View Full Version : Robert GRAY, Bishop of Bristol

22-11-2009, 2:38 PM
My hubby's 3x gt grandad was Robert Gray, Bishop of Bristol, (His son also Robert was the 1st Bishop of Cape Town).
I have been trying in vain to find where Robert Gray was born and who his parents were. The facts I have so far are:
Robert Gray, son of Robert of London, Silversmith, born 11 Mar 1762
died 28 Sept 1834.
There is a lot written about him and his son (and other sons who were clergymen os lawyers) but nothing about his parents. No birth records etc have turned up. I have tried CCEd, Fam Search, A*****y etc, .... Help needed.|help|

22-11-2009, 7:29 PM
According to the Oxford Alumni records (at Ancestry) he was a member of St Mary Hall, Oxford, which is now part of Oriel College. The Oriel website has information about the college archives, which may or may not be useful.

The Alumni record also gives details of his appointments before becoming Bishop of Bristol. The earliest one mentioned is Vicar of Faringdon, Berks, which was then in the Diocese of Salisbury; the Clergy Database gives the date of his appointment as 3 Mar 1794. It's possible that there are papers relating to this appointment or his ordination, which might mention something about his origins. The Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office would be the place to ask about these.


22-11-2009, 10:19 PM
Thanks Arthur, I will try that. I have since found that mum's name was Ann Norman and siblings ann and sarah.(IGI) Still no county given.

13-08-2010, 5:50 PM
Robert Gray's (Bishop of Bristol) father was Robert Gray who had a goldsmiths and jewellery shop at 13 New Bond Street between1777 and 1792 when he died and his younger son William Gray took over the business. Robert was a cutler and toyman (expensive trinkets) . Before that a Robert Gray (possibly his father?) had a business in the same area ('Bond Street opposite the Duke of Grafton's) between 1751 and 1775 as a cutler and surgical instrument maker. I have had no luck so far tracing marriages etc, but another son , Thomas Gray had a similar shop at 42 Sackville street just round the corner. There are trade cards in the British Library collection Robert Gray Snr must have been a very wealthy man as the Bishop went to Eton before Oxford- and Robert went on the Grand Tour with the nephew of the Bishop of Durham in 1792 which was probably how he got good appointments in Durham and Sunderland. Hoverever he must have been very talented to get on so well from a 'trade' background. William's son Robert also became a priest and took over Sunderland when Our bishop was elevated. I think at least 2 other sons of Bishop Gray became priests too as well as Robert of the Cape (my g-g-grandfather) and two sons also married into the aristocratic Ker family.

14-08-2010, 6:12 AM
Wow, Thanks Anndingsdale, I will look more into all of that. Very interesting.

31-08-2018, 2:39 PM
This is my first post here! I'm keen to research my maternal Grandmother's family as she too is related to Robert Gray Bishop of Bristol, and Robert of the Cape. I am trying to find whether Charles Gray, founder of the Architectural Association alongside Robert Kerr is a relative. I feel like this may be where the Ker Gray names in my Grandmother's maiden name may be from. My great uncle was Robert Michael Ker Gray QC too!


01-09-2018, 12:38 AM
Hello Jgyp1991, and welcome to Brit - Gen :)

My great uncle was Robert Michael Ker Gray QC

Starting with Robert your Gt Uncle.

Robert M K Gray 1936 MMN Vyse, Henley Oxfordshire

Marriages Sep 1929, Honiton 5b 67
Walter K Gray/Violet M Vyse

1939 register, Rectory Cottage, Henley.
Robert M K Gray born 29/08/1936; Walter K Gray, 27/11/1880, retired R.A. Violet M Gray 12/12/1900, school mistress.

Births Mar 1881, GRAY Walter Ker, mother's maiden name Lister Doncaster 9c 731

1881, Bentley cum Arksey, Doncaster. RG11; Piece: 4693; Folio: 37; Page: 3;
Walter A. Gray 50, vicar of Arksey, born Edlingham, Northumberland
Frances M. Gray 31, wife, Doncaster
Agnes L. Whall 11, step child, Balby
Hilda C. Whall 8, step child, Doncaster
Estella B. Whall 5, step child, Wath
Walter C. Gray 1, son, Doncaster

Marriages Dec 1879
Gray Walter Augustus/ Whall Frances Mary Doncaster 9c 773

Frances Mary's 1st marriage; Marriages Sep 1868, Doncaster 9c 638
Frances Mary Lister/John Fritz - William Whale

01-09-2018, 2:50 AM
Perhaps you already have the info above and what I'll post here................you didn't say what records you have. Not a problem, as by posting on this thread census returns etc it may help us to find a connection between Charles Gray and Robert Ker(r) and your Gt Grandmother (you didn't give her name, perhaps she's still alive). Wikepedia (not always reliable) says of Robert Gray, Bishop of Bristol "Soon after 1790 he was presented to the vicarage of Faringdon, Berkshire"

I think this is the baptism of Charles Gray, co-founder of the Architectural Ass.

Name Charles Gray
Event Type Baptism
Christening Date 05 May 1828
Christening Place Newcastle upon Tyne All Saints, Northumberland
Father's Name William Gray
Mother's Name Elinor Gray

And this Walter's baptism (see Walter above)

Name Walter Augustus Gray
Event Type Christening
Event Place Edlingham, Northumberland, England
Gender Male
Christening Date 11 Jul 1830
Father's Name William Gray
Mother's Name Eleanor Gray

1861, Bolton, Northumberland. RG 9; Piece: 3880; Folio: 30; Page: 6
William Gray 64, barrister at law and farmer, Farringdon Berkshire
Eleanor Gray 59, Edlingham, Northumberland
Elsen Gray 27, Edlingham, Northumberland
Arthur Gray 24, 41st Welch Regiment, Westminster
Jane Gray 20, Westminster
Eleanor Gray, Edlingham

Wikepedia also says of Robert Bishop of Bristol "His wife was Elizabeth, sister of Alderman Camplin of Bristol, with whom he had numerous children; including Robert Gray who became Bishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of Africa."

Name: William Gray
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 14 Nov 1796
Baptism Date: 16 Dec 1796
Baptism Place: Faringdon,Berkshire,England
Father: Robert Gray
Mother: Elizabeth

01-09-2018, 3:05 AM
Esq John Edward Gray
Marriage Notice, 7 Aug 1841, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
Father's Name: Bishop of Bristol
Spouse's Name: Essex Ker
Spouse's Father's Name: Lieut-General Walter Ker
Newspaper: Newcastle Journal

1851, Bolton, Northumberland, HO107; Piece: 2419; Folio: 576; Page: 25
William Gray 54
Eleanor Gray 49
William Gray 23
Epea Gray 17
Jane Gray 10
Eleanor Gray 7

01-09-2018, 3:42 AM
Here's your Ker/Gray connection.

Edlingham, 19th Jan 1827.
William GRAY of the parish: Inner Temple, London, married Eleanor KERR

01-09-2018, 10:38 AM
Wikepedia (not always reliable) says of Robert Gray, Bishop of Bristol "Soon after 1790 he was presented to the vicarage of Faringdon, Berkshire"

I mentioned the date above:

The earliest one mentioned is Vicar of Faringdon, Berks, which was then in the Diocese of Salisbury; the Clergy Database gives the date of his appointment as 3 Mar 1794.

Looking at this again, it seems the Clergy Database has multiple entries for him and hasn't linked them all together. There are separate entries for him as Vicar of Faringdon and as Bishop of Bristol, and there are several other entries for a Robert Gray in that period which may or may not be the same person.

To see them all I went to http://db.theclergydatabase.org.uk/jsp/search/index.jsp
and in the Basic Search put in Gray, Robert with the date range 1760-1840 (nothing for Diocese or Location), and this gave 8 results.

01-09-2018, 12:33 PM
I think this is the baptism of Charles Gray, co-founder of the Architectural Ass.

I don't have time just now to go into detail, but I believe the Charles Gray, architect, is NOT the son of William Gray and his wife Eleanor but son of a James Gray, florist. If I'm correct, it is doubtful he fits into your close ancestry.

01-09-2018, 4:21 PM
Ancestry has the will of Robert Gray, father of the Bishop of Bristol. Probate 1789

"England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858"

He mentions his wife, Ann; five children Sarah; Ann; Robert and William plus one whose name I cannot decipher (maybe Polly). Also mentioned is his brother Charles. Robert Gray, his son, inherited two thousand pounds, a considerable amount of money in 1789. It is too much of a strain for my old eyes to transcribe any more. You can read it yourself on Ancestry.

Memorials for a few of the family

There's a lot of info about this family, if you don't have subscriptions to Ancestry and FMP you should be able to get access at your local library. Also, a Google search will find some information.

05-06-2019, 10:01 PM

I am trying to find whether Charles Gray, founder of the Architectural Association alongside Robert Kerr is a relative

3x Great granddaughter Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Gray, Bishop of Bristol here. I can't pin down the Charles Gray. We have lots of Charles' but the dates don't match anything we have that I can see. Interestingly, Robert Bishop of Cape Town, son of Robert Bishop of Bristol, was married to Sophy Wharton Gray (nee Myddleton (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophy_Gray_(architect%29)), who is renowned for her design of up to 40 churches in South Africa. Her son, Charles Norris Gray (https://www.geni.com/people/Rev-Charles-Gray/6000000075309312540) (1840 - 1913) had an interest in architecture in churches, but his dates don't match the Charles Gray (1827/28 - 1881 (https://howlingpixel.com/i-en/Architectural_Association_School_of_Architecture)) you are looking for. The Charles in question is Robert (Bish of Cape Town)'s generation, but not a son of his father, Robert, (Bish of Bristol). Robert, (Bish of Bristol) had two brothers (William and Thomas) but I can't place a Charles of that generation in our current records. Going beyond this generation it gets even more patchy, although from what I read in letters and journals our ancestors certainly kept in touch with cousins.

By the way, we have a full transcript of Robert's will (father of Robert, Bish of Bristol).If anyone wants to read it, without squinting, I can locate it. There were two daughters, Polly and Sarah, who died at an elderly age and unmarried. I hadn't picked up on the brother, Charles before (thank you almach). There was an elder son, Thomas, to a previous wife (a brother to the 1st bish). Thomas set up a jewellery/cutler's store near his father Robert Gray's store on Bond Street. They may have become estranged, or Robert left him out of the will because Thomas was older and already established. We can't really tell, except that Thomas took out an ad in the newspaper distancing his business from that of his father. Thomas does not appear to have had a son named Charles.

Jenna Gray

06-06-2019, 8:51 AM
A Web article re. the setting up of the Architectural Association, gives Robert Kerr's age as 23 and Charles Gray's age as 18 when they had correspondence published in The Builder in 1846. Charles born c. 1828

London Evening Standard, 10 Sep 1881
Gray - Sep 1, aged 53, Charles Gray, architect, son of the late James Gray, of Kensington Gore.

FindMyPast has the Nonconformist birth declaration, dated 3 May 1832 of "Charles Gore, son of James Gray, Middlesex, seed and nurseryman, and Mary Sambrook, his wife, daughter of Richard Blush, of Warrington, farmer, County of Salop, born in the house of the said james Gray, No.4, Kensington Gore, 4 May 1828.
Signed by James and Mary Sambrook Gray in the presence of witnesses _______ ? of Brompton, Surgeon and Phoebe Dark, Dartford?.

Brother Alexander Gray was registered same day.

1851 Census - ref HO107 1469 249 44
Charles Gray, Brother**, unm, 22, Architect and Surveyor, born Kensington
Alexander Gray, Brother**, 19, Architect and Surveyor, born Kensington
Address, 5 The Grange, Kensington, London

Is this the Charles Gray of Architectural Association fame?

** - relationship to Head of Household looks odd - since no Head is identified

06-06-2019, 9:12 AM
Charles' marriage cert. to Elizabeth Capener (FMP image) Nov 13, 1852, gives his address as "Conduit Street" and a newspaper item, 13 Sep 1853, has the birth of a daughter at 5 Conduit Street.

The Web article already referred to has the Architectural Association moving to 9 Conduit St in 1859.