if he shared her religious convictions then he was later to accept the Henrician Reformation and to favour Protestant preachers. Named to the bench within three years of becoming head of the family, he was active in local administration but was never pricked sheriff despite recurrent nomination and in 1532 a recommendation from Sir Thomas Audley. Cromwell supported his request to the abbot of Kenilworth for the tithes of Wellesbourne in Warwickshire and in 1536 his intervention with the minister briefly postponed the dissolution of Polesworth abbey.4

Greville’s election to the Parliament of 1539 may have been assisted by the fact that the sheriff, Thomas Neville, was the stepbrother of his fellow-knight Richard Catesby, to whom he too was related by marriage. Nothing is known about Greville’s role in the House, but during the second prorogation he attended the reception of Anne of Cleves and after the dissolution he and Catesby were sent a letter about the collection of the subsidy. He could have been re-elected to the Parliament of 1542, for which the return for Warwickshire is lost, but in 1545 and 1547 he gave way to his brother Fulke.5

In 1541 Greville was summoned before the Council to answer allegations of cruelty towards his daughter and a servant. On 24 Nov. he was bound in a recognizance of £500 to wait upon the Council until the case was settled: a week later it was deferred for lack of time until Hilary term 1542, and then until Trinity, with what result is unknown. He took the field against the northern rebellion in 1536 and served in France in 1544, but illness seems to have prevented him from campaigning against the Scots in 1547 and he died on 25 Nov. of that year. By a will made on the previous 7 Mar. and confirmed on 20 Nov. he divided his property between his son Edward and daughter Isabel, instructing Edward to pay Isabel £6 13s.4d. a year until her husband Thomas Mesye consummated their marriage. He was buried in accordance with his wishes at Weston-upon-Avon where a brass was placed over his grave.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. E159/319, brev. ret. Mich. r. [1-2]; Dugdale, Warws. ii. 789-90.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/50/81. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 28-29; Vis. Oxon (Harl. Soc. v), 228-9; C142/87/102; PCC 16 Populwell.
  • 3. Leland, Itin. ed. Smith, iv. 80; LP Hen. VIII, iv-xxi; VCH Warws. ii. 24; CPR, 1547-8, p. 90.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, iv-xxi; C142/50/81, 100, 86/89, 87/102; Leland, iv. 80; VCH Warws. ii. 88; Elton, Policy and Police, 375-9.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xiv, xv.
  • 6. PPC, vii. 263, 273, 278, 313; LP Hen. VIII, xi, xix; C142/86/89, 87/102; PCC 16 Populwell; VCH Warws. v. 202; Pevsner and Wedgwood, Warws. 469.