Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the burgage-holders 1661-83, 1689; in the corporation and freemen 1685
Number of voters:
175 in 1650; 40 in 1685
|19 Apr. 1660||FRANCIS BULLER|
|22 Mar. 1661||FRANCIS BULLER|
|26 Feb. 1679||HON. BERNARD GRANVILLE|
|William Jennens I|
|30 Sept. 1679||SIR JOHN DAVIE, 3rd Bt.|
|WILLIAM JENNENS I|
|Hon. Bernard Granville|
|24 Mar. 1681||HON. BERNARD GRANVILLE|
|SIR JOHN DAVIE, 3rd Bt.|
|24 Apr. 1685||SIR CYRIL WYCHE|
|EDMUND WALLER I|
|16 Jan. 1689||HON. BERNARD GRANVILLE|
The corporation of Saltash, consisted of ten aldermen (all burgage-holders) from whom the mayor was elected every year. A substantial proportion of the burgage tenements was in the hands of the Buller family of Shillingham, who also owned the advowson. The size of the electorate precluded independence of spirit: when disaster struck the Bullers, the borough passed from their pocket to the Granvilles’.1
At the general election of 1660 Francis Buller, the heir of Shillingham, obtained possession of the writ, and was returned with his uncle Anthony. He was re-elected in 1661 with his younger brother John, the recorder, who was removed from office by the commissioners for corporations in the following year. A few years later Francis Buller was savagely fined under the Security Act of 1661, and compelled to dispose of much of his property. At both elections of 1679 Bernard Granville, the Earl of Bath’s brother, stood as a court supporter with the new recorder Nicholas Courtney, a younger son of a Cornish gentry family who was attorney-general of the duchy. John Buller found a seat at Liskeard, but in the February election there were three other candidates: his brother Francis, who polled a derisory 14 votes, and two exclusionists, Richard Carew and William Jennens, a leading Plymouth merchant. Both had connexions with the local gentry. Carew was a younger brother of Sir John Carew of Antony, while Jennens’s daughter had married Edward Nosworthy II of Ince Castle, who was to become a thorn in the Granvilles’ flesh. Their petition was unsuccessful, and for the autumn election Carew transferred himself to Callington. Jennens and his new partner, Sir John Davie, a Devonshire baronet, succeeded in reversing the previous election in September, and it was the turn of the court candidates to petition without result. A petition was also presented by William Willoughby, but it is not clear whether he was a candidate. Jennens, who claimed (untruthfully) to be a septuagenarian, may have retired after the second Exclusion Parliament, thereby enabling Granville and Davie peacefully to divide the borough in 1681.2
Saltash, which had sent no loyal addresses, surrendered its charter to Lord Bath as early as January 1683. Under its replacement Bath succeeded Courtney as recorder, the number of aldermen was reduced from nine to six, and the burgage qualification was abolished. The franchise was transferred to the corporation and 33 ‘free burgesses’, almost half of them non-resident gentry. A loyal address was produced on the occasion of James II’s accession. With a plethora of seats at his disposal from his successful campaign against the west-country corporations, Bath was able to nominate two strangers in 1685, his brother-in-law Sir Cyril Wyche and the veteran poet and wit Edmund Waller I. Saltash was no less willing to accept his nominees in 1688, provided they were Protestants and Cornishmen. He accordingly proposed his nephew George Granville† and Sir John Carew. Another list, probably emanating from Nosworthy, substituted the name of the Presbyterian Robert Rous of Wotton for Carew, who was in fact returned to the Convention for the county. With the restoration of the old charter, Bernard Granville was ‘freely and unanimously elected’ by the burgage-holders in 1689, together with one of his brother’s henchmen, John Waddon.3
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Luders, Controverted Elections, ii. 122-5; Gilbert, Paroch. Hist. Cornw. iv. 170-1.
- 2. Buller (Antony) mss, BO21/18, 23/77; CSP Dom. 1677-8, pp. 182-3, 578; CJ, ix. 569, 645.
- 3. SP44/66/204-7; London Gazette, 5 Mar. 1685; Gilbert, ii. 304, iv. 137, Duckett, Penal Laws (1882), 379; (1883), 214, 216; Luders, ii. 131.