VYVYAN, Sir Vyell, 2nd Bt. (1639-97), 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



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

bap. 20 May 1639, 1st s. of Sir Richard Vyvyan, 1st Bt. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1657. m. (1) 30 June 1671, Thomasine, da. and h. of James Robyns of Penryn, s.p.; (2) 24 Feb. 1684, Jane, da. of Thomas Melhuish, merchant, of Penryn, wid. of Michael Coode of Breage, Cornw., 1s. d.v.p. suc. fa. 3 Oct. 1665.

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1663-80, 1689-90 j.p. by 1666-July 1688, Oct. 1688-d.; dep. lt. 1670-June 1688, sheriff 1682-3.

Gov. St. Mawes 1665-78.1


On his father’s death, Vyvyan became governor of St. Mawes Castle, and stood at the ensuing by-election for the borough on 19 Dec. 1665. He was involved in a double return with Joseph Tredenham, but never took his seat. Hals, the county historian and a contemporary, wrote that in 1678 Vyvyan was ‘so far imposed upon’ as to sell the castle to the Earl of Bath for £500 whereupon it was immediately transferred to his rival Tredenham. Returned for Helston, seven miles from his home, at the general election of 1679, probably on the Godolphin interest, he was classed as ‘doubtful’ by Shaftesbury, but voted against the exclusion bill. An inactive Member of the first Exclusion Parliament, he was appointed to the committees for reforming the hearth-tax, for inquiring into the shipping of artillery, and for regulating the abuses in the excise. Re-elected in the autumn, he was named to no committees in the second Exclusion Parliament, and gave way to Charles Godolphin in 1681. He is not known to have stood again, but presumably opposed James II’s religious policy, since he lost county office in the summer of 1688, and was quick to follow Bath in going over to William of Orange. He died on 24 Feb. 1697 and was buried at Mawgan in Meneage. His nephew, the third baronet, sat for the county as a Tory under Queen Anne.2

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. CSP Dom. 1664-5, p. 388; 1667-8, p. 53; 1678, p. 276.
  • 2. Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. ii. 83, 304; Ellis Corresp. ii. 305; PCC 84 Pyne.