Archiver > CORNISH-GEN > 2005-07 > 1121417835

From: "Isabel Harris" <>
Subject: West Briton, Friday 1st July, 1853. Obituary
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 09:57:15 +0100
References: <>

A rather long obituary, but with a lot of information. Rita, Julia and

West Briton, Friday 1st July, 1853.


Another of the old and staunch Reformers of this county has been taken from
us. Edward William Wynne Pendarves, full of years and full of honour, died
at his seat, Pendarves, on Sunday last. Our readers have long known and
strongly appreciated his services to the cause of Civil and Religious
freedom, and although from his age and growing infirmities his decease has
been long anticipated, they cannot the less mourn his loss. At the time of
his death he might be well called the father of Liberal opinions in the
county of Cornwall; he was the last survivor of that little band of eminent
men who, in the early part of this century, when liberal principles were but
little understood, when their value was scarcely appreciated, steadily and
unswervingly advocated those great truths which have since received such
general acceptance, and formed that strong public opinion among the yeomanry
of this county which has been continually growing, and of which we have so
many proofs down to the present day.

Mr Pendarves was the eldest surviving son of John STACKHOUSE, Esq., by
Susanna, only child and heiress of Edward Acton Esq., of Acton Scot, Salop.
He was born at Pendarves on the 6th of April, 1776, and assumed the
additional surname of Wynne, by sign manual in 1816, and in the same year
that of Pendarves instead of Stackhouse; the latter substitution having been
made in consequence of his descent from a female branch of the family of Sir
William Pendarves of Pendarves. Mr. Pendarves was, we believe, educated at
Harrow, whence he removed to Trinity College, Oxford, and afterwards to All
Souls, where he graduated B.A. in 1797, and M.A. in 1801. He also
afterwards became a fellow of All Souls, and held for several years the
office of sub-warden of the same college. In 1804, he was married to
Tryphena, third daughter and sole surviving heiress of the Rev. Browne
Trist, of Bowden in Devon, who survives him. Such are the general details
of the birth, parentage, and education of Mr. Pendarves; but it is his
public career with which we have principally to deal, and more especially
the political part of that career.

The great movement for a Reform in Parliament, after having been talked of
at intervals from the presentation of the celebrated petition by Lord Grey,
in 1793, assumed something like a tangible shape in 1811, from which period
down to the passing of the Reform Bill it was continually kept before the
public and gradually grew in strength until the aristocratic resistance was
finally overcome. In the whole of this period of twenty years, we find Mr.
Pendarves, at first as Edward William Stackhouse, and subsequently as Edward
William Wynne Pendarves, taking an active and prominent part. The impetus
which in 1811 was given to the cause of Reform sprang from a meeting of the
Friends of Parliamentary Reform, who assembled from all parts of the kingdom
at Freemason's Hall, on the 10th of June in that year. It was originally
intended to have held this meeting in the Guildhall of the City of London,
but the Common Council of that day was not so much in earnest in the cause
of Reform as they have since proved, and after having first granted the use
of the Hall, they afterwards rescinded the grant, and it was determined to
hold the meeting in the Freemanson's Hall instead. Among the names of the
gentlemen summoning that meeting, is to be found that of "Edward William
Stackhouse, Esq., Cornwall." The immediate result was a series of public
meetings in many parts of England, and one in this county; we copy the
advertisement calling that meeting; it is dated June 26, 1811.

"Parliamentary Reform. - A meeting of the friends of Parliamentary Reform
from all parts of the Empire having been holden in London on the 10th of the
present month for the purpose of discussing that most important question,
and the committee which met on the 11th instant, having expressed their
hopes 'that the gentlemen' who composed the meeting, and who were then
retiring to the respective counties, would not lose sight of the great
object they have in view - a Parliamentary Reform. - We whose names are
herewith subscribed Give Notice, that a meeting of the friends of
Parliamentary Reform, in this county, will be held at Bodmin on Monday the
8th day of July next, for the purpose of taking into consideration the
resolution voted at the meeting in London. (signed) J.T. AUSTEN, Place; Gen
C. BROWNE, Launceston; Edward J. GLYNN, Glynn; R. G. GRYLLS jun., Helston;
John HILL, Launceston; Nicholas KENDALL, Pelyn; Nicholas KENDALL, jun.,
Lanlivery; Henry PETER, Harlyn, William PETER, Harlyn; John Colman
RASHLEIGH?, Prideaux; Edwrd W. Stackhouse, PENDARVES; Darell STEPHENS,
Trewarnan?; J.T.F.B., TREVASLON?, Carbaye?; James WILLYAMS, Carmanion?;
Robert WALKER, St. Winnow."

All dead:- Most of them having lived long enough to see their principles,
after all the obloquy heaped upon them, carried into full effect, and some
few having lived long enough to desert the principles they had formerly
advocated. Over the meeting they summoned, Mr. Pendarves, then Edward
William Stackhouse, presided. The resolutions passed at this meeting were
long and argumentative, forming as it were, the basis on which the
subsequent struggle of Parliamentary Reform was founded. They were in
effect reasons for a sound, thorough, and radical reform. The following
resolution indeed, objection to some partial measures that had been
proposed, sounds rather strangely to us in these days, since the great Whig
party, here alluded to, were at length brought into power as Parliamentary
reformers. It is the 8th resolution passed at the meeting to which we
alluded:- "That our objections to these partial measures thus arising from
their natural tendencies are further confirmed by the result of actual
experience, and the irrefragable evidence of facts, for we cannot but
recollect that they proceeded from that same Whig party whose favourite
maxim it has been to govern the country by family interest and party
connections; that in pursuance of this policy, although they have frequently
diminished the influence of the crown, they have never seriously attempted
to increase the interests of the people, that although during the American
war they courted the people by some vague and general flatteries, whilst
they retrenched the influence of the crown in points connected with its
splendour and bounty, yet by the memorable coalition, they avowed their
contempt for the opinions of the one, and by their India bill unmasked their
dangerous designs upon the independence of the other. We cannot, therefore,
but consider the reform which is thus proposed as suspicious and delusive,
and especially as the same maxims of government as preceded the
never-to-be-forgotten events of that never-to-be-forgotten period are now
avowed as the foundations of that reform."

We have inserted this resolution at length, to show that thus early in life
of Mr. Pendarves was in advance of the Whig party of that day, and that
instead of falling back, he continued in advance of the same party up to the
present time. He had lived long enough, indeed, to see the government, by
family interests and party connections, broken up; long enough to see the
first great advances made by the People, and to see the People educating and
fitting themselves for a still greater advance to be made almost by the time
the grass shall have grown upon his grave.

Mr. Pendarves was always one of those, who, as a Magistrate, enabled the
People of the county to give expression to their opinions in a legal form.
By the exertions of Mr. Pendarves and his fellow labourers, a strong public
opinion had grown up in Cornwall, when in December, 1824, Sir William LEMON,
who had long faithfully represented this county died, and the voice of the
public at once fixed on Mr. Pendarves as best suited to succeed him, both
from his position and his fortune? as well as from the true honesty of his
character and the soundness of his judgment. By what we now conceive to
have been an error of judgment the friends of Mr. Pendarves chose to wait
for the general election, which was then speedily to take place instead of
at once contesting the seat left vacant by the death of Sir William Lemon.
In many respects this was unfortunate. The nomination was held on the 19th
of January, 1825, and the immediate friends of Mr. Pendarves and himself
felt that they were shackled by the pledge that had been thus hastily given.
But the yeomanry were determined that he should be proposed, and John
Penhallow PETERS, as one of the chief of that class, did propose him; the
show of hands was entirely in his favour, for every one that held up their
hands for Sir Richard VYVYAN, at least five held up theirs for Mr.
Pendarves. It was with the greatest difficulty the yeomanry could be
prevented from going to the poll, so determined were they to have the man of
their choice. Mr. Pendarves was indeed compelled to issue an address the
day after the nomination stating that the pledge that was unfortunately
given by himself and some of his friends of deferring the contest until the
general election, he could not either in justice to his opponent or in
consistency with what he owed to himself, become their representative on the
present occasion, and as a man of honor, if elected, he would immediately
apply for the "Chiltern Hundreds." But he promised to offer himself as a
candidate at the general election, and a canvass was immediately commenced
on his behalf, in which he became personally known to every Elector in the

The dissolution did not take place so soon as was expected; and Sir Richard
Vyvyan sat unmolested until June 1826. On the 3rd of June, 1826, the
parliament was dissolved. On the 5th of June the address of Mr. Pendarves
was issued. On the 15th of June the nomination was held, when Mr. Pendarves
was proposed by Mr. William PETER, and seconded by Mr. William RASHLEIGH of
Menabilly. We now have three candidates in the field, Mr. TREMAYNE, Mr.
Richard Vyvyan, and Mr. Pendarves. It was against Mr Richard Vyvyan that
the opposition of Mr. Pendarves and his friends was directed. They did not
wish to disturb the seat of Mr. Tremayne, who was held in the highest
respect. The show of hands was in favour of Mr. Pendarves and Mr. Tremayne,
and a poll was demanded by Sir Richard Vyvyan. Mr. Tremayne did not choose
to stand a contest. The disappointment that was felt by Mr. Pendarves and
his friends at this result is well known to all those who have any
recollection of these times. The joy of the more rabid Tories at the
success of their young candidate at the expense of their Old Member is
equally vivid in the recollection of all. But in spite of all the
remonstrance's of Mr. Pendarves and his friends, Mr. Tremayne persisted in
retiring from the contest. And on the 20th of June, 1826, Mr. Pendarves was
formally elected at Lostwithiel without further opposition. We revert once
more to our own colurans? For a portion of the speech made by Mr. Pendarves
on that occasion - " Flattering," he said, "as the whole progress and result
of the struggle must have been to my individual feelings, I have a purer
gratification in reflecting that it has been on our part a contest not for
power, but for independence; that our triumph is not the triumph of party or
of persons, but of principles - of those high principles 'to which England
owes all her greatness and all her glory.' Happy am I to have been an
instrument, however humble, in such a work, and when the day arrives on
which I shall have to render you an account of the charge committed to my
hands, I trust that there will not be a person amongst you to deny me the
justice of saying that I have adhered to my principles, and endeavoured to
do my duty."

That day of reckoning is now finally come, and after a lapse of twenty-seven
years from the time these words were spoken, all passed in the service of
the People, he has gone down to the grave with the proud consciousness that
in the changes of the political world, in all the strange mutations that we
have seen, these words are as applicable to him now as they were at the time
he uttered them; throughout the whole of this long period he did adhere to
his principles, he did endeavour to do his duty.

With the exception of the great contest of 1831, when Mr. Pendarves and Sir
Charles Lemon were returned by an immense majority, he has continued to sit
for the county unopposed. Except for the last few months, when increasing
infirmities prevented him, he has been assiduous in his duties; and in the
whole of his long career he secured the friendship and respect of his
colleagues in parliament, even of those to whom he was most strongly

We have not left ourselves space to speak of Mr. Pendarves as a Magistrate,
nor is it needed; his sound judgment, his knowledge of the duties of the
office, and his strict impartiality in the exercise of those duties, are
known to all. Still less have we any occasion to speak of him as a Soldier;
those who were under his command can best appreciate the qualities which he
brought into the field, as was indeed testified by the regret experienced
when he lately resigned the commission he had held so many years with
honour. As a Man, we may say of him emphatically, that he was a Gentleman -
a Gentleman in the highest and fullest sense of the word; full of honourable
feeling, winning respect and esteem from all. As a Public Man, Cornwall has
met with an irreparable loss. At all times and at all seasons, whenever any
thing was proposed for the advantage of the county, Mr. Pendarves was always
among the first to lend it a helping hand. And as a Politician we shall
seek in vain for one that will give much general satisfaction. It was a
proud thing for the Yeomanry of Cornwall to be able to select for their
Representative a man of his birth, his property, and his qualifications, who
would as fully represent the wants and opinions of the industrious classes
of society.

The time was, when the opinions advocated by Mr. Pendarves in his youthful
days were looked upon with dread and affright by many, - when the holders of
them were stigmatised by every opprobrious term the English language could
convey. But these days are passed away, and the mere adherence to those
opinions would not now alarm the most timid politicians. But Mr. Pendarves
adhered to the principles on which those opinions were founded; and when he
had gained one great point was not content to rest there, but was prepared
at all times to advance with the growing intelligence of the age. Thus in
his later years and with his matured judgment, he was prepared to give an
Extension of the Suffrage, and the protection of the Ballot to the elector,
as in earlier life he had sought a real Representation of the People instead
of a constructive one. He was, in fact, as much in advance of the mere Whig
party in 1853 as he was in 1811 when he repudiated the partial reforms they
sought to introduce. And it was this capacity to move onwards with the
spirit of the times which preserved his popularity and secured the
uninterrupted occupation of his seat as the Representative of West Cornwall.
He won the confidence of the Cornish People by the Soundness of his
Judgement, the Honesty of his Purpose, and the Integrity of his Character;
he preserved that confidence by the same means. The whole of his long life
was one constant proof that he adhered to his principles, and endeavoured to
do his duty.

Mr. Pendarves has passed from among us with the regret and esteem of every
true Cornishman, and it will not be in our time that we shall have a more
true and sincere a Man of the People, or one who more earnestly wish to
promote "the greatest happiness of the greatest number." This regret at his
loss is not confined to the county or to his personal friends. On Monday
last, when his death was mentioned in the House of Commons, expressions of
the deepest regret were uttered both by the Speaker and by many members of
the House.

This thread: