BORLASE, John (1667-1754), of Pendeen, St. Just, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1705 - 1710

Family and Education

bap. 24 Mar. 1667, 1st s. of John Borlase of Pendeen by Mary, da. of Richard Keigwin of Mousehole, Cornw.  educ. Exeter, Oxf. matric. 1685; M. Temple 1685.  m. 17 Mar. 1690, Lydia (d. 1725), da. of Christopher Harris of Hayne, Devon and Kenegie, Cornw., sis. of Christopher* and William Harris*, 9s. (4 d.v.p.), 4da.  suc. fa. ?1694.1

Offices Held

Stannator, Blackmore 1710; ?dep. recorder, St. Ives by 1710–aft. 1721.2


Borlase’s grandfather, who was said to be descended from the Borlase family of Sithney, Cornwall, had purchased Pendeen, where the manor house was built in about 1670. The estate lay right in the heart of the tin mining district and Borlase’s father ‘greatly advanced his wealth by tin adventures’. However, he bequeathed quite a small patrimony to his son, and over £3,000 in portions to his younger children.3

It is unclear whether the local interest commanded by Borlase was sufficient to secure a seat at St. Ives in 1705 and 1708. However, his brother-in-law, William Harris, also had a local interest and he was also a distant relation of Lord Treasurer Godolphin (Sidney†) through his mother (a granddaughter of Nicholas Godolphin of Trewarthenick). Borlase was classed as ‘Low Church’ in a parliamentary list of 1705, and was recorded in the division list on the Speakership on 25 Oct. as voting for the Court candidate, though with a query beside his name. On 24 Jan. 1706 he was ordered to prepare a bill to enable the lord treasurer to compound for unpaid tobacco duties with two Falmouth merchants, presenting it on the 31st and managing it through all its stages in the House. He also supported the ministry on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill on 18 Feb. Towards the end of the Parliament, he was listed as a Tory, possibly in error since after his re-election he voted in 1709 for the naturalization of the Palatines. However, he opposed Dr Sacheverell’s impeachment in 1710. Despite this vote, he was defeated for St. Ives at the general election of 1710. He duly petitioned on 5 Dec. 1710, but to no avail and never stood again. Indeed, he was put out of the Cornish commission of the peace later in the year. He died in April 1754, aged 88. One of his sons was William Borlase, rector of Ludgvan, the celebrated Cornish antiquary, and another, Walter Borlase, vicar of Pendeen, was vice-warden of the Stannaries in 1750.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley


  • 1. IGI, Cornw., Devon; C. S. Gilbert, Hist. Survey Cornw. ii. 44.
  • 2. R. Inst. Cornw., Tonkin’s ms hist. vol. 2, p. 244; J. H. Matthews, St. Ives, 299.
  • 3. Polsue, Complete Paroch. Hist. Cornw. ii. 282; PCC 94 Box.
  • 4. Gent. Mag. 1803, pp. 1114–15; L. K. J. Glassey, Appt. JPs, 207; Polsue, 285.