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Sir George Otto Trevelyan

Trevelyan, Sir George Otto, 1838–1928, British historian and politician. He served as a Whig member of the House of Commons from 1865 to 1897. He held posts under W. E. Gladstone as civil lord of the admiralty (1868–70), secretary to the admiralty (1880–82), chief secretary for Ireland (1882–84), and chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster (1884–85). In 1876, Trevelyan produced a biography of his uncle, Lord Macaulay. His Early History of Charles James Fox (1880) firmly established his reputation as a historian. His study of the times of Fox was continued in the American Revolution (4 vol., 1899–1907) and completed with George the Third and Charles Fox (1912). Trevelyan's Whig sympathies led to his condemnation of George III and praise for the American Revolutionary leaders, an attitude that contributed to the great popularity of his work in the United States, but that detracted from its objectivity.

See biography by his son, G. M. Trevelyan (1932).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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