Archive Collection WCT - Trevelyan (Walter Calverley) Archive

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Trevelyan (Walter Calverley) Archive


  • 1763 - 1951, bulk 1800 - 1879 (Creation)

Level of description

Archive Collection

Extent and medium

7 linear metres (57 boxes and 1 volume), personal papers

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Name of creator


Biographical history

Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan was born in Newcastle upon Tyne to Sir John Trevelyan 5th Baronet and Maria Trevelyan nee Spencer Wilson. He was educated at Harrow and University College Oxford. After University Trevelyan pursued interests in geology and natural history, and became a supporter of phrenology and temperance.

In 1833 he married Pauline Jermyn, daughter of the Reverend Doctor George Bitton Jermyn, Vicar of Swaffham Priory, and Catherine Rowland. Pauline shared Trevelyan's interests in natural history, particularly botany, and the pair traveled extensively throughout Europe.

In 1846 Trevelyan succeeded to his title and the family estates of Nettlecombe and Wallington. He continued to pursue diverse interests, co-editing a volume on the Trevelyan Papers, becoming president of numerous societies including the Phonetic Society, the United Kingdom Alliance for the Suppression of the Liquor Traffic, and of the National Temperance Society. He frequently donated specimens and money to museums, libraries and learned societies.

Pauline became an important patron of the arts, maintaining a close friendship with John Ruskin until her death. Her fondness for the Pre-Raphaelite movement is reflected in refurbishments made at Wallington Hall, in particular the Great Hall. She died in 1866 during a visit to Switzerland, accompanied by Trevelyan and Ruskin.

In 1867 Trevelyan married Laura Capel, daughter of Capel Lofft, lawyer of Troston Hall.

Trevelyan died at Wallington in 1879.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

This archive was deposited at Newcastle University on loan in 1967 by descendents of Charles Edward Trevelyan, Walter's cousin, along with three further Trevelyan family archives - the Trevelyan (Charles Philips) Archive (CET), the Trevelyan (George Otto) Archive (GOT), and the Trevelyan (Charles Edward) Archive (CET). Further items were added as smaller deposits in subsequent years.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The archive comprises mainly correspondence addressed to Sir Walter and his first wife Pauline Lady Trevelyan nee Paulina Jermyn. The letters reflect the couple's interests in natural history, botany, geology, antiquities, travel, temperance, phrenology, art and literature, and include examples from many well known contemporaries.

There is also material relating to the history of the Trevelyan family, accumulated during Walter and Charles Edward Trevelyan's preparation of 'The Trevelyan Papers' for publication.

The archive also features diaries and journals, sketchbooks, notes for speeches and scrapbooks. There is material relating to the North East of England, including proposed railways, Tyne crossings at Hexham and decoration of the Great Hall at Wallington.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

During cataloguing in 2020, some modern photocopies of original materials were removed from the collection and destroyed. At the same time some late twentieth century content which had been added to the collection was relocated from the archive into either the Trevelyan (Raleigh) Archive or the Library's administrative files.


No further material is expected to be added to the collection.

System of arrangement

This arrangement of this archive is based on groupings of files used in a previous catalogue created in 1973. The correspondence files are mostly grouped by author or subject, with a main series of alphabetically ordered files. Other materials have been grouped by subject or material type. This organization appears to have been imposed as part of the 1970s cataloguing processes and has been slightly adapted for this updated version to improve discoverability.

All files in this archive were previously available with former references. These have been included to ensure content accessed and referenced in the past remains accessible. Where the older groupings have been split, all new files share the same former reference number.

The archive series are as follows:
WCT/1 - Family correspondence and papers WCT/2 - Documents relating to 'The Trevelyan Papers' publication WCT/3 - Correspondence with artists and literary figures WCT/4 - General correspondence WCT/5 - Correspondence - A-Z by author WCT/6 - Correspondence and papers relating to overseas travel WCT/7 - Journals WCT/8 - Diaries WCT/9 - Diaries and notebooks of Lady Pauline WCT/10 - Papers relating to research and personal interests WCT/11 - Legal and financial papers WCT/12 - Scrapbooks WCT/13 - Local matters (Wansbeck and Hexham)

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright within this collection which would have resided with the Trevelyan family was kindly gifted to Newcastle University along with the physical material in 2012. Other copyrights subsist within the collection and copying and reuse should only be undertaken with consent of the copyright holder.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Some of the content is extremely fragile and care should be taken when handling. Where considered appropriate a digital surrogate may be offered for consultation.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The majority of Lady Pauline Trevelyan's diaries are held at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas. More information can be found on their website: .

Related material at Newcastle University Special Collections includes:
Trevelyan (Charles Philips) Archive (CPT) Trevelyan (George Otto) Archive (GOT) Trevelyan (Charles Edward) Archive (CET) Related material held elsewhere includes: British Library Additional Manuscripts (BL Add MS 22289, 24965, 27409, 28872. 29708, 29718, 31026, 31027), British Library, London Trevelyan Papers (DD/WO), Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton Wallington Estate Records (ZWN) Northumberland Archives, Woodhorn Museum Wallington National Trust Collection, Wallington Hall

Related descriptions

Publication note

Batchelor, John (2006) Lady Trevelyan and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Chatto and Windus, London Morrell, Jack (2004) Trevelyan, Sir Walter Calverley, sixth baronet in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Available at Ruskin, John, Surtees, Virginia and Trevelyan, Pauline (1979) Reflections of a friendship: John Ruskin's letters to Pauline Trevelyan 1848-1866. Allen and Unwin, London; Boston Trevelyan, Raleigh (1978) A Pre-Raphaelite Circle. Chatto and Windus, London. Trevelyan, Raleigh (2004) Trevelyan, Paulina Jermyn [Pauline] [nee Paulina Jermyn], Lady Trevelyan in in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Available at

Notes area


Preferred citation: WCT, Trevelyan (Walter Calverley) Archive, Newcastle University Library

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