GREY, Thomas II (by 1519-58), of Norwich, Norf.

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 1519. m. by 1540, Ursula, da. of Margaret Hobart or Hubberd of Southwold, Suff., 3s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Common councilman, Norwich 1543-9, auditor 1546, 1553, chamberlain’s council 1548, 1550, 1554, 1555, common speaker 1549-50, alderman 1550-d., sheriff 1551-2.2


An apprentice of Augustine Steward, Thomas Grey, mercer, was admitted to the freedom of Norwich on 16 June 1540 ‘for Mr. Tracy, one of the sheriffs’, who thus exercised his right to nominate a freeman during his term of office. Grey’s parentage is unknown, but he may have been the Norwich yeoman’s son for whose assault on a weaver at some time during the reign of Henry VIII the father, John Grey, had to give bond for the payment of damages. If he belonged to the Greys of Merton, Norfolk, he was related to Edmund Grey, recorder of Norwich from 1540, and probably also to Richard Catlyn, a Member for Norwich in three Parliaments.3

Grey’s civic career stopped short of the mayoralty, doubtless because of his early death, but it took him to Westminster as a Member of Mary’s fourth Parliament, where he and John Aldrich, a fellow-mercer with whom Grey had served as sheriff, must have been concerned with the bills for the dyeing of coloured worsteds in Norwich and Norfolk and for the trade in Norfolk wool, both of which failed after their first reading. Neither appears on the list of those who voted against one of the government’s bills.

In July 1556 Grey was elected to the newly founded russell-makers’ company in place of John Ball, and in the following January he was one of those appointed by the Norwich assembly to organize the provision of work for the poor. He made his will on 24 July 1557, perhaps because of the current epidemic, but he did not die before the following April, when his name reappears on the list of aldermen. He left £3 6s.8d. to Dr. John Barrett ‘to pray for me’, 10 marks to be used ‘in true preaching and setting forth of the word of God in the city of Norwich’ and 20s. each to three scholars studying at Cambridge for five years. To his wife he bequeathed £100 and a life interest in a house and a messuage in the city, to his eldest son Augustine 200 marks and to his other children lesser sums on their marriage or coming of age. He named his wife sole executrix and John Barrett, parson of St. Michael ‘Marstowe’, ‘where I now do dwell’, and John Aldrich supervisors. The will was proved on 3 June 1558. Augustine Grey was admitted a freeman in December 1561.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. Norwich consist. ct. 102 Jerves; Vis. Norf. (Norf. Arch.), ii. 156.
  • 2. Norwich ass. procs. passim.
  • 3. Norwich ass. procs. 2, f. 172; St.Ch.2/20/14; Vis. Norf. (Harl. Soc. xxxii), 138; PCC 18 Ketchyn; C142/110/122.
  • 4. Norwich Recs. ed. Hudson and Tingey, ii. 411; Norwich ass. procs. 3, f. 29v; Norwich consist. ct. 102 Jerves; P. Millican, Freemen of Norwich, 101. St. Michael ‘Mawstowe’ appears to have been a synonym for St. Michael-at-Plea, where Barrett was rector.