Melesina Chenevix Trench

Trench, Melesina Chenevix, grand-daughter of Dr. Chenevix, Bishop of Waterford, was born in Ireland in 1768. This talented and amiable woman, mother of Dr. R. C. Trench, Archbishop of Dublin, is known to the public mainly through a volume of Remains, Selections from Journals, Letters, and other Papers, published by her son in 1862, and by her correspondence with Mary Leadbeater, published in the Leadbeater Papers in 1861. The notes we have of her early years with her grandfather (her parents having died when she was but a child), her brief married life with her first husband, Colonel St. George, subsequent residence in Ireland, visits to the Continent between 1799 and 1806, and later married life in England as Mrs. Richard Trench, portray a character of remarkable strength, discernment, and sweetness.

She died at Malvern, 27th May 1827, aged 59. Mrs. Leadbeater, under date of 1802, gives a vivid description of their first interview and the mutual attraction by which they were drawn to each other. She says: "My heart entirely acquits me of having been influenced by what I have heard of her rank and fortune. Far more prepossessing than these were the soft lustre of her beautiful black eyes, and the sweetness of her fascinating smile... Providence had given her talents and dispositions calculated to promote the improvement and happiness of all around her, while her meekness and humility prevented the restraint of her superiority being felt, without taking from the dignity of her character. I was surprised and affected when I beheld her, on one occasion, seated on one of the kitchen chairs in the scullery, for coolness, hearing a company of little children of her tenants sing out their lessons to her."


211. Leadbeater Papers: Annals of Ballytore, by Mary Leadbeater: Memoir of Author: Letters of Burke, Mrs. R. Trench, George Crabbe. 2 vols. London, 1862.

326a. Trench, Remains of Mrs. Richard: Edited by her Son, the Dean of Westminster. London, 1862.