The Baronetcy of Gresley of Drakelow was created in the Baronetage of England on 29 June 1611 for George Gresley of Drakelow Hall, Derbyshire who was later High Sheriff of Derbyshire and Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme. The Gresley Baronetcy was the sixth oldest baronetcy in Britain until it became extinct on the death of the 13th and last Baronet in 1976.
The Gresleys were an ancient Norman family, descended from Nigel de Stafford, the son of Robert de Stafford, scion of one of the most powerful families in England. Nigel's son, also named Nigel, took the name Gresley after he acquired Castle Gresley in Derbyshire. The Domesday Book recorded Nigel de Stafford holding the Manor of Drakelowe near the conclusion of the 11th century, and his descendants, the Gresleys, continued to hold it for nine hundred years – as long as any family in England is said to have owned the same manor. The family established the Priory of Gresley near their castle in Gresley before the year 1200. Drakelowe Hall, latterly the family seat, was a large Elizabethan mansion. A subsidiary branch of the family had a seat at Netherseal Hall, Netherseal.
The two branches of the family were reunited by the marriage of the sister of the 8th Baronet to Rev. William Gresley, Rector of Netherseal, and the succession of their son William Nigel Gresley as 9th Baronet.
The last of the Gresley family vacated Drakelowe Hall in 1931 after 28 generations had lived there. The Hall was demolished three years later, in 1934, when the site was redeveloped as Drakelow Power Station, which itself was later demolished. Netherseal Hall was demolished in 1933.
The Gresleys of Drakelowe, written by Falconer Madan, librarian of Oxford University's Bodleian Library, was published in 1899 and is the accepted history of the family.