TREFFRY, Thomas (1563-1636), of the Middle Temple, London; later of Lostwithiel, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

bap. 16 June 1563, 3rd s. of John Treffry (d.1590) of Place, Fowey by his 2nd w. Emlyn, da. and coh. of John Tresithny; bro. of William. educ. New Inn; M. Temple 1584, called 1594. m. Catherine (d.1625), da. and coh. of Thomas Hellier alias Mayowe of Lostwithiel, 2da.

Offices Held

Mayor, Lostwithiel 1604, 1625, 1631.


The Treffry family, who had risen to a leading position in the borough of Fowey during the fifteenth century, were closely connected with the protestant movement under Edward VI, and some of them were Marian exiles. Treffry himself was a lawyer, who, until he vacated his chamber in the Middle Temple at the end of the century, acted as a London agent for Fowey. In 1595 he was ‘emboldened to write’ to Sir Robert Cecil, since ‘our haven of Fowey being opposed to that part of Brittany possessed by the enemy, we understand daily the affairs of these parts, and I think sooner than any other part of England, by reason of the shortness of the cut and our common intercourse of merchandise’. Two years later he or his brother William sent intelligence to Cecil about Spanish ships and troops. In December 1598 Treffry was appointed by the Cornish deputy lieutenants to collect £271 from the Exechequer for victualling and transporting 300 soldiers from Fowey to Ireland. Probably before the end of Elizabeth’s reign he retired to Lostwithiel, where he became mayor. He died 9 Mar. 1636, leaving two married daughters, Emlyn and Blanche. Treffry had promised his late wife to leave his lands and goods to Blanche, whom he made executrix, and who proved the will 5 July 1636. His ‘old true friend’ William Leonard, received money for a ring, and his grandson Charles Kendall his law books.

Vis. Cornw. (Harl. Soc. ix), 221 n; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 460; Burke L G (1952), p. 2539; J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, ii. 252-5; E. W. Rashleigh, Fowey, 16, 17; SP46/73/31; A. L. Rowse, Tudor Cornw. 350, 381-2; M.T. Mins. passim; CSP Dom.1591-4, pp. 463-4; 1595-7, p. 459; HMC Hatfield, v. 322; vii. 444; APC, xxix. 413; PCC 81 Pike; C142/536/29.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.