Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet

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The Right Honourable
Sir George Trevelyan
George Otto Trevelyan portrait early career.jpg
Sir George Trevelyan, Bt
Chief Secretary for Ireland
In office
9 May 1882 23 October 1884
Monarch Queen Victoria
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by Lord Frederick Cavendish
Succeeded by Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
29 October 1884 9 June 1885
Monarch Queen Victoria
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by John George Dodson
Succeeded by Henry Chaplin
Secretary for Scotland
In office
8 February 1886 March 1886
Monarch Queen Victoria
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by The Duke of Richmond
Succeeded by The Earl of Dalhousie
In office
18 August 1892 21 June 1895
Monarch Queen Victoria
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
The Earl of Rosebery
Preceded by The Marquess of Lothian
Succeeded by The Lord Balfour of Burleigh
Personal details
Born20 July 1838 (1838-07-20)
Rothley Temple, Leicestershire
Died17 August 1928 (1928-08-18) (aged 90)
Wallington, Northumberland
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Caroline Philips
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Arms of Trevelyan: Gules, a demi-horse argent hoofed and maned or issuing out of water in base proper TrevelyanArms.png
Arms of Trevelyan: Gules, a demi-horse argent hoofed and maned or issuing out of water in base proper

Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, OM, PC, FBA (20 July 1838 – 17 August 1928) was a British statesman and author. In a ministerial career stretching almost 30 years, he was most notably twice Secretary for Scotland under William Ewart Gladstone and the Earl of Rosebery. He broke with Gladstone over the 1886 Irish Home Rule Bill, but after modifications were made to the bill he re-joined the Liberal Party shortly afterwards. Also a writer and historian, Trevelyan published The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay , his maternal uncle, in 1876.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians, who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Fellow of the British Academy Award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences.

Fellowship of the British Academy (FBA) is an award granted by the British Academy to leading academics for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences. There are three kinds of fellowship

  1. Fellows, for scholars resident in the United Kingdom
  2. Corresponding Fellows, for scholars not resident in the UK
  3. Honorary Fellows, an honorary academic title
United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


Background and education

Trevelyan was born in Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, the only son of Sir Charles Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, and Hannah, daughter of Zachary Macaulay and sister of the historian Lord Macaulay. He was educated at Harrow [2] and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of the Cambridge Union Society, and earned second place in the first class of the Classical Tripos in 1861. [2] [3] That same year he wrote his Horace at the University of Athens, a topical drama in verse, parts of which are said to have offended William Whewell and lost Trevelyan a fellowship. [2] He was a Cambridge Apostle.

Rothley Temple Grade I listed commandry in the United Kingdom

Rothley Temple, or more correctly Rothley Preceptory, was a preceptory in the village of Rothley, Leicestershire, England, associated with both the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller.

Leicestershire County of England

Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. The county borders Nottinghamshire to the north, Lincolnshire to the north-east, Rutland to the east, Northamptonshire to the south-east, Warwickshire to the south-west, Staffordshire to the west, and Derbyshire to the north-west. The border with most of Warwickshire is Watling Street.

Sir Charles Trevelyan, 1st Baronet British colonial administrator

Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, was a British civil servant and colonial administrator. As a young man, he worked with the colonial government in Calcutta, India; in the late 1850s and 1860s he served there in senior-level appointments. Trevelyan was instrumental in the process of reforming the British civil service in the 1850s.

Political career

Sir George Trevelyan, 1893 Sir G O Trevelyan, 2nd Bt NPG.jpg
Sir George Trevelyan, 1893

In 1862 Trevelyan went out as a civil servant to India, where he spent several years. [2] In 1865 he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Tynemouth and North Shields. [2] [4] At the general election of 1868 he was returned for the Hawick Burghs, which he continued to represent until 1886. [2] [5] When the first Gladstone ministry was formed in December 1868, Trevelyan was appointed Civil Lord of the Admiralty, but resigned in July 1870 on a point of conscience connected with the government Education Bill. He advocated a sweeping reform of the army, including the abolition of the purchase of commissions, and both in and out of parliament he was the foremost supporter for many years of the extension of the county franchise. In the session of 1874 he brought forward his Household Franchise (Counties) Bill, which was lost on the second reading – it was not till ten years later that the agricultural labourer was enfranchised. Among other causes which he warmly supported were women's suffrage, a thorough reform of metropolitan local government, and the drastic reform or abolition of the House of Lords. He was also in favour of the direct veto and other temperance legislation. [2]

Liberal Party (UK) political party of the United Kingdom, 1859–1988

The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election.

Tynemouth and North Shields was a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom between 1832 and 1885. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first-past-the-post system of election.

Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Royal Navy) manager of the Royal Navys supporting civilian staff between 1830 and 1964

The Civil Lord of the Admiralty formally known as the Office of the Civil Lord of Admiralty also referred to as the Department of the Civil Lord of the Admiralty was a member of the Board of Admiralty who was responsible for managing the Royal Navy's supporting civilian staff, the works and buildings departments and naval lands from 1830 to 1964.

In 1880 Trevelyan was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty under Gladstone. He held this office until May 1882, when, after the assassination of Lord Frederick Cavendish, he became Chief Secretary for Ireland [2] and sworn of the Privy Council. [2] [6] From November 1884 to June 1885 he was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster [2] [7] with a seat in the cabinet. In February 1886 he became Secretary for Scotland and Vice-President of the Scottish Education Department [2] [8] in Gladstone's third administration, but resigned in March over Irish Home Rule. The same year he succeeded his father in the baronetcy. [2]

Lord Frederick Cavendish British politician

Lord Frederick Charles Cavendish was an English Liberal politician and protégé of the Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone. Cavendish was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland in May 1882 but was murdered only hours after his arrival in Dublin, a victim of the politically motivated Phoenix Park killings.

Chief Secretary for Ireland position

The Chief Secretary for Ireland was a key political office in the British administration in Ireland. Nominally subordinate to the Lord Lieutenant, and officially the "Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant", from the early 19th century until the end of British rule he was effectively the government minister with responsibility for governing Ireland, roughly equivalent to the role of a Secretary of State. Usually it was the Chief Secretary, rather than the Lord Lieutenant, who sat in the British Cabinet. The Chief Secretary was ex officio President of the Local Government Board for Ireland from its creation in 1872.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster ministerial office in Her Majestys Government

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is a ministerial office in the Government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister.

At the general election of 1886 Trevelyan lost his seat for Hawick. [2] [5] As a representative of the Liberal Unionist Party he took part in the Round Table Conference, and, being satisfied with the changes made by Gladstone in his Home Rule scheme, he formally rejoined the Liberal Party. [2] In August 1887 he re-entered the House of Commons as member for Glasgow Bridgeton. [2] [9] From 1892 to 1895 he was again Secretary for Scotland [2] [10] and Vice-President of the Scottish Education Department. [11] He resigned his seat in parliament in early 1897 and retired into private life. In 1911 he was appointed a member of the Order of Merit. [2]

Hawick Burghs was a district of burghs constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1868 until 1918. It consisted of the Roxburghshire burgh of Hawick and the Selkirkshire burghs of Galashiels and Selkirk.

The Liberal Unionist Party was a British political party that was formed in 1886 by a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party. Led by Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain, the party formed a political alliance with the Conservative Party in opposition to Irish Home Rule. The two parties formed the ten-year-long coalition Unionist Government 1895–1905 but kept separate political funds and their own party organisations until a complete merger was agreed in May 1912.

Glasgow Bridgeton was a parliamentary constituency in the city of Glasgow. From 1885 to 1974, it returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first-past-the-post voting system.


During his stay in India, Trevelyan contributed "Letters of a Competition Wallah" to Macmillan's Magazine (republished 1864). Cawnpore , an account of the massacre there during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, was published in 1865. In 1867 he wrote The Ladies in Parliament, a humorous political brochure in verse. In 1876 he published The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay (a second, enlarged edition appeared in 1908), and in 1880 he published The Early History of Charles James Fox . In 1899 he published the first volume of a History of the American Revolution, which was completed (three volumes) in 1905. In the latter year, as Interludes in Prose and Verse, he republished his early classical "jeux d'esprit" and Indian pieces. [2]

Macmillan's Magazine was a monthly British magazine from 1859 to 1907 published by Alexander Macmillan.

Kanpur Metropolis in Uttar Pradesh, India

Kanpur is a large city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city is famous for its leather and textile industries. Kanpur was an important British garrison town until 1947 when India gained independence. Kanpur the administrative headquarter of Kanpur (Urban) district and Kanpur division.

Siege of Cawnpore A key episode in the Indian rebellion of 1857

The Siege of Cawnpore was a key episode in the Indian rebellion of 1857. The besieged Company forces and civilians in Cawnpore were unprepared for an extended siege and surrendered to rebel forces under Nana Sahib, in return for a safe passage to Allahabad. However, under ambiguous circumstances, their evacuation from Cawnpore turned into a massacre, and most of the men were killed. As an East India Company rescue force from Allahabad approached Cawnpore, 120 British women and children captured by the Sepoy forces were killed in what came to be known as the Bibighar Massacre, their remains being thrown down a nearby well in an attempt to hide the evidence. Following the recapture of Cawnpore and the discovery of the massacre, the angry Company forces engaged in widespread retaliation against captured rebel soldiers and local civilians. The murders greatly embittered the British rank-and-file against the Sepoy rebels and inspired the war cry "Remember Cawnpore!".


Trevelyan married Caroline, daughter of Robert Needham Philips, [12] MP for Bury, in 1869. Their eldest son, Sir Charles Trevelyan, 3rd Baronet, also became a Liberal politician. Their second son R. C. Trevelyan was a poet and translator. The historian G. M. Trevelyan was their third son. Trevelyan died in August 1928, aged 90. [2] He left unsettled property valued at £556,993 (gross) and £397,492 (net). [13]


Notes and references

"The Competition Wallah". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1873. George Otto Trevelyan, Vanity Fair, 1873-08-02.jpg
"The Competition Wallah". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1873.
  1. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p. 798.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Trevelyan, Sir George Otto". Encyclopædia Britannica . 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. "Trevelyan, George Otto (TRVN856GO)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. House of Commons: Tipperary South to Tyrone West
  5. 1 2 House of Commons: Haslemere to Herefordshire
  6. "No. 25123". The London Gazette . 30 June 1882. p. 3013.
  7. "No. 25412". The London Gazette . 7 November 1884. p. 4795.
  8. "No. 25559". The London Gazette . 16 February 1886. p. 744.
  9. House of Commons: Bradford North to Brightside
  10. "No. 26319". The London Gazette . 23 August 1892. p. 4801.
  11. "No. 26320". The London Gazette . 26 August 1892. p. 4889.
  12. "Sir George Otto, Bart Trevelyan". Encyclopædia Britannica 1911, Volume 27. 1911. p. 255. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  13. The Times, 23 October 1928.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Hodgson
Member of Parliament for Tynemouth and North Shields
Succeeded by
Thomas Eustace Smith
New constituency Member of Parliament for Hawick Burghs
Succeeded by
Alexander Laing Brown
Preceded by
Sir Edward Russell
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Bridgeton
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Cameron
Political offices
Preceded by
Hon. Frederick Stanley
Civil Lord of the Admiralty
Succeeded by
The Earl of Camperdown
Preceded by
George Shaw-Lefevre
Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty
Succeeded by
Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Preceded by
Lord Frederick Cavendish
Chief Secretary for Ireland
Succeeded by
Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Preceded by
John George Dodson
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Succeeded by
Henry Chaplin
Preceded by
The Duke of Richmond
Secretary for Scotland
Succeeded by
The Earl of Dalhousie
Preceded by
The Marquess of Lothian
Secretary for Scotland
Succeeded by
The Lord Balfour of Burleigh
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Trevelyan
(of Wallington)
Succeeded by
Charles Trevelyan

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