SPREY, Christopher (1588-1617), of Bodmin, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

bap. 18 Dec. 1588, 1st s. of Nicholas Sprey* (d.1622) of Bodmin and Margaret, da. of Christopher Walker of Bodmin.1 educ. Exeter Coll. Oxf. 1604; M. Temple 1608.2 m. by 1614 (with £350), Joan, da. of Richard Courtney of Lanivet, Cornw., 2s. 1da. bur. 4 Sept. 1617.3

Offices Held


Sprey received a gentry-style education at Oxford and the inns of court, but failed to complete his legal studies. While still in London he acquired the small tithes of Bodmin and three other Cornish parishes. How far he was able to build a personal estate is unclear, but in 1611 he helped to purchase a wardship for a family living near Bodmin.4 Upon his marriage a few years later to the daughter of a local landowner, he stood to receive an immediate annual income of £20, and the eventual inheritance of his father’s main properties, including one of Bodmin’s manors. This settlement became the subject of a protracted legal dispute between the two families, however, and was never fully implemented.5 In 1614 Sprey was elected to Parliament for Bodmin, doubtless assisted by his father, who was then the borough’s mayor and thus its returning officer. However, nothing is known of his activities at Westminster. He died intestate in 1617, predeceasing his father, and leaving two small children; his second son was born posthumously a month later. None of his descendants are known to have entered Parliament.6

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Paul Hunneyball


WARD 9/162, f. 91v.

  • 1. J. Maclean, Trigg Minor Deanery, i. 294; Cornw. RO, FP13/1/1. NB, dates in the Bodmin par. regs. prior to 1603 are ante-dated by one year: Maclean, i. 179.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.
  • 3. Maclean, i. 294; Cornw. RO, FP13/1/1; Harl. 6243, f. 67.
  • 4. MTR, 512; C54/1953/2; WARD 9/162, f. 91v.
  • 5. Harl. 6243, ff. 67-8v; PROB 11/144, f. 245.
  • 6. Cornw. RO, FP13/1/1.