DANIELL, Ralph Allen (1762-1823), of Trelissick, nr. Truro, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



23 Jan. 1805 - 1812

Family and Education

b. 22 July 1762, o.s. of Thomas Daniell, mines owner, of Truro by Elizabeth, da. of Richard Elliot of Polmear. m. 22 July 1784, Elizabeth Mason, da. of Rev. William Pooley, rector of Ladock, 16 ch., 7s. 6da. surv.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cornw. 1795-6; maj. commdt. Truro vols. 1798-1802.


Daniell’s father was descended from former mayors of Truro (one of the family, William Daniell, was MP for Truro in 1600-3) and prospered by succeeding in 1760 to the business of William Lemon, the Cornish mines adventurer; in this he was assisted by his wife’s uncle Ralph Allen, ‘the Man of Bath’, after whom his only son was named. Ralph Allen Daniell took over the undertaking in due course. After a period of great prosperity (he and his associates got £146,000 from exploiting the Great Towan mine) during which he owned a seat near Truro and Spring Grove, Richmond (which he sold, however, in 1797), he later suffered heavy losses and died in relatively reduced circumstances.1

Daniell was returned for Looe on a vacancy in 1805, on the interest of John Buller II*, whose mother was a granddaughter of his father’s former employer William Lemon. He was never prominent in Parliament and his attitudes were uncertain. After voting with the majority for Whitbread’s censure of Melville, 8 Apr. 1805 (listed as ‘F. Daniel’) he was listed ‘doubtful Sidmouthite’ (under the name of Daniels) by Pitt’s friends in July 1805. He evidently voted against Melville’s conduct on the advice of Davies Giddy*, who was himself frustrated from doing so by the conditions of his Membership. Giddy reported afterwards:

When I said, incautiously no doubt, vote against him by all means, although you know that I cannot, I have heard such statements an hundred and an hundred times: but Mr Daniell took pains to represent this to my disadvantage all over Cornwall and I really suffered from it.2

He seems to have given a general support to administration. On 20 Mar. 1807 he obtained a month’s leave of absence after serving on the Tregony election committee, and on 8 Mar. and 27 Apr. 1808 was granted further leave for ill health. The Whigs listed him ‘doubtful’ in 1810: on 23 Jan. he supported government on the address; he was reported to have done so over the Scheldt expedition, 23 Feb., 5 and 30 Mar., but on the first occasion the Morning Chronicle said that gout kept him away, else he would have voted against the government; and on the last occasion, the same paper alleged he was confined at Bath. On 1 Jan. 1811 he was again granted leave of absence for ill health.3

He voted with the majority against the government on the sinecure offices bill, 4 May 1812. He was out of Parliament after the ensuing election and died 28 Mar. 1823, intestate. His obituary stated that he had been, ‘until lately’, principal of the Miners’ Bank.4

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. N. and Q. cxlviii. 320; Boswell Private Pprs, xviii. 146, 155; W. J. Rowe, Cornwall in the Age of the Industrial Revolution, 131.
  • 2. Gilbert mss diary, 8 Apr. 1805.
  • 3. Morning Chron. 28 Feb., 3 Apr. 1810.
  • 4. West Briton, 4 Apr. 1823; PCC admon. act bk. Cornw. 19 Aug. 1823.