Military costume

The jacket and tunic from the costume of Edward John Trelawney in the Greek War of Independence, £13,000 at Sworders.

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An adventurer, biographer and novelist, Trelawny was best known for his friendship with Shelley and Byron whom he met when travelling in Switzerland.

Influenced by the poets’ views on the political situation in Greece, Trelawny travelled to Greece with Byron to join the fight for Greek Independence.

While Byron remained on the Ionian Islands to mediate the political situation between London and Greece, in 1823 Trelawny set off as agent to Byron to meet the Greek leaders and eventually joined the chieftain Odysseas Androutsos fighting in eastern Greece.

During this time Trelawney commanded a troop of 25 Albanian soldiers and engaged in several battles with the Turks. He married Odysseas’ half-sister Tarsitsa.

Military costume

A tunic, breeches and other items from the costume of Edward John Trelawney in the Greek War of Independence, £13,000 at Sworders.

When Byron died in 1824, Trelawny is reputed to have arranged for the return of his body to England.

He wrote a memoir of his time in Greece, Adventures of a Younger Son.

Originally left by Trelawny with his uncle Sir Christopher Hawkins (1761-1841) at Bignor Park in Trewithen, Cornwall, the tunic plus items of embroidered Greek costume and Trelawny’s nickel bridle mounts and sword hilt had been kept by his descendants.

For many years they were on public display in the Shelley Rooms, Bournemouth, and in 2008 were exhibited by the Oxford Press for the publication of William St Clair’s book on the role of the Philhellenes in the Greek War of Independence.

They came for sale as part of the Homes & Interiors (with militaria) sale at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, on March 28 with an estimate of £400-600 and sold for £13,000, plus 25% buyer’s premium. The buyer was from Luxembourg, with underbidding from Greece.