Mary Trevelyan: From Child to Mother on Page Turners

The second instalment of digitized Trevelyan family albums is now available on Page Turners. A brief introduction to this resource and the Trevelyan albums was given in our launch post last month. We’re happy to say that a further three albums have now gone live, along with contextual information which allows you to search for individuals, places, or learn more about the images.

This group includes the first (although not the earliest) volume in the collection – Volume One. Begun in 1894, when Mary Katharine Trevelyan [Molly] was 13 or 14 years old, it gives a valuable insight into her life before her marriage to Charles Philips Trevelyan. Born into the Bell family, wealthy industrialists in Middlesbrough, Molly’s father Sir Hugh Bell had joined the family firm, becoming director of the Bell Brothers’ steelworks in the town. Her mother, Florence Bell nee Olliffe was an author and playwright. Her family’s is perhaps most famously known for her half-sister Gertrude Bell, the archaeologist and diplomat.

Picture of Molly by Lilian Bell, 1894 (CPT/PA/1)

Picture of Molly by Lilian Bell, 1894 (CPT/PA/1)

In the seven years covered by the album we see Molly and her extended family relaxing at properties in Red Car, Mount Grace and Sloane Street, London. There are also souvenirs from time spent in Germany in 1900, including concert programmes from Weimar and Berlin. The final few pages give an inkling of the following volumes’ content, as pictures from a visit to Wallington feature, with photographs of the impressive great hall and the exterior, as well as picnics with her future husband Charles on the estate which they would eventually manage together.

Great Hall at Wallington, 1903 (CPT/PA/1)

Great Hall at Wallington, 1903 (CPT/PA/1)

Volume three, which also appears in this group, shows the early years of Molly and Charles’ married life together (1904-1906). At this point, their lives were split between Cambo House on the Wallington Estate, and Great College Street, Westminster, this album begins with many photographs of the couples’ friends, visits to family at Stocks House (the childhood home of Charles’ sister in law Janet Trevelyan nee Ward), Welcombe (a second home of Charles’ parents George Otto and Lady Caroline Trevelyan) and Rounton Grange (the Bell family home, recently inherited by Molly’s parents). Their love of animals is evident in the frequent photographs of cats and dogs, which appear alongside newspaper cuttings discussing Charles’ career as Liberal Member of Parliament for the Elland constituency in Yorkshire. The album ends with the birth of their eldest child (and first of seven), Pauline Trevelyan (later, Pauline Dower).

Sir Hugh Bell and Pauline Trevelyan, 1905, CPT/PA/3

Volume five continues on from volume three (handwritten notes added later by Pauline state that ‘there never was a vol. 4 a mistake in the binding!’). This album includes the arrival of their next two children, George Lowthian [Geordie] and Katharine [Kitty]. This album includes many photographs of their three eldest children playing together when young, as well as photographs and souvenirs of Charles and Molly’s trip to Italy. Marriage is very much a key feature of this album, and many invitations to weddings of their friends and family are included, as well as photographs and souvenirs from the wedding of Molly’s sister Elsa to Admiral Sir Herbert William Richmond (the parents of Lady Bridget Plowden].

Molly with Pauline and George Trevelyan, 1907, CPT/PA/4

The content of these albums shows the shifting focus of Molly’s world as she transitions from a teenager in an industrialist family to being the wife of a politician and heir to a landed estate and the mother of three young children. Consistent to all the albums though, is the importance of family. The scrapbook style combination of private photographs, souvenirs and publications, gives an intriguing insight into both the private and public worlds of the Trevelyan and Bell families. One which will hopefully be further understood once the ongoing cataloguing of the family correspondence is complete.

Showing the Way to Wallington

Exhibition can be seen on Level 2 Exhibition Space, Philip Robinson Library, until October 2016

The lives of Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan and Molly Trevelyan, as shown through their family photograph and ephemera albums, from the Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan Archive.

‘Showing the Way to Wallington’ gives a unique insight into the family life of Charles Philips Trevelyan and Mary Katherine Bell, who in 1928 made Wallington Hall their home until it was gifted to the nation in 1941. The images and articles showcased in the exhibition covering areas such as Arts, Politics and War, and come from the family photograph albums which Charles and Mary (better-known as Molly), compiled themselves in scrapbook form.

As part of an ongoing project, 39 Volumes are being digitised and converted into an accessible online virtual book format called ‘Turning The Pages’ by Karen Atkinson, our digitisation assistant in Special Collections. This exhibition contains some favourite and striking images along with interesting facts discovered in the course of her work.exhib banner

The panel above is the first of 6 display cabinets and features a preserved ‘perfect, six-bloomed Sweet Pea’, which was pressed between the pages of Volume 10 of the Trevelyan family albums in 1922.

Volume 10 front cover (CPT/PA/9)

Volume 10 front cover (CPT/PA/9)

Here’s how the sweet pea stem looks in the album

Sweet pea stem in the album

Sweet pea stem in the album (CPT/PA/9)

Page 49 of the same Volume (image below) contains a newspaper clipping (see left) dated November 1923 and written about a gathering at the Village Hall in Cambo to honour the outgoing needlework Exhibition Secretary, Mr. Edward Keith, on his retirement. Apart from his other talents such as wood-carving and bee-keeping, Mr. Keith was also a well-respected gardener at Wallington Hall. The article pasted into Volume 10 reads, “His work is excellent and artistic. His sweet peas are famous nationally. The Wallington garden is one of the best in our country.”

Found on page 49 of Volume 10, Newspaper cutting, Mr Edward Keith, November 1923

Sweet peas and the beauty of Wallington are also mentioned in ‘Wallington’ by Sir Charles Trevelyan – Its’ History and Treasures [6th ed.] published in 1950 (Edwin Clarke Local, Clarke 631).

Page 38 in the Out of Doors section in Its History and Treasures:

“In summer the place is gay with flowers. Wallington is famous for its sweet peas, and near the house they often grow in a great profusion of colour.”

Page 39 in The Garden section:

“Below may be found beds of roses, lilies, gladioli, etc, but above all sweet peas, which two generations of Wallington gardeners have made famous.”

Shew’s the Way to Wallington
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The exhibition title was inspired by a border pipe version of a tune called “Shew’s the Way to Wallington”, the manuscript of which is dated 1830, and was written by Robert Elliot Bewick, son of the famous naturalist and engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828).

'Shew’s the Way to Wallington, from a manuscript date 1830, written by Robert Elliot Bewick

Below are the words to the song, found on page 3 of TREV/CET/76:

The Songster, found on page 3, TREV/CET/76

The Wallington Songster, found on page 3, TREV/CET/76

13th December – Letter from Pauline Trevelyan to Grandparents

Trevelyan Letter page 1

Trevelyan Letter page 1

Trevelyan Letter pages 2 & 3

Trevelyan Letter pages 2 & 3

Trevelyan Letter page 4

Trevelyan Letter page 4

Dear Grandmama

I hope you and Grandpapa will have a happy Christmas. I have sent you a present. I panited it for you. Geordie sent the mat for Grandpapa. Love from Pauline. xxx

Pauline Trevelyan was the daughter of Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan and Molly Trevelyan – the last of the family to live in Wallington Hall before Charles donated the house to the National Trust.

Find out more about the family in our Trevelyan Papers found here.