Major-General Charles Trelawny, MP

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Charles Trelawny, MP

Birthdate: (78)
Death: September 24, 1731 (74-82)
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, MP, 2nd Baronet Trelawny and Mary Trelawny
Husband of Elizabeth Mitchell and Anne Lower
Brother of Captain John Trelawny, MP; Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 3rd Bt and Bishop of Winchester; Brig-Gen. Henry Trelawny, MP; William Trelawny and Chichester Trelawny

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About Major-General Charles Trelawny, MP

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

Biography 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 Notes 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.

Major General Charles Trelawny (1653 – 24 September 1731) was a British Army officer of Cornish descent, the fourth son of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 2nd Baronet.

Trelawny entered the army in 1672, receiving a commission in the Royal English Regiment of Foot, raised by the Duke of Monmouth, which served in the French Army in the Third Anglo-Dutch War. He was present at the invasion of the Dutch Republic and the Siege of Maastricht (1673), transferring as captain into the second battalion of the regiment, under Bevil Skelton, on 16 March 1674. He probably fought at Enzheim that year, and was at Altenheim the next, returning to England in 1677.

Trelawny was commissioned captain-lieutenant of the Duke of Monmouth's Regiment of Foot in 1678 and was promoted major on 1 November 1677. On 13 July 1680, he was appointed major of the Earl of Plymouth's Regiment of Foot, raised as part of the Tangier Garrison. (Trelawny's eldest brother, John, a captain, was killed at Tangier in May of that year.) He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the regiment on 27 November 1680, succeeding Percy Kirke, and succeeded Kirke as colonel on 23 April 1682. He returned to England upon the evacuation of Tangier in 1684, where part of the regiment fought at Sedgemoor the following year. Trelawny was also returned to the House of Commons that year, as Tory Member of Parliament for East Looe, a seat he retained until 1699.

One of the army conspirators against James II, Trelawny, with his lieutenant-colonel Charles Churchill, and part of his officers and men, deserted to William of Orange in November 1688 from Warminster. Dismissed by James, he was re-appointed by William on 31 December 1688 and the regiment renamed The Queen Consort's Regiment of Foot. Trelawney was promoted brigadier-general on 6 March 1689, and led a brigade in Ireland, crossing at Slanebridge to attack the Jacobite left wing at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. He served under Marlborough that September during his campaigns, and was promoted major-general on 2 December 1690. However, he resigned the command of his regiment (which went to his brother Henry) in 1692 to protest William's preferential treatment of foreign officers.

By this time, Trelawny had obtained an estate at Hengar by marriage (1 May 1690) to the heiress and widow Anne Morice (d. 1691). He was considered for appointment as colonel of the Coldstream Guards in 1694, but was thought too obnoxious to Whig sensibilities; it went instead to John Cutts. He was made Governor of Plymouth in 1696, and was returned as member for Plymouth in 1698, holding the seat until 1713. He married again on 25 June 1699, to Elizabeth Mitchell, by whom he had one daughter. Trelawny left the governorship of Plymouth in 1722 and died at Hengar on 24 September 1731.

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Major-General Charles Trelawny, MP's Timeline

September 24, 1731
Age 78