GRESHAM, William (1555-1624), of Intwood, Norf. and Titsey, Surr.

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. 1555, 1st s. of William Gresham of Titsey by Beatrice, da. of Thomas Guybon of King’s Lynn, Norf. educ. St. Alban Hall, Oxf. c1572; G. Inn from Staple Inn 1577. m. Elizabeth, da. of Ralph Finch of Kingsdown, Kent, 1da. suc. fa. and uncle 1579. Kntd. 1603.

Offices Held

J.p. Norf. from c.1583-95, Surr. from c.1604.


‘A fool, and never born to do himself any good’, as his contemporary the rector of Titsey described him, Gresham inherited Intwood from his uncle, Sir Thomas Gresham, royal agent in Antwerp and founder of the Royal Exchange.

Gresham’s illegitimate daughter was married to Nathaniel Bacon, and it was probably this connexion that led to Gresham’s standing at the contested Norfolk election of 1586, for he was hardly of county status. He was granted leave of absence on 6 Mar. 1587. He sold Intwood to Henry Hobart about 1595 and moved back to Surrey. In 1601 he gave evidence about the Essex rebellion, incriminating Christopher Heydon and others. Gresham’s situation deteriorated further in James I’s reign, and in 1605 he was ‘most fit to be spared’ from making a loan to the King. He died intestate at Croydon on 8 May 1624.

G. Leveson-Gower, Fam. Gresham, 170; Lansd. 121, f. 65; Add. 38139, f. 158; Gabriel thesis; C142/192/11; Blomefield, Norf. v. 41, 44, 60, 77-78, 348; APC, xix. 98, 172, 233; xx. 72; xxii. 233; D’Ewes, 412; Neale, Parlts. ii. 187; CSP Dom. 1601-3, p. 110; HMC Hatfield, xvii. 405-6.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: G.M.C.