CORNWALLIS, Hon. Edward (1713-76), of Essington, Herts.

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



9 Dec. 1743 - Apr. 1749
16 Jan. 1753 - 18 Mar. 1762

Family and Education

b. 22 Feb. 1713, 6th s. of Charles Cornwallis, M.P. 4th Baron Cornwallis, by Lady Charlotte Butler, da. and h. of Richard, 1st Earl of Arran [I], bro. of Hon. James, John and Stephen Cornwallis. educ. Eton 1725-8. m. 17 Mar. 1753, Mary, da. of Charles, 2nd Visct. Townshend, s.p.

Offices Held

Ensign 1730, lt. 1731; capt. 8 Ft. 1734; maj. 20 Ft. 1742, lt.-col. 1745, col. 1749; col. 40 Ft. 1750-2; col. 24 Ft. 1752-d.; maj.-gen. 1757, lt.-gen. 1760.

Groom of the bedchamber to the King 1747-63; lt.-gov. Nova Scotia 1749-52; gov. Gibraltar 1762-d.


Returned in 1743 for the family borough of Eye, Edward Cornwallis voted for the Hanoverians, 18 Jan. 1744, spoke for the Government on a vote for extraordinary charges in respect of troops in British pay, 20 Mar. following,1 and was classed in 1746 as Old Whig. Vacating his seat in 1749 on his appointment to the new colony of Nova Scotia ‘for two or three years at most’, he applied in September 1751 for permission to resign his post.2 Returning to England, he was asked to stand for Westminster at the express desire of the King. Returned unopposed with the support of the Duke of Bedford,3 one of the principal landlords in the borough, he spoke on 19 Feb. 1753 in a debate on Nova Scotia, giving ‘a short and sensible account of the colony’. Horace Walpole describes him as a ‘brave, sensible young man, and of great temper and good nature’.4

He died 14 Jan. 1776.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Yorke's parl. jnl. Parl Hist. xiii. 681-3.
  • 2. T. B. Atkins, Selections from Public Docs. of Nova Scotia, 645.
  • 3. Edw. Cornwallis to Bedford, 7 Dec. 1752, Bedford to Cornwallis, 8 Dec. 1752, Bedford mss.
  • 4. Walpole, Mems. Geo. II, i. 63, 307.