Trevelyan Family Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of the personal, private and political papers of four members of the Trevelyan family and includes correspondence, both official and private, diplomatic papers, personal and family letters and diaries and journals. Fuller details are given under the individual entry for each family member.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Trevelyan family originates from Cornwall, but the papers held by the University Library date from a time when the family owned estates in the south-west, the largest being Nettlecombe in Somerset and Wallington in Northumberland. The majority of material relates to the Trevelyans of Wallington and the University Library holds material relating from the sixth baronet, Walter Calverley Trevelyan and his successors.

One of Walter Calverley Trevelyan's ancestors married Julia Calverley, sister of Sir William Blackett. Sir William's father had bought Wallington and its estate from the Fenwick family in 1688 and had the house and estate re-built. It was re-modelled further in 1738. Sir William, who had no children, left the Wallington estate to his nephew, Julia Calverley's son, Walter Calverley, with the proviso that he change his name to Blackett. As Walter Calverley Blackett again had no children, he in turn left Wallington and its estates to his nephew, Sir John Trevelyan. The Trevelyans already had a seat at Nettlecombe in Somerset and, as they had suffered during the English Civil War had been honoured with a baronetcy at the Restoration. Sir John Trevelyan was the fourth baronet and Walter Calverley Trevelyan's grandfather.

The first Sir John Trevelyan to enjoy both estates preferred to live in Nettlecombe and increased its estates substantially. His son John, the fifth baronet and Walter Calverley Trevelyan's father, also preferred Nettlecombe to live in, whereas Julia Wilson Trevelyan, his wife, was happier at Wallington.

Together they had seven sons and six daughters of which the two eldest sons died, leaving Walter Calverley Trevelyan heir. He was born at Wallington on 31st March 1797.

Walter Calverley and his wife Pauline Jermyn had no children and in 1852 when he made his will, he gave Wallington and its estates to his cousin Charles Edward Trevelyan, one of the sons of his uncle, the Venerable George Trevelyan. Giving the estate to Charles meant that his son George Otto Trevelyan would in turn inherit Wallington, of whom both Pauline and Walter Calverley thought very highly.

Julia, Walter Calverley's mother remained at Wallington for many years and treated the house and estates with disdain. In 1848 after she had uprooted some new plantings, Walter Calverley sent her a solicitor's letter of warning. In protest she leased a house nearby and although it was meant to be a bluff, but she was never allowed back to Wallington.

Wallington was empty for a while, but by 1852, the Trevelyans were living permanently at Wallington and set upon a program to improve the house, garden and estates.

Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan inherited the estates in 1879 and was able to enjoy Wallington in his retirement years. Through him it passed down the direct line of descent to his son, George Otto and then onto his grandson, Charles Philips Trevelyan who bequeathed the property to the National Trust with a life interest for him to remain at Wallington until his death.


The papers have been arranged mainly in chronological order with the correspondence fitted into the chronological scheme.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is open to bona fide researchers; appointment in advance and proof of identity required.

Acquisition Information

The papers of the Trevelyans of Wallington were deposited at the University Library in 1967 with some subsequent additions.


Description complied by Helen Arkwright, Manuscripts and Archives Librarian, October 2002.

Other Finding Aids

Finding aids to the four collections available in the Enright Reading Room, Robinson Library and at the National Register of Archives.

Conditions Governing Use


The Trevelyan Trustees have agreed to the reproduction of up to 12 items from the papers for educational and private research purposes, provided the condition of the document does not prevent copying. Alternatively, photographic or digital images can be produced for educational and private research purposes. Please contact the Special Collections Librarian for further advice (email:


Permission to make published use of any material from Special Collections must be sought in writing from the Special Collections Librarian (email: and from the Trustees of the Trevelyan Papers. The library will assist with contacting the Trustees, but the responsibility to obtain copyright clearance rests with the user.

Related Material

Newcastle University Library : Mary Moorman Papers ref. MM; National Register of Archives ref. : NRA 43047 Moorman

Papers held by other repositories :

Somerset Archive and Record Service :The papers of the Trevelyans of Nettlecombe, including Sir John Trevelyan, W.C. Trevelyan's father ref. DD/WO; National Register of Archives ref. : NRA 40633 Trevelyan

Northumberland Record Office : Papers relating to earlier Trevelyans and the Wallington estate ref. ZWN; National Register of Archives ref. : NRA 18523 Trevelyan