In 1832 the county of Cornwall, in south west England, was split for parliamentary purposes into two county divisions. These were the West division (with a place of election at Truro) and East Cornwall (where voting took place at Bodmin). Each division returned two members to Parliament.
The parliamentary boroughs included in the West division, between 1832-1885, (whose non-resident 40 shilling freeholders were eligible to vote in the county constituency) were Helston, Penryn and Falmouth, St Ives and Truro. (Source: Stooks Smith).
The constituency was also made up of the Hundreds of Kerrier and Penwith; the Parishes of Cornelly, Creed, Cuby, Feock, Gerrans, Kea, Kenwyn, Lamorran, Merther, Philleigh, Probus, Ruan Lanihorne, St Allen, St Anthony in Roseland, St Clement, St Enoder (part), St Erme, St Just in Roseland, St Michaels Penkevil, Truro St Mary and Veryan from the Hundred of Powder; the Parishes of St Agnes, Crantock, Cubert, Newlyn, St Enoder and Perranzabuloe from the Hundred of Pydar; together with the Isles of Scilly. (Source - The Boundary Act 1832)
During the 53-year history of this division, there was never a contested election. Only once was a Conservative member returned, but he only represented the constituency for a few months before becoming the 2nd Earl of Falmouth.
In 1885 this division was abolished, when the East and West Cornwall county divisions were replaced by six new single-member county constituencies. These were Bodmin (the South-Eastern division), Camborne (North-Western division), Launceston (North-Eastern division), St Austell (Mid division), St Ives (the Western division) and Truro. In addition the last remaining Cornish borough constituency was Penryn and Falmouth.
[[Sir Charles Lemon, 2nd Baronet|Charles Lemon] had been Whig Member of Parliament for Cornwall prior to the 1832 election. Edward Wynne-Pendarves had also been a Member of Parliament in the previous parliament.
Michael Williams was the only nomination as MP for West Cornwall, at a by-election, following the death of Edward Wynne-Pendarves, on 26 June 1853. Michael Williams was elected as a Liberal on 19 July 1853 according to The Times, Monday, 11 July 1853; pg. 3; Issue 21477; col D "Election Intelligence":(Election and its expected conclusion announced).
There was a by-election, following the death of Michael Williams on 15 June 1858. Sir John St Aubyn, Bt was the only candidate, George Williams, younger son of Michael, having withdrawn, to avoid "disturbing the County".
In the General Election in November 1868 the sitting MP, St. Aubyn was re-elected and the new candidate, Vivian, was elected unopposed. They both held their seats until the Constituency was abolished in 1885.