TREBELL, John (d.c.1431), of Exeter, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Dec. 1421

Family and Education

s. of Christine Trebell.1 m. by 1428, Elizabeth (b.1402), da. and coh. of Robert Scobehulle of Scobehulle, Devon.

Offices Held


Trebell is first recorded when, in 1398, he brought an action in the King’s bench relating to the circumstances of his mother’s death in Somerset. In October 1410 he acted as a mainpernor for the bailiff of the hundred of Coleridge, Devon, but it was described as ‘of Somerset, gentleman’ that on 8 Nov. 1419 he stood surety at the Exchequer for John Cokeworthy II* and Simon Yurle*; and on 11 Dec. that same year he made similar guarantees on behalf of Sir Robert Chalons*. Nevertheless, his main place of residence was Exeter: he attended the shire elections of 1422 at the castle there, and as ‘of Exeter, gentleman’ in 1426 he offered sureties at the Exchequer for John Wyse* of Sydenham and Richard Trevanion*, when these two leased both lands in Greystone and the office of bailiff of the duchy of Cornwall hundred of East. On that occasion, and also when, in the following year, he again provided financial securities for Wyse, Trebell was associated with John Fortescue*, the future chief justice, and it may well be the case that he too was a lawyer by training.2

As a result of his marriage to one of the four daughters of Robert Scobehull, Trebell came into possession of a fourth part of the Cornish manor of Trevisquite and the advowson of the rectory of St. Mabyn, along with lands in Devon at Aller, Chivelstone, Langford and Ford. These he acquired before his first return to Parliament. It was probably his connexions by marriage which led to his being employed by (Sir) Thomas Brooke*. In May 1427 he and his co-feoffees of Brooke’s manor of Weycroft in Axminster (who included the Protector, Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, and the earls of Salisbury and Suffolk), were granted a licence by the royal council to crenellate the manor-house and empark 800 acres.3

Trebell is last recorded in July 1430 when, along with John Salter, he signed bonds for £40 guaranteeing the appearance in Chancery of John Cutler* alias Carwithan of Exeter. He must have died shortly afterwards, for Robert, the son of his widow by her second husband, Robert Kirkham senior (d.1444), is known to have been born in July 1432.4

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. KB 27/550 m. 60d.
  • 2. CPR, 1408-13, p. 245; CFR, xiv. 293, 303; xv. 154, 191; C219/13/1.
  • 3. J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, ii. 501 (where, however, he is called William); CFR, xv. 29; Feudal Aids, i. 444, 447, 452, 460; C139/6/50, 113/12; CChR, vi. 1.
  • 4. CCR, 1429-35, p. 66; C139/113/12.