The Trevelyans and Nettlecombe Court

Nettlecombe Court, 18th-century South front

The Trevelyans and Nettlecombe Court

The Trevelyans came from Cornwall, the name derives from the Cornish for mill town, where they had several modest properties. However in the reign of Henry VI a John Trevelyan went to court and entered the king’s service. He supported the duke of Suffolk, who was murdered in 1450, and had the dubious honour of appearing in at least three political poems, sometimes by name and once as the Cornish chough. He was accused like others of misleading the king -- ‘Tent to the tale of Trevilian and fynde by his falsed what worship he wan’ -- and was petitioned against in Parliament as unfit to serve the king.

His greatest success turned out to be his marriage at Christmas 1452 to Elizabeth Whalesborough, a lady not only well connected at court, but granddaughter of Joan Ralegh heiress to that family's Somerset estate based in Nettlecombe. The death of her brother ensured that on her father’s death in 1481 the estates of the Whalesborough and Ralegh families in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset were added to the Trevelyans’s Cornish estates and those in Su