Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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TREVOR family, of Trevalun, Denbs. , Plas Têg, Flints. , and Glynde , Sussex . The Trevalun Trevors were founded by RICHARD , sometimes called Sir RICHARD TREVOR ( fl. 1500 ), 4th son of John Trevor ‘ hên ’ and sixteenth in descent ‘o dad i dad’ from Tudur Trevor (see under Trevor of Brynkynallt ), who acquired the estate by marriage with Mallt , heiress of David ap Gruffydd of Allington (d. 1476 ). Richard 's great-grandson JOHN TREVOR (d. 1589 ) fought in the French wars of Henry VIII as a protégé of the powerful Sackvilles , and was claimed as an adherent of Rome as late as 1574 . He built Trevalun in 1576 and spent his later years there, dying in London (his wife's home) but charging his heir that his bones should rest with those of his ancestors; the heir erected to his memory in Gresford church an alabaster tomb with effigy and Welsh inscription (quoted Palmer , Gresford , 101). A portrait believed to be of this John Trevor still hangs at Trevalun . RICHARD TREVOR (d. 1614 ), of Doctors' Commons ( 18 Feb. 1598 ), a judge of admiralty , was probably John Trevor 's brother ( Coote , Civilians , 65, McClure , Letters of J. Chamberlain , i, 544-5).

Sir RICHARD TREVOR ( 1558 - 1638 ), soldier, politician, and Irish administrator , was the eldest son of the above John Trevor . Even before inheriting he was involved in Star Chamber suits to defend his title, and in the county election of 1588 he aligned himself with the faction (largely recusant in composition) that challenged the dominance of the Salusbury s of Lleweni and the Almer s of Almer , first as their prospective candidate and then as backer of the victorious John Edwards (see under Edwards of Chirkland ), in association with his father-in-law Roger Puleston of Emral . He spent most of 1595-8 campaigning (as captain of Denbighshire levies ) in Ireland , where he was knighted by the lord-deputy in May 1597 . He now shared with his three brothers (below) the patronage of lord admiral Howard of Effingham , who made him his vice-admiral in North Wales ( c. 1596 ) and introduced him to parliament for one of his pocket boroughs ( 1597 ), in return for services rendered by Trevor as deputy-lieutenant for Denbighshire ( 1596 ) over the county musters for the Cadiz expedition of Howard and Essex , in collusion with Essex 's captains , John Salusbury of Rûg and John Lloyd of Bodidris , whose son married Trevor 's daughter. In 1598 he led the whole North Wales contingent to Chester for embarkation to Ireland , but arrived with his own Denbighshire quota under strength through his rejection of recruits mustered by adherents of Lleweni , whose later attempts to obstruct Lloyd 's recruiting for Essex in Ireland drew Trevor into a bloody affray at Ruthin ( 1600 ). After Essex 's execution ( 1601 ) Trevor rallied local sympathisers in a last bid for the county seat at the September election in Wrexham , which by coinciding with another Irish muster gave cover for carrying arms and provoked a situation so ugly that polling had to be called off till after Parliament met, when Lleweni carried the day. Trevor was dismissed from his deputy-lieutenancy, and for two years involved in Star Chamber suits arising out of the 1596 and 1600 musters and the 1601 election, and although this was offset by his appointment to the Council of Wales ( 1602 ), he returned to Ireland from 1603-6 , with a command in the Newry garrison.

Home on a pension of £50 a year in 1606 , he made his peace with the government, recovered his deputy-lieutenancy and served as sheriff of Denbighshire ( 1610 ) and Flintshire ( 1613 ), but resigned his vice-admiralty in 1626 to his son-in-law John Griffith (see under Griffith of Cefnamwlch ). Meanwhile he was engaged in renewed Star Chamber suits with his neighbours ( c. 1610 ) and in replying in absentia to charges in the High Commission Court (dismissed by Laud as ‘ of noe such moment ’) connected with his monument to his wife in Gresford church ( 1634-5 ). He also took out small allotments in the Ulster plantation ( 1609-11 ), but seems to have spent little, if any, time there till at nearly 80 he went out as governor of Newry and of Cos. Down and Armagh ( c. 1634-5 ). He d. in 1638 , and was buried at Gresford , where he is commemorated in a mural monument of his own device. His portrait still hangs at Trevalun , which passed (in the absence of male heirs) to his nephew Sir John Trevor II (below).



Sir JOHN TREVOR I ( 1563 - 1630 ), naval administrator and politician , second son of the elder John Trevor , inherited some of the family lands in Denbighshire , to which he defended his title in Star Chamber in 1594 , when already residing in London in the service of Howard of Effingham , who had made him his secretary c. 1596 and ( 21 Dec. 1598 ) surveyor of the queen's ships at a salary of £40 with a share of the admiral's farm on sweet wines , to which Trevor added as a further profitable investment the farm of the duty on Newcastle coals. He used the income to enlarge the old family mansion of Plas Têg , Flints , which came to him from a collateral branch, and where he sometimes resided. He sat in Parliament from 1592 to 1614 for boroughs under Howard control, intent chiefly on naval and mercantile measures and the interests of his patron, but also active in Welsh concerns like those of the jurisdiction of Ludlow ( 1606 ) and the Glamorgan floods of 1607 . He stoutly resisted, in 1613 , a proposed enquiry into naval administration and was named in the impeachment of Bacon ( 1621 ) as one of those who had bribed him. After his patron's death ( 1624 ) Trevor turned to the 3rd earl of Pembroke , who provided him with Cornish boroughs for the next two Parliaments. He was knighted 13 May 1603 , d. at Plas Têg 20 Feb. 1630 , and was buried in the neighbouring church of Hope . Bishop Godfrey Goodman calls him ‘ wise, mild, temperate .’


Sir SACKVILLE TREVOR (d. c. 1633 ), seaman , was the younger brother of Sir John Trevor I , named after his father's patron, and himself sharing the patronage of Howard of Effingham , through whose influence he commanded successive vessels in the naval campaigns of 1596-1603 , capturing four Spanish ships with valuable cargoes. James I knighted him at Chatham in 1604 (4 July) and in 1623 sent him on naval escort duty to Spain with prince Charles , whom he rescued from drowning in Cadiz harbour. Having married the widow of Sir Henry Bagenall (the marshal of Ireland slain at Blackwater , 1598 , whose son married Sir Richard Trevor 's daughter), Sir Sackville lived with her at Plas Newydd , the Anglesey property that came to the Bagenall s by marriage with the Griffiths of Penrhyn , and was elected for the island in Charles I 's first Parliament, where he was one of the deputation that took to the king the Puritan petition of 8 July 1625 . Next year the counties of Anglesey , Denbigh , and Flint were charged to supply him with a 30-ton barque in preparation for renewed naval war with Spain . Nothing came of this, but in June 1627 he was among the few to win distinction in the expedition sent to relieve the Huguenots of La Rochelle , and in Sept. led the flotilla that blockaded the Elbe mouth in support of the land force sent under Sir Charles Morgan to the aid of the king of Denmark . Till 1634 he was often consulted on questions of naval man-power and shipbuilding . He was a kinsman and correspondent of James Howell .


Sir THOMAS TREVOR ( 1572 - 1656 ), judge , is generally called the youngest of John Trevor 's four sons, but D.N.B. post-dates his birth by fourteen years. Born in London , educated at the Middle Temple ( Nov. 1592 ), and called to the Bar in 1603 , he became, like his brothers, a client of the Howards and sat for pocket boroughs (most of them newly enfranchised) in the Parliaments of 1601-25 , where he was a frequent and critical speaker, and sat on many committees (including the Committee for Privileges in 1624 ), with a special interest in juristic and puritanical measures and in questions affecting Wales , such as the authority of Ludlow ( 1606 ), the amendment of the Act of Union ( 1621 and 1624 ) — of which he was the chief protagonist — and the adjustment of Welsh subsidies ( 1621 and 1624 ). On the fall of the Howards ( 1618 ) he attached himself to the 3rd earl of Pembroke , and the earl's influence, with that of the later archbishop John Williams , procured him the post of solicitor to Charles , prince of Wales (at whose investment in 1616 Trevor had represented his Inn) in May 1619 ; this brought him a knighthood ( 18 May 1619 ) and in 1625 (12 May) judicial promotion (though he was reputed ‘ no great lawier ’) as a baron of the exchequer . As one of the four commissioners entrusted in Jan. 1625 with the sale of crown lands in the lordship of Bromfield and Yale he was enabled to secure and extend the holdings of himself and other crown tenants, transactions which after searching enquiry were confirmed by Parliament in 1628 (3 Chas. I, chap. 6) and again in 1647 .

His concurrence in the judges' pronouncement in favour of ship money ( Feb. 1637 ) and their condemnation of Hampden in Dec., as well as his membership of the High Commission Court ( Dec. 1633 ), aroused the wrath of the Long Parliament , where attacks begun Dec. 1640 , issued in an impeachment the following July and (after interruption by the war) a fine of £6,000 in Oct. 1643 . Trevor meanwhile continued to sit as judge , declining the royal summons to Oxford in the month of his sentence but resigning his judgeship on the king's execution to retire to his Warwickshire estate till his death on 21 Dec. 1656 . He had had little contact with Wales for thirty years, but his son,



Sir THOMAS TREVOR ( 1612 - 1676 ), auditor of the duchy of Lancaster , though born on the paternal manor of Enfield , was elected for Monmouthshire to the Long Parliament on a disputed return which was finally quashed, and despite a baronetcy conferred by the king on 11 Aug. 1641 he came back as ‘recruiter’ for his father's first constituency in 1647 , but was excluded in Dec. 1648 ; he was on the militia committee for Denbighshire in 1648 and for North Wales (as well as three English counties) in March 1660 , and the Warwickshire assessment committee in 1657 . He still ranked as a Denbighshire freeholder in 1675 ( N.L.W. MS. 12406 , Chirk Castle MS. E.6090 ), but died without male heirs the following Feb., the baronetcy thereupon becoming extinct.


Sir JOHN TREVOR II (d. 1673 ), parliamentarian , was the eldest son of Sir John Trevor I , from whom he inherited Plas Têg and who tried unsuccessfully to find him a Welsh wife at Gwydir ( 1615 ). In 1619 he m. a daughter of Sir Edmund Hampden (later one of the Five Knights and a martyr to his opposition to Charles I ), and was knighted ( 7 July ). He sat for Denbighshire in 1621 and Flintshire in the next two Parliaments, but subsequently for boroughs under Howard or Pembroke control; apart from membership of the Committee for Privileges and promotion of a Welsh measure in 1628 he made little mark there, but was high in court favour, amassing wealth from the keepership of several royal forests as well as his father's farm of the coal tax (said to bring in £1,500) and the inheritance of Trevalun ( 1638 ) from his uncle Sir Richard . He was on several royal commissions during Charles I 's personal rule; yet he sat in the Long Parliament to the end and was accepted as spokesman for North Wales on the chief organs of parliamentary government , such as the Committee of Both Kingdoms (from 2 June 1648 ), the Commission for the Propagation of the Gospel in Wales ( 22 Feb. 1649/50 ), and two of the Commonwealth Councils of State ( 1651 and 1652-3 ), as well as on local committees like those for militia and taxation in Middlesex ( 1644-60 ), Westminster ( 1645-60 ), Denbighshire ( 1647-60 ), and Flintshire ( 1648-60 ). He also sat in Cromwell 's second Parliament ( 1656 ) and supported the offer of the crown to him ( Parl. Hist. ( 1762 ), xxi, 16). He retained (against some opposition) his farm of the coal tax , and was believed to be one of the beneficiaries of the confiscated Raglan estate ; but his joint purchase from that of the 7th earl of Derby of the manors of Hope , Mold , and Hawarden ( 12 Dec. 1646 ) was nullified by the conveyance made by the 8th earl , after his father's execution, to John Glynne , and the post-Restoration judical verdict that Hope was inalienable. He took no part in the Restoration , but was granted a royal pardon on 24 July 1660 . He lived mainly in London , allowing the deprived Puritan minister of Denbigh , William Jones (d. 1679 ) , to take refuge in Plas Têg as his pensioner ( 1661 ) and to license it for a conventicle under the Indulgence of 1672 , while Trevalun was occupied by successive estate agents till 1835 .


Sir JOHN TREVOR III ( 1626 - 1672 ), secretary of state , was the second (but eldest surviving) son of Sir John Trevor II . He m. Ruth , daughter of John Hampden , related to his mother's family and second cousin to Oliver Cromwell , but best known for his condemnation over ship money by Trevor 's great-uncle Sir Thomas (above) and his fellow judges. She remained a Presbyterian after the Restoration and attended Thomas Manton 's church in London ( 1676 ) after her husband's death ( Hist. MSS. Comm., 11 th R. , vii, 15). Trevor entered Parliament as ‘recruiter’ member for Flintshire ( 2 Dec. 1646 ), but was expelled as an opponent of the king's trial in Dec. 1648 . He sat on Flintshire parliamentary committees and on that for the associated North Wales counties in 1647-8 , but (unlike his father) retired from public life on the king's execution, returning as member for Flintshire in the Protectorate Parliaments (where he spoke frequently and effectively in support of stable government and constitutional safeguards and supported the offer of the crown to Cromwell ), and on several county committees from 1657 . He supported Richard Cromwell , but on his abdication backed up Monck and sat on his Council of State ( 21 Feb. 1660 ); in the Convention elections, however, Flintshire turned him down (despite his father's efforts on his behalf) for an uncompromising royalist, and to ‘ avoid a contest with many great friends ’ he retired to one of Sir John 's old boroughs ( N.L.W. Rhual MS. 98 ).

The earl of Pembroke supplied him with a borough seat in the Cavalier Parliament , where — although commonly ranked with the ‘court party’ — he contributed a ‘smart and severe’ speech to the Commons ’ attack of Oct. 1667 on Clarendon (who as Hyde had led the impeachment of Sir Thomas in 1641 ). In the reaction against Clarendon 's Anglican policy, Trevor 's continued credit with the Dissenters was useful to Charles II , who early next year knighted him and sent him with his namesake of Brynkynallt (see p. 979) on an embassy to France (where he did well), admitted him to the privy council , and on 22 Sept. made him junior secretary of state , though without influence on policy. In council he supported the Declaration of Indulgence of 15 Mar. 1672 , which he had some share in administering till his sudden death (in his father's lifetime) on 28 May . His younger brother,



RICHARD TREVOR (d. 1676 ) , Fellow of Merton and M.D. of Padua , was an antiquary of repute who corresponded with Anthony Wood ( Athen Oxon. , ii, 529; iii, 479). The estates passed on the death of Sir John Trevor II to his grandson


JOHN TREVOR (b. c. 1652 ), who also inherited from a cousin the Sussex estate of Glynde — henceforth the chief residence of the family. On the death of his grandson, JOHN TREVOR , commissioner of the admiralty , in 1743 , the male line came to an end, and his eight sisters became co-heiresses. The Sussex estates were devised by will to descendants of Thomas Trevor , 1st baron Trevor (see below); the Welsh estates passed to descendants of two of the co-heiresses. Of these, one married into the Cornish family of Boscawen and her grand-daughter into the Carmarthenshire family of Griffith . It was the Griffith-Boscawen s who eventually inherited Trevalun and lived there from 1835 . From another of the co-heiresses sprang the Trevor-Ropers , who took Plas Têg as their share.


THOMAS TREVOR ( 1658 - 1750 ), 1st baron Trevor of Bromham , judge , was the second son of Sir John Trevor III . Educated at the Inner Temple ( 1672 ), he became successively solicitor-general ( 1692 ) and attorney-general ( 1695 ) to William III , chief justice of Common Pleas ( 1701 ) and a privy councillor ( 1702 ). His elevation to the peerage ( 1 Jan. 1712 ) was part of the plan to ensure the passage of the Treaty of Utrecht through the Lords by swamping the hostile Whig majority. His Tory leanings lost him his offices under the Hanoverians till he was made lord privy seal in 1726 and lord president of the council in 1730 . His second son,


RICHARD TREVOR ( 1701 - 1771 ), bishop of S. Davids and of Durham , was born at Glynde and educated at Westminster and at Queen's , Oxford ( 1724-7 ), becoming a Fellow of All Souls in 1727 , a D.C.L. in 1736 , and a canon of Christ Church , 1735-52 . As bishop of S. Davids from 1 April 1744 till his translation to Durham on 9 Nov. 1752 , he bore a high reputation for learning and benevolence and was distinguished among early 18th cent. occupants of the see by the conscientiousness with which he discharged his episcopal duties and the length of his stay. He inherited Glynde from his cousin John Trevor (d. 1743 ) (see above) and bequeathed it to his brother, Robert Hampden-Trevor ( 1706 - 1783 ), 1st viscount Hampden , a diplomat of some distinction, as was also the 3rd viscount Hampden ( John Hampden-Trevor , 1749 - 1824 ), the last of his line.

Bibliography:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , lvii, 221-9, and sources therein cited;
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1937 (165-72), 1938 (211-18, 224-9), 1942 (16, 33-5, 49, 52-6, 69), 1945 (18-19, 21-2, 31, 34-5, 41), 1946-7 (76-7, 96), 1948 (19-20, 34, 52, 64-5, 68-9, 78), and sources therein cited;
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  • Calendar of State Papers relating to Ireland . Record Publication , 1592 ff.;
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  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales , 1895 , 2, 72, 86, 135;
  • Aled Eames , ‘Wales and Sea Power, 1625-60’(manuscript thesis, U.C.N.W.);
  • Burke's … Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage , 1949 , 667-8, 926-8;
  • W. A. Shaw , Knights of England , 1906 , ii, 109, 133, 171-2, 211;
  • G. E. Cokayne Complete baronetage (1611-1800) , Exeter, 1900-09 , ii, 130;
  • information from Lady Clement Jones , Trevalun.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor