George Treby (politician)

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George II Treby (c. 1684–1742), of Plympton House, Secretary of State for War 1718–1724. Portrait c. 1720, School of Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723). British Government Art Collection
Arms of Treby: Sable, a lion rampant argent in chief three bezants

George II Treby (c. 1684–1742) of Plympton House, Plympton St Maurice, Devon, was an English Whig politician, Secretary at War from 1718 to 1724, and Master of the Household from 1730 to 1741. He built Plympton House in c. 1715–20, commenced by his father but unfinished at the latter's death in 1700.


He was the son of Sir George I Treby (d.1700), Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, by his third wife Dorothy Grainge.


Plympton House, Plympton St Maurice, completed by George II Treby circa 1715–20

He was elected Member of Parliament for the family's Rotten Borough of Plympton Erle in 1708, when he was in his early twenties. He held the seat until 1727, when he became member for Dartmouth, which seat he held until his death.[1]

Treby held a number of posts, including Secretary at War from 1718 to 1724, and Master of the Household from 1730 to 1740.[1] In about 1715–20 he completed building Plympton House, the grand new country residence commenced by his father.

Marriage and progeny[edit]

In 1725 he married Charity Hele at St. James, Westminster. She was the daughter and co-heiress of Roger Hele of Holwell, in the parish of Newton Ferrers, Devon. Her sister was Juliana Hele, wife of Peregrine Osborne, 3rd Duke of Leeds (1691–1731).[2] By Charity he had 2 sons and 2 daughters:[3]

  • George III Treby (c.1726–1761), eldest son and heir, MP for Plympton Erle 1747–1761, died unmarried.[4]
  • Lt.Col. George Hele Treby (c.1727–1763), 2nd son, MP for Plympton Erle 1761–1763, died unmarried.[5]
  • Ann(e) Treby, who married Benjamin Hay(e)s in 1756. She was the heiress of Delamore in the parish of Cornwood, which estate had been purchased by her father.[6] She had a son and heir:
    • Treby Hele Hay(e)s (1764–1837)
Admiral Paul Henry Ourry (1719–1783), MP, of Plympton House, with 'Jersey'. Portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792). Collection of Saltram House, Plympton, property of National Trust
  • Charity Treby, wife of Paul Ourry (1719–1783), MP for Plympton Erle 1763–1775 and from 1775 Commissioner of Plymouth Dockyard. Paul Ourry was the second son of Louis Ourry, a Huguenot refugee from Blois in France who had obtained British citizenship in 1713 and a commission in the British army.[7] A portrait of Paul Ourry by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), his contemporary and a native of Plympton and friend of the Parker family of Saltram, exists in the collection of Saltram House, Plympton. The following story is related of an ancestress of the Ourry family:[8] Towards the end of the 18th century, Carry Ourry, a great Cornish beauty, and an ancestress of the Trebys of Plympton and Goodamoor, had walked into the Assize Court at Bodmin, when Jekyll, catching sight of her, wrote the following lines and handed them up to the judge:[8]
"My lord, and gemmen of the jury,
I come to prosecute before ye,
A noted felon I'll assure ye,
Known by the name of Carry Ourry,
Known by a guilty pair of eyes,
Known by a thousand felonies,
Known to push her crime still further,
Guilty of killing, stabbing, murder,
But to be brief and cut it shorter,
I'll but indict her for manslaughter."
Charity had a son:
    • Paul Treby Ourry (1758–1832), of Goodamoor House, Plympton St Mary, Devon, MP for Plympton Erle in 1784.[9] He inherited the estate of Plympton House, and in accordance with the terms of the bequest, in 1785 by royal licence assumed the surname of Treby. He was a well-known fox-hunter, "One of the best friends to fox-hunting the Dartmoor country ever knew",[10] and a friend of the famous "Hunting Parson" Jack Russell and was "a classic scholar, and a rare specimen of a high-minded English gentleman".[11] He invented a plan for artificial fox earths, which would be used to breed a ready supply of captive foxes which could be released when a shortage of wild foxes precluded the enjoyment of his favourite pastime.[10] He sold the estate of Wimpstone (the original English seat of the Fortescue family) in Modbury, Devon, to Mr Pretty John, who built a new mansion house there.[12] Following his death in 1832 Plympton House was sold to Copleston Lopes Radcliffe.[13] Also in 1832 ended the family's source of political power from its association with "The old borough of Plympton, the stronghold of the Treby family, till the brush of the Reform Bill swept away its charter".[14] He married Laetitia Trelawny, daughter of Sir William Trelawny, 6th Baronet, MP, by whom he had 4 sons and 4 daughters including:
      • Paul Ourry Treby (b.1786), eldest son, of Goodamoor House
      • Henry Hele Treby (b.1799), heir to his brother
      • Caroline Treby, who married Thomas John Phillips, whose son was Major General Paul Winsloe Phillips (b.1824), Royal Regiment of Artillery, of Goodamoor House, who assumed the surname Treby in 1877 following his inheritance of the Treby estates.

In 1873 Miss Blanche Treby of Goodamoor House in the parish of Plympton St Mary was one of the major landowners in that parish and was also lord of the manor of Plympton St Maurice, in which is situated Plympton House.[15]


  1. ^ a b, Treby, George (?1684–1742), of Plympton, Devon.
  2. ^ Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, pp.387–8
  3. ^ HoP biog
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.388
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Davies, pp.240–1
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Davies, p.137
  11. ^ Davies, p.102
  12. ^ Risdon, p.387
  13. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1001267)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Davies, E.W.L., A memoir of the Rev. John Russell and his out-of-door life, first published 1878, 1902 edition, p.5 [1]
  15. ^ [2]Kelly's Directory 1873
Court offices
Preceded by
Sir Conyers Darcy
Master of the Household
Succeeded by
Sir John Harris