Fowey (UK Parliament constituency)
|Former Borough constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||Two|
Fowey was a rotten borough in Cornwall which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in the English and later British Parliament from 1571 to 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act.
The borough consisted of the town of Fowey, a seaport and market town, and the neighbouring hamlet of Mixtow. Unlike many of the most notorious Cornish rotten boroughs which were enfranchised in Tudor times, Fowey had once been a town of reasonable size, and returned members to a national council in 1340, although it had to wait until 1571 for representation in Parliament.
Fowey was a feudal tenure of the Prince of Wales, and by a judgment of 1701 the right to vote was held to rest with "the Prince's tenants", which in practice was interpreted to include all the householders paying scot and lot; there were 331 voters in 1831. However, most of the property in the borough was owned by the Rashleigh family of nearby Menabilly, and in 1816 they and the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe shared the "patronage", each having considerable influence if not quite absolute power to choose one of the MPs.
In 1831, the borough had a population of 1,600, and 340 houses.
Members of Parliament
|Parliament||First member||Second member|
|Parliament of 1571||Robert Peter||Thomas Cromwell|
|Parliament of 1572–1583||William Russell||Edward Harrington|
|Parliament of 1584–1585||Reginald Mohun||William Treffry|
|Parliament of 1586–1587||John Bonython|
|Parliament of 1588–1589||John Rashleigh||Arthur Atye|
|Parliament of 1593||William Killigrew||Samuel Lennard|
|Parliament of 1597–1598||John Rashleigh||Thomas Treffry|
|Parliament of 1601||Carew Raleigh||Sir William Courtney, junior|
|Parliament of 1604–1611||Henry Peter||Francis Vyvyan|
|Addled Parliament (1614)||Jonathan Rashleigh||Sir Edward Boys|
|Parliament of 1621–1622||John Treffry|
|Happy Parliament (1624–1625)||William Noy||Sir Robert Coke|
|Useless Parliament (1625)||Jonathan Rashleigh||Arthur Basset|
|Parliament of 1625–1626||William Murray|
|Parliament of 1628–1629||Robert Rashleigh||Sir Richard Grenville|
|No Parliament summoned 1629–1640|
- Clement was expelled from the house for immorality (for "lying with his maid" according to the wording of the motion)
- Styled Viscount Valletort from August 1789
- In 1802 Golding was also elected for Plympton Erle, which he chose to represent, and did not sit again for Fowey
- At the 1818 election Lucy and Stanhope were declared to have defeated Viscount Valletort and Alexander Glynn Campbell, but on petition the result was reversed. However, Valletort had died in the interim and a by-election was held to fill his seat
- Attwood was initially declared to have defeated Valletort at the by-election, but the result was reversed on petition
- Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) 
- D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
- Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) 
- Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988)
- Lewis Namier, "The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III" (2nd edition – London: St Martin's Press, 1961)
- J Holladay Philbin, "Parliamentary Representation 1832 – England and Wales" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
- Henry Stooks Smith, "The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847" (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig – Chichester: Parliamentary Reference Publications, 1973)
- Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. p. 1.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "F"