Grampound (UK Parliament constituency)

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

Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of membersTwo
Replaced byCornwall


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 VI with a Mayor, eight Aldermen, a Recorder, and a Town Clerk. In 1547 it sent members to Parliament for the first time, one of a number of rotten boroughs in Cornwall established during the Tudor period.


The constituency was a Parliamentary borough in Cornwall, covering Grampound, a market town 8 miles from Truro on the River Fal.


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 Leeds. The usual treatment for a Borough which had perpetual bribery (as practiced in New Shoreham in 1770, Cricklade in 1782, Aylesbury 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 and the Pains and Penalties Bill, 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 Lords 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


ParliamentFirst memberSecond member
Parliament of 1547Henry KnollysPeter Sainthill
First Parliament of 1553Thomas NiccollsEgidius Wilson
Second Parliament of 1553Sir Thomas SmithSir William Smythwick
Parliament of 1554Richard ChappellSir Thomas Cornwallis
Parliament of 1554–1555Robert VaughanGeorge Tedlowe
Parliament of 1555Richard ChappellJohn Harris
Parliament of 1558Thomas HerleRobert Rychers
Parliament of 1559Sir John RadcliffeRalph Couch[1][2]
Parliament of 1562Sir John PollardChristopher Perne
1566Pollard declared lunatic, replaced by John Dodmer
Parliament of 1571Edward ClereJohn Hussey
Parliament of 1572–1581Edmund Slyfield
Parliament of 1584–1585William StoughtonCharles Trevanion
Parliament of 1586–1587Thomas CromwellJohn Herbert
Parliament of 1588–1589Richard Sayer
Parliament of 1593Richard EdgecumbeEdward Jones
Parliament of 1597–1598Sir John LeighRobert Newdigate
Parliament of 1601Sir John GrayJohn Astell
Parliament of 1604–1611William Noy(Sir) Francis Barnham
Addled Parliament (1614)Thomas St Aubyn
Parliament of 1621–1622John HampdenSir Robert Carey
Happy Parliament (1624–1625)John MohunRichard Edgcumbe
Useless Parliament (1625)Sir Samuel Rolle
Parliament of 1625–1626Edward ThomasThomas St Aubyn
Parliament of 1628–1629Lord CareySir Robert Pye
No Parliament summoned 1629–1640


Election First member[3] First party Second member[3] Second party
April 1640 William Coryton John TrevanionRoyalist
November 1640 James CampbellParliamentarian
1640 Sir John TrevorParliamentarian
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 TredenhamTory
August 1679 John Tanner Nicholas Herle
1685 Sir Joseph TredenhamTory 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 CraggsWhig
1708 Thomas Scawen
1710 Thomas Coke
1713 Andrew Quick
1715 Hon. John West Charles Cooke
1721 Richard West
1722 Marquess of HartingtonWhig Humphry MoriceWhig
1727 Philip Hawkins
1732 Isaac le Heup
1734 Thomas HalesWhig
1739 Thomas Trefusis
1741 Daniel Boone William Banks
1747 Lord George Bentinck Thomas Hawkins
1754 Merrick Burrell[4] Simon Fanshawe
1768 Grey Cooper Charles Wolfran Cornwall
1774 Hon. Sir Joseph YorkeWhig Richard Neville
1780 Sir John Ramsden, Bt Thomas Lucas
1784 Hon. John Somers Cocks Francis BaringWhig
1790 Thomas Wallace Jeremiah Crutchley
1796 Bryan Edwards Robert Sewell
1800 Sir Christopher HawkinsTory
1802 Benjamin Hobhouse
1806 Henry Fawcett
1807 Hon. Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone Hon. George Cochrane
March 1808[5] Robert Williams John Teed
May 1808 William HolmesTory Hon. George Cochrane
1812 Hon. Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone[6]
1812 John Teed
1814 Ebenezer John Collett
1818 John Innes Alexander Robertson
  • Constituency disenfranchised for corruption (1821)


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.
General election 1741: Grampound (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
N/A Daniel Boone 27 27% N/A
N/A William Banks 27 27% N/A
N/A Thomas Hales 23 23% N/A
N/A Thomas Trefusis 23 23% N/A
  • 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.
General election 1754: Grampound (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
N/A Merrick Burrell 31 35% N/A
N/A Simon Fanshawe 31 35% N/A
N/A John St Aubyn 13 15% N/A
N/A Francis Beauchamp 13 15% N/A
General election 1796: Grampound (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
N/A Bryan Edwards 12 33% N/A
N/A Robert Sewell 12 33% N/A
N/A Lord Grey of Groby 6 17% N/A
N/A Jeremiah Crutchley 6 17% N/A
General election 1807: Grampound (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
N/A Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone 27 33% N/A
N/A George Cochrane 27 33% N/A
N/A Robert Williams 14 17% N/A
N/A Henry Baring 13 16% N/A
  • Election declared void, 7 March 1808
  • 1808: Robert Williams (1767–1847) and John Teed 14; George 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, 10 May 1808.
By-Election 1808: Grampound
Party Candidate Votes % ±
N/A Robert Williams 14 26% N/A
N/A John Teed 14 26% N/A
N/A George Cochrane 13 24% N/A
N/A William Holmes 13 24% N/A
General election 1812: Grampound (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
N/A John Teed 55 47% N/A
N/A Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone 34 29% N/A
N/A Charles Trelawny Brereton 28 24% N/A
N/A William Holmes 0 16% N/A
N/A William Congreve 0 16% N/A
  • Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone expelled for committing stock fraud
By-Election 1814: Grampound
Party Candidate Votes % ±
N/A Ebenezer John Collett 45 90% N/A
N/A George Montagu 5 10% N/A
General election 1818: Grampound (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
N/A John Innes 36 34% N/A
N/A Alexander Robertson 36 34% N/A
N/A John Teed 11 10% N/A
N/A Ebenezer John Collett 11 10% N/A
N/A Benjamin Shaw 11 10% N/A
N/A William Allen 1 1% N/A

See also


  1. "Grampound". History of Parliament online. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  2. No members are listed for Grampound in 1559 in the Return of Members, but Browne Willis (who supplemented the returns from other sources) names Pollard and Perne for 1559 as well as 1563
  3. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "G" (part 2)
  4. Sir Merrick Burrell, Bt, from 1766
  5. The election of 1807, at which Cochrane-Johnstone and Cochrane were returned, was declared void; at the resulting by-election Williams and Teed were initially declared returned, but eventually Cochrane and Holmes were seated, see below
  6. Expelled from the House of Commons, 1814


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