Trelawny, Sir Jonathan, Bart
TRELAWNY, SIR JONATHAN, BART. (1650-1721), English prelate, was a younger son of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, bart. (1624-1685), a member of a very old Cornish family, and was born at Pelynt in Cornwall on the 24th of March 1650. Educated at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford, Trelawny took holy orders in 1673, and in 1685, his elder brother having died in 1680, became third baronet in succession to his father. Having rendered good service to James II. during Monmouth's rebellion, Trelawny was consecrated bishop of Bristol on the 8th of November 1685. He was loyal to King James until the first declaration of indulgence in April 1687, when, as a bishop, he used his influence with his clergy against the king, and, as a Cornish landowner, resisted the attempt to assemble a packed parliament. In May 1688 Trelawny signed the petition against the second declaration of indulgence, and in the following month was imprisoned in the Tower of London with Archbishop Sancroft and five other bishops, sharing their triumphant acquittal. In spite of Burnet's assertion, it is probable that Trelawny did not sign the invitation to William of Orange, although he certainly welcomed his army into Bristol. Before this James II., anxious to regain the bishop's support, had nominated him to the see of Exeter; but Trelawny lost nothing, as this appointment was almost at once confirmed by William III. Unlike five of his colleagues among the " seven bishops," Trelawny took the oaths of allegiance to William and Mary; but he was soon estranged from the new king and sided with the princess Anne, who showed him some favour after she became queen. In 1707 Trelawny was appointed bishop of Winchester and became prelate of the Order of the Garter, but henceforward he took very little part in politics. He died at his residence at Chelsea on the 1pth of July 1721, and was buried at Pelynt. His wife was Rebecca (d. 1710), daughter of Thomas Hele of Bascombe, Devon, by whom he had a family of six sons and six daughters. His eldest son, John, the 4th baronet, died without sons in 1756, and the present baronet is descended from the bishop's brother, Henry (d. 1702). Another of his sons was Edward Trelawny (1690-1754), governor of Jamaica from 1738 to 1752. When bishop of Exeter, Trelawny, as visitor of Exeter College, Oxford, deprived the rector of his office, a sentence which was upheld on appeal by the House of Lords; and when bishop of Winchester he completed the rebuilding of Wolvesey Palace. Trelawny is the hero, or one of the heroes, of the refrain:
" And shall Trelawny die, Here's twenty thousand Cornishmen Will know the reason why."
These words were sung by the men of Cornwall, who seem to have assembled during the bishop's short imprisonment in 1688. It is probable, however, that a similar threat was heard in 1628, when John Trelawny (1592-1665), grandfather of the bishop, was imprisoned by the House of Commons for opposing the election of Sir John Eliot to parliament. The " Song of the Western Men," which contains the above refrain, was composed in 1825 by R. S. Hawker.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)