Sir William Wrey, 1st Baronet

Sir William Wrey, 1st Baronet (died 1636) of Trebeigh, St Ive, Cornwall and North Russell, Sourton, Devon, was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1598[2] and was created a baronet by King Charles I in 1628.[3]


He was the second son of John Wrey (d.1597) by his wife Blanch Killigrew (d.1595), heiress of Trebeigh, daughter and heiress of Henry Killigrew, Esquire, of Woolstone, in the parish of Poundstock, near St Ive, in Cornwall.[4]


William succeeded his childless elder brother John II Wrey, who had married (as her 3rd husband) Eleanor Smith, daughter and heiress of Bernard Smith (c.1522-1591), Esquire, of Totnes in Devon, MP for Totnes in 1558 and mayor of Totnes 1549-50 and c.1565-6 also was escheator of Devon and Cornwall 1567-8.


William was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1598.[5] and was knighted at Whitehall on 27 July 1603 before the Coronation of King James I. He played a leading figure in the local government of Cornwall. He served as a Deputy Lieutenant and a Commissioner of Oyer and Terminer.[6] He served in the honorary post of Recorder of Liskeard from about 1615 to his death.[7] He was created a baronet by King Charles I in 1628.[8] He was described by Carew (1602)[9] as a man of hospitality, and a general welcomer of his friends and neighbours.

Lands held

He added to his patrimony inherited from his brother, much of which formed his mother's Killigrew inheritance, and at his death he owned over 6,000 acres including four manors in Cornwall and a share in four others.

Marriage & progeny

He married (as his 2nd wife[11])Elizabeth Courtenay,[12] a daughter of Sir William V Courtenay (1553–1630) of Powderham in Devon (by his wife Elizabeth Manners, daughter of Henry Manners, 2nd Earl of Rutland (1526-1563)) by whom he had an only son and heir:

See also



  1. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.877, Wrey Baronets
  2. regnal year 41 Elizabeth, per Betham, p.301
  3. Betham, William, Baronetage of England, Vol.1, 1801, pp.320-323, Betham incorrectly gives his son as the 1st baronet
  4. Betham, p.301
  5. regnal year 41 Elizabeth, per Betham, p.301
  6. Hunneyball
  7. Hunneyball
  8. Betham incorrectly gives his son as the 1st baronet
  9. Carew, Richard (1555-1620), Survey of Cornwall, 1602
  10. The monument was moved from St Ive Church to its present position against the east wall of the north transept of St Peter's Church, Tawstock, Devon, in 1924 by Sir Philip Bourchier Sherard Wrey, 12th Baronet (1858-1936), of Tawstock Court.(Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.790)
  11. Vivian & Drake, 1874, p.268
  12. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.247, pedigree of Courtenay
  13. Stated incorrectly by Betham as daughter of "Sir Edward (sic) Chichester, Earl of Donnegall" (Arthur Chichester, 1st Earl of Donegall (1606–1674) was in fact her brother
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