Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Trivet, Thomas

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TRIVET, Sir THOMAS (d. 1388), soldier, was a member of a Somerset family, to which Nicholas Trivet [q. v.], the historian, and his father, Sir Thomas Trivet, the judge, probably belonged. A Thomas Trivet held lands at Chilton Tryvet, Otterhampton, and North Petherton, Somerset, in 1316 (Palgrave, Parl. Writs, iv. 1526). Sir Thomas Trivet was perhaps son of the John Trivet who represented Somerset in the parliament of January 1348 (Return of Members of Parliament, p. 144), and probably grandson of the Thomas Trivet of 1316; he was a nephew of Sir Mathew Gourney [q. v.] (cf. Froissart, ed. Luce, ix. 104). He and John Trivet, probably a brother, served in the expedition to Spain in 1367, and Thomas Trivet was in the prince's company at the battle of Najara on 3 April (ib. vii. 18, 42). John Trivet accompanied Edmund, earl of Cambridge, to Aquitaine in 1369, and served under Sir John Chandos and Sir Robert Knolles during that year, and in Poitou in 1372; he died in 1386, having lands at Fordington, Dorset (ib. vii. 116, 141, 168, viii. 97; Cal. Inq. post mortem, iii. 79).

Sir Thomas Trivet seems also to have served in Poitou, for when the English cause in that province seemed nearly lost he went thither to serve under Sir Thomas Catterton in the Cotentin. He continued there during two years, and in 1375 took part in the defence of St. Sauveur le Vicomte under Catterton (Froissart, viii. 118, 193, 197, 213). After the surrender of St. Sauveur and the return of its garrison to England, Trivet obtained a grant of 40l. per annum for his services on 27 Oct. (Cal. Pat. Rolls, Richard II, ii. 198). He was a commissioner of array for Somerset in July 1377 (ib. i. 39, 42). On 10 March 1378 he was engaged to serve under Sir Mathew Gourney in Aquitaine with eighty men at arms and eighty archers (Froissart vol. ix. p. liii n.) The fleet assembled under John de Neville, fifth baron Neville of Raby [q. v.], at Plymouth in July, but only reached Bordeaux on 8 Sept. (ib. ix. 70, 86). Trivet was then engaged to serve Charles of Navarre in charge of Tudela, and about the middle of October left Bordeaux with three hundred lances (ib. vol. ix. p. lvii). Marching by Dax, where his uncle Sir Mathew Gourney was captain, he was induced by Gourney's advice to stay and help rid the country of the Breton and French soldiery. The castles of Montpin, Claracq, and Pouillon were thus reduced, when, in response to an urgent summons from Charles of Navarre, Trivet resumed his march and joined the king at St. Jean Pied-de-Port (ib. viii. 103–108). With Charles he marched to Pampeluna, and then the English were sent out into winter quarters at Tudela. But Trivet, not wishing to lose the favourable opportunity offered by the mild winter, determined on a raid into Spain. Setting out on 24 Dec., he proposed to surprise the town of Soria, but the English lost their way through a snowstorm and the attempt failed. Trivet, however, advanced to Cascante, and in January made an attempt on Alfaro on the Ebro, but was repulsed through the valour of its women (ib. ix. 110–15). This raid won Trivet much favour with Charles of Navarre; but, though the English were eager for fighting, peace was presently concluded, and in the summer of 1379 Trivet was paid off with twenty thousand francs, and returned to Bordeaux (ib. ix. 116–18; Lopez y Ayala, ii. 102).

On his arrival in England Trivet was well received by the king, and in October was one of the knights appointed to go with Sir John Arundell [q. v.] to Brittany. Trivet's ship escaped the storm which destroyed most of the fleet, and he returned in safety to Southampton (Froissart, ix. 124, 210–211). On 20 March 1380 he was a commissioner of array for Somerset (Cal. Pat. Rolls, Richard II, i. 473), and in the summer joined the expedition under Thomas of Woodstock which landed at Calais in July. Throughout the march to Brittany Trivet served with distinction in the advance guard, taking prisoner the Seigneur de Brimeu at Cléry-sur-Somme, and routing the Burgundians in a skirmish at Fervaques, and the Sire de Hangest before Vendôme (Froissart, ix. 239, 247–9, 257, 263, 284). He accompanied Sir Thomas Percy and Sir Robert Knolles on their mission to the Duke of Brittany at Rennes in October. Subsequently he served at the siege of Nantes, took part in the second mission to the duke, and fought in the skirmish before the town on Christmas eve. After the siege was raised on 2 Jan. 1381, Trivet was stationed with Percy and William, lord Latimer, at Hennebon, and probably returned with them to England in April (ib. vii. 382–429, ed. Buchon; Chron. du duc Loys de Bourbon, p. 127, Soc. Hist. de France). He was a commissioner of array for Kent on 14 May 1381 (Cal. Pat. Rolls, Richard II, i. 574).

Trivet was one of the knights who served in command of the so-called crusade of Henry Despenser [q. v.], bishop of Norwich, in Flanders in 1383. He was backward in leaving England, and it was not till the Londoners and the bishop's friends threatened violence that he sailed and joined Despenser at Dunkirk late in May (Walsingham, Hist. Angl. ii. 86, 94). With the other soldiers he compelled the bishop to lay siege to Ypres; their operations were unsuccessful, and Trivet, like others of the knights in command, was accused of treachery. After the siege was raised on 9 Aug. Trivet, with Sir William Elmham and other military officers, opposed Despenser in his wish to invade Picardy, and withdrew to Bourbourg. After Despenser was compelled to retire, Trivet and his companions were besieged at Bourbourg. Knighton relates a story of how Trivet proudly thanked the French king for the compliment he paid them in coming to besiege a small company of English with so great an army (Chron. ii. 99). But the general report accuses Trivet, in common with the other commanders, of having accepted a bribe from the French to agree to terms (Chron. Angl. p. 356; Malverne, p. 21). On his return he was accused of treachery, and, being convicted of having taken bribes, he was imprisoned in the Tower, but obtained the royal favour and was released (ib. p. 25; Rot. Parl. iii. 152–3, 156–8). When, in 1385, Richard II quarrelled with William Courtenay [q. v.], archbishop of Canterbury, Trivet is said to have restrained him from open violence; Richard retorted by taunting him as a notorious traitor (ib. p. 59; Walsingham, Hist. Angl. ii. 128). However, Trivet continued his connection with the court, and is said to have advised the king to take the field against the appellants in November 1387, and to have joined with Sir Nicholas Brembre [q. v.] in a plot to seize the lords at Westminster (ib. ii. 165; Malverne, p. 107). He was accordingly accused, and was one of the king's supporters who were arrested on 4 Jan. 1388, when he was committed to prison at Dover (ib. p. 115; Fœdera, vii. 566). Trivet was not brought to trial, and obtained his release on 31 May under sureties (Malverne, p. 181). In the following October, while the parliament was sitting at Cambridge, Trivet was thrown from his horse at Barnwell, and died in nine hours. That same day—6 Oct.—it had been proclaimed in parliament that if any wished to bring charges against him for his treachery or other notorious crime, they were to appear on the morrow (ib. p. 198). Many rejoiced at his death by reason of his overweening bearing, as well as on account of his treachery in the crusade of 1383 and the evil advice which he had given to the king (Walsingham, Hist. Angl. ii. 177). Froissart relates that Trivet's heirs had to pay a heavy fine before they could obtain their inheritance. Trivet left lands at Chilton Tryvet, North Petherton, and other places in Somerset. His widow Elizabeth survived him till 1434 (Cal. Inq. post mortem, iii. 142, iv. 154).

[Walsingham's Historia Anglicana, Malverne's Chronicle ap. Higden, vol. ix., Knighton's Chronicle (all these in Rolls Ser.); Froissart, vols. vii–ix., ed. Luce and Raynaud, and vols. vii–ix., ed. Buchon; Lopez y Ayala's Crónicas de los Reyes de Castilla, ii. 92, 102; other authorities quoted.]

C. L. K.