PYE, Richard I (aft.1660-1703), of Martin Abbey, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. aft. 1660, 3rd but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Robert Pye† of Faringdon, Berks. by Anne, da. of John Hampden† of Great Hampden, Bucks., sis. of Richard Hampden I*. educ. I. Temple 1684. m. 28 Feb. 1688, Barbara, da. and h. of Hugh Alington of Stenigot, Lincs. 1s. 1da.1
Capt. Ld. Mordaunt’s Ft. 1688–98, 1703; capt. marine regt. 1699, 1702–d.; riding purveyor to stables 1689–1702.2
Freeman, Wallingford 1698.3
Pye’s father was a noted Presbyterian Royalist who supported the Restoration and sat in the Convention for Berkshire. In 1688 Sir Robert rallied to William of Orange at Hungerford and stood unsuccessfully for the county in the 1690 election. However, his firm support for the Revolution aided his youngest son in obtaining a commission in Viscount Mordaunt’s regiment of foot and, soon afterwards, an office in the royal household.
In 1698 Pye entered Parliament for Wallingford, presumably on his family’s interest, and was listed as a placeman on a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments. Not surprisingly, given his army career, on 18 Jan. 1699 he was listed as voting against the third reading of the disbanding bill. The ministerial defeat over the army was particularly poignant in his case as it resulted in his regiment, now under the colonelcy of Hon. Harry Mordaunt*, first being transferred to the marine establishment and then disbanded altogether. A firm Whig, he acted as a teller in three disputed elections during this Parliament, on each occasion supporting the Whig candidates: on 1 Mar. 1699 he supported Hon. Thomas Newport* for Ludlow; on 17 Mar. he supported the interpretation of the franchise at Tamworth which favoured John Chetwynd*; and on 18 Dec. he told in favour of Foot Onslow’s* return for Guildford. His other tellerships included support for a bill on 25 Mar. 1699 enjoining women to wear domestically produced felt hats; on 27 Mar. in favour of a local turnpike bill; on 26 Feb. 1700 in favour of making the Dolphin of Poole a free ship; and, most importantly, against a place clause in the land tax and Irish forfeiture resumption bill on 18 Mar. 1700. On a list of the Commons analysing interests, Pye’s name was marked with a query.
Pye retired from Parliament in 1700, losing his Household post on King William’s death and resuming his military career under the aegis of the Mordaunt family in 1702. The exact date of his death has not been ascertained, but he made his will on 1 June 1703 and his commission was superseded on 10 June 1703, the same month in which his will was proved. He requested that his estate in Westminster be sold to pay his debts and that his Lincolnshire estate, ‘that was got by decree in Chancery’, be sold for the same purpose if necessary. The remainder of his lands were to be divided between his two children.4