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Sir Richard Vyvyan

Born 6 June 1800
Trelowarren, Cornwall, England
Died 15 August 1879
Trelowarren, Cornwall, England
Resting place Mawgan-in-Meneage, Cornwall, England
Birth name Richard Rawlinson Vyvyan
Nationality British
Political party Tory
Spouse(s) not married
Children no issue
Residence Trelowarren, Cornwall
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Occupation Landowner
Profession Scientist

Sir Richard Rawlinson Vyvyan, 8th Baronet (6 June 1800–15 August 1879) was a British Member of Parliament representing several constituencies in his career: he was also a member of a famous Cornish family, the Vyvyans.


Life and writings

From 1827 to 1831, Sir Richard represented Cornwall. From 1831 he represented Okehampton, but upon the passage of the Reform Act 1832, he moved to Bristol, serving until 1837. He later served as Member for Helston from 1841 until 1857: he served as High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1840.

In 1826, Vyvyan was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for his "considerable literary and scientific acquirements especially in the Philosophy of Natural Science.[1], previously having being a Fellow of the Geological Society.[1]

Family of Vyvyan

The Vyvyan family have had a large estate called Trelowarren in Cornwall for over 500 years. They moved to Trelowarren in 1427 from Treviddren, St. Buryan when they acquired Trelowarren through marriage to the daughter of Honora Ferrers, heiress to the estate of the previous owner, Richard Ferrers. Trelowarren's first garden (at least under the Vyvyans) is recorded in 1428.

In the English Civil War (1642-1651) the Vyvyans were royalist supporters. An ancestor, Sir Richard Vyvyan (1613 -1724), head of the family during the Civil War, was given a large Vandyke painting of King Charles I (1600-1649) on horseback by King Charles II (1630-1685) in recognition of his support: that painting continues to hang in the family house in Trelowarren today.

Another member of the family, Sir Richard Vyvyan, 3rd Baronet (1681-1736), was imprisoned in the Tower of London by George I (1660-1727), on suspicion of favoring the "Pretender to the throne," James Francis Edward Stuart (called "James III" by his supporters).

Vyvyan’s scientific writings

  • An Essay on Arithmo-physiology, privately printed, 1825.
  • Psychology, or a Review of the Arguments in proof of the Existence and Immortality of the Animal Soul, vol. i. 1831; called in immediately after publication.
  • The Harmony of the Comprehensible World (anon.), 1842, 2 vols.
  • The Harmony of the Comprehensible World (anon.), 1845.

He also published several letters and speeches. His letter ‘to the magistrates of Berkshire’ on their practice of ‘consigning prisoners to solitary confinement before trial, and ordering them to be disguised by masks,’ passed into a second edition in 1845. His account of the ‘fogou’ or cave at Halligey, Trelowarren, is in the Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (1885, viii. 256-8).


  1. ^ a b "Fellow: Vyvyan; Sir; Richard Rawlinson (1800 - 1879)". Royal Society. 1826.  
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir William Lemon, 1st Baronet
John Hearle Tremayne
Member of Parliament for Cornwall
with John Hearle Tremayne 1825–1826
Edward William Wynne Pendarves 1826–1831

Succeeded by
Edward William Wynne Pendarves
Sir Charles Lemon
Preceded by
William Henry Trant
John Thomas Hope
Member of Parliament for Okehampton
with John Thomas Hope

Succeeded by
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
James Evan Baillie
Edward Davis-Protheroe
Member of Parliament for Bristol
with James Evan Baillie 1832–1835
Philip John Miles 1832–1837

Succeeded by
Philip William Skinner Miles
Francis Henry Fitzhardinge Berkeley
Preceded by
John Basset
Member of Parliament for Helston
Succeeded by
Charles Trueman
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Vyell Vyvyan
(of Trelowarren)
Succeeded by
Vyell Donnithorne Vyvyan


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