TRENEWITH (TRENELWYTH), Nicholas, of Bodmin, Cornw.
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Family and Education
Dep. havener, Cornw. 1377-8.1
Exactly how long Trenewith held his post as deputy to Richard Hampton, the havener of the ports of Cornwall, is not known, but it seems likely that he was dismissed before the autumn of 1378, when he and ‘many others’ petitioned the King and the Lords in Parliament for a fair hearing of indictments brought against them earlier that year. They said that they were in jeopardy of being unjustly convicted because of the appointment of different j.p.s for Cornwall on 4 and 16 Mar. Little is recorded about Trenewith’s trading ventures, although there is evidence that in 1381 he was acting as general attorney or factor for two Genoese merchants doubtless engaged in the shipment of tin.2
Nicholas may have been related to Ralph Trenewith I*, receiver of the duchy of Cornwall from 1369 to 1377, and he certainly came into close contact with Ralph’s successor in the receivership, Roger Juyl*, who, shortly after his dismissal from office in September 1381, made serious charges against him. Not only was it alleged that on 2 Dec. that year Trenewith broke into Juyl’s house at Penhergard, stole a silver cup worth 13s.4d. and set fire to buildings, but two years later Juyl brought an action gainst him in the court of King’s bench for the abduction of his ward and the theft of chattels worth £40. However, in March and October 1386, Trenewith obtained full royal pardons for his crimes. The quarrel very likely had something to do with Trenewith’s losses as a consequence of his having at some time (probably in 1377) acted as Juyl’s surety. Juyl had owed the Crown nearly £180 at the end of his receivership, and in 1389 his property along with that of his mainpernors (including two houses in Bodmin which belonged to Trenewith) was declared forfeit. Trenewith may have hoped to forestall the confiscation of his own property by a transaction dated 6 Sept. 1388, whereby he conveyed to two Chancery clerks, Robert Garton and Henry Malpas, all his lands in Cornwall and elsewhere.3 There is no record of him after his return to Parliament nine years later.