Ryves, Robert (c1490 ??? - 1551 DOR)


Ryves, Robert


Father: Unknown
Mother: Unknown

Birth: c1490
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives

Death: 11 Feb 1551, Dorset, England
Death Source: Reliques of the Rives

Spouse1: Joan


Children of Robert Ryves and Joan:
  1. John Ryves, b. c1514
  2. Agnes Ryves, m. John Swayne
  3. "daughter" Ryves, m. William Hunton

Robert Ryves is the progenitor of all that Ryves/Rives family covered in Reliques of the Rives.

From the Reliques of the Rives:
Robert Reve or Ryve or Ryves, of Blandford, co. Dorset, England, the first of the name in England of whom there is record, was born about 1490 and died February 11, 1551, and was buried in the old church of Blandford Forum (St. Peter and St. Paul), which was destroyed during the fire which consumed the town of Blandford in 173 1. Richard Symonds, who visited Blandford as an officer in the King's Army in 1644, entered in his diary a description of the tomb of Robert Ryves, viz:

"Betweene the pillars of the chancel and the north yle stands another playne altar tombe, whereon is this inscription inlayd in brasse, and this coate only, west end:—
"'Argent, on a bend cotised sable three lozenges ermine, Ryves'.
"This coat (of arms) is also in the north window."¹

Robert Ryves purchased Randleston or Ranston in 36 Henry VIII (1545) and Damory Court at Blandford in 1548 and was the proprietor of other considerable estates. In a petition made by sir John Ryves in 1618 it was stated that "King Henry VIII in the 37th year of his reign (1546) granted the premises (of the manor of Milton, co. Dorset) unto Robert Ryves great grandfather unto your suppliant by letters patent" (Chancery Proc, Series II, 29/30). In a similar action in chancery brought in 1626 by George Ryves, Esquire, of Blandford Forum, it was set forth that "Henry VIII by his letters patent dated July 4th in the 37th year of his reign (1546) granted a messuage called Luscombe (Lyssecomb), co. Dorset, to Robert Ryves, great-great-grand father" of the petitioner (Chancery Proc, Series II, 29/30). Besides lands in Dorsetshire, he held at his death lands in North Cheriton and Pointington, co. Somerset (Hutchins).

Robert Ryves married Joan. The will of Joan Ryves, called Reves in her will and Ryves in the inquisition post mortem, was dated 4 December 1560 but is no longer of record. She held at her death on 12 December 1560 divers lands at East Orchard, co. Dorset (Hutchins).

Robert Ryves made his will (in which he was described as "Robert Reve"), dated 20 October 1549, of which there is now no record.

Reliques also suggests this John Ryves may have been a brother of Robert.

In addition to the information provided by Childs in Reliques, we have the following detail:

Robert appears to have been a resident of Blandford as early as 1522 when a 'Robert Reve of Blandford Dorset' contributed, amongst varying amounts from many others, £100 (c.£55,000 in today's money) 'for the King's personal (expenses in?) France for the recovery of the (crown?) of the same'. This may have been Henry VIII attempting to recover some of the astronomical costs of the 'Field of the Cloth of Gold' of two years' earlier. What is beyond doubt is that Robert was living at Ranston, probably as a tenant, as early as 1542 when he is listed as being there in the musters (an inventory of weaponry distributed amongst the English population) of that year. These musters were made because of a perceived threat of a French invasion, Robert Ryves (described as Rob Ryve of Randleston) possessed: 2 pairs of harness 'for man bill', a bow and sheath of arrows, 2 swords, 2 daggers and a horse.

Two significant factors benefited Robert in his acquisition of land: the dissolution of the monasteries between 1536 and 1541 and the financial difficulties being suffered by Sir John Rogers, Steward of Blandford, who had been forced into a position where he needed to mortgage or divest himself of his properties. The majority of the properties Robert held at the time of his death came to him via Sir John Rogers. In addition to the lands and properties mentioned above, property he held included tenure of the lands of Mylton (Milton) Monastery (as well as the manor above) & further lands in the parish of St. Mary de Blandford and Blandford Forum, including those of Shene priory which had been granted to him by patent in March 1553. He also held lands at Nutford Lockley (alias France), Charleton in Dorset and Netley monastery in Hampshire. It should be noted that the monastic land he held encompassed the land only and not the buildings.

Research Notes

(1)   As we can see in Robert's will he was very religious. In his friends will Robert Oliver of London he is very religious and mentions he wants to distribute shillings to parishioners including Robert Ryves. He also mentions he wants Robert Ryves to appoint preachers. A possible relative is Thomas Reve of London, gent based on a common close association with the Barbet/Aden family. The Ryves (Reve) family was closely involved with the Aden (Adyn) family aliases Barbet/Barbett/Barbette and Barbour. The Reves' and Barbours' can be found in the same records in the 15th century. For more information on this theory, see the references here.

(2)   There is much speculation elsewhere online that Robert was born in France. Very little credence is given to the possibility of him having been born in Dorset. The OS One Inch Map series from as recently as 1885-1900 (accessible from https:/maps.nls.ukthe National Library of Scotland shows "France Farm" on the road to the north west out of Blandford Forum towards Durweston and close to Damery Court, which should not be discounted.


Henry VIII: September 1522, 1-5 Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 3, 1519-1523
Henry VIII - Letters & Papers, Foreign and Domestic 1533 (vol. 6) and 1544 (vol. 19).
Musters of Henry VIII (1542)
Henry VIII: September 1543, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Volume 18 Part 2, August-December 1543.
The Ancient and Present State of the University of Oxford, John Ayliffe, 1723
Survey of the Anitiquities of the City of Oxford, Composed in 1661-6, Vol. 1, Anthony à Wood, Andrew Clark, 1889
Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p1
¹ Childs refers much to Hutchins History of Dorset