General history: Baronets

Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1814.

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Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons, 'General history: Baronets', Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814), pp. lxxxix-xcv. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons. "General history: Baronets", in Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814) lxxxix-xcv. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

Lysons, Daniel. Lysons, Samuel. "General history: Baronets", Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814). lxxxix-xcv. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

Baronets of Cornwall.

Wrey of Trebigh, in St. Ive. — This ancient Devonshire family, in consequence of a marriage with an heiress of the Killigrew family, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, settled at Trebigh, which appears to have been their chief residence, when William Wrey, Esq. was created a baronet in 1628. His son, Sir Chichester, having married one of the coheiresses of Edward Bourchier, Earl of Bath, became possessed of Tawstock, the ancient seat of that noble family, which has ever since been the chief residence of his posterity, and is now the seat of his descendant Sir Bourchier Wrey, Bart. Trebigh is still in the family, but occupied by the tenant of the demesne farm.

Arms of Wrey: — Sable, a fesse between three pole-axes, Argent, helved, Gules; quartering Arg.; a cross engrailed Gules, between four water-bougets, Sable—Bourchier.

Crest: — On a wreath, a lion's head erased.

The grandfather of William Wrey, Esq., who was created a baronet, as abovementioned, married a coheiress of Killigrew.

Trelawney of Trelawney in Pelynt. — This ancient family are supposed to be descended from Hamelin, who held Treloen, and several other manors, under the Earl of Moreton, when the survey of Domesday was taken. They derive their name from the manor of Trelawney, in Alternon, the ancient residence of the family, which is supposed to have passed into other hands when the male line of the elder branch became extinct, on the death of Richard Trelawney, in the reign of Henry VI. This Richard was son of Sir John Trelawney, who signalized himself in the wars with France under King Henry V., and had a grant of twenty pounds per annum for his eminent services, besides an honourable augmentation to his arms, which is the present bearing of the family. Richard Trelawney above-mentioned, left two daughters. Mr. Jago, of Launceston, is the representative of the elder, through the families of Penpons and Arundell of Talverne. The Wreys and the Smiths of St. Germans inherited estates as descended from the other coheiress. John, younger son of Sir John Trelawney, continued the male line, and resided at Treserret, Brightorre, and Woolston. His descendant, Sir Jonathan Trelawney of Pool, in Menheniot, which had then been for a considerable time the seat of the family, purchased (out of regard to the name) the manor of Trelawney, in Pelynt, in the year 1600. His son, John Trelawney, Esq., was created a baronet in 1628, and was immediate ancestor of the Rev. Sir Harry Trelawney, Bart., who is descended from a younger brother of the Right Rev. Sir Jonathan Trelawney, Bart., Bishop of Winchester. In the course of about twenty descents, this ancient family have married the heiresses of Doyngell and Helligan; and coheiresses of Powna, Holland, Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire; Lamellin, Reskymer, Trecarrell, and Hele of Devonshire.

Ancient Arms of Trelawney: — Argent, a chevron, Sable. — Arms first borne by Sir John Trelawney, in the reign of Hen. V.: — Arg. a chevron Sable, between three oak-leaves, Vert.

Crest: — On a wreath, a wolf passant, proper.

A younger branch of the Trelawney family settled at Coldrinnick, in St. Germans, before the year 1500, and continued there for several descents. On the death of Charles Trelawney, Esq., the last heir-male, this estate was inherited by the Darells of Trewornan, who took the name of Trelawney. The present infant possessor of Coldrinnick is representative of the Darells of Trewornan, and this branch of the Trelawneys.

Vyvyan of Trelowarren, in Mawgan (Meneage). — This ancient family was originally of Trevidern in Burian, where they are traced, in their pedigree, somewhat earlier than the year 1300; they removed to Trelowarren about the beginning of the reign of Edward IV., in consequence of a marriage with the heiress of Ferrers, of that place. Their descendant, Sir Richard Vyvyan, was created a baronet in 1644. The present baronet is the Rev. Sir Carew Vyvyan, Bart., who has no issue. The heir-presumptive is Vyell Vyvyan, Esq., of Trelowarren, descended from Richard, second son of Sir Richard, the third baronet, by the heiress of Pyper, of Tresmarrow. This family have married the heiresses of Ferrers, Vivian of Coswarth, Hoblyn (fn. n16), and Pyper; and coheiresses of Arundell of Trerice, Glynn of Morval, Trethurfe (by one of the coheiresses of Courtenay Earl of Devonshire), Tremayne of Collacombe, Robins and Erisey.

Arms: — Argent, a lion rampant, Gules, armed, Sable.

Crest: — A horse passant, furnished, all proper.

Most of the families, if not all, bearing the name of Vyvyan or Vivian, in Cornwall, were derived from the same stock as the baronet's family. The name is spelt indiscriminately on ancient tombs of the nearest relations. Prior Vivian is supposed to have been a son of Robert, the second son of Richard Vyvyan, of Trelowarren, who married the heiress of Arundell. The Prior seems to have assumed a different coat of arms, which was confirmed to him by Wriothesley, Garter King of Arms: viz. Or, a chevron Az., charged with three annulets of the field, between as many lions' heads erased purple: on a chief Gules, three martlets, Argent. This coat was borne by the descendants of his brother John, who was of Bodmin, and had a son of the same name, who married the heiress of Tregoose of Penpol. Edward, second son of the last-mentioned John, left an only daughter and heir, married to Haweis. We have not been able to ascertain who is the representative of this branch. There are families of Vivian who bear the arms above-mentioned.

The Vivians or Vyvyans of Trenowth appear to have been descended from a younger son of John Vyvyan of Trelowarren, who married the coheiress of Trethurfe. John Vivian alias Trenowth died in 1545: his son married the heiress of Tresaster; his grandson, the heiress of Lower of Truro; his great grandson, a coheiress of Cavell. This branch became extinct (fn. n17) by the death of Francis Vivian, who married the heiress of Minard by the heiress of Coswarth. The daughter and only child of this Francis married Sir Richard Vyvyan of Trelowarren, grandfather of the present baronet. The Trenowth Vivians bore nearly the same arms as Prior Vivian, indeed the same coat without the annulets or the martlets. These arms were confirmed to Vyvyan of Trenowth by Sir John Borough, Garter King of Arms, in 1637. (fn. n18)

Trevelyan. — Although the ancestor of Sir John Trevelyan was of Nettlecombe, in Somersetshire, when created a baronet in 1661, yet as he then possessed Trevelyan in St. Veep, the ancient seat of the family (fn. n19) (which indeed is still their property), and in the early part of their history they were wholly Cornish, it will be necessary to speak of them here. This ancient family were settled at Trevelyan at a very early period, and were afterwards, for several descents, of Basil in St. Cleather. In the reign of Edward IV., they removed into Somersetshire, in consequence of a marriage with the heiress of Whalesborough of Whalesborough, in Marham-Church, who, through the heiress of Ralegh, were possessed also of Nettlecombe, in Somersetshire. The father of Trevelyan, who married Whalesborough, married the heiress of Bottreaux of Urder. Since their removal into Somersetshire, they have married other heiresses, but none connected with Cornwall.

Arms: — Gules, a horse, Argent, armed Or, rising out of the sea, party per fesse, wavy, Az., and of the second.

Crest: — On a wreath two arms, counter-embowed, proper, habited, Azure, and holding a bezant.

St. Aubyn of Clowance. — This ancient family, which came over with William the Conqueror, had their chief residence and estates in Somersetshire and Devonshire. They acquired Clowance, in the latter part of the fourteenth century, by the marriage of Sir Geffrey St. Aubyn (son of Sir Guy, who had married one of the coheiresses of Serjeaux of Colquite) with the heiress of Kimiell, who had married the coheiress of Helligan of Clowance. Sir John St. Aubyn, the eighth in descent from Sir Geffrey, was created a baronet in 1671, and was great-greatgrandfather of Sir John St. Aubyn, the present baronet. Besides the matches with Serjeaux and Kimiell already mentioned, this family have married the heiresses of Tremere, Godolphin of Treveneage, and Jenkin of Trekenning; and coheiresses of Trenowth, Whittington, De la Haye, and Morice.

Arms: — Ermine, on a cross, Gules, five bezants.

Crest: — On a wreath, a falcon rising, proper.

Francis St. Aubyn, second brother of Sir John, who was created a baronet in 1671, married to his first wife the heiress of Arundell of Trengwainton, and had by her a son, who died sine prole; by his second wife, the heiress of Croker of St. Agnes, he had two sons, one of whom left male issue. There were male descendants also from James, a younger son of Sir John St. Aubyn, the second baronet.

Molesworth of Pencarrow. — John Molesworth, a younger brother of the Molesworths of Helpston, in Northamptonshire, settled at Pencarrow in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. His second wife, whose issue continued the male line, was one of the coheiresses of Hender, of Bottreaux Castle. Hender Molesworth, Esq., his grandson, president of the council in Jamaica, and some time temporary governor of that island, was created a baronet in 1689, with remainder to his elder brother, Sir John Molesworth, Knt., of Pencarrow, who succeeded to the title, and from whom Sir Arscott Ourry Molesworth, the present baronet, is the fifth in lineal descent. Since their accession to the title, this family have married coheiresses of Morice and Smyth.

Arms: — Gules, an escutcheon vairé within an orle of cross crosslets, Or.

Crest: — On a wreath, a cubit arm, couped and armed with a gauntlet, proper, holding a cross crosslet, Or.

Lemon of Carclew in Milor. — William Lemon, Esq. purchased Carclew in 1749. His grandson, of the same name, was created a baronet in 1774, and has been, ever since that year, one of the representatives of the county.

Arms:— Argent, on a chevron, between three mullets, Gules, an eagle displayed, Or.

Crest: — On a wreath, a lion passant, Gules, the body charged with three mullets in fesse, Or.

Copley late Moyle, of Sprotborough, in Yorkshire. — The Moyles are an ancient Cornish family, and although Sir Joseph, who took the name of Copley, was described as above mentioned, when created a baronet in 1778, he then possessed the ancient seat of the Moyle family, Bake in St. Germans, which, indeed, is now the seat of his grandson, Sir Joseph Copley, the present baronet. Sir Joseph is immediately descended from a younger brother of Walter Moyle, the learned writer, who died without issue in 1721. The ancestor of this family married the heiress of Bake of Bake, in the reign of Edward III. Another ancestor of the family married the heiress of Fortescue of Hollacomb. The elder line of this family had become extinct towards the latter end of the fourteenth century, when the coheiresses married Bunbury, Kelly, Keale, and Tregasow.

Arms: — The arms of Moyle are, Gules, a mule passant, Argent; but Sir Joseph Copley bears the arms of Copley — Argent, a cross moline, Gules.

Crest: — A griffin's head erased, Gules.

Basset of Tehidy, created a baronet in 1779; since ennobled by the title of Lord de Dunstanville as already stated.

Morshead, of Trenant-Park, in Duloe, since sold to Sir Edward Buller, Bart. — The father and grand-father of Sir John Morshead, who was created a baronet in 1783, were of Cartuther in Menheniot. His father married the sister and heiress of Sir Christopher Treise, Knt. Sir John Morshead has now no residence in Cornwall.

Arms: — Azure, a cross crosslet Argent, between four martlets, Or; on a chief of the second, three escallop-shells, Gules.

Crest: — On a wreath, a demi-dragon regardant Vert., collar'd Or, holding between his paws an escutcheon Sable, charged with a bezant.

Hawkins of Trewithan in Probus. — John Hawkins, ancestor of this family, being, according to tradition, of the family of Hawkins, of Nash-Court, in Kent, came into Cornwall in the year 1554; his descendant, of the same name, settled at Trewinnard in St. Erth (now belonging to Sir Christopher Hawkins) in 1636. Trewithan was acquired by marriage with the coheiress of Hawkins, of that place, early in the last century. Christopher Hawkins, Esq., second son of the late Thomas Hawkins, Esq., of Trewithan, was created a baronet in 1791, and is the present owner of Trewithan. This family have married coheiresses of Bellot of Bochym, and Hawkins of Pennans and Trewithan.

Arms: — Per saltier Or and Argent, on a saltier Sable, five fleur-de-lis of the first; a border gobony, of the first and third.

Crest:— A cubit arm in armour, thereon two fleur-de-lis in pale, Azure, grasping in the hand, proper, a baton Or, tipped Sable.

The arms of Hawkins of Pennans, as confirmed to Sir Christopher Hawkins in 1793, and borne by him quarterly, are, Per pale, Argent and Or, on a saltier Sable, a lozenge charged with a fleur-de-lis, Gules, between four others, Or.

Call of Whiteford in Stoke Climsland. — Sir John Call, who was a very eminent military engineer, and held several lucrative offices under the presidency of Madras, was created a baronet in 1791; he married a coheiress of William Bathie, M. D., and was succeeded by his son Sir William Pratt Call, the present baronet.

Arms: — Gules, three trumpets in fesse Argent.

Crest: — A demi-lion rampant, holding a trumpet in his paws, as in the arms.

Buller of Trenant-Park (fn. n20). — Edward Buller, Esq., Captain in the Royal Navy, now Vice-Admiral of the Blue, third son of the late John Buller, Esq. of Morval, some time one of the Lords of the Treasury, and M. P. for West-Loo, who died in 1786, was created a baronet in 1808.

When Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Pellew, grandson of George Pellew, of Flushing near Falmouth, was created a baronet in 1796 for his gallant services, he was described of Treverry in St. Martins (in Meneage), the property of his brother Samuel Pellew, Esq.

Arms:— Argent, a chevron, Gules; in base an oak-wreath Vert, tied Azure; on a chief of the second, three mascles of the first.

Crest: — A ship in distress on a rock, proper; over the crest, in a scroll, Deo juvante.


  • n16. Sole heir of the Rev. Carew Hoblyn (a son of Hoblyn of Nanswhydden), by a coheiress of Carew of Penwarne.
  • n17. In the elder line, at least; it is very probable that there are male descendants from younger sons. John Vivian, who married the coheiress of Cavell, had ten sons, none of whom are described in the pedigree as dying in infancy.
  • n18. We were favoured with the above particulars respecting the Vyvyan family by the Rev. Fr. Vyvyan Jago.
  • n19. Trevelyan continued to be a seat of the family in the reign of Henry VIII.
  • n20. For some account of the family and arms, see p. ci.