Double Member Borough

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in inhabitant householders

Number of voters:

about 150


17 Apr. 1754William Trevanion 
 John Fuller 
30 Mar. 1761Abraham Hume 
 William Trevanion 
4 Feb. 1767Thomas Pownall vice Trevanion, deceased 
19 Mar. 1768Thomas Pownall 
 John Grey 
10 Oct. 1774George Lane Parker 
 Alexander Leith 
9 Sept. 1780John Stephenson 
 John Dawes 
5 Apr. 1784Lloyd Kenyon90
 Robert Kingsmill90
 George Legge, Visct. Lewisham69
 John Bettesworth69
16 June 1788Hugh Seymour Conway vice Kenyon, called to the Upper House 

Main Article

In 1754 the patrons of Tregony were Lord Falmouth and William Trevanion of Carhayes. Falmouth himself wrote on 22 Mar. 1754 in a paper on Mitchell, where he was engaged in a contest with Lord Sandwich:1

Lord Falmouth is very easy about Tregony. Lord Sandwich’s name has been mentioned there and an expense begun, but Lord Sandwich can only do as much there as any stranger. A third man whoever he is will have a very good interest there and in any corrupt borough to spend money. There is already a large expense and that will certainly increase with opposition, but the success is not doubted.

And Thomas Jones, Lord Edgcumbe’s agent, in June 1760:2

Lord Falmouth and Mr. Trevanion have a very strong interest in this borough. But my Lord’s interest singly is by much the best. There are always a large number of votes ... ready to receive any adventurer whatever who will bring them money.

Trevanion died in January 1767 and his estate of Carhayes, 3 miles from Tregony, passed to his sister Frances Bettesworth; his widow married in February 1773 John Symmons of Llanstinan, Pembrokeshire. No information has been found on how the Trevanion interest was run after 1767, but it re-appears in Robinson’s note on the borough in 1774:3

See Lord Falmouth thereon. Mr. Symmons, who married the widow of Mr. Trevanion and is in possession of the family estates there, has also a considerable interest, but the voters are [a] very venal set.

Both seats were at the disposal of the Treasury in 1774, and again in 1780.

In Robinson’s calculations of December 1783 both seats were to be treated for with Falmouth, at £3,000 a seat.4 But Tregony was in 1784 among the boroughs attacked by Sir Francis Basset, and John Bettesworth, nephew of William Trevanion, was one of his candidates. In 1788 Falmouth sold his Tregony estate to Basset, who shortly afterwards sold the whole borough to Richard Barwell.

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Add. 35592, ff. 290-1.
  • 2. Add. 32907, ff. 461-2.
  • 3. Laprade, 23.
  • 4. Ibid. 84, 107.