18 voters



In the general election of May 1796, 18 people voted. There were 4 candidates, with Bryan Edwards & Robert Sewell elected.

Poll book data from:
Holding: Kresen Kernow
Citation: CF/1/4552-3
Source: Information provided by Dr Edmund M. Green.

Timeline & Key Statistics

Contexts & Remarks

Date: Saturday 28 May 1796.

Poll book reference: Kresen Kernow, CF/1/4552-3.

It appears to have been the original poll sheet, titled: 'Borough of Grampond. The Poll taken at the Election of two Burgesses to serve in parliament for the said Borough at the Town Hall of the said Borough...'.

From 1758 to 1790, Edward Eliot had controlled interests in Grampound, selling seats to friends of the Government. His interest was not secure after 1790, when voters took a more active interest in the candidates of the constituency. Whigs in the constituency approached Sir Christopher Hawkins to serve as their patron.

Candidates: Bryan Edwards (Tory); Robert Sewell (Tory); George Harry Grey, Lord Grey (Whig); and Jeremiah Crutchley (Whig).

Bryan Edwards had been brought up by an uncle in Jamaica. He supported colonial trade in the West Indies as a member of the Jamaican assembly and had been a strong critic of the American Revolution. He was supported by Sir Christopher Hawkins. He had initially intended to stand for Tregony, 'but the electors of Grampound invited me in so handsome a manner to represent them, that I could not decline it'. He later recalled his campaigns as, 'uncomfortable dinners at two contested elections, not to mention the very becoming amusement at my time of life dancing with tinkers' wives and blacksmiths' daughters on the wet grass'.

Robert Sewell was connected with plantations in the West Indies through his family connections. He served as Attorney-General for Jamaica until 1795 and was later agent for the colony. He ran in harness with Bryan Edwards, supported by Sir Christopher Hawkins.

Lord Grey was the nephew of the Whiggish duke of Portland, and a member of the Whig Club from 1787. He was supported by Lord Eliot's interest, and ran in harness with Jeremiah Crutchley, one of the sitting MPs for the constituency.

The election returned Edwards and Sewell, who went on to speak out against the abolition of the trade in enslaved peoples in the House of Commons.

Poll Book

Below is a digitised version of the poll book for this election: