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Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan, 3rd Baronet

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Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan, 3rd Baronet

For other people named Charles Trevelyan, see Charles Trevelyan (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
Sir Charles Trevelyan, Bt
President of the Board of Education
In office
22 January 1924 – 3 November 1924
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by Hon. E. F. L. Wood
Succeeded by Lord Eustace Percy
President of the Board of Education
In office
7 June 1929 – 2 March 1931
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by Lord Eustace Percy
Succeeded by Hastings Lees-Smith
Personal details
Born 28 October 1870 (1870-10-28)
Died 24 January 1958 (1958-01-25)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Mary Bell

Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan, 3rd Baronet PC (28 October 1870 – 24 January 1958), was a British Liberal, and later Labour, politician and landowner. He served as President of the Board of Education in 1924 and between 1929 and 1931 in the first two Labour administrations of Ramsay MacDonald.


Born into a liberal aristocratic family (see Trevelyan baronets of Nettlecombe, 1662), Charles was the eldest son of Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, and his wife Caroline, daughter of Robert Needham Philips MP.[1] He was the grandson of Sir Charles Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, the elder brother of R. C. Trevelyan and G. M. Trevelyan and the great-nephew of Lord Macaulay. He was the great-great grandson of Sir John Trevelyan, 4th Baronet (1735–1828). Family legend traced their ancestry to Sir Trevillian, one of King Arthur's knights, who swam ashore on horseback when Lyonesse sank. The family kept three houses year round: Wallington Hall, which the family had owned since 1777, Welcombe House, and a town house in Westminster. The family estates comprised more than 11,000 acres.

After Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, Charles Philips decided upon a political career. Beatrice Webb, his friend, described him as "a man who has every endowment - social position, wealth, intelligence, an independent outlook, good looks, good manners".[2]

Political career

Trevelyan was first a Liberal and later a Labour MP. His eventual political achievements were uneven. As member of the landed gentry serving in the Labour Party, he was considered by some to be a walking anachronism. Despite this, his own privileges and gentlemanly pursuits always remained intact.[2] Trevelyan was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Elland, Yorkshire, in a by-election in 1899. He served under H. H. Asquith as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education between 1908 and 1914. He was opposed to British entry into the First World War and in 1914 he founded the Union of Democratic Control an all-party organisation that rallied opposition to the war. In the 1918 general election he lost his Elland seat running as an Independent Labour Party (ILP) candidate. At that time, the ILP was part of the Labour Party (it had in fact under its leader, Keir Hardie, been largely been responsible for the creation of the Labour Party).

He won Newcastle Central for Labour in 1922 and held it until 1931.[3] He was a member of Ramsay Macdonald's Labour cabinets as President of the Board of Education between January and November 1924[4] and between 1929 and 1931,[5] when he resigned. In 1924 he was sworn of the Privy Council.[6] In 1928 he succeeded his father as third Baronet.

In early 1939, following Stafford Cripps and with Aneurin Bevan among others, Trevelyan was briefly expelled from the Labour Party for persisting with support for a "popular front" (involving cooperation with the Liberal Party and Communist Party) against the National Government.[7]

Apart from his political career Trevelyan was also Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland between 1930 and 1949.

He was the last surviving member of the first British Labour Cabinet


Trevelyan married Mary Katherine Bell, a younger half-sister of Gertrude Bell and the daughter of Sir Thomas Bell, 2nd Baronet. They had six children including his first born, Sir George Trevelyan, whom he disinherited. He passed Wallington Hall, which he had inherited in 1928, to the National Trust, the first such property to be owned by the Trust. He died in January 1958, aged 87.


External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Wayman
Member of Parliament for Elland
Succeeded by
George Taylor Ramsden
Preceded by
Sir George Renwick, Bt
Member of Parliament for Newcastle Central
Succeeded by
Arthur Denville
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas McKinnon Wood
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education
Succeeded by
Christopher Addison
Preceded by
Hon. E. F. L. Wood
President of the Board of Education
Succeeded by
Lord Eustace Percy
Preceded by
Lord Eustace Percy
President of the Board of Education
Succeeded by
Hastings Lees-Smith
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland
Succeeded by
The Viscount Allendale
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Otto Trevelyan
(of Wallington)
Succeeded by
George Lowthian Trevelyan

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