Sir Richard REYNELL

Born: ABT 1558

Died: 1634

Buried: 25 Jan 1634, Wolborough

Father: Richard REYNELL

Mother: Agnes SOUTHCOTE

Married: Lucy BRANDON


1. Jane REYNELL (m. Sir William Waller)

Portraits of Sir Richard, and his lady, hang in the wall of West Ogwell House

Third son of Richard Reynell (b. 1519 d. 1585) of East Ogwell by his wife, Agnes Southcote, daughter of John Southcote, Esq. of Indiho, in the parish of Bovey Tracey, Devon.. In 1593 he was probably Member of Parliament for the Cornish rotten borough of Mitchell together with Walter Raleigh. In the same year he was a clerk in the office of the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer and rose to the rank of senior sworn clerk, known as the "secondary".

He married Lucy, daughter of goldsmith and City of London official Robert Brandon, in 1600 and around the same time bought Forde House in the parish of Wolborough, at Newton Abbot and immediately set about enlarging it. Lucy was the subject of a book "The Life and Death of the Religious and Virtuous Lady, the Lady Lucie Reynell of Ford" by her nephew Edward Reynell (published in 1654) which recorded that Richard Reynell had amassed a scholarly library, befitting a man notable for "depth of learning and tongues". The book also recorded his wife's strict manners, but also her charitable works, including her almshouses of 1640, the successors to which still exist in Newton Abbot. The sister of Lucy, Alice Brandon, had married the painter Nicholas Hilliard.

Richard followed his two older brothers, Thomas and Josias into the Middle Temple and in 1617 he was a barrister and Autumn Reader there. On 25 Jul 1622 he was knighted at Theobalds House. In the same year his only child, Jane, married Sir William Waller.

Forde House was visited by King Charles I in 1625 both on his way to and on his return from viewing the fleet at Plymouth. According to John Prince's The Worthies of Devon:

"Unto this house, King Charles I, of gracious memory, came, attended on by the Duke of Buckingham, and other great lords, September, 15th 1625, and was pleased to take up his lodging there. The next day his majesty conferred the honour of knighthood in the dining room of that house, on Richard Reynell, of West Ogwell, and on Thomas Reynell, his brother, who at the time, was his majesty's servant, and sewer in ordinary, to his person, in presence of their wives and divers lords and ladies saying to them, "God give you joy!"

Sir Richard died in 1634 and was buried on 25 Jan at Wolborough. He was survived by his wife who lived until 1652. His lands were inherited by Margaret (b. 1633), the only surviving child of Jane, who married Sir William Courtenay, 5th Earl of Devon, 1st Baronet (b. 1628 d. 1702) and had 19 children.

His arms are on one of the windows of Middle Temple Hall.

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