Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Truro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Truro. Show all posts

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Silvanus Trevail Architect and Mayor of Truro

Truro : Lemon Street
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Lewis Clarke -

Silvanus Trevail, architect (1851–1903)
The phrase, "gone" or "going Bodmin", means, "going mad". Indeed, if you describe someone as being, "a bit Bodmin", you are saying that they are not in full control of their mental faculty and it refers to the Cornwall County Asylum (or Bodmin County Lunatic Asylum) opened in Westheath Avenue, Bodmin in 1815, much of which is still in existence, although it has now been turned into housing. Later becoming St Lawrence's HospitalBodmin, when it was extended, "a completely new building to stand to the west of the first was designed in 1901 by Silvanus Trevail (1851–1903), one of Cornwall's best-known architects." 

It's an unfortunate association really, given his history. 

Silvanus Trevail was born 31 Oct 1851 to John and Jane Trevail at Carne Farm, Luxulyan, Cornwall. His birth registration shows that his mother's maiden name was also Trevail and, indeed, there is a record that suggests that John Trevail had married Jane Trevail, also in that same quarter of 1851. 

John Trevail, born 1821, was the son of Charles Trevail and Ann Key of Higher Menadew Farm, Luxulyan. Jane Trevail, born 1822, was the daughter of Philip Trevail and Elizabeth Church, also of Luxulyan. Records prior to this get a bit too woolly to be able to tell how they were related.

It also hasn't been possible to tell exactly how Silvanus Trevail was related to the rest of the Trevail and Rundle clan of Luxulyan, into which one of my blood relatives - my 1st cousin 3 times removed, Alice Maud Stanley Blazey - married, but with the same two surnames in the same small farming community, I'd be much more surprised to find no connection. 

In 1861, we find Silvanus Trevail (9) at Carne Farm with his parents and younger sister, Laura (2), b. 26 Dec 1858. He was still there, at Carne Farm, at 19, with his parents, sister Laura (12) and maternal grandmother, Elizabeth (71) in 1871. In 1881, Silvanus Trevail (29) Architect, lived in Boscawen Street, Truro. Laura remained at home in 1881 and 1891, not marrying until her late 30's, in 1897, to Richard Rundle, born in Broadoak. The couple adopted a daughter, Mary Adelaide, born 1899. Meanwhile, Silvanus Trevail, rose to become Mayor of Truro and President of the Society of Architects, and famous for his radical reforming politics as much as for his architecture: most of Trevail's legacy can be found in Truro city centre. (As well as, notably, the Cornish Bank building in St Columb Major, seen more recently, repurposed, on George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations.) 

In 1891 and 1901, Trevail was residing in fashionable Lemon Street, Truro

His success however, did not bring him happiness. Trevail, it is said, suffered from depression. On 7 Nov 1903, he shot himself in the lavatory of a train

Trevail left £8,738 13s 6d (£1,089,855 in 2021) to his sister, Laura Rundle, wife of Richard Rundle. Silvanus Trevail is buried at St Cyriacus and St Julitta churchyard, Luxulyan. The east window at Luxulyan Church is a monument to Silvanus Trevail, erected by his sister Laura Rundle.

Luxulyan churchyard
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Phil Williams -
The finely carved cross marks the grave of John Trevail of Carne, Silvanus Trevail's father.

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