GAYER, John, of Trenbrace, St. Keverne, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

1st s. of Stephen Gayer of Lincoln’s Inn by Jane, da. and h. of William Trenbrace of St. Keverne. m. aft. 1548, Sybil, da. of Thomas Treffry, 3s. 4da. suc. fa. by 1548.1

Offices Held

Dep. sheriff, Cornw. 1556-7.2


Gayer was one of those west country protestants who ‘stood for the true religion’ in Mary’s first Parliament. Family influence, his own tin-mining interests, and his relationship with the Killigrews, would account for his return at Penryn in 1559, as John Gayer, armiger. Whether the John Gayer, gentleman, who was returned for Helston in 1571 was the same man is not certain. There were several namesakes in Cornwall at this time. The 1571 MP sat on committees concerned with navigation (8 May), woods and forests (10 May) and the bill ‘against great hosen’ (14 May). Presumably it was he who wrote a ‘book on the tin causes’ addressed to Queen Elizabeth, probably a memorandum to the Crown. It does not appear whether the author was a stannary official or a wealthy tin merchant, or both. The argument was that the abuses in the stannary courts could be cured only by the Crown itself taking over the buying of tin.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 172; C1/1433/18; St. Ch. 2/16/23.
  • 2. Duchy Cornw. roll 130, m. 16v, ex inf. J. J. Goring.
  • 3. A. E. Gayer, Fam. of Gayer, 2-4; Bodl. e Museo 17; SP12/245/31, 14/8/138; PCC 86 Nevell; CJ, i. 88, 89; Trans. Dev. Assoc. lxxxi. 174; Cotton, Titus, B. iv. f. 336 seq.