|Bishop of Ely|
|Church||Church of England|
|Diocese||Diocese of Ely|
|Other post(s)||Bishop of Hereford (1634–35)|
Bishop of Norwich (1635–38)
|Born||3 December 1585|
Parish of St Peter, Westcheap, London
|Died||24 April 1667 (aged 81)|
Ely House, Holborn, London
|Buried||Pembroke College, Cambridge|
|Education||Merchant Taylors' School|
|Alma mater||Pembroke College, Cambridge|
Matthew Wren (3 December 1585 – 24 April 1667) was an influential English clergyman, bishop and scholar.
He was the eldest son of Francis Wren, citizen and mercer of London, only son of Cuthbert Wren, of Monk's-Kirby, in the county of Warwick, second son of William Wren, of Sherborne-House and of Billy-Hall in the bishopric of Durham. He was descended from an ancient family which came originally from Denmark.
He was the brother of Christopher Wren, and the uncle of Sir Christopher Wren.
He attended Merchant Taylors' School and proceeded in 1601 to Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was a protégé of Lancelot Andrewes. He became a Fellow in 1605 and later President. He was Master of Peterhouse from 1625 to 1634. From this point, his rise was rapid. He accompanied Charles I to Holyrood Palace for his Scottish coronation in 1633, and was appointed chaplain and Clerk of the Closet. He became Bishop of Hereford in 1634, Norwich in 1635, and Ely in 1638.
However, his strong support of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, and his toughness on Puritans, led to his being imprisoned in the Tower of London by the Parliamentarian faction from 1642 to 1660. Unlike Laud, he survived, and was allowed the freedom to write notes on improvements to the Book of Common Prayer, on which he later had some influence. He was deprived of his See by Parliament on 9 October 1646, as episcopacy was abolished for the duration of the Commonwealth and the Protectorate. Upon the Restoration, he was released on 15 March 1660.
While in the Tower, he vowed to devote a sum of money to "some holy and pious employment" should he be released. To fulfill this vow, he chose to pay for a new Chapel for Pembroke College, and had it built by his nephew Christopher Wren — one of his first buildings, consecrated in 1665. Matthew Wren also led the movement to rebuild St Paul's Cathedral after it had been damaged by the Puritans, and again his nephew accomplished the task.
He married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Cutler of Ipswich.
He died at Ely House, Holborn, on 24 April 1667, and was buried in the chapel he had built at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge.
Wren was well acquainted with the Dutch Arminian literature. He was himself firmly attached to the Arminian views.
In the name of God Amen I Anne Ball of Hampton Court in the County of Midd[lese]x Widdow being in health and perfect memory for which I give hearty thanks to Almighty God yet calling to the certainty of death but being uncertainty of the time when I shall dye doe make this my last Will and Testament first I give my Soul to God that gave it me trusting to be saved by the only meritts and Satisfaction of Jesus Christ my Saviour who dyed for my Sins not only for mine but for the Sins of the whole world next I give body to the grave to be interred in the grave wherein my dear husband lyes buried in the church of S.t Dunstans in the East and my funerall to be performed very privately and for the goods which God hath given me I will and bequeath them as followeth I will and bequeath to my daughter Ann Ball fifteen [not certain if there is another word in between here] hundred pounds of three thousand pounds which is upon the Estate of S.r Phillip Sydenham for which I have a deed of trust from S.r John Baber and alsoe the three hundred pounds I have in S.t Pauls and alsoe ^[inserted in the margin]^all the interest that shall be due at the day of death from S.r Phillip Sydenham I doe alsoe give her all my books all my china^[inserted in the margin]^my box of Counters my dressing box my Cabinett and all in them a table and glass answerable to the Cabinett a great trunk marked I B A 1675 with all in it the feather bed bolster pillows blankett that belong to my Chamber the bed and bolster in her own Chamber and a little down bed in a blew cover Item my Son ^[inserted in the margin]^John Ball hath a deed Already under my hand for the other moiety of the three Thousand pounds I doe also give him all my goods that are in his house but what I have given to my daughter and doe will that all the ffunerall charges shall be paid out of the three thousand pounds lastly I doe nominate and appoint my daughter Anne Ball Sole Executrix of this my last will and Testament in witness whereof I doe sett my my hand and seal this fifteenth day of december in the fourth year of our Soveraigne Lady Anne [15 December 1705] by the grace of God of England Scotland ffrance and Ireland Queen defender of the ffaith annoqe domini One Thousand seven hundred ffive = Anne Ball Signed Sealed and declared to be my will and Testament the day and year above written in the presence of = Robert Hargraves ffrancis ffinch Ellin Tomlinson Probatum [...] Anna Ball [...]
In the name of God Amen I John Ball in the parish of S.t Paul's Covent Garden Esq.r being well in health and perfect memory for the which I give humble thanks to Almighty God yet calling to mind the certeinty of Death although the time when I shall dye is uncertaine Doe make this my last will and testam.t ffirst I give my Soule to God that gave it trusting to bee saved only by the death and satisfaccon of Jesus Christ who dyed not only for my sins but alsoe for the sins of the whole world next I give my Body to the grave to bee interrd in the Church of S.t Dunstan in the East in the grave where my ffather and mother lye buried and this to bee performed in the evening according to the discretion of my Executrix hereafter named And for the worldly Goods that God hath given mee I bequeath them as followeth ffirst I give devise and bequeath unto my deare wife M.re Anne Ball the summe of Three Thousand Three hundred pounds of lawfull mony of England with my Coach and horses as alsoe the Lease of my house in Kingstreete Covent Garden which I hold from the Right hono.ble the Earle of Bedford As also all my plate Jewells householdstuffe by what name or title soever soe called both in the house at Covent Garden as alsoe in my house at Windsor Item whereas there is granted by his sacred Ma[jes].tie under the greate seale of England to M.r John Snisey[?] Citizen and Goldsmith of London the sume of Eighty Two pounds eight shillings out of the ^Lords of the Realm^ originall devise settled upon the Crowne by Act of Parliament and wolles[?] in his Ma[jes].ties Court of Exchequer for a Debt one to the said Snisey from his Ma[jes].tie Eighty two pounds eight shillings a yeare is to bee paid quarterly by the summe of Twenty pounds Twelve shillings each quarter out of his Ma[jes].ties Excheqe I doe will and bequeath the said summe of Eighty two pounds eight shillings to be paid quarterly as aforesaid and whatsoever shall be recon thereof unto my Daughter Anne Ball Alsoe I give and bequeath to my said Daughter Anne Ball one order of the Ma[jes].ties Exchequer of three hundred seaventy six pounds payable to mee upon the Customes of London withall the interest and profitts arising thereupon which originall order was granted by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury to S.r Martin Witcombe[?] and by means Assignem.t is come to me which gifts and bequests shall take effect and bee Assigned to her by her mother at her age of one and twenty yeares or day of marriage which shall first happen And in case the said Anne shall die before shee attaineth her age of One and twenty years or her marriage then my will and meaning is And I doe hereby give and bequeath all and any the abovesaid Legacies unto my sonne John Ball Item I give and bequeath unto my sonne John Ball all my lands tenements and hereditaments which I bought of Collonell Robert Phillips which doe lye in the Isle of Ely in the County of Cambridge or [...] where being [...] marshland together with all the rest of my estate whatsoever the provision and bequest to my wife and the legacies to my daughter being first paid And my will and meaning is and tie the true intent of this my last will and Testament that in case it shall happen that my sonne John Ball shall depart this naturall life before hee attains his age of one and twenty years that then whatsoever legacies or Legacies I have given or bequeathed unto this the said John Ball my sonne shall come and bee and [...] bequeathed unto my Daughter Anne Ball his sister if shee shall survive him And if it shall please Almighty God that both my s.d John & Daughter Anne Ball shall die before they attaine their [...] all and respective ages of one and Twenty years Then I doe [...] give & bequeath the very legacies to [...] of them given and all other my estate aswell reall as personall unto my Deare and beloved wife M.rs Anne Ball to bee disposed of at her will [...] of my deare and welbeloved wife Anne Ball And lastly I doe hereby nominate and appoint my said deare wife sole Executrix of this my last will and testam.t.
Anne Ball of London, widow, 13 March 1653, proved 9 October 1654. My body to be buried in the parish church of St. Dunstans in the East, in London, near to the body of my late husband.
BURNELL, William - Great Stanmore, Mdx, gent, leatherseller of London (f45) land in Hendon, Mdx; sosn Thos, Jn & Henry; sis Kath Morley & Anne Ball; wife Eliz exec; overs bro Thos B; wtns Wlm Robinson, Thos Hill & Florans Wild
Richard Ball, 1617. Also, his wife, 1654; with divers of his children and grandchildren
On an altar-tomb: Here lies interred the body of Mrs. Alice Ball, who departed this life 17 Nov. 1724, aged 52 years. Near lies interred the body of John Ball, Esq. husband of the said Alice, who departed this life the 5th day of January 1732. Arms: A chevron inter three fleurs de lis, on a chief three lozenges.
«On the south wall are the monuments of Sarah, wife of John Witt, 1719; Edward Ball, 1702; Mrs. Frances Ball75 (daughter of Edward Watts of Hertfordshire), 1704; 75 Arms—A. lion rampant S. on an escutcheon of pretence, A. two bars Az. in chief three pellets.—Watts» – Notes to the quote: Edward was the infant son of Frances, the son of John Ball and Frances Ball (née Watts), baptised 19 July 1702 at the same church, St. Mary, Hampton, Richmond upon Thames, Middlesex, England
«Parish Church of St. Mary stands on the N. side of Thames Street and was entirely re-built in 1829–31, but retains from the older building the following:—Fittings—Brasses and Indent. Brasses: In Chancel —[...]; on W. wall, (9) to Frances (Watts), wife of (Edward?) Ball, 1704, and to Edward Ball, 1702, veined marble wall-monument, signed T. Hill, with Corinthian side-pilasters supporting an entablature, broken scrolled pediment with cherubs, two cartouches-of-arms.» – Notes to the quote: Edward was the infant son of Frances, the son of John Ball and Frances Ball (née Watts), baptised 19 July 1702 at the same church, St. Mary, Hampton, Richmond upon Thames, Middlesex, England
Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Will of Edward Watts written 12 April 1687 in Tewin, Hertfordshire, probated Jan. 1688. In his will Edward mentions his daughters Anna Maria, Frances and Dorothy, Mrs. Frances Briggs, good brother Sir Wm Wren Knight, good brother Mr. George Watts, sister Mrs. Elizabeth Watts, sisters Mrs. Mary Ball, Mrs. Mary ?brenne, Mrs. Dorothy ?bren, sister Mrs. Dorothy Watts, Mr. Thomas Watts son of brother Mr. George Watts, brother Mr. William ?bronn and George Watts executors, Witnesses John Hall, Dorothy Laraner, William Kirby
1712 1 Aug [Regnal_Year] 11 Anna Maria Watts of Hmapton Court, Middx, spinster, eldest daughter and one of the coheirs of Edward Batts of Tewin, Herts, esq; Thmas Dunster of Hertford, Herts, esq, & Dorothy his wife, one other of the daughters and coheirs of said ____ Watts v. John Ball, sr, esq; John Ball, jr; George Ball; and Francis Ball, sons of said John Ball; George Monson; Giles Dunster; Joseph Cramner; Walter Wellinger, esqs; and George Watts gent C78/1790, no. 2 
I John Ball of Sedgefeild being weak in body but of perfect memory praised be Almighty God for the same calling to mind the uncertaine state of this transitory life and I being desireous to settle things in sound order before I dye and be called home do make and ordaine this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following ffirst and principally I commend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God by whose mercy and the merits of my Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ I hope for pardon and remission of all my Sinns and Everlasting life thro' faith in his blood and by body in hopes of a Joyfull Resurrection I committ to the Earth from whence it came to be buryed according to discretion left under my hand and as to my Estate real and personall wherewith it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me I dispose thereof in manner following ffirst I will that my debts legacies and ffunerall charges be paid and discharged by my Trustee hereinafter mentioned Item I give and bequeath unto my sonn John Ball the sume of Thirty pounds in order to pay some of his debts and I will that my Trustee herein after named pay and discharge his said debts so farr as the said Thirty pounds will extend and in case my said Son John Ball be nott Thirty pounds in debt I will that my said Trustee pay the remainder unto my said Son John Ball after his just debts be all paid and discharged Item and whereas there is now oweing to me by Robert Wright Esq.r upon a Mortgage of the Rectory of Norton and certain lands and Tenements in the Bishoprich of Durham one Thousand one hundred and ffifty pounds which saide sume doctor Hulse is now treating with me to pay the same which when paid into the hands of my Trustee I give and bequeath unto my son George Ball the sume of ffive hundred pounds part of the aforesaid sume to be putt out to interest by my said Trustee for his use during his naturall life and after his decease to be equally divi[?] divided by my Trustee amongst his Children Butt in case he dye without issue then to his nextheirs att law Item I give and bequeath unto my son ffrancis Ball the sume of ffive hundred pounds part of the aforesaid money which when received by my Trustee he my Trustee shall putt out the said ffive hundred pounds to interest for the use of my said son ffrancis Ball dureing his naturall life and after his demise to be equally divided amongst his Children Butt in Case he dye without issue then to his nextheirs attlaw all the rest of my personall Estate after my debts legacies and ffunerall expences be discharged I will that the same be equally divided by my Trustee amongst my sons John George and ffrancis Ball Item I give and bequeath unto my Grandson George Ball his heires and assignes forever all those lands with the appurtenances thereunto belonging which I purchased of M.es Anna Maria Watts Martin and Alice Lewiz his wife situate and being in Hertfordshire And alsoe all my rents issueing out of or charged upon Severall Messuages and Tenements in South [...] and the revertion of the remainder of the rents at her the demise of Mes Margarett Willimot to be putt out for his use by my said Trustee till he attaine to the age of Twenty one yeares but in case he dyed without issue or before he attaines to the age of Twenty one yeares then I give and bequeath the said lands tenements and rents as aforesaid unto my Grandaughter Anna Maria Ball and in case she dyed without issue or before she attains to the age of Twenty one yearse then I give and bequeath the same unto my son George Ball his heires and assignes forever Item I give and bequeath unto my Sister in law M.es Elizabeth Rugge the Cedar Chest in her lodgings with Glass Doors the Pendulum Clock and tenn pounds in money in contideration for her care and trouble in receiving and paying my rents I give and bequeath to unto the Reverend John Gamage Rector of Sedgefeild ffoure brass Locks and one brass latch Item I give and bequeath unto Charles Monson Esq.r of Grays Inn County Court London the sume of ffourty pounds for his care and pains desireing him according to the Trust reposed hereby in him fully to execute this my Will in every particuler thereof and I do hereby appoint him the said Monson Sole Trustee of this my last Will and Testament being contained in one sheete of paper hereby revokeing all former wills by me heretofore [...] contained in the presence of [...] [The following is written in the margins of the will. Later addendum?] On the twelfth day of August in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy four Administration [...] with the Will annexed of the Goods Chattels and Credits of John Ball late of the Parish of Sedgefield in the County of Durham Esquire deceased left unadministered by Charles Monson Esquire since also departed whilst living the sole Executor in Trust named in the said Will [...] Title and Interest of him the said deceased in and to all that the Rectory and Church of Norton in the County [...] of Durham [...] with the Rights [...] and Appurtenances the and all that Portion of Tythe [...] with all Manner of other Tythes and Profits whatsoever late belonging to Robert[?] Wright Esquire deceased situate [...] within the said Parish of Norton and all other the Messuages Lands [...] Tenements[?] Tythes and Hereditaments whatsoever late belonging sier[?] to the said Robert Wright deceased or whereof or wherein he had any Estate in Possession Reversion Remainder or Expectancy situate in the said Parish of [...] the twenty eight [...] in the year of Our Lord [...] the said Robert Wright of Sedgefield aforesaid Esquire of the one part and the said John Ball deceased by the name and addition of John Ball of Hampton Court n:y the County of Middlesex Esquire of the other part and the Residue and Remainder of the Term of one thousand years thereof granted and now to [..] therein and all benefit and advantage to be had received and taken [...] further or otherwise or in any other manner whatsoever was granted to George [...] of Symonde [...] the County of Middlesex Gentleman [...] by and on the part and behalf of [...] Thomas Wharton of Old Parish [?] in the County of Durham Doctor of Physich and Robert Wharton of Pembroke Hall in the University of Cambridge Esquire [...] having been first sworn duly [...] Administered [?]
I Edward Watts of Tewin in the County of Hertford Esq.r being of sound and perfect memorie though not well in health Doe make and ordeine this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following that is to say ffirst in to the hands of Almighty God my maker I bequeath my Soule beleeveing and hopeing to bee saved through his infinite goodnesse and merce and the meritts and passion of Jesus Christ my blessed Saviour and Redemer my body I bequeath to the earth to bee buried withall possible privacie in the parish Church where it shall please God to put a period to my days And as touching my worldly estate I give and dispose of the same in manner and forme following that is to say ffirst I give and bequeath unto my daughter Anna Maria my Sockett of Diamonds Item I give and bequeath unto m.rs ffrances Briggs All the furniture of the roome with the green bed over the Cellar in the house where I now live Alsoe I give unto the said ffrancts Briggs one silver porringer and silver spoons and one paize[?] of the last woven fflaxen shirts Alsoe I give and devise unto my good brother S.r Wm Wren Knight and to my good brother M.r George Watts All my Lands Tenements and hereditaments whatsoever and to their heires and Assignes And also I give unto them my said brothers All and singuler my personall estate not herein before bequeathed upon thie especiall trust and confident that they shall pay and discharge my debts funeralls and legacies by sale of both reall and personall estate and upon this further Trust and confidence that they will take the trouble and care of educating my three daughters Anna Maria, ffrances and Dorothy [written in the margin:] ^and after the payment of my debte funeralle and legacyes at convenient[?] time[?] will equally divide the Everplus of my Estate betwixt my said three daughters that is to say at their respective dayes of marriage or Ages of one and twenty yeares Alsoe I doe give unto my sister M.rs Elizabeth Watts and my desire is that my Executors herein after named willsee her secured of an Annuity of Twenty and Two pounds by the yeare during her naturall life Alsoe I give to my sister Powell Tenne pounds to buy her a ring Alsoe I give to my sisters M.rs Ball M.rs Mary Wrenne and M.rs Dorothy Wren and to my sister M.rs Dorothy Watts Twenty shillings a piece to buy them rings Alsoe I give unto my nephew M.r Thomas Watts sonne of my said brother M.r George Watts the sume of Twenty pounds to bee paid into the hands of his father for his use within Twelve monthes next after my decease Alsoe I give and bequeath unto my servant George Wash the sume of Tenn pounds over and besides what is or shall bee due to him to bee paid unto him within six months next[?] after my decease in case hee shall then bee and continue in my service Alsoe I doe hereby nominate and appoint my said Brothers S.r William Wrenn and George Watts Executors of this my Last Will To whome I give Tenn pounds a piece to buy them mourning Alsoe I give to the poore of the parish of Tewin Three pounds to bee paid within one moneth next after my decease [...]
There are also floor slabs [...] to Mrs. Anna Maria Watts, 1744; Mrs. Dorothy Dunster, 1771;
This is the last Will and Testament of me Dorothy Dunster of the City of Chichester in the County of Sussex widow First I desire to be buried by my Executor hereafter named near the Body of my late Sister Anna Maria Watts deceased in the litte South Isle of the Cathedral Chuch of Chichester aforesaid with the same decency and privacy as my said sister was buried also all that my undivided third part or Share of and in all those lands tenements and hereditaments in the County of Norfolk now now or late in the [...] Occupation of William Greaves Esquire or his undertenants [...] the other two third parts whereof now do or lately did belong unto my two nephews John Ball and ffrancis Ball in several proportions I give and devise unto my Grandson Henry Dunster and his heirs for ever also I give and bequeath unto my aforesaid nephew ffrancis Ball the Sum of fifty pounds to be paid unto him at the End of six Calendar months next after my decease Also I give and bequeath unto mrs Jane [...] poundage of the City of Chichester aforesaid