WREY, Sir Chichester, 3rd Bt. (c.1628-68), of Trebeigh, St. Ive, Cornw.
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Family and Education
b. c.1628, 1st s. of Sir William Wrey, 2nd Bt.†, of Trebeigh by Elizabeth, da. of Edward, 1st Visct. Chichester of Carrickfergus [I]. m. c.1652, Lady Anne Bourchier, da. and coh. of Edward, 4th Earl of Bath, wid. of James Cranfield, 2nd Earl of Middlesex, 4s. 1da. Kntd. 3 Aug. 1643; suc. fa. Aug. 1645.1
Gent. of the privy chamber by June 1660-d.; farmer, wine licences [I] Aug. 1660-d.3
J.p. Cornw. July 1660-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-d., Devon 1663-d., loyal and indigent officers, Cornw. 1662, dep. lt. by 1662-d.; recorder, Liskeard 1661-d.4
Wrey’s ancestors came from Devon, but seem to have been of little note till his great-grandfather married a Cornish heiress in Elizabethan times. They first represented Liskeard in 1593. Wrey himself, according to his own account, ‘being not above 14 years of age, was by the command of his father (a colonel of a regiment of trained bands) in the beginning of these late unnatural wars engaged in the late King’s service’. ‘Little of stature, but a sprightly, gallant youth’, he served with Hopton throughout the Civil War. In his composition he declared an estate worth some £340 a year, more than half out in jointure to his grandmother. He was fined £552, but in addition had to settle lands worth £50 p.a. on the Church. He was an active Royalist during the Interregnum, representing Cornwall in the western association in 1650, and involved in a plot with Sir John Granville in 1659. Meanwhile by a fortunate marriage he had acquired the Devon estates of the Bourchier Earls of Bath.5
On the Restoration Wrey received the farm of the wine and brandy licences in Ireland, a valuable concession later renewed to him in partnership with Sir Thomas Clifford at a rent of £4,000 p.a. Returned unopposed for Lostwithiel, some 15 miles from Trebeigh, in 1661, he was a moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament till his death. He was appointed to 61 committees, including those for the security bill, for preventing mischief from Quakers, and for the uniformity bill. He took part in considering the legislation for restoring rectories and advowsons surrendered by Cavalier compounders, in which he was personally concerned. After the Christmas recess he helped to consider a scandalous pamphlet attacking Edward Rigby, and acted as teller for a private bill on 26 Feb. 1662. In 1663 he was among those entrusted with a bill to prevent the growth of Popery. Recalled to the colours in the second Dutch war, he was engaged in coastal defence in Essex, and after Ruyter’s humiliating raid on Chatham was made governor of the strategically vital fort of Sheerness. With Sir Edward Seymour and Sir Edward Wise he was granted a Dutch prize brought into Plymouth. He was among those ordered to take the accounts of the loyal and indigent officers fund during the Christmas recess of 1667, and to inspect the militia laws on 3 Apr. 1668. He died on 14 May of a long fever contracted on active service, and was buried at Tawstock.6
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: John. P. Ferris
- 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 564.
- 2. M. Coate, Cornw. in Gt. Civil War, 64; Trans. Devon Assoc. viii. 129; Parl. Intell. 2 July 1660; CSP Dom. 1664-5, pp. 54, 482; 1667, p. 322.
- 3. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 165; CSP Ire. 1660-2, p. 22; 1663-5, p. 598.
- 4. Cornw. RO, Liskeard court pprs; J. Allen, Hist. Liskeard, 281.
- 5. Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. ii. 248; SP23/209/354-8; Bellum Civile (Som. Rec. Soc. xviii), 40; D. Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy, 30, 242; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 235-6.
- 6. CSP Dom. 1664-5, pp. 509-10; 1667-8, p. 62; Bulstrode Pprs. 40.