REYNELL, Carew (c.1563-1624), of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1563, 5th s. of Richard Reynell I of East Ogwell, Devon, by Agnes, da. of John Southcote of Bovey Tracey, Devon. m. aft. 1593, Susan, da. of Walter Hungerford, of Farleigh Castle, Som. and Hungerford, Wilts., wid. of Michael Erneley of Bishops Canning, Wilts., and of Sir John Marvyn, s.p. Kntd. 12 July 1599.1

Offices Held

Gent. pens. 1591/3-aft. 1606; Queen’s printer in Greek and Latin to 1597; capt. of Duncannon castle, Wexford 1599-1601; keeper of mansion house at Dartford, Kent 1603; gent. usher of privy chamber to James I.2


Reynell must have obtained his seat at Callington through either the 3rd Marquess of Winchester or the 7th Lord Mountjoy, joint patrons of the borough. Of the two, Winchester is more likely to have effected the young man’s sudden emergence as a fully fledged courtier in the early 1590s. He not only obtained a place as gentleman pensioner, but was in sufficient favour for the Queen to ask the dean and chapter of Exeter to grant him two manors in Devon. Quite possibly at court it was Sir Robert Cecil who asked one of the borough patrons for the Callington seat, as he almost certainly asked the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster for Reynell to be given a parliamentary seat at Lancaster in 1601. Apart from a procedural committee on which he may have served as one of the Lancaster burgesses, Reynell was named to two committees in 1601: on abuses of pluralism and nonresidence (16 Nov.), and for the more diligent resort to church on Sundays (2 Dec. 1601). He (not Carew Ralegh, as in D’Ewes) made his only recorded speech on this latter subject the same day, specifying various disasters that had overtaken Sabbath breakers. He asked that the ‘brutish exercise’ of bear baiting should ‘be used on some other day’ and reported the collapse of ‘the house of Paris Garden’ on a Sunday when 400 were crushed ‘yet by God’s mercy only eight were slain outright’.

Close to Cecil as Reynell may have been before 1597, in that year he sailed with the Earl of Essex on the Islands voyage, perhaps in command of the Foresight. He later accompanied Essex to Ireland, where he led a troop of foot and held the fort of Duncannon, ‘a place of great importance’. Knighted by Essex in Ireland, by June 1600 he had sold his company, and six months later had determined to surrender the captaincy of Duncannon.

When Essex was in disgrace early in 1600, Reynell asked to be allowed to attend him, writing, ‘I am particularly bound to my Lord of Essex; yet so that I will never betray the trust reposed in me’, and his moderation kept him clear of implication in the Essex rebellion itself. Imprisoned for a short time in February 1601, he was exonerated by the evidence of Sir Christopher Blount and Sir Charles Danvers. His loyalty to Essex’s memory, however, sur