COURTENAY, Richard (c.1655-96), of Colyton, Devon and Fetcham, Surr.

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



Family and Education

b. c.1655, 4th s. of Sir William Courtenay, and bro. of Francis Courtenay and George Courtenay. m. (1) aft. 26 Mar. 1676, (with £2,000) Jane, da. of Sir Thomas Southwell, 1st Bt., of Castle Mattress, co. Limerick [I], 1s.; (2) Catharine, da. of Sir William Waller II of Strutton Ground, Westminster, 2da.1

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. (Dutch army) May 1688-9, 2 Marine Regt. 1690-d.

Gent. of privy chamber 1689-d.2

Commr. for assessment, Devon 1689-90.


On his marriage to the sister of Sir Robert Southwell Courtenay was described as ‘a regular, sober and very hopeful man’ and endowed by his father with lands worth £1,000 p.a. He remarried after her death in 1681, and probably accompanied his second wife’s father into exile in Holland, where he was commissioned in the regiment of Philip Babington. Returned unopposed for Honiton in 1689 on his father’s interest, Courtenay leaves no certain trace on the records of the Convention, though he was presumably a Whig. He may have been too busy job-hunting to attend often. He fancied himself as collector under the Navigation Act or alternatively surveyor-general of customs, but he was not above applying for a grant of post-groats at a rent of £10 p.a. ‘in consideration of his steadfastness to Protestantism’. The King was ‘graciously disposed’, but Courtenay ended his parliamentary career as he began, a captain of foot. He was drowned with his only son on active service in the Mediterranean in January 1696.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 248; PCC 198 Bond.
  • 2. Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 202.
  • 3. HMC Egmont, ii. 40-41; Cal. Treas. Bks.ix. 106, 146; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 190; 1696, pp. 33, 79.