VYVYAN, Sir Richard (c.1613-65), of Trelowarren, Mawgan in Meneage, Cornw.

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



Apr. 1640
Nov. 1640 - 22 Jan. 1644
17 Mar. 1663 - 3 Oct. 1665

Family and Education

b. c.1613, 1st s. of Sir Francis Vyvyan of Trelowarren by 2nd w. Loveday, da. of John Connock of Treworgey, St. Cleer; educ. Exeter, Oxf. matric. 20 June 1631, aged 18; M. Temple 1631. m. lic. 24 Sept. 1636, Mary. da. of James Bulteel, merchant, of Barnstaple, Devon, 2s. 6da. suc. fa. 1635; kntd. 1 Mar. 1636; cr. Bt. 12 Feb. 1645.1

Offices Held

Commr. for piracy, Cornw. 1637, j.p. by 1640-6, June 1660-d.; freeman, Exeter 1643; commr. for oyer and terminer, Western circuit July 1660; dep. lt. Cornw. 1661-d.2

Col. of horse (royalist) 1642-6; gov. St. Mawes 1644-6, June 1660-d.3

Master of the mint (royalist) 1642-6; asst. Soc. of Mines Royal 1656-d.; member Soc. of Mineral and Battery Works 1663-d.4


Vyvyan’s family was established in Cornwall by the 13th century and first represented Helston in 1421. Vyvyan inherited a considerable estate, including St. Mawes Castle and ex-monastic property; and when he had cleared off his father’s debts and legacies, his income may have reached £1,200 p.a. Of a scholarly disposition he was more interested in theology and the arts than in politics; nevertheless he raised a regiment on the outbreak of the Civil War, and agreed to act as master of the Mint in the West for Charles I. Disabled in 1644, he sat in the Oxford Parliament, and compounded on the Exeter articles on a fine of £600. He was treated with unusual severity by the county committee, however, who proceeded to sequestrate his estate and seize his stock and other goods, and he did not obtain a discharge until 1651. Altogether, he computed that he had lost £9,982 in the King’s service.5

At the Restoration, which he commemorated by erecting two granite pillars in Trelowarren Park bearing his initials, Vyvyan was rewarded with the governorship of St. Mawes, carrying the rank of captain in the army and a salary of £182 p.a. In November 1660 he petitioned unsuccessfully for a lease of Dartmouth and Plymouth harbours, the tithes of Bradninch, and repayment of £1,500 spent on fortifying Dennis Head for Charles I. But the garrison of St. Mawes was strengthened, and he was given £239 to repair the castle. He stood for the borough at the general election of 1661, and was involved in a double return with (Sir) William Tredenham. An order of the House of 3 May 1662 for hearing his petition on the merits of the election produced no result; but Tredenham died nine days later, and Vyvyan was returned at a by-election in the following year. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was appointed to only eleven committees, including in the 1663 session those to prevent meetings of sectaries, to consider the additional bill for the relief of loyal and indigent officers, and to recover arrears of the excise. He was added to the committee of elections and privileges on 7 Feb. 1665, and later in the month acted as teller against a proviso to the bill enabling the Government to pay over the legal rate of interest. He died on 3 Oct., leaving portions of £1,000 each to his five surviving daughters, and was buried at Mawgan in Meneage.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 750-1; PCC 104 Audley.
  • 2. C18l/5/l65; Exeter Freemen, 143.
  • 3. M. Coate, Cornw. in Gt. Civil War, 36, W. H. Black, Docquets of Letters Patent, 147, CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 584.
  • 4. Coate, 108-10; BL, Loan 16.
  • 5. Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. ii. 304; iii. 277, 281; Keeler, Long Parl. 374, Coate, 227-8, 230-3, 368; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1190.
  • 6. Gilbert, ii. 304; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 35, 653; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 399; 1661-2, p. 584; 1663-4, p. 645; CJ, viii. 251, 418, 607; PCC 170 Mico.