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Grampound in Cornwallmarker, was a borough constituency of the House of Commonsmarker of the Parliament of England, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdommarker from 1801 to 1821. It was represented by two Members of Parliament.

History

Grampound's market was on a Saturday and the town had a glove factory. Grampound was created a Borough by a charter of King Edward III with a Mayor, eight Aldermen, a Recorder, and a Town Clerk. In 1553 it was summoned to send members to Parliament for the first time, one of a number of rotten boroughs in Cornwall established during the Tudor period.

Boundaries

The constituency was a Parliamentary borough in Cornwallmarker, covering Grampoundmarker, a market town 8 miles from Truromarker on the River Falmarker.

Franchise

The franchise for the borough was in the hands of Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen and any Freemen created by the council. In 1816, T.H.B. Oldfield wrote that there were 42 voters in all. Given that the borough had 80 houses, this meant that the franchise was extended well into the working class.

While several patrons (including the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe, Lord Eliot, Sir Christopher Hawkins and Basil Cochrane) attempted to exert their influence over the choice of members to serve Grampound, the electors were more interested in the monetary value of their vote. Oldfield wrote "The freemen of this borough have been known to boast of receiving three hundred guineas a man for their votes at one election." So notorious and unmanageable did the borough become that Grampound became a byword for electoral corruption, and Edward Porritt noted its use was continuing in 1903.

Disfranchisement for corruption

Finally, after the return of two members in the 1818 general election was overturned by a petition alleging gross bribery, Lord John Russell moved to disfranchise Grampound and to transfer the two members to a new Parliamentary Borough of Leedsmarker. The usual treatment for a Borough which had perpetual bribery (as practiced in New Shoreham in 1770, Cricklade in 1782, Aylesburymarker in 1804 and East Retford in 1828) was to expand its boundaries and franchise into an area free of corruption but that was not possible in Grampound where the neighbouring towns were also Parliamentary boroughs and increasing the electorate would simply increase the pool of potential bribed voters.

After a delay caused by the accession of King George IV and the scandal of Queen Caroline's return, Russell introduced a Bill in January 1821. The suggestion of Leeds as a new borough met with resistance because of the large number of working class voters who would be enfranchised, and when an amendment to raise the qualification was passed, Russell withdrew his Bill; however, the mover of the amendment introduced his own. The House of Lordsmarker amended the Bill to give the two members instead to the county of Yorkshire, an amendment accepted and which eventually went into law. Grampound was disfranchised by 1 & 2 Geo. IV, c. 47.

Members of Parliament

1553-1629

Parliament First member Second member
First Parliament of 1553 Thomas Niccolls Egidius Wilson
Second Parliament of 1553 Sir Thomas Smith Sir William Smythwick
Parliament of 1554 Richard Chappell Sir Thomas Cornwallis
Parliament of 1554-1555 Robert Vaughan George Tedlowe
Parliament of 1555 Richard Chappell John Harris
Parliament of 1558 Thomas Herle Robert Rychers
Parliament of 1559 Sir John Pollard Christopher Perne
Parliament of 1563-1567
Parliament of 1571 Edward Clere John Hussey
Parliament of 1572-1581 Edmund Sheffield
Parliament of 1584-1585 William Stoughton Charles Trevanion
Parliament of 1586-1587 Thomas Cromwell John Herbert
Parliament of 1588-1589 Richard Sayer
Parliament of 1593 Richard Edgcumbe Edward Jones
Parliament of 1597-1598 Sir John Legh Robert Newdigate
Parliament of 1601 Sir John Gray John Astell
Parliament of 1604-1611 William Noy Francis Barnham
Addled Parliament Thomas St Aubyn
Parliament of 1621-1622 John Hampden Sir Robert Carey
Happy Parliament John Mohun Sir Richard Edgcumbe
Useless Parliament Sir Samuel Rolle
Parliament of 1625-1626 Edward Thomas Thomas St Aubyn
Parliament of 1628-1629 Lord Carey Sir Robert Pye
No Parliament summoned 1629-1640


1640-1821

Year First member First party Second member Second party
April 1640 William Coryton John Trevanion
November 1640 James Campbell Parliamentarian
1640 Sir John Trevor Parliamentarian
December 1648 Campbell excluded in Pride's Purge - seat vacant
1653 Grampound was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Thomas Herle Robert Scawen
May 1659 Sir John Trevor One seat vacant
April 1660 Thomas Herle Hugh Boscawen
October 1660 John Tanner
1661 Charles Trevanion
February 1679 Sir Joseph Tredenham Tory
August 1679 John Tanner Nicholas Herle
1685 Sir Joseph Tredenham Tory Robert Foley
1689 Edward Herle John Tanner
1690 Walter Vincent
1692 John Buller
1695 Hugh Fortescue
1698 Sir William Scawen
1699 Francis Scobell
1702 James Craggs Whig
1708 Thomas Scawen
1710 Thomas Coke
1713 Andrew Quick
1715 Hon. John West Charles Cooke
1721 Richard West
1722 Marquess of Hartington Whig Humphry Morrice
1727 Philip Hawkins
1732 Isaac le Heup
1734 Thomas Hales
1739 Thomas Trefusis
1741 Daniel Boone William Banks
1747 Lord George Bentinck Thomas Hawkins
1754 Merrick Burrell Simon Fanshawe
1768 Grey Cooper Charles Wolfran Cornwall
1774 Sir Joseph Yorke Richard Neville
1780 Sir John Ramsden, Bt Thomas Lucas
1784 Hon. John Sommers Cocks Francis Baring
1790 Thomas Wallace Jeremiah Crutchley
1796 Bryan Edwards Robert Sewell
1800 Sir Christopher Hawkins
1802 Benjamin Hobhouse
1806 Henry Fawcett
1807 Hon. Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone Hon. George Cochrane
March 1808 Robert Williams John Teed
May 1808 William Holmes Tory Hon. George Cochrane
1812 Hon. Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone
1812 John Teed
1814 Ebenezer Collett
1818 John Innes Alexander Robertson
  • Constituency disenfranchished for corruption (1821)


Notes

Elections

As with most boroughs in the unreformed House of Commons, Grampound was uncontested at most elections. The only contested elections after 1660 were:

  • 1741: The sitting members, Thomas Hales and Thomas Trefusis, (who were supporters of Robert Walpole) were challenged by Daniel Boone and William Banks. Hales and Trefusis were supported by Richard Edgcumbe who was managing the Cornish Boroughs for the Government and controlled the Grampound corporation, but Boone and Banks arranged for an alternate Mayor to be elected and indemnified the Sheriff of the County against any legal expenses if he delivered the writs for the election to their Mayor and was sued. They secured their election by 27 votes to 23, while an alternative poll by the original Mayor returned Hales and Trefusis with 35 votes to 17 for their opponents. However, Hales and Trefusis declined to press their challenge through an election petition.


  • 1754: Sir John St Aubyn, Bt and Francis Beauchamp were proposed as candidates apparently without their knowledge by local malcontent voters who wanted to raise the level of their bribery. They secured 13 votes to 31 for Merrick Burrell and Simon Fanshawe, who were government candidates.




  • 1808: Robert Williams (senior) and John Teed 14; Hon. George Augustus Frederick Cochrane and William Holmes 13 by first returning officer. Cochrane and Holmes 27; Williams and Teed 14 by second returning officer. Williams and Teed seated on petition, May 10, 1808.


  • Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone expelled for committing stock fraud


References

  • "Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland" by Thomas Hinton Burley Oldfield (Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, London, 1816)
  • "Return of Members of Parliament" (1878)
  • "The Unreformed House of Commons by Edward Porritt (Cambridge University Press, 1903)
  • "Members of the Long Parliament" by D. Brunton and D.H. Pennington (George Allen and Unwin, 1954)
  • "The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847" by Henry Stooks Smith (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig - Chichester: Parliamentary Reference Publications, 1973)
  • Browne Willis, Notitia Parliamentaria (London, 1750) [237485]
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) [237486]
  • Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988)
  • List of former United Kingdom Parliamentary constituencies



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