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Mary Gresham (1668 – 1726)

Mary Gresham was a milliner and freemen of the Painter-Stainers’ Company working on the Royal Exchange in London.

The daughter of Judith and Seliard Gresham, Mary Gresham was baptised on 6 December 1668 and she worked with her mother and her sister Judith in their shop at the north end of the upper pawn of the Royal Exchange. She was admitted free of the Painter-Stainers’ Company by patrimony for a fee of £1 on 2 May 1694.[1]

In her will dated 1726, she left her whole estate to her sister Judith and thereafter to her two nephews and her niece, whom she had helped to raise. However, she firmly stipulated that ‘I will not have any money that I here leave to the Children of my brother John Gresham above mentioned paid into the hands of their mothers mother their Grandmother, she that was the wife of Mr Elkin’, confirming that there had been a significant and highly acrimonious rift in the extended family.[2] Mary Gresham was buried in the Parish of St Mary Colechurch on 4 July 1726.[3]


[1] London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) P69/PET2/A/001/MS04093/001, Parish Register St Peter le Poer; Guildhall Library (GL) MS 5667/2, Part 1, fol. 334.

[2] The National Archives (TNA) PROB 11/610/21, Will of Mary Gresham, Trader, Spinster of London, 2 July 1726.

[3] LMA P69/MRY8/A/002/MS04439, fols 23-24.


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