Bullen Reymes

Bullen Reymes (28 December 1613 – 18 December 1672) was an English courtier, diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1672. He fought in the Royalist army in the English Civil War.


Reymes was the eldest son of Bullen Reymes of Westminster and his wife Mary Petre, daughter of William Petre of Torbryan, Devon. He was educated privately and at Merton College, Oxford ( BA 1670) and the Middle Temple.[1]

He travelled abroad, where he was attaché at the Paris embassy from 1631 to 1632 and based in Venice (where he played the lute and 'red in Shakespeares playes') from 1634 to 1635 and 1636 to 1637. He also visited Sicily, met Artemisia Gentileschi in Naples and travelled as far as Athens, where he saw 'the beautiful ruins' before the disastrous 1687 explosion in the Parthenon.[2] He was a captain of foot in 1640 and a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber from 1641 to 1646.

Civil war

He supported the King in the Civil War, and was colonel of horse in the Royalist army from 1643 to 1646. He was active in defending Exeter and was made a freeman in 1645. The city surrendered in 1646 and he laid down his arms. He was treated leniently by the committee for compounding for Dorset and paid no more than £100. In 1650, he was imprisoned in Taunton Castle and after the Battle of Worcester helped some Royalists to escape abroad. He succeeded to the heavily mortgaged estates of his father in 1652.[3]

Later career

In June 1660, Reymes was elected Member of Parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in a by-election to the Convention Parliament. He resumed his position as gentleman of the privy chamber in the same month. He was servant to the Duke of Gloucester until September 1660, and was commissioner for assessment for Dorset from August 1660 to 1669. In 1661 he was re-elected MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in the Cavalier Parliament, and proved to be a very active member. In the same year he became freeman of Weymouth and Vice Admiral of Dorset until his death. He was commissioner for loyal and indigent officers for Dorset in 1662, and commissioner for assessment for Westminster from 1663 to 1669. At this time he was involved in a feud with the Strangways family over various matters. He was commissioner for sick and wounded in Hampshire and Dorset 1664 to 1667 and was appointed commissioner for Tangier from 1664 until his death. He became a freeman of Portsmouth in 1665 and was deputy treasurer of prizes at Portsmouth from 1665 to 1667.

He had become a merchant of sailcloth, and was supplying sailcloth to the navy at the time of the second Dutch war when he had several minor administrative posts. In 1668 he became surveyor of the Great Wardrobe and achieved great savings after the mismanagement of the previous post holder. He was commissioner for sick and wounded for Hampshire and Dorset again from 1671 until his death.[3] he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1667.[1]

Reymes died at the age of 68.[3]


Reymes married Elizabeth Gerard, daughter of Thomas Gerard of Trent, Somerset in 1640 and had three sons and two daughters.[3]


  1. "Fellow details". Royal Society. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  2. Helen Andrews Kaufman, Conscientious Cavalier: Colonel Bullen Reymes, M.P., F.R.S. 1613-1672, London 1962, and Edward Chaney, The Evolution of the Grand Tour: Anglo-Italian Cultural Relations since the Renaissance, 2nd ed. London, 2000
  3. History of Parliament Online - Reymes, Bullen
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Edward Montagu
Sir WIlliam Penn
Peter Middleton
Henry Waltham
Member of Parliament for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis
With: Henry Waltham 1660–1661
Peter Middleton 1660–1661
Sir WIlliam Penn 1660–1670
Sir John Strangways 1661–1666
Winston Churchill 1661–1672
Sir John Coventry 1667–1672
Lord Ashley 1670–1672
Succeeded by
John Man
Lord Ashley
Winston Churchill
Sir John Coventry
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