Sir Thomas GREY of Horton, Knight

Born: ABT 1509, Horton, Northumberland, England

Died: 5 Aug 1570, Bethal Green, Middlesex, England

Father: Roger GREY of Horton (Sir Knight)

Mother: Isabel DARCY

Married: Dorothy OGLE ABT 1530, Northumberland, England


1. Catherine GREY

2. Anne (Agnes) GREY

3. Isabel GREY

4. Margery GREY

5. Barbara GREY

6. Roger GREY

7. Ursula GREY

8. Margaret GREY

9. Catherine GREY

10. Dau. GREY

The details in this biography come from the History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons.

Born by 1515, first surviving son of Sir Roger Grey of Horton by Isabel, daughter of Sir William Darcy. Married 1527/1531, Dorothy, daughter of Ralph, 3rd Lord Ogle, widow of Sir Thomas Forster of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland. Succeeded father 6 Jan 1543. Knighted 23 Sep 1545. Member of Parliament for Northumberland Oct 1553, Nov 1554, 1559. Yeoman? of the guard bef. Dec 1531; Justice of the Peace, Northumberland 1547-1554; treasurer, Berwick-upon-Tweed Jun 1547-Feb 1550; sheriff, Northumberland 1547-1548, 1551-1552, Nov or Dec 1558; constable and receiver, Dunstanburgh Jun 1550, steward May 1555-death; commissioner goods of churches and fraternaties, Northumberland 1553.

The first certain reference found to him is his appointment in 1536 as deputy to his maternal uncle Thomas Lord Darcy, keeper of Bamburgh Castle, which lies within ten miles of Horton. After Darcy's execution in the following year Grey petitioned Cromwell for the keepership: he was passed over, but one of the lists recording the new appointment bears a note 'to remember Thomas Grey', and in the same year he was appointed one of the officers of the east march at a salary of 20 pounds per year. His career might have come to an abrupt end when in May 1538 he and his uncle Lionel, porter of Berwick, were arrested on Cromwell's orders by the captain of Berwick, Sir Thomas Clifford. Cromwell evidently dismissed the charges as groundless. ABT the same time Thomas Grey was one of those appointed to bring ten men to help put down a threatened revolt by the men of Tynedale.

In the Scottish campaign of 1542 Grey commanded 100 men and in the following winter he had charge of the night watch at Horton. He took part both in the burning of Jedburgh in Jun 1544 and in the defeat of the simultaneous Scottish raid into Northumberland. The relationship thus established with Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, who commanded in the north, was to serve Grey well during the next few years. It was from Hertford that he received his knighthood at Norham in Sep 1545, on his return from another foray into Scotland, and Hertford's assumption of the Protectorate in 1547 was followed by Grey's appointment as treasurer of Berwick and paymaster of the pensioners in the marches.

The fall of the Protector cost Grey the treasurership of Berwick, which went to Richard Bunny, but this was partially offset in Jun 1550 by a grant of the constableship of Dunstanburgh, a coastal fortress south of Bamburgh, and of a 21-year lease of the site and possessions of the monastery of Newminster, Northumberland: the property, which included coal-bearing land, was leased to Grey in consideration of services 'previously rendered'. His own interest in the consolidation of the family's possessions was reflected in the settlement of his lands, after his only son had died in infancy, on whichever of his daughters should marry his kinsman Sir Ralph Grey of Wark and Chillingham: it was his eldest daughter Isabel who did so.

In Apr 1554 the Council exhorted him and other Northumbrian gentlemen 'to show themselves more forward in service than they have erst done whereby they shall well redub (repair) their former slackness', and in Sep 1556 and Aug 1557 he was summonded before the Council: on the last occasion, having professed himself 'very willing to serve' Queen Mary, he was commissioned to carry a 'mass of treasure' to the north, where he offered to serve against the Scots without pay. He had, on the other hand, won the regard of both John Conyers, 3rd Baron Conyers, and Thomas Wharton, 1st Baron Wharton, who intervened on his behalf when he was called before the council in the north in 1554 and 1556. Although Strype was to describe Grey as 'one of the best reputation in the parts adjoining Scotland' it is doubtful whether he diverged markedly for the Catholicism of his neighbors: when he and Cuthbert Horsley were returned to Parliament in Oct 1554 the sheriff described them on the indenture as 'two of the grave and Catholic persons (within) the said county', and Grey'S associates and kinsman were noted for their religious conservatism.

He died at Bethal Green, Middlesex, on 5 Aug 1570.

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