TREBY, George (?1684-1742), of Plympton, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1708 - 1727
1727 - 8 Mar. 1742

Family and Education

b. ?1684, 1st s. of Sir George Treby, M.P. Plympton Erle 1677-81, 1689-92, Speaker of the House of Commons, c. j. of common pleas, by his 3rd w. Dorothy, da. of Ralph Grainge of the I. Temple. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 3 Apr. 1701, aged 16; M. Temple 1692. m. Charity, da. and coh. of Roger Hele of Holwell, Devon, 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1700.

Offices Held

Commr. for forfeited estates June 1716-19; sec. at war 1718-24; teller of the Exchequer Apr. 1724-Aug. 1727; master of the Household 1730-40; ld. of Treasury Oct. 1740-Feb. 1742.


The son of an eminent Whig lawyer and politician, with a strong electoral interest in the west country, Treby was returned at the first opportunity after coming of age for Plympton, where his family controlled one seat. During the split in the Whig party, 1717-20, he spoke (12 May 1717) against a Tory motion, supported by Walpole, for an extreme high churchman to preach before the House, voted against Lord Cadogan, 4 June 1717, and was appointed secretary at war in 1718. When, after Sunderland’s death, Townshend and Walpole were engaged in a struggle for power with Carteret, Treby was regarded in 1722 as Carteret’s choice as secretary of state in place of Townshend.1 In 1723 Townshend suggested to Walpole that the best way of getting rid of him would be to appoint him to a vacancy for the vice-treasureship of Ireland, by which ‘a way might have opened for bringing Mr. [Henry] Pelham into the war office’. In the event ‘an opportunity of disposing of Treby and putting in Pelham’ occurred in the following year when a tellership of the Exchequer fell vacant.2

On George II’s accession Treby was deprived of his tellership.3 Two days later he wrote to Walpole about the elections in the west of England which he was managing for the Government, adding:

No one can have a greater duty to his Majesty nor a greater regard for the present Ministry than myself. I was many years in Parliament when the Hanover succession was struck at and I had then the honesty to vote as you did. My father Sir George Treby was exempted by name out of King James II’s Act of Grace and by many actions showed himself a friend to the Protestant Succession. I have taken some pains and been at some expense to promote the same interest at Plympton, Plymouth, Totnes and Dartmouth and I can truly say his Majesty has not a more faithful subject.

In 1730 he returned to office as master of the Household.

At the general election of 1734 Treby acted as government manager not only for the four boroughs mentioned in his 1727 letter, but also for Oakhampton and Ashburton in conjunction with Sir William Yonge.4 In 1740 he was transferred to the Treasury, where he remained till he was turned out on Walpole’s fall in February 1742. He died shortly afterwards, 8 Mar. 1742.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. HMC Portland, vii. 312.
  • 2. Coxe, Walpole, ii. 256, 278.
  • 3. Add. 36127, f. 11.
  • 4. Treby to Walpole, 4 Aug. 1727 and 30 Apr. 1734, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.