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

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the inhabitants resident for a year

Number of Qualified Electors:

about 150 in 17161

Number of voters:

38 in 1719


28 Feb. 1690Sir John Coryton, 2nd Bt.
 Francis Fulford
20 Oct. 1690Jonathan Prideaux  vice Coryton, deceased
16 Nov. 1695Sir William Coryton, Bt.
 Francis Gwyn
2 Aug. 1698Sir William Coryton, Bt.
 Francis Fulford
15 Jan. 1701Sir William Coryton, Bt.
 Robert Rolle
4 Dec. 1701Samuel Rolle
 Robert Rolle
27 July 1702Samuel Rolle
 John Acland
30 Nov. 1703Sir William Coryton, Bt. vice Acland, deceased
22 May 1705Sir William Coryton, Bt.
 Samuel Rolle
17 May 1708Sir William Coryton, Bt.
 Samuel Rolle
21 Oct. 1710Sir William Coryton, Bt.
 Samuel Rolle
11 Feb. 1712Henry Manaton  vice Coryton, deceased
11 Sept. 1713Sir John Coryton, 4th Bt.
 Samuel Rolle

Main Article

The chief interests at Callington were those of the Rolles of Heanton Satchville, Devon, who held the manor and lordship under the duchy of Cornwall, and the Corytons, whose seat at Newton Ferrers was only two and a half miles away, and who owned land in the borough. Both families were Tories and it seems that they were able to return themselves or their nominees without any contests during the period.2

With Samuel Rolle safely ensconced as knight of the shire for Devon in 1690, Sir John Coryton, 2nd Bt., was joined as the borough’s representative by Francis Fulford, probably a Devonian acquaintance of the Rolle family. Coryton’s death in July necessitated a by-election which saw the return of Jonathan Prideaux, the Member for the borough in the Convention. Coryton’s brother and heir, Sir William, 3rd Bt., without a seat in 1690, did not stand then but came in for the borough in 1695, together with Francis Gwyn. Gwyn was clearly the nominee of Samuel Rolle for an account survives detailing the £35 5s. 6d. spent ‘before and at the election’ on his behalf, with the money being paid to a London goldsmith for Rolle’s use. A rumour swept London following the election that Prideaux had in fact been elected with Coryton ‘and that afterwards upon notice of Mr Gwyn’s being left out at Christchurch his name was inserted in the return instead of Colonel Prideaux’, a story Lady Mary Carew found ‘something incredible’.3

Coryton continued to sit in 1698, along with Fulford, who replaced Gwyn as the Rolle nominee. Gwyn informed the Marquess of Halifax (William Savile*) the day before the election: ‘I don’t at all concern myself in my election; Rolls [sic] said he would choose me and I let him do as he pleases.’ Such lack of concern was unfortunate for Gwyn, who wrote on 10 Aug., ‘I haven’t heard about my own business but apt to believe the noble colonel [Rolle] has changed his mind, which he is pretty apt to do’. In April 1700 Fulford referred to Daniel Eliot* as having ‘a good interest’ in Callington, a statement probably based on the proximity of Port Eliot to Callington (which may have played a part in the future marriage of Eliot’s heir to Coryton’s daughter). However, Eliot’s interest was not strong enough to mount any sort of challenge in January 1701, when Coryton and Robert Rolle (now of age) were returned. Such was the strength of the Rolle interest that Samuel was able to join Robert in December 1701 with Coryton standing down. In fact Coryton did not stand in 1702 even though Robert Rolle had moved on to represent Devon. Instead, John Acland joined his kinsman Samuel Rolle. Only at the by-election of November 1703, upon Acland’s death, did Coryton resume his seat. Coryton and Samuel Rolle then shared the representation until Coryton’s death in 1712. Henry Manaton, having recently been unseated at Camelford, filled the temporary vacancy, possibly because Sir John Coryton, 4th Bt., was not of age. However, later in 1712, John Trevanion* was in no doubt that the predominant interest lay with ‘Colonel Rolle and Sir John Coryton’, a prediction fulfilled in 1713 when these two men were returned unopposed.4

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley


  • 1. Willis, Not. Parl. ii. 172.
  • 2. Ibid. 171–4; W. P. Courtney, Parlty Rep. Cornw. 267–8.
  • 3. Som. RO, DD/SAS/C/909/62; Cornw. RO, Carew Pole mss CC/FF/1, Lady Carew to John Triese, 26 Nov. 1695.
  • 4. BL, Althorp mss, Halifax pprs. box 4, Gwyn to Halifax, 1, 10 Aug. 1698; Add. 70018, f. 186; 70314–15, Trevanion’s list, 1712.