TRELAWNY, John I (c.1625-82), of Westminster.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1625, 2nd s. of Sir John Trelawny, 1st Bt., of Trelawne, Pelynt, Cornw. by 1st w. Elizabeth, da. of Sir Reginald Mohun, 1st Bt., of Boconnoc, Cornw.; bro. of Jonathan Trelawny I. unm.1

Offices Held

Carver in ordinary July 1660-?76; commr. for excise appeals 1669-d.; cup-bearer ?1678-d.2

Commr. for assessment, Cornw. 1661-80, loyal and indigent officers 1662; sub-commr. for prizes, Plymouth 1673-4; commr. for recusants, Cornw. 1675; v.-adm. S. Cornw. 1681-d. 3

Maj. Bassett’s Ft. 1667; capt. of horse [I] 1676-8.4


Trelawny apparently joined the exiled Court during the Interregnum, and in July 1659 petitioned for one of the tellerships of the Exchequer. At the Restoration he was given a minor post in the Household, and a dozen duchy of Cornwall tenements were Leased to him without entry fines. At the general election of 1661 he was returned for West Looe on the family interest, and listed by Lord Wharton as a friend. Probably an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was certainly appointed to 46 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in six sessions. He was among those ordered to inquire into the shortfall in the revenue (18 June 1661) and to hear a petition from the loyal and indigent officers (31 Mar. 1664). He was listed as a court dependant in 1664, and given a commission during the second Dutch war. On 24 July 1667 he reported to Joseph Williamson from Exeter that he had ‘raised his own company in three days’ despite the general discontent in the west country. He hoped that Lord Arlington would remember him for service in Tangier; ‘without employment sees but a miserable life at home’. On the death of William Prynne in 1669 he was given a sinecure office at a salary of £200 p.a., and his name appears on both lists of government supporters about this time as a court dependant. An opposition writer credited him with ‘now and then a small snip out of the tax’, and he was named on the Paston list. He was appointed to a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the condition of Ireland in 1674, and two years later commissioned in the Irish army as ‘an ancient servant of his Majesty’s [who] all along attended his person in the worst of fortunes’. Meanwhile he had been listed as an official, and noted by Sir Richard Wiseman, like his brother, as a Member whose support for Danby could not be doubted. In A Seasonable Argument he was described as ‘cup-bearer to the King, captain of a troop of horse in Ireland, and £200 p.a. pension’, while Shaftesbury marked him ‘thrice vile’. He sold his commission early in 1678, and was on both lists of the court party in that year.5

As ‘John Trelawny of St. Margaret’s, Westminster’ Trelawny was re-elected to the Exclusion Parliaments, despite his blacklisting in the ‘unanimous club’. He was classed as ‘vile’ by Shaftesbury, but was again probably inactive in the first Exclusion Parliament. He may have been appointed to the committee of elections and privileges and to that for the prevention of illegal exactions, and he voted against the first exclusion bill. He took no ascertainable part in the second or third Exclusion Parliaments. He probably died shortly before 7 Feb. 1682, when he was replaced as commissioner of excise appeals by his kinsman, Edward Seymour of Berkhamstead.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 477.
  • 2. LC3/2; Cal. Treas. Bks. vi. 46, 876.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1672-3, p. 423; Ind. 24557.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1667, p. 181; 1676-7, p. 274; HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 114.
  • 5. Nicholas Pprs. (Cam. Soc. n.s. lvii), 160; CSP Dom. 1659-60, p. 36; 1660-1, p. 295; 1667, pp. 320, 367; 1676-7, p. 277; Cal. Treas. Bks. vii. 1596-7.
  • 6. Cal. Treas. Bks. vi. 46; vii. 394.