WRAY, Sir Christopher, 2nd Bt. (1652-79), of Ashby, Lincs.

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



5 May 1675

Family and Education

bap. 10 Feb. 1652, 1st s. of (Sir) William Wray, 1st Bt. educ. Univ. Coil. Oxf. 1668; travelled abroad (France) 1670. m. May 1670, Dorothy Ballantyne of Paris (annulled 13 July 1671), s.p. suc. fa. 17 Oct. 1669, cos. Sir Bethel Wray as 6th Bt. of Glentworth 19 Feb. 1672.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Lincs. 1673-d., recusants 1675; freeman, Grimsby 1675.


Wray’s mother, mindful perhaps of his father’s escapades, put him in the charge of a tutor on his travels. But within a fortnight of his arrival in Paris he was seduced into a life of debauchery and married a Scottish adventuress, formerly in the Duchess of York’s household. Both the French and English courts declared the marriage invalid, but he never married again. He succeeded to a second baronetcy in 1672, when three of his cousins died insane within a year; but the Glentworth estate went to Nicholas Saunderson. Wray bought the freedom of Grimsby for £40 in 1675, and was involved in a double return with the court supporter Charles Bertie. He was declared elected by the House on 5 May. In the working lists it was suggested that he might be brought over to the Government by Thomas Prise, who had married his aunt; but Sir Richard Wiseman wrote: ‘I doubt [he] has something of the leaven of that family, or Sir Anthony Irby would not so well approve of him’. Shaftesbury marked him ‘worthy’, but he left no trace on the records of the Cavalier Parliament. He died at the age of 27, and was buried at St. Giles in the Fields on 31 Aug. 1679. The Ashby baronetcy became extinct shortly afterwards, but the Glentworth baronetcy went to an Irish branch of the family, from whom was descended Sir Cecil Wray, opposition MP for East Retford and Westminster during the War of American Independence.2

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. SP29/281A/240.
  • 2. SP29/281A/240; Lambeth Palace Lib. Ct. of Arches, B8/67; Her. and Gen. ii. 126; C. Dalton, Wrays of Glentworth, 87; E. E. Gillett, Grimsby, 140.