TRELAWNY, John II, of Trelawny, Cornw.
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Family and Education
Commr. of inquiry, Cornw. Feb. 1417 (services due to the burgesses of Liskeard); oyer and terminer May 1426.
Coroner, Cornw. by Dec. 1414-June 1418.2
The second John Trelawny to sit in Parliament seems to have been the most prominent of the trio bearing this name, being the only one to represent his county. (It is possible, however, that the shire knight of 1413 was the eldest John, who had sat for Bodmin in 1397.) Whether it was he or his father who attended the shire elections of 1411 (when Richard Trelawny was returned for Launceston), 1414 (Nov.) and 1416 (Mar.), and was present at Launceston in November 1414 to witness a grant by the local authorities for the foundation of St. John’s chapel,3 also remains uncertain; but his service in the coronership suggests that it was the subject of this biography who did so. And it was certainly this John Trelawny who excelled himself in France and, according to family tradition, fought at Agincourt. In August 1415 he received letters of protection to safeguard his interests while he was overseas in the retinue of Edward, Lord Courtenay, the earl of Devon’s heir, who did indeed combat the French on that field; and within two years he had been knighted. In March 1417 he was preparing to go abroad again, this time under the command of the duke of Exeter. While on military service in Normandy, Trelawny clearly could not carry out his duties as coroner in Cornwall, so the Crown ordered the sheriff to hold a fresh election to provide a replacement. At Gisors on 27 Sept. 1419, now as a ‘King’s knight’, he was granted £20 p.a. as an annuity from the coinage of tin in Cornwall.4
Trelawny’s return home in the King’s train enabled him to attend both Parliaments of 1421 as a knight of the shire, while John Trelawny III (probably his younger brother) sat in the second of these for Liskeard. The latter acted on his relation’s behalf in 1422 at the assizes when he was accused with Roger Menwenick* and other of their kinsmen of disseising the prior of Launceston of common of the pasture at Trelaske. It would appear that by then Sir John had inherited the family estates. He exercised the right of patronage at Menheniot, a family living, in 1426. Trelawny was still receiving his royal annuity in 1432, and is last recorded in the following year completing a transaction concerning his manor of Trewinnick and other properties in Cornwall which, in default of heirs, were to pass to Thomas Courtenay, earl of Devon. He died before 1447, when Richard Trelawny, his presumed brother, presented to the church at Menheniot.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 475; DKR, xliv. 602.
- 2. KB27/632 m. 19d; CCR, 1413-19, p. 464.
- 3. C219/10/6, 11/4, 8; R. and O.B. Peter, Hist. Launceston, 120.
- 4. DKR, xliv. 569, 571, 602; CPR, 1422-9, p. 9; Rot. Gasc. et Franc. ed. Carte, i. 316; CCR, 1413-19, p. 464.
- 5. JUST 1/1531 m. 32; Reg. Lacy ed. Hingeston-Randolph, i. 183, 185, 189; Feudal Aids, i. 233; SC6/814/22; Cornw. Feet of Fines (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. 1950), 1007.