GRESHAM, John (1529-?86), of Mayfield, Suss., Northend, nr. Fulham, Mdx. and Bishopsgate Street, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
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Family and Education

b. 13 Mar. 1529, 2nd s. of Sir John Gresham (d.1556) of Titsey, Surr., ld. mayor of London 1547-1558, by his 1st w. Mary, da. and h. of Thomas Ipswell of London, mercer. m. 17 July 1553, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Edward Dormer, haberdasher, of London and Fulham, 3s.

Offices Held

Member, Mercers’ Co. by 1558; j.p. Suss. from c.1573.


Little is known about Gresham, who was overshadowed, first by his father and later by his cousin Sir Thomas, to whom he sold Mayfield in 1567. Only two references have been found to him in the printed records of the Mercers’ Company: on 1 Oct. 1558 he was appointed with three others to see that suitable plate was borrowed (and returned) for the lord mayor’s banquet, and on 21 July 1560 he brought a message from Sir Thomas Gresham, upper warden of the Company, that the Queen intended to come to supper at Mercers’ Hall. In January 1569 the lord mayor chose him as one of the two citizens to escort the Flemish ambassador from Gravesend to London.

Gresham’s parliamentary patron at Windsor, where he was made a freeman on 10 Dec. 1562, was doubtless his brother-in-law Sir Henry Neville I. Horsham he must have owed to the Duke of Norfolk, perhaps on the suggestion of Sir Thomas Gresham, while at Newton his patron was probably William Fleetwood I, recorder of London and steward of Newton. Fleetwood was related to the owners of the borough, the Langtons, and the head of the family at the time was a minor. The only reference found to Gresham in the journals of the House is to his membership of a conference with the Lords on the length of kerseys, 28 June 1572. It is just possible that he was the Mr. John Gresham who was buried in Sir Thomas Gresham’s vault at St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate, on 3 Dec. 1578, but no by-election at Newton is recorded for the third session of the 1572 Parliament. Administration of the goods of John Gresham of St. Helen’s, London, was granted on 21 Jan. 1586 to a creditor, John Partridge.

G. Leveson-Gower, Fam. Gresham, 21, 133; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 112-13; Stow, Surv. London (1598), pp. 299, 787; J. Watney, Hosp. St. Thomas of Acon (1906), pp. 163, 184; CPR, 1558-60, p. 231; 1560-3, p. 379; 1566-9, p. 104; Suss. Arch. Colls. xxi. 8; Rylands Eng. ms 302, f. 416; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 329; Bodl. Ashmole 1126, Windsor recs. f. 36; J. E. Cox, Annals of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate, 96; CJ, i. 103; PCC admon. act nk. 1586, f. 162.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge