Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in inhabitants paying scot and lot

Number of voters:

about 40


26 Aug. 1727HENRY KELSALL 
11 June 1733FARRINGTON re-elected after appointment to office 
2 Mar. 1734THOMAS WATTS27
 Thomas Farrington14
 William Wardour14
12 May 1741EDWARD CLIVE25
 Jones Raymond15
 William Newland15
14 May 1745RICHARD LLOYD vice Clive, appointed to office 
9 Nov. 1745SIR EDWARD PICKERING vice Ord, deceased 
27 Jan. 1753ARNOLD NESBITT vice Albert Nesbitt, deceased 

Main Article

In 1715 the lord of the manor of Mitchell was Henry Arundell, 5th Baron Arundell of Wardour, a Roman Catholic and a Jacobite. The five deputy lords, from among whom the returning officer was chosen, were three Tories, Sir Richard Vyvyan, 3rd Bt., M.P., Sir William Carew and William Courtenay, M.P. (father of Kelland), and two Whigs, Sir William Scawen and Hugh Boscawen,1 all landowners in and around the borough. By 1754 the deputy lords had become Sir Richard Vyvyan, 5th Bt., Richard, 1st Baron Edgcumbe, Admiral Edward Boscawen, Capt. Charles Courtenay (son of Kelland), and Thomas Scawen, the heir of Sir William Scawen.2

From 1715 until 1734, in spite of the Tory majority among the deputy lords, Hugh Boscawen, 1st Lord Falmouth, the government manager for the Cornish boroughs, succeeded in getting ministerial candidates returned unopposed. In 1727 there was a threat of an opposition financed by the Duchess of Marlborough,3 but in the end two ministerialists were returned unopposed, the Government having spent £1,620 on the election, including £1,020 for 34 votes at £30 each. In 1734, when Lord Falmouth had gone into opposition, a government agent reported to Walpole that

already Lord Falmouth hath not only begun his frolics at Michell, but all my intelligence ... is that his agents publicly threaten universal war. I am far from any thought of doing injury to his real interest in any place, but I am mighty unwilling to submit to his choler wherever it breaks out.4

Falmouth’s candidates were successful.

Thomas Pitt the Prince’s manager for the Cornish boroughs, wrote of Mitchell in October 1740:

Mr. Kelland Courtenay ... has a good natural interest in this borough, being one of the 5 [deputy] lords of the manor, but by neglect his interest has lately been lost, and one Mr. Newland has got a majority in the borough. Mr. Newland is a gentleman unknown in the country, but who has been long at work by his agents in the place. ’Tis believed that if Mr. Courtenay would come down and act for himself he may still recover his interest.5

By 1741 Lord Sandwich, Kelland Courtenay’s brother-in-law, had assumed control of the Courtenay interest, carrying both seats, in alliance with Thomas Scawen, until 1754.6

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Rich. Edgcumbe to Newcastle, 27 Aug. 1727, Cal. SP Dom. Geo. II.
  • 2. J. Wolrige to Sir Robt. Walpole, 1 July 1727, July-Aug. 1734, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
  • 3. Rich. Edgcumbe to Newcastle, 27 Aug. 1727, Cal. SP Dom. Geo. II.
  • 4. J. Wolrige to Sir Robt. Walpole, 1 July 1727, July-Aug. 1734, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
  • 5. Chatham mss.
  • 6. Sandwich to Pelham, 23 May, 4 Oct. and 29 Dec. 1747, Newcastle (Clumber) mss; Add. 32733, ff. 50-51; 35592, ff. 143-5, 158-9, 160-2.