Gresley was the son of Sir Nigel Bowyer Gresley, 7th Baronet and his second wife Maria-Eliza Garway, daughter of Caleb Garway, of Worcester. He succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his father on 26 March 1808. He entered Christ Church, Oxford on 17 October 1817, where he remained until 1819, leaving the university without a degree. Gresley was a well known London dandy and is said to have gambled away much of his fortune, having to sell most of his assets to remain solvent. In 1827 he sold Sir Nigel Gresley's Canal which his grandfather had built in connection with his mining interests.
In 1826 Gresley stood for parliament unsuccessfully at Lichfield and instead served as High Sheriff of Derbyshire. He stood at Durham in 1830 and was elected but unseated. He was equally unsuccessful at New Romney in 1831, although he made a couple of speeches in parliament. Eventually he won a seat at South Derbyshire in 1835 which he lost at the election of July 1837.
Gresley was groom of the bedchamber to the Duke of Sussex, captain of the Staffordshire Yeomanry cavalry, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He was also an author who usually wrote his name Greisley.
Gresley died at the age of 37, and was buried on 28 October at Church Gresley, Derbyshire.
Gresley married Lady Sophia Catherine Coventry, daughter of George William Coventry, 7th Earl of Coventry and Peggy Pitches, on 2 June 1821. The marriage was commemorated in a poem by a friend John Taylor. They had no surviving children and the baronetcy passed to a kinsman Sir William Gresley. His widow remarried to Sir Henry des Voeux, Baronet and vicar of Stapenhill-cum-Caldwell. She died at 39 Berkeley Square, London, in 1875 and was buried with her second husband in the churchyard at Caldwell.
- A Letter to the Right Hon. Robert Peel on Catholic Emancipation. To which is added an account of the apparition of a cross at Migné on the 17th. December, 1826, translated from the Italian, London, 1827, 8vo.
- A Letter to … John, Earl of Shrewsbury, in reply to his reasons for not taking the Test, London, 1828, 8vo.
- Sir Philip Gasteneys; a Minor, London, 1829, 12mo.
- The Life and Pontificate of Gregory the Seventh, London, 1832, 8vo
- Mary Elizabeth Braddon The Parks of London Belgravia, 1868
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 4)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "N" (part 2)
- Hansard 1803-2005
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 2)
- John Taylor, Anacreon Poems on Various Subjects, Published by Payne and Foss, 1827
Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900..
- Debrett's Baronetage of England 7th Edition (1839) pp 34/5 (Google Books)
- Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Roger Gresley
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Henry Hardinge
Michael Angelo Taylor
| Member of Parliament for Durham
With: Michael Angelo Taylor
Michael Angelo Taylor
Arthur Hill Trevor
| Member of Parliament for New Romney
With: William Miles
Sir Edward Dering, Bt
Hon George Venables-Vernon
The Lord Waterpark
| Member of Parliament for South Derbyshire
With: Sir George Harpur Crewe
Sir George Harpur Crewe
Sir Charles Abney-Hastings, Bt
| High Sheriff of Derbyshire
Edward Sacheverell Chandos-Pole
|Baronetage of Great Britain|
Sir Nigel Bowyer Gresley, 7th Baronet
Sir William Nigel Gresley, 9th Baronet