TRIST, Browse (?1698-1777), of Bowden, nr. Totnes, Devon

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1754 - Mar. 1763

Family and Education

b. ?1698, 1st s. of Nicholas Trist of Bowden by Elizabeth, da. of George Rooke of Totnes.  educ. Wadham, Oxf. 1 Apr. 1717, aged 18.  m. 6 June 1734, Agnes, da. of Thomas Hore of Nymph, Devon, 6s. 3da.

Offices Held


Trist came of an old Totnes family, and first contested the borough in 1741. Although without legal training, he became recorder in 1747, and began to cultivate an interest there. In 1754, standing jointly with a Government candidate, he won his first election; and with Government backing, controlled the borough until 1763.

He did not at first intend to stand in 1761, and arranged to bring in Nathaniel Newnham for £1,500. But an opposition arose, and Trist, fearing his interest might be defeated if he put forward a stranger, again contested the borough. He received Newcastle’s whip in 1761 through James West, secretary to the Treasury; and voted against the peace preliminaries in December 1762. But in March 1763 he was bought out by Henry Fox. Trist claimed he had spent ‘full £3,000 for his Majesty’s service’ and ‘never had any thing’ except a cornet’s commission for his son.1 He received £1,600 and the promise of a captain’s commission. ‘’Tis my resolution’, he wrote to Fox on 6 Mar. 1763, ‘steadily to support your interest.’ But henceforth neither he nor his family played much part in Totnes affairs.

He died 6 May 1777.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Trist to Hen. Fox, 6 Mar. 1763, Hen. Fox mss.