Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Trumbull, William (d.1635)

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793740Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 57 — Trumbull, William (d.1635)1899Albert Frederick Pollard

TRUMBULL, WILLIAM (d. 1635), diplomatist, was son of John Trumbull of Craven, Yorkshire, and his wife, Elizabeth Brogden or Briggden. He seems to have been introduced at court by Sir Thomas Edmondes [q. v.], whom he afterwards described as his ‘old master.’ Early in James I's reign he was a court messenger, and probably he was attached to Edmondes's embassy to the Archduke Albert of Austria, regent of the Netherlands. When Edmondes was recalled from Brussels in 1609, Trumbull was promoted to succeed him as resident at the archduke's court. He retained that difficult post for sixteen years, and his correspondence is a valuable source for the diplomatic history of the period; his salary was twenty shillings a day. On 6 June 1611 he was instructed to demand the extradition of William Seymour and Arabella Stuart should they land in the archduke's dominions. On 17 Feb. 1613–14, after repeated solicitation, he was granted an ordinary clerkship to the privy council; but the office seems to have been a sinecure, for Trumbull remained at his post at Brussels. In 1620 he protested against the Spanish invasion of the Palatinate (Gardiner, iii. 351–2). In 1624 he requested the reversion ‘of one of the six clerks' places’ for himself and a clerkship of the privy seal for his eldest son. He was recalled in 1625 on the open rupture with Spain (ib. vi. 6), and on 16 Feb. 1625–6 he was returned to parliament for Downton, Wiltshire. He assumed active duties as clerk of the privy council, devoting himself especially to naval matters. On 26 March 1628 he was granted Easthampstead Park, Berkshire, on condition of maintaining a deer-park for the king's recreation. Soon afterwards he was appointed muster-master-general. He died in London in September 1635, being succeeded as clerk to the council by his godson (Sir) Edward Nicholas [q. v.], and was buried in Easthampstead church, where a monument was erected to his memory. His portrait, painted in 1617, was engraved by Vertue in 1726 (Bromley, Cat. Engr. Portraits, p. 80). By his wife Deborah, daughter of Walter Downes of Beltring, Kent, he left issue two sons and two daughters. The elder son, William (1594?–1668), was father of Sir William Trumbull [q. v.]

Trumbull's correspondence is extant in Brit. Mus. Egerton MSS. 2592–6, Cotton MS. Galba E i., Stowe MSS. 171–176, and the manuscripts of Mr. George Wingfield Digby at Sherborne Castle, Dorset (Hist. MSS. Comm. 10th Rep. App. pp. 523–616). Many of the letters were printed in Winwood's ‘Memorials’ (of which they form a considerable part), and in Digges's ‘Compleat Ambassador,’ ii. 350–3. While at Brussels he secured the valuable secret correspondence between Francisco Vargas and Cardinal Granvelle on the council of Trent; an English translation was published in 1697 by Michael Geddes [q. v.], and a French by Michel Le Vassor in 1700 (Burnet, Hist. of the Reformation, ed. Pocock, iii. 305–7).

[Besides authorities cited, see Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1611–36, and Addenda, 1625–49, passim; Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. App. pp. 282, 301, 314, 6th Rep. App. pp. 278, 474, 679, 7th Rep. p. 260, 10th Rep. App. pp. 99–102, 523–616, 12th Rep. App. i. 440; Winwood's Memorials, iii. 278, 282, 420, 485; Birch's Negotiations, 1749; Cottonian MS. Galba E i. ff. 371, 375, 398, 405, 407, 409, 414; Nicholas Papers (Camden Soc.), vol. i. p. vi; Strafford Papers, i. 467; Devon's Issues, pp. 133, 208, 343; Welldon's Court of James I, p. 94; Court and Times of James I, ii. 177–8; Official Ret. Memb. of Parl.; Granger's Biogr. Hist. i. 384; Le Neve's Pedigrees of Knights (Harl. Soc.), p. 391; Genealogist, vi. 100.]

A. F. P.