WREN, Sir Christopher (1632-1723), of Scotland Yard, Whitehall.

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



11 Jan. - 14 May 1689
6 Mar. - 17 May 1690

Family and Education

b. 20 Oct. 1632, o.s. of Christopher Wren, dean of Windsor 1635, by Mary, da. of Robert Cox of Fonthill Abbey, Wilts. educ. Westminster 1641-6; Wadham, Oxf. 1649, BA 1651, MA 1653, DCL 1661. m. (1) 27 Dec. 1669, Faith (d. Sept. 1675), da. of Sir John Coghill of Bletchingdon, Oxon., 2s. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 24 Feb. 1677, Jane (d.1679), da. of William Fitzwilliam, 2nd Baron Fitzwilliam of Lifford [I], 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1658; kntd. 20 Nov. 1673.1

Offices Held

Fellow of All Souls 1653-61; prof. of astronomy, Gresham Coll. London 1657-61; Savilian prof. of astronomy, Oxf. 1661-73; asst. surveyor of the royal works 1661-9, surveyor-gen. 1669-1710; surveyor-gen. for rebuilding London and St. Paul’s Cathedral 1666; comptroller of the works, Windsor Castle 1684-?1719; surveyor-gen. Westminster Abbey 1698-d.; trustee, Friendly Society 1687-at least 1702.

J.p. Mdx. 1669-82, 1689-?d., Westminster 1669-89; commr. for assessment, Mdx. 1673-9, Westminster 1673-80, Westminster and Berks. 1689-90; freeman, Winchester 1683, Plympton 1685.2

FRS 1663, pres. 1680-2.


The parliamentary activities of Wren, England’s most famous architect, occupy a secondary place in his long and brilliant career. He was the first cousin of Matthew Wren and Sir William Wren. His father was deprived as a Royalist during the Civil War, and died before the Restoration.