Philip III Rashleigh (1729–1811)
Philip III Rashleigh (1729–1811) of Menabilly, Cornwall, was an antiquary and Fellow of the Royal Society and a Cornish squire. He is probably most notable for collecting from the labourers who found it, and publishing, the Trewhiddle Hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure, which still gives its name to the "Trewhiddle style" of 9th century decoration.
He was born at Aldermanbury, London, on 28 December 1729, the eldest son and heir of Jonathan III Rashleigh (1693-1764), of Menabilly, MP for Fowey in Cornwall, by his wife Mary Clayton, daughter of Sir William Clayton, 1st Baronet (died 1744) of Marden in Surrey.
He matriculated from New College, Oxford, 15 July 1749, and contributed to the poems of the university on the death of Frederick, Prince of Wales, a set of English verses, which is reprinted in Nichols's Select Collection of Poems (viii. 201–2); he left Oxford without taking a degree. At the death of his father he was elected member for the family borough of Fowey, on 21 Jan. 1765, and sat continuously, in spite of contests and election petitions, until the dissolution of 1802, when he was known as the "Father of the House of Commons". His knowledge of Cornish mineralogy procured his election as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Fellow of the Royal Society in 1788.
Rashleigh's collection of minerals was remarkable for its various specimens of tin. It is held by the Royal Cornwall Museum, with portions at the Natural History Museum, and its most valuable portions are described in two volumes of Specimens of British Minerals from his cabinet (1797 and 1802). In the same collection are models in glass of the hailstones that fell on 20 Oct. 1791, particulars of which, with the figured representations, are given, on Rashleigh's information, in King's Remarks on Stones fallen from the Clouds, pp. 18–20. He contributed antiquarian papers to the Archæologia, ix. 187–8, xi. 83–4, xii. 414, but they were derided by Dr. John Whitaker as the work of an "amateur in antiquarianism". A paper by him on certain "alluvial deposits" at Sandrycock, Cornwall, is in the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, ii. 281–4, and a letter from him to E. M. Da Costa, on some English shells, is in the British Museum Addit. MS. 28541, f. 196. He constructed a remarkable grotto at Polridmouth, near the family seat.
He married his first cousin, Jane Pole (1720–1795), only daughter of the Rev. Carolus Pole, 3rd son of Sir John Pole of Shute, Devonshire. They had no issue, and the family estates passed to his nephew William I Rashleigh (1777-1855), MP for Fowey, Sheriff of Cornwall in 1818.
Death & burial
- Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain, vol.1
- "Rashleigh, Philip". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- COURTNEY, Parl. Rep. Cornwall, pp. 105, 108–9
- R. J. Cleevely, ‘Rashleigh, Philip (1729–1811)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 4 Dec 2007
- ROGERS, Opie and his Works, p. 150
- The Geological Collection | Collections | Royal Cornwall Museum
- Copperores more information
- Nichols, Lit. Illustrations, viii. 564; Numismatic Chronicle, new ser. vol. viii. 137–57; Trans. Royal Institution of Cornwall, October 1867
- Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 15th Edition, ed. Pirie-Gordon, H., London, 1937, pp. 1891–3, Rashleigh of Menabilly
|Parliament of England|
Hon. Robert Boyle-Walsingham
|Member of Parliament for Fowey
With: Hon. Robert Boyle-Walsingham 1765–1768
James Modyford Heywood 1768–1774
The Lord Shuldham 1774–1784
John Grant 1784–1786
Viscount Valletort 1786–1795
Sylvester Douglas 1795–1796
Reginald Pole-Carew 1796–1799
Edward Golding 1799–1800
Parliament of Great Britain
|Parliament of Great Britain|
Parliament of England
|Member of Parliament for Fowey
With: Edward Golding