Robert  Ryves

Robert Ryves (1490 - 1552)

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Robert Ryves aka Reve
Born in Blandford Forum, Dorset, Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Damory Court, Blandford Forum, Dorset, Englandmap
Ryves-16 created 19 May 2010 | Last modified | Last edit: 1 Oct 2017
14:07: Helen (Coleman) Ford edited the Biography for Robert Ryves. (added note about Reliques, one of the secondary sources.) [Thank Helen for this]
This page has been accessed 5,141 times.




His birth year is an estimate. It is not known who his parent's were or where he lived as a young man.


Husband of Joan/ Johane (Unknown) Ryves. Some sources say she may be of the Brune or DeBrune family.[1]


Robert Ryves was a wealthy man. He purchased Randleston ( also known as Ranston) in 36 Henry VIII (1545) and he purchased Damory Court at Blandford Forum in 1548. [2] [3]

Courtier to King Henry VIII, Nobleman, Armiger, and high member of the court of King Henry VIII About 1501 (citation needed)


He died on 11 February 1551/2. His memorial in Blandford Church was destroyed during the fire of 1731. However, in 1644, Richard Symonds, an officer in the King's army visited Blandford and wrote a detailed description of the church and it's memorials. He wrote
Betweene the pillars of the chancel and the north yle stands another playne altar tombe, whereon is this inscription inlayed in brasse, and this coate only, west end: Argent, on a bend cotised sable three lozenges ermine, Ryves.
  • Here lyeth the body of Robert Ryves who departeth this life on the 11th day of February, anno 1551
[4] The Will of Robert Reve or Ryve of Blandford Forum, Dorset was written on 20th day of October 1549. This was after the death of his son John . His grandson also named John (then only 13) was his heir. Probate was granted on 24 March 1552 [Ryves Wills Transcripts][5]


  1. 'Robert Reve ( or Ryve or Ryves ) of Blandford, Dorset, England is the first of the surname that that shows up in England on a record' [6] (this seems to be incorrect. The National Archives catalogue index contains the surname Reve from the 13th century onwards. These people were living in many parts of England including the West Country. The surname possible deriving from Reve or Reeve, a manorial steward Coleman-5109 05:10, 8 September 2016 (EDT))
  2. Robert Ryves is the Progenitor of the modern-day Reeves family, our most ancient ancestor by name and direct lineage. He may have been an early generation in England and may have had an ancestor that was born in the Languedoc region of France, but this is a subject of great contention and debate among even the most well-studied of Ryves Scholars.
Of some fifty-six members of the family who attained manhood during the five generations succeeding the death of Robert, five had Knighthood confirmed upon them; one became Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Dorset; one, speaker of the Irish House of Lords; one, Warden of New College, Oxford; one, an Alderman of London; three High Sheriffs; one, Mayor of Shaftesbury; one, Town Clerk of Woodstock, and one, Steward of the University of Oxford.
The Influence of Robert Ryves in encouraging education and loyal service to church and crown is indisputable. Robert Ryves was an avid supporter of four churches in the Blandford Parish area, which included Blandford Parish Church.
With a Proven and Consistent record of service to God, Church and Crown, The Ryves family and their descendants, are deserving of having a replacement plaque identifying the family crypt within their original Church of Worship in Dorset County embodied in a memorial to Robert Ryves.[7]


  1. citation needed
  2. Hutchin's History of Dorset, 3rd Ed., Vol.III.
  3. Stuart Booth, Damory of Blandford Dorset Life
  4. quoted in John Hutchins The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset Third edition, corrected, augmented, and improved by William Shipp and James Whitworth Hodson 1861-73 volume 1 p225
  5. The National Archives Will of Robert Reve or Ryve of Blandford Forum, Dorset PROB 11/35/113 probate granted 24 March 1552, images viewable on
  6. The Dorsetshire Family of Ryves. Chapter 1., Pg. 1
  7. extracted from "Our Reeves" by Beaulah McGuire Reeves and Bessie Reeves Hoke.
  • Childs, J. Rives. Reliques of the Rives (Ryves): being historical and genealogical notes of the ancient family Ryves of County Dorset and of the Rives of Virginia, an essay, sociological and historical of a family's contribution to the making of a nation. Lynchburg, Va.: J.P. Bell Co., 1929. (Note this book needs to be approached with caution. It relies on Hutchins for early material but the author has obviously not looked far for primary sources .'Robert Ryves made his will (in which he was described as ‘Robert Reve”), dated 20 October 1549, of which there is now no record.(sic) Hutchins gives as his issue by Joan[...]' p 2)

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No known carriers of Robert's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 9 May 2017 at 20:33 GMT Helen (Coleman) Ford wrote:

I wonder if the French idea comes from his will that mentions land in France. This is actually the name of a family holding in Nutford Lockley (alias Fraunce)

archive books IPM John Ryves 1625

I've certainly seen no evidence to support it. The name he used was Reve, which is a name found elsewhere in England at the time.

Blandford Forum was already a market town in the 15th C and returned 2 members of parliament. but Damory Court may have been quite small. The name Damory survives in the names of roads and most notably on the side of the local buses . There is an article and map here .Shroton AKA Iwerne Courtney where Ranston is situated is a village and today a tiny place.

On 7 May 2017 at 21:25 GMT Sandy Jordan Sr. wrote:

In Reliques of the Rives James Rives Childs states that Robert Ryves was born in the Languedoc region of France.

According to Childs, "Robert Ryves was a French Huguenot who emigrated to England in 1545 from Languedoc area of France and purchased Randleston (Ranston Castle) and 1600 acres of land in Dorsetshire, England. Three years later he purchased Damory Court. Both properties were near the village of Blandford in Dorset. His wife's name was Joan (SNU). They had one son (John) and two daughters."

On 20 Jul 2016 at 15:45 GMT Helen (Coleman) Ford wrote:

This is clearly a duplicate unless you know anything about the family that you can add?

Duplication extends to daughter Agnes who also has unsourced birth dates.(there aren't baptism records for these dates) The 'other' Agnes though has the correct children so there is one side of a family here and another one linked to the 'duplicate' . Merging brings two sides of the family together

birth date, I know of no sources for Robert's birthdate (no-one really knows where he came from before buying Randleston) He has to have been old enough to have a 20 year old grandson who inherited on 24 June 1556 (Hutchins ) Robert's, will confirms that John son of John will come of age at 20 1490 seems a reasonable estimate but he could have been born before that.

On 18 Jul 2016 at 18:20 GMT Roger Davis wrote:

Reeves-1861 and Ryves-16 are not ready to be merged because: conflict in d-o-b

On 3 Jul 2016 at 14:01 GMT Helen (Coleman) Ford wrote:

Reeves-1861 and Ryves-16 appear to represent the same person because: Same wife with different spelling of Swaine ,same death date (dont' think there is any source for either birth year)

On 29 Jun 2016 at 14:29 GMT Helen (Coleman) Ford wrote:

'Lord'?? No title in Hutchins, not even a knighthood until John Ryves knighted in 1606

Robert is 19 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 14 degrees from John Dodge, 20 degrees from Deb Durham and 17 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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