One leader of the uprising – John Trevysall of Madron

Eglos Vadron
Eglos Vadron

There is no record of any Trevysall outside of the bill of attainder. There are several reasons for this – if John Trevysall was truly his name, then he may not have been important enough to leave other documents that mention him. Another reason is that surnames in Cornwall were not fixed; the trend for fixed family names came in during the sixteenth century. Before that, people had nicknames based on their work, or some joke, or they had patronymics ( X son or daughter of Y). Or there was another reason.

It is likely that Cornish names were unfamiliar to English clerks, and Trevysall may well be how a clerk heard the name that has come down to us as “Trevisa”. This is confirmed when a pardon, six years after the attainder, named John Trevysall, but gave Trevysa as an alternative. The reason for the pardon is not recorded, but it has some useful family information.[1] It reads in part:

“Thomas Tretherf, of Tretref, Cornw., s. and h. of John, and Mary his wife (d. and h. of John Trevysa or Trevysall and kinswoman and h. of Henry Trevysa) and Amicia Trevisa, widow and executrix of the said John Trevysa, 23 May.”

Tretref might be Trereife in Madron. This deed suggests that John Trevysall who was attained was the same John Trevysa who was mentioned with his brother Henry in a deed (A. 10288) around 1468[2] which reads:

“ Letter of attorney by John Trevysa and Amisia his wife to William John, chaplain, and John Pellour, to deliver seisin to Henry Trevysa and Martin Pendre, of lands, &c. in Lannargh Mor, Helstonburgh, Hellogan, Bodryvyell, Trewodones, Carvolgh, Carnegynfyn, Boswyn, Trevynsyn, Penhelek Byan, Polleowe, Trefoyll and Padystowe. Lannargh Mor, 10 August, 22 Edward IV. Seals.”

This gentleman was a landowner in the area, and it would be good to find out more about the leading families of Madron.

Written, translated and filmed by Matt Blewett.



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