Sir Charles Lemon… and the Pandora Inn

The rather fine portrait that looks out across the Upper Deck dining room is that of Sir Charles Lemon, 2nd Baronet Lemon of Carclew. John Milan, who owns the Pandora Inn with Steve Bellman, recently bought the portrait at The Truro Auction centre for an undisclosed sum. Read on to find out its historical connection to the Pandora Inn… 


Sir Charles Lemon’s portrait in the Upper Deck dining room

Born in September 1784, Sir Charles was a British Member of Parliament for several constituencies, and a baronet. He lived a very long and busy life, and was 84 when he died, but his life was also touched by tragedy.

He inherited his baronetcy in 1824 upon the death of his father Sir William Lemon, 1st Baronet, and his estates which included Carclew House. Sir Charles served as Member of Parliament several times and for different Cornish constituencies. He held numerous appointments and in 1827 he was made Sheriff of Cornwall. In 1836, he headed the petitioners from the town of Falmouth to the Admiralty, seeking to prevent the removal of the Packet Service.


Carlew House c.1830

The name ‘Lemon’ is very well known in Truro where you will find ‘Lemon Street’ and ‘Lemon Quay’. He even has a rhododendron named after him, which he bred himself from seeds collected by famous Victorian plantsman Joseph Dalton Hooker.

But while his public life was successful, his private life was tinged with sadness. He married Lady Charlotte Ann Fox-Strangways in 1810, fourth daughter of Henry Thomas Fox-Strangways, 2nd Earl of Ilchester. They had two sons, both of whom died young and were named Charles William. The first son died at the age of just 13 months. The second was drowned at the age of 12, at Harrow School. Their daughter, Charlotte Augusta Caroline died at the age of 10, in Aix-les-Bains in 1825.


Sir Charles Lemon, left, with others at Carclew House, Cornwall: photograph by W. H. Fox Talbot. The original is in the Science Museum.

The baronetcy became extinct on his death in 1868, as he had no surviving children. The majority of his estate was inherited by Colonel Arthur Tremayne, Sir Charles’s nephew, the son of his sister, Caroline and her husband John Hearle Tremayne, of Heligan. Tremayne was a hero of the Crimean War and one of the few survivors of the Charge of the Light Brigade. Carclew house was destroyed by fire in 1934.


Near the front door of the pub, you will see the framed auction particulars (pictured left) dating from 1920 advertising the sale of freehold lands – that included ‘the Pandora Inn & Ferry’ – by Captain FW Tremayne, the son of Colonel Arthur Tremayne, and Sir Charles Lemon’s great nephew. So, as the Carclew estate once owned The Pandora Inn, you could say that Sir Charles Lemon has found his way home!



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