REYNELL, Richard II (d.1631), of Creedy Wiger, Devon.

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

4th s. of George Reynell of Malston by Joan, da. of Lewis Fortescue of Fallowpit or Fulpit, baron of the Exchequer. educ. New Inn; M. Temple 1585, called 1594. m. 1593, Mary, da. and coh. of John Peryam, 2s. 7da. Kntd. 1622.1

Offices Held

?Clerk in office of ld. treasurer’s remembrancer in the Exchequer by 1593; dep. recorder, Totnes by 1600; autumn reader, M. Temple 1614, bencher 1618; councillor, Exeter 1617; j.p. Devon by 1627.2


Reynell came of a family seated at Malston since the time of Richard II. A younger son, he became a lawyer and was possibly the Richard Reynell who was employed in the office of the lord treasurer’s remembrancer in the 1590s. He had Exchequer connexions through his mother and through (Sir) William Peryam, who became chief baron in the year that Reynell married his niece. As his later interests were focused on Devon, it is unlikely that he held this office for long. He presumably owed his return at Mitchell to his fellow Middle Templar Richard Carew of Antony. Reynell’s distant cousin, Richard Reynell I of East Ogwell, Devon, had been a close friend of Sir Peter Carew, a relative of the patron.

After his marriage Reynell was brought increasingly into the orbit of his wife’s family in Exeter and South Devon. His legal services may have been useful to the city and he established a position there independent of his father-in-law. Reynell was a friend of John Travers, rector of Farringdon from 1588 until 1620, (brother of the puritan Walter Travers), and was associated with Edmund Snape and Melancthon Jewel, leading Devon puritans. Reynell was the executor of Travers’s will and in this capacity presented Elias Travers, his son, who was also a puritan, to the living of Farringdon. He was also active in hunting down Jesuit priests. In November 1621 he wrote to the mayor and aldermen on the subject:

the cause concerns God and the King and [it is] therefore fit we should be most careful therein. I acknowledge your example doth much encourage me to do my best endeavour ... The Lord give a blessing unto our endeavours in this behalf: to whose merciful protection I do with my due respect commend you.3

On John Peryam’s death Reynell’s wife inherited his manor of Creedy Wiger near Crediton, where Reynell lived until his own death in 1631. He left an annuity of £100 to a son, and £1,000 each to three of his daughters. His wife, as sole executrix, was enjoined upon the death of William Orforde, rector of Clyst Hydon, Devon, to present ‘my good friend Laurence Bodley of Exeter College’. This benefice seems to have been reserved for Peryam cousins of puritan tendencies. William Orforde was connected both with the Bodleys and the Peryams and had for a short time been the incumbent of an Exeter lecturership. He died within a few months of Reynell, whereupon Laurence Bodley was presented, in accordance with the late patron’s wishes.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 645.
  • 2. Lansd. 106, f. 1; APC, xliii. 10-11; Roberts thesis, 230; HMC Exeter, 110-11.
  • 3. W. T. MacCaffery, Exeter, 197; G. Oliver, Catholic Religion in the West, 8-9; HMC Exeter, 40; SP14/10A/81.
  • 4. W. Pole, Desc. Devon, 221; PCC 48 St. John; HMC Exeter, 93-7.