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Treffry is an Cornish surname. The first record of the name Treffry was found in Cornwall where they were anciently seated as Lords of the Manor of Treffry, some say, at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey in 1086.[citation needed] The first on record was Roger Treffry about the year 1200 and 11th in descent from him in the main line was John Treffry, living in 1620.[1]


Sir John Treffry of Fowey fought under the Black Prince at the Battle of Crécy, and captured the Royal Banner of France, for which he was awarded the honour of Knight Banneret on the battlefield, by the Black Prince and his coat of arms charged with the fleur-de-lis of France. In 1457 French marauders besieged the family seat, Place House, but met with the repulse at the hands of Dame Elizabeth Treffry, as she gathered men together and fortified Place and poured melted lead, stripped from the roof, upon the invaders. Later, Thomas Treffry built a tower to protect the mansion from French attack. Earlier, other stems of the family branched to locations in Cornwall, and this ancient and noble house proceeded down to John Treffry of Place in 1658. A younger branch settled at Rooke, in the parish of St. Kew.

Joseph Austen Treffry[edit]

Joseph Thomas Austen's mother was born Susanna Ann Treffry and married Joseph Austen and hence Joseph Thomas Austen changed his name to Treffry when his father died. He became High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1838 and is known to have been one of the first mine owners to provide sick pay to his miners and medical attention to not only the miner but also his family. Their present family seat is still at Place.[citation needed] David Treffry of Place was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1991.


Many spelling variations of the name Treffry are found in the archives. Although the name, Treffry occurred in many references, from time to time the surname was spelt Trefry, Treffrey, Treffray, Trefrey, Trefry, Trefray, Trefary, Trevry, Trevney, Trevray, and these changes in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. Scribes and church officials spelt the name as they thought appropriate. It was not uncommon for a person to be born with one spelling, married with another, and yet another appeared on his headstone.[citation needed]


The most ancient known grant of a coat of arms to this family was:

The crest was:

This does not preclude other arms being appropriate to the name. In A Cornish Armory the colours "Tennée and Vert" are given for the trees. Three variants are given for the arms of Treffry in Fowey and Lanhydrock: sable a chevron between three trees erased (or "three hawthorns", or "three trefoils slipped") argent.[5]


  1. ^ Herald's Visitations of Cornwall 1620
  2. ^ Herald's Visitations of Cornwall 1620
  3. ^ "Chough" being pronounced "chuff", a crow-like bird with a red beak.
  4. ^ Pascoe, W. H. (1979) A Cornish Armory. Padstow: Lodenek Press; p. 104
  5. ^ Pascoe, W. H. (1979) A Cornish Armory. Padstow: Lodenek Press; p. 104