TREVOR, Sir John II (1596-1673), of Oatlands, Surr., Cannon Row, Westminster and Plas Têg, Flints.; later of Trevalyn, Denb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



6 Dec. 1624
1640 (Nov.)

Family and Education

b. 1596,1 1st s. of Sir John Trevor I* of Oatlands, Cannon Row, and Plas Têg and Margaret, da. of Sir Hugh Trevanion of Caerhayes, Cornw.2 educ. Queen’s, Camb. 1612; I. Temple 1613.3 m. (1) 3 Feb. 1619 (with £3,000), Anne (bur. 12 Sept. 1663), da. and coh. of Edmund Hampden of Hartwell, Bucks. 3s. (2 d.v.p.), 5da.;4 (2) lic. 2 Sept. 1672, Margaret Griffith of St. Margaret, Westminster, s.p.5 kntd. 7 July 1619;6 suc. fa. 1630; uncle Sir Richard† 1638. d. 17 July 1673.7 sig. John Trevor.

Offices Held

Auditor, duchy of Lancaster, south parts (jt.) 1617-37;8 commr. to compound for illegal exports of wool and corn 1635, to farm customs revenues 1657.9

Dep. kpr. Oatlands Park, Surr. 1627-39;10 j.p. Westminster, 1632-40, ?Anglesey 1642, Denb., Flint. 1648-60, Mdx. 1652-60;11 commr. militia, Mdx. 1644, 1648, 1659-60, Denb., Flint. 1648, Westminster 1648, 1659-60, N. Wales 1659-60;12 New Model Army, Mdx. 1645, Westminster College revenues 1645;13 assessment, Westminster 1645, 1650-3, 1657, 1660-2, Mdx. 1645-8, 1650-3, 1660-2, Denb. 1647-8, 1650-3, 1657, 1660-2, 1672-d., Flint. 1647-53, 1657, 1660-2, 1664, 1672-d., Bucks. 1672-d.;14 N. Wales Assoc., Denb., Flint. 1648, drainage disputes, Gt. Fens 1649, sequestration and composition, Denb., Flint. 1649; gov. Westminster Sch. 1649; commr. propagation of the Gospel, Wales 1650.15

Gent. of privy chamber 1628-?42.16

Farmer (jt.), sea-coal imposts 1630-60.17

Commr. Admlty. 1645, scandalous offences 1646-8; member, Derby House cttee. June-Dec. 1648, Council of State, Feb.-Dec. 1651, Nov. 1652-Apr. 1653, Army cttee. 1652-3; treas. (jt.) Benevolence for Savoy Protestants 1655; commr. to try treasons against lord protector 1656.18


Trevor lived most of his early life in the shadow of his father and uncles, only emerging as a significant figure in his own right in the later 1640s. In 1617 he was appointed to one of the auditorships of the duchy of Lancaster jointly with his uncle Thomas Trevor*, a sinecure he enjoyed for 20 years before surrendering his interest to his cousin Sir Thomas Trevor†, bt.19 In 1618 Trevor’s father used contacts with Sir Ralph Winwood’s* widow to arrange a match with an heiress due to inherit a Buckinghamshire estate worth £1,200 a year from her uncle Sir Alexander Hampden†. The bride’s refusal of a match with Sir John Pakington*, 1st bt. had led Hampden to reduce her inheritance to a dowry of £3,000, but it was said this ‘doth no whit grieve her, in respect that she hath her choice’. Hampden’s executor was unable to pay the dowry in cash, and eventually passed the manor of Owlswick, Buckinghamshire and the rectory of nearby Wendover to Trevor’s father, while Trevor and his wife were granted an annuity of £300 in lieu.20

Although Trevor’s father held a substantial Flintshire estate, the family spent most of their time at their town house in and around London. Thus Trevor’s return to Parliament for Denbighshire in December 1620 can almost certainly be ascribed to the influence of his uncle Sir Richard Trevor†, one of the greatest landowners in the eastern half of the county. At the previous election Sir Richard had supported Henry Salusbury of Lleweni in an unsuccessful contest with Simon Thelwall*, but the 1620 election was apparently settled by consensus, as the return was signed almost exclusively by the Thelwall faction.21 Trevor’s father also sat in the 1621 Parliament, and the only mention in the records of the session which can confidently be ascribed to the younger man was a nomination to the sub-committee to vet petitions of grievance submitted to the House (added 2 May). A surprising choice for a committee dominated by lawyers and politicians, Trevor was added along with his lawyer uncle Thomas, and it is possible that they nominated each other.22

Trevor may have stood for re-election to the Denbighshire seat in 1624, but on this occasion Sir Eubule Thelwall carried the day. It was presumably too late to procure a seat elsewhere by the time the news reached London, and Trevor had to wait for an appropriate vacancy, which occurred with the death of the Flintshire MP Sir John Hanmer in June 1624. The family estates at Plas Têg gave Trevor’s father sufficient influence to make a nomination, which was presumably endorsed by Hanmer’s widow, one of Sir Richard Trevor’s daughters. With a new session planned for the New Year, the by-election took place on 6 Dec., when the indenture was signed by a broad cross-section of the county’s major gentry families.23 In the event, the Parliament did not reconvene before it was dissolved by the king’s death in March. As soon as news of a fresh election reached North Wales, Sir Thomas Mostyn, who had stood against Hanmer at the 1624 general election, launched a challenge to Trevor. The fact that Trevor had not actually had a chance to take his seat meant that the leading gentry felt obliged to renew their support for him, while Mostyn’s campaign was undermined by his father’s disapproval of his action. Mostyn may well have abandoned his candidacy and stayed away from the election, as his signature is missing from Trevor’s return, which was otherwise attested by the same gentry who had supported him in the previous year.24 As in 1621, Trevor left very little trace on the session. With the plague raging in London, he and his father absented themselves until the Parliament adjourned to Oxford, where they were given leave to take their seats on 4 Aug. before taking communion with other latecomers. One of them was subsequently named to attend a conference with the Lords upon a petition to the king complaining about recent examples of leniency shown towards recusants (8 August).25

Trevor was almost certainly put forward for re-election in Flintshire in January 1626, although the contest ultimately came to a poll between John Salusbury* of Bachegraig, head of a cadet branch of the Denbighshire family, and Sir Thomas Hanmer†, 2nd bt., 13-year old heir to the 1624 MP. The return of a candidate as young as Hanmer would have been so exceptional that it seems likely he was substituted for Trevor, his uncle, on the morning of the election, to save the latter from the humiliation of a defeat. Whatever Trevor’s last-minute misgivings, his faction was clearly not lacking in support: in addition to their own tenants Trevor and Hanmer could call upon those of John Hanmer, bishop of St. Asaph, and Sir Roger Mostyn*. However, the sheriff apparently played a pivotal role in excluding many of Hanmer’s freeholders during a two-day poll, and while his conduct provoked a formal complaint, the investigation by the Commons’ privileges committee remained incomplete at the dissolution.26

Understandably, Trevor chose not to stand for a Welsh constituency at the next election in 1628, when he was returned for Great Bedwyn, a seat customarily controlled by the local magnate, the 3rd earl of Hertford. No personal connection has been found between the two men, and Trevor, who was appointed a gentleman of the Privy Chamber only a few weeks later, was perhaps recommended by the lord chamberlain, the 1st earl of Montgomery (Sir Philip Herbert*).27 Trevor was named to the committee for privileges at the beginning of the Parliament (20 Mar.), but there was no further mention of him in the surviving records of the 1628 session until after the king’s second answer to the Petition of Right on 7 June, a reticence which may be interpreted as judiciousness on the part of an aspiring courtier. He was thereafter named to the committee for the bill to confirm the copyholds of Crown tenants in the lordships of Bromfield and Yale, Denbighshire, where many of his family’s estates lay (13 June), and was one of those appointed to investigate the privilege case of another Welsh MP (24 June). A petition about duties charged on malt brought to London, which he and others were charged to investigate on 25 June, had implications for his father’s patent for impositions on Newcastle coal.28 He left no trace on the records of the 1629 session.

Trevor inherited Plas Têg upon his father’s death in 1630, and Trevalyn from his uncle Sir Richard Trevor in 1638, while he retained the family house at Oatlands by agreement with his brother Charles. He also acquired his father’s quarter share in the farm of the sea coal duty, an investment which yielded him about £1,500 a year before the Civil War, well worth the £20,000 the farmers advanced towards the king’s campaign against Scotland in 1639 in return for a renewal of their contract.29 Trevor played little part in public life during the 1630s, but expended a considerable amount of effort in settling the affairs of his Bagnall cousins, and in arbitrating a jointure dispute between his sister Jane and her spendthrift husband Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth, Cheshire.30 Returned to the Long Parliament for Grampound, which lay near the estates of his Trevanion cousins, he remained loyal to Parliament during the Civil War, although this meant he lost control of his Welsh estates to the royalists for four years. Parliament abolished the most burdensome coal duties, but allowed the farmers to retain their rights of collection, although the yield fell sharply.31

Trevor was appointed to the executive committee of Both Kingdoms during the Second Civil War, but he absented himself from the Commons for six months after Pride’s Purge. Following his return he served twice on the Council of State, his second term being ended abruptly by the ejection of the Rump on 20 Apr. 1653.32 He returned to public life under the Protectorate, serving twice in Parliament, but retired at the Restoration, and lost his share in the coal farm when the 1639 contract expired at Christmas 1660. His eldest son died in office as secretary of state in 1672, and thus it was his grandson John who inherited the family estates at his death on 17 July 1673. The next family member to sit in Parliament was another of Trevor’s grandsons, Thomas, a Tory lawyer who was ennobled in 1712.33

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. Aged ‘about 33’ at his father’s death on 20 Feb. 1630: SP29/80/59.
  • 2. Ped. in Glynde Place Archives ed. R.F. Dell.
  • 3. Al. Cant.; I. Temple Admiss.
  • 4. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 209-10; J.P. Malcolm, Londinium Redivivum, i, 305; E. Suss. RO, GLY/670; SP29/80/59.
  • 5. London Mar. Lics. ed. J. Foster.
  • 6. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 172.
  • 7. Cal. Wynn Pprs. no. 1655; SP29/80/59.
  • 8. Duchy of Lancaster Office-Holders ed. R. Somerville, 70.
  • 9. CSP Dom. 1635, p. 514; A. and O. ii. 1268.
  • 10. E. Suss. RO, GLY/224-6, 255-70.
  • 11. SP16/212; C193/13/2; C66/2858; CSP Dom. 1641-3, p. 299; JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 76-8, 111-13.
  • 12. A. and O. i. 556, 1239, 1246-7; ii. 1290, 1327, 1335, 1435, 1437, 1448.
  • 13. Ibid. i. 623, 804.
  • 14. Ibid. 636, 970, 979, 1087, 1097; ii. 46, 313, 471-2, 482-3, 668-9, 679, 1074, 1085-6, 1373-4, 1383.
  • 15. Ibid. i. 1183-4; ii. 139, 209, 211, 257, 343.
  • 16. LC5/132, pp. 3, 122.
  • 17. E. Suss. RO, GLY/390, 454-66; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 616.
  • 18. A. and O. i. 783, 853, 1209; ii. 500, 562, 689, 1040; CSP Dom. 1648-9, pp. 1, 99, 337; 1655, p. 182; CJ, vii. 220-1.
  • 19. Duchy of Lancaster Office-Holders, 70.
  • 20. E. Suss. RO, GLY/565, 670-4; Chamberlain Letters, ii. 210; HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 244.
  • 21. NLW, Chirk F.10751; C219/37/348.
  • 22. CJ, i. 574a, 602b; CD 1621, v. 321, 328.
  • 23. C219/38/290, 319; Flint. RO, D/GW/2107; FLINTSHIRE.
  • 24. Procs. 1625, pp. 683-4; JRL, Ry. Ch. 1200.
  • 25. Procs. 1625, pp. 154-5, 385, 391, 393, 422.
  • 26. Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd ed. D.R. Thomas, 111; NLW, 9061E/1359; Procs. 1626, iii. 167, 171, 175.
  • 27. LC5/132, pp. 3, 122.
  • 28. CD 1628, ii. 29; iv. 59, 447, 467, 472.
  • 29. CSP Dom. 1629-31, p. 556; E. Suss. RO, GLY/224, 270, 461, 582; E214/52, 137.
  • 30. C66/2644/11; UCNW, Plas Newydd V/1451; E. Suss. RO, GLY/554-5, 697, 731.
  • 31. CSP Dom. 1653-4, pp. 376-7; E. Suss. RO, GLY/459-66.
  • 32. CJ, vi. 95, 245; vii. 220-1; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 151; A. and O. ii. 500.
  • 33. CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 616; HP Commons, 1660-90, iii. 602-8; PROB 11/343, ff. 373v-5; DWB (Trevor of Trevalun).