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Jonathan Trelawny (1650-1721), one of the seven bishops imprisoned in the Tower of London by king James II in 1688.

He was born at Pelynt into an old Cornish family, his father, the 2nd Baronet of Trelawne, was a Royalist during the English Civil War and Trelawny inherited the debts his father incurred in the King's cause. He was ordained as a priest in 1676 and became Dean of St Buryan and later Bishop of Rochester. He organised the military defence of his native Cornwall during Monmouth's rebellion and was rewarded with Bishopric of Bristol in 1685, aged 35.

The Catholic James II reversed the policy of Charles II by appointing Catholics to high office such Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Chief Admiral of the Navy to the consternation of Protestant England which feared the might of Catholic neighbours.

In 1687 the monarch challenged the authority of the Church of England by the Declaration of Indulgence towards Catholics. Another Declaration followed the next year, this time directed to be read in every church in the land.

Seven bishops presented a petition to the king against the reading of the declaration and were consequently imprisoned in the Tower of London.

King James, fearing popular demonstration and possibly sparking a rebellion, had the bishops transported along the Thames to Traitors' Gate on the royal barge. Spectators along the route of the barge waded into the river to recieve the bishops' blessing while their warders knelt inside the gate as they landed and drank a toast to their health of the night of their imprisonment.

Brought before the King's Bench in Westminster Hall on June 30th, 1688, they were all acquitted.

Following his acquittal, James II attempted to placate the bishop by offering him the bishopric of Exeter. William of Orange soon landed at Torbay to take the English throne and, Trelawny having taken an oath of allegiance to him, his appointment to Exeter was confirmed by William. James II fled the country shortly after William's arrival.

En-route, the new bishop of Exeter exercised his right to visit Exeter College Oxford but found the door barred against him by a dishonest rector. Trelawny deprived the rector of his office and suspended ten of the fellows leading to the famous action in the courts in which he was finally vindicated.

Trelawny strongly resisted all attempts of the crown to encroach on Episcopal Prerogative, nevertheless, he was appionted bishop of Winchester where he finished the building of the palace.

In the 19th century, the poet RS Hawker, the vicar of Morwenstow published published the song "The Song of the Western Men" anonymously, based on the imprisonment of bishop Trelawny and the reaction in Cornwall. Now known simply as "Trelawny", it has become the Cornish national anthem.

Although Trelawny inherited the debts incurred in his father's pursuit fo the Royalist cause during the English Civil War, he married an heiress and was able to benefit his old college at Oxford financially (where he obtained his MA) financially at the time Sir Christopher Wren was working on Tom Tower. Later he placed a statue to Wolsey over the gateway of the hall of Christ Church Oxford.

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1685Jonathan Trelawny appointed Bishop of Bristol
1687James II issues the Declaration of Indulgence for Catholics
1688Imprisonment and acquittal of Bishop Trelawny
1688.Jun.30Seven Bishops objecting to the reading of James II\\\'s Declaration of Indulgence charged with sedititious libel before the Kings Bench
1825RS Hawker writes The Song of the Western Men, later adopted as the Cornish national anthem

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