Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 23.djvu/150

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Gresham
Gresham
142

buried at St. Lawrence Jewry. By her he had two sons and two daughters: John, who was knighted by the Protector Somerset on the field of Musselburgh on 28 Sept. 1547, and was ancestor to Lord Braybrooke; Thomas [q. v.]; Elizabeth, who died unmarried 26 March 1552; and Christian, who married the wealthy Sir John Thynne of Longleat in Wiltshire, and ancestor to the Marquis of Bath. He married secondly Isabella Taverson, née Worpfall, a widow, who survived him, dying in April 1565.

Gresham had a town house in Milk Street and other premises in Lad Lane, both in the parish of St. Lawrence Jewry. His principal mansion was at Bethnal Green, but he had also three country seats, at Ringshall in Suffolk, at Intwood Hall in Norfolk, and at Orembery in Yorkshire (see will). In each of these counties Gresham obtained large grants of monastic lands, in most cases by purchase. The chief of these possessions was Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, which he bought in 1540. The site and lands were valued at 300l. yearly, and Gresham offered 7,000l. He subsequently bought some adjoining lands, paying for all 11,737l. 11s. 8d. (Ellis, Orig. Lett. 3rd ser. iii. 270-1). References to property which he acquired in various counties are given by Burgon (i. 37-39, App. iii.) and Ellis (above), in the State Papers (Hen. VIII, x. 505, xi. 566), and in the licenses to alienate at the Record Office (33-6 Hen. VIII). Gresham's two wills are dated 20 Feb. 1548; that of his real estate (Chancery Close Roll, 3 Edw. VI, pt. v. No. 24) was proved 23 March 1549, and gives the annual value of his estates as 800l. 2s. 6d. The will of his personal estate was proved in the Prerogative Court, Canterbury, by his son Thomas on 20 May 1549 (Populwell, 31). No portrait is known.

Gresham, Sir John (d. 1556), lord mayor of London, younger brother of Sir Richard Gresham, was born at Holt. He was admitted to the Mercers' Company in 1517. In partnership with his brother Richard, and sometimes by himself, he acted as agent for both Wolsey and Cromwell. He appears as a gentleman-pensioner in 1526 (State Papers, Hen. VIII, iv. 871). In the subsidy of 1535 he was assessed at three thousand marks. His principal trade was with the Levant (Burgon, i. 11-12), and, besides being a merchant of the staple and a leading member of the merchant adventurers, he was one of the founders of the Russia Company in May 1555 (State Papers, Dom. 1601-3, p. 439). He was occasionally consulted by the council, and deputed by them to examine into disputes between English and foreign merchants (Acts of the Privy Council, new ser. 1890, i. 38, 59, 162). He was sheriff in 1537, the year of Richard Gresham's mayoralty, and was lord mayor ten years later, when he revived the costly pageant of the marching watch on the eve of St. John the Baptist, which had been suspended since 1524. He purchased the family seat at Holt from his brother William in 1546, and converted it into a free grammar school, which he endowed with freehold estates in Norfolk and London, and entrusted to the management of the Fishmongers' Company. He died of a malignant fever on 23 Oct. 1556, and was buried with great magnificence on the 30th at the church of St. Michael Bassishaw, in which parish he lived (Machyn, Diary, pp. 116-17). Gresham married, first, Mary, daughter of Thomas Ipswell, by whom he had eleven children, and, secondly, Catharine Sampson, widow of Edward Dormer of Fulham. A descendant, Marmaduke Gresham, was made a baronet in 1660, but the title became extinct in 1801, and the family estate at Titsey, Surrey, passed to William Leveson-Gower, a grandson of the last baronet, to whose representatives it still belongs.

[Authorities quoted; Leveson-Gower's Genealogy of the Family of Gresham, 1883, contains a full pedigree and transcripts of both wills, pp. 65-76, 147-8, 162; Fox Bourne's English Merchants, i. 167-72; Biog. Brit. 1757, iv. 2373-6; Privy Purse Expenses of Henry VIII, ed. Nicolas, 1827, iii. 7, 116, 261, 324-5; Acts of the Privy Council, new ser. 1890, vol. i. 1542-7; Davy's Suffolk Collections, British Museum, vol. lvii.; Stow; Weever; Ward's Lives of the Gresham Professors.]

C. W-h.

GRESHAM, Sir THOMAS (1519?–1579), founder of the Royal Exchange, second son of Sir Richard Gresham [q. v.], by his first wife, Audrey, was born in London. The foolish story of his being a foundling, and of his having adopted his well-known crest because his life was saved by the chirping of a grasshopper, is disproved by the fact that the crest was used by his ancestor James Gresham in the fifteenth century (cf. Notes and Queries, 5th ser. x. 134-5). The year of his birth has not been determined. The inquisition upon his father's Yorkshire estates, taken in 1551, shows that John, Thomas Gresham's elder brother, there stated to be aged 34, was born in 1517 (Leveson-Gower, Genealogy of the Family of Gresham, p. 140). Gresham could not, therefore, have been born before 1518, or later than 1522, when his mother died. Holbein (or more probably Girolamo da Treviso) painted his portrait in 1544, when he was stated to be twenty-six years old. Hence the end of 1518 or the beginning of 1519

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