WRAY, William (c.1626-69), of Ashby, Lincs. and The Strand, Westminster.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



21 Oct. 1645

Family and Education

b. c.1626, 1st s. of Sir Christopher Wray of Ashby by Albinia, da. and coh. of Sir Edward Cecil, 1st Visct. Wimbledon. educ. travelled abroad (Italy, Switzerland, France) c.1645-6. m. c.1652, Olympia, da. of Sir Humphrey Tufton, 1st Bt., of The Mote, Maidstone, Kent, 3s. 5da. suc. fa. 1645; kntd. 6 June 1660; cr. Bt. 27 June 1660.

Offices Held

Capt. of horse (parliamentary) c.1643-5.

Commr. for assessment, Lincs. 1645, 1649-52, 1657, Jan. 1660, 1661-3, 1664-d., (Lindsey) 1648, Aug. 1660-1, 1663-4; j.p. (Lindsey) 1647-50, 1651-d.; commr. for militia, Lincs. 1648, Mar. 1660, security 1655-6, col. of militia ft. Apr. 1660, capt. vol. horse Aug. 1660, dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d.; commr. for sewers, Hatfield chase and Lincs. Aug. 1660.2


Wray was the great-grandson of Sir Christopher Wray, the Elizabethan Speaker. Wray’s father represented the borough, in both the Short and Long Parliaments, and raised a regiment for the parliamentary army in which Wray himself is said to have held a commission. However, he was abroad on his travels when he was returned under age as a recruiter for the second seat in the family borough. He ‘little minded anything except drinking and folly’ at this stage in his career, and did not sit after Pride’s Purge. But he held local office for most of the Interregnum, and sat in all the Protectorate Parliaments. He was listed by Gervase Holles among the local Presbyterian Royalists in 1659.3

Wray was re-elected at the general election of 1660. Doubtless a court supporter, he was given a baronetcy soon after the Restoration. An inactive Member of the Convention, he was named only to the committee for reparations to the Earl of Bristol. Although his estate was later estimated at £3,000 a year, a bill was introduced to enable him to pay his debts, reported from committee by Sir Anthony Irby, and received the royal assent. As a brother-in-law of Sir Henry Vane, he is unlikely to have stood in 1661. Like his father before him, he died in his 44th year, on 17 Oct. 1669, and was buried at Ashby.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Paula Watson


This biography is based on C. Dalton, Wrays of Glentworth, ii. 66-84.

  • 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648; readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
  • 2. Thurloe, iii. 185; Merc. Pub. 19 Apr. 1660; SP29/26/73; C181/7/20.
  • 3. Keeler, Long Parl. 400; Evelyn Diary, 484; Eg. 2541, f. 362.
  • 4. Her. and Gen. ii. 126; CJ, viii. 182.