Edward Dawes

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Edward Dawes (1805 – 27 January 1856)[1] was an English Liberal Party politician who served for one year as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Isle of Wight. Born in relative poverty on the island, in 1840 he was left property by his aunt the English adventuress Sophie Dawes, Baronne de Feuchères.

He was elected at a by-election in May 1851,[2][3] after the sitting Liberal MP John Simeon had resigned his seat.[4] The election was extremely unruly, with a violent mob causing damage and the death of one voter from a heart attack. The Times reported "The constituency of the isle has been in a perfect ferment during the whole of the election and broken panes and broken heads have been among the results".[5] Dawes (running on a policy of free trade) defeated his Conservative challenger Captain Hammond (who advocated protectionism) by 46 votes.[5][6]

However, at the general election in July 1852 he was defeated by the Conservative Party candidate, Francis Venables-Vernon-Harcourt, who secured a majority of 101 votes.[3][7] Dawes did not stand for Parliament again, but devoted himself to the study of agricultural chemistry. He was the author of a number of tracts on the subject.[8]

Dawes suffered from heart disease, and died while on a visit to the health resort of Sidmouth, Devon in January 1856. He was buried in the family vault at St Helens, Isle of Wight.[8]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "I" [self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21214. p. 1418. 30 May 1851. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 402. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  4. ^ Department of Information Services (9 June 2009). "Appointments to the Chiltern Hundreds and Manor of Northstead Stewardships since 1850" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 6, 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Isle of Wight Election". The Times. 28 May 1851. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "Isle of Wight Election". The Times. 24 May 1851. p. 8. 
  7. ^ "Election Intelligence". The Times. 24 July 1852. p. 5. 
  8. ^ a b "Death of Edward Dawes Esq.". Isle of Wight Observer. 2 February 1856. 

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Simeon
Member of Parliament for Isle of Wight
1851 – 1852
Succeeded by
Francis Venables-Vernon-Harcourt