Ryves, George (1627 - 1689)

Ryves, George

Ryves, George


Father: George Ryves
Mother: Elizabeth Ryves

Birth: 18 October 1627
Birth Source: The History of Parliament

Death: 19 March 1689
Death Source: The History of Parliament

Spouse1: Mary Prowse (née Chaffin), m. 7 Sep 1670


Children of George Ryves and Mary Chaffin:
  1. Mary Ryves, d. 1672
  2. Elizabeth Ryves, d. 1672

From Reliques of the Rives:
George Ryves of Randleston, born in 1627, in which year he was baptized at Ewerne Courtney, was admitted to the Middle Temple, 12 February 1647/8 as the "second son of George Ryves of Ranston, co. Dorset, gent." (Ingpen). Hutchins shows him as High Sheriff of Dorset, 33 Charles II (1672). He very probably served as a Captain in the Royalist forces during the Great Civil War, being given that title by his widow in her will (1695). He was conspicuous for his generosity and goodness to the poor, to which the epitaph erected over his remains attests and which was evidenced in something more than words. An almshouse was endowed by him at Blandford and he provided in his will an additional endowment of £100 annually out of which 2/6 weekly was to be paid the inmates who were to be given each year as well "a Gowne or other Garment, a peece of Grey cloathe or Searge." The almshouse, bearing the coat-of-arms of the Ryves of Ranston, still stands at Blandford as a memorial to its founder.

In the will (1686) of Mary Ryves, widow of his half-brother, John Ryves, he was appointed one of her executors, being mentioned as "my brother George Rives Esqr.

Dying in 1689, he was buried at his request in the parish church of Ewerne Courtney or Shroton, 29 March 1689, where the following M. I. was erected to his memory:
Georg1us Ryves de Randleston, Armiger, Deo Pius,
Patriae Fideus, Pauperibus Benignus, Omnibus
Generosus, H1c Sepuwus Est, Martii XXIX, 1689.1

There is the further testimony of him given by his will:
P. C. C. 95 Dyke.
Dated before 6 March 1688.
Proved 19 June 1690.
Codicil dated 6 March 1688.

I, George Ryves of Ranston in the co. Dorsett Esquire resigne my soule into the hands of the Almighty God the Creator of all in assured hope of a Joyfull resurrection att the last day and my body I commit to the earth from whence it was taken to bee decently buried in the parish church of Iwerne Courtney . . . not exceeding in expence £250 from the side of my owne seate and soe along under the pulpitt but not soe neare my deare ffather as to disturb his bones who Iyeth on the left hand by the left end of the said seate and I desire there may bee three flatt stones laid one on my ffather and on myselfe and the other on my children who lye on the left hand of my father close by my wives seate with some short inscriptions. I give to the poore of the parishes of Pimperne, North Cheriton and Iwerne Courtney £5 to each parish. I give to my brother Henry Rose and to his sonnes George and Thomas and his daughter Anne Peacocke and to each of their children £20 a peece. I give to my cosens John Jones, John West, Anne Scruby, Jane Tanner, Millicent Foster, and Milicent Elderton £5 a peece ... to my nephew Thomas Haysome and to mee neeces Anne Theodosia and Elizabeth Haysome £100 ate the age of 21 or dayes of marriage. I give to my loving wife about £50 that I have in old Gold and the use of all my stocke of cattle, corne and other stocke that shall bee on my ffarme of Ranston being her Joynture during her widdowhood. ... I give her ... all my Coach harness and coach horses, the bedd and bedding where wee usually lay Two payre of sheets and pillow tyes, ffower ordinary Towells and flower Cubbard clothes, two board clothes and one dozen diaper napkins the caudle cupp and porrenger to it belonging the second best Tankard both given me by my Lord Stowell, the sugar box and two silver plates both given her by mee the day of our intermarriage, all her owne Rings and Jewells and all her owne wearing apparell whatsoever. To all my servants ... I give halfe a yeares wages. ... I give to all my male servants outside mourneing broade black cloth of tenn shillings the yard to make them coates and breeches. I give to my female servants outside mourneing of searge, to my neeces Anne Theodosia and Elizabeth Haysome (if liveing with mee) mourneing of crape, to my loveing wife ffine cloth to make her a mourneing gowne, these blacks to bee payd for out of the £250 allowed for my ffunerall expences. I give to my welbeloved friends Thomas Earle of Chaborow, Robert Seymer of Hanford and Thomas Chafin of Chettle Esqr to Robert Pitt and Nicholas Ingram of Blandford, Gentlemen, £10 apeece to buy themselves mourning and make them executors. ... I give to the Right honourable John Earle of Bristoll, to the most Reverend Robert Lord Bishopp of Gloucester and to all the Deputy Lieutenants and Justices of the Peace of the County of Dorset . . . and to all my brothers and their wives, to my cozen Bennett and his wife, to my cozen Bertley and his wife, to my Lord Stawell, Giles Eyre, to my sister Ryves of Handford, to my sister Doctor, to my executors and their wives (not before in this concerned) to my cosens Leonard and Robert Welsted, Arthur ffusell, Anne Soutch Zouch, Marggret Jones and William Jones, Anne Scruby, Jane Tanner, Millicent Elderton, Jude Ryves, Richard Ryves, Millicent Foster, to my sister Chiffinch, to George Strangeways and his wife, Bernard Min and his wife, the widdowe of John Ryves and Major John Ryves and to my friends Sir John Morton, George Pitt, Thomas Penruddock, Thomas Pyle, Samuell Pitt, Richard Swayne, William Wake, Seymer Bowman, Robert Crouch one gould ring of 20 s. with the motto prepare to follow G. R. I desire my executors to pur chase about £100 by the yeare of good lands of Inheritance as neare to Blandford as may bee in trust to bee imployed . . . for the yearely maintenance of such poore persons as shall bee elected from time to time into my Almeshouse in Blandford . . . and for the repaireing of the said Almeshouse as need shall require and my will is that every of the said Tenne poore per sons . . . shall have allowed to them weekly out of the rents and profits of the lands soe to be purchased 2 s. 6 d. by the weeke and alsoe a Gowne or other Garment, a peece of Grey cloathe or Searge every yeare against the ffeast of all saints att the discretion of the persons hereafter named to bee electors and Governors of the said house and poore people. . . . Signed in the presence of Robert Crouch, Richard Adams, James Haine, Robert Willy, the mark of John Roach.
Codicil: I doe hereby give unto my three loveing Neeces Anne Haysome Theodocia Haysome and Elizabeth Haysome £1000 which is oweing from ffancis Lutterell Esq. ... I give to my kinsfolkes Anne Foster widdowe, Margaret Jones, wife of William Jones, John West and my servant Robert Willy £5 a peece, to my Landlord Mr. Needham and his wife for the trouble and paines they have had I give £10 to bestowe in Rings or Plate out of which I desire them to bestowe 20 s. on their servants. Witnesses : Robert Glou cester, Jno Broughton, Robert Withers.

He married 7 September 1670, Mrs. Mary Prowse, daughter of Thomas Chaffin of Chettle. The date is taken from the marriage license issued by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury at London, "7 Sept. 1670, George Ryves of Ranston, co. Dorset, esq., bachr 40 (43) and Mary Prowse of St. Clement Danes, Middlesex, widow," giving authority for their marriage at St. Catherine Cole man or St. Olave's, Hart Street, London. Hutchins gives her maiden name which is confirmed by her will:
P. C. C. 107 Lott.
Dated 4 Nov. 1695.
Proved 30 April 1698.
Codicil dated 4 April 1697.

I, Mary Ryves, of Ranston, co. Dorset, widow, resign up my Soule into the hands of Almighty God my Creator and my body to the earth to be decently interred in the parish church' of Shrowtonneer my deceased husband and children in assured hopes of a Joyfull Resurrection throwe the merits of my Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ. I give unto my dear and ever loving sister Mrs. Bridget Strangeways my diamond Ring my cushions of my own working and my silk Carpet, my coach and a pair of my best coach horses with the harness to them belonging as she shall think fitt to make choice of, also my own picture and five pounds piece of gold. I give to my loving Brother in Iawe Henry Rives, Esq. my seal Ring with the Ryves Coat of Arms and my Gimell or Sinet Ring which Capt. Ryves gave me, to my two loving nieces Mrs. Elizabeth Haysome and Mrs. Anne Haysome I give my two silver plates, my sugar box, my candle cup and cover to it, my bowle and tumblers tipped with silver, my molhair bed with the Bedsted quilt and Blankets and all other things thereunto belonging, my Tableboard, stands, looking glass and set of Cane chairs which I lately bought with my own money also the bed and beding I usually lay on, my Cabinet and my China and all ray earthen ware the goods of my closet with all the furniture in the same closet my suit of diaper linen my cambric curtains and sheets my press that now stands in the passage Chamber, my Gold Bracelets, Gold Buckles, Buttons and Bodkin and all other my household goods which I bought since my husband's death also their brother Thomas Haysome's picture and my wrought petticoats and waistcoats. I give to my niece Anne Haysome my Locket in remembrance of the Queen and £10 in money. I give unto my niece Elizabeth Haysome my Gold Watch, unto my nephew Thomas Haysome £10, and the two pictures of his two sisters. I give to my sister Chaffine the late wife of my brother Thomas Chaffine Esq deceased £100. I give to my nephew Thomas Chaffine the horse my sister Strangeways gave me. I give to my loving sister Amphillis Chiffinch a gold Ring of the price of 20 s. I give to my loving niece St. Loe now wife of Mr. George St. Loe my two pieces of Gold called (I think) Spurr Nobles or Spurrgalls. I give to my nephew Skynner his uncle Prouses picture now in my Closet and to my Cousine Roger Prouse my seal Ring with the Prouses arms. To my very good friend Mr. Nicholas Ingram I give my silver Tankard and my best horse after my said sister Strangeways hath chosen her pair. I give to my Godson James Crouch £10, to my servant Robert Willy £50, to my late Boy William Hawkins and to George Syms, Nathaniel Sibley and John Roch my now Servant Boys £5 apiece, to my loving Cousin Mr. Arthur Fussel and his wife a ring of 20 s. apeice, to my own servant maid Mrs. Elizabeth Cooper £20 and all my wearing apparell of Linnen and woolen except my wrought petticoats and waistcoats before given also I give her my chest of drawers in my Chamber, my press Bedsted and the Bed in the same Bedsted. I give to my very good freind Mrs. Susanna Spicer £5 and to my late servant Dorothy Stickley £5. I give to Thomas Tapper of Shrowton 20 s. to Richard Tapper, clerke of the parish of Shrowton 20 s. to the wife of John Baldwyne the younger of Shrowton 20 s. and to John Coombes of Farrendon 20 s. The wedding ring of my husband Prouse I give unto Mr. John Gilbert, minister of Plimouth, Devon. I give the rest of my goods unto my ever loving sister Mrs. Bridget Strangeways and Mr. Nicholas Ingram equally, whom I make my executors saving that I give unto Parson Burte, minister of Iwerne Minster and to Parson Merry, Minister of Steepleton £5 a peice. Witnesses: Theo Fownes, Christopher Pitt, John Merry.
Codicil: I revoke my gift of two pieces of Gold called Spur Nobles or Spurgalls and do give them with seven other sceptre pieces to my two loving nieces Ann and Elizabeth Haysome. ... I give unto my loving kinswoman Ann Mynn £20, my loving neice Ann Haysome and Nicholas Ingram £20 in trust for my sister Ryves wife of my Brother Henry Ryves. I give to Goody Roch, Goody James, Goody Clench, Goody Gowden, my wakers 20 s. apeice, to my aunt Lutterell now of Pimperne £5 to my Cousin Tho: Chaffine of London, son of doctor Chaffine £5. Witnesses : Chr. Pitt, Edith Cupper.

She died 7 April 1697 and was buried with her husband at Ewerne Courtney where the following M. I. was erected to commemorate her:

Of this issue of George and Mary Ryves:
They were twins and were both buried shortly after their birth at Ewerne Courtney 28 August 1672 where the following epitaph was erected in their memory:

In addition to the biographical information provided in Reliques, we can add the following detail:
George Ryves qualified as a barrister and signed the loyal address upon the restoration of the monarchy in 1682. He was appointed Sheriff of Dorset in 1663 and is known to have travelled to Ireland in 1666, possibly to recover arrears due to his uncle Richard Ryves.

He married Mary Prowse (née Chafin) at the relatively mature age of 40.

In January 1679 Thomas Strangeways proposed him as court parliamentary candidate for Bridport, but he was not returned (Strangeways having proposed two different candidates).

Being active in his local area George acted as deputy lieutenant jointly with Thomas Erle. In 1683 he was commended for his 'energy' in searching the house of Edward Norton. Norton was a Whig republican lawyer and a conspirator in the Rye House Plot to assassinate Charles II and his brother (and heir to the throne) James, Duke of York. Norton subsequently fled to Holland while a number of co-conspirators were executed.

George eventually become the Member of Parliament for Wareham in 1685. Despite ill-health which was aggravated by the London 'climate' he served on some 12 committees of the James II parliament including the committee of elections and privileges. He was also a member of the committee for rebels' estates in 1686 following the putting down of the Monmouth Rebellion at the battle of Sedgemoor in 1685.

George and Thomas Erle employed two brothers of the well-known Purbeck family of Dolling as stewards. He had an estate at Hyde, near Wareham, and doubtless enjoyed Erle’s support in the borough in 1685. Although the climate of London was prejudicial to his health, he was an active Member of James II’s Parliament, in which he was appointed to twelve committees, including the committee of elections and privileges. He was among those ordered to consider bills to prevent the export of wool and to encourage woollen manufactures, and he was the first Member named to the committee on the bill for repairing Bangor cathedral. His most important committee was on the bill for the general naturalization of Huguenot refugees.

His answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws followed the standard Dorset negative, and he was removed from local office. Re-elected in 1689, he voted, according to the Ailesbury list, to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. But he was clearly a dying man, and within a week Erle was making arrangements for an imminent by-election. In a codicil to his will on 6 Mar 1689, witnessed by the nonjuring Bishop Frampton, Ryves referred gratefully to the ‘troubles and pains’ taken with him in his London lodgings. On 18 Mar 1689 he was named to a committee on preventing the export of wool, a subject that attracted his attention in the previous Parliament, but his death was reported to the House next day.

George Ryves also performed charitable works, building the Ryves Almshouses in Blandford in 1681 and establishing a charity to provide apprenticeships within the local area (specifically to the manor of Pimperne). His land went to a nephew; but the testator generously endowed the almshouses and appointed Erle and Thomas Chafin as governors. Also remembered in the will were his kinsmen, the Earl of Bristol (John Digby), Ralph Stawel, Edward Berkeley and George Strangways, and among his friends (Sir) John Morton, George Pitt, Thomas Penruddock and Seymour Bowman. The two Ryves charities continued as discrete entities until the 1970's, after which they went through a series of amalgamations until 2005 when they, along with a number of other charities in the Blandford area were amalgamated into the Blandford Forum Charities (Charity number: 230853). The almshouses were extensively renovated in 2009.

He was buried in his parish church on 29 March 1689 and in accordance with his wishes, no elaborate memorial was erected to him, but on the floor-slab covering his father’s grave his widow recorded that he was ‘dutiful to his God, faithful to his country, kind to the poor, and generous to all’. George was the last member of the family to enter Parliament.

Research notes

George's wife, Mary Chafin's family name is variously spelt with either one or two 'f's and is also varied through generations to occasionally 'Chiffinch'. Mary married George as a widow having previously been married to John Prowse.


Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p30
The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, Boydell and Brewer, 1983
Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries v. 67; xviii. 208; Dorset RO, JP389-460
Address of Nobility and Gentry of Dorset; Hutchins, v.i. p.141
Charles II State Papers (Ireland) 1660-2, p. 677
Charles II State Papers (Domestic) July-Sept. 1683, pp. 48, 130; Churchill College, Camb., Erle-Drax mss
London Gazette, 10 November 1681
Charities Commission