William Gray (Massachusetts)

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William Gray
William Gray.jpg
9th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
In office
GovernorElbridge Gerry
Preceded byDavid Cobb
Succeeded byWilliam Phillips, Jr.
Member of the
Massachusetts State Senate
for Suffolk County
In office
January 12, 1812 – March 1813
Preceded byBenjamin Gorham
Member of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives
for Essex County
In office
Personal details
BornJune 27, 1750 (old style; July 8, 1750 new style)
Lynn, Massachusetts
DiedNovember 4, 1825(1825-11-04) (aged 75)
Boston, Massachusetts
Resting placeMount Auburn Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Chipman

William Gray (June 27, 1750 (old style; July 8, 1750 new style)– November 4, 1825) was a Massachusetts merchant and politician. Born into a lower-class family in Lynn, Massachusetts, he managed to build his own business and rise through the state's political ranks, becoming the richest man in New England, and in the eyes of many the richest man in all of America. Prior to the War of 1812, William Gray had the largest private fleet in the United States with 60 square-rigged vessels.[1]

Gray first served as a state senator, before becoming the ninth Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, serving from 1810 to 1812, he married Elizabeth Chipman (May, 1756 - September 24, 1823) in 1782. Elizabeth was a pioneer in philanthropy, volunteering a significant portion of her time to helping the poorest citizens of Boston.

In 1820, he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society[2]

He owned Gray's Wharf in Charlestown.[3] In Boston "he lived on Summer Street, in the mansion previously occupied by Governor Sullivan."[4]

Elizabeth Chipman Gray

Elizabeth and William had three sons and one daughter:


  1. ^ Horace Gray: Father of the Boston Public Garden
  2. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  3. ^ Timothy Thompson Sawyer. Old Charlestown: historical, biographical, reminiscent. J.H. West Co., 1902
  4. ^ Drake. Old landmarks and historic personages of Boston. 1872. ; p.201
  5. ^ "Horace Gray". findagrave.com. Retrieved December 31, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gray, Edward.: William Gray, of Salem, merchant: a biographical sketch (.1914)
Political offices
Preceded by
David Cobb
Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
William Phillips, Jr.
Preceded by
Benjamin Gorham
Massachusetts State Senator
January 12, 1812–March 1813
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Succeeded by