Tregony (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members Two

Tregony was a rotten borough in Cornwall which was represented in the Model Parliament of 1295, and returned two Members of Parliament to the English and later British Parliament continuously from 1562[1] to 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act.


The borough consisted of the town of Tregony. Like most of the Cornish boroughs enfranchised or re-enfranchised during the Tudor period, it was a settlement of little importance or wealth even to begin with, and was not incorporated as a municipal borough until sixty years after it began to return members to Parliament in 1563.

Tregony was a potwalloper borough, meaning that every (male) householder with a separate fireplace on which a pot could be boiled was entitled to vote. The apparently democratic nature of this arrangement was a delusion in a borough as small and poor as Tregony, where the residents could not afford to defy their landlord and, indeed, regarded their vote as a means of income. Many of the houses in the borough were built purely for political purposes, and the borough itself was bought and sold for its political value on numerous occasions. In the 1760s, Viscount Falmouth (head of the Boscawen family) controlled the nomination to one of the two seats and William Trevanion the other; later the Earl of Darlington controlled both seats, together with others in Cornwall, but by the time of the Great Reform Act the patronage had been transferred again, to James Adam Gordon.

In 1831, the borough had a population of 1,127, and 234 houses. Nevertheless, because of the wide franchise it had a comparatively large electorate for the time, between 260 and 300 voters.

Members of Parliament

MPs 1559–1629

Parliament First member Second member
Parliament of 1558/9 Peter Osborne Adrian Poynings
Parliament of 1563–1567 Edward Ameredith Giles Laurence
Parliament of 1571 Sir Edward Hastings Robert Dormer
Parliament of 1572–1581 William Knollys Peter Wentworth
Parliament of 1584–1585 Sir John St Leger Richard Grafton
Parliament of 1586–1587 Richard Trevanion Oliver Carminowe
Parliament of 1588–1589 Richard Penkevill Christopher Walker
Parliament of 1593 John Snow Arnold Oldisworth
Parliament of 1597–1598 Sir Edward Denny Henry Birde
Parliament of 1601 Lewis Darte Thomas Trevor
Parliament of 1604–1611 Henry Pomeroy Richard Garveigh
Addled Parliament (1614) William Hakewill Thomas Malet
Parliament of 1621–1622
Happy Parliament (1624–1625) Peter Specott Ambrose Manaton
Useless Parliament (1625) Sir Henry Carey Sebastian Goode
Parliament of 1625–1626 Thomas Carey Sir Robert Killigrew
Parliament of 1628–1629 Francis Rous Sir John Arundell
No Parliament summoned 1629–1640

MPs 1640–1832

Year First member First party Second member Second party
April 1640 [2] John St Aubyn Sir John Arundell
November 1640 Sir Richard Vyvyan Royalist John Polwhele Royalist
January 1644 Vyvyan and Polwhele disabled from sitting - both seats vacant
1647 John Carew Sir Thomas Trevor
December 1648 Trevor excluded in Pride's Purge - seat vacant
1653 Tregony was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 John Thomas Edward Boscawen
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Sir John Temple Edward Boscawen [3]
October 1660 Sir Peter Courtney
1661 Hugh Boscawen Thomas Herle
February 1679 Robert Boscawen
April 1679 John Tanner
August 1679 Charles Trevanion
1685 Charles Porter
January 1689 Charles Boscawen Hugh Fortescue
April 1689 Robert Harley Whig
1690 Sir John Tremayne Whig
1694 The Earl of Kildare
1695 Francis Robartes James Montagu
1698 Philip Meadowes
1701 Hugh Fortescue
1702 Hugh Boscawen Whig Joseph Sawle
1705 John Trevanion [4] Sir Philip Meadowes
1708 Anthony Nicoll Thomas Herne
October 1710 Viscount Rialton John Trevanion
December 1710 George Robinson
April 1713 Edward Southwell
September 1713 Sir Edmund Prideaux James Craggs
1720 Charles Talbot
March 1721 Daniel Pulteney Whig
November 1721 John Merrill
1722 James Cooke
1727 Thomas Smith John Goddard
1729 Matthew Ducie Moreton
1734 Henry Penton
February 1737 Sir Robert Cowan
March 1737 Joseph Gulston
1741 Thomas Watts
1742 George Cooke
1747 William Trevanion[5] Claudius Amyand
1754 John Fuller
1761 Abraham Hume
1767 Thomas Pownall
1768 Hon. John Grey
1774 Hon. George Lane Parker Alexander Leith[6]
1780 John Stephenson John Dawes
1784 Lloyd Kenyon[7] Robert Kingsmill
1788 Hon. Hugh Seymour Conway
1790 John Stephenson Matthew Montagu
1794 Hon. Robert Stewart Whig
1796 Sir Lionel Copley John Nicholls
1802 Marquess of Blandford Tory Charles Cockerell
1804 George Woodford Thellusson Tory
1806 Godfrey Wentworth Wentworth Whig James O'Callaghan Whig
1808 William Gore-Langton Whig
1812 Alexander Cray Grant Tory William Holmes Tory
1818 Viscount Barnard Whig James O'Callaghan Whig
1826[8] Stephen Lushington Whig James Brougham Whig
1830 James Adam Gordon Tory James Mackillop Tory
1831 Lt Colonel Charles Arbuthnot Tory
1832 James Adam Gordon Tory
1832 Constituency abolished


  1. The writs for election were issued in 1562, so the constituency can be considered as having been established in that year, although Parliament did not meet until 12 January 1562/3, and is therefore generally called the Parliament of 1563 in New Style reckoning
  2. Browne Willis lists Nicholas Borlace and Charles Trevanion as Members, but this is contradicted by other sources.
  3. Boscawen was also elected for Truro, which he chose to represent, and did not sit again for Tregony.
  4. This John Trevanion was NOT John Trevanion, the Civil War hero, who died in 1643.
  5. William Trevanion died 1767 according to 'General history: Gentry', Magna Britannia: volume 3: Cornwall (1814), pp. XCVIII-CXVIII. Date accessed: 21 May 2008.
  6. Created a baronet as Sir Alexander Leith, November 1775.
  7. Created a baronet as Sir Lloyd Kenyon, July 1784.
  8. At the 1826 election the Returning Officer made a double return, naming Lushington and Brougham, who had received the most votes, but also the two Tory candidates, James Adam Gordon and James Mackillop. The Committee decided that Lushington and Brougham had been duly elected.