TREISE, Sir Christopher (1728-80), of Lavethan, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



24 May 1762 - 1768

Family and Education

bap. 23 Apr. 1728, o. surv. s. of John Treise of Lavethan by his w. Olympia Lark. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1747. unm.  suc. fa. Nov. 1755.  Kntd. 23 Feb. 1761, upon presenting the address of the county on the accession of Geo. III.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cornw. 1760-1.


Thomas Pitt jun, in his ‘Family Characters and Anecdotes’1 (written in 1781) gives a somewhat confused account of the Bodmin by-election of 1762, thinking, at a distance of nearly 20 years, that it was caused by the elevation of William Irby to the peerage, whereas it occurred on John Parker vacating the seat in order to stand for Devon. Pitt says that his father having originally introduced Irby to Bodmin and always supported him there, he himself now desired to know through Lord Bute ‘if there was any one his Majesty wished I should bring into Parliament for that place’.

His Lordship ... put me off with general expressions, assuring me that the vacancy would not happen so soon as was imagined, and by that means prevented me from securing my interest by early applications. This gave to Sir Christopher Treise an opportunity of engaging the votes in his behalf before I could take my measures; which was no sooner known to Lord Bute than after applying round to every quarter that could be of no service to him, he sent to me in the King’s name to desire the performance of my promise. I replied that it was too late; that he had deprived me of my natural influence in that borough for which favour I felt as I ought, that however I would go down into Cornwall and if I could prevail with Sir Christopher Treise to decline his pretensions I would still answer for bringing in the person named to me from his Majesty. Sir Christopher would not be persuaded ...

Two things can be inferred from this account: that Treise was returned on his own interest—his extensive estates adjoined Bodmin; and that his election was not favoured by Bute.

In Bute’s list, and again in Rockingham’s of 1766, Treise was classed as a Tory: he was an independent country gentleman. He was not in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries, and was omitted from Newcastle’s list of 13 Nov. 1762. According to the History of the Late Minority he voted against the peace preliminaries, but does not appear in the lists of Fox and Newcastle. He voted with Opposition over Wilkes and general warrants; was classed by Newcastle as a ‘sure friend’, 10 May 1764, and again as a friend in March 1767. Four speeches by him are recorded, all against the cider tax: 13 Mar. 1763, 7 and 10 Feb. 1764, and 7 Mar. 1766.2 He did not vote either on the land tax or the nullum tempus bill—possibly absent through illness—in a letter to James Buller, 30 Jan. 1761, he speaks of ‘that perpetual company, ill-health and exhausted spirits’.3 He was defeated at Bodmin in 1768, and does not seem to have stood again.

He died 4 Dec. 1780, leaving his estates to the son of his only sister, John Morshead.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Boconnoc mss.
  • 2. Harris’s ‘Debates’; Fortescue, i. 278.
  • 3. Buller mss at Antony.