Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the corporation
Number of voters:
|21 June 1790||RICHARD EDGCUMBE, Visct. Valletort|
|REGINALD POLE CAREW|
|28 Mar. 1791||GEORGE SMITH vice Valletort, chose to sit for Fowey|
|31 May 1796||HANS SLOANE|
|7 July 1802||HANS SLOANE|
|WILLIAM DICKINSON II|
|26 May 1804||DICKINSON re-elected after appointment to office|
|4 Nov. 1806||CORNELIUS O'CALLAGHAN, Visct. Lismore [I]|
|WILLIAM DICKINSON II|
|24 Jan. 1807||CHARLES COCKERELL vice Dickinson, chose to sit for Somerset|
|12 May 1807||GEORGE PETER HOLFORD|
|9 Oct. 1812||REGINALD POLE CAREW|
|JOHN ASHLEY WARRE|
|26 Mar. 1816||WILLIAM RICHARD EDGCUMBE, Visct. Valletort, vice Pole Carew, vacated his seat|
|19 June 1818||ROBERT WIGRAM II|
|ALEXANDER CRAY GRANT|
The earls of Mount Edgcumbe, George, 1st Earl (d.1795) and Richard his heir, recorders of the borough, retained their control over the corporation and thus the nomination to both seats at Lostwithiel throughout the period. As long as the mayor and six aldermen were in their interest, the patronage was safe, but they still thought it wise to have friendly peers and revenue officers (who could not vote at parliamentary elections) made common councilmen. Mount Edgcumbe’s principal agent at Lostwithiel was Charles Rashleigh (1747-1823), a younger brother of Jonathan Rashleigh* of Menabilly and five times mayor of the borough.1
As the 2nd Earl seldom desired to return a friend of his own, he frequently, if not invariably, placed the seats at the disposal of friends of administration, at a price. Drummond, returned in 1796, gave credit to Henry Dundas for the opening. Hans Sloane, also returned in 1796, probably facilitated the return of his nephew William Dickinson II in 1802, and in 1806, when Mount Edgcumbe made an agreement to return Viscount Lismore, an Irish friend of the Grenville administration, Sloane was persuaded to give up his seat for him with thedouceur of a living in Lincolnshire for his son, obtained through the Rashleigh family.2 Lismore, who hoped to become an Irish representative peer, was anxious to secure an arrangement whereby his brother could succeed to his seat in Parliament in that event, but Lord Howick reported that ‘no such bargain could be made at present except under much more extravagant terms than the business is now concluded upon’. Commenting on Sloane’s giving up the seat, Lord Malmesbury informed his son FitzHarris that Sloane’s seat was to have been his ‘if Pitt had lived’, but he attached ‘no blame’ to Sloane.3
Lismore was returned in 1806 together with Dickinson, who had held office under Pitt, but was friendly to Grenville’s administration, under which he might have obtained office had he not aspired to a county seat. He achieved this and Lord Grenville wrote to Mount Edgcumbe, 13 Nov. 1806, that if he had ‘not taken any engagements for supplying that vacancy’, he would be much obliged if he could propose a friend without a seat.4 The friend was evidently Charles Cockerell, who was returned at Lord Grenville’s request in January 1807, Mount Edgcumbe asking in return for promotion for a relative in the navy and for a place for Philip Pomery, one of his friends at Lostwithiel.5 At the election of 1807, friends of the new administration were returned. The only independent nominee thereafter was John Ashley Warre. The patron also returned his son and heir as soon as he came of age, but in 1818 transferred him to his other borough of Fowey, which members of the Edgcumbe family usually represented: two wealthy strangers were returned at Lostwithiel as supporters of government.
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. Oldfield, Rep. Hist. iii. 225; F. M. Hext, Mems. Lostwithiel (1891).
- 2. Malmesbury mss. Malmesbury to FitzHarris, 18 Dec. 1806.
- 3. HMC Fortescue, ix. 65; Grey mss, 4 Nov. 1806; Malmesbury mss loc. cit.
- 4. Fortescue mss.
- 5. Ibid. Mount Edgcumbe to Grenville, 26 Jan. 1807. Philip Pomery (1761-1851) was 13 times mayor of Lostwithiel.