John Vivian (Liberal politician)

John Cranch Walker Vivian (18 April 1818 – 22 January 1879)[1] was an English Liberal politician from the Vivian family who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1841 and 1871.

"Always pleasant, always genial."
Vivian as caricatured by Ape (Carlo Pellegrini) in Vanity Fair, November 1870


Vivian was the second son of the Lieutenant-general Sir Richard Hussey Vivian and his first wife Eliza De Crespigny, daughter of Philip Campion De Crespigny. Born at the Château de Rosamel in Frencq, France,[2] he was educated at Eton College and joined the 11th Hussars as cornet in February 1836. He became a lieutenant in December 1837, captain in April 1840 and retired in 1842. Vivian was a Deputy Lieutenant and JP for Cornwall.[3]

Vivian was elected Member of Parliament for Penryn and Falmouth in July 1841 and held the seat until July 1847.[4] He was elected MP for Bodmin[5] in April 1857 and held the seat until May 1859, when he stood unsuccessfully at Truro. At the 1865 general election he was elected Member of Parliament for Truro and he held the seat until 1871.[6] He was appointed a Lord of the Treasury in December 1868,[3][7] holding office until 1870 when he was appointed Financial Secretary to the War Office. He held that office until 1871 when he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for War,[8] thereby vacating his seat.[9]

Vivian died at the age of 60[10] at his home at The Priory, Richmond, London, leaving a personal estate of less than £1,000 to his widow.[11]


Vivian married firstly in 1840 Louisa Woodgate, daughter of Henry Woodgate. She died in 1855 and he married secondly in 1861 Florence Grosvenor Rowley, daughter of Major Rowley of the Bombay Cavalry. They were divorced in August 1869[3] after she eloped with the Marquess of Waterford,[12] and married him on 3 July 1872. She died 4 April 1873.[13] Vivian married, thirdly, Emma Harvey in 1876. His grandson, Herbert Vivian was a journalist, writer and newspaper proprietor who was one of the key members of the Neo-Jacobite Revival of the 1880s and 1890s.


  1. ^ "In Memoriam". The Cornishman (48). 12 June 1879. p. 4.
  2. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine. R. Newton. 1818. p. 463.
  3. ^ a b c Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1870
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "P" (part 1)
  5. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 4)
  6. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "T" (part 2)
  7. ^ London Gazette, 18 December 1868.
  8. ^ London Gazette, 29 August 1871
  9. ^ London Gazette 15 September 1871.
  10. ^ London Gazette, 4 November 1879.
  11. ^ "Wills and Bequests". Nottinghamshire Guardian. 23 May 1879. Retrieved 3 December 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "The Elopement of Mrs. Vivian with the Marquess of Waterford". Nottinghamshire Guardian. 19 March 1869. Retrieved 3 December 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ Joseph Foster, The Peerage, Baronetage etc 1881

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward John Hutchins
James William Freshfield
Member of Parliament for Penryn & Falmouth
With: James Hanway Plumridge
Succeeded by
Howel Gwyn
Francis Mowatt
Preceded by
William Michell
Charles Graves-Sawle
Member of Parliament for Bodmin
With: James Wyld
Succeeded by
William Michell
Frederick Leveson-Gower
Preceded by
Augustus Smith
Sir Frederick Williams, Bt
Member of Parliament for Truro
With: Sir Frederick Williams, Bt
Succeeded by
James McGarel-Hogg
Sir Frederick Williams, Bt