WRAY, Christopher (1602-1646), of Ashby, nr. Grimsby, Lincs.
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Family and Education
bap. 14 May 1602,1 11th but 3rd surv. s. of Sir William Wray, 1st bt.* (d.1617), and his 2nd w. Frances, da. of Sir William Drury† of Hawstead, Suff.; half-bro. of Edward* and Sir John*.2 educ. travelled abroad 1616-19.3 m. 3 Aug. 1623,4 Albinia (d. Jan. 1660),5 da. and coh. of Sir Edward Cecil*, 1st Visct. Wimbledon, 6s. (2 d.v.p.) 6da. (1 d.v.p.).6 kntd. 12 Nov. 1623.7 d. 6 Feb. 1646.8
Vol. Dutch army 1622.9
J.p. Lincs. (Lindsey) 1624-d., (Kesteven) 1625-d.;10 dep. lt. Lincs. 1624-45;11 commr. sewers, Lincs. (Holland) 1626, Lincoln, Lincs. 1627, Gt. Fens 1629-d.,12 Forced Loan (Kesteven) 1626-7,13 swans, Lincs. and elsewhere, c.1629,14 repair of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Lincs. 1633,15 sequestration (Lindsey) 1643, levying money, Lincs. 1643, defence of Eastern Assoc. 1643, assessment, Lincs. 1644-d., New Model Ordinance 1645,16 oyer and terminer 1645.17
Capt. of horse (parl.) 1642-3.18
Commr. Admlty. 1645, excise 1645, to treat with Scottish army 1645.19
Wray’s father settled on him the manor of Ashby and other property in Lincolnshire.20 Ashby lay only two miles from Grimsby, for which Wray was first returned while still a minor to the 1621 Parliament. He was appointed to two committees, for the Sabbath bill (15 Feb. 1621), and another to explain the Chantries Act of 1547 (22 March).21 After the dissolution, Wray travelled to the Low Countries with his maternal uncle, Sir Edward Cecil, and fought at the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom in the summer of 1622. On his return Wray was knighted, and contracted an advantageous marriage with Cecil’s daughter.22
Re-elected at Grimsby in 1624, Wray was nominated to only one committee, for a bill introduced by the 18th earl of Oxford to reverse a decree in Chancery which had awarded some property in Bishopsgate to Magdalene College, Cambridge (9 Mar. 1624).23 Wray sat again in 1625 but left no trace on the parliamentary records. He does not appear to have stood at the election in 1626, but was returned again in 1628. His only committee was on a private bill promoted by Lord Bergavenny (Sir Henry Neville II*) (17 May 1628).24
During the Personal Rule Wray joined his half-brother Sir John in refusing to pay Ship Money and in opposing the reclamation of the Isle of Axholme under a grant from the Crown.25 He represented Grimsby in both the Short and the Long Parliaments, actively supported Parliament in the Civil War, and served for a time as a captain in the parliamentary cavalry.26 In his will, dated 4 Oct. 1645, he appointed his widow sole executrix of his estate, and made various charitable bequests; during his lifetime he had already endowed almshouses built by his mother at Ashby with a yearly rent charge of £41.27 He died on 6 Feb. 1646, and was buried at St. Giles-in-the-Fields.28 He was succeeded by his eldest son William, who represented Grimsby from 1645, and was re-elected under the Protectorate and to the Restoration Convention.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Paula Watson / Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lv), 1323.
- 2. C. Dalton, Wrays of Glentworth, i. 220.
- 3. APC, 1615-16, p. 585.
- 4. Dalton, i. 221.
- 5. Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lv), 1323.
- 6. Dalton, Wrays of Glentworth, i. 258; C. Dalton, Life and Times of Sir Edward Cecil, ii. 45.
- 7. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 183.
- 8. Dalton, Wrays of Glentworth, i. 254.
- 9. Dalton, Sir Edward Cecil, ii. 5.
- 10. C231/4, ff. 163, 187; C66/2858.
- 11. C231/4, f. 163; Lincs. AO, Yarb. 8/2/3.
- 12. C181/3, ff. 199, 228v; 181/4, ff. 30, 93v; 181/5, ff. 10, 223, 269.
- 13. Lincs. AO, 2 Anc 8/14; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 145.
- 14. C181/3, f. 268.
- 15. GL, ms 25475/1, f. 14v.
- 16. A. and O. i. 114, 232, 294, 539, 622, 641.
- 17. C181/5, f. 251v.
- 18. HMC Portland, i. 68; Dalton, Wrays of Glentworth, i. 234-48.
- 19. A. and O. i. 669, 691; CSP Dom. 1645-7, p. 264.
- 20. C142/386/87.
- 21. CJ, i. 523a, 568b.
- 22. R.C. Bald, Donne and the Drurys, 147-9, 164; Dalton, Sir Edward Cecil, ii. 5, 45.
- 23. CJ, i. 680a.
- 24. CD 1628, iii. 447.
- 25. C. Holmes, Seventeenth-Cent. Lincs. 140.
- 26. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 400.
- 27. PROB 11/195, f. 291v; Dalton, Wrays of Glentworth, i. 76.
- 28. Dalton, Wrays of Glentworth, i. 254.