Wednesday, January 20, 2016

{67} Ruvigny Addition: Essex Descent for Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Trevanion Coat of Arms
[Argent, on a fess Azure, between two
chevrons Gules, three escallops Or
The renowned Romantic poet Lord Byron should have been included by Ruvigny in his 1908 Isabel of Essex volume. Byron descends from that lady through his ancestress Jane (neé Drummond), wife of Charles Trevanion of Caerhays Castle, Cornwall. She was the youngest of four daughters and co-heirs of Sir Maurice Drummond, a courtier high in the favour of the Stuart kings. He was a Gentleman Usher to Charles I, and before that had served in the household of Queen Henrietta Maria (who most likely stood as godmother to Drummond's eldest daughter, named for her). Jane was a mere toddler when her father Sir Maurice died in 1642, and it was her mother Dame Dorothy Drummond who was the parental figure in Jane’s life. Born Dorothy Lower into a Cornish gentry family which had purchased the manor of St Winnow in 1471, and made it their chief seat. Dorothy’s father Sir William Lower was a true Renaissance man who studied law, sat in Parliament, and became fascinated with astronomy. Part of the circle around the young Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, he married that earl’s first cousin, Penelope Perrot, an heiress who brought him an estate of around 2,300 acres in Carmarthenshire, including the seat of Trefenty House (see the 1979 article 'Trefenty: Some Observations and Reflections' by Maj. Francis Jones, Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary, in The Carmarthenshire Historian). Sir William loved Trefenty, adopted it as his home, and set up telescopes for astronomical observation. He died there, leaving an eight-year-old daughter Dorothy and a pregnant wife, who gave birth to Lower’s son seven months after his decease. Penelope (neé Perrot) Lower was a formidable woman: her mother had re-married when Penelope was four, to the earl of Northumberland, and she was raised alongside her Percy half-siblings. She also had the well-connected, politically active Lettice (née Knollys), dowager countess of Essex, as a doting grandmother - it was Knollys kinsmen who had overseen Penelope's marriage contract with Sir William Lower.  Taking full advantage of these powerful relatives and their court influence, young widowed Penelope Lower secured the administration of her husband’s estate and the wardship of her infant posthumous son Thomas Lower.

Two years before her own re-marriage to Sir Robert Naunton, Penelope Lower arranged the marriage of her ten-year-old daughter Dorothy to Maurice Drummond. When Thomas Lower died unmarried and childless at age 45 in February 1661, his widowed sister Dame Dorothy Drummond succeeded to Trefenty House (the other major estate, St Winnow in Cornwall, passed to a distant male cousin). Dorothy still had her two youngest daughters, Penelope and Jane, unmarried. Five months later in July 1661, Penelope Drummond was married to Edmund Plowden, heir to the Shropshire estate Plowden Hall. And within five years, Jane Drummond’s marriage was arranged to Charles Trevanion of Caerhays Castle. Dame Dorothy Drummond held firm to the Catholic faith throughout her life, and saw to it that her three eldest daughters married into families of that faith.
Trefenty Old House, Carmarthenshire [Image by Dyfed Archaeological Trust]
Charles Trevanion was cut from an altogether different religious cloth, and it’s interesting that his marriage to Jane Drummond occurred at all, for it was to prove very unhappy. He hated Popery, and was so upset that Jane was raising their three children in the Catholic faith that he disinherited his elder son and heir John in 1686. The younger son Charles became a Catholic priest, and was completely written off by his father. John Trevanion took a Catholic wife Anne Blake, but conformed before his father’s death so that he inherited Caerhays Castle and the rest of the family lands in 1703. This must’ve broken the heart of his mother Jane, who lived in London and had long been estranged from her late husband. When she made out her will (P.C.C. Smith, 132) in 1709, she did not wish to be buried at Caerhays next to her husband, but rather, "to be buried in the parish Church of St. Clement Dane in the County of Middlesex as near my dear mother the late Lady Drummond and my sister Plowden as conveniently I may." Jane's only daughter Mary Winifred Trevanion had died unmarried ten years previous, but Jane leaves nothing, nor makes any mention at all, of either of her two sons, both very much alive, though (at the time) childless. Her jewels, plate, goods and chattels, even the portrait of herself, she left to servants, and to the grandchildren of her late sister Penelope Plowden. The Plowdens in fact are the only relatives Jane names in her will - she makes her nephew William Plowden (1668-1741) one of her two executors (the other one was an attorney, Joseph Sherwood). Jane's younger son, the priest Charles Trevanion, used his mother's surname Drummond as part of his religious name, which doesn't suggest there was an estrangement between them, so his absence from her will may be due to his Catholic vocation. But to pass over as an executor, and indeed to completely overlook, her elder son John Trevanion, does hint at possible estrangement between mother and heir in her final years. The administration of the estate of Charles Trevanion had originally been granted to his widow Jane on 14 Dec. 1703, two weeks after his death, but a little over a year later, on 10 Feb. 1705, Jane renounced administration of the estate and it was granted to her son John. It's possible this had caused, or resulted from, a quarrel over the Trevanion estate.
Drummond Coat of Arms

JANE DRUMMOND, b. c.1640; d. by 4 July 1710 (when her will was proved), bur. St Clement Danes, London, yst dau. of Sir Maurice Drummond of Westminster (d. 1642) and Dorothy Lower (1607-1677, descended from Edward III - see Generation 13 below); m. by 1666, CHARLES TREVANION of Caerhays Castle, Cornwall, b. c.1631; d. 26 Nov. 1703, bur. St Michael Church, Caerhays, son of John Trevanion, Heir of Caerhays Castle (1613-1643, descended from Edward III) and Anne Arundell (c.1611-1701, descended from Edward III), and had issue, two sons and one daughter.

Issue of Charles and Jane (Drummond) Trevanion:

1) JOHN TREVANION of Caerhays Castle, b. 1667; d. 15 Aug. 1740 Caerhays Castle, bur. St Michael Church, Caerhays, M.P. Tregony 1705-08, Bodmin 1708-10, Cornwall 1710-22; m. 1st by 1699, ANNE BLAKE, b. c.1675; d.s.p. by 12 Nov. 1725 (when administration of estate was granted), dau. of Sir Francis Blake of Ford Castle, Northumberland (1638-1718, descended from Edward I) and Elizabeth Carr (1640-by 1713, descended from Edward III); m. 2nd 29 Mar. 1726, Hon. BARBARA BERKELEY, bap. 13 Nov. 1704 St Martin in the Fields, London; d. 16 Mar. 1772 Bath, Somersetshire, dau. of William, 4th Baron Berkeley of Stratton (c.1666-1741, descended from Edward I) and Frances Temple (d. 1707), and had issue, one son and two daughters.

Issue of John and Hon. Barbara (Berkeley) Trevanion:

1A) WILLIAM TREVANION of Caerhays Castle, b. 15 Mar. 1727; d.s.p. 24 Jan. 1767, bur. St Michael Church, Caerhays, M.P. Tregony 1747-1767; m. 19 May 1758 St George Hanover Square, London, as her 1st husband, ANNE BARLOW, bap. 7 Nov. 1737 St Mary Church, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, d.s.p. by 1792, only dau. of George Barlow of Slebech Hall, Pembrokeshire, and Anne Blundell.

1B) FRANCES TREVANION, b. 1728; d. 25 Dec. 1762 The Hyde, East Hyde, Luton, Bedfordshire, bur. 1 Jan. 1763 St Mary Church, Luton; m. 25 Mar. 1753 St Mary Church, Reading, Berkshire, as his 1st wife, Dr. JOHN BETTESWORTH of East Hyde, bap. 30 Oct. 1720 St Margaret Church, Westminster; d. 22 Sept. 1779 The Hyde, bur. St Mary Church, Luton, son of Dr John Bettesworth of Northchurch, Hertfordshire, dean of the Arches (1677-1751) and Elizabeth Jones, and had issue, one son.
The Hyde, East Hyde, Luton, Bedfordshire, c.1967
[Image from 'Ames of Bristol', Landed Families of Britain and Ireland]
1C) SOPHIA TREVANION, b. 8 July 1730 Westminster, London, bap. 21 July 1730 St Margaret Church, Westminster; d. 6 Nov. 1790 Bath, Somersetshire, bur. 12 Nov. 1790 Bath Abbey; m. 8 Sept. 1748 Caerhays Castle, Cornwall, her first cousin, Hon. JOHN BYRON of Plymouth, Devon, b. 8 Nov. 1723; d. 5 Apr. 1786 London, bur. 10 Apr. 1786 St Mary Church, Twickenham, Governor of Newfoundland 1769-71, 2nd son of William, 4th Baron Byron of Rochdale (1670-1736, descended from Edward III) and his 3rd wife Hon. Frances Berkeley (c.1702-1757, descended from Edward I), and had issue, two sons and seven daughters.

2) CHARLES TREVANION aka DRUMMOND, Catholic priest, b. c.1669 Caerhays Castle, Cornwall; d. unm. 16 Mar. 1737 Richmond, Surrey.

3) MARY WINIFRED TREVANION, b. c.1670; d. unm. Jan. 1699 London, will dated 7 Jan. 1699, proved 26 Jan. 1699.

Ruvigny traces the descendants of Dorothy (née Devereux), countess of Northumberland (see Generation 12 below) in Table VI (p. 7) of the Isabel of Essex volume. He has her first husband Sir Thomas Perrot, but omits their daughter Penelope, and only gives Dorothy's issue from her second husband Henry, 9th Earl of Northumberland. So the following descent from Edward III to Lord Byron is an addition to Ruvigny.

Edward III had a second surviving son,
Isabel (née Plantagenet), Countess of Essex
- see Generation 5
1) Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence (1338-1368) m. 1) Lady Elizabeth de Burgh (1332-1363, descended from Edward I), and had
2) Lady Philippa Plantagenet of Clarence (1355-1377) m. Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March (1352-1381), and had
3) Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March (1374-1398) m. Lady Alianore Holland (1370-1405, descended from Edward I), and had
4) Lady Anne Mortimer (1388-1411) m. Richard of York, 3rd Earl of Cambridge (1385-1415, descended from Edward III), and had
5) Lady Isabel Plantagenet (1409-1484) m. 2) Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex (1404-1483, descended from Edward III), and had
6) William, Lord Bourchier (c.1428-1477) m. 2) Lady Anne Woodville (c.1448-1489), and had
7) Cecily Bourchier (c.1473-1493) m. John Devereux, 2nd Lord Ferrers of Chartley (1464-1501, descended from Edward I), and had
8) Walter Devereux, 1st Viscount Hereford (c.1491-1558) m. 1) Lady Mary Grey (c.1492-1538, descended from Edward III), and had
9) Sir Richard Devereux of Lamphey (by 1513-1547) m. Lady Dorothy Hastings (c.1520-1566, descended from Edward III), and had
10) Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex (1539-1576) m. Lettice Knollys (1543-1634, descended from Edward III)[*1], and had
Dorothy (née Devereux),
Countess of Northumberland

- see Generation 11
11) Lady DOROTHY DEVEREUX, b. c.1564 Chartley Hall, Staffordshire; d. 3 Aug. 1619; m. 1st July 1583 St Augustine Church, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, Sir THOMAS PERROT of Haroldston, Pembrokeshire, M.P. Cardiganshire 1586, Pembrokeshire 1593, b. Sept. 1553; d. by 15 Feb. 1594 (when his will was proved), est son of Sir John Perrot of Haroldston (1528-1592, descended from Edward I) and his 1st wife Anne Cheney (c.1528-1553), and had
12) PENELOPE PERROT, b. c.1590; d. by 23 Mar. 1655 (when administration of estate was granted); m. 1st (settlement 13 Aug.) 1605, Sir WILLIAM LOWER of St Winnow, Cornwall, M.P. Bodmin 1601, Lostwithiel 1604, b. c.1570; d. 12 Apr. 1615 Trefenty House, Carmarthenshire, Wales, est son of Thomas Lower of St Winnow (d. 1610) and Jane Reskymer (1552-1615, descended from Edward I), and had[*2]
13) DOROTHY LOWER, b. 1607; d. by 16 Dec. 1679 (when her will was proved), bur. St Clement Danes, London; married by 1617, Sir MAURICE DRUMMOND of Westminster, d. by 13 May 1642 (when his will was proved), son of David Drummond and Margaret Graham, and had[*3]
14) JANE DRUMMOND (c.1640-1710) m. Charles Trevanion of Caerhays Castle (c.1631-1703) - see details above, and had
15) JOHN TREVANION of Caerhays Castle (1667-1740) m. 2) Hon. Barbara Berkeley (1704-1772) - see details above, and had
16) SOPHIA TREVANION (1730-1790) m. Hon. John Byron of Plymouth (1723-1786) - see details above, and had
Lord (6th Baron) Byron -
see Generation 18
17) Capt. JOHN BYRON of Marylebone, London, b. 7 Feb. 1757 Plymouth, Devon, bap. 17 Mar. 1757 St Andrew Church, Plymouth, d. 2 Aug. 1791 Valenciennes, France; m. 2nd 12 May 1785 St Michael Church, Bath, KATHARINE GORDON, bap. 22 Apr. 1764 Banff Parish Church, Banffshire, Scotland; d. 1 Aug. 1811 Newstead Abbey, bur. 9 Aug. 1811 St Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall Torkard, est dau. of George Gordon, 12th Laird of Gight Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (1740-1779, descended from Edward III) and Katherine Innes (c.1742-1782, descended from James IV), and had
18) GEORGE GORDON, 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale, famous poet 'Lord Byron', b. 22 Jan. 1788 Marylebone, London, bap. 1 Mar. 1788 St Marylebone Parish Church; d. 19 Apr. 1824 Missolonghi, Greece, bur. 16 July 1824 St Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall Torkard.

[*1] Lettice Knollys was the daughter of Katherine (née Carey) Knollys, who was in turn the daughter of 'the Other Boleyn Girl' Mary Carey, sister of Queen Anne Boleyn. This makes Jane (née Drummond) Trevanion a mtDNA (unbroken female line) descendant of Lady Mary (née Boleyn) Carey. As Jane Trevanion's only daughter predeceased her, childless, Jane's mtDNA line from Mary Boleyn went extinct on her own death.
Sir Robert Naunton (1563-1635)

[*2] Penelope (Perrot) Lower by her first husband, had an only surviving son, Thomas Lower of Trefenty House, M.P. East Looe 1640, b. 8 Dec. 1615; d. unm. 5 Feb. 1661, bur. 21 Mar. 1651 St Clement Danes, London. Penelope m. 2nd 1618, Sir Robert Naunton of Letheringham Hall (1563-1635), and had further issue, an only child, Penelope Naunton (1620-1647), who m. 1st Paul, 2nd Viscount Bayning, and m. 2nd, Philip Herbert, later 5th Earl of Pembroke & Montgomery, and had issue by both husbands.

[*3] The other three daughters of Dorothy (Lower) Drummond were: 1) Henrietta Maria Drummond, b. c.1630; bur. 14 Apr. 1694 St Giles in the Fields, London, m. 1st Robert Middlemore of Edgbaston Hall (c.1624-1652), and had issue, m. 2nd William Roper of Brentford (1623-1685, descended from Edward III) and had further issue; 2) Margaret Drummond, b. c.1635; d.s.p. 1656, m. (settlement 2 Sept.) 1652, as his 1st wife, John, 1st Baron Caryll of Durford (1626-1711, descended from Edward III); and 3) Penelope Drummond, b. c.1639; d. 28 Apr. 1699, bur. St Clement Danes, London, m. July 1661, Edmund Plowden of Plowden Hall (1640-1677, descended from Edward I), and had issue.

The next blogpost will explore Lord Byron's descents from James IV of Scotland, through his mother Catherine (Gordon) Byron.

Cheers,                           ------Brad


  1. Brad, your work has been fascinating and very insightful. You have certainly put a lot of effort and major time for all of us decedents of the Royals and I specially appreciate your efforts. Great work. Rachel H from Australia.

  2. Dear Rachel,

    Thank you for your kind words. I promise to start up new blogposts, as soon as I finish an article I'm working on for the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy.

    Thanks again, and Cheers.