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Bray, Sir Reginald

BRAY, SIR REGINALD (d. 1503), British statesman and architect, was the second son of Sir Richard Bray, one of the privy council of Henry VI. Reginald was born in the parish of St John Bedwardine, near Worcester, but the date of his birth is uncertain. He was receiver-general and steward of the household to Sir Henry Stafford, second husband of Margaret, countess of Richmond, whose son afterwards became King Henry VII. The accession of the king Henry VII. favoured the fortunes of Reginald Bray, who was created a knight of the Bath at the coronation and afterwards a knight of the Garter. In the first year of Henry VII.'s reign he was given a grant of the constableship of Oakham Castle in Rutland, and was appointed joint chief justice with Lord Fitz Walter of all the forest south of Trent and chosen of the privy council. Subsequently he was made high treasurer and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. In October 1494 he became high steward of the university of Oxford, and he was a member of the parliament summoned in the 11th year of Henry VII's reign. In June 1497 he was at the battle of Blackheath, and his services in repressing the Cornish rebels were rewarded with a gift of estates and the title of knight banneret. His taste and skill in architecture are attested by Henry VII.'s chapel at Westminster and St George's chapel at Windsor. He directed the building of the former, and the finishing and decoration of the latter, to which, moreover, he was a liberal contributor, building at his own expense a chapel still called by his name and ornamented with his crest, the initial letters of his name, and a device representing the hemp-bray, an instrument used by hemp manufacturers. He died in 1503, before the Westminster chapel was completed, and was interred in St George's chapel.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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