RASHLEIGH, Jonathan (1693-1764), of Menabilly, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1727 - 24 Nov. 1764

Family and Education

b. 19 Jan. 1693. 2nd surv. s. of Jonathan Rashleigh, M.P., by Sarah, da. of Sir John Carew, 3rd Bt., M.P., of Antony, Cornw.  m. 11 June 1728, Mary, da. of Sir William Clayton, 1st Bt., M.P., 9s. 4da.  suc. bro. 12 Aug. 1736, and cos. Sir Coventry Carew, 6th Bt., M.P., at Helset, Cornw. 1748.

Offices Held

Recorder, Fowey 1714- d.


The Rashleighs first represented Fowey in 1588, and Jonathan Rashleigh was the sixth of the name to do so. He and his son Philip held one seat 1727-1802, and never went to market with it. Jonathan Rashleigh was a Fowey merchant and Cornish country gentleman; owned considerable property in Cornwall, Wales, and Hampshire, in the borough of Fowey, and in its neighbourhood (Menabilly is two miles from Fowey); sat for it in six Parliaments without ever having to stand a poll; never held any office or pension; and was listed a Tory—all his known votes were given against the Government.1 No speech of his is reported 1754-64, nor any vote. He did not receive Newcastle’s whip in October 1761; was listed by him ‘against’, 13 Nov. 1762; but is not in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries; and was classed as ‘doubtful’ by Jenkinson in the autumn of 1763. On 23 June 1763 he wrote to his constituents from London: ‘You may depend on my utmost endeavours to get the late cider bill repealed and that nothing but the hand of God shall prevent my close attention for that purpose’; further: ‘you may depend on my zeal in your service being made use of religiously in opposing all measures that may appear to be repugnant to liberty’—on which followed the words crossed out subsequently: ‘and distasteful to all men but especially to all learned men as liberty and learning are closely connected’.2 He was absent from the divisions on general warrants, probably owing to ill health.  He died 24 Nov. 1764.3

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 393, 642; Boase Courtney, Biblio. Cornub. 546.
  • 2. Rashleigh mss, Cornw. RO.
  • 3. Vivian, 393.