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The Trevor Family

The First Baron Trevor
The First Baron Trevor

The first Trevor to have a connection with Bromham was Thomas, 1st Baron Trevor. He was the son of Sir John Trevor of Trevalyn in Denbighshire who had been Secretary of State under King Charles II (1660-1688) and who died in 1672. His mother Ruth Hampden was the fourth, but first surviving, daughter of the parliamentarian John Hampden, one of the principal opponents of the Ship Money levied by King Charles I (1625-1649) and one of the king’s foremost enemies in the 1st Civil War before being killed at Chalgrove Field in 1643. The first baron was baptised on 8th March 1658 at Saint Bartholomew the Less in London, where his father would later be buried.

He was privately educated at Shilton, near Burford [Oxfordshire] and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1672. He matriculated at Christ Church College, Oxford the following year, aged 14 and became a barrister in November 1680. In May 1683 he was appointed King’s Counsel for the Duchy of Lancaster and served in this capacity until 1689 when he became Queen’s Attorney and King’s Counsel, becoming Treasurer of Inner Temple the following year. On 2nd May 1692 he was appointed Solicitor General, being knighted on 21st October following, becoming Attorney General in 1695. He then became Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas on 5th July 1701 and a privy counsellor in June 1702 until 1714 when George I (1714-1727) replaced Queen Anne (1702-1714). He was re-appointed a privy counsellor in March 1726 when appointed Lord Privy Seal, becoming Lord President of the Council in May 1730. He was MP for Plympton [Devon] from 1692 to 1698 and for Lewes [Sussex] in 1701.

Thomas Trevor married eighteen year old Elizabeth, daughter of John Searle of Finchley [Middlesex] on 5th June 1690. She died in May 1702, aged 30 and was buried at Camberwell [Surrey]. His second wife, whom he married on 25th September 1704 was his cousin Anne, widow of Sir Robert Bernard.

In 1708 Sir Thomas bought his Bromham estates from Lewis Dyve. It is ironic that the grandson of a committed Parliamentarian took over the estate from a grandson of a passionate Royalist, Sir Lewis Dyve. The estates included Bromham Hall and the manors of Bowels, Brayes and Wakes. In recognition of his service to the state, Sir Thomas was created 1st Baron Trevor of Bromham on 1st January 1712. He died on 19th June 1730 and was buried in Bromham church and his monument now stands in the Dynevor Chapel on the north side of the chancel.

Detail of the monument to the 1st Baron Trevor May 2012
Detail on the monument to the 1st Baron Trevor in Bromham church May 2012

He was succeeded by his eldest son, another Thomas, who was born about 1692. He was educated at Bishop's Stortford [Hertfordshire] and, like his father, was admitted to Inner Temple. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge. On 2nd February 1714 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Timothy Burrell of Cuckfield [Sussex], a fellow barrister. She died in 1734, aged 37, and was buried at Cuckfield. He died on 22nd March 1753 and was buried at Bromham. His daughter Elizabeth married Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough on 23rd May 1732.

Monument to the 3rd Baron Trevor in Bromham church May 2012
Monument to the 3rd Baron Trevor in Bromham church May 2012

The title was inherited by Thomas' brother John, who was born in August 1695. He attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and was also admitted to Inner Temple. He became King's Counsel and from 1724 to 1753 was Chief Justice of Carmarthen in Wales. Like his father he was a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was MP, as a whig, for Woodstock [Oxfordshire] from 1746 to 1753. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Steele, on 30th May 1732. The 3rd Baron died on 17th September 1764 at Bath [Somerset], aged 69 and was buried at Bromham where his monument may be seen in the north aisle. He had only one child, a daughter called Diana who was born in 1744 and died in 1778 and had severe learning difficulties.

The arms of the Viscounts Hampden
The arms of the Viscounts Hampden

The barony was inherited by Thomas and John's half-brother Robert. He was born on 17th February 1706 and on 22nd February 1754 changed his name by royal licence to Hampden in order to inherit the estates of his great-grandfather John Hampden. He attended Queen's College, Oxford and was secretary of the British Embassy in The Hague from 1734 to 1736. He was envoy to the Netherlands from 1739 to 1746 - the Netherlands was an ally in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748). He was joint Postmaster General from 1759 to 1765.

For his services to the state he was created Viscount Hampden of Great and Little Hampden in the County of Buckingham on 14th June 1776, although according to his friend Horace Walpole the enoblement was gained through the influence of his son-in-law the Duke of Suffolk, leader of the Whig Party. He married Constantia, daughter of Peter Anthony de Huybert, Lord van Kruyningen in The Hague on 6th February 1743. She died aged 34 on 15th June 1761. The viscount died of palsy at Bromham Hall on 22nd August 1783, aged 77 and was buried in the church. The Gentleman's Magazine of September 1783 said of him: "His collection of drawings and prints is indisputably one of the choicest in England. He had also an uncommon genius for Latin poetry". As well as Bromham Hall he had houses at Great Hampden [Buckinghamshire] and Chertsey [Surrey].

The 1st Viscount was succeeded by his son, Thomas, who was born in The Hague on 11th September 1746. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church College, Oxford. He was Whig MP for Lewes from 1768 to 1774 (as a peer he would switch allegiance to the Tories from 1789). His first wife, whom he married on 13th June 1768, was Catherine, daughter of General David Graeme of Braco Castle [Perthshire]. She died aged 55 on 24th May 1804 and he next married Jane Maria, daughter of George Brown of Ellistoun on 11th June 1805. She died in 1833, aged 60. The 2nd Viscount died on 20th August 1824, aged 77 and was buried at Glynde in Sussex. He had no children and he was succeeded, briefly, by his brother.

John, the 3rd Viscount, was born on 24th February 1749 and was also educated at Westminster School and Christ Church College, Oxford. From 1780-1783 he was minister to the Imperial Parliament, the Diet of Ratisbon and envoy to Turin from 1783 to 1798. He became a privy counsellor in 1797, though he never sat in either house and took no part in party politics. He married Harriet, daughter of Rev. Daniel Burton of Slapton [Buckinghamshire] on 5th August 1773. He was viscount for only twenty days, dying in Berkeley Square, London on 9th September 1824 and was buried at Glynde. The titles of Baron Trevor of Bromham and Viscount Hampden died with him. His wife died in Berkeley Square in 1829 aged 78. In 1884 Henry Bouverie William Brand was created Viscount Hampden of Glynde, he was a distant descendant of the 1st Viscount Hampden.

The Bromham estate was inherited by George Rice Rice, son of the 3rd Baron Dynevor. He had a busy few months as he changed his name by Royal Licence to Rice-Trevor on 28th October 1824 and married on 27th November. He had been born on 5th August 1795 and he married Frances, daughter of General Lord Charles Fitzroy. He inherited the title as 4th Baron Dynevor in 1852. He built the Dynevor Chapel in Bromham church to which the monument to the 1st Baron Trevor of Bromham was moved on completion in 1868. The chapel also has a touching monument to the 4th Baron Dynevor's third daughter Eva Gwenlian who died on 28th July 1842, aged 13. The monument reads: "She had received of every good gift and was remarkable for her great docility and for her kind and affectionate spirit towards all. But her bereaved Parents and her dear Sisters desire that she should be remembered chiefly for her love towards them her meekness and her cheerful patience under suffering, for her Christian Charity and above all for her early and fervent piety and for her entire but humble trust in God her Saviour"

Close up of the monument to Eva Gwenlian Rice Trevor May 2012
Close up of the monument to Eva Gwenlian Rice Trevor May 2012

 but the Bromham estates then passed to his daughter Elianore Mary Rice-Trevor, who was born in 1838 and died in 1897, aged 59. A Women's Institute scrapbook of 1956 [X535/3] says of her: "she ruled supreme over Bromham and is still a vivid and awe-inspiring figure in the memories of those who knew her. Even if her discipline was strict, her care for the village was unending". She and her sister, the Countess of Longford, built the village school in 1861. After her death her nephew Trevor Wingfield succeeded to the Bromham estates but on his death they were broken up.

Miss Rice Trevor about 1868
Miss Rice Trevor about 1868