GREY, Thomas I (by 1508-59), of Enville, Staffs.

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



Apr. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1508, 1st s. of Sir Edward Grey of Enville by 1st w. Joyce, da. of John Horde of Bridgnorth, Salop; bro. of William Grey I. m. by 1540, Anne, da. of Sir Ralph Verney of Pendley in Tring, Herts., wid. of Sir William Cave, at least 4s. inc. John 5da. suc. fa. 13 Feb. 1529.1

Offices Held


The Greys of Enville were descended from the youngest son of Reynold, 3rd Lord Grey of Ruthin. Although Thomas Grey attained his majority before his father died, an enfeoffment compelled him to wait until he was 29 before he could enter into his inheritance in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and elsewhere: moreover, his father died heavily in debt and only bequeathed him £50 towards the redemption of a chain.2

The wide dispersal of Grey’s patrimony makes it next to impossible to distinguish him from all his namesakes, but among these the friend of Erasmus, the yeoman of the King’s chamber (who was dead by 1547), the usher of the Queen’s chamber (who lived at Castle Donington and Langley, Leicestershire, and died between 1562 and 1565) and the student admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1543 were all demonstrably different people. Of Grey himself there is little trace. Nominated but not pricked sheriff of Staffordshire in 1535, he never achieved any local office and his only known incursion into public affairs was his Membership of the second Marian Parliament. This he presumably owed to his connexions, especially perhaps to his link with the Giffards: in 1551 he was one of the feoffees to a use for Sir John Giffard and his son (Sir) Thomas Giffard. Although probably a Catholic, he did not forbear to acquire former chantry property in the parishes of Enville and Kinver. Through his marriage he was related to the brothers Edmund Verney and Francis Verney, who were to be implicated in the Dudley conspiracy; in July 1557 he and one William Conyers were bound with Francis Verney in a recognizance for £200 on Verney’s pardon and release.3

By his will of 22 Dec. 1559 Grey divided his property into three parts; one was to pass immediately to his heir, another to remain with his wife for her life, and the third to be held by his executors, his kinsmen Francis Kynaston and Bassett Fielding, until the conditions of the will had been performed. The executors were empowered to sell whatever was necessary, the chantry in Enville being specified for disposal. Grey died nine days later and was buried in accordance with his wishes in Enville church, where a monument was erected over his grave. An inquisition taken at Wolverhampton on 4 Mar. 1560 found that many of his lands in the shire had been leased to Rowland Shakerley, a London mercer, and that his son and heir John was 19 years old.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from age at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/49/53. Erdeswick, Staffs. 380; Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. lxx. 20-21; C142/127/46.
  • 2. C142/49/53; PCC 6 Jankyn.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, ix; CPR, 1550-3, p. 70; 1553, p. 218; APC, vi. 74.
  • 4. Trans. Birmingham Arch. Soc. lxx. 20-21; CPR, 1558-60, p. 352; C142/127/46; Pevsner, Staffs. 129.