Matthew Gray

November 22, 2011

Dear Mac

Please can you help. Mr Grandmother Grace Bates Gray 1868-1953 told me that Sir William Gray of Hartlepool was a close relative of hers. I have traced my ancestry from Thomas Greay of Leith born 1710, William Gray 1735-1815 Taylor Stephen Gray1773-1850, Robert Gray 1808-1898, Robert Gray 1846-1882,
Grace Bates Gray. I have found Matthew Gray father of Sir William but cannot trace Matthew's father and ancestors.I know my Grandmother visited Sir William and his family and went to his funeral I cannot work out how he was a relative I would be most grateful if you have any information.

Yours sincerely
Gillian Simpole


Here is a thread about Sir William's ancestors:
Hi from Sir William Gray's gt-gt-gt grandson!

Printed From: This is Hartlepool
Category: General Message Area
Forum Name: Main Message Centre
Forum Discription: Anything Hartlepool related......

Printed Date: 22 November 2011 at 11:45pm

Topic: Hi from Sir William Gray's gt-gt-gt grandson!

Posted By: MarkC
Subject: Hi from Sir William Gray's gt-gt-gt grandson!
Date Posted: 19 January 2007 at 5:14pm

As you will see from my posting in the Newbie forum, I am
excited to have
recently traced my ancestory...having discovered that I am
actually forth
generation Gray, a direct descendant of Sir William,
famous Eighteenth and
Nineteenth century Hartlepool shipbuilder and city
benifactor, I just wanted
to introduce myself and ask if anyone knows if any other
direct ancestors of
Sir William Gray exist in your area? I am a Staffordshire
guy, but hope to
visit Hartlepool this summer, as I am dying to stand
beside the statue of my
gt-gt-gt grandad, and get a picture took! :)
Would be keen to chat to any Hartlepool-tonians, as I now
feel an instant
connection' with your pretty little seaside town...if any
media/newspaper/radio,etc... Would like to know more about
my 'journey' over
the past few months, that has led me to the stunning
discovery of my roots,
then feel free to drop me a line!
There is a spectacular 'Catherine Cookson' style romantic
true story of how my family tree was actually formed,
involving the eloping
of Sir William's daughter, Alice, was back in the 1800's,
with her boyfriend
 Robert Horsley all the way to the South Coast of England!!!
I am still studying all the details of the genealogy
search, but I am so
happy to have such distinguished family roots...
Hope to chat to some of you soon!





Posted By: Sandra Taylor
Date Posted: 25 January 2007 at 4:37pm

Hello there distant cousin,
My ancestor Kate Casebourne, daughter of Eliza BASTOW and
Charles Casebourne
married Sir William Gray.
My family line descends from Eliza's fathers brother -
Nathan Haley Bastow.
Their parents where Paul and Jane BASTOW.
I live in Australia and have been researching my ancestors
for a couple of
years now.
Would love to hear from you and share information. Regards

Distant cousin from Australia researching ancestors BENSON


Posted By: MarkC
Date Posted: 26 January 2007 at 5:39pm

Hi Sandra,
Small world, he?!
My particular strand or 'line' comes via my mum's side of
our family. HER
mum (my grandma) was the GRAND-DAUGHTER of Alice Gray...
Alice Gray was William and Kate's DAUGHTER. She ELOPED (we
presume against
family wishes) with a young man named Robert Horsley,
himself from a wealthy
import/export dynasty of that time, Horsley and Pounder.
The pair of lovers eloped to the SOUTH COAST of England,
and had seven
children, I think it was seven anyway. One of those seven
was my
great-grandmother, Minnie...she gave birth to RUBY, my
grandmother, who gave
life to my dear mum, Susan, in 1944...who gave birth to
YOURS TRULY in 1969!
So we go full circle. Amazing to trace such details, isn't
it? Makes you
realise how significant your ancestory really is.
If you would like to email me directly, you can contact me:
mailto:markc.cannockchase@btinternet.com -

I will tell my mum about you. I am sure that she would
love to hear from you
sometime, too. I will find out her email address, AS SHE

Would love to be in OZ and enjoy some warm sunshine, just
now! Flaming
freezing here!



Posted By: SallyCat
Date Posted: 15 November 2007 at 7:10pm

Hello distant cousins!
Katherine Casebourne, wife of Sir William Gray, was my
great-great aunt!
I've found out that the Gray's are still around.  They now
live at Eggleston
Hall (famous for the house used in that chav finishing
school series on ITV)
  The web site for the house is:
http://www.egglestonhall.co.uk/history.html -
I tried Emailing them a while ago, but received no answer.
 I really must
sit down and write to them.
Also, a very kind man at Hartlepool council has sent me
details of the house
William Gray lived in.  If you contact me, I will happily
send you
photocopies.  This is my first time on this site.  I'm a
bit reluctant to
let out my email address publicly, but if you private
message me, I'll
happily give it to you.
Details about Sir William Gray:
Sir William Gray Page 1
Gray, born the son of a draper, in Blyth, Northumberland,
was educated in
Newcastle and moved to Hartlepool at the age of twenty.
Having established a
drapers shop at Victoria Street he, like other tradesmen
in the town, began
to 'dabble' in shipping.
West Hartlepool honoured their most illustrious
shipbuilder by creating him
the first Mayor and an Alderman of the first Town Council.
He was twice
Mayor of Hartlepool. Gray was knighted in 1890 and
appointed High Sheriff of
the County Durham two years later. .

Dressed in mayoral robes and wearing his chain of office
he is represented
seated in the Chief Magistrate's chair, with one leg
resting on a footstool.
He faces towards West Hartlepool's Municipal Buildings,
the plans of which
he bears in his right hand.

Sir William Gray Statue
It has been said that although Ralph Ward Jackson founded
the town of West
Hartlepool, it was William Gray who made it.
William Gray started life as a shop keeper - owning a
chain of drapers
(fabric and clothing outlets) before becoming one of
Hartlepool's most
famous and successful business men.
His shops were renowned for being very 'trendy' and
selling the latest most
fashionable clothes. William used to make regular journeys
to London to pick
supplies and stock and this ensured that people would
flock from nearby
towns to buy clothing from his stores. William owned two
stores - one in
Hartlepool (now known as old Hartlepool), the other in
West Hartlepool.
During his shop keeping time William was elected Mayor of
Hartlepool, mainly
due to his services to the community (his family regularly
donated money to
local churches and later provided land for the public
library). Shortly
after this election he sold his chain of shops to a number
of men who used
to work in them, staying with them for a number of months
to help them in
their new position.
In his time as Mayor and whilst on the shipbuilding
committee William's
interest in ship building grew - his interest probably
also grew from his
father who owned several small wooden ships. He met many
contacts in ship
building and he formed a partnership with one of them a Mr
John Punshon
Denton. They both knew that the ship building industry was
moving forward
and steel was becoming the material of choice for ship
In their first year as business partners and under the
name of 'Denton, Gray
& Co' the two launched their first iron built ship the
Dalhousie (later
renamed the Sepia). Their business flourished over the
coming years and the
ships build quality and excellent designs gained the
company world wide
recognition until the unfortunate death of his business
partner Mr J.P.
Denton some 9 years later. After his partners death
William renamed the
company to William Gray & Co at the same time taking on
his oldest son as
Under his management the newly-named William Gray & Co.
Became West
Hartlepool's largest producer of clipper barques, sailing
ships and steamers
 Orders flooded in from home and abroad and the company's
vessels worked the
oceans of the world. A new shipyard and engineering works
were opened, and
the firm, employer to some 2,000 men in the 1880s, won the
Blue Riband for
the maximum output of any British yard in 1878, 82, 88,
95, 98, and 1900. In
1891 Gray became the President of the Chamber of Shipping
for the United
Sir William Gray Page 2
13 years on William Gray became the first Mayor of West
Hartlepool - the
only person ever to have been Mayor of both towns. Two
years later In 1890
Queen Victoria knighted him for his services he gave and
the generous
donations he offered to both Hartlepool and West
Hartlepool and also the
village Greatham where he was now living.

William Gray continued his ship building empire and
continued to give
generously to local people until his death on the 12th
September 1898. One
the day of his funeral thousands lined the streets as a
parade of 1000's of
workers from his ship yard marched along with his coffin
to his grave to
give their respect - almost all of the towns shops, banks
and other
businesses closed for the day.

His youngest son took over William Gray & Co and the ship
yard went on to
provide 100's of jobs for local people for over 100 years.
Funded by public
subscription the statue was erected during the lifetime of
Sir William Gray.
Although he requested that there be no public ceremony, a
large crowd
gathered in Church Square for the unveiling at 12 noon on
26th March 1898.
Alderman Clarkson, the Chairman of the subscription
committee, was due to
uncover the drapery but was denied the honour. As the
clock struck 12 and
Alderman Clarkson was about to step from the door of the
Municipal building
to perform the duty the wind which was blowing a terrific
gale, got under
the covering, and most unceremoniously...completely
unveiled the statue.'
Sir William died on 13th September later that year.
See this URL: http://www.urbexforums.co.uk/showthread
For details of Tunstall Court.

Best wishes,

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