TREVANION, Charles (d.1601), of St. Michael Caerhayes, 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

4th s. of Sir Hugh Trevanion of Caerhayes by Sybil, da. of Sir Thomas Morgan of ?Arkestone, Herefs. m. Joan, da. and h. of Robert Wichalse of Chudleigh, Devon, 2s. 2da. suc. bro. 1588.

Offices Held

J.p. Cornw. from c.1592, sheriff 1595-6; v.-adm. Cornw. aft. Oct. 1597-1601.


Trevanion’s family had been established in Cornwall since at least the reign of Edward III. His father and grandfather promoted the Reformation in the west during Henry VIII’s reign. He was connected by marriage with several neighbours; a sister had married John Trelawny of Fowey, another John Roscarrock (becoming the mother of Nicholas Roscarrock, the recusant historian), and a third John Trevor. Yet another sister married Robert Carey, son of Lord Hunsdon, the Queen’s cousin.1

Trevanion presumably owed his return for Grampound to his family’s local standing, Caerhayes being within six miles of the borough. In 1588, Trevanion succeeded unexpectedly to these estates, his three elder brothers having died within twelve years of one another. He became an active justice of the peace, on one occasion sequestering the cargo of the Flying Hart of Amsterdam, which had been brought into Fowey by pirates, and on another removing fish-weirs and other obstructions set up in the river Fowey, which were preventing ships sailing up to Lostwithiel. In 1599 he raised five hundred men for the defence of the county and in October 1601, a month before his death, he was recruiting, in his capacity as vice-admiral of Cornwall, two hundred sailors for service in Ireland.

Richard Carew of Antony wrote of Trevanion:

through his virtue as free from greediness, as through his fair livelihood far from neediness; and by daily experience giving proof, that a mind valuing his reputation at the due price, will easily repute all dishonest gain much inferior thereunto, and that in conversing with the worst sort of people (which his office oftentimes enforceth) he can no more be disgraced than the sunbeams by shining upon a dunghill will be blemished.2

He died 11 Nov. 1601. In his will, made the previous August and proved in February 1610, he made exact provision for the disposition of his estate, the heir not being of age. Trevanion’s widow was to hold lands in Veryan and Delabole, Cornwall, and Filleigh, Devon, for her son’s use until he came of age. But if she married again (in fact she married John Hannam), refused the charge or died, they were to be held by Sir Reginald Mohun II, John Trevor, William Treffry, Hugh Trevanion of Gerrans and John Cardew, who were all appointed overseers of the will. As executrix the widow was bound in £4,000 to the heir for the due performance of her stewardship during the minority.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Irene Cassidy


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 501-2; APC, xxxii. 256; D. Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. iii. 199; A. L. Rowse, Tudor Cornw. 223-4, 252, 258, 298.
  • 2. APC, xxviii. 68; xxx. 352; xxxii. 256; Carew’s Surv. Cornw. ed. Halliday, 155, 159, 217.
  • 3. C142/268/141; PCC 16 Wingfield, 91 Wood.