GRAVES, John (c.1549-1615), of Hull, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1549, 1st s. of Hugh Graves, merchant of York. m., at least 3s.

Offices Held

Alderman, Hull, chamberlain 1586, sheriff 1595, mayor 1598.


Like many Hull merchants, Graves also owned a house in York. There was a close connexion between the two merchant communities, and he appears on a list of York merchants who were traders through the Sound at and before 1579. As mayor of Hull, Graves fulminated against

diverse idle, lewd persons, players or setters out of plays, tragedies, comedies and interludes, to which many inhabitants have resorted, to the great spending of their time and money, and the debauching of their principles.

In 1599 he wrote to Sir Robert Cecil, high steward of the town, about the supply of fresh spring water which was being threatened by John Aldred. He also appealed to Cecil and the Privy Council for compensation for Hull citizens whose ships had been seized by the King of Denmark, the crews stripped, beaten, tortured and placed in irons. The suit dragged on for seven years. No record has been found of any activities by Graves in the 1601 House of Commons.

Graves made his will 22 July 1615. His eldest son, Hugh, was the sole executor. The poor of an almshouse called Greghouse received 40s. and the poor of Hull the same. There is no mention of his wife. He wished to be buried in Trinity church, Hull.

C142/84/46; York City Lib. Skaife mss 6, f. 312; T. Gent, Hist. Hull, 126-8, Yorks. Fines (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. vii), 153; York Mercers (Surtees Soc. cix), 202; HMC Hatfield, ix. 139-40; xii. 296; xv. 208; xviii. 253; CSP Dom. 1598-1604, p. 231; Tickell, Hist. Hull, 264; York Wills (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xxviii), 49.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N.M.S.