|Sir Richard Gresham|
|Died||21 February 1549 (aged 63–64)
Sir Thomas Gresham
|Parents||John Gresham, Alice Blythe|
The Gresham family had been settled in the Norfolk village of Gresham since at least the late 14th Century. Richard Gresham's grandfather, James Gresham, moved to Holt, Norfolk, about three miles from Gresham, where in the mid-fifteenth century he built a manor house in the centre of the village.
Gresham was admitted a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Mercers in 1507. As a mercer, he was in partnership with his brother, John Gresham, in exporting textiles and importing grain from the continent. He supplied King Henry VIII with arras, velvets, and satins. Most of his trade was with the Low Countries, which were the most significant area for English overseas trade for most of the sixteenth century, and he amassed a large fortune. He became Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1531 and was knighted the same year. On 19 May 1536, he was present at the execution of Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London. He was elected as Lord Mayor of London in 1537, and on his death bed Cardinal Wolsey called him his "fast-friend". Gresham paid for the Cardinal's funeral.
Gresham supplied tapestry to Cardinal Wolsey at Hampton Court. In October 1520 he measured 18 rooms and went to the mart in Flanders to order hangings to the value of 1000 marks or more. In part payment, in January 1521, Gresham asked Wolsey to obtain a licence for him to profit by international trade including a voyage to Turkey. Margaret, Duchess of Savoy, impounded one of his ships carrying wheat from Antwerp. Gresham asked Wolsey to sign a letter in his support in March 1521, and wrote that he had obtained eight cloths-of-gold for hanging the Cardinal's closet at Hampton Court.
Marriage and issue
- John Gresham (d.1560), who married Frances Thwaytes, the daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Thwaytes of Lund, Yorkshire, by whom he had an only daughter and heir, Elizabeth Gresham (d. 6 November 1573), who married Sir Henry Neville of Billingbear House, Berkshire.
- Christian Gresham, who married Sir John Thynne, steward of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, builder of Longleat. Gresham is thus an ancestor of Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath.
- Elizabeth Gresham.
- Blanchard 2004.
- Stephen (1890), p. 139.
- Stephen (1890), p. 140.
- Ellis, Henry, ed., Original Letters Illustrative of English History, 3rd Series, vol.1, Richard Bentley, London (1846), 232-238.
- Granville William Gresham Leveson-Gower, Genealogy of the family of Gresham (1883) p. 27
- Blanchard 2004.
- Leveson Gower 1883, p. 29; Urban 1845, p. 479.
- Stephen (1890), p. 142.
- Blanchard, Ian (2004). Gresham, Sir Richard (c.1485–1549). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 25 March 2013. (subscription required)
- Blanchard, Ian (2004). Gresham, Sir Thomas (c.1518–1579). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 25 March 2013. (subscription required)
- Leveson Gower, Granville (1883). Genealogy of the Family of Gresham. London: Mitchell and Hughes. pp. 7–12, 21–3, 29–35. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- Urban, Sylvester (1845). "The Law of Quartering Arms, by W.D.B.". The Gentleman's Magazine. New Series (London: John Bowyer Nichols and Son) XXIV: 476–9. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- Life and Times of Sir Thomas Gresham by J.W. Burgon (London, 1839, new edition 1968)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sir Thomas Gresham". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press