LEMON, Sir Charles, 2nd bt. (1784-1868), of Carclew, nr. Penryn, Cornw. and 37 Sackville Street, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Constituency

Dates

1807 - 1812
1830 - 1831
1831 - 1832
1832 - 1841
16 Feb. 1842 - 1857

Family and Education

b. 3 Sept. 1784,1 2nd but o. surv. s. of Sir William Lemon, 1st bt.*, of Carclew and Jane, da. of James Buller† of Morval. educ. Harrow 1798-1803; Christ Church, Oxf. 1803. m. 5 Dec. 1810, Lady Charlotte Anne Fox Strangways, da. of Henry Thomas Fox Strangways†, 2nd earl of Ilchester, 2s. 1da. all d.v.p. suc. fa. as 2nd bt. 11 Dec. 1824. d. 13 Feb. 1868.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Cornw. 1827-8; dep. warden of the stannaries 1852.

Cornet, Dorset yeoman cav. 1813.

Biography

On his father’s death in 1824 Lemon inherited all his Cornish property, including interests in several copper mines, and was the residuary legatee of the personal estate, which was sworn under £70,000.2 In 1830 he was returned at the head of the poll for the venal borough of Penryn, which he had represented in the 1807 Parliament and where he possessed ‘considerable property’, apparently with support from the corporation.3 Although he had previously voted with the Whig opposition, like his father, he had apparently taken no part in the Cornish reform movement. The duke of Wellington’s ministry regarded him as one of their ‘foes’, but he was absent from the crucial division on the civil list, 15 Nov. His Whig affiliation was confirmed by his admission to Brooks’s Club, 5 Dec., which was sponsored by his friend Lord Lansdowne. He presented several Cornish anti-slavery petitions, 5, 11 Nov., 6 Dec. 1830. Early in March 1831 he informed Lansdowne of ‘some important mistakes in the Cornish returns’ relating to the Grey ministry’s reform bill, and was asked to ‘make a statement of them’.4 He divided for the bill’s second reading, 22 Mar., and against Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing general election he withdrew from Penryn when the opportunity arose to stand for Cornwall, as ‘a candidate zealously interested in the cause of reform but a man of no party’. He declared that he ‘should not pledge himself to the details’ of the bill but that its main principle, ‘the disfranchisement of insignificant and nomination boroughs, admitted of no compromise’, and he called for ‘a national effort ... to throw off from our institutions the burthen with which time has encumbered them’. He was returned with the Whig sitting Member Wynne Pendarves after a notable contest in which he ousted the Ultra Tory, Sir Richard Vyvyan.5

He divided for the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July 1831, and generally for its details. However, he voted against Downton’s inclusion in schedule A, 21 July, and for the Chandos amendment to enfranchise £50 tenants-at-will, 18 Aug. He contradicted Wetherell’s assertion that the population of Appleby was equal to that of Truro, 19 July, and commended the ‘most desirable’ union of Penryn with Falmouth, which were ‘both ports increasing in importance’, 9 Aug. He divided for the bill’s passage, 21 Sept., the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept., and Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. Following the Lords’ rejection of the reform bill he attended a county meeting, 26 Oct., when he expressed confidence that the people would avoid ‘violent passions’ as it was ‘a question of time only’ before the measure was carried. He maintained that it would ‘remedy’ the antagonism between the manufacturing and agricultural interests, while ensuring that the latter retained its ‘due weight in the