Link to Bray Family History


Sir Reginald Bray, KG

Also Known As: braye
Birthdate: circa 1440 (63)
Birthplace: St. John Bedwardine, Worcester, Worcestershire, England
Death: 1503 (59-67)
Place of Burial: Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England

Immediate Family:


Son of Sir Richard Bray, Kt. and Joan (Johanna or Grace) Troughton
Husband of Katherine Braye
Brother of Joan Bray
Half brother of John Bray, the younger
Occupation: architect


About Sir Reginald Bray

Sir Reginald Bray KG (c. 1440 – 24 June 1503) was the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster under Henry VII, English courtier, and architect of the Henry VII Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey. Sir Reginald was born in Worcester in around 1440, the second son of Sir Richard Bray and educated at the Royal Grammar School Worcester. He was created a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Henry VII, and, later, a Knight of the Garter. He also became Treasurer and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In 1496 he was created Steward of the University of Oxford. Surrey deed C.3273 Grant by Thomas, earl of Ormond, to Reginald Bray, knight, of the lordships or manors of Shire and Vachary in Craneley parish, for his life, reserving the advowson of Shire church and the right of entry into Vachary park to hunt, with easement for the said earl, his servants and horses when staying within the lordship of Shire; Reginald providing a chaplain called 'a chauntry prest' to officiate in the chapel of Vachary manor; with letter of attorney authorising John Westbroke to deliver seisin. 28 January, 1 Henry VII. Seal.[3] A new man, his most notable achievement in Government was the restructuring of the King's finances and as the administrator of such, including the King's will, from 1485 until his death, he was the equivalent of the Prime Minister.[4] He continued the work of Edward IV in moving away from the collection of royal revenues through the Exchequer system and instead increasing the application of the Chamber of the Household system to collect money. He was also made paymaster of the unsuccessful operation intended to relieve the Dukedom of Brittany from being annexed by France, although the failures of this mission can in no way be attributed to him. As well as designing Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster, he also designed St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle and Great Malvern Priory. At St. George's Chapel, the vault is sculpted in various places with Sir Reginald's rebus of a hemp bray to signify his support and design of the chapel. He also played a major role in the construction of Jesus College in Cambridge and was friends with its founder, John Alcock.

St.George's Chapel

Gt. Malvern Priory

St.George's Chapel

Bray died without issue on 5 August 1503, and was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor.[5] Bray had a brother of the whole blood, John Bray, and an elder half brother, also named John Bray. After litigation, Reginald Bray's estates were divided between his nephew, Edmund Bray, eldest son of [his brother of the whole blood, John Bray, and William Sandys, 1st Baron Sandys, who had married Margery Bray, the daughter of Bray's elder brother of the half blood, John Bray.[5] Bray married, about 1475, Katherine Hussey (d.1506),[6] the younger of the two daughters and coheirs of Nicholas Hussey of Calais, by whom he had no issue. From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Bray


Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 06 Bray, Reginald by Thompson Cooper BRAY, Sir REGINALD (d. 1503), statesman and architect, was the second son of Sir Richard Bray, one of the privy council to Henry VI, by his wife Joan Troughton. The father was of Eaton-Bray in Bedfordshire, and lies buried in the north aisle of Worcester cathedral; Leland speaks of him as having been, by the report of some, physician to Henry VI (Itinerary, 113 a). The son was born in the parish of St. John Bedwardine, near Worcester (Nash, Worcestershire, ii. 309). He held the situation of receiver-general and steward of the household to Sir Henry Stafford, the second husband of Margaret, countess of Richmond (mother of the Earl of Richmond, afterwards King Henry VII), and he continued in her service during her subsequent marriage with Thomas, lord Stanley (afterwards Earl of Derby), by whom he was appointed a trustee for her dower of 600 marks per annum. In 1 Richard III (1483) he had a general pardon granted to him, probably for having taken part with Henry VI. When the Duke of Buckingham had concerted with Morton, bishop of Ely (then his prisoner at Brecknock in Wales), the marriage of the Earl of Richmond with the Princess Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV, and the earl's advancement to the throne, the bishop recommended Bray for the communication of the affair to the countess, telling the duke that he had an old friend who was in her service, a man sober, secret, and well witted, called Reginald Bray, whose prudent policy he had known to have compassed matters of great importance; and accordingly he wrote to Bray, then in Lancashire with the countess, to come to Brecknock with all speed. Bray readily obeyed the summons, entered heartily into the design, and was very active in carrying it into effect, having engaged Sir Giles Daubeney (afterwards Lord Daubeney), Sir John Cheney, Richard Guilford, and many other gentlemen of note, to take part with Henry (Hall, Chronicle, f. 37). After the defeat of Richard III at Bosworth he became a great favourite with Henry VII, who liberally rewarded his services; and he retained the king's confidence until his death. He was created a knight of the Bath at the king's coronation, and afterwards a knight of the Garter. In the first year of the king's reign he had a grant of the constableship of the castle of Oakham in Rutland, and was appointed joint chief justice, with Lord Fitzwalter, of all the forests south of Trent, and chosen of the privy council. After this he was appointed high-treasurer and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. In 3 Henry VII he was appointed keeper of the parks of Guilford and Henley, with the manor of Claygate in Ash for life; and the year following, by letters patent dated at Maidstone 23 Dec. 1488, a commissioner for raising the quota of archers to be furnished by the counties of Surrey, Hampshire, and Middlesex for the relief of Brittany. By indenture dated 9 May 1492 he was retained to serve one whole year in parts beyond the seas, with twelve men of arms, including himself, each having his custrel (shield-bearer) and page, twenty-four half-lances, seventy-seven archers on horseback, and two hundred and thirty-one archers and twenty-four bill-men on foot; being at the same time made paymaster of the forces destined; for this expedition (Rymer, Fœdera, ed. 1711, xii. 480). On the king's intended journey to France, Sir Reginald was one of those in whom the king vested his estates belonging to the duchy of Lancaster for the purpose of fulfilling his will. In the tenth year of the king he had a grant for life of the Isle of Wight, castle of Carisbrook, and the manors of Swainston, Brixton, Thorley, and Welow in that isle, at the rent of 308l. 6s. 8d. (Rymer, xii. 480). In October 1494 he was made high steward of the university of Oxford, and he is believed to have also held the same office in the university of Cambridge. In 11 Henry VII he was in the parliament then summoned, but, the returns being lost, it is not known for what place he served. In June 1497 he was at the battle of Blackheath when Lord Audley, who had joined the Cornish rebels, was taken prisoner. On this occasion Bray was made a knight banneret (Holinshed, Chronicles, iii. 1254), and after the execution and attainder of Lord Audley, that nobleman's manor of Shire, with Vacherie and Cranley in Surrey, and a large estate there, was given to Sir Reginald. On the marriage of Prince Arthur he was associated with persons of high rank in the church and state as a trustee for the dower assigned to the Princess Catherine of Arragon. The chapel of St. George at Windsor, and that of his royal master King Henry VII at Westminster, are standing monuments of his liberality and of his skill in architecture. To the former of these he was a considerable benefactor as well by his attention in conducting the improvements made upon that structure by the king, as by his contributions to the support of it after his death. He built also, at his own expense, in the middle of the south aisle, a chapel which still bears his name, and in various parts of which, as well as on the ceiling of the church, his arms, crest, and the initial letters of his name may still be seen, as may also a device of his frequently repeated both on the outer and inner side of the cornice dividing this chapel from the south aisle of the church, representing an instrument used by the manufacturers of hemp, and called a hemp-bray. The design of Henry VII's chapel at Westminster is supposed to have been his; and the first stone was laid by him, in conjunction with the Abbot Islip and others, on 24 Jan. 1502-3. Sir Reginald did not live to see the completion of the edifice, for on 5 Aug. 1503 he died, and was interred in the chapel of his own foundation at Windsor. On opening a vault in this place for the interment of Dr. Waterland in 1740, a leaden coffin of an ancient form was discovered which was supposed to be Sir Reginald's, and by order of the dean it was immediately arched over. Sir Reginald is said to have been the architect of the nave and aisles of St. Mary's, Oxford, and it has been conjectured that he also designed St. Mary's Tower at Taunton. He was a munificent benefactor to churches, monasteries, and colleges. Bray married Catharine, daughter of Nicholas Husee, a descendant of the ancient barons of that name in the reign of Edward III. He had no issue, and his elder brother John having only one daughter, married to Sir William Sandes, afterwards Lord Sandes of the Vine, he left the bulk of his fortune to Edmund, eldest son of his younger brother John (for he had two brothers of that name). This Edmund was summoned to parliament in 1530, as Baron of Eaton-Bray; but his son John, lord Bray, dying without issue in 1557, the estate was divided among six daughters of Edmund. Sir Reginald left very considerable estates to Edward and Reginald, younger brothers of Edmund. His portrait was in a window of the Priory church of Great Malvern in Worcestershire, and is engraved in Strutt's 'View of the Manners, Customs, &c. of the Inhabitants of England,' ii. pi. 60, and more accurately in Carter's 'Ancient Sculpture and Painting.'

Sir william Sandes KG

Bray is represented as being 'a very father of his country, a sage and a graue person, and a feruent louer of iustice. In so muche that if any thinge had bene done against good law or equitie, he would, after an humble fassion, plainly reprehende the king, and geue him good aduertisement how to reforme that offence, and to be more circumspect in another lyke case' (Hall, Vnion of the two famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, ed. 1548, Hen. VII, fol. 55 ). Bacon says of him, however, 'that he was noted to have had with the king the greatest freedom of any counsellor, but it was but a freedom the better to set off flattery.' In the library at Westminster are many original letters addressed to Bray by Smyth, bishop of Lincoln, and other prelates and noblemen, and many other letters relating to his own private business. [William Bray, F.S.A., in Biog. Brit. (Kippis); Brayley's Surrey, v. 181, 186, 187; Chambers's Malvern (1820), 42, 243; Chambers's Worcestershire Biography, 38; Churton's Lives of Bishop Smyth and Sir E. Sutton; Cooper's Athenæ Cantab. i. 6; Cooper's Memoir of Margaret, Countess of Richmond and Derby, ed. Mayor; Cooper's Memorials of Cambridge, i. 368; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, 1271; Gent. Mag. 1827, ii. 304, 1835, i. 181; Manning's Lives of the Speakers of the House of Commons, 138-50; Manning and Bray's Surrey, i. 514, 517; Addit. MSS. 5833 f. 67 b, 21505 f. 10; Lansd. MS. 978 f. 23 b; Nicolas's Testamenta Vetusta, 446; Shermanni Hist. Coll. Jesu Cantab. (Halliwell), 28; Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archæological and Natural Hist. Soc. viii. 133-48; Strutt's Manners, Customs, &c. of the Inhabitants of England, ii. 127; Three Books of Polydore Vergil's Engl. Hist. ed. Ellis (Camden Soc.), 195, 196; Willement's Account of the Restorations of the Collegiate Chapel of St. George, Windsor, 25, 27, 28, 42; Wood's Annals of Oxford (Gutch), i. 651.] From: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bray,_Reginald_(DNB00)


Reginald BRAY (Sir Knight) Died: 5 Aug 1503 Buried: Bray Chapel, Windsor Castle, England Notes: See his Biography. Father: Richard BRAY Mother: Joan TROUGHTON Married: Catherine HUSSEY From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/BRAY.htm#Reginald BRAY (Sir Knight)1 Statesman and architect, was the 2nd son of Sir Richard Bray, one of the Privy Council to Henry VI, by his wife Joan Troughton. The father was of Eaton-Bray in Bedfordshire, and lies buried in the north aisle of Worcester Cathedral; Leland speaks of him as having been, by the report of some, physician to Henry VI (Itenerary, 113a). The son was born in the parish of St. John Bedwardine, near Worcester (Nash, Worcestershire, ii. 309). He was a particular friend of the Bishop of his diocese. He was spoken of as being sober, discreet, and well-witted, and a man of prudent policy. He was first receiver-general and master of the household to Sir Henry Stafford who was the second husband of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of the Earl of Richmond, who afterward became Henry VII, and he continued in her service during her subsequent marriage with Thomas, Lord Stanley (afterwards Earl of Derby), by whom he was appointed a trustee for her dower of 500 marks per annum. In 1472 Reginald Bray engaged himself to serve beyond the sea for the King from where he "brought many trophies to his government". In 1 Richard III (1483) he had a general pardon granted to him, probably for having taken part with Henry VI. On Bosworth Field, Aug 22, 1485, after Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet Kings, was slain, Reginald Bray found his golden crown hanging on a thorn bush and gave it to Lord Stanley, who placed it on the head of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, proclaiming him Henry VII. Five weeks later at his coronation in Westminster Abbey, the King created Reginald Bray a Knight of the Bath. When the Duke of Buckingham had concerted with John Morton, Bishop of Ely (then his prisoner at Brecknock in Wales), the marriage of the Earl of Richmond with the Princess Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV, and the Earl's advancement to the throne, the Bishop recommended Bray for the communication of the affair to the countess, telling the Duke that he had an old friend who was in her service, a man sober, secret, and well witted, called Reginald Bray, whose prudent policy he had known to have compassed matters of great importance; and accordingly he wrote to Bray, then in Lancashire with the Countess, to come to Brecknock with all speed. Bray readily obeyed the summons, entered heartily into the design, and was very active in carrying it into effect, having engaged Sir Giles Daubeney (afterwards Lord Daubeney), Sir John Cheney, Richard Guildford, and many other gentleman of note, to take part with Henry (Hall, Chronicle, f. 37). After the defeat of Richard III at Bosworth he became a great favourite with Henry VII, who liberally rewarded his services; and he retained the King's confidence until his death. He was created a knight of the Bath at the King's coronation, and afterwards a knight of the Garter. In the first year of the King's reign he had a grant of the constableship of the castle of the castle of Oakham in Rutland, and was appointed joint chief justice, with Lord Fitzwalter, of all the forests south of Trent, and chosen of the privy council. After this he was appointed high-treasurer and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. In 3 Henry VII he was appointed keeper of the parks of Guildford and Henley, with the manor of Claygate in Ash for life; and the year following, by letters patent dated at Maidstone 23 Dec 1488, a commissioner for raising the quota of archers to be furnished by the counties of Surrey, Hampshire, and Middlesex for the relief of Brittany. By indenture dated 9 May 1492 he was retained to serve one whole year in parts beyond the seas, with twelve men of arms, including himself, each having his custrel (shield-bearer) and page, twenty-four half-lances, seventy-seven archers on horseback, and two hundred and thirty-one archers and twenty-four foot bill-men on foot; being at the same time made paymaster of the forces destined for this expedition (Rymer, Foedera, ed. 1711, xii. 480). On the King's intended journey to France, Sir Reginald was one of those in whom the King vested his estates belonging to the duchy of Lancaster for the purpose of fullfilling his will. In Jun 1497 he was at the battle of Blackheath when Lord Audley, who had joined the Cornish rebels, was taken prisoner. On this occasion Bray was made a knight banneret (Holinshed, Chronicles, iii. 1254), and after the execution and attainder of Lord Audley, that nobleman's manor of Shire, with Vacherie and Cranley in Surrey, and a large estate there, was given to Sir Reginald. On the marriage of Prince Arthur he was associated with persons of high rank in the church and state as a trustee for the dower assigned to the Princess Catalina de Aragon. Sir Reginald Bray received many royal benefits and high honors, being created a Knight of the Garter; Privy Councillor and joint Chief Justice of all the forests south of Trent; Constable of Oakham Castle, Member of Parliament one term; High Treasurer and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; paymaster of forces in Brittany, 1492; high steward of the University of Oxford and perhaps of the University of Cambridge. For his bravery at the battle of Blackheath in Jun, 1497, he was made a knight banneret. He was trustee for the dower of Catalina de Aragon and guardian to Arthur, Prince of Wales, who died Apr 2, 1502, and also guardian of his brother Prince Henry. After the marriage of Catalina de Aragon to King Henry VIII (which he helped to arrange), Sir Reginald Bray was made trustee "for the fulfilling of the King's own will", equivalent to Prime Minister. He was also said to be a doctor to the King. As an architect, he designed Henry VII's chapel, and laid its foundation stone in Westminster in Jan, 1503. Sir Reginald Bray also played a major part in the building of St. George's Chapel at Windsor (also called the Bray chapel), which has become the center of the historic castle. Of it is written, "In the reign of Edward IV, Windsor saw the beginning of what was to become its culminating glory in the erection of the famous and splendid Chapel of St. George. Alterations and additions to the castle have been made in successive reigns until the present time, but the stately chapel remains as the centerpiece of the castle and its crowning ornament. Begun and completed in one design, and the work of craftsmen who have never been excelled, if indeed, they have ever been equalled, it exhibits one style of architecture in completeness and perfection and is the wonder and admiration of every beholder. The south transept is occupied by the chantry or chapel, known as the Braye Chapel, from Sir Reginald Bray, who, after the death of Bishop Beauchamp in 1481, was appointed superintendent of the works at the castle" Bray married Catherine, daughter of Nicholas Hussey, a descendant of the ancient barons of the name in the reign of Edward III. He had no issue, and his elder brother John having only one daughter, married to Sir William Sandys, afterwards Lord Sandys of the Vine, he left the bulk of his fortune to Edmund, eldest son of his younger brother John (for he had two brothers of that name). This Edmund was summoned to parliament in 1530, as Baron of Eaton-Bray; but his son John, Lord Bray, dying without issue in 1557, the estate was divided among six daughters of Edmund. Sir Reginald left very considerable estates to Edward and Reginald, younger brothers of Edmund. His portrait was in the window of the Priory Church of Great Malvern, in Worcestershire, and this can be seen in Strutt's "View of the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants of England."


From: http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/ReginaldBray.htm Bray died on 5th August 1503 and was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. In his will Bray asked for to be buried in the Bray Chantry Chapel within the Chapel but also left instructions on how to complete the Nave; “I will that my executors immediately after my decease endeavour themselves with all diligence, with my goods and the issues and profits of my lands and tenements by them to be received and had, to make and perform, and cause to be made and performed, the work of the new works of the body of the church of the College of Our Lady and St George within the Castle of Windsor; and the same work by them wholly to be performed and finished according and after the form and extent of the foundation thereof, as well in stone work, timber ,lead, iron, glass and all other things necessary and requisite for the utter performance of the same.” The design of Henry VII's chapel at Westminster is supposed to have been his; and the first stone was laid by him, in conjunction with the Abbot Islip and others, on 24 Jan. 1502-3. Sir Reginald did not live to see the completion of the edifice, for on 5 Aug. 1503 he died, and was interred in the chapel of his own foundation at Windsor. On opening a vault in this place for the interment of Dr.Daniel Cosgrove Waterland in 1740, a leaden coffin of an ancient form was discovered which was supposed to be Sir Reginald's, and by order of the dean it was immediately arched over.

Part of Sir Reginald Bray's Will

South Transcept, St.George's Chapel (Bray Chapel)


BRAY, Sir Edward (by 1492-1558), of Henfield and Selmeston, Suss. and the Vachery, Shere, Surr. b. by 1492, 2nd s. of John Bray of Eaton Bray, Beds. educ. M. Temple, adm. 1509. m. (1) Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Henry Lovell of Harting, Suss. div.; (2) by 1518, Beatrix, da. of Ralph Shirley of Wiston, Suss. wid. of Edward Elrington of London and Udimore, Suss., 2s. inc. Edward† 1da.; (3) by May 1539, Jane, da. of Sir Matthew Browne† of Betchworth, Surr., wid. of Sir Francis Poynings. Kntd. 13 or 14 Oct. 1513.2 Offices Held Capt. Mary Rose 1513, Magdaleyn of Founteraby 1514; j.p. Suss. 1524-40, Surr. 1554-d.; commr. subsidy, Suss. 1523, 1524, tenths of spiritualities, Surr. 1535, musters, Surr. 1539; sheriff, Surr. and Suss. 1538-9; lt. Calais castle 1541-52; high treasurer, the army against France 1545; constable, the Tower 1556-7.3 Edward Bray could not hope to emulate his uncle Sir Reginald Bray in the political field, but in his youth he cut a figure as a naval and military commander. .... etc. .... He held property in both counties. Sir Reginald Bray had left the reversion of his lands in Sussex to those of his nephews who married his wards Elizabeth and Agnes Lovell. Sir Edward Bray married Elizabeth, but they were later divorced and both remarried; although it is not clear how far Bray benefited under his uncle’s will, in 1524 he was assessed at £100 in lands at Henfield. As Sir Edward Bray ‘of Selmeston’, near Lewes, he bought a manor from Sir John Gage in 1532, and in the following year the Duke of Richmond’s accounts show .... etc. From: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/bray-sir-edward-1492-1558


Sir Reynold Bray1 M, #149202 Last Edited=7 Nov 2005 Sir Reynold Bray was the son of Sir Richard Bray and Joan (?).1,2 He was buried at Chelsea, London, England.1 He was buried at Braye Chapel, St. George's, Windsor, Berkshire, England.2 He held the office of Lord High Treasurer [England], to King Henry VII.1 He was invested as a Knight, Order of the Garter (K.G.).1 He fought in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.2 In January 1503 he helped King Henry VII lay the foundation stone of Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster.2 Citations 1.[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 287. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage. 2.[S37] BP2003 volume 1, page 492. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37] From: http://www.thepeerage.com/p14921.htm#i149202

Sir Reginald Bray KG



The Bray Chantry, St George's Chapel

Windsor Castle

Restoration

Ref: Treske of Thirsk - link below

After the bloody Wars of the Roses, which tore England apart and paralysed its government in the latter half of the 15th century, the country desperately needed a period of peace and stability. The pragmatic Henry VII, who united the warring Houses of Lancaster and York by taking Elizabeth of York as his queen, provided that stability, ably assisted by Sir Reginald Bray. After the ravages of war, Sir Reginald radically restructured the King's finances, ensuring Henry had enough money to tackle threats both at home and abroad. He died in 1503 at the age of 63. His was a life well-lived – and he, like so many of his successful contemporaries, wanted to be remembered after his death. His principal legacy was the splendid Bray Chantry in St George’s Chapel, Windsor which has undergone significant cleaning and refurbishment in recent years. But his generosity was not confined to his own chantry; a substantial legacy ensured that the iconic St George’s Chapel, started by Edward IV in 1475, could be completed. 175 depictions of his hemp-brake badge (a machine for crushing hemp) in stone, iron, wood and glass adorn the Chapel in his memory and a plaque records his interment in the chantry chapel that bears his name. The renovation of the chantry, which forms part of the multi-million pound restoration of St George’s, began in 2007, when the walls, ceiling and sculpture of the chantry were carefully cleaned. A key ingredient of the new-look Bray Chantry is the stunning church furniture, designed and manufactured by Treske of Thirsk in spalted beech and walnut. This furniture features the Bray badge in its design and includes an altar, credence table, chairs, coffin stools, kneelers, a display cabinet, St Nicholas Folding Chairs and, last but not least, ten carving Bray insignia. This brings the total of Bray badges in the chapel to 185.

The Chantry

Flax Breaker (Heraldic Crest)

Treske of Thirsk