GREY, John (by 1540-94), of Enville, Staffs.

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. by 1540, s. of Thomas Grey of Enville by Anne, da. of Sir Ralph Verney of Pendley, Herts. m. Jane, da. of Simon Harcourt of Ellenhall, 1s. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1559.

Offices Held

J.p. Staffs. from c.1579, sheriff 1582-3.


The Greys of Enville were descended from the youngest son of Reynold, 3rd Lord Grey of Ruthin. John Grey, a minor of 19 at his father’s death, inherited Enville, some lands in Morfe, a mile away, and the Staffordshire manors of Whittington and Amblecote. His election to Parliament as knight of the shire in 1563 just after reaching his majority, was due to his father-in-law Simon Harcourt, the other and senior Member for the county, whose object was to exclude Sir Ralph Bagnall. In 1571, when Harcourt himself evidently did not wish to sit, he again backed Grey against Bagnall, who subsequently brought a Star Chamber case alleging corruption on the part of the sheriff, Harcourt’s brother-in-law (Sir) Walter Aston. During the 1563 Parliament an Edward Jones complained that Grey ‘had so misused and threatened him in Paul’s, casting away his cap’ that ‘he was in great fear of his life’. Grey answered at the bar of the House on 15 Nov. 1566 that Jones had ‘divers times claimed a debt due by his father’, to which Grey had ‘reasonably answered’. A committee under Sir Thomas Wroth was set up to mediate between them, and on 3 Dec. Grey promised before the Commons not to hurt Jones—then ill with smallpox—‘when he should next come to the House’. Jones for his part promised to withdraw his action against Grey. There is no record of an MP named Edward Jones at this time, so, unless he had come in at an unrecorded by-election (there were two or three vacancies), he must have been an official of the House or a lawyer having business there. Grey was not an active Member of Parliament. In 1587 he may have attended the subsidy committee (22 Feb.) as knight for Staffordshire.1

Grey died 13 Sept. 1594. In his will made 10 May 1592 he asked to be buried in the south porch of Enville church. The will was disputed by his brothers, Edward and George, but after sentence, letters of administration were granted to his widow, Jane, 3 Dec. 1594. An inquisition post mortem was taken 1 Oct. 1601.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.


  • 1. Erdeswick’s Surv. Staffs. 380; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 43; C142/127/46; CPR, 1560-3, pp. 232; 363; D’Ewes, 129, 130, 132, 409.
  • 2. PCC 88 Dixy; C142/680/4.