Trevelyan (Charles Philips) Archive

Scope and Content

This archive includes content accumulated and created by both Charles and Mary, and other family members. It reflects the family's personal activities from Charles' childhood in the 1870s to Mary's death in 1966, but also includes some content from Charles' professional life. It can support research into a broad variety of areas, including political history (particularly the Liberal and Labour parties, socialism and international relations), World War I (particularly dissent and the peace movement), childhood and education (from both a personal and political perspective), domesticity, class and landed estates.
This extensive personal archive is mostly comprised of correspondence. This includes:

  • Correspondence to Charles in his role as MP
  • Correspondence to and from Charles relating to the operation of the Union of Democratic Control
  • Correspondence to and from Charles relating to his positions in government
  • Correspondence relating to the management of the Wallington estate and the donation to the National Trust
  • Correspondence between members of the Trevelyan and Bell families, much of which is domestic in tone
  • Correspondence to and from Charles and Mary's children from their early childhood to adulthood
  • Correspondence from visits abroad including North America, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Russia and Germany
The correspondents include family members such as Charles' brothers George Macaulay Trevelyan and Robert Calverley Trevelyan, Mary's sister and brother in law Elsa Richmond and Admiral Sir Herbert William Richmond. Other correspondents include Sir Winston Churchill, J Ramsay MacDonald, E D Morel, Arthur Ponsonby, Walter Runciman, Herbert Samuel, George Bernard Shaw and Jennie Lee.

Other documents include:

  • Papers relating to Charles, Mary and their childrens' educations, including exam papers and school ephemera
  • Personal Diaries, in particular a short run of Mary's personal diaries as a young woman
  • Official political papers, including Cabinet Conclusions, draft bills[?] and copies of Hansard
  • Pamphlets and leaflets written by and collected by Charles, many relating to socialism and the UDC
  • Transcripts of speeches given by Charles and Mary in professional and personal capacities
  • Personal notebooks with draft speeches and essays
  • Family photograph albums and glass negatives, recording family events, daily life, and Charles' political career
  • Press cuttings and scrapbooks relating to family events and Charles' career

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Philips Trevelyan (1870-1958) was the first son of George Otto Trevelyan and Caroline Lady Trevelyan of Wallington Hall, Northumberland. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College Cambridge, Charles' political career began with a role as Private Secretary to Lord Houghton at Dublin Castle. However he did not enjoy the work and returned to England in 1893. After his return to England, he ran an unsuccessful campaign as Liberal candidate for North Lambeth. While standing as Liberal candidate for Elland in North Yorkshire, Charles travelled through North America, the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand with Beatrice and Sidney Webb. On his return to England in 1899 he won a by-election, becoming the representative of Elland. In 1908 he was also made Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education.
In 1904 Charles married Mary Katharine Trevelyan nee Bell (1881-1966) [Molly], daughter of Hugh and Florence Bell, and half-sister of the archaeologist and explorer Gertrude Bell. The pair had seven children together, six of whom survived to adulthood. The early years of their marriage were split between Cambo House on the Wallington Estate in Northumberland, and 14 Great College Street in Westminster.
When Britain declared war with Germany in 1914, Charles resigned his position in the government in protest – a move which attracted much criticism from his peers, the press and the public. Alongside others who disagreed with the conflict, Charles helped to establish the Union of Democratic Control (UDC) – a political group who publicly criticized the activities of the British government during World War I and advocated a peaceful resolution. As an active member, Charles promoted the UDC and its activities extensively, publishing articles and pamphlets, and giving talks around the country.
During his involvement with the UDC, Charles came into contact with many figures of the growing Labour Party. In 1918 Charles announced that his political sympathies were more aligned with Labour than the Liberals. Following Armistice with Germany that same year, Charles ran as a member of the Independent Labour Party for Elland. He lost his constituency of 18 years to a Conservative candidate, as part of the landslide Conservative coalition victory.
In 1921 Charles articulated his transition between parties in a short publication entitled From Liberalism to Labour. The following year he stood as Labour candidate for Newcastle Central and won. In the first Labour government of 1924, Charles was made President of the Board of Education, however his impact was limited by the short duration the government served. When Labour were re-elected to government in 1929, Charles was given the same role. However, he resigned after becoming frustrated with the government's reluctance to pass radical policy, in particular his bill to raise the school leaving age. Later that year Charles lost his seat at Newcastle to a Conservative candidate.
Following these disappointments Charles announced his retirement from politics. His parents' recent deaths had resulted in the family moving into Wallington Hall and taking on the management of the large estate. This gave Charles the opportunity to put into practice some of his socialist ideals, including the introduction of child benefit payments to tenant families and the establishment of pensions. In 1936 Charles announced he would bequeath the Wallington Estate to the National Trust. This became reality on his death in 1958.
Charles' wife Mary supported Charles' political career throughout her life, assisting with campaigning, hosting parties for political figures and in later years contributing to the running of the Wallington Estate. Early in their marriage she served as Chairman of the Northumberland Women's Liberal Foundation and she later became a Justice of the Peace. She also served on committees for the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, the National Trust, the National Federation of Women's Institute and the Association of Country Women of the World. She was awarded the OBE in 1963.
Their surviving children were:

  • Pauline Dower nee Trevelyan (1905-1908) - Pauline Dower was educated at Sidcot School and Reading College, studying agriculture. She worked in dairy farming and as a shepherd before marrying Architect John Gordon Dower in 1929. The pair had three children. During World War II John contracted tuberculosis, and the family relocated from London to Yorkshire, then to Cambo. After John's death in 1947, Pauline continued his work to establish National Parks, serving on the National Parks Committee. In later life Pauline was awarded the OBE and became a Justice of the Peace.
  • Sir George Lowthian Trevelyan, 4th Baronet (1906-1996) - George Lowthian Trevelyan was educated at Sidcot School and Trinity College Cambridge, reading history. He worked as an estate manager and wood craftsman but the majority of his life was spent working in education. He was involved with alternative teaching methods, including the Alexander Technique and Steiner education, and was instrumental in the development of Attingham Park adult education college. In 1940 he married Editha Helen Smith [Helen], and the pair had one adopted daughter. During World War II, George undertook military service on the home front. In later life he became increasingly involved with the Spiritualist movement, and published a number of books.
  • Katharine Trevelyan nee Götsch/Goetsch nee Trevelyan [Kitty] (1908-1990) - Kitty Trevelyan was educated at Sidcot School and Girton College Oxford. However, she left her studies at Oxford to embark on a solo backpacking trek across Canada in 1930. In 1932 she married the music educator Johann Gottfried Götsch [Georg], and relocated to the Musikheim educational institution in Frankfurt (Oder), where she witnessed Hitler's rise to power. Kitty returned to England shortly before the outbreak of World War II, and was divorced from Georg. She became a teacher and also delivered religious radio broadcasts. She was involved with the Spiritualist movement, and wrote a number of books.
  • Lady Marjorie Weaver nee Trevelyan (1913-2003) - Marjorie Weaver was educated at Sidcot School and the Royal College of Music. She toured with an orchestra as a professional oboist, before her marriage to Civil Servant Sir Tobias Rushton Weaver [Toby] in 1941. The pair had four children. During World War II Marjorie was involved with the Women's Voluntary Service.
  • Florence Patricia Jennings nee Cheswright nee Trevelyan [Patricia/Pat] (1915-2013) - Patricia Jennings was educated at Sidcot School and Oldfield School. In 1942 she married Frederick Philip Cheswright [Philip]. The pair had two children. For much of World War II Philip was at sea on Naval service, and Patricia spent time with family and was involved with agricultural work. After Philip's death in 1947, Patricia established a smallholding and market garden near Chichester. She married Reginald Joseph Jennings [Rod] in 1950. The pair continued to run farms together, eventually relocating to Cambo. Patricia and Rod divorced in 1960. Patricia was an enthusiast for Northumbrian Pipe music and continued to live at Wallington Hall until shortly before her death.
  • Sir Geoffrey Washington Trevelyan, 5th Baronet (1920-2011) - Geoffrey Trevelyan was educated at Oldfield School and Trinity College Cambridge, reading engineering. In 1941 he began working at De Havilland aircraft. In 1947 he married Gillian Isabel Wood. The pair had two children. Geoffrey lived at St Albans until his death, and established the St Albans Civic Society.


This arrangement of this archive is an attempt to logically group together files which correspond to original bundles and gatherings created by the family prior to deposit. The original gatherings used inconsistent groupings including author, recipient, date and subject matter. This inconsistency has resulted in some related content appearing in different series (for example, depending on how Mary grouped the items, letters from her sister Elsa may appear in CPT/2/6 - Letters to Mary from Herbert Richmond and Elsa Richmond nee Bell, or CPT/2/3 - Letters to Mary from various correspondents, or CPT/2/4 - Letters to Mary grouped by subject or author).
This archive brings together as a whole four previously separate sections - CPT (originally listed in 1973) CPT Ex (originally listed in 1986), the family photograph albums (CPT/PA) and previously uncatalogued content which had been referred to as the 'Trevelyan Family Letters' (TFL). Where files or items had former references, these have been included to ensure content accessed and referenced in the past remains accessible.
The archive series are as follows:

  • CPT/1 - Charles Philips Trevelyan's correspondence and papers
  • CPT/2 - Mary Katharine Trevelyan nee Bell [Molly]'s correspondence and papers
  • CPT/3 - Letters between Charles Philips and Mary Katharine Trevelyan nee Bell [Molly]
  • CPT/4 - Correspondence and papers relating to Charles Philips and Mary Katharine Trevelyan's children
  • CPT/5 - Trevelyan and Philips family correspondence and papers
  • CPT/6 - Bell and Richmond family correspondence and papers
  • CPT/PA - Family photograph albums
  • CPT/NEG - Glass plate negatives of the Trevelyans and Wallington

Access Information

Some Access Restrictions (Data Protection reasons). Special Collections staff will provide researchers with further details of these restrictions.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of this archive was deposited at Newcastle University on loan in 1967 by Charles and Mary's family, along with three further Trevelyan family archives - the Trevelyan (George Otto) Archive (GOT), the Trevelyan (Charles Edwards) Archive (CET) and the Trevelyan (Walter Calverley) Archive (WCT). Further items were added as smaller deposits in subsequent years, notably the family albums in 2014.
The Trevelyan family kindly gifted the archives to Newcastle University Special Collections in 2012.

Other Finding Aids

Portions of this collection were catalogued in the 1960s and 70s. Reference numbers from these finding aids have been included in this catalogue as former references.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Some of the content is in poor condition, especially the earlier family albums. In some instances this may result in the content being closed to general access. Where this is the case it is indicated within the catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright within this collection which would have resided with the Trevelyan family was kindly gifted to Newcastle University along with the physical material in 2012. Other copyrights subsist within the collection and copying and reuse should only be undertaken with consent of the copyright holder.

Appraisal Information

Some duplicates were removed from the collection during cataloguing in 2018. This included photocopies and typescript copies of content within the collection, photocopies of content from other collections held at Newcastle (in particular the Runciman (Walter) Archive), duplicates of press cuttings and election ephemera and leaflets already represented within the collection.
At the same time some late twentieth century publications which had been added to the collection were relocated from the archive into the Library's administrative files.

Location of Originals

This archive includes some materials which are copied from content held privately or at other archives. Where this is the case it has been indicated in the catalogue.


  • Morris, A. J. A. (1977) C. P. Trevelyan 1870-1958 Portrait of a Radical . Blackstaff Press Limited, Belfast
  • Morris, A. J. A. (2008) Trevelyan, Sir Charles Philips, third Baronet in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Available at
  • Sutherland, Duncan (2004) Trevelyan [née Bell], Mary Katharine [Molly], Lady Trevelyan in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Available at
  • Trevelyan, Charles Philips (1921) From liberalism to labour . G. Allen & Unwin, London
  • Trevelyan, Laura (2006) A very British family: the Trevelyans and their world . I. B. Taurus, London/New York
  • Trevelyan, Mary Katharine (1963) The number of my days . Privately published, Cambo Northumberland

Additional Information

Further cataloguing is ongoing to list this archive to item level. Updates will be made to this catalogue as item level listings become available.