Reynell, Edward (DNB00)

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REYNELL, EDWARD (1612–1663), divine, born at West Ogwell, Devonshire, in 1612, was son of Sir Thomas Reynell, whose younger brother, Sir George, was grandfather of Carew Reynell (1636–1690) [q. v.] His mother was his father's second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Killigrew of Cornwall. He was admitted as a fellow commoner to Exeter College, Oxford, on 30 May 1629 (Boase, Register of Exeter College, p. 63). Prideaux, the rector of the college, had married his half-sister (Prince, Worthies of Devon, p. 523). He left Oxford in 1632 without a degree, and entered at the Middle Temple; he, like his half-brother Thomas, was a benefactor of the Inn. He was called to the bar, but his ‘geny being more inclined towards divinity,’ he took orders and became rector of West Ogwell (Burke's, Commoners, iv. 451). He died at West Ogwell in 1663 by his own hand, and was buried there. ‘He was of curious parts and flowing style, always single and addicted to melancholy, insomuch that it prevailed over him to accelerate his dissolution, which he accomplished by the improbable assistance but of a bason of water in his chamber’ (Prince). Wood reports the reluctance of his kinsmen to give further information about him, and their desire that ‘he might sink into oblivion.’

Reynell wrote: 1. ‘Eugenia's Tears for Great Britain's Glory, or Observations reflecting on these Sad Times,’ London, 1642. 2. ‘The Life and Death of the Religious and Virtuous Lady the Lady Lucie Reynell of Ford in Devon, who Dyed on 18 April 1652, whereunto is annexed a Consolatory Epilogue for dejected Souls,’ London, 1654. Lady Reynell, daughter of Robert Brandon of London, was the writer's sister-in-law, and wife to Sir Richard Reynell (1587–1648) of the Middle Temple, an officer in the exchequer. 3. ‘An Advice against Libertinism, shewing the great Danger thereof, and exhorting all to zeal of the Truth,’ London, 1659. 4. ‘Celestial Amities, or a Soul sighing for the Love of her Saviour,’ London, 1660, dedicated to ‘the ladies of our times.’

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Wood's Athenæ, ed. Bliss, iii. 658; Prince's Worthies of Devon, p. 523; Davidson's Bibliotheca Devoniensis; Boase's Register of Exeter College, Oxford.]

W. A. S.