Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in burgage tenants paying scot and lot
Number of voters:
part of Launceston
|23 June 1790||WILLIAM ROBERT FEILDING, Visct. Feilding|
|28 May 1796||WILLIAM NORTHEY|
|7 July 1802||JOSEPH RICHARDSON|
|20 June 1803||EDWARD MORRIS vice Richardson, deceased|
|4 Nov. 1806||WILLIAM NORTHEY|
|9 May 1807||WILLIAM NORTHEY|
|10 Oct. 1812||WILLIAM NORTHEY|
|19 Mar. 1816||RAINE re-elected after appointment as KC|
|17 June 1818||WILLIAM NORTHEY||43|
|Sir John Kennaway, Bt.||15|
By his purchase of the Werrington estate of the Morice family in the 1770s, the 1st Duke of Northumberland became patron of Newport, as well as of Launceston: he became the owner of most of the burgages, but some were owned by Sir Jonathan Phillipps† of Newport House.1 For over 40 years, however, no firm opposition was offered to the dukes2 and the 2nd Duke, whose manager in the borough was Richard Wilson II*, returned his Whig friends for the borough. He had written to Charles Rainsford, 4 Nov. 1786, that he would never bring in anyone for his boroughs except his own particular friends. In May 1795 an estate in the parish in which Newport was situated was advertised for sale in a London newspaper, with particular reference to its electoral potential. In 1796 there was a ‘feeble opposition’ from Sir William Molesworth† of Pencarrow (d.1798) who had some stake at Newport and, after seeking to interest Pitt in the project the year before when the duke’s interest at Launceston was under attack by government, offered himself and ‘Mr [William] Elford’, but got nowhere. According to Reginald Pole Carew, ‘Sir William Molesworth tries a question at Newport, to see whether he has a right to split and divide his tithes into as many freeholds as he can carve out of them, but I should think would have some difficulty of making out a good case upon such a point’. Richardson, one of the duke’s nominees, treated the electors to a harangue ‘full of invective against administration’ on the occasion.3
On the death of Richardson in June 1803 the Prince of Wales wrote (next day) on behalf of Sheridan’s son Tom, but the duke regretted that he had already made arrangements in order to secure an opening for his son and heir, in anticipation of Richardson’s death.4 When early in 1812 the duke went over to administration, his nominees were not as co-operative as he expected and had to be remonstrated with. On his death in 1817, the representative of the Phillipps interest, Thomas John Phillipps, great nephew of Sir Jonathan, decided to test the strength of the 3rd Duke’s hold on the borough at the expense of (Sir) Manasseh Lopes*. A contest ensued,5 but the result reflected fairly closely the distribution of property in the borough, giving the duke’s nominees a comfortable lead. He later bought out Phillipps.
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. Oldfield, Boroughs, i. 113; A. F. Robbins, Launceston Past and Present, 289.
- 2. Add. 23668, f. 18.
- 3. Star, 18 May 1795; Devon RO, Bedford mss L1258 bdle. 10, Tyeth to Gotobed, 4 June 1796; NMM, WYN/107, Pole Carew to Pole, 21 June 1796; PRO 30/8/111, f. 412; True Briton, 25 June 1796.
- 4. Prince of Wales Corresp. iv. 1715.
- 5. R. Cornw. Gazette, 13 June 1818.