Maria Mayrhofer Trevelyan was the wife and cousin of Reinhardt Mayrhofer and the lover of Joseph Trevelyan. From Reinhardt she contracted syphilis, and then transmitted the disease to Joseph. Following the murder of her husband, Maria married Joseph.

Personal HistoryEdit

While Maria had been faithful to her husband, Reinhardt was an adulterer. He had contracted syphilis from one of his extramarital partners, and Maria contracted the disease from him. She, in turn, passed it on to their son, which caused severe congenital disfigurement. After the death of their son, Maria distanced herself from her husband. While still in mourning, she met Joseph Trevelyan and fell in love with him. Due to her devout Catholic beliefs, she would not leave her husband for Joseph, so they carried out their affair in secret.

Events of the Lord John SeriesEdit

Lord John and the Private MatterEdit

In June 1757, Lord John Grey investigates the murders of Timothy O'Connell and an unidentified man wearing a green dress, and in the course of his sleuthing he encounters a particular red wine of German origins. Through a conversation with Stephan von Namtzen, the wine leads him to an Austrian nobleman by the name of Mayrhofer.

In spite of suffering from mercury poisoning, Grey, von Namtzen and Tom Byrd search the Mayrhofer household. They learn from the house's staff that Herr Mayrhofer has not been seen since Tuesday, adding credence to Grey's suspicion that Herr Mayrhofer was, in fact, the dead man in the green dress. Frau Mayrhofer's chambermaids explain that she'd been in her room, ill, all week, so they were not sure when she had left.

Tom finds his brother Jack Byrd's shoes at the house and upon questioning about this they find from the butler that Frau Mayrhofer's friend had brought him to the house the week prior and she instructed to treat him like any other servant and that it was only temporary. Though the boy would help the maids at times he generally stuck to sitting near her bedroom door as if guarding her. Jack had traded his shoes with a footman wanting a pair that didn't have a broken heel and more importantly a pair with wood heels. Realizing the connection Grey left von Namtzen to look over Mayrhofer's papers while he and Tom went to find what ship Trevelyan and company were trying to escape on.

Further evidence points to Trevelyan making an escape on a ship, and Grey and Tom go to find out the ship. They are able to discover that the Nampara, a ship owned by Trevelyan, was to sail the following day. Grey and Tom chase after Trevelyan, and ultimately find themselves shanghaied on the Nampara, bound for India. Upon arriving in the cabin, Grey notices Maria, asleep and wearing Trevelyan's ring loose upon her finger. Finbar Scanlon explains that Maria is currently suffering from malaria. Trevelyan offers to give Grey the full truth over a drink, still denying that he has killed anyone.

In the course of his admissions regarding the O'Connell murder, Trevelyan reveals that he married Maria on Tuesday, and tells the story of how he met Maria the year before and fell instantly in love with her, despite knowing she was married. Given her devout Catholic beliefs, it had taken him several months of persistence before she yielded. Trevelyan describes her husband, Reinhardt, as a degenerate, a womanizer – and a trader of secrets. Knowing this, Trevelyan deliberately set up Reinhardt to cross paths with Tim O'Connell and his stolen army correspondence, knowing Reinhardt would be very interested in such valuable information. Once Mayrhofer was implicated, he would either be banished or executed, freeing Maria to be with Trevelyan.

Trevelyan admits that, for their clandestine meetings, both he and Maria wore the same green dress. As Grey tries to determine who murdered O'Connell and Mayrhofer, a sickly Maria awakens and confesses to murdering her husband. Knowing they are at sea, she has no reservations about confessing. She does not, however, recognize the name "O'Connell". When Maria succumbs to another malarial chill, Trevelyan insists that Grey leave off questioning her. Trevelyan calls for Scanlon to tend to her, telling Grey she cannot speak to him, but that he would. As they leave the cabin, Maria asks Trevelyan to tell Grey; she says, if they are both dead, she will be justified.

Outside, Trevelyan continues the story: how, after learning that he was poxed, Trevelyan questioned the Mayrhofer's physician and learned that Reinhardt must have infected Maria, who then passed it on to Trevelyan, and how Maria killed her husband after learning that he killed their child. Trevelyan confesses that he and Jack had smashed in Reinhardt's face to hide his identity, hoping that, wearing the green dress that he died in, he would be taken for a prostitute, and provoke no further investigation. Their talk comes to an end as Jack tells Trevelyan that Maria is feeling better, and that Scanlon was in the mess, ready to speak with Grey.

Scanlon explains to Grey that he infected Maria and Trevelyan with malaria as a cure for the pox – the fever, in theory, would "burn out" the syphilis. Trevelyan hadn't mean to run away and die with his lover, then, but to overcome the disease they both suffered, and live together.

Eight days pass and Maria's condition has not improved; Trevelyan scarcely leaves her side. Scanlon puts on a good face, saying she will recover. Jack Byrd is worried, too, though not for Maria. Grey becomes more aware that Jack harbors feelings for Trevelyan. From his own personal knowledge, he tells Jack that no matter what, Trevelyan will never forget or stop loving Maria – especially if she dies.

Having returned to London, Grey reflects on the last time he saw Trevelyan, at the bedside of Maria. Trevelyan had told him that, if Maria died, he would take her with him to the bottom of the ocean, though word would come back to London that they had simply perished at sea. However, if she survived, they would live out their life in India.


Maria maintains her pride and regal air despite her physical illness. She strikes Grey as a woman of sufficient force of personality to beat back death itself.

Physical AppearanceEdit

Maria is quite small and could easily be mistaken for a boy, save that her figure is quite rounded.[1] She has dark, nearly black hair, a warm skin tone and brown eyes. Like her first husband – who was also her cousin – she has delicate features, a long neck, and a rounded chin.[2]


Reinhardt MayrhoferEdit

Maria married her cousin Reinhardt Mayrhofer, heir to Baron Joseph zu Egkh und Hungerback. For some times she thought she could be happy in their union. However Reinhardt was unfaithful to Maria often going with whores and making her a laughing stock int he process. Through his extramarital affairs he contracted syphilis and gave the disease to Maria. When the couple had their first child together, a son, the disease resulted in the child being malformed. To prevent them from having to raise such a child and to ensure his wife did not become aware of his disease Reinhardt killed their son in his crib.

When confronted with this truth by her lover Joseph Trevelyan Maria contemplated suicide. However, when she confronted Reinhardt and he laughed at her admitting the truth of murdering their son and threatening to expose her affair with Trevelyan she opted instead to use the bullet on him. Trevelyan and his footman Jack Byrd helped to cover up the murder and dumped the body.

Joseph TrevelyanEdit

On May 9th, 1756 Maria met Joseph Trevelyan at a Lady Bracknell's salons. Upon suggestion of their hostess Joseph approached her after being told that this was her first social event since the death of her child. Joseph had fallen in love at first sight and without hesitation or thought greeted her with a kiss on the hand and said "God Help me I'm in love with you" and she laughed saying "God help me, then".[3] Maria being a devout Catholic initially refused his attempts to woo her from her husband. After several months she yielded to him and thus began their affair.

Unknowingly Maria passed the disease she contracted from her husband Reinhardt Mayrhofer to Trevelyan. Given that she was married and refused to leave her husband despite that he man was unfaithful Trevelyan agreed to be betrothed to Olivia Pearsall. This just added to their need for secret rendezvous. The pair utilized a disguise of a molly in a green dress. Arriving and leaving from Lavender House separately, all but one time, and using different chairmen each time.

After learning of his affliction Trevelyan went to a doctor and through the physician discovered that Reinhardt was the source and all about what happened to Maria's child. Hoping that this news would bring Maria to leave her husband he had the doctor tell her exactly what he told him. Instead Maria sent him away and shut herself in her chambers wishing to see now one contemplating taking her own life. In an effort to help her and protect her Trevelyan had Jack Byrd watch over her and brought Finbar Scanlon to try and cure her syphilis by giving her malaria. The cure did work, but now Maria suffers from malaria.

When Jack brought Trevelyan after Maria had murdered her husband Trevelyan and Jack beat his face in and dose him in pigs blood before dumping him in a location where if found he would be assumed as just another dead prostitute. In the wake of the death of her husband Trevelyan marries Maria and flees with her, Jack, and Scanlon upon one of his ships to India. On board the ship Trevelyan allows Scanlon to give in malaria to cure his disease leaving it all in god's hands if the newly weds would live happily ever after or die together.


  • Maria is a Latin form of Greek Μαρια, from Hebrew מִרְיָם Mary[4]. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness", and "wished for child". However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry "beloved" or mr "love".[5]
  • Mayrhofer is a German surname meaning "from the region of Mayrhof" in Austria.[6]
  • Trevelyan is from a surname which was derived from a Cornish place name meaning "homestead on the hill".[7]


  • Maria wears a very expensive sent of civet, vetiver, and orange.[1]
  • Maria has a taste for Schilcher, a German red wine.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lord John and the Private Matter, chapter 10
  2. Lord John and the Private Matter, chapter 15
  3. Lord John and the Private Matter chapter 17
  4. Behind the Name: Maria - accessed 18 July 2016
  5. Behind the Name: Mary - accessed 18 July 2016
  6. Mayrhofer - accessed 18 July 2016 via Wikipedia
  7. behind the Name: Trevelyan - accessed 16 July 2016

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