TRELAWNY, Charles (c.1653-1731), of Trelawne, Pelynt, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1701
Dec. 1701

Family and Education

b. c.1653, 4th but 2nd surv. s. of (Sir) Jonathan Trelawny I, 2nd Bt.; bro. of Henry Trelawny, John Trelawny II, and Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 3rd Bt., bp. of Bristol 1685-9, Exeter 1689-1707, Winchester 1707-21. m. (1) lic. 1 May 1690, Anne (d.1691), da. and coh. of Richard Lower, MD, of Covent Garden, Westminster, wid. of William Morice II of Werrington, Devon, s.p.; (2) 25 June 1699, Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Mitchell, rector of Notgrove, Glos. 1665-86, 1da.1

Offices Held

Capt. 2 R. Eng. Regt. (French army) 1674-7; capt.-lt. Duke of Monmouth’s Ft. 1678, maj. 1678-9; maj. 2 Tangier Regt. (later 4 Ft.) 1680, lt.-col. 1680, col 1682-92; brig. 1689; maj.-gen. 1690; gov. Dublin 1690, Plymouth 1696-1722.2

Freeman, Portsmouth 1683, Liskeard and East Looe 1685, Plymouth 1696; j.p. Cornw. 1687-?d., dep. lt. July 1688-?d., commr. for assessment 1689-90; mayor, East Looe 1694-5; v.-adm. S. Cornw. 1702-?14.3

Commr. for reform of abuses in the army 1689; groom of the bedchamber 1689-92; commr. for land bank 1699.4


Trelawny served in the French army, and later helped Percy Kirke to raise a new regiment for Tangier in 1680. He returned to England on the withdrawal of the garrison in 1683 and was elected to James II’s Parliament for East Looe on the family interest, but left no trace on its records. He took part in the battle of Sedgemoor and was commended by the King for ‘suppressing and securing rebels’. He was recorded as absent for the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, but Sunderland ordered him to stand for re-election as court candidate, though he was ousted as freeman of Liskeard in September 1688. He was won over to the Prince of Orange by Henry Sidney, his chief value being that they hoped he would either engage his brother, Bishop Trelawny, or at least ensure his neutrality. He was engaged with Kirke in November in the plot to seize James II at Warminster, and went over to William with some thirty of his men when Kirke was arrested.5

Re-elected for East Looe at the general election of 1689, Trelawny was not an active Member of the Convention. A court Tory, he did not vote to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. As ‘Col. Trelawny’ he may have been appointed to the committees to bring in a mutiny bill (13 Mar.) and to reverse the quo warranto against London (13 July); but for most of the session he was on active service. In the following year he acquired the Hengar estate by marriage, and he resigned his regiment in 1692 at the time of the agitation against foreign officers. He died on 24 Sept. 1731, and was buried at Pelynt. His heir was his nephew Edward, who sat for West Looe as an independent Member from 1724 to 1732.6

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 474-82; J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, i. 389; Soc. of Genealogists, Exeter mar. lic.; Atkyns, Glos. 308.
  • 2. J. Childs, Army of Charles II, 247; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 15; 1690-1, p. 192; Luttrell, ii. 79, 328; iv. 55.
  • 3. R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 367; CSP Dom. 1685, p. 66; 1696, p. 424; A. L. Browne, Corp. Chrons. 58, 60; Ind. 24557.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 97; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 350; x. 34; CJ, xii. 510.
  • 5. HMC 2nd Rep. 22; HMC 7th Rep. 418, 492; Burnet ed. Routh, iii. 279; Clarke, Jas. II, ii. 222, 225; CSP Dom. 1687-9, p. 276; PC2/72/735.
  • 6. Luttrell, ii. 328; Vivian, 482.