Melesina Trench

Melesina Trench (née Chenevix) (March 22, 1768 - May 27, 1827) was an Irish writer, poet and diarist.

Melesina Chenevix was born in Dublin, daughter of Philip Chenevix and Mary Elizabeth Gervais. She was orphaned before her fourth birthday and brought up by her grandfather, Richard Chenevix (1698-1779) who was the Bishop of Waterford. The family were of Huguenot extraction.

After the death of Richard Chenevix she went to live with her maternal grandfather, the Archdeacon Gervais. On October 31, 1786 she married Colonel Richard St George (d. 1790). Her husband died only two years later in Portugal, leaving one son, Charles Manners St George who became a diplomat.

Between 1799 and 1800, Melesina travelled around Europe, especially Germany. It was during these travels that she met Lord Nelson, Lady Hamilton and the cream of European society, including Rivarol, Lucien Bonaparte, and John Quincy Adams while living in Germany. She later recounted anecdotes of these meetings in her memoirs.

On March 3, 1803 in Paris she married again. Her second husband was Richard Trench (1774–1860), son of Frederick Trench and brother of Lord Ashtown.

In 1805 Richard Trench was detained in France by Napoleon's armies. Melesina took it upon herself to petition Napoleon in person and plead for her husband's release. Her husband was released, and the couple settled at Elm Lodge in Bursledon, Hampshire, England. Their son Francis Chenevix Trench was born in 1805.

In 1807, whilst on holiday in Dublin, their son Richard Chenevix Trench was born. He went on to be the Archbishop of Dublin, renowned poet and contemporary of Tennyson. Her only daughter died a few years later at the age of 4 years.

She corresponded with, amongst others, Mary Leadbeater, with whom she worked to improve the lot of the peasantry at her estate at Ballybarney.

Melesina Trench's diaries and letters were compiled posthumously by Richard Chenevix Trench as The remains of the late Mrs. Richard Trench in 1861 with an engraving of her taken from a painting by George Romney. Another oil painting, The Evening Star by Sir Thomas Lawrence, had her as a subject, and she was reproduced in portrait miniatures; one in Paris by Jean-Baptiste Isabey and another by Hamilton that was copied by the engraver Francis Engleheart.

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Famous quotes containing the word trench:

    Lord, what a change within us one short hour
    Spent in Thy presence will avail to make!
    —Richard Chenevix Trench (1807–1886)