John Trevor was a member of the ‘Trevor’ family of Brynkinalt, and served as Bailiff of Oswestry for the civic years of 1517, 1523, 1527 and 1529. Trevor made his last will and testiment on the 30th of October, 1541, instructing his executors, his wife and children, to implement his bequests, to dispose of his estate and to provide food, water and shelter to Sir. John ap William ap Madoc.

Due to the archaic use of Old English, Hidden Oswestry will transcribe what is covered, instead of quoting directly from the source.

The first bequest was a rather elaborate one, as Trevor bequeaths his “soul unto Almighty God and Our Blessed Lady, Saint Mary and to all the Holy Company of Heaven”. Next, he bequeaths Three Shillings and Fourpence to St. Oswald’s Parish Church for forgotten tithes. He then leaves his green jacket, his cap, his dowblet, his hosiery and his shirt to his son, Edward. Finally, Trevor leased his properties at Coney Green and by St. Edith’s Chapel to his tenants, for the duration of their lifetimes.

What’s interesting about this document is that it was first drafted during the English Reformation, when King Henry VIII moved to convert the whole of England from Catholicism to Anglicanism, but much of the document retains the traditions of the old Catholic Church, such as Trevor’s bequest to the spirit of God and to Mother Mary.

This would likely be due to how, despite the King’s intention on eliminating the power of the Catholic Church, closing the monasteries, enacting the Ten Articles of Religion and the beginning of England’s colonial adventure around the world, the King was happy to continue most of the traditions of the Church of Rome.

Another interesting part about this document is how it depicts many of Trevor’s own traditions that were shared by the Catholic Church. Trevor was a strong believer in purgatory, despite the Church of England’s moving away from the belief of purgatory towards a belief of salvation through the sacrifice of Christ himself.

St. Edith’s Chapel existed on the road to Whittington, possibly near Park Hall, and was in use at the time as a chantry chapel, where individuals would be instructed by believers like Trevor to conduct intercessory prayers, providing salvation to the souls of the dead and to eliminate such souls from the purgatory.

Chapels like St. Edith’s were eventually abolished by the Church, pursuant to the Chantries Acts of 1545 and 1547, which instructed that all assets would be seized by the Church of England and its clergy forced into early retirement. The Chapel no longer exists.

Trevor’s will is, today, held in preservation at the National Library for Wales, in Aberystwyth.


- ‘An Oswestry Miscellany’ [Pages 55-56], by John Pryce-Jones (2007);

- ‘Oswestry corporation records: the bailiffs from medieval times to 1673’, by John Pryce-Jones (2001); and

- ‘Transactions of the Shropshire Archaelogical & Historical Society, LXXV’ [Pages 30-39], by John Pryce-Jones (2001)