Saturday 2 May 2015

(165) Archer of Trelaske

Archer of Trelaske
The Archer family in Cornwall can be traced back to the Rev. John Archer, who was instituted as vicar of Caerhays in 1644. In 1700, his grandson, John Archer (c.1672-1726), inherited the farms of Trelewack in St.Ewe and Benboll in St. Kew from his uncle, Nicholas Archer, but although this represented a significant landed estate, he did not have a country house. John married Sarah, the daughter of John Addis of Whiteford in Stoke Climsland, who bought the Trelaske estate at Lewannick in 1702 for his younger son, Samuel Addis.  When Samuel died without issue in 1741, he bequeathed Trelaske to his nephew, Swete Nicholas Archer (1715-88), the second surviving son of John Archer and his sister Sarah Addis, and after Swete inherited Trelewack and Benboll from his elder brother William in 1749, Trelaske became the centre of the family's estate in Cornwall. Very little is known about Trelaske at this date, but it was probably a Tudor or Jacobean house, part of which survived into the 19th century.

This was a family which produced a notable number of childless marriages over the next two hundred years. Swete himself was childless, and left Trelaske to his nephew, Edward Archer (1742-1802), who remodelled the house and laid out the park in 1790-91, soon after inheriting the estate. As Edward was also childless, on his death Trelaske passed to his younger brother, Lt-Col. Samuel Archer (1745-1822), who lived at Plympton in Devon and who seems to have neglected Trelaske.  By 1820 both the house and park had fallen into disrepair, but Samuel's energetic though short-lived son, Edward Archer (1792-1834) restored the park and remodelled (some accounts say rebuilt) the house. Edward, who married a granddaughter of the great architect Sir William Chambers, also produced a large family of six sons and six daughters, many of whom led interesting lives. It was however the eldest son, Edward Archer (1816-85), who inherited Trelaske. He was the very model of a Victorian squire: Colonel of the local volunteer regiment; Chairman of the Launceston & South Devon Railway Co. and a keen huntsman who maintained his own pack of hounds at Trelaske. Like his father, he also produced a large family, but his eldest surviving son, Charles Gordon Archer (1846-1908) was unmarried and childless. On his death, therefore, Trelaske passed to his nephew, Philip Addis Edward Archer (1884-1957), whose father had been a Truro solicitor.  Philip, like so many of his forebears, was married but childless, and after he died in 1957 Trelaske was demolished and the estate sold. Today the main house on the estate is a reworking of the former stables and there are only fragments surviving of the parkland setting; a bungalow has been built in the walled garden.

Trelaske, Lewannick, Cornwall

Trelaske, from an engraving published by Twycross in 1846

Trelaske was a manorial settlement, first recorded in Domesday Book. According to Lake's Parochial history of Cornwall, the estate was owned by the Uptons from the time of Richard II (1377-99) until 1541, when, under the name of Trelaske Hall, it passed to Nicholas Lower, remaining with the Lowers for five generations. In the 18th century the estate passed by marriage into the hands of the Archers who lived there until 1957. Gilbert's history of Cornwall published in 1820 says that Trelaske "has both ancient and modern structure, the north front being rebuilt a few years ago and the old entrance in the east side formed into [a] hall".  It was apparently remodelled in c.1790-91 for Edward Archer (1742-1802) at the same time as the park was laid out. In 1820 the house was uninhabited and the neglected state of the grounds was said to 'present a melancholy appearance', somewhat redeemed by the fine woods of the domain, but after Edward Archer (1792-1834) inherited the house it was remodelled again in 1827 as a seven by five bay block. The builder was William Burt, senior, of Launceston, but was he working to the designs of a more accomplished architect?

Trelaske as remodelled in the 1820s. Image: The Archer Collection (Mrs M.C.H. Deans)

Trelaske in about 1900.

The main fabric of the house was demolished in 1959. Only the west part of the house remains, adjacent to the former stable block which has been converted into a house now called Trelaske Manor, which is not listed.  An extension on the east replaces an earlier coach house which was demolished in the late 20th century.

Trelaske as shown on the Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1882.

There was a small landscape park around Trelaske House, either formed or extensively remodelled about 1790, and a few rather shattered remnants of this remain, including the relocated pedestal of a sundial in the lawn to the east of the house, four piers and the foundations of an early camellia house (largely dismantled after a storm in the 1980s), and the ruins of a gardener's cottage. There is a walled garden on the opposite side of the road to Trelaske House, which is now the site of a small bungalow. A rather attractive Gothic gate lodge was built in the 1830s, almost certainly to the design of George Wightwick, one of whose designs for the building survives. The estate was reduced in size in 1918 and broken up in 1959; the walled garden, stables and coach houses were sold off in the 1960s and 1970s.

Trelaske: the camellia house in the late 19th century.
Image: The Archer Collection (Mrs M.C.H. Deans)
Descent: Thomas Upton; to daughter, Jane, wife of Nicholas Lower (fl. 1541);to son, Thomas Lower (d. by 1603); to son, Peter Lower (fl. 1620); to son, Thomas Lower (b. 1581); to son, Thomas Lower (d. 1687); to son, Thomas Lower (fl. 1703), who sold 1702 to John Addis (1672-1712); to son, Samuel Addis (d. 1741); to nephew, Swete Nicholas Archer (1715-83); to nephew, Edward Archer (1742-1802); to brother, Lt-Col. Samuel Archer (1745-1822); to son, Lt-Col. Edward Archer (1792-1834); to son, Col. Edward Archer (1816-85); to son, Charles Gordon Archer (1846-1908); to nephew, Philip Addis Edward Archer (1884-1957); to widow, who sold to George Coldham Knight; sold 1959 to Mr & Mrs Bryant, who demolished the main part of the house; sold c.1970 to John William Hext (1923-73); to widow, Evelyn Priscilla Hext (1925-2010); sold 1981 to Mr. & Mrs. Ashford. 

Archer family of Trelaske

Archer, John (c.1672-1726) of Trelawack. Son of Rev. Edward Archer (1645-83), vicar of Manaccan (Cornw.) and his wife Judith, daughter of Rev. John Swete, vicar of St. Keverne (Cornw). He married, 8 June 1708, Sarah, daughter and co-heir of John Addis of Whiteford (Cornw) and sister of Samuel Addis of Trelaske, and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Anna Archer (1710-36), born 10 and baptised 29 May 1710; died unmarried, 25 April 1736;
(2) Judith Archer (1713-32), born 10 March and baptised 14 April 1713; died unmarried, 12 March 1732;
(3) twin, William Archer (1714-49), born and baptised 10 April 1714; married, 23 December 1742 at Liskeard (Cornw), Anne (d. 1783) (who m2, 1753, Rev. Richard Haydon), daughter of Philip Lyne, but had no issue; died 16 and was buried 19 May 1749; will proved 18 May 1749;
(4) twin, John Archer (1714-33), baptised 10 April 1714; died unmarried, 6 March 1733;
(5) Swete Nicholas Archer (1715-83) (q.v.);
(6) Edward Archer (1716-46) (q.v.);
(7) Samuel Archer (1717-30), born 23 January and baptised 15 February 1717; died young, 23 August 1730;
(8) Addis Archer (1719-80), born 9 and baptised 16 May 1719; married, 31 March 1743 at St Andrew, Plymouth (Devon), Rebecca, daughter of William Lockett of Charlton Marshall (Dorset) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 13 December 1780;
(9) Sarah Archer (1721-22), born 12 May and baptised 22 June 1721; died in infancy and was buried 29 December 1722;
(10) Nicholas Archer (1723-43) of Plymouth, born 16 and baptised 26 March 1723; died unmarried, 11 June 1743; will proved 26 August 1743;
(11) Margaret Archer (1724-76); born 11 January and baptised 4 February 1724; married, 9 June 1763, Rev. Edward Stillingfleet of West Bromwich (Staffs); died 14 and was buried at West Teignmouth (Devon), 18 October 1776, where she is commemorated by a monument.
He inherited Trelewack and Benboll from his uncle, Nicholas Archer, in 1700.
He was buried 30 December 1726; his will was proved May 1727. His widow was buried 31 October 1731; her will was proved 3 January 1731/2.

Archer, Swete Nicholas (1715-88) of Trelawack and Trelaske. Third son of John Archer of Trelewack and his wife Sarah, daughter of John Addis of Whiteford (Cornw), born 13 October and baptised 8 November 1715. He was apprenticed to Francis Paynter, solicitor, 1733; High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1758. He married, 31 December 1747 at Illogan (Cornw), Anne (1718-65), daughter of Francis Basset MP of Tehidy Park (Cornw) but had no issue.
He inherited the Trelewack estate from his eldest brother, William, in 1749 and the Trelaske estate from his maternal uncle, Samuel Addis, in 1741.
He died 5 November and was buried at St Ewe, 15 November 1788; his will was proved 13 January 1789. His wife was buried at St Ewe, 3 March 1765.

Archer, Edward (1717-46). Fourth son of John Archer (d. 1726) and his wife Sarah, daughter of John Addis of Whiteford (Cornw), baptised 27 February 1716/7. He married, 29 August 1741 at St James the Less, Thorndike St., Westminster (Middx), Jane (1717-75), daughter of William Lockett of Charlton Marshall (Dorset) and had issue:
(1) Edward Archer (1742-1802) (q.v.);
(2) Nicholas Addis Archer (b. & d. 1743), born 4 and buried 14 October 1743;
(3) Lt-Col. Samuel Archer (1745-1822) (q.v.).
His was buried at St Andrew, Plymouth, 30 August 1746.  His widow married 2nd, [forename unknown] Morshead and died 2 November 1775; she was buried at St Andrew, Plymouth, 17 November 1775.

Archer, Edward (1742-1802) of Trelaske. Elder son of Edward Archer (1716-46) and his wife Jane, daughter of William Lockett of Charlton Marshall (Dorset), born 15 May and baptised 15 June 1742. High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1794. He married, 23 October 1784 at Plymstock (Devon), Theophila (1756-98), daughter of Zachariah Freno of Plympton (Devon) but had no issue.
He inherited the Trelaske estate from his uncle, Swete Nicholas Archer (1715-88) in 1788, remodelled the house and laid out the park.
He died in Plymouth 11 November and was buried at Lewannick, 18 November 1802. His wife was buried at Lewannick, 8 May 1798.

Archer, Lt-Col. Samuel (1745-1822) of Trelaske. Younger son of William Archer (b. 1714) and his wife Ann, born 22 February 1744/5 and baptised 1 April 1745. Lt-Col. of 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards; Major commanding Launceston Volunteers; Lt-Col. of South Devon Volunteers. DL for Devon. He married, 15 June 1787, Dorothy Ayre (1758-97), daughter of Rev. John Yonge of Puslinch (Devon) and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Anne Archer (1788-1854), born 25 June and baptised 26 July 1788; married, 1 July 1819 at Plympton St. Maurice (Devon), Maj. Richard Burges Hunt RA (d. 1849) and had issue; died 29 August and was buried at Modbury (Devon), 2 September 1854;
(2) Jane Archer (1790-1818), born 6 February and baptised 15 March 1790; died unmarried, 12 June and was buried 18 June 1818;
(3) Lt-Col. Edward Archer (1792-1834) (q.v.);
(4) Anne Archer (1794-1864), born 9 March and baptised 3 June 1794; married, 25 February 1823 at Plympton St Maurice (Devon), Dr. Richard Davie MD LRCP (d. 1856) of Plympton Earle (Devon) but had no surviving issue; died 11 September and was buried at Plympton Earle, 16 September 1864; will proved 27 September 1864 (effects under £12,000);
(5) Rev. Samuel Archer (1795-1831), born 18 November and baptised 16 December 1795; educated at Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1814; BA 1817; MA 1821); ordained deacon, 1818 and priest, 1821; curate of Rame (Cornw), 1818 and Combe Raleigh (Devon), 1819; vicar of Lewannick, 1822-31; died unmarried, 9 January and was buried at Lewannick, 18 January 1831; will proved in the PCC, 16 February 1831.
He lived at Plympton (Devon), inherited the Trelaske estate from his brother in 1802, but seems to have neglected it.
He died 6 June 1822, aged 77 and was buried at Lewannick, 14 June 1822. His wife died 7 May and was buried at Lewannick, 15 May 1797.

Archer, Lt-Col. Edward (1792-1834) of Trelaske.  Elder son of Lt-Col. Samuel Archer (d. 1822) and his wife Dorothy Ayre, daughter of Rev. John Yonge of Puslinch (Devon), born 25 April and baptised 1 June 1792. High Sheriff of Cornwall, 1832. He married, 2 August 1814/5, Charlotte Catherine (1796-1875), only daughter of Charles Harward of Hayne House (Devon) [and granddaughter of the architect, Sir William Chambers] and had issue:
(1) Charlotte Dorothea Archer (1815-71); married, 15 January 1846 at Lewannick, Rev. Francis John Hext Kendall (1805-74), vicar of Lanlivery and later of Talland and had issue one son and two daughters; died 18 April 1871;
(2) Col. Edward Archer (1816-85) (q.v.);
(3) Jane Archer (c.1818-51); married, 17 April 1844, Capt. William Henry Anderson Morshead CB RN (1811-86) of Widey Court (Devon) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 22 February 1851;
(4) Rev. Charles Harward Archer (1819-99), born 6 August 1819; educated at Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1837; BA 1841); ordained deacon, 1842 and priest, 1843; curate of St John, Devonport, 1842-44; vicar of Lewannick, 1844-99; married, 21 October 1845 at Tywardreath (Cornw), Jane (1824-54), youngest daughter of William Rashleigh of Menabilly (Cornw) and had issue one daughter; died 27 June 1899; will proved 21 October 1899 (estate £27,493);
(5) Rev. Samuel Harward Archer (1821-1907), born January 1821; educated at Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 1839; BA 1843; MA 1848); ordained deacon, 1844 and priest, 1845; curate of Trewen (Cornw), 1844-46 and Huish (Devon), 1846-52; rector of Throwley (Devon), 1852-82; rural dean of Okehampton, 1880-82; rector of Newton Ferrers (Devon), 1882-91; married, 3 October 1850, Charlotte Hester (c.1820-83), second daughter of Rev. Walter Radcliffe of Warleigh (Devon) and had issue; died 12 November 1907; will proved 16 December 1907 (estate £5,885);
(6) Anne Augusta Archer (1822-82), born 17 February 1822; married, 3 September 1850, Maj-Gen. Dominick Sarsfield Greene (1826-92) of Royal Artillery, a talented amateur artist, son of William Hastings Greene of Lota House (Cork); died Apr-Jun 1882;
(7) Elizabeth Archer (1823-1907), born 7 April 1823; married, 24 May 1849 at Lewannick, Col. Edward Bond of 39th Regiment and had issue; died 1 March 1907; will proved 18 April 1907 (estate £3,005);
(8) Fulbert Archer (1825-1904), born 14 April 1825; educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (matriculated 1847) and Inner Temple (admitted 1848; called to bar 1852); barrister-at-law; Capt. in 1st Cornwall Rifles; partner in Miles & Co. (later Miles & Co. Ltd) of Bristol, overseas merchants, 1854-95, for whom he worked in Australia c.1857-60 and in Timaru (New Zealand) from 1868, where he established a branch of the firm; first Chairman of the Timaru Harbour Board; after Miles & Co. Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in 1895 he and a former partner were in a legal dispute with the Union Bank of Australia over funds which the firm held in trust for clients, a case which rumbled on for several years and which he eventually lost on a decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; he returned to England in the late 1890s; married 1st, 24 September 1856 at Westbury-on-Trym (Glos), Mary (c.1830-72), daughter of William Cave of Brentry (Glos) and had issue four sons and four daughters; married 2nd, 15 January 1873 in Christchurch (New Zealand), Elizabeth Charlotte Lyddon (1844-87); married 3rd, 30 June 1900 at St Luke, Chelsea (Middx), Ethel Alice (c.1861-1906), daughter of Samuel Gibson Getty MP; died at Paignton (Devon), 28 November 1904; will proved 15 May 1905 (estate £105);
(9) Catherine Archer (c.1826-1911); married, 27 September 1860, Henry John Tolcher (1825-95) and had issue one son; died 28 February 1911; will proved 19 April 1911 (estate £6,533);
(10) Marianne Archer (1829-93), baptised 1 April 1829; married, 28 December 1854 at Heavitree, Exeter (Devon), Lt-Col. Mansfield Turner (1828-1901) of Glen View House, Downside, Bath (Somerset) and had issue seven sons and six daughters; died 4 December 1893.
(11) William Archer (1830-32), born 23 August and baptised 5 November 1830; died in infancy and was buried 31 March 1832;
(12) Henry Swete Archer (1834-98) of Oldbury Lodge, Bishops Hull (Somerset); born 18 January and baptised 22 April 1834; married, 6 September 1860 at Stockleigh English (Dorset), Fanny (1834-1924), daughter of John Prestwood Bellew (1803-62) of Stockleigh Court (Devon), and had issue a daughter; died of influenza, 25 January 1898; will proved 23 May 1898 (effects £4,099).
He inherited the Trelaske estate from his father in 1822 and remodelled or rebuilt the house which had fallen into disrepair.
He died 16 May 1834; his will was proved 1 August 1834. His widow married 2nd, 17 November 1836, Charles Gordon (d. 1862) of Wiscombe Park (Devon); she died 1 June and was buried 5 June 1875; her will was proved 26 June 1875 (effects under £8,000).

Col. Edward Archer.
Image: The Archer Collection
(Mrs M.C.H. Deans)
Archer, Col. Edward (1816-85) of Trelaske. Eldest son of Lt-Col. Edward Archer (1792-1834) and his wife Charlotte Catherine, daughter of Charles Harward of Hayne House (Devon), born 8 November 1816. Educated at Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1834). DL and JP for Cornwall. Colonel of Duke of Cornwall's Rifle Volunteers. Chairman of the South Devon Railway. He was a keen huntsman and hunted with his own pack of hounds. He married, 24 July 1838 at Plympton St. Mary (Devon), Sarah Lydia (c.1814-90), daughter of Rev. Walter Radcliffe of Warleigh (Devon) and had issue:
(1) Emma Augusta Archer (1842-43), baptised 3 April 1842; died in infancy and was buried 4 March 1843;
(2) Alice Archer (1843-55), baptised 20 December 1843; died young, 14 November and was buried 20 November 1855;
(3) Edward Radcliffe Archer (1845-48), born 11 March and baptised 8 April 1845; died young, 28 March 1848;
(4) Charles Gordon Archer (1846-1908) (q.v.);
(5) Emily Augusta Archer (1848-1903), baptised 25 December 1848; married 1st, 9 January 1873, George Badeley Marke (1849-75) of Wood Hill; and 2nd, 14 February 1877 at Stoke Damerel (Devon), Lt. Richard William Okes-Voysey RN (1849-82); lived latterly at Dinant (Belgium); died 2 October 1903; administration of goods with will annexed granted 29 October 1904 (estate £3,003);
(6) Addis Edward Archer (1851-1921) (q.v.);
(7) Sarah Constance Archer (1853-1927), born 9 April and baptised 17 May 1853; died unmarried, 25 March 1927; will proved 31 May 1927 (estate £5,150);
(8) Dora Kate Archer (1855-1949), born 27 August and baptised 26 September 1855; married, 2 January 1896, Rev. Frederick Granville May (1857-1930) and had issue two sons; died 17 May 1949 aged 93; will proved 27 September 1949 (estate £545).
He inherited the Trelaske estate from his father in 1834.
He died 16 June 1885 and was buried at Lewannick, 20 June 1885; his will was proved 30 September 1885 (effects £13,710). His widow died 21 July and was buried 25 July 1890; her will was proved 12 August 1890 (effects £2,154).

Archer, Charles Gordon (1846-1908) of Trelaske. Elder son of Col. Edward Archer (1816-85) of Trelaske and his wife Sarah Lydia, daughter of Rev. Walter Radcliffe of Warleigh (Devon), born 1 November and baptised 29 November 1846. Educated at Lincolns Inn (admitted 1866); JP for Cornwall. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Trelaske estate from his father in 1885; at his death it passed to his nephew, Philip Archer (1884-1957).
He died 5 September 1908 and his will was proved 9 November 1908 (estate £40,296).

Archer, Addis Edward (1851-1921) of Trelaske. Younger son of Col. Edward Archer (1816-85) of Trelaske and his wife Sarah Lydia, daughter of Rev. Walter Radcliffe of Warleigh (Devon), born 18 August and baptised 12 September 1851.  Solicitor in practice of Smith, Paul & Archer at Truro (retired 1906). He married, 20 September 1883 at Truro (Cornw), Bertha Eveline (1857-1944), daughter of Sir Philip Protheroe Smith of Tremorvah, Truro, and had issue:
(1) Philip Addis Edward Archer (1884-1957) (q.v.);
(2) Constance Marion Archer (1886-1975), born 20 January and baptised 21 February 1886; married, 27 October 1937, as his second wife, Lt-Col. Richard Shearman Godley (d. 1950) but had no issue; died 15 September 1975;
(3) Eveline Alice Archer (1887-1971), born 14 June and baptised 10 July 1887; died unmarried, Oct-Dec 1971;
(4) Dorothy Archer (1888-1975); born 19 January and baptised 26 August 1888; married, 1917, Ernest Harry Lock and had issue one son and one daughter; died 27 February 1975 and was buried at Lewannick, where she is commemorated by a gravestone; will proved 6 May 1975 (estate £26,904);
(5) Fulbert Radcliffe Archer (1889-1963), baptised 4 August 1889; served in WW1 as Capt. in 1st Devon Yeomanry; died 12 April 1963; will proved 8 July 1963 (estate £28,314).
He lived at Penair House, St. Clement (Cornw).
He died 4 March 1921; administration of his goods was granted 23 July 1921 (estate £793). His widow died 14 November 1944; her will was proved 13 April 1945 (estate £18,927).

Archer, Philip Addis Edward (1884-1957) of Trelaske. Son of Addis Edward Archer (1851-1921) and his wife Bertha Eveline, born 1884 and baptised 3 February 1885. Served in WW1 with Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry (2nd Lt., 1914; Capt.); JP for Cornwall. He married, Oct-Dec 1929, Evelyn Maud (1890-1972), daughter of Rev. Thomas Bennetts of Plumstead, Cape Town (South Africa), but had no issue.
He inherited the Trelaske estate from his uncle in 1908; Trelaske House was demolished after his death.
He died 30 November 1957; his will was proved 4 March & 21 May 1958 (estate £96,472). His widow died 8 January 1972; her will was proved 1 May 1972 (estate £37,548).


Sir John Maclean, The Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor, in the County of Cornwall, 1876, vol. II, pp. 191-93; D.E. Pett, The parks and gardens of Cornwall, 1998, pp. 211-12;;

Location of archives

Archer family of Trelaske: estate and family papers, 1401-1897 [Cornwall Record Office, A]; deeds, 1517-1852 [Cornwall Record Office, AD208]

Coat of arms

Sable, a chevron engrailed argent, between three pheons or.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published on 2 May 2015 and was revised 8-14 July 2015, 8 February 2016, 5 November 2020, 4 July 2021 and 9 May 2023. I am most grateful to Elisabeth Frankish for supplying the images from the Archer Collection and much additional information about the family, to James Ashford for sharing the results of his research on the history of the house; and to Fiona Archer-Lock for further information about the family.

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