William Gray (Conservative politician)

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William Gray (21 December 1814 – 6 February 1895)[1] was an English Conservative Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1857 to 1874.

Gray was the second son of William Gray of Wheatfield, in the Haulgh, Bolton, and his wife Frances Rasbotham, daughter of Dorning Rasbotham of Birch House, near Bolton. He was educated privately and in 1835 was cornet in the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry Cavalry. He was captain in the 4th Royal Lancashire Militia, and Lieutenant-Colonel of the 27th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers.

He owned the Lever Bridge cotton mill in Darcy Lever which in 1891 had 21,000 spindles and 420 looms.[2] From 1850 to 1852, Gray was Mayor of Bolton. He was a Deputy Lieutenant and J.P. for Lancashire.[3]

At the 1857 general election Gray was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolton.[4] He held the seat until he was defeated at the 1874 general election.[1][4] He was a liberal Conservative and was in favour of education based on religion.

Gray lived at Darcy Lever Hall, near Bolton, in Lancashire (now Greater Manchester) and Farley Hill Place in Berkshire. He was High Sheriff of Berkshire for 1882–83.[5]

He died at the age of 80. Gray married Magdalene Robins, daughter of William Robins of West Kirby Cheshire, in 1861.[3]


  1. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 4)
  2. ^ "1891 Cotton Mills in Bolton". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1870
  4. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 53–54. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
  5. ^ The armorial and genealogical roll of the high sheriffs for the counties in England and Wales, 1882-3. Including those sheriffs of cities, towns, and counties thereof who bear coat armour, 1881-2, 1882-3.

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Gray
  • Bolton Council-The Mayors of Bolton
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Barnes
Joseph Crook
Member of Parliament for Bolton
With: Joseph Crook to 1861
Thomas Barnes 1861–1868
John Hick from 1868
Succeeded by
John Kynaston Cross
John Hick

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