Reginald Bray

Reginald Bray

Sir Reginald Bray KG (c. 1440 – 1503) was an English courtier, advisor to Henry VII 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 and became Speaker of the House of Commons.

A new man, his most notable achievement in Government was the restructuring of the King's finances. 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 carved in various places with the insignia of hemp bray as a pun on Sir Reginald's name and to signify his support and design of the chapel.

He also took a major role in the construction of Jesus College in Cambridge and was friends with its founder, John Alcock.

He died in 1503 and is buried in St George's Chapel Windsor.

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