TRELAWNY, John (1503/4-63), of Poole in Menheniot, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. 1503/4, 1st s. of Walter Trelawny of Poole by Isabella, da. of John Toose of Taunton, Som. m. (1) by 1533, Margery, da. and h. of Thomas Llamellyn of Lanteglos by Fowey, Cornw. 1s.; (2) Lore, da. and coh. of Henry Trecarrel of Trecarrell, Cornw. 2s. suc. fa. 1518, coh. of Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon, 18 Sept. 1556.2

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cornw. 1546-7, 1560-1; commr. relief 1550, loan 1557-8; j.p. 1558/59-d.3


The senior Member for Liskeard in March 1553, described in the indenture as ‘the younger, esquire’, has been identified as John Trelawny of Poole (d. 1563) rather than his son John born about 1533. The suffix ‘younger’ was presumably used to distinguish the father from an older kinsman and namesake descended from a great-uncle of his. Trelawny obtained his return at Liskeard as a local gentleman with some property in the town, but he may have been helped by his kinship with the sheriff, Reginald Mohun, and also supported by his friend, Henry Chiverton, one of the knights for Cornwall on this occasion.4

The Trelawnys were Cornish landowners of ancient lineage dating from before the Norman Conquest. Following his father’s death in 1518 the wardship of John Trelawny was in the gift of his kinsman Sir Hugh Courtenay, but it is not known who acquired it. Apart from the details of his first marriage nothing has come to light about his career before being pricked sheriff for the first time when in his early 40s. Thereafter he played a part in the administration of Cornwall. On inheriting extensive lands in the south-west in 1556 as one of the four coheirs of the Earl of Devon his own status there rose accordingly. His return as a knight of the shire twice under Elizabeth reflected this improvement. He died on 29 Sept. 1563 and was buried at Menheniot.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Authors: J. J. Goring / M. K. Dale


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Aged 52 in 1556, Vis. Cornw. (Harl. Soc. ix), 229, 475-6. Vis. Cornw. ed. Vivian, 475-6; Vis. Som. (Harl. Soc. xi), 111; Devon and Cornw. N. and Q. xxiii. 292-3.
  • 3. APC, vi. 118; CPR, 1553, p. 351; 1560-3, p. 435.
  • 4. C142/138/24; Gilbert, Cornw. i. 548, n. 1.
  • 5. Gilbert, 546-9; LP Hen. VIII, i; Leland, Itin. ed. Smith, i. 209; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 71; APC, vi. 118, 226; C3/36/45; 142/138/24; CPR, 1557-8, pp. 6-7.