GREGORY, William (1567-1617), of Nottingham, Notts.
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Family and Education
bap. 14 Dec. 1567, ?3rd s. of John Gregory (d.1597), alderman, of Nottingham and Margery, da. of Humphrey Quarnby†, alderman of Nottingham. unm. bur. 16 Jan. 1617.1
Town clerk, Nottingham 1597-d.2
There were several families named Gregory that were prominent in and around Nottingham at this time. Gregory came from the one that was of longest standing in the town. His maternal grandfather represented Nottingham three times in Parliament during mid-sixteenth century, while his brother-in-law, William Greaves, was returned for the borough in 1601.3 Gregory’s father served as mayor four times under Elizabeth, while Gregory himself held office as town clerk. As such he made extracts from the borough records of the constitution and procedures of the corporation, which became invaluable after the original documents were destroyed by fire.4 In 1610 he journeyed to London and successfully obtained clarification of the town’s title to certain lands from the commission for defective titles.5 Elected to Parliament in 1614, he left no mark on the surviving parliamentary records but received £3 12s. for his expenses.6
On 27 Dec. 1613 Gregory drew up his will, which shows him to have been a substantial landlord in Nottingham. Indeed, he bequeathed 11 ‘little tenements’ to the corporation as almshouses. Known as ‘Gregory’s Alms Houses’, they were still a landmark in the town in the eighteenth century. Unmarried and childless, the largest portion of Gregory’s property went to Robert Greaves*, his nephew and ‘servant’, who succeeded him as town clerk and to whom he also left his lawbooks. He added a codicil on 7 Sept. 1616 and died shortly thereafter. In accordance with his will he was buried at St. Mary’s, Nottingham. No further member of the family sat in Parliament. The William Gregory who was becoming prominent on the corporation just as the MP died was from an apparently different family.7
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: George Yerby
- 1. Notts. RO, St. Mary, Nottingham par. reg.; Borthwick, Reg. Test. 27, f. 69; Thoroton, Notts. (1790), ii. 42; HP Commons, 1558-1603, iii. 266-7.
- 2. Recs. of the Bor. of Nottingham ed. W. H. Stevenson, iv. 425, 430.
- 3. Thoroton, Notts. ii. 47; Recs. of the Bor. of Nottingham, iv. 418, 421, 423; HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 213; iii. 266-7.
- 4. D. Gray, Nottingham Through 500 Years, 32-3.
- 5. Recs. of the Bor. of Nottingham, iv. 69, 299.
- 6. Ibid. 326.
- 7. Borthwick, Reg. Test. 34, ff. 524-8.