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Jonathan Trelawney
(1650-1721)

Bishop of Exeter
Bishop of Winchester
Born: 24th March 1650 at Trelawny, Pelynt, Cornwall
Died: 19th July 1721 at Chelsea, Middlesex


Jonathan Trelawney was the son of Sir Jonathan Trelawney Senior of Pelynt (Cornwall) and his wife, Mary, daughter of Sir Edward Seymour of Berry Pomeroy (Devon). He entered the church and became, first, Bishop of Bristol, before being translated to the See of Exeter in 1688. He is chiefly remarkable from having been, as Bishop of Bristol, one of the famous seven bishops committed to the Tower of London by King James II, at which time he became the subject of the Cornish ballad, the burthen of which runs:

"And shall Trelawney die!
And shall Trelawney die!
There's twenty thousand Cornish lads
Will know the reason why."

Trelawney was translated to Winchester in 1707, in which office he died, twenty years later. He was buried in the Church of Pelynt in Cornwall.

Edited from Richard John King's "Handbook to the Cathedrals of England: Southern Division" (1903).