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Title: The Parochial History of Cornwall, Volume 1 (of 4)

Editor: Davies Gilbert

Contributor: Henry S. Boase

William Hals

Thomas Tonkin

Release date: October 23, 2019 [eBook #60555]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Carol Brown and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber Note:

Abbreviations have been expanded using the title attribute. Users of screenreaders may wish to switch to this mode of reading. Other users may hover the cursor over an abbreviation to see the expanded word.
















F.A.S. F.R.S.E. M.R.I.A. &c. &c.










Having read in the earliest portion of my life the small part of Mr. Hals’ Parochial History published about the year 1750, I entertained from that time a strong desire for seeing the remainder also in print; this desire grew up with my years, increased perhaps by an understanding that the manuscript had disappeared, no one seemed to know in what way, and that it might possibly have been destroyed.

At last, the manuscript was recovered by the most justly celebrated Mr. Whitaker, from a bookseller at Exeter, who had retained the papers as a pledge for some debt; from Mr. Whitaker they have come to his son-in-law Richard Taunton, Esq. M.D. who has with great liberality placed them in my hands; mutilated, however, as to the histories of several parishes, from want of care and of attention on the part of the individual holding them as a deposit, although he must have deemed them to be of pecuniary value.

Mr. Tonkin’s papers were preserved by his niece Miss Fosse, who died more than fifty years ago, at a place that may now be termed, without offence, the village of Michell. This lady must have been the last of Mr. Tonkin’s near relations; for, although the property left at her decease could ii not have amounted to anything of importance, the funeral was attended by many scores of persons, claiming shares of whatever could be found. Under such circumstances every moveable was soon converted into money, and the manuscript of the Parochial History, complete as Mr. Tonkin left it, got into the possession of Lord Dunstanville, by whom it was instantly offered to me, on my preparing to edit the Parochial History of Mr. Hals. And as Mr. Tonkin copied largely from Mr. Hals, many of the lost parishes are at least partially supplied.

The late Mr. Lysons got possession of a beautifully transcribed copy of the whole that remains of Mr. Hals’ Parochial History; this was purchased at the sale of his books by the Earl of Aylesford, who without any personal acquaintance whatever, has had the liberality to allow me the use of this splendid folio volume, during the whole time of my work passing through the press.

Mr. Gregor has supplied me with an original copy of the last Heraldic Visitation of Cornwall; and to Doctor Boase I am indebted for a geological description of every parish.

Previously to my taking this task on myself, I endeavoured to preserve the works of Mr. Hals and Mr. Tonkin for the public, by the more easy expedient of advancing money in aid of the publication; but not having obtained success, I at last adventured on what is now done, little aware, however, of the pains, and time, required for editing the histories of more than two hundred parishes; iii although I have to a considerable extent relieved myself from the most irksome duty of correcting the press, by obtaining the assistance of Messrs. Nichols and Son, on the condition of their taking, what is very unlikely to accrue, any profit arising from the publication, and my sustaining, the more probable alternative, all the loss.

Mr. Hals’ work is given without alteration, except considerable omissions of long histories, from the Bollandists and other writers of legends, relative to obscure Saints, little known, or deserving of being known; and in many cases owing their supposed connection with Cornwall, entirely to the writer’s imagination; and in the opposite extreme, of the lives of personages most worthy of being preserved and studied in general history, of Apostles, of Emperors of Rome, and Kings, but quite as irrelevant as the former, to a History of Cornwall.

I have been also unable to retain the greater part of the derivations assigned to the names of manors, families, or places; they are generally referred to some word of a similar sound in modern English, after a manner scarcely less ludicrous than the mock etymologies of Dr. Swift.

Lastly, I have omitted various anecdotes, containing simple scandal, without any thing illustrative of the age or country.

Other anecdotes of a public nature are retained; on a conviction that events long passed by, and incapable from their very nature of being suppressed, neither will, nor ought to excite any unpleasing iv feeling in the minds of those who may be directly or collaterally descended from the persons to whom they relate.

I have not throughout the whole work intentionally used a single expression disrespectful to any one, nor have I retained from either of the manuscripts, nor added of my own one new anecdote or tale capable by possibility of giving the least pain.

If an expression should be found, which in the opinion of any individual is at variance with these assertions, I beg permission to apologize before I am accused, and to declare that the fault has been involuntary, and that I am not aware, at this instant, of any such fault existing.

Mr. Tonkin has mainly copied from Mr. Hals, and these portions of course have not been printed over again; but all his additions are preserved, with the greater part of his derivations, apparently much more accurate than those they are intended to confute.

Here it would have been wise, certainly it would have been prudent, for me to have concluded the work; but having acquired, through the course of a long life, the knowledge of many incidents, which, although of little general importance, may amuse persons taking an interest even in trifles connected with their immediate neighbourhoods, I have been induced to add under each parish, such matters as happened to occur to my recollection; using also in many cases the information drawn by Mr. Lysons from sources accessible v only to himself, in consequence of his situation in the Tower.

I have further had recourse to the works treating on monasteries and religious establishments; but without considering myself bound or pledged to make out a complete history in any case, either by researches into documents not in my possession, or, still less, (at my time of life and distant residence) by investigations on the spot.

This part of the work will be found very unequally executed; but it was never intended to be otherwise.

At the end of each parish I have added the common statistics:—the number of acres from the measurement of Mr. Hitchins; the value of the real property; the account of poor rate, and of the population at the four periods of numeration, from the Parliamentary Returns. And through the great kindness and liberality of Doctor Boase, I have been enabled to subjoin to these the geology of each parish, deduced from an actual survey in person of the whole county, by that very intelligent and experienced geologist, chemist, and physiologist.

And here it may be right to observe, that, as the formations are not merely similar, but identical, over many contiguous parishes, and again in parishes disjoined from each other, the plan of referring from one to another became indispensable, to avoid repetition after repetition, and adding, without any utility, to the size of the work.

In the form of Appendices will be found several vi matters relative to Cornwall, either not previously in print, or that cannot be obtained separately from large works, of which they form a part.

Mr. Scawen’s Works, so far as they are contained in the Bodleian Library.

Leland’s Itinerary.

Drayton’s Polyolbion.

The Transcript of a Manuscript from the British Museum; proving, I believe, that even Mr. Whitaker, one without doubt among our most able and learned antiquaries, may be mistaken on a subject connected with the objects of his peculiar research.

There will be also some miscellaneous matters, and among them an Index to Mr. Carew’s History; an addition greatly demanded also by another work, which would then become the most useful Corpus Historicum relating to our county.

There are several other manuscripts of Mr. Tonkin, chiefly copies from Mr. Hals of pedigrees, &c. but these I have not touched. And I have purposely abstained from every general topic relating to the county at large, as these have been amply discussed by our various historians.

The first in order of time, the most interesting and most entertaining, is Mr. Carew.

This work was first published in 1602, a second edition came out in 1723, and a third, chiefly through the exertions of the late Mr. John Price of Penzance, in 1769. But the edition far exceeding all the others, with highly valuable additions, and with copious notes, was given to the public in 1811 by the late Lord Dunstanville, in one vol. 4to, vii 457 pages, with an excellent engraving of the author, from a picture at Anthony.

Mr. Richard Carew was of a very ancient and respectable family; he inherited Anthony from a long line of ancestors, and has transmitted it to his descendants.

Wood says, in the Athenæ Oxonienses, that he was born in the year 1555, became a gentleman commoner of Christ Church at a very early age, but had his chambers in Bradgate Hall (since Pembroke College), and that at fourteen he disputed, extempore, with Sir Philip Sidney, in the presence of several distinguished visitants to the university.

After three years’ residence at Oxford, Mr. Carew removed to the Middle Temple, where he passed three years more, and then went with his uncle on an embassy to Poland.

In the year 1577 Mr. Carew married Juliana Arundell, of Trerice, and served the office of Sheriff in 1586. It is recorded that he was intimate with most of the noted scholars of those times, and especially with Sir Henry Spelman.

He died in November 1620, and is buried in his parish church of Anthony, (see the epitaph, p. xxiv).

Mr. Carew’s life is given in considerable detail as an introduction to his History of Cornwall. He wrote and translated several other works; but they seem not to have survived.

Soon after Mr. Carew’s History, Mr. John Norden’s was composed, with the title of “Speculi Britanniæ Pars. A Topographical and Historical viii Description of Cornwall, by the Perambulation, View, and Delineation of John Norden.”

This work has been well characterized by Mr. Tonkin, as “a mean performance, full of egregious mistakes, with most defective and erroneous maps of every hundred, yet containing several things in it not to be met with elsewhere.”

Our next historian, but after a considerable interval of time, was Mr. William Scawen, a fragment only of whose work is known to be extant, and which will appear in these volumes.

He was of an ancient family, well educated, and possessed of an ample fortune. He represented St. German’s in Parliament, and received the appointment of Vice-Warden of the Stannaries, immediately after the Restoration of King Charles the Second.

Of Mr. Hals and Mr. Tonkin I have not any better information than what is given by Mr. Lysons. He says:

“About the year 1685, Mr. William Hals, a gentleman of an ancient Devonshire family, which had been some time settled at Fentongollan, in St. Michael-Penkevill, began to make collections for a parochial history of Cornwall, which he continued for at least half a century; it was brought down by him to about the year 1736. Mr. Hals died in 1739; his parochial history being at that time nearly completed. About the year 1750, the publication of this work was undertaken by Mr. Andrew Brice, then a printer at Truro, who afterwards removed to Exeter, where he published an useful geographical ix dictionary and other books. The account of seventy-two parishes arranged alphabetically, from Advent to Helston inclusive, was printed in folio in ten numbers, which are extremely scarce. The publication is said to have been suspended for want of purchasers; occasioned by the scurrilous anecdotes it contained, and reflections thrown on some of the principal families. It is probable, however, that the inaccuracies with which it abounds, and the tedious legends of saints to whom the churches are dedicated, which occupy at least half the work, would have operated more to the prejudice of its sale than the scandalous anecdotes which occasionally occur, many of which had been omitted by the editor. The most valuable part of the work is the account of families and the descent of property; but in these he is frequently inaccurate; and, as Dr. Borlase observes, ‘what he says should not have too great stress laid upon it, when it stands upon his single authority.’

“Contemporary with Hals, as a collector of materials for a parochial history of Cornwall, was Thomas Tonkin, Esq. of Trevaunance, some time member for Helston, a gentleman of an ancient family, who had made great progress in preparing such a history for the press, and had completed several parishes. Mr. Tonkin began to write his parochial history in 1702, at which time he had the use of Hals’s collections. Dr. Borlase seems to have supposed that Hals’s collections were brought down from 1702 to 1736 by Tonkin; the truth is, that they both brought down their collections x to that period, without any communication with each other, which seems to have ceased soon after the first period above-mentioned. Mr. Tonkin himself says, speaking of Hals in the year 1739, ‘it is between twenty-five and thirty years since I have seen any of his collections, and, I believe, at least twenty since I have seen him. I am told that he has greatly improved and polished them since that time; but as his method is quite different from mine, and that I have some other reasons not necessary to be mentioned for not corresponding with him, I can safely say, that in this present work of mine, I have not made use of one single line out of his compositions.’ Mr. Tonkin, in one of his MSS. dated March 27th, 1733, desires that, ‘if by death, or any other accident, his MSS. should fall into other hands, they would by no means publish them in the dress in which they then appeared, but be pleased to new-model them after the method followed in those few which had received his last corrections, such as at St. Agnes, St. Piran in the Sands, St. Michael-Penkevil,’ &c. In 1737 he had made sufficient progress in his collections to enable him to put forth proposals, in which he announced the plan of his publication.

“In the year 1739, Mr. Tonkin had completed his MS. of the first part of his work, which was to treat of the county of Cornwall in general; his epistle dedicatory of that date is printed at the beginning of Lord de Dunstanville’s edition of Carew, addressed to Sir William Carew, Bart. and Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart. then representatives in xi Parliament for the county of Cornwall. In this letter he recapitulates what had been done towards the topography of his native county. Besides the works of Leland, Camden, Norden, and Carew, he mentions the general collections of Hals and Anstis, and those of Pearce and Gwavas on the Stannaries, the Cornish language, &c. Towards the conclusion of his epistle, he says, ‘I wish I could say that many more of my countrymen had assisted me with their kind endeavours. I do not yet despair of having several; for which reasons I have, in my proposals, enlarged the designed time of the publication of this part. I hope they will be so good as to send in contributions. If they persist in their refusal, they must be contented with such coarse fare as I am able to give them, which I will endeavour to make as palatable for them as I can; perhaps, when they come to taste of this, they may be prevailed on to supply me with something better towards the two remaining parts. All that I can promise them is, that I will give them the best account I can, without the least partiality; neither shall any one person have a just occasion given him to charge me with any wilful omission or sophisticated truth.”

Very little was done by Mr. Tonkin to the parochial department of his intended history after the date of this letter; he died in 1742, and in the latter part of his life, being unhappily involved in pecuniary difficulties, he grew less attentive to study, and died without printing any part of his intended history.

xii Doctor William Borlase more than meditated a parochial history, having made some collections towards it. If this design had been carried into execution, all further attempts might have been deemed superfluous.

His Antiquities and Natural History of Cornwall gave ample proof of the ability, the ingenuity, and of the diligence possessed by this excellent man, who had the deserved good fortune of being equally esteemed and admired, not by the neighbourhood alone, but by the most learned and scientific persons throughout Europe.

The Antiquities were first published in 1754.

The second edition in 1769.

The Natural History in 1758. All in quarto.

Respecting the Natural History, it may be expedient to remind the reader, that in the last edition of Chambers’s Encyclopædia, four volumes of the largest size, with one volume of plates, printed in 1783, the very word Geology does not occur; and that some years later, chemical lectures were publicly given on the phlogistic theory of Becher and Stahl.

Mr. Polwhele has published in seven parts, beginning with the date 1803, and ending with that of 1816, making in all two quarto volumes, of about 1200 pages, in small type, and abounding with notes and extracts in a type still smaller, an immense collection of matter relative to the antiquities, the biography, the literature, the history military and civil, &c. of Cornwall; arranged under distinct heads, and enriched with prints of distinguished persons, with figures of ancient castles, xiii churches, monuments, &c. and with views of towns, and of romantic scenery. One is astonished at the great labour bestowed on this work, and still more so when it is recollected, that the author has distinguished himself in every branch of elegant literature, and most of all in that department, where the fire of genius is believed somewhat to diminish the aptitude for patient toil.

The next work on Cornwall deserves particular attention on various grounds,—its extensive plan, arrangement, and parochial history, and the situation in life of its author, Mr. C. S. Gilbert, who at the time of his executing “An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall; to which is added a complete Heraldry of the same, with numerous engravings,” resided as a druggist in Plymouth or Devonport; and he is said to have acquired a knowledge of this trade by accompanying one of those itinerant doctors in medicine, who are in the habit of attracting customers by exhibitions little suited to the gravity of a profound science.

Mr. Gilbert is understood to have collected information which induced him to believe, that he might claim a descent from the Gilberts of Compton Castle; and under that persuasion he applied himself to the study of antiquities, with genealogy, heraldry, and every collateral science, which led him by degrees to undertake the History of Cornwall, and to complete it in two quarto volumes, usually bound in three; all which he executed with such eagerness, zeal, and disregard of expense, as to involve him during the latter part of xiv his life in considerable difficulties. For Compton Castle, and the family from which this gentleman thought himself derived, and which is now represented by the Reverend J. Pomeroy Gilbert, of Bodmin, see Prince’s Worthies of Devon, p. 420, edition of 1810.

About the same time that Mr. C. S. Gilbert’s work appeared, another very similar to it came out sanctioned by the names of Mr. Samuel Drew of St. Austell, well known by his profound metaphysical writings, and of Mr. Malachy Hitchins, son of the celebrated astronomer, who, residing at St. Hilary, three hundred miles from London, conducted the Nautical Almanack from the second year of its appearance 1768, to the conclusion of his life in 1809, during a period of more than forty years.

A well written and perspicuous life of Mr. Drew, has been given to the public by his son Mr. Jacob Halls Drew, in which many interesting particulars are given of this distinguished writer; together with a fair and impartial account of his various works, of which the most known, and perhaps the best, is his Essay on the Human Soul. This treatise, published in 1802, contains every argument that can be found in the Phædon of Plato, with additions; and the whole is not inferior to its prototype. But the observation of an ancient peripatetic philosopher, Alexander of Appodisia, a city of Caria in Lesser Asia, is equally applicable to both:

Αλλ’ εστι πολλα των ὁντων, ἁ την μεν ὑπαρξιν εχει γνωριμωτατην, αγνωστοτατην δε την ουσιαν· ὡσπερ ἡτε Κινησις, και ὁ xv Τοπος, ετι δε μαλλον ὁ Χρονος. Εκαστου γαρ τουτων το μεν ειναι γνωριμον και αναμφιλεκτον· τις δε ποτε εστιν αυτων ἡ ουσια των χαλεπωτατων οραθηναι.

Εστι δε δη τι των τοιουτων και Ἡ Ψυχη· το μεν γαρ ειναι τι την Ψυχην γνωριμωτατον και φανερωτατον· τι δε ποτε εστιν, ου ῥαδιον καταμαθειν.

Our reason convinces us of its own separate existence apart from matter and organization; beyond that, we must submit to learn from higher authority.

Alexander, therefore, does not go beyond the sphere of human knowledge, when he adds of the soul as capable of a separate existence, Μηδε την αρχην Οργανῳ τινι Σωματικῳ προσχρησθαι προς την ληψιν των νοουμενων, αλλ’ αρκεισθαι αυτον αυτῳ προς το γνωναι το νοουμενον.

Mr. Hitchins gave several proofs of genius; but his life was cut short at an early period.

Various descriptions and accounts of local districts, and of particular places in Cornwall may be found; of these I shall mention three as by far the best, and highly deserving of attention.

Topographical and Historical Sketches of the Boroughs of East and West Looe, with an account of the Natural and Artificial Curiosities and Picturesque Scenery in the Neighbourhood. By Thomas Bond, Esq.

Dr. Maton’s Tour; and

A Guide to the Mount’s Bay and the Land’s End. By Dr. Paris.

As this must in all probability be the last time of my addressing the inhabitants of my native county through the medium of any permanent xvi work, I shall so far presume as to offer a few lines respecting myself, nearly in the words used by two among the most distinguished of modern writers.

Since it has pleased Almighty God so to constitute the world, that the human race should every where increase up to the very limit of subsistence, all countries must witness by far the greater portion of their inhabitants exposed to the dangers of privation, of poverty, and of distress, incapable of being mitigated in any way, except by the prudence, the care, and the general good conduct of the parties themselves; but easily and fatally susceptible of being augmented, almost to an unlimited degree, by the establishment of permanent charities, by distributions in the shape of largesses, and above all, by the greatest and most melancholy achievement of human weakness and short-sighted folly, the English system of poor laws, extending premiums to idleness and improvidence, on a basis of indefinite relief to claimants multiplying without end.

“My lot might have been thrown among these; it might have been that of a savage, or a slave: nor can I reflect without gratitude on the bounty of Nature, which has cast my birth in a free and civilized country, in a family decently endowed with the gifts of Fortune, in an age of science and of philosophy, where years outrun in discoveries and in improvements the advances of former centuries.”

It is not for me to determine how far these advantages have been improved by myself; but at the age of threescore years and ten, I may justly say with the other writer alluded to—

xvii “The retrospect of life recalls to my view many opportunities of good neglected, much time squandered upon trifles, and more lost in idleness and vacancy. I leave many great designs unattempted, and many great attempts unfinished; but, my mind being free from the burden of any heavy crime, I compose myself to tranquillity: I endeavour to abstract my thoughts from hopes and cares, which, though reason knows them to be vain, still try to keep their old possession of my heart: I humbly expect the hour which Nature cannot long delay; and with the most profound adoration of the Divinity, I hope to possess in a better state of existence, that happiness which here I could not find, and that virtue which here I have been unable to attain.”

Davies Gilbert, 1837.


I have to acknowledge my obligations to various gentlemen for assistance in the progress of this work, but especially to the following:

To Richard Taunton, Esq. M.D. for his loan of Mr Hals’s Manuscript.

To the late Right Honorable Francis Basset, Baron De Dunstanville, for his supplying me with Mr. Tonkin’s Manuscript.

To Henry S. Boase, Esq. M.D. for his most liberal communication of an abstract for each Parish, taken from an accurate and minute xviii Geological Survey of the whole County, made by himself.

To the Right Honorable Heneage Finch, Earl of Aylesford, for his allowing me the use of a Transcript of Mr. Hals’ Parochial History as it now exists, formerly belonging to the late Mr. Lysons.

To Gordon William Francis Gregor, Esq. for his supplying me with an emblazoned copy of the last Visitation of Cornwall by the Heralds in 1620.

To Sir Henry Ellis, K.H. F.R.S. Sec. S.A. for the communication of his MS. additions to Tanner’s Notitia Monastica for Cornwall.

To the Rev. Josiah Forshall, M.A. F.R.S. late Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, and now Keeper of the Manuscripts in the British Museum, for his extracts from a very ancient Manuscript relative to the See of Bodmin.

I have to acknowledge, with my best thanks, the assistance of Thomas Hingston, Esq. M.D. afforded by his arrangement of Extracts relating to Cornwall, from the Itinerary of William of Worcester; and by an original communication on the Etymology of Names of Places within the county.[1]

The only existing Manuscript of Mr. Tonkin’s Work having remained for some years in the possession of Mr. Whitaker, he added to it various xix notes and ilustrations, frequently interlined, or blended with the original writing, so as to render the task difficult, in many cases, to distinguish the one from the other. In almost every passage of any length, Mr. Whitaker’s additions are marked with a [W.]

Geology having pressed forward during the present century, at a pace unexampled in other sciences, may reasonably be expected to reach new discoveries in comparatively short intervals of time; these have been reduced, however, almost to instants in respect to Cornwall. After the very able, minute, and laborious investigation made by Doctor Boase, of every district, of every parish in the whole county, the work of discovery would seem to have been completed, at the least for several years; but Mr. de la Beche came soon afterwards into Cornwall, under the sanction of Government, assisted by officers of the Engineers employed on the great Trigonometrical Survey; and this eminent Geologist has, in consequence, been enabled to lay down the various main lodes, the cross courses, the elvans, &c. together with the junctions of granite, greenstone, and killas, with an accuracy and discrimination never before attained, nor ever approximated to, except by Mr. Richard Thomas, in his survey of the mining district, made about twenty years ago.

Mr. De la Beche has also been enabled to deduce several general laws observed in the direction of cleavages, in the dip of strata, in the heaves and slides of lodes, all of which will be detailed in an eagerly expected volume, together with a discovery xx most unexpected. The saxa metallifera of Cornwall had always been supposed referable to a very remote period of geological epochs, far anterior to the age of organic remains; till this opinion became shaken by the discovery of shells, or of their impressions, in the hard schist rocks near Tintagell: others were subsequently found more to the south and west; till at last Mr. De la Beche has detected the remains of organized life adjacent to a productive Copper Lode.

Two other eminent geologists, whom it would be equally idle and presumptuous for me to praise, have established the fact of a formation in the northern parts of Cornwall and Devon, not less unexpected than the discovery just noticed.

Professor Sedgwick and Mr. Murchison having investigated the deep-seated rocks in Wales, and in the adjacent districts, have finally traced the carboniferous series under the Severn, and so far west as the level ridge of land, extending from near Launceston to the sea coast between St. Gennys and Botreaux Castle, along which plane the escarpment manifests itself in a very conspicuous manner.

While these discoveries may be considered as in progress, a Cornish gentleman, but one whose genius does honour to the nation, Mr. Robert Weare Fox, has deduced from galvanic action on metals, on their oxides, on their sulphurets, and on their saline solutions in water, the only theory that has yet accounted for the various phenomena observed in metallic lodes; and extending still further his investigations to the recently discovered connection xxi between electric energies and terrestrial magnetism, Mr. Fox has been enabled to give more than probable reasons for the extraordinary fact of some metals usually selecting, in all parts of the world, lodes or fissures running nearly east and west, and why other metals prefer rents at right angles to the former; and in respect to the fissures themselves, Mr. Fox has remarked appearances inducing him to believe that lodes of considerable breadth have not been formed by any one great and sudden rending of the earth; but that, in a manner similar to the rising or to the sinking of land, by the gradual action of causes now well known to exist, those clefts have been enlarged from time to time, and have as frequently received additional deposits, easily discriminated from each other.

Mr. Fox appears also to have settled beyond the possibility of doubt, the long-agitated question respecting the temperature of mines, by establishing a general relation between increases of heat and depth; although the ratio cannot be reduced to any definite formula, being liable to vary with the presence of more or less water, and with the different conducting power of rocks, since mines in granite and in killas differ by several degrees of heat at the same level: yet the increase corresponds so generally with greater descents into the earth, that elevation of temperature, and not the expense, nor the difficulty of exhausting water, appears likely to oppose the final limit to the progress of mines in depth.

In continuation of the same trains of reasoning xxii and of thought, Mr. Fox has been led to investigate the important elements of variation and dip of the magnetic needle; and in pursuing these inquiries, he has invented an instrument possessed of far greater accuracy than any one previously employed, and which at this moment is in actual use, through the enlightened liberality of our own and other governments, in various and distant portions of the globe.

Mr. Henwood is about to lay before the Public a Work containing the results of more extensive and scientific researches into the nature of Lodes and Fissures, than have perhaps been ever executed by any individual. Mr. Henwood is well known to geologists: I shall therefore only add what I think myself bound in duty to notice, that an original appointment in the Stanneries, and a subsequent promotion, have been bestowed on Mr. Henwood, through the medium of Her Majesty’s Duchy Officers, and principally of Sir George Harrison, in consideration of his scientific attainments, and of his desire to render these attainments available to the development of further inductions.

I have endeavoured to render the work cheap by adopting the octavo form, and by abstaining from all decoration, except a slight sketch of the Pitt Diamond, which by raising that family into an influential situation, has modified the fate of Europe in a degree impossible to have been contemplated xxiii by the Regent Duke of Orleans, when he purchased that bauble at the expense of an hundred and thirty-five thousand pounds; and excepting also the Tomb of Archbishop Tregury, a view of Cotehele house, and the Seal of a Corporation, all of which had been previously cut on wood. I have abstained from further expense with the view of placing my work in the hands of as many persons in Cornwall as I possibly could, thereby diffusing the entertainment likely to arise from Local Anecdotes, from Provincial Occurrences, and from Historical Events, not of sufficient general importance for securing to themselves a place in national records. I have caused an ample Index to be prepared for the whole work; and among the Appendixes will be found an Index to the Survey of our most respected historian Mr. Carew; and I will add as a proof of my own disinterestedness, that I have engaged to leave with the Publishers all the profits, if any should arise, reserving to myself the much more probable alternative of sustaining the loss.

The concluding paragraph proves the least agreeable of my work. I am sorry to say, that the Typographical errors far exceed my expectation. I must entreat of all my readers to excuse them, and to correct the Text from the too extensive Tables of Errata. The want of early habit, dimness of sight, and absence from the Press, must be alleged on my behalf; perhaps the compositor may plead unusual names or terms, and subjects not rendered familiar by his ordinary practice.

Davies Gilbert, 1837.

[1] While this sheet is passing through the press, we have to lament the premature decease of Dr. Hingston, at Falmouth, on the 15th July 1837.






The geological notices inserted in this Work, are necessarily so brief and so unconnected, on account of the alphabetical arrangement of the parishes, that it is desirable that a few introductory remarks should be made that this defect may be in some measure obviated.

Cornwall does not possess a great variety of rock formations, being composed of primary and transition or intermediate groups, covered here and there with deposits of gravel, sand, and clay, which belong to the modern epoch. But this limited range of formations is more than compensated for by the great facilities which the geologist here enjoys in his investigations; the very extended line of cliffs which deeply indent the Cornish shores proffer numerous and instructive sections; and the vast mining operations have brought to light most important phenomena. Indeed, no country of equal extent can, in these combined advantages, be compared with Cornwall.

On a general view of this country, the surface exhibits two systems of valleys; one running parallel xxvi with the central ridge, which is highest near Launceston, and gradually, but irregularly, declines till it terminates at the Land’s End, in cliffs about a hundred feet in height; the other intersecting the longitudinal valleys at right angles; and as all the intermediate hills are more or less rounded, the country has an undulating appearance in both directions, not unaptly compared to the waves of the sea. Through these two systems of valleys, the rivers flow, seeking outlets into the sea by the nearest continuous descent; sometimes they effect this along the longitudinal, at others through the transverse valleys, receiving tributary streams on either hand from the lateral valleys, or curved hollows which they intersect. But sometimes the river is diverted in its course more than once, in consequence of the concavity of a cross curve rising above its level—or by that of the other system descending below this point—by which irregularity the stream is compelled to flow along the more favourable drainage; thus the Camel rises about four miles from the sea, in the moors near Davidstow, and flows more than twenty-five before it empties itself into the sea at Padstow. In the hollows of these valleys the drainage is often sufficiently obstructed to produce marshy ground; but seldom of such extent as to deserve the name of a lake.

As regards the soil, on the high grounds it is frequently very shallow and barren; but in the valleys it is very productive, and here and there is well wooded, more particularly on the southern coast. On the northern coast, in the vicinity of the sea, xxvii it is very sandy, owing to the light testaceous sand of the shore being carried inland by high winds; in this manner no inconsiderable tracts of fertile land have been devastated.

Let us now turn our attention to the internal or geological structure of Cornwall. The highest parts of the central ridge, already alluded to, are composed of granite, which occurs in the form of four large insulated patches, so disposed at nearly equal distances from each other as to resemble a chain of islands extending from Launceston to the Land’s End, that is in the direction of N.E. and S.W. On the same ridge, but rather parallel than continuous thereto, is the great granitic group of Dartmoor in Devon, the whole of which is sometimes called the Ocrynian Range.

The granitic patch of Dartmoor is by far the most extensive, being nearly twenty miles in diameter; that of Launceston is ten miles in length by six or seven in breadth at its widest part; and its most elevated hills, Rough-tor and Brown-Willy, do not much exceed 1,300 feet in height. The granitic rocks of this patch, like that of Dartmoor, are not much exposed by artificial excavations, so that their varieties cannot be easily examined; the weathered blocks, which on the summit and sides of the hills form tors and detached masses, consist of the hard or siliceous varieties of the common and fine-grained granites, such as have withstood the action of the elements. One of the most curious of these tors is the Cheese Wring, near Liskeard, a pile of single blocks, each being larger than the one immediately beneath. Proceeding xxviii along the ridge towards the Land’s End, the next, or St. Austel patch of granite will be found, much less than the last, but more interesting both in a scientific and a commercial point of view. In addition to the kinds of granite already noticed, it contains beds of talcose granite, or protogine, which by its decomposition furnishes that valuable substance china clay or kaolin, many thousand tons of which are annually exported for the potteries. The third, or Redruth patch of granite, affords many varieties of this rock, and has been well explored by numerous mines which have been productive in both tin and copper ores, affording also to the mineralogist a great variety of rare specimens. But the fourth, or Land’s End granite, is by far the most important to the geologist, for the land becoming here very narrow, the sea has produced cliff-sections, both in the granite, and also at its point of junction with the slate, exhibiting many interesting phenomena. Among these, the veins of granite in the slate are beautifully displayed, and have long been a great attraction to geologists; but the modes in which these rocks meet and unite, are not less deserving of notice. But for a detailed description of these curious facts, the reader may be referred to my “Treatise on Primary Geology.”

Besides these four principal patches of granite, there are four others: 1st. that of Kitt Hill, near Callington; 2nd. that of Tregonning and Godolphin, near Helston; 3d. that of Cligga Point, near St. Agnes; and lastly, that of the celebrated St. Michael’s Mount. The two first are of some size, xxix and at the surface are both subdivided near the middle, by the overlapping of the slate: the other two are small, but very interesting to the geologist.

It is worthy of remark that the fertility of these granitic groups gradually increases as they diminish in elevation; and it is a curious but not surprising coincidence, that the number of parish churches thereon follows the same order:—thus on the eastern and most extensive tract of granite, near Launceston, there is only one church; on the next there are three; on the Redruth patch six; and on the Land’s End granite no less than nine, within a space considerably less than that of the eastern tract.

Each of these insulated groups of granite is surrounded by schistose rocks, the layers of which, on all sides, incline from the granite at various angles, from 20° to 40°. Although these groups are thus separated from each other by the slate at the surface, yet it is the general opinion that they gradually approach beneath, until they are all united into one and the same mass—the intermediate hollow spaces (the valleys, as it were, between the granitic mountains) being occupied by the slate. It might, however, be maintained that the granite is imbedded in the slate, in large rounded masses, which would also account for the former rock underlying the other, within the limits of mining operations: and such an opinion would derive some support from the fact, that small insulated masses of granite in the slate are not of unfrequent occurrence.

xxx The slate formation consists of two very distinct groups, when the most characteristic rocks are alone regarded; but it is not easy to trace the boundary between them, as the contiguous rocks appear to pass gradually into each other. These groups have one character in common: viz. that they consist of several distinct kinds of rocks, each genus of which respectively may be subdivided into schistose and compact rocks; the latter are imbedded in the former—are more crystalline—and often contain clusters of their constituent minerals: so that the complicated composition of these rocks is made known by Nature’s own analysis.

The group next the granite is primary, the more remote one is transition, or as they are termed in the following pages the porphyritic and calcareous series of the slate formation. The series next the granite is characterised by its beds of porphyry, and by its abounding in veins of tin and copper ores; the other series by the frequent occurrence of calcareous spar and strata of limestone, with occasional organic remains, and by its being sparingly metalliferous, containing no tin-ore, but being productive of lead and antimony. It is within the last series that the magnesian or serpentine rocks occur, and which in the Lizard district are developed to a large extent, forming one of the most interesting geological features of Cornwall. Those who are desirous of more information concerning this slate formation, will find a copious account in the fourth volume of the Transactions of the Geological Society of Cornwall. xxxi It is there proposed to give these rocks, whenever they possess well-marked characters, distinct names, and not to refer a great variety of rocks to the vague and indefinite genera of clay-slate and greywacké. An accurate and more extended nomenclature would have rendered the following notices much more intelligible.

In describing the general features of Cornwall, we must not omit to mention the metalliferous veins—the great source of its commercial prosperity—and the channel through which much curious information has been obtained, concerning the structure of the earth. These veins traverse indifferently both the granite and the slate, but are most abundant in the latter rock, in the vicinity of the granite. The general direction of the tin and copper veins (or lodes, as they are provincially called) is nearly E.N.E. and W.S.W., and they are crossed by another system of veins, nearly at right angles, which are not commonly metalliferous, and when they do contain ores these are often of lead, antimony, silver, and other metals. This is not however a general rule, for in the parish of St. Just, Penwith, the tin and copper ores occur in the cross veins. The course of the veins is not straight, but they are always more or less undulating, both in their direction and in their dip or underlie. Various interesting phenomena result from their meeting with and intersecting each other, known to the miner under the names of heaves, throws, and slides. This subject is replete with curious facts, but would require considerable space for their enumeration; the reader must xxxii therefore be again referred to the work already alluded to on “Primary Geology.”

Before concluding this brief sketch, a few words must be said on the beds of clay, sand, and gravel which cover the low grounds, both on the granite and on the slate. These may be resolved into two kinds: 1st. those resulting from the decomposition of the rocks, and which are in their original position; and 2d. those which are not in situ, affording by their appearance, composition, and position, evidence of their having been transported. These deposits belong to three distinct periods, and alternate with terrestrial and marine remains, according to their situation in respect to the sea-level at their respective epochs. Each of these transports was accompanied, or followed by, a change in the sea-level: the last corresponds with that now existing; the previous one, by the elevated ancient beaches, indicates that the sea was about fifty feet above its present level; and the earliest transport, being covered with sub-marine forests, shows that the sea was at that epoch at least fifty feet lower than it now is. (See 4th vol. Geol. Trans. of Cornwall, pp. 466, et seq.) In the lowest or oldest deposit the tin-ore (stream-tin) is found in the form of sand and gravel mixed with earthy substances: it affords the purest kind of tin, known in the market by the name of grain-tin; and appears to be the source from which the ancients derived all their tin. The notices under each parish will furnish more particulars concerning these interesting deposits.












Advent is situate in the hundred of Les-newith, i. e. new breadth, extent, or division.[2] It hath upon the north Lantegles; east, Altar Nun and St. Cloather; south, Brewer; west, Michaelstow. In the Domesday (Roll or) Tax, 2d of Will. I. 1068, this district was rated either under the names of Tegleston or Helleston, manors contiguous therewith.

For the modern appellations of this parish, they were taken from the church after its erection and consecration (which goes in presentation and consolidation with Lanteglos), and is called Advent, from Advent Sunday, (on which probably it was consecrated and dedicated to God, in the name of St. Anne, by the Bishop of Exon,) viz. the nearest to the feast of St. Andrew, and refers to the coming of Christ,—Advent pro adveniant, coming.

This church is consolidated in Lanteglos, and goes in presentation with it; the patronage in the Duke of Cornwall, who endowed it.[3]

This parish of Advent alias St. Anne was rated at the 4s. per pound land tax,[4] ann. Dom. 1696; at which time the author of this work, with other commissioners at Bodmin, settled the respective charges or sums upon all the parishes or towns in Cornwall for all future ages.



The right name of this parish is St. Alhawyn, by abbreviation Advent.

The place of chief note in this parish is Trethym. In the time of the Usurpation, Sir Henry Rolle, of Honiton, retired here, as being a pleasant seat (especially in summer) for hunting; and soon after it was the seat, by lease from him, of Matthew Vivian, Gent. a younger brother of John Vivian, Esq. of Truan, and as noted a cavalier as his brother was a partisan on the other side. Mr. Matthew Vivian had several daughters, one of whom being the first wife of —— Beale, of St. Teath, brought him this barton, which he gave to her eldest son, Matthew Beale, Gent. whose widow now enjoys it (1715): of whom see more in St. Teath. [From them it passed to the Gwatkins, by which family it was held until the year 1814, when it was sold by Robert Lovell Gwatkin, Esq. to Mr. Allen Searell. Hitchins.]


Ridiculing the etymology of Advent suggested by Hals, Mr. Whitaker says, “The appellation is merely personal, and that of the church’s saint,” Adwen. This was one of a numerous family of saints, whose history, as they have left their names to several parishes and churches in Cornwall, it may be desirable to detail in this place, as it is quoted by Leland from the Life of St. Nectan, who was the eldest brother. “Brechan, a petty king of Wales, from whom the district of Brocchanoc (Brecknock) derived its name, had by his wife Gladwise twenty-four sons and daughters, whose names were: Nectan, John (or Ivan), Endelient, Menfre, Dilic; Tedda, Maben, Wencu, Wensent; Merewenna, Wenna, Juliana, Yse; Morwenna, Wymp, Wenheder, Cleder, Keri; Jona, Kananc (or Lalant), Kerhender, Adwen, Helie, Tamalanc. All these sons and daughters were 3 afterwards saints, martyrs, or confessors, leading the life of hermits in Devon and Cornwall.” The same story is related by Giraldus Cambrensis and William of Worcester. Whitaker’s Cathedral, vol. II. p. 91, 98.


Advent contains the small villages of Treclogoe or Trelogoe, Pencarow, and Tresinny. Most of the estates in this parish are parcel of the duchy of Cornwall, being held as free and customary lands of the manor of Helston in Trigg. The manor of Trelagoe, Treclegoe, or Trenelgoe, after having been for some descents in the family of Phillipps, was bequeathed by the late Rev. William Phillipps, Rector of Lanteglos and Advent, to his nephew John Phillipps Carpenter, of Tavistock, Esq. whose son is the present proprietor.


Advent contains 2,844 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the real property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1,396 0 0
Poor Rates in 1815 115 1 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

or 43½ per cent. increase in thirty years.


The eastern part of this parish consists of granite, forming a portion of an extensive group of this rock, in which are situated Roughtor and Brown Willy, the highest hills in Cornwall. This granite is of the ordinary kind, large grained, and often porphyritic. It contains beds of fine-grained rocks, in some of which crystalline felspar, quartz, and mica, constitute the entire mass; but in others these minerals are embedded in a basis of compact, or rather of granular felspar, which is itself apparently a compound of felspar and quartz. 4 The junction of the granite with slate is concealed by a large track of marsh and bog; adjoining to which is a dreary waste of common, resting on an irregular bed of quartzose gravel, derived from the granite hills, and evidently of diluvial origin. This eastern part is sterile, merely affording a scanty subsistence to cattle during the summer. The remainder of the parish is composed of felspar and hornblend rocks, traversed here and there by courses of granitic elvan, a rock in every respect similar to that occurring in the granite. One of these courses may be seen by the road side near the rivulet of Pencarrow. Here the country is wooded and cultivated, exhibiting some picturesque scenes of hill and dale; so characteristic of the hornblend rock near granite.

[2] See Mr. Whitaker’s remark on this etymology, hereafter under the parish of Lesnewth.

[3] Jewell contra Harding, p. 582.

[4] In the Exchequer 61l. 17s.



St. Agnes is situate in the hundred of Pyder.

At the time of the Conqueror’s tax there was no such parish or district as Saint Agnes; but the same passed in rates under the jurisdiction of the Earl of Cornwall’s manor, now Duchy, of Twarnhayle; together with Peransand: which now parish of St. Agnes was taxed to the four shillings in the pound land-tax, 9th William and Mary, 1696, 137l. 5s.

The present church of St. Agnes was of old only a small free chapel dedicated to her, without endowment, till the same was augmented and rebuilt, of three roofs, as it now stands, by charitable collections, and the proper charge and cost of the inhabitants thereof, in 1484; consecrated and dedicated to the honour of Almighty 5 God, in the name of St. Agnes, as a daughter church to Peransand, by Dr. Peter Courtenay, then Bishop of Exon.[5]

St. Agnes was a Roman by birth, anno Dom. 285, descended of noble ancestors, and being beautiful of body and mind, at 13 years of age was courted in marriage by the son of Sempronius, then governor of Rome; but because he was no Christian she utterly refused his address, who complained thereof to his father; that immediately he sent for Agnes, and renewed the proposals of marriage made to her by his son, making larger offers for her advantage, which altogether proving ineffectual, Sempronius asked her whether she would adore and sacrifice to the Roman gods, and abandon the superstition of the Christians, but she, proving constant to her religion, utterly refused to do that also; whereupon she was committed to prison, from thence, after much hard durance, sent among persons of ill fame, where her innocence and purity were miraculously preserved, till at length, by the Governor’s order, she was committed to the flames, which immediately parted asunder, and did her no harm; whereupon the Governor, and Auspitius his agent, commanded her to be taken out of the fire, and forthwith to be beheaded by the common hangman, 20 January, anno Dom. 304, in the latter end of the reign of Dioclesian, or in the beginning of Constantius and Galerius. St. Ambrose wrote her life. St. Isidore, St. Augustine, Demetrius, and Prudentius, with Aloysy Lessomanus, Bishop of Seville, have all written very commendable things of her. In the glass windows of this church I remember to have seen written the remains of a broken inscription,—“in carcere serat Agnes,”—referring, I suppose, to her sowing or preaching the Word 6 in the prison, jail, or hold, to which she was confined as aforesaid. The parish feast is holden on the Sunday following St. Agnes’ Day.

In this parish stands Carne Bury-anacht, or Bury-anack, synonymous words, only varied by the dialect; id est, the still, quiet, spar-stone grave, or burying-place, where, suitable to the name, on the natural, remote, lofty circumstances thereof, stand three sparstone tumuli, consisting of a vast number of those stones, great and small, piled up together, in memory of some one notable human creature before the 6th centuary interred there.

This is that well-known place called St. Agnes’ Ball, that is to say, St. Agnes’ pestis, or plague, so named from the hard, deep, and dangerous labour of the tinners there, out of which mountain hath been digged up, for at least 150 years’ space, about ten thousand pounds worth of tin per annum; which keeps daily employed about the same 1,000 persons, who for the most part spend their time in hard and dangerous labours as aforesaid, in order to get a poor livelihood for themselves and families, in the pursuit of which, here and in other places, many of those poor men yearly by sad accidents lose their lives.

The natural circumstances of this Ball is a subject as worthy the consideration of the most sage virtuosos, or natural philosophers; for, though it be a stupendous and amazing high mountain, abutting upon the Irish sea, or St. George’s Channel, rising pyramidally from the same at least 90 fathom above the sea and contiguous lands, yet on the top thereof, under those spar-stone graves, or burying-places, is discovered by the tinners, five foot deep, good arable land or earth; under that, for six foot deep, is found a fine sort of white and yellow clay, of which tobacco-pipes have been made; beneath this clay is a laying of sea-sand and nice totty-stones. Two or three hundred fathoms from the sea, 7 and about eighty fathoms above it, under this sand, is to be seen for about five foot deep, nothing but such totty-stones as are usually washed on the sea-shore, and in many of them grains of tin. Under those stones the soil or matter of the earth, for five or six feet deep, is nothing to be seen but carne-tyer, id est, spar-stone land or earth, under which spar-stone earth appears the firm rock, through which tin-loads are wrought or pursued by the tinners fifty, sixty, and seventy fathoms deep. This Ball, or lands containing this diversified matter or soil, contains about eighty acres in circumference; which amuseth most men how the earth, clay, sand, totty-stones, or spar-stone land, should yet be so high above the solid rocks to the top of this mountain, unless Noah’s flood was universal, and reached to this island, as the labouring tinners believe and tell us. More sure I am, from ocular demonstration, that a quantity of the white sort of sand in this Ball, or hill, washed in a stream or river of clear water, will instantly turn the same water into a milk-white colour, and not to be discerned from milk, as long as you continue to pour the said sand into the river; but this is to be understood only of such clean white sand as is made use of and prepared for writing sand-boxes.

The manor of Mithi-an, i. e. of whey, a notable grange for cows and milk (otherwise, if the name be compounded of my-thyan, Saxon, my servant or villain by inheritance) was formerly the lands of Winslade of Tregarick, in Flint, an hereditary esquire of the white spur, who forfeited the same, with much other lands, by attainder of treason, tempore Edward VI.; so that that King or Queen Mary gave those lands to Sir Reginald Mohun, of Hall, knight, or his father, who settled them upon his younger son, by which conveyance it lineally descended to my very kind friend William Mohun, of Tenervike, Esq. now in possession thereof. 8 In this manor is an ancient free chapel, now converted to a dwelling-house, wherein God was duly worshipped in former ages by the tenants thereof. [William Mohun, Esq. the last heir male of this family, bequeathed this estate to his wife Sibella, (who was afterwards married to John Derbyshire Birkhead, Esq.) and his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Prowse. Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart., who is the present proprietor of the whole, bought it in 1777; one moiety of Mr. Birkhead, and the other of Matthew Grylls, brother and heir of Robert Grylls, who had purchased it in 1758 of the devisees of Mrs. Prowse. Lysons.]

Treu-ellis, i. e. the son-in-law by the wife’s town; otherwise, if the word be compounded of Tre-vell-es, it signifies the well or spring of water town; is the dwelling of Michael Crocker, Gent. that married Gwynn, and giveth for his arms, Argent, a chevron engrailed Gules between three crows Proper, originally descended from the Crockers of Ireland. Croker, after the English Saxon, is a crock-maker or seller. [It belonged afterwards to Mr. Joseph Donnithorne,[6] and is now the property of Mr. Chilcot. The mansion is occupied as a farm-house. Lysons.]

Tre-vaw-nanes, i. e. the town of the boys’ valley, alias Tre-vawn-nanes, i. e. the town of the fanning or vawning valley; where continually great numbers of boys, or human youths, are employed about washing, cleansing, or vanning tin in the rivulets thereof, is the dwelling of Thomas Tonkin, Esq. that married Kempe, his father Vincent, his grandfather Bawden, his great-grandfather Guye; and giveth for 9 his arms, by virtue of a late record taken forth of the College of Arms tempore William III. in a field Sable, an eagle displayed Or. The name Tonkin, alias Tankin, synonymous words, signifies a person or thing in the tank or tonk, viz. an artificial cistern, pool, pond, or fountain of water.


This being the first parish in the hundred of Pider, I take the opportunity of stating my opinion, that the name clearly imports the fourth,—Perwith, Kesrier, Powder, and Pider, all of which meet in one point, where the four parishes of Redruth, Gwennap, Kenwyn, and St. Agnes, actually touch; and the spot is called Kyvere Ankou, the place of death, on account of the frequent burial there of felones de se, or persons who have destroyed themselves.

Trevannence I believe to mean the town in a valley of springs. This barton has belonged to my family upwards of five hundred years, so that we have used the name de Trevannence, by customary inheritance of the manor of Tywarnhails. But in 1559 Henry Earl of Rutland, then Lord of the Manor, sold the fee of his right in Trevannence to Richard Carne the younger, of Camborne, Gent. who reconveyed it the same year to John Jeffry; and he conveyed it, in 1593, to Thomas Tonkin.

[This estate was the property and the seat of Thomas Tonkin, of Trevaunance, Esq. who made large collections for a parochial History of Cornwall. Mr. Tonkin enjoyed his estate but a few years; he died in 1742. His two sons, who did not long survive him, successively inherited his estates, which, after their death, were for a while in the possession of Thomas Heyes, Esq. who married the daughter and heir of his son 10 James, but left no issue; the only child of his daughter, who married Foss, having died unmarried, they descended to the representatives of the three daughters of Thomas Tonkin, who died in 1672; which daughters had married into the families of Jago, Cornish, and Ley. Mr. John Jago, and Mr. Hugh Ley, the immediate descendants of two of the daughters, are now possessed of two thirds of the manor of Trevaunance, and of such portion of the manor of Lambourn as extends into this parish, and was part of the Tonkin estate (except some lands sold to J. Thomas, Esq. of Chiverton). The other third part has been subdivided. Mr. Thomas has one half of it by purchase, the other is divided between Mr. Geach, a descendant of the family of Cornish, and Mr. Paul Clerk.[7] Trevaunance House was taken down a few years after the death of Mr. Tonkin; there is now a cottage on its site. Lysons.]

The above-named Richard Carne gave for his arms (as appears by his seal) a pelican in her nest, with wings displayed, feeding her young ones, which coat is still to be seen in Trevannence seats, and in the roof of St. Agnes’ church. He was descended from the Carnes of Glamorganshire, in Wales, who derive their pedigree from Ithal, King of Gwent, whose direct ancestor was Belimaur, the father of Cassibelan; which Carne settled in Cornwall, as we have it by tradition, upon his ancestor’s marriage with the heiress of Tresilian, of Tresilian in the parish of Newlyn.

Westward of Breanis riseth with a gentle ascent the great hill commonly called St. Agnes’ Beacon; formerly Carne Breanic. On the top are three stone barrows; to the westward of the one now used for a beacon, are visible remains of a small square fortification.

This parish is of a large extent, but for the most part barren, with abundance of wortzel and downs; but 11 withal very populous, and not without some parcels of very good land, particularly from Trevannence to Perwennack, Tewan, Trevisick, Mewla, Meuthion; and neither are the barren grounds the least considerable, as producing large quantities of excellent tin, according to the Cornish saying,

Stean San Agnes an guella stean in Kernow.
(St. Agnes’ tin is the best tin in Cornwall.)

As likewise in some places very good copper, with some quarries which produce excellent stone for building; and some of slate for roofing, but not of the best quality. The land lies very heathy and dry, but too much exposed to the raging north-west wind for trees to thrive on it.

From the top of the first hill a part of Devonshire may be seen; also the North and South Seas; with thirty-four parishes. The Bowden or Boen Marks, called in sea charts the Cow and Calf, lie about two miles from the shore.


An attempt was made by the Tonkin family to form a harbour at Trevaunance-Porth as early as the year 1632; it was attempted again in 1684, and, after a considerable expence had been incurred, again given up. In 1699, a third attempt was made with the assistance of Mr. Winstanly, the celebrated engineer; the works then constructed were destroyed by a violent storm in 1705. Mr. Tonkin, from whose notes this account was taken, again commenced his works in 1710, at the expense of £6,000; he formed the foundation with large masses of rock laid in hot lime made of lyas stone from Aberddaw, in South Wales. These works having become decayed, a jetty pier of moorstone was built about the year 1794, at the expense of £10,000, by a company of gentlemen, and a considerable trade in coals, lime, slate, &c. is now carried on with Ireland and Wales. The proprietors are enlarging the harbour, and rendering it 12 more commodious and safe for shipping. A small stream of water which rises in the manor of Tywarnhaile, turns several stamping mills in Trevaunance Comb.

The market, for which there does not appear to be any charter on record, has been held from time immemorial for all sorts of wares and provisions, except corn. In 1706, Mr. Tonkin procured the Queen’s patent for a weekly market and two fairs; but after the writ of ad quod damnum had been duly executed, and the Queen’s sign manual obtained, the grant was revoked in consequence of a petition from the inhabitants of Truro. A small market is nevertheless kept up; the market day is Thursday.

In a dingle called Chapel-comb, was an ancient chapel known by the name of Porth Chapel, the ruins of which were taken down about the year 1780. Near this spot is St. Agnes’ well, of which many miraculous stories are told; the water is of an excellent quality, and much esteemed. Hals speaks of an ancient free chapel in the manor of Mythian, which had been made a dwelling house. There are remains of an ancient chapel at Mola. Nicholas Kent, of Mingoose, by his will bearing date 1688, gave for the term of 499 years a dwelling house, divided into four tenements and a garden, for poor widows of this parish, and charged his lands of Mingoose and Tereardrene with the repairs of the house; but it does not appear that it was endowed. One of the schools, founded by the trustees of the fund left for charitable uses by the Rev. St. John Elliot, who died in 1760, is at St. Agnes; the endowment is £5 per annum. There is a Sunday school at St. Agnes, supported by subscription, and numerously attended.


For various particulars respecting the Tonkin family see the edition of Carew by Lord Dunstanville, vol. I. 1811, 4to. p. 353-357, with monumental inscriptions 13 in St. Agnes church. The arms of Tonkin are noticed in a copy of the last Heraldic Survey, communicated to the Editor by Mr. Gregor of Trewanthenick, although a pedigree is alone recorded in the original. Sable, an eagle displayed Or, armed and langued Gules, a crescent for difference. Crest, an eagle’s head erased Or. See the exemplification of them by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux Roy d’Armes, temp. Reg. Eliza.

The reason of the arms being then omitted was this: Mr. Tonkin of Trevannence, the chief representative of their family, was more than eighty years of age in 1620, a bed-lier, and had been blind for many years, so that he was not able to appear himself; and, the chief business of the Heralds at their Visitations being to put money into their own pockets, they never registered any arms without their fees. The ancient motto used by this family is said to have been:

Kenz ol tra, Tonkein! ouna Deu, Mahteror yn.
(Before all things, Tonkin! fear God, the King also.)

St. Agnes contains 6,657 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 9,929 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1831 1,914 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase on an hundred in thirty years 59.63, or nearly 60 per cent.


This parish is one of the great mining districts of Cornwall, abounding in tin and copper ores, but more particularly in the former. It differs, however, from all the other districts, in being remote from the great central masses of granite. This peculiarity has often attracted the notice of several observers, and has long been considered as a strange anomaly by geologists.

14 The case is not, however, without example; for, although this tract is distant from the granite both of Redruth and of St. Dennis, yet a small mass of that rock does not exist at Cligga Point, on the confines of the parish. This granite has, indeed, been called by some an elvan, and by others a secondary formation of granite, as has been also that of St. Michael’s Mount; but, although the rock is not in this place of any great extent, it has all the mineralogical and geological characters of the larger masses.

Large courses of granite elvan are common in the northern part of the parish, containing short irregular veins and bunches of tin ore. These courses are extensively exposed in the cliffs, and present a singular appearance, somewhat resembling a bank of earth perforated by rabbits’ burrows, in consequence of the miners having taken the ore wherever it has been exposed to view.

The Beacon, a high hill near the church town of St. Agnes, merits particular attention. The lower part is formed of a schistose rock, composed of granular felspar intermixed with particles of quartz and minute scales of mica. Ascending towards the summit, the quartz gradually increases in quantity, till at last it becomes the prevailing ingredient of the rock, and preserves it against the natural causes of decay; whilst lower down, where the felspar abounds, the rock is extensively disintegrated. On the side of the hill, about three or four hundred feet above the level of the sea, is a deep deposit of diluvium, consisting of alternate layers of clay and sand. To point out the origin of these layers, and to explain the reason of their occurrence in such an elevated situation, would require long details. For this, and for other interesting particulars respecting the phenomena of this parish, the fourth Volume of Transactions, published by the Geological Society of Cornwall, may be consulted.

15 St. Agnes’ Beacon was chosen as one of the principal western stations in the great Trigonometrical Survey of England. The position of the summit was then determined with extreme accuracy: Latitude 50° 18 27, Longitude 5° 11 55.7. In time 20 m. 47.7. Height above low water 621 feet. See the Philosophical Transactions for 1800, pp. 636 and 714.

[5] It appears, however, by Mr. Tonkin’s notes, that St. Agnes was deemed a distinct parish, and had a parochial chapel in it, so early as the year 1396. A licence to build a new chapel was dated Oct. 1, 1482. Lysons.

[6] This gentleman was the lessee of the great mine before described. Borlase says, “It is judged that the late Mr. Donnithorne, who had the whole adventure, and worked it at his own expense, in a few years last past got at least 40,000l. clear by this mine, and much more he might have raised yearly if he pleased.”

[7] For the latter name Hitchins substitutes Thomas Warren, Esq. and Mr. John Tregellas, of St. Agnes.



St. Allen is situate in the hundred of Pow-dre-ham, id est, the hundred of the old ancient county or province town (viz. Lestwithell), for so it is called in the first Duke of Cornwall’s charter 1336—now contracted and corrupted to Powder Cantred.

At the time of the Norman Conquest this district of St. Allen was taxed under the jurisdiction of Laner or Lanher, i. e. templer; so called, for that long before that time was extant upon that place a chapel or temple dedicated to God in the name of St. Martin of Tours, the memory of which is still preserved in the names of St. Martin’s fields and woods, heretofore perhaps the indowments of that chapel or temple; this Laner is still the voke lands or capital messuage of the Bishop of Exeter’s manor of Cargoll, whereunto it was annexed; in which place of Lanher (formerly a wood or forest of trees) the Bishops of Cornwall, and afterwards the Bishops of Exon, had one of their mansion or dwelling-houses for many ages,[8] till Bishop Voysey, tempore Henry VIII. leased those manors to Clement 16 Throckmorton, Esq. cup-bearer to Queen Katherine Parr, from whom it passed by sale to Williams, and so from Williams to Borlase, by whom this mansion or barton of Laner was left to run to utter ruin and dilapidation, having now nothing extant of houses but old walls, stones, and rubbish. Out of this manor of Lanher the Bishop of Exon endowed the church of St. Allen with the glebe lands thereof now in being, and the sheaf of two tenements, viz. Laner and Tretheris,[9] so that the said church is a vicarage endowed, and was valued by Oliver Sutton, Bishop of Lincoln, and John de Pontefexia, Bishop of Winchester, to the Pope’s taxation of benefices, in order to take his first-fruits, 20 Edward I. 1294, Ecclesiam de Sancto Alune, in Decanatu de Powdre;—vi s. & viii d. The patronage of this church is still in the Bishop of Exon for the time being, the incumbent Richards. The rectory or sheaf formerly in Cook, now Boscawen [Viscount Falmouth]; and the parish as aforesaid rated to 4s. per pound Land Tax, in 1696, 157l. 14s. 10d.

Gwarn-ike, i. e. lake, river, or leate, summons, notice, or warning, so called from Gwarnike Castle, a treble intrenchment or fortification lately extant on the woody lands thereof, is the voke lands of the manor and barton of Gwarnike, the old inheritance and dwellinge of the once rich and famous family of the Bevills for many generations; whose ancestor came out of Normandy into England with William the Conqueror, and was posted an officer at Truro under William Earl of Morton and Cornwall (or Robert his father). Of his posterity, tempore Edward III. Sir Richard Bevill held by the tenure of knight service 20l. per ann. in lands and rents, and therefore was commanded by that king to attend him, with a horse-trooper furnished cap-a-pee, 17 on his expedition into France, in the 25th year of his reign. (Carew’s Survey of Cornwall.) John Bevill of this place was sheriff of Cornwall 5 Richard II. Finally, the name, blood, and estate of those Bevills terminated in two daughters and heirs of John Bevill, Esq. sheriff of Cornwall 16 Eliz. 1573, married to Grenville of Stowe, and Arundell of Trerice, to whose younger son by Bevill’s heir this barton and manor of Gwarnike was given, but the said Mr. Arundell, commonly called the Black Arundell by reason of his complexion, dying without issue, gave those lands to his kinsman Mr. Prideaux, of Fewburrow in Devon, whose heir sold the same to Mr. Kempe, of Penryn, now in possession thereof. Over the entry door of this house, in a stone or piece of brass, is cut the arms of Bevill, viz. Ermine a bull passant Sable, surmounted with an oak-tree Proper or Vert; near which is this inscription likewise in stone in Saxon-English letters:

Man, aboue all thinge
Feare god and the kinge.

[In 1704 it was sold by the Prideaux family to Jamss Kempe, of Penryn, and in 1731 purchased by Edward Prideaux, Esq. of Place House, Padstow, ancestor to the Rev. Charles Prideaux Brune, of the same place, who is the present proprietor. There were formerly two chapels at Gwarnike; one at a small distance from the house, which was demolished before the year 1736, and another attached to it, which, together with “the old hall, curiously timbered with Irish oak,” was then remaining. These old buildings were not long ago pulled down, and a farm-house built on the site with the materials. Talgrogan, in this manor, was some time the seat of a younger branch of the Prideaux family. Lysons.]

For the name of this parish (Allen), Alfred the Saxon grammarian and Verstegan tell us that it is plain Saxon, and is the common contraction of Alwyn, all-beloved, 18 or beloved of all, and for St. Allen church must be construed as the holy or consecrated church, beloved of all Christians, which perhaps was the old name of that little ancient chapel, now the minister’s chancel, to which in after ages the present church of St. Allen was annexed; however, let it be remembered also, that in Armoric-Cornish, St. Alan or Allen is holy breath or respiration, or gift of speech.

Treon-ike, Saxon-Cornish, trees on the lake, or spring leate, or bosom of waters, in this parish, is the dwelling of James Borlase, Gent. who married Hobbs, and his father Cooke’s heir, by whom he had this place; and giveth for his arms in a field Ermine, on a bend Sable two hands issuing out of two clouds, or nebules, tearing of a horseshoe in sunder Argent (see St. Wenn). Otherwise, Tre-on-ike is the town or tenement situate on the lake or river of water.

[Mr. Hals here relates a story of some child being missed by his parents and afterwards found; imputing the temporary loss to supernatural agency, perhaps of fairies, usually denominated in Cornwall “The Small People, or Piskies.”]

From the inferior officers of this church, the sexton and clerk, or sub-deacon tempore James I. have sprung two notable rich and eminent families in those parts, of justice of the peace and senators or parliamentary degree; viz. Tregeagle and Vincent; viz. Vincent from the clerk of Resheafe, and Tregeagle from the sexton of Bosvallack, of whom more in their proper places; the one burgess or member of Parliament for Truro, the other for Mitchell, whose sons by ill conduct have wasted and sold all their lands, tempore George II.

In this parish, at Tretheris, is yet extant the walls and ruins of an ancient free chapel and cemetery, wherein heretofore God was duly worshipped, built perhaps by the Bishops of Cornwall and Exon, when they resided at Lanher aforesaid contiguous therewith.



Partly in this parish is the great lordship of Gwairnick, id est, the Hay River; a name not unsuitable to the circumstances of the place, for a pleasant river passeth through most fertile meadows beneath the house.

This place was the seat of the Bevill family, whose ancestor came into England with the Norman Duke, and was an officer under William Earl of Morton and Cornwall. One of his posterity married a Gwairnick heiress, and so it became the seat of the Bevills for about ten descents; and then, for want of issue male, this lordship, with other fair lands, descended to the two daughters of the last gentleman of that name, who were married to Grenville of Stow and to Arundell of Trerice.

The manor of Boswellick, which I take to signify the house by the mill-river, upon the division of Bevill’s estates between Grenville and Arundell, this fell to Grenville, who sold it to Sir Richard Roberts, of Truro. This gentleman, afterwards Lord Roberts, was in possession of the estate towards the latter part of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, for his son John Roberts, first Earl of Radnor, was nursed here by Mrs. Tregeagle, the daughter of Degory Polwhele, Esq. and wife of John Tregeagle, Gent. who held a lease of this estate from Sir Richard Roberts. And this was the rise of the Tregeagles; for John Tregeagle, their son, being foster-brother to the said Earl, was afterwards by him made his chief steward, and brought forwards in the world. [The heiress of Tregeagle brought the lease to the Cleathers, who continued to possess it for several generations. The manor is now the property of John Thomas, esq. Vice-Warden of the Stannaries, by purchase from the representatives of the Robartes family. Lysons.]

Adjoining to this barton is Nancarrow; and this being the first occasion for noticing the adjunct word 20 “carrow,” I shall be somewhat the more prolix in discussing of it. Karo, or Caro, signifying in Cornish a hart or deer, Nancarrow has generally been considered to be the deer’s valley, and Pencarrow the head of the deer; but how improperly let any one guess who sees these places. I rather take Carrow therefore to be softening of Karrog, a brook or rivulet, so as to signify, in this instance, the valley of brooks; and in Pencarrow, the head of the brooks. Nancarrow was formerly inhabited by a family of that name, one of whom was stannitor for Blackmore in the Convocation of 13th Elizabeth. It passed by sale to the Borlases of Treludra, and from them to the Scawns. [It now belongs to Mr. Oliver Adams Carveth. Lysons.]

Adjoining to the barton of Gwerick, which means simply “on the river,” is a tenement called the Gerras, that is, “the summit or top,” from its high situation; which I notice in this place on account of its lead mines.

Trerice in this parish belonged to a younger branch of the Arundells of Trerice in Newlyn; from whom it is said to have been wrested not very fairly, by an attorney, Mr. John Coke. The estate now belongs to Lord Falmouth.

Near to Trerice is Trefronick, contracted, as I believe, from Tre-vor-in-ick,—“the dwelling in the way to the rivulet.” This also belonged to the Arundells; passed to John Coke, from him to Borlase, and from Borlase to Kempe.

Adjoining is Talcarne—“the high heap of rocks of stones.” Tal properly signifies the forehead, and hence any high or eminent thing; whereas Tol, often confounded with it, means a hole.


The principal villages in this parish are Lane and Zela or Zealla, through which the high road from 21 Exeter to the Land’s-End passed, before the present turnpike road was made. The antient mile-stones remain, and a house at Zelah is still called the Tavern.


Nothing satisfactory appears to be ascertained respecting the name of this parish; nor does the anniversary of the Feast afford any clue, as it is celebrated on Rogation Sunday, that is on the Sunday before Easter.

St. Allen contains 3493 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the real property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 2468 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 388 19 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase of population on a hundred, in thirty years 76.9, or 77 per cent.

Present Rector, Rev. Nicholas Dyer, instituted in 1794.


To the geologist this parish does not afford many interesting objects. It is, however, more favourable than the last to agriculture; although it contains several tracts of barren ground of the same nature as Prince’s Common, which will be described in another place. Its rocks are not distinctly characterised, being situated on the transition between the porphyritic and the calcareous groups of slate formation.

[8] William of Worcester describes the Bishop’s castle here as dilapidated temp. Edw. IV.

[9] The church of St. Allen was given to the college of Glaveney by Bishop Stapleton, and appropriated to the vicars of that college in 1314. Rot. Pat. 8 Edw. II. p. 2. m. 15.



Altar Nun is situate in the hundred of Lesnewth, and hath upon the north Davidstow and St. Cleather, south part of Northill and Lawanack, east Trewenn, west Temple, 22 and was taxed in Domesday Roll either under the name Trewint, Treuint, the spring, fountain, or well town, situate upon the fens or springs, otherwise under the jurisdiction of Trewen. In the inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester aforesaid, 1294, this church was rated to the Pope’s first-fruits, Ecclesia de Altar Nun, in Decanatu de Lesnewith viiil.. the vicar xls.. In Wolsey’s inquisition 1521, temp. Hen. VIII. 18l. 14s. 10d.; the patronage in the Dean and Chapter of Exon, who endowed it; the incumbent Hatton. This parish was rated to the 4s. per pound Land-tax 1696, 204l. 16s.

For the modern name of this church, Mr. Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, is of opinion it is derived from the Altar of St. Nun’s Pool in this parish, heretofore much frequented for the cure of mad people, the manner of which cure is set down by him, liber ii. p. 123, (p. 289 of Lord Dunstanville’s edition,) but, for my own part, I conceive the word Altar in this place is not to be construed as a derivative from altare, an altar, whereon offerings or sacrifice was made to God by fire or otherwise at this pool; but rather, as I am better informed, the chancel of the present church was a chapel pertaining to the nuns or nunnery once here, afterwards augmented and converted to a vicarage church as it now stands; and that the ground whereon the vicarage house is now extant. Contiguous therewith was of old the nunnery-house itself, wherein those virgins resided; the stones and materials of which old house are concerted in the new vicarage brave mansion, and, to prove this tradition, there yet appears in the fields the channel or water-course wherein the waters of St. Nun’s Pool was carried into this old nunnery-house in former ages.

So that I conclude the name Altar Nun must be interpreted as a corruption of or derivative from Alter-Nun, to alter or change from one thing to another, from that of a nunnery of religious votaresses, to that 23 of a parochial and vicarage church, from whence the same hath its present denomination, as aforesaid.

In this parish stands the barton of Tre-lawn-y, id est, the oak grove town, or, “I am the oak grove town,” a name at first given and taken from the natural circumstances of the place, situate between two hills, then notable for woods or groves of oak timber. Though now there is not left standing any house or trees to countenance this etymology, yet I have been told by some of the inhabitants of this parish, that tradition saith the greatest part of the stones that built the present church and tower of Altar Nun, were brought from the dilapidated walls of Trelawny, and much of the oak timber that roofs the same was also cut and carried from that barton.

From this place was denominated that old and famous family of gentlemen surnamed Trelawney, now baronets, as I was informed by my very kind friend Coll. John Trelawney, of Trelawney, deceased, and that one Sir William de Trelawney, lord of this place, suffered it to go in marriage with his base daughter to ——, from whose heirs, by descent or purchase, it came to Cloberry Hickes, and —— now in possession thereof, and is now set for about 70l. per ann. The arms of those Trelawneys were, in a field Argent, a chevron Sable between three oak-leaves Vert, probably in allusion to the leaves of that sort of timber whereof this lawne consisted.

In this parish, tempore Charles II. lived Peter Jowle or Joull, id est, Peter the Divell, under clerk or deacon of this church, who was 150 and odd years old when he died, and at the age of 100 years had new black hairs that sprung forth on his head amongst those that long before were white with age; and then also new teeth grew up in his jaws in the places of those that many years before were fallen out of his head. [The name of Joll is still extant in the village; and the family have 24 been remarkable for longevity; but we cannot learn that any tradition exists relating to Peter Joll, nor does his name appear in the register. Lysons.] Fuller tells us, that John Sands, of Horborne in Staffordshire, lived 140 years old, and his wife 120, he died 1625. Thomas Parr lived 153 years old, and is buried in Westminster Abbey, tempore Charles II. It is reported of Zamkees, the Samothracian, that after he had lived 104 years, new young teeth sprung up in his jaws in the room of those that were fallen out long before. Henry Brenton, of St. Wenn, weaver, lived 103 years old, and died tempore George I.

This parish hath in it tin loads and streams.


It is obvious to any one, that the name of this parish can signify no other than an Altar or church dedicated to St. Nunne; which St. Nunne, being in some accounts called Naunita or Nannites, and in others Novita, is (as Leland tells us) said to have been the daughter of an Earl of Cornwall, and mother of St. David, the famous Archbishop of Menevia, from him called St. David’s.


St. Nun is stated to have been the mother of St. David. About a mile from the cathedral of St. David’s are the remains of a chapel, near a consecrated pool or well, dedicated to St. Nun, where trifling oblations are said to be still made. This coincidence of the two pools is curious, although I do not find that the water at Menevia has the virtue of curing insanity. The account given by Mr. Carew of the practice at Altar Nun is as follows:

“The water running from St. Nun’s well fell into a square and inclosed walled plot, which might be filled at what depth they listed. Upon this wall was the frantic person set to stand, his back towards the pool; 25 and from thence, with a sudden blow in the breast, tumbled headlong into the pond; where a strong fellow, provided for the nonce, took him, and tossed him up and down, alongst and athwart the water, till the patient, by foregoing his strength, had somewhat forgot his fury. Then was he conveyed to the church and certain masses sung over him; upon which handling, if his right wits returned, St. Nun had the thanks; but if there appeared small amendment, he was bowssened again and again, while there remained in him any hope of life or recovery.”

The second of March is dedicated to St. Nun, and said formerly to be observed throughout Wales, as was the third to St. Lily, surnamed Gwas-Dewy, David’s men.

This parish is the largest in Cornwall. It measures 12,770 statute acres. The principal villages are Tredawl, Trethym, Treween, and Trewint. At Five-Lanes, in this parish, are fairs for all sorts of cattle, on the Monday week after June 24th, and the first Tuesday in November. The tower of Alternon church, which is said to be the highest in the county except Probus, was much damaged by storms in 1791 and 1810.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the real property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 6147 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 497 18 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase of population on each hundred in thirty years, 57.44, or 57½ per cent.


The western and south-western parts of this extensive parish are composed of granite and of hornblend rocks, which surround the former, and recline upon them. This portion is in every respect similar to the parish of Advent. At Trewint a very fine compact felspar occurs, imbedded in green stone; and proceeding eastward on the 26 Launceston road, hornblend slate prevails, and affords a very fertile soil. Descending the hill to Pellaphant, masses of compact rock protrude from beneath the soil. They are composed of compact felspar, aggregated with lamellar hornblend, forming a kind of sienite. But the most interesting object in this parish is to be found a little to the north of this last place, on the side of the hill sloping down to the river Inny. It is a magnesian rock, and it is quarried for building-stones, yielding large blocks, which are sufficiently soft at the time of their being raised, to allow of their being cut through by a common handsaw. A considerable quantity of this stone has been used in building a very large house, denominated a cottage by the Duke of Bedford, at Ensleigh, on the eastern bank of the Tamma. The stone appears, however, to have one bad quality: the surface, after a slight disintegration from exposure to the atmosphere, becomes covered over with ocherous spots, owing to the presence of a scaly mineral resembling diallage, which is disseminated through the rock. This magnesian rock has all the characters of pitstones, the lapis ollaris of the ancients; and it is a curious circumstance, that on opening some old workings near this place, several antique vessels were found resembling pipkins and shallow pans made out of this material.

The immediate connection of this bed of ollareous serpentine with the adjacent rocks, is not disclosed; but it is succeeded by talc ore, slate, and limestone, on the other side of the river.



St. Anthony in Powder is situate in the hundred of Powder; and hath upon the east Gerance and St. Just; north, Carike road, or part of Falmouth harbour; upon the south and west the British Channel. 27 In Domesday Roll there is no such parish or district charged as St. Anthony, neither therein had any church in Cornwall the appellation of Saint given to it, except St. Wene or St. Wena. But this district was then taxed under the jurisdiction of Treligan or Tregeare, and obtained not the name of St. Anthony till the year of our Lord 1124, at which time William Warlewast, Bishop of Exon, founded here a church, and dedicated it to St. Anthony, having before dissolved the dean and four prebendaries in the collegiate church founded at Plympton in Devon by the Saxon kings, and in the room thereof erected a priory of Black Canons (and dedicated the same to the Virgin Mary): who also in this church of St. Anthony erected a priory or cell of two Black Canons, canons regular or Augustines, under the same tutelar guardian as its superior, so called from St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Africa, who died in the 4th century, and was institutor of their rule; viz. 1. to live in common as the Apostles did, on the stock revenues or endowment of their church. 2. That all such as received baptism should for several days wear a white garment in token of their new birth. 3. That all priests should wear a black cassock over their white garment, as himself did; such afterwards became the habit of his order, whether collegiate or hermits. 5. Over their sculls he appointed a hood or scapular of the same black cloth as their cloaks, and the hair of their heads to be worn at full length, whereas the monks were always shaved. 6. He gave a liturgy or rule to be observed by those of his order in time of divine service (whereas before every one in a monastery served God, prayed, and fasted, as they best liked). 7. To live single persons, without marriage. This Priory was called St. Mary de Vall or de Valle, to distinguish it from St. Mary de Plym in Devon, so named from the rivers on which they are situate. This priory, together with its superior’s revenues, when it was dissolved, was valued at 912l. 28 12s. 8d. per ann. 26 Henry VIII. See Dugdale’s Monasticon Anglicanum.

Ecclesia de Sancto Antoni, in Rosland, 20 Edward I. was valued to the Pope’s first fruits xls. though its value be not mentioned in Valor Beneficiorum, or Wolsey’s Inquisition 1521. The patronage formerly in the Prior of Plympton, afterwards in Hals of Fentongolan, now Boscawen, its revenues being wholly impropriated. The parish rated to the 4s. per pound land tax 1696, 45l. 4s.

St. Anthony’s name is derived from ανθος (anthos) flos, a flower; and for his person, he was a native of Egypt, about the yeare of our Lord 253: a most strict and severe Christian, that lived a retired and hermetical and begging life in the deserts thereof.

Plase, Place, id est, in Cornish a palace, was heretofore the mansion and dwelling of the prior and his two black canons, erected here as aforesaid. This house and barton is now in possession of Arthur George Sprye, Esq. that married Bullock; his father Martyn; his grandfather Heale, his great-grandfather, of Blisland, attorney-at-law, married ——. He gives for his arms, in a field Azure, two bars and in chief a chevron Or. The name Spry, Sprey, Spray, is Cornish, and signifies a sprout, branch, sprig, twig, split, or slip of any matter or thing. The name Spye I take it is local, from some place called Spye in Devon.

This promontory of land, commonly called St. Anthony point, which on the east side boundeth Falmouth harbour from the British Ocean, not only from the name of the priory here St. Mary de Vall aforesaid, but from the natural circumstances of the place, I take to be the Valuba or Valubia of Ptolemy, which consisteth of a compound of two British words Val and Ubia, which signifies the Vale point or promontory, or the point or promontory of land that bounds or terminates the river Val as aforesaid. Note also, that in British Cornish, B, V, and F, are letters indifferently used one 29 for the other; so that Falubia and Valubia are synonymous words. Otherwise, Val-eba is the ebbing or reflux of the river Val.


In this parish lies the manor of Bohurtha, or Boswartha. The higher house or dwelling under Boswartha, is situated on a small creek of a sea, a small place called Porth: this belongs to the family of Spry. The land immediately beyond it, being covered with sand, is known by the name of Tower, which is common to all like places along the coast.


Mr. Hals states St. Anthony, the hermit of Egypt, to be the patron Saint of this parish, and of the other two known by the same name. This St. Anthony is the reputed founder of the ascetic Anchorites, from whose assemblies in after times, monks, and subsequently friars, or begging monks, derive their origin. He is said to have lived from the year 251 to the year 356; to have been the friend of St. Athanasius, and to have held some correspondence with Emperor Constantine. But as the two western points form part of the sea coast, and the third is situated on a navigable river, it seems to be most probable that they are all dedicated to the more popular Saint in modern times, St. Anthony of Padua, the universal patron of fishermen.

This St. Anthony was a native of Lusitania, having been born at Lisbon in 1195, and christened Ferdinand, which name he laid aside for that of Anthony, in honour of the Egyptian hermit, on his entering into the order of St. Francis. His long residence at Padua is said to have procured for him the cognomen of that place, but the addition of Padua is much more likely to have derived its origin from the locality of his legendary miracle. Actuated by the spirit of fanaticism common in those times, St. Anthony endeavoured to conceal and to render useless all the learning and all the powers of eloquence 30 which he had previously acquired as a canon regular of St. Austin at Lisbon, and during a residence of eight years with the same order at Coimbra. Having become a friar, he employed himself as a menial in the kitchen, or in sweeping the cells, till an accident discovered to the superiors the value and importance of their newly acquired brother. The intelligence was conveyed to St. Francis, the renowned founder of the Friars Minors, from whom a letter to our Saint is preserved:

“To my most dear brother Anthony, Friar Francis wisheth health in Jesus Christ. It seemeth good to me, that you should read sacred Theology to the friars; yet so that you do not prejudice yourself by too great earnestness in studies; and be careful that you do not extinguish in yourself or in them the spirit of holy prayer.”

All the accounts remaining of St. Anthony agree in representing him to posterity as an example of learning, of piety, and of zeal. These qualities, possessed however in common with thousands of others, would have failed to make his name known to after times, if a legend had not established his fame as a Saint, and elevated him to the high station of protector and patron of fishermen all over the Christian world.

The legend may be best conveyed in the poetry of Dr. Darwin:

So when the Saint from Padua’s graceless land,
In silent anguish sought the barren strand,
High on the shatter’d beach sublime he stood,
Still’d with his waving arm the babbling flood;
“To man’s dull ear,” he cry’d, “I call in vain,
Hear me, ye scaly tenants of the main!”
Misshapen seals approach in circling flocks,
In dusky mail the tortoise climbs the rocks,
Torpedoes, sharks, rays, turbots, dolphins, pour
Their twinkling squadrons round the glittering shore;
With tangled fins, behind, huge phocæ glide,
And whales, and grampi swell the distant tide.
Then kneel’d the hoary Seer, to Heaven address’d
His fiery eyes, and smote his sounding breast,
“Bless ye the Lord!” with thundering voice he cry’d;
“Bless ye the Lord!” the bending shores reply’d;
The winds and waters caught the sacred word,
And mingling echoes shouted, “Bless the Lord!”
The listening shoals the quick contagion feel,
Pant on the floods, inebriate with their zeal,
Ope their wide jaws, and bow their slimy heads,
And dash with frantic fins their foamy beds.

The parish feasts do not serve in these parishes to indicate the patron saint.

Anthony in Kerrier has its feast on the Sunday nearest St. Stephen’s day, December 26th.

Anthony in Powder on the Sunday nearest to the 10th of August.

Anthony in East has not any feast.

The day consecrated to St. Anthony of Egypt is January the 17th; to St. Anthony of Padua June the 13th.

The measurement of this parish is 571 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property as returned to Parliament in 1815 1050 0 0
Poor Rates in 1831 108 15 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831

Decrease on a hundred in thirty years 8.83, or somewhat less than nine per cent.


St. Anthony is situated in the calcareous group of the slate formation, and is composed of a glossy blue and fine grained slate, which alternates with a coarse blue rock abounding in scales of mica, and is more or less lamellar according to its proportion of this mineral: this compact rock readily disintegrates, assuming various yellowish tints, and an arenaceous appearance; indeed, it is seldom seen but in that condition, and it has therefore been sometimes mistaken by geologists for a variety of sand-stone.

At Porth there is a narrow neck of land, on the upper part of which lies a sandbank abounding in perfect shells, which are arranged in layers, and appear similar to those of the adjacent beach. This bank is at least thirty 32 feet above high water-mark, and it is covered with a stratum of earth in cultivation. The sand is silicious, and becomes in the lower part intermixed with pebbles, resembling in this respect the banks on the shores of Mount’s Bay. This affords an example of an ancient beach elevated above the one now in existence. The whole coast of Cornwall furnishes numerous instances of this occurrence, and the former beach is uniformly at the same elevation above that actually in existence, indicating that the sea must, at some former period, have joined the land at a line now higher than the present beach by that difference.



St. Anthony hath upon the north St. German’s Creek; south, St. John’s; east, Tamesworth Haven, or Saltash River, with part of Sheviock. This parish is situate in the hundred of Eastwell-shire, so called from Mark’s-Well, in Landrake, that is to say, the Earl’s well, viz. the Earl of Cornwall’s well, perhaps by some of those princes founded, and accordingly from them denominated, who were originally lord of all the Cornish cantreds. At the time of the Conqueror’s tax, as I said before, there was no such district charged therein as Anthony; so that this parish or tract of land then was rated either under the names of Abbi-town, now St. German’s or Cudan-Beke. In the Pope’s inquisition into the value of benefices in Cornwall, 20 Edward I. 1294, Ecclesia de Antoni, in decanatu de Eastwellshire, was rated to first fruits vil. In Wolsey’s inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, 12l. 17s. 6d. the patronage in ——; the incumbent Taylor. The rectory, or sheaf, in possession of ——. This 33 parish was rated to the 4s. per pound land tax, 1696, 244l. 4s.

East Anthony, in this parish, is the dwelling of the ancient and famous family of gentlemen, the Carews, now Baronets; which lands descended to them by marriage from one of the daughters of Sir Edward Courtney, Knt. of Boconock, whose mother was Philippa, the sole daughter and heir (or one of the coheirs) of Sir Warren Archdeacon, Knt. of this place, a person and family of great fame and estate in former ages; for thus it is recorded that Thomas Archdeacon, of this place, was Sheriff of Cornwall 7th Edward II. Walter L’erch-Deacon was also Sheriff of Cornwall 6th Rich. II. 1383. Which family gave for their arms, in a field Argent, three chevronels Sable, which was lately extant in the glass windows of Leskeard church.

From Sir Nicholas Baron Carew’s fourth son, Alexander, by the aforesaid Jone Courteney (he is called Baron St. Carew, for that he was summoned by writ, and by that name to sit in Parliament 3d Edward IV. as a Baron), the gentlemen ever since, and him now in possession of this lordship, are lineally descended. The said Alexander Carew, Esq. was Sheriff of Cornwall 3d Henry VII. His son, John Carew, Esq. was Sheriff of Cornwall 6th Henry VIII. His grandson, Richard Carew, Esq. author of the Survey of Cornwall, was Sheriff thereof the 24th of Elizabeth; whose son, Richard Carew, Esq. was, by letters patents bearing date the 9th of August, 17th Charles I. 1641, created the 278th Baronet of England; whose son or brother, Sir Alexander Carew, was executed for pretended treason against the Parliament of England, about endeavouring to deliver up to Kinge Charles the Island of Plymouth, whereof he was Governor, 23d Dec. 1644. His son, Sir John Carew, Baronet, was one of the Shire Knights of this County 1660, who died about the year 1686, and left issue by ——, daughter of Sir William 34 Morrice, Knt. Sir Richard Carew, Bart. and William his brother.

Mr. John Carew, son or brother of Sir Alexander last mentioned, was executed as one of the Regicides of King Charles I. 1661. Mr. Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, p. 65, (p. 180 of Lord Dunstanville’s edition,) tells us that his first ancestor came out of France with William the Conqueror, by the name of Karrow. In the same book, p. 103, (p. 246 of Lord Dunstanville,) he said that Carew, of ancient Carru, was, and Carrue is, a plough in French; but then it should have been written Carue, or Charoue; and to countenance this opinion of this family’s French descent, Camden, in his Remains, p. 143, tells us that the same holds by tradition, I know not how truly, that Adam, or rather Arnold de Montgomery, marrying the daughter of Carew of Molesford, her son, relinquishing his own name, left to his posterity his mother’s name, Carew, from whome the Carews of Surrey, Devon, and Cornwall, are descended. Contrary to this opinion, Prince, in his Worthies of Devon, p. 148, saith that Walter de Windsor, about the time of the Norman Conquest, a Norman Frenchman, (as some say Governor, Castellan, Constable, or Steward of Windsor Castle, son of that Otho, that came in with William the Conqueror,) had issue William and Gerald his sons, who styled themselves after the mode of that age, William and Gerald of Windsor from the places of their residence, or for that they were born there; from William, the Lord Windsor is descended, and from Gerald, the Fitz-Geralds Earls of Kildare, and the Carews of England. Gerald of Windsor was Steward or Castellan of the Castle of Pembrook, of Carew, in Wales, upon whom King Henry I. bestowed Molesford, in Berkshire; he married Nesta, daughter of Rosse, Prince of South Wales, to whom the said King gave the Castle of Carew in those parts; Gerald had issue by Nesta, Otho de Windsor, 35 who had issue William de Windsor or Carew, to whom King John, by deed dated 1212, made a further grant of Molesford, reciting the former deed of King Henry I. to his grandfather. So that this William was the first of this family that assumed the name of Carew. Thus Prince again, the author of the Antiquities of Oxford, is positive that this family of Carew was denominated from Castle Carew, in Pembrokeshire, and not otherwise. Thus God in his providence, to check our presumptious inquisitions and pretensions, hath wrapped all things in uncertainty, bars us from long antiquity, and bounds our search within the compass of some few ages, scarcely affording any true record of pedigrees or descents as far back as the Norman Conquest, whatsoever to the contrary is by some men and families pretended.

Lastly, as this family was denominated from one of their ancestors being Constable or Castellan of the Castle of Carew, in Pembrokeshire, for carew doth not signify a plough in British, for ardar, aradr, arar, is a plough in Welsh, Cornish, and Armoric, and kaer, caer, is a castle or fortified place. Carew, caer-ew, care-eff, is he, his, or her, Castle, as ipie, ipea, ipeum. See Ffloyd. Caer-eau, British Saxon, is a castle or fortified place of water, referring perhaps to the medical or purgative waters there.

As Mr. Carew saith his family was denominated from one Carrow or Karrow that came into England with William the Conqueror, so I must tell you that there was in Cornwall and Devon, not long since, a genteel family surnamed Carrow (id est, deer) who gave for their armes, as appears from Nich. Upton’s Latin manuscript book of Heraldry, before printing was invented, now in my custody, dated 1444, in those words, “Monsieur Joh’is de Carrow, port d’or iii lyons passant sable,” which is now the arms of those gentlemen before-mentioned, named Carew. Care-w, after the English Cornish, is he, his, or her care, watchfulness, or circumspection.

36 In this parish or manor, as I take it, stands Intsworth, alias Inis-worth, synonymous words signifying an island of worth, price, or value, viz. a peninsular formed by rivers of water, which leaves between them an angled or three-cornered promontory of land, called in British inis, signifying the same as amnicus mediamnis in Latin. See Gluvias. This place, before the Norman Conquest, was the land of Condura and Cradock, Earls of Cornwall, by one of whose daughters or granddaughters, Agnes, it came by marriage to Reginald Fitz-Harry, base son of King Henry I. by Anne Corbet; who, in her right, long after William Earl of Cornwall, of the Norman race, forfeited the same to the King by attainder of treason, was made Earl thereof, from whose heirs it passed to the Dunstanvills and Valletorts; and by Valletort’s daughter Joan, the widow of Sir Alexander Oakston, Knt. who turned concubine to Richard Earl of Cornwall, King of the Romans, who had by her a sole daughter named Joan, married to Richard Champernowne, a second —— Champernowne, of Clift Champernowne, in Devon, in whose posterity it remained till Henry VII.’s days, when, his issue male failing, his three daughters and heirs were married to Monk, Fortescue, and Trevillian, from some of whose heirs it came by purchase to Edward Nosworthy, Esquire, Member of Parliament for Saltash, son of Edward Nosworthy, merchant and shopkeeper in Truro, temp. Charles II. who married Hill of that place, as his son aforesaid did Maynard and Jennings. The arms of Nosworthy are (see St. Stephen’s by Saltash). The name Nos-worthy signifies a “night of worth,” price or value so called, for that the first propagater thereof was born by night, or was notable for some profitable fact done at that season. And John Nosworthy was steward of Exon 1521.



East Anthony. Mr. Carew hath given a full account how this manor came to his family (p. 244 of Lord Dunstanville’s edition); I shall therefore only take notice here that the present Lord of East Anthony, so called in respect of its situation from the church, is Sir William Carew, a gentleman that in every respect comes up to the merits of the greatest of his ancestors. He married the Lady Anne Coventry, only daughter and heir of Gilbert Earl of Coventry, by whom he hath one son, Coventry Carew, Esq. He had also a daughter, Anne, who died in the bloom of her age. Sir William Carew hath lately built a stately house here of Penteran stone; and hath adorned it with gardens, &c. suitable to it. From the bowling-green above the house is a beautiful prospect of the river, and of all the country round.

Thanks, in this parish; perhaps from Angosa conspectus, sight through Angosa, the sight or view as lying open to the river. This was formerly the seat of a family, Searle, who gave for their arms, Argent, a chevron Sable, between three birds Azure, with breasts, bills, and legs Gules. Thanks now belongs to Thomas Graves, Esq. who hath been for several years a captain of a man-of-war. [Ancestor of the present Lord Graves.]


I may repeat the words of Mr. Tonkin, in respect to the Right Hon. Reginald Pole Carew, the present possessor of East Anthony in right of his mother (1832)—“He is a gentleman that in every respect comes up to the merits of the greatest of his ancestors.”

This parish measures 2,903 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 6,361 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1832 994 1 0

In the church is a monumental tablet to Richard 38 Carew, author of the Survey of Cornwall; several other memorials to the Carew family; and an elegant monumental brass of Margery Arundell, lady of the manor of East Anthony, who died in 1428.

in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase on an hundred in 30 years 72.65, or about 72⅔ per cent.

Present Incumbent, the Rev. Duke Yonge, presented by R. P. Carew, Esq. in 1806.

Dr. Boase states that the geology of this parish includes the same group of rocks as those found in the western St. Anthony, although the two parishes are so remote from each other, and separated by such ranges of hills. The slate is, however, more coarse and argillaceous in this parish, and the massive rocks imbedded therein are more compact, and almost entirely quartzose. The whole formation is evidently more remote from the granite.



St. Anthony in Kerrier is situate in the hundred of Helston and Kerrier, West Louer or Consort, and hath upon the east the harbour of Helfon, north Manackan, west St. Kevorne, south the British Channel. This parish, as those before of this name, are not mentioned in the Domesday tax, neither do I know under what title it then passed. In the Pope’s Inquisition, as to the value of its first fruits, 20 Edward I. 1294, Eccles’ de S’cto Antony in Decanatu de Kerryar, is rated iiiil. xiiis. iiiid. the vicar thereof xiiis. iiiid. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1541, £4. 15s. 11d. The patronage in the Bishop of Exon for the time 39 being, whose predecessors endowed it; the incumbent Edwards; the Rectory or Sheaf in possession of ——; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound land tax, 1696, £66. 12s. And the tutelar guardian of this Church is St. Anthony before-mentioned.

Tre-woth-ike in this parish, “the town of the known or familiar cove, creek, or bosom of waters” (Tre-werh-ike or ick, is evidently the town, on the water, or cree,—Editor;) alias Tre-wood-ike, “the town of the wood creek or bosom of waters,” was formerly the lands of Tre-gow (id est, “the wood town,” in or about those parts) gentlemen that flourished here for several generations in good fame and credit till about the middle of the reign of King Charles II. when Mr. Tregoze sold this lordship to John Vaughan, of Ottery, in Devon, Esq. who married Drew, his father Hals of Efford, sister to Sir Nich. Hals, Knt., his grandfather ——, and giveth for his arms, in a field, —— three boars heads erased. The arms of Tregose were, Azure, two bars gemelles, in chief a lion passant Or, langued Gules, which name and tribe I think is now quite extinct.

Roscruge or Rossereige Burough, in this parish (id. est, the valley and promontory or highland, tumulus or burying place) gave name and original to a family of gentlemen now or lately in possession thereof, who gave for their arms ——. Otherwise Roscrugh, may be interpreted as the valley or covered tumulus for or of music.

In this parish are the two camps or treble intrenchments of our ancestors the Britains, called Denis and Great Denis or Dunes, words of two import, signifying the great castle and the little castle, fort, fortress, or fortified place, wherein the inhabitants heretofore posted themselves for their safety against foreign invaders. See St. Colomb Major.



By this church is a small promontory of land running out into the sea, which, from its resemblance to Pendinas, is called the Little Dinas. It was formerly fortified, and had some guns planted upon it to secure the entrance of Hailford harbour, which not being very broad it well may command. And in time of wars, it were very convenient there should be still some guns there, for the safety of the ships that trade to and again in this harbour, which, as the case now stands, may be easily carried off by privateers. Thus much may be said for the honour of this place—it was the last which held out for King Charles in Cornwall;[10] for, after the taking of Pendinas, it sustained a siege of several weeks, and at last was forced to surrender for want of ammunition.


The measurement of this parish is 1265 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 2095 3 0
Amount of Poor Rate in 1831 186 0 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase on an hundred in 30 years 14.9, or very nearly 15 per cent.

On an estate near the churchyard, celled Lantenny, foundations of buildings and remains of human bodies have been found; the presumed relics of a cell of black monks of Angiers, belonging to the priory of Tywardreth, which existed at this place as early as the reign of Richard I. Lysons.

Dr. Boase remarks that the rocks of this parish are precisely similar to the rocks of St. Anthony in Powder, 41 on the other side of Falmouth Harbour; and that it is a very curious circumstance that three parishes of the same name should be all based on the same kind of rocks, notwithstanding their being situated at a considerable distance from each other, and respectively belonging to distinct groups of granite.

[10] Except, says Lysons, the Mount and Pendennis Castle. Little Dinas was surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax in March 1646.



St. Austell is situate in the hundred of Powder, and hath upon the north Roach, east St. Blaze, west Mewan, south the British Channel; in Domesday Roll, 1087, the modern name of this parish was not extant, but the same and the districts of St. Blazy, Mewan, and Menagnissy, passed then in tax under the jurisdiction of Earl Cradock’s manor of Towington, now duchy, Treverbyn, Trenance, and Pentewan. Note further, that, if Saint Austell be a corruption of Sancto Hostell, it signifies the holy inn or court.

The Prior of Tywardreth, with divers other benefactors, as appears from the carving and inscriptions on the stones thereof, founded and endowed this church, within the town of Trenance, now St. Austell Town, after which it was indifferently written Trenance Prior (Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, p. 57), that is to say, the valley town prior (or pertaining to him) and again by him Trenance Austell (id est, the cell, chapel or hole, valley town); and again, Tre-nance Aus-tell (id est, the valley town out, or remote cell or chapel) so called in respect of Tywardreth, its superior or mother church. The patronage now in the King; the incumbent Tremayne; the rectory or sheaf 42 in May. In the Bishop of Lincoln and Winchester’s Inquisition into the Pope’s Value of Benefices in Cornwall, 1294, Ecclesia de Sancto Austello in Decanatu de Powdre, was rated to first fruits xl. xiiis. iiiid. The vicar xls. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, £21. This parish was charged to the 4s. per pound land tax, 1696, £432. 6s. (See Tywardreth.)

From this place was denominated an old family of gentlemen surnamed De Austell, of which family William de Austell was Sheriff of Cornwall 25 Henry VI. as also of Somerset and Dorset 27 and 28 of King Henry VI.; who gave for his arms, Argent, a saltire raguled Vert, but in what families the name, blood, and estate of those gentlemen are terminated I know not, or where they dwelt. At the town of St. Austell, alias Trenance, is weekly held upon Friday a considerable market, wherein is vended all commodities necessary for the life of man at a reasonable price.[11] Its also privileged 10th fairs or greater marts, on the 30th of November, Palm Sunday, and Thursday after Whitsunday, which benefits were doubtless first obtained from the Earls of Cornwall, by the Priors of Tywardreth aforesaid.

Treverbyn, alias Tre-verbin, in this parish, was the voke lands of considerable manor long before the Norman Conquest, as appears from the Domesday tax aforesaid (it signifies in Cornish the herb, rape, root, or navew town, famous it seems in former ages for those vegetables,) from which place was denominated that old and knightly family of the Treverbins (who had there free chapel and burying place here lately extant), and of public use before the Church of St. Austell was erected; of which house was Walter Treverbyn, Sheriff of Cornwall 1223, the successor of Reginald de Valletort 7 Henry III. who had issue Sir Walter Treverbyn, 43 Knight, who had a daughter married, named Katherine, to Peter Prideaux, of Boswithgye in Luxsillian 10th Edward II. From this Walter also lineally descended Sir Hugh Treverbyn, Knight, tempore Henry VI. whose two daughters and heirs were married to Edward Courtenay, of Boconnock or Haccomb, in Devon, and Trevannion, of Caryhays, in whom the name, blood, and estate of those Treverbins ended. But Henry Courtenay, Marquess of Exon, and Earl of Devon, forfeited one moiety of those lands to the Crown by attainder of treason against that butcher of the branches of the house of York, Henry VIII.; so that the same is now in copartnery between the King of England and Trevanion.

Penrice, alias Penric, in this parish, (id est, head jurisdiction or dominion) perhaps heretofore, if not now, the voke lands of some manor (otherwise it must be interpreted the head or chief lopping of trees, or rice, faggots) is the dwelling of my very kind friend Joseph Sawle, Esq. that married Trevanion, his father Glanvill, his grandfather Rashleigh, a gentleman notably famous for his humanity, hospitality, and charity to the poor, who giveth for his arms, Argent, a chevron between three falcons’ heads Sable. Originally, the first ancestor of this family came out of Normandy, a soldier under William the Conqueror, 1066, and in all probability he was posted in those parts, an officer under William or Robert Earls of Morton and Cornwall, some time after in those standing troops of soldiers the Conqueror kept here, in order to awe the people thereof to a submission to his dominion. For I take it beyond the records of time at Towan in this parish, and elsewhere in Devon, this family or tribe hath been extant in fame and splendor as the descendants of that Sauley or Sawle, mentioned in Battle Abbey Roll in the year above-mentioned.

Mena-Gwins, in this parish, i. e. white hills or hills 44 white, is the dwelling of Francis Scobell, Esq. (in English broom) that married one of the coheirs of Sir Joseph Tredenham, Knight, his father Carlyon’s heir, and giveth for his arms, as I take it, the same as the Scobhalls, of Devon, viz. Argent, three fleurs de lis, two and one, Gules; perhaps originally descended from that family. [At Mena-Gwins resided Richard Scobell, clerk of the Parliament to Oliver Cromwell. Lysons.]

Ros-eundle, (id est, bundle of rushes,) in this parish, is the dwelling of Charles Trubody, Gent.

At Roscorla, in this parish, (that is the promontory and fat valley of land,) is the dwelling of that old family of gentlemen from thence denominated De Roscorla. The present possessor George Roscorla, Gent. that married Bullock. [The seat of the ancient family of Roscorla has been pulled down. George Roscorla, the present representative of this decayed family, is a day-labourer at Roche. Lysons.]

Trenaran, (id est, the still lake, leat, creek, cove, or bosom of waters,) in this parish, is the dwelling of Samuel Hext, Gent. attorney at law, who by his skill and conduct in that profession, hath advanced his reputation and estate to a considerable pitch in those parts: he married Moyle of this place.

Merther in St. Austell, bordering on the sea, and joining to the Perr, was formerly the seat of the Laas, but now the lands of Hext, who in the reign of Queen Elizabeth came from Kingston, in Stuerton, Devonshire, an ancient seat of that family. His coat is, Or, a castle triple-turreted, between three battle-axes Sable.

[Mr. Hals exhibits the strong feelings of his time in the story of Laa, when he says,]

At the time of the unhappy Rebellion, when the Lord Hopton had disbanded his army, some of Fairfax’s forces entered the house at Merther, threatening to murder Mrs. Laa and the family, for being too dilatory in dressing meat for them. Mr. Laa, then riding about his 45 estate, had intimation that the rebels were in his parlour, carousing at the expense of his bacon, poultry, and strong beer. He with all possible expedition alighted at the door, enters the kitchen, which is opposite to the parlour, and being warmed with an honest zeal for his King, took down a loaded gun from the chimney-piece, and shot one of the rebels, who was at the head of the table, dead on the spot. Immediately he took horse, and rode towards the Perr, and preserved his life from the vile pursuers, being providentially well mounted, by leaping a five-barred gate, and swimming across the Perr, it being at that time high water.

In the town of St. Austell liveth Henry Hawkins, Gent. attorney at law (younger brother of Mr. Hawkins of Creed), who by his judgment, skill, care, and pains, in his calling hath exalted his fame and estate to a great degree. He married Scobell, and giveth for his arms, Argent, on a saltire Sable, five fleur de lis. His two sons by Scobell died without issue, and his daughters were married to Hoblyn, Moyle, Hext, and Hawkins, of Helston; and the youngest of that sex, with all his lands and riches, was married to Tremayne, of St. Ive, Esq.

The manor of Tow-ing-ton, alias Taw-ing-ton aforesaid, taxed in the Domesday Book, 1087, is invested with the jurisdiction of a court leet; and signifies “silence in town,” or “extraordinary silence in town,” viz. when that court sitteth; which was afterwards by King Edward III. 1336, concerted or fixed into the Duchy of Cornwall, by charter (see Lestwithell), with its appurtenances.

In this parish was born Jonathan Upcott, son of George Upcott, Gent. by Mrs. May, of High Cross, Ranger of the Parks to John Lord Robartes in Cornwall, as also in Ireland, when he was Lord Deputy there. This gentleman, having risen through various steps in the army, during the reigns of Charles II., James II. 46 and William III. commanded a company in Flanders in the great war against France under Lewis XIV. At last, being ordered to take part in a desperate assault on the French at Enghein, where the Dutch and Spanish soldiers had proved better men at their heels than at their hands, he bravely lost his life, together with the greater part of his men.

King William is said in the course of this war to have grown prodigal of Englishmen’s valour, blood, and lives, as he had before been of their money; for when any dangerous fort was to be attempted, which the Dutch and Spanish soldiers refused, he commanded the English to perform it, who, being led away by the vanity of being accounted valiant soldiers, and for the honour of the English nation, quickly undertook such direful posts, though to their own destruction.


Polruddon, the ruynes of an auntient howse somtymes the howse of John Polruddon, whoe was taken out of his bed by the Frenche in the time of Henry the 7. and caried away with violence, and then began the howse to decaye, and Penwarn, the howse of Mr. Otwell Hill, was buylded with Polruddon stones. The howse (as by the ruyns it appeareth) was a large howse, and by the arched freestone windowes which it had curiouslye wroughte, testifieth it to be for the time elegant. [Polruddon was afterwards rebuilt, and became a seat of the Scobells. It belonged to the late Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart. who was descended from that family in the female line. It is occupied as a farm house. Lysons]


The manor of Tewynton, alias Tewington, takes its name from the chief place, Tewor, which, though it generally means “heaps of sand,” cannot be so interpreted here; and much less applicable is the etymology 47 given by Mr. Hals, of “silence in town,” but Tewor means a hillock generally, so that Tewynton means, in the mixed derivation common in Cornwall from British and Saxon, “the town on a small hill.” This place was the seat of the Sowles before they removed to Penrice, and affords a quarry of excellent stone.

Pentwan, the “head of the hillocks of sand.” Lower Pentwan is situated at the mouth of the St. Austell river, which would form a pretty little port, were it not for the bar of sand made by the waste brought down from the tin-works, so that small craft only can get in, and that at spring-tides. It is a handsome village, and in good seasons great stores of fish are brought in here.

Pelniddon, “the top of the ford,” from “nyd,” a ford, was the seat of the knightly family bearing the same name.

Trenorren, which I take to be compounded of Tre-nore-en, “the town of the point,” from the Bleak Head, close by which it lies.


In Henry the Eighth’s reign, Leland described St. Austell as a poor village, nor is it mentioned as a place of any consequence either by Carew or Norden. It first rose into consequence from its vicinity to Polgooth and other considerable mines: it is now a considerable thoroughfare; the great road from Plymouth to the Land’s End was brought through it about the year 1760. The export of china clay, the decomposed or never consolidated felspar, to all the great manufactories of earthenware throughout England, affords employment to industry and to capital, in a manner more steady, and therefore more permanently beneficial, than can ever be produced by the working of mines.

To facilitate their commerce, and generally to improve the whole district, a harbour was constructed at Seaforth about forty years ago by Mr. Charles Rashleigh; 48 a gentleman who will long be remembered, as uniting strong abilities with energy of mind, and liberality as well of practice as of sentiment. His name is perpetuated in the port and in the buildings surrounding it, which have received by public acclamation the appropriate distinction of Charlestown. [The spot was formerly called Porthmear, and was too inconsiderable to be mentioned in Martyn’s map. In 1790 it contained only nine inhabitants. In consequence of the commodious harbour, the docks, and shipwrights’ yards, and the pilchard fishery established by Mr. Rashleigh, it has gradually increased to be a large village. Lysons.]

More recent inventions have suggested an iron railway from St. Austell along the descending vale to a new harbour at Puntner, The works are just now completed (1832), and they promise to add still greater facilities to commerce than those at Charlestown.

The other principal villages in this parish are Carvath, Corbean, Pentewan or Pentuan, Porthpean, Rescorla, Tregonissy, Tregorick, Trenarren, and Trethergy.

The church and town of St. Austell are well worthy of notice. The church is much decorated on its exterior surface of freestone by figures and scrolls worked on the stone; and over the south porch is an ancient inscription, KYCH INRI, never explained (engraved in Lysons, p. ccxxxii). The tower, although not so lofty as that at Probus, is perhaps more elegant in its form and proportion. The inside of the church presents a light and pleasing appearance, in consequence of the large space occupied by the windows.

The font is in the form of a bowl, carved with rude monsters, standing on a round column, and supported by four small pillars, which have monks’ heads for their capitals. It is engraved in Lysons, p. ccxxxiii.

An almshouse, with six apartments for poor persons, was erected in 1809.

49 In the Archæologia, vol. ix. pl. viii. and vol. xi. pl. vii. are engravings of a silver cup, several rings, and other pieces of jewellery, of very early workmanship, which were found, together with a coin of Burgred king of Mercia (expelled from his dominions in 874), in a stream-work in this parish, in the year 1774. They were deposited in a silver cup, which has since been used for the sacramental wine at the church; and therefore had probably been originally collected at some earlier period.

St. Austell measures 10,018 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 4,628 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1831 2,890 6 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase on an hundred in thirty years, 131.2, or above 131 per cent.

Present incumbent, the Rev. T. S. Smyth, presented in 1815 by the King.


This parish, so important in an economical point of view, on account of its minal production, affords a vast fund of geological information. Its northern part is composed of granite; its southern part of various rocks belonging to the porphyritic group. Its granite on the eastern side is like that of Alternun, and contains layers which abound in porphyritic crystals of felspar. On the western side it comprises several kinds of this rock; some characterised by the proportions of shorl that enter into their composition; and others by containing talc instead of mica, and by the felspar being prone to an extensive decay, in which state it furnishes porcelain clay (or china clay) for the potteries. A more particular description of these kinds of granite 50 will be given hereafter, in the accounts of St. Stephen’s, and of the adjacent parishes. Carclaze tin mine must not, however, be passed by, as it is one of the greatest curiosities in Cornwall. This mine is worked “open to the day” (according to the miners’ term), that is, like a quarry. It is of a considerable depth; and its superficies exceeds several acres in extent. It is excavated entirely in a white granite, somewhat similar to the disintegrating variety above alluded to; and when the sun shines, the reflection of light is so exceedingly dazzling as to be almost insupportable. The tin ore occurs here intermixed with shorl and quartz, in the form of short irregular veins, which traverse the granite in every direction, and so abundant, that the whole rock requires to be pounded and washed to complete an entire separation of the ore.

Hornblend rocks succeed the granite, and produce a red fertile soil. These extend a little to the south of the town of St. Austell, and are followed by a blue lamelar slate, in which the mines are situated. This rock is much softer, and more argillaceous than the hornblend slate, and decomposes into a light-coloured soil. The matrix of its lodes abound in chlorite: it is probably a chlorite schist. This formation is traversed by several beds of felspar, porphyry (elvan courses), in the western side of the parish, which run north-east and south-west, in a somewhat tortuous manner, and dip towards the granite. One of these elvans, near Pentewan, has been extensively quarried, and is much esteemed as a building material. This chlorite slate also contains, in the cove at Duporth, a bed of compact magnesian rock, abounding in asbestos; and passes on either hand into the surrounding slate, by means of layers of talcous schist.

This parish has long been celebrated for its stream works, which are diluvial beds containing tin ore. They are generally found in deep vallies where rivulets flow, which are used in separating the tin ore, by its inferior 51 specific gravity, from common stones or pebbles; hence the name of “stream-works.” The nature of these deposits varies according to the positions which they occupy between the sea and the granite; whence the stanniferous strata were derived.

Pentewan stream-work is one of the most interesting in the whole county. Its lowest bed consists of pebbles, gravel, and tin ore, and it rests on the solid rock. Immediately above this tin-ground is a black stratum of vegetable remains, among which are stumps of trees, standing erect, with their roots penetrating downwards into the bed of gravel. This subterranean forest stands forty-eight feet below high-water mark; showing that there must have been a change in the relative sea level. On this vegetable bed reposes a thick stratum of silt, intermixed with horns of deer, and with other relics of land animals, and also with detached pieces of timber. This silt is of the same description as that now forming in the Truro river, and in other estuaries on the coast; and it contains layers of shells peculiar to such situations.

This silt is covered by a deep deposit of siliceous sand, in which occur various remains, principally of marine origin; and lastly, over this lies another bed of silt like the preceding, which reaches to the surface, where a thin marsh soil is now in a state of cultivation. The upper bed of silt is nearly on a level with the sea, being separated and protected from it by the interposition of a sandy beach.

Many theoretical observations and reflections would naturally present themselves, after a statement of these facts; but such would be more appropriate to a separate treatise, than to a series of notices on individual parishes.

[11] The market continues to deserve this character; the tolls, persuant to the charter of Queen Elizabeth, are assigned to the relief and maintenance of the poor.




St. Blazey is situate in the hundred of Powdre, and hath upon the east Tywardreth and the Parc; south, the British Channel; north, Luxulion; west, St. Austell. At the time of the Norman Conquest this district was rated either under Tywardreth, Towington, Trenance, or Treverbyn. In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, before mentioned, Ecclesia de Fanum, appropriata Dom’ni de Tywardreth, in Decanatu de Powdre, this parish was taxed to the Pope’s first fruits, or annats, iiiil. vicar ejusdem nihil propter paupertatem. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, and Valor Beneficiorum, it goes as a daughter church in presentation and consolidation with St. Austell. The patronage in the King, the incumbent Hugoe, the sheaf or rectory in Mr. May; and the parish rated to the 4s. in the pound tax, 1696, £92. 3s.

Quæry, whether the word fanum be not, by the scribe, a corruption of Foy-town? In the inquisition aforesaid, however, let it be remembered that, Ecclesia de Fanum must be interpreted as the church or temple, consecrated to divine service, appropriated to the house of Tywardreth, as both those churches of Fowey and St. Blazey are. As for the tutelar guardian from whom the same and the parish is denominated, Blaze, he was born in Sebaste, a city of Cappadocia in Asia, whereof he was bishop, and governed his church so well, that the priests of the idols (then worshipped comparatively all the world over,) took distaste at him for his preachments against idolatry; and exhibited a complaint against him to Agricolaus, the emperor Dioclesian’s president in those parts, by whom he was examined as to this and other parts of Christian religion; which he 53 would not retract; wherefore he was by him committed to prison, scourged with the utmost severity that could be invented, and afterwards, by a special order, under the hand of Agricolaus, beheaded by the common hangman, 15th Feb. anno Dom. 298, temp. Dioclesiani. The church celebrateth the festival of this famous saint, bishop, and martyr, February 3. The Council of Lyons, ann. Dom. 1244, under the Emperor Frederick and Pope Innocent the Fourth, amongst other things instituted certain new festivals for canonizing of saints; after which time, in the Inquisition but now mentioned, we shall find most of the names of our Cornish churches distinguished by the prefixed title of saint, viz. such person as the same when first consecrated was dedicated to (who before that time had been canonized by the church of Rome); though, as I hinted before, there is but one church or person named in Domesday Roll to whom is given the appellation of saint, about two hundred years before. In this church town of St. Blazey there is a public fair kept on the festival day of this saint, February 3, and the festivals of most other Cornish saints, to whose guardianship churches are dedicated, are solemnly kept yearly in other places.

Ro-sillian, in this parish, formerly the lands of Kellyow, is now the dwelling of Henry Scobell, Gent. brother to Mr. Scobell of St. Austell, before mentioned, who giveth the same arms as that family doth.

In this parish also, not long since, lived Hugh Williams, Gent. attorney-at-law, youngest son of Richard Williams, of Trewithan in Probus, that married Robins and Frowick, and gave the same arms as that family doth; who at length, upon some discontent, with a rope or halter privately hanged or strangled himself to death in his own house (as was reported), though the coroner’s inquest found it a chance only, tempore William III. Upon news of this fact of Mr. Williams, the uncharitable 54 country people, whom he had persecuted with lawsuits, wished that all the rest of his brethren of the inferior practice of the law, would make up of the same expedient to hasten out of this life to Paradise as he did, for the ease and public good of the inhabitants of this county.

In this parish liveth Cur-lyon, Gent. that married Hawkins, and giveth for his arms, in a field ——, a bezant between two castles. Now, though the name be local, from a place in Keye parish so called, yet if I were admitted to judge or conjecture, I would say this family of Cur-Lyon, by its name and arms, were the descendants of Richard Curlyon, alias King Richard I. of whom our chronologers say, that a priest of France told him he had three daughters, Pride, Covetousness, and Lechery; which three daughters the King replied he would thus dispose of: 1, Pride to the Templars and Hospitalers; 2, Covetousness to the Monks of the Cistertian order; and, 3, Lechery to the clergy in general.


St. Blaze, usually called St. Blazey. In this parish is Roselian, or Rose-Sillian, an ancient seat belonging to the family of Kellio, and was lately the residence of Shadrack Vincent Vincent, Esq. in right of his wife, daughter of Richard Kellio, Esq.

This Shadrack Vincent was the second son of Henry Vincent, of Tresimple. He signalized himself in the wars of Flanders, and since the Revolution he has been member of parliament for the borough of Fowey, and has nobly founded a school there.

Adjoining to Roselian is Trenawick, which was sold by —— Kellio, Esq. to Hugh Williams, Gent. son to Williams of Trewithon in Probus, who built a new house on the estate.

The manor of Trengreene, or Tregoryon, is the dwelling 55 of Thomas Carlyon, Gent. a branch of the Menagwins family, who has lately built a very neat new house here, which being seated on a rising grround, from whence there is a good prospect of the sea, and having a fruitful spot of land around it, is as pleasant a seat as any in the neighbourhood. His son Thomas has married Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Mr. Philip Hawkins, of Pennance, by whom he hath several children. This last Thomas was in the commission of the peace, and died in this present Jan. (1732) leaving his eldest son, Philip, a minor. This property belonged in former times to the Bodregens.


The popular legends of St. Blaze relate that he was most barbarously lacerated with wool-combs, which sufficiently accounts for his having been adopted as the patron of all persons concerned in the manufacture of cloth.

There is an idle tradition of the exact spot where St. Blaze landed; but it is quite certain that he never was in the west of Europe; nor can any reason now be assigned for the selection of this saint, beyond that of his general popularity. About the year 1774 a curious piece of machinery was exhibited all over England, which represented the whole manufacture of broadcloth, from the shearing of the wool to the last operation of pressing. A small figure was actually at work on each separate process; and over them all, as a general director, and arrayed in his pontifical habit and mitre, appeared Bishop Blaze. He is the patron of Ragusa.

The derivation of Carlyon from Richard Cœur de Lion, seems to be equally puerile, unfounded, and absurd. Car, or Caer, is evidently a fortified place; and Lyon must be one of those corruptions, more common than any other, of a word which has lost its appropriate 56 meaning, into another word of a similar sound and in common use. The arms of Carlyon are, Argent, a chevron Gules between three moor cocks Sable, limbed and wattled Gules.

In modern times St. Blazey has acquired distinction by giving birth to Ralph Allen, known over England as Mr. Allen of Bath. This gentleman acquired a large fortune through the medium of conferring important benefits on his country, and he employed it in promoting literature and sciences on the most extensive scale. Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot, Gay, were the inmates of his house. Warburton was mainly through his influence advanced to the highest station in our church. And,

On all occasions was his hand held forth
At pity’s call to succour modest worth.

This extraordinary man was the son of an innkeeper in a village on the road-side, called St. Blazey Highway. He is stated by Mr. Polwhele to have been placed under the care of his grandmother, who kept the post-office at St. Columb; and that an inspector was so much struck by the neatness and regularity of young Allen’s accounts as to procure for him some situation in a more extensive establishment. It is probable that he must have been placed in the post office at Bath. Mr. Polwhele adds that he was there patronised by General Wade.

Previously to this period, letters were conveyed along certain great roads emanating from the capital, but without any communication one with the other. Mr. Allen first conceived the idea of uniting these lines by what has been termed cross posts, and Bath became the original station of this most important contrivance, which has now expanded itself over the whole country like the meshes of a net, affording such facility and speed as to astonish those who experience their benefit, and which could not have been hoped for in times past.

It is much to be lamented that the progress of Mr. 57 Allen, from the commencement of his career in this most interesting pursuit, up to the attainment of his object by its complete establishment at Bath cannot be traced; nor the source ascertained from whence his funds were derived. It appears that Mr. Allen risked the chance of taking the revenues to be derived from his new institution for a term of years, at a certain annual payment to the State; or, in official language, that he farmed them; and his success proved commensurate to the ability, exertion, and persevering industry employed in carrying the plan into effect: so that on the expiration of the first term, a renewal was taken at an advanced rent of some tens of thousands a-year.

Mr. Allen fixed himself at Bath, and built the splendid mansion of Prior Park with the oolite of that district, or Bath stone, which he first quarried on an extensive scale and brought into general use. At Prior Park every man distinguished in any way was a welcome guest, and the proprietor has received most justly, deserved tributes of applause from many capable of erecting monuments to his memory more durable than those of brass or stone; but one frequently noticed has ever appeared to me inadequate. It does indeed represent the image of a private gentleman, endowed with goodness of heart, some learning, and a tolerable judgment; but if Mr. Fielding’s Allworthy was really meant to pourtray Mr. Allen, one may seek in vain for any resemblance of a man, who, by energy of mind and indefatigable exertions conferred so great a benefit on his country, that the wealth acquired by himself seemed no more than the necessary appendage to such public service.

Mr. Allen died in 1764; but his spirit still hovered over Bath, and impelled individuals brought forward in his school, to make the second and last improvement in our mail conveyances by substituting the rapid speed of a coach, with its safety and accommodation of passengers, for the slow and solitary progress of a postman on 58 horseback. This system commenced in 1784, twenty years after Mr. Allen’s decease. Mail coaches led to a general improvement of roads, and this again to an increase in the speed of coaches, while the reticulations of cross posts became more fine, with intersections in every possible direction, and the whole continues still improving; so that, morally speaking, the illustrious founder still lives and breathes among us.

Mr. Allen had a sister, whom I faintly remember the widow of a Mr. Elliott, and left with an only daughter. The old lady had great pleasure in relating what she had seen and heard at Prior Park, her having been there in company with Pope, Swift, Thomson, &c. and from her is derived the story related by Mr. Polwhele of Mr. Hugh Boscowen.

The daughter married Mr. Thomas Daniell, then chief clerk to Mr. Lemon, an individual not moving in a sphere so splendid as that of Mr. Allen, but probably at least his equal in all the qualities essential to those who fix a new era in the history of whatever they undertake. On Mr. Lemon’s decease in 1760, Mr. Daniell was enabled by the bounty of his wife’s uncle to take all the large mercantile concern on himself, and having soon afterwards constructed a residence in Truro, Mr. Allen presented him with several ship-loads of Bath stone; and thus Truro, having quarries of excellent silicious building-stone almost in its streets, and with granite distant only a few miles, exhibits the front of its most handsome house encrusted with oolite from Bath. To a similar act of liberality on the part of Mr. Allen, the hospital of St. Bartholomew in London is indebted for an exterior casing of the same stone; which, in consequence of the recent improvements and extension of inland navigation, is now brought in great quantities to the metropolis, to Oxford, and to places still more remote from the quarries.

I may here perhaps introduce with propriety a relation 59 descriptive of the immense difference between our own times and those of Queen Anne, in respect to the sources and to the diffusion of intelligence.

Mr. Sidney Godolphin, occupying the office of Lord High Treasurer, visited more than once the seat in Cornwall from which he derived his appellation of Earl; no regular conveyances at stated intervals proceeded further west than Exeter, but when certain masses of letters had accumulated, the whole were forwarded by what was called the post. The Lord High Treasurer had a weekly messenger from Exeter bringing letters, despatches, and a newspaper; and on the fixed day of his arrival all the gentlemen assembled at Godolphin from many miles round to hear the newspaper read in the great hall. This was told to my father by Mr. John Borlase, father to the two Doctor Borlases, who had himself been present. From ten to twenty daily papers now reach Penzance in about forty hours from London.

Within my own remembrance a letter leaving London on Monday night arrived at Penzance on Friday morning, a letter and its answer occupying at present precisely that time.

This parish measures 1480 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of its Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1878 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 636 16 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase on an hundred in 30 years, 361.45, or more than 361 per cent.


The northern part of this parish rests on granite, and it approaches very nearly to the church. Proceeding southward, the granite is succeeded by the same kind of slate as that which is found in the adjacent parish of St. Austell, both parishes lying parallel to 60 each other, in respect to a line extending from the granite hills to the sea shore, have the same geological structure.

It is known that within the memory of the last generation the sea flowed up to St. Blazey Bridge; and various indications of its having reached half a mile further up the river have been detected: thus showing that the sea, which has encroached on most parts of the coasts of Cornwall, has at the same time been driven back from the land. This effect is usually attributed to the accumulation of detritus brought down from the hills by rivers, more especially when they are in flood, and undoubtedly this must be a generally operative cause; but in this particular instance the effect must be mainly ascribed to the wearing away of the diluvial sand-bank at the head of the adjoining bay. The volume of this river, and its consequent momentum, not having been sufficient to counteract the deposition of sand by the waves running up the estuary, with which, in their rapid motion, they are always charged.



Blisland is situate in the hundred of Trig-minor, id est, sea-shore the less; so called minor, to distinguish it from Trig-major, which encompasseth a larger tract of land on the sea-shore of the Irish Channel, viz. that now divided into Strator and Lesnewith; and hath upon the east, Temple; west, Helland; north, Brewer and St. Udye; south, Cardinham. The modern name Blisland is a corruption of Bliss-lan, id est, happy, rejoicing, gladsome temple or church, which is testified by the Bishop of Lincoln and Winchester’s inquisition 61 into the value of benefices, in order to the Pope’s annats 1294, Ecclesia de Bliss-lan in Decanatu de Trigminorshire, vil. In Wolsey’s Inquisition and Valor Beneficiorum, £13. 10s. The patronage lately in Sprye, Parker, Reynolds, in right of the manor of Blis-land, now Molesworth; the incumbent Hicks. This parish was rated to the four shillings in the pound land tax 1696, £104. At the time of the Norman Conquest I judge it was taxed under Udy or Pengally.

This manor of Blisland was heretofore invested with the jurisdiction of life and limb within its precincts (the lords whereof doubtless built or endowed the present church); and within memory of the last age, the inhabitants will tell you, that a person was executed, in the gallows-field there, for robbing this parish church of its silver cup and pattens belonging to the altar (vide Mitchell). This manor of Blisland, tempore Hen. VII. was the lands of ——, who forfeited the same by attainder of treason in Flammock’s rebellion, whereby it fell to the crown; from whence it was conveyed to the Stanhopes, and from them to Parker, and from Parker to Reynolds, from Reynolds to Sprye, from Sprye to Molesworth.

In this parish somewhere liveth Trese, Gent. The name Tres, or Treas, is Cornish British, and signifies in that language “the third,” and was a name taken up in memory of the third son or person of the family from whence he was descended, and is derived from the same Japhetical origin as τριτος, tertius, “the third,” as the Latin word tres. Treas is also “the third” in the Scots and Irish tongues.

This parish hath in it loads and streams of tin.


The etymology of this parish is plain, being wholly Saxon, bless and land, as contrasted with the moors 62 and craggy hills around it. Norden says that the sheriff’s writ runneth not within this parish.


Number of statute acres 6025.

£. s. d.
The annual value of Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 3,643 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 328 5 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase on an hundred in 30 years 47.4, or more than 47 per cent.

It is worthy of remark, that Mr. Pye, the present incumbent, has been in possession of the living fifty-three years; and that his predecessor, Mr. Hicks, held it during sixty-two years; so that one change of rectors has alone taken place in the long period of an hundred and fifteen years; a case of successive longevity almost unparalleled; and the more extraordinary in comparison with the inheritance of family estates, when it is recollected that each of those gentlemen must at the least have completed the twenty-fourth year of his age before he received induction to the benefice.


Doctor Boase remarks the eastern half of this parish is situate on granite, which is of the same kind, and belongs to the same insulated group, as that extending into the parishes of Advent and of Alternun. The western half consists of alternate layers of schistone and of compact rocks, some of which approach near to greenstone. These rocks are, however, more fully exposed in the adjacent parish of St. Breward, or Simonward, under which head they will be described.




Boconnoc is situate in the hundred of West-well-shire, so called from foys-fenton in St. Cleother, id est, walled well or spring of water, the original fountain of the fay’s river, to distinguish it from East-well-shire aforesaid; and hath upon the north, Bradock; west, St. Wenow; south, St. Neepe; east, St. Pynock. For the compound name Bo-connoc, it is taken from the barton and manor of land still extant there, with reference to the beasts that depastured thereon; and signifies, prosperous, successful, thriving cows, kine, or cattle. Which place it seems was the voke lands of a considerable tithing or lordship, with jurisdiction, at the time of the Norman Conquest; for by the name of Boconnoc it was taxed in Domesday roll 2d William I. 1087.

However, let it be observed that at the time of the inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, before mentioned, 1294, there was no such endowed church extant in Cornwall as Boconnoc; though in Wolsey’s Inquisition 1521, it was taxed to the Pope’s annats 9l. 17s. 3d. The patronage is in the Lord Mohun in right of his lordship of Boconnoc aforesaid; and the parish rated to the 4s. 8d. per pound tax, temp. William III. 80l.

This barton and manor of Boconnoc, in the time of Edward III. was the lands of Sir John Dawney, of Sheviock, knight, whose daughter and heiress Emelyn, was married to Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon (and third of that name and title, being the son of Hugh Courtenay the 10th Earl of Devon, by Margaret, daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, the 8th Earl of Hereford and Essex, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of King 64 Edward I.) and had issue by the said Emelyn Dawnay, Edward Courtenay the 12th Earl of Devon, surnamed the blind (that married Eleanor, daughter of Roger Mortimer, Earl of March and Ulster, by whom he had issue Edward Courtenay the 13th Earl of Devon) and Hugh Courtenay his second son, to whom his mother gave Boconnoc, in the beginning of the reign of King Henry IV. 1416. Upon this Hugh Courtenay, afterwards Sir Hugh Courtenay, Knight, his elder brother Edward, surnamed the blind, at the especial request and instance of his mother, Emelyn, (as Brooke, York Herald, informs us) did by his indenture, bearing date the 2d of King Henry V. confirm and assure to him, his heirs and assigns for ever, the manors of Gotherington, Southallington, and Slancomb-Dawney (from whence that family was denominated) in the county of Devon, who afterwards married Philippa, one of the daughters and heirs of Sir Warren Archdeacon, Knight, of Haccomb in the county of Devon, after which time he lived sometimes in that place, at other whiles at Boconnoc; whence it is we find in some authors this gentleman is called Sir Hugh Courtenay of Boconnoc, and Sir Hugh Courtenay of Haccomb, as if they had been different persons. This Sir Hugh Courtenay had issue, by Archdeacon’s daughter, Edward Courtenay of Haccomb; who after the death of Humphrey Stafford was restored in blood, and made the 16th Earl of Devon, in the first year of the reign of King Henry VII. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip Courtenay, of Moland, Knight, and had issue William Courtenay, 17th Earl of Devon, who married Katherine daughter of King Edward IV. and by her had issue, Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, executed for treason, temp. Henry VIII. 1538. He married Elizabeth Blount, by whom he had issue Edward Courtenay the 18th Earl of Devon (and last of the family of these Courtenays) that died at Padua, in Italy, without issue, 1556, 4th of October.

65 Edward Courtenay of Haccomb, or Boconnoc, aforesaid 16th Earl of Devon, had four sisters, as is set down in his will, dated 1509, in the first year of the reign of King Henry VIII. which were thus disposed of in marriage,—Elizabeth was married to John Trethyrfe of Trethyrfe, from whom Courtenay of that place, and Vyvyan of Trelowarren is descended; Maud to John Arundell of Tolverne, from whom the Arundells of Sythney, and by females the Trefusis of Trefusis, and the Halses late of Fentongollan are descended: Isabel, the third daughter, was married to William Moune, from whom the Lord Mohun descended: Florence, the fourth sister, was married to John Trelawney, from whom the Trelawneys of Trelawne are descended.

Whether this lordship of Boconnoc fell to the Crown by attainder of treason, upon the death of Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, or was purchased from the Crown, or of the sisters and heirs of the said Edward Courtenay, by Carmenow of Fengollan, I know not; he sold it to the Earl of Bedford; as the said Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford sold it, in 1566, to Reginald Mohun, Esq. (son or grandson of William Moune, who married Isabel Courtenay aforesaid) that married Joan daughter of Sir William Trevanion, Knt. whose son, Sir —— Mohun, Knt. married Joan, one of the sisters and coheirs of Sir John Horsey, Knt. by whom he had issue, Sir Reginald Mohun, Knt. that married two wives; the first, Sir William Killigrew’s daughter; the second, a daughter of —— Heale, of Wembury in Devon; the which Sir Reginald, 15 November 1612, was created a Baronet of England, temp. James I. and had issue, John Mohun, Esq. who in the lifetime of his father was created Baron Mohun of Oakhampton in right of his grandmother Isabel——, sister of Edward Courtenay, the 16th Earl of Devon, lord of the manor, honour, and borough of Oakhampton, who married and had issue Warwick Lord Mohun, who had issue Charles Lord 66 Mohun, who had issue, as I take it, another Charles Lord Mohun, who was slain in a duel between him and the Duke of Hamilton, who both died on the spot, temp. Queen Anne: after which his daughters and heirs sold this lordship and all his lands to Mr. Thomas Pitt, recently returned from the East Indies.

The ancestor of this ancient and famous family of the Mohuns came into England with William the Conqueror, by the name of William Mowne or Sapell, and was after the Conquest by him made Governor of Dunster Castle, who had issue William Mowne the second Lord of Dunster Castle, whose son, the third William, as Matthew Paris saith, did keep and fortify the same against King Stephen, for the use of Maud the Empress. It is told us by our chronologers and historians, that he was made Earl of Somerset by King Henry the First, 1135, and that he was founder of a priory of Black Canons of Bruton in Somersetshire, where Edgar Earl of Cornwall had before founded an abbey of Benedictine monks. (Vide Monasticon Anglicanum, tom. ii. p. 205,) to which charter were witnesses William de Moyn, his son, and others.

This William Earl of Somerset had issue another William, who is said also to have been Earl of Somerset: but Brooke, York Herald, says that this William and his son Reginald Lord Dunster both died in the time of William Earl of Somerset, so that Reginald de Moyn his grandson was the second and last Earl of Somerset of his name and family, who lost this hereditary office by siding with the Barons against King Henry the Third, A.D. 1297, after it had remained in his family about fifty years.

After the family became private gentlemen at Boconnoc, their names are found sometimes noticed; the first Sheriff of Cornwall, 6th Edw. VI. 1 Eliz. 13 Eliz. and 19 Eliz.



Bo-con-oke; the name is Gaulish-Saxon,—the town or village of Stunt Oke.

After copying Mr. Hals’ narrative, Mr. Tonkin adds, Charles Lord Mohun, the last Baron of this family, being killed in a duel by the Duke of Hamilton, on the 5th of November 1712, left his whole estate by will, dated some time before, to his widow, who sold all the Cornish and Devonshire estates in 1717 for fifty-four thousand pounds (a very cheap bargain) to Thomas Pitt, Esq. commonly called Governor Pitt, in whose possession the manor of Boconnoc now remains.

This Charles Lord Mohun was a nobleman of very bright parts, and great natural endowments both of body and mind; but having had the misfortune to lose his father, while he was yet in the cradle—and the estate being left to him much involved in lawsuits between his nearest relations, and with a considerable debt—he had not an education bestowed on him suitable to his birth; and happening to fall into ill company, he was drawn into several extravagancies: but, however, as his years increased, he became so much reclaimed as to give great hopes that he would one day equal the greatest of his predecessors; when he was thus unfortunately cut off in the flower of his age.

He was twice married. First to Charlotte daughter of —— Manwaring, Esq. by whom he had only one daughter, whom he never owned, and he lived for several years separated from his wife. He had the good fortune, however, to get rid of her at last, she being drowned in a passage to Ireland with one of her gallants, about six or seven years before his own death.

Fitton Gerrard, Earl of Macclesfield, her maternal uncle, to make him some amends for his bad bargain, gave him by will a good part of his estate, in 1701, which was the occasion of the quarrel between his 68 Lordship and the Duke of Hamilton; so fatal to them both.

His second wife was the widow of Colonel Griffin, of the Green Cloth, by whom he had not any issue. His sister died before him unmarried.


Boconnoc is universally allowed to be the finest seat in Cornwall. The house stands on an elevation near the union of two valleys, each rendered interesting, beautiful, and picturesque by streams of water flowing through uneven ground, and by native woods of beech and oak, rivalling the trees of our most favoured inland counties, although these vallies originate in wild tracts of land where not a stunted shrub is to be seen.

Mr. Thomas Pitt, although remotely descended from a good family, is said to have been the son of a person concerned in trade at Brentford. He must have gone to India at a time when some merchant adventurers, wholly unconscious of impending events, were engaged in laying the foundation of an Empire so vast as to exceed in the number of its subjects even the majesty of Rome itself. Mr. Pitt returned to Europe possessed of a diamond, superior, perhaps, in its combination of size and transparency, to any one ever exhibited in the western world. It was offered to Queen Anne, and ultimately sold to the Regent Duke of Orleans for the French nation, at a sum exceeding one hundred thousand pounds.[12] With about half of this large sum Mr. Pitt acquired the property in Cornwall of the last Lord Mohun, and settled at Boconnoc. He also purchased the burgage tenures, giving the right of franchise at Old Sarum, and represented that place in Parliament.

69 He had two sons, Robert and Thomas. Robert Pitt who succeeded him at Boconnoc, married Harriet Villiers, third sister of John Earl Grandison. He died in May 1727, leaving two sons, Thomas Pitt, and William, afterwards Earl of Chatham. Thomas Pitt, his brother, was created Earl of Londonderry, in consequence of his marrying the heiress of Ridgeway, who had borne that distinction; this younger branch became extinct in 1764. Thomas Pitt, his son, engaged most extensively in the political speculation, for which Cornwall was then become an ample field. But, having supported the party of Frederick Prince of Wales, he failed of obtaining any of the objects to which most speculations are supposed to lead. He married Christiana, sister of George first Lord Lyttelton; by whom he left Thomas Pitt, who, on the elevation of his first cousin, William Pitt, to the chief office in the State, when under twenty-five years of age, was created Baron Camelford in Jan. 1784. He died in 1793, leaving a son Thomas Pitt, the second and last Lord Camelford, and a daughter married to William Wyndham Grenville, Lord Grenville, the present possessor 70 of Boconnoc, having succeeded to her brother in 1804.

The personal history of this young man is curious and extraordinary. He became an object of attention in Cornwall almost from his birth. On the event of his christening, in 1775, Boconoc was thrown open for public and indiscriminate entertainment, accompanied by exhibitions of the peculiar athletic exercise in which the Cornish boast to excel all their contemporaries, and to rival the Palæstræ of ancient Greece. A silver bowl of fifteen guineas was the prize of the victor (the first who threw five falls), and about fifty pounds were distributed among the vanquished.

His education was conducted under a private tutor alone in the seclusion of Boconnoc; but having made an excursion to Plymouth at a time when naval preparations were in full activity, he acquired a passion for the sea so strong and rooted, as not to be overcome by all the efforts of authority or of advice.

He went on the perilous voyage of discovery conducted by Captain Vancouver, and in the course of it, he is said to have experienced some harsh treatment on the part of the commmander, which seems to have stamped a new impression on his mind, rendered permanent by the long period during which it was necessarily concealed.

On Lord Camelford’s return to England, the effects burst forth in acts of violence against Captain Vancouver, and from that time,

On each adventure rash he roved,
As danger for itself he loved.

It is impossible not be struck by a general resemblance between the two individuals who last possessed Boconnoc, of the families of Mohun and Pitt. Both seem to have been men of ability and of genius, of intrepid courage and of honour, fond of enterprise, and with vigour of body commensurate to their mental energies; 71 but each unfortunately, obeying the impulse of passion and of strong feelings rather than the dictates of reason, was hurried on to an untimely fate. The latter fell by the hand of a person born to the situation of a gentleman, but in other respects little entitled to that distinction.

The first Lord Camelford might not only claim a full share of the hereditary talent connected with the names of Lyttelton and of Pitt;[13] but also literary acquirements and taste obtained under the guidance of his two uncles William Pitt Lord Chatham, and Lord Lyttelton. His gratitude to the latter is commemorated at Boconnoc by a lofty obelisk.

Lord Camelford introduced to the rectory of his parish the Reverend Benjamin Forster, a contemporary at Cambridge of congenial taste, and worthy of his friendship, the associate of Gray and of Mason; and with a mind like theirs suited for retirement and for literary leisure.[14] In his hours of relaxation he adorned the woods and shades, the vales and the rivulets, of Boconnoc with descriptive and appropriate illustrations from ancient and from modern poetry. To the Glebe-house he applied,

A little lowly hermitage it was,
Down in a dale, hard by a forest’s side,
Far from resort of people that did pass
In travail to and fro.

Mr. Forster has been long since deceased, his rectory taken down, and most of his friends departed from this life. His memory is for the present preserved by a tablet (brevi et ipsa interitura) bearing the following inscription:

72 Underneath rest the remains of Benjamin Forster, B.D. of C.C.C. Cambridge 1760; Lady Camden’s Lecturer at Wakefield in Yorkshire 1766; Rector of St. Mary Abchurch in London 1772; from thence removed to the Rectories of Boconock with Braddock in Cornwall, and to Carshayes, St. Michael, St. Stephens, and St. Dennis, in the same county, 1773.

Born Aug. 7, O.S. 1736. Died Dec. 2, N.S. 1805.

Epitaph written in the 33d year of his age:

Here, hapless mortal! thy sure refuge find,
Crost in each fond device, each hope of joy;
Life’s busy day was not for bliss design’d,
Toils, struggles, sufferings, its sad hours employ.
Yet meekly bow to Heaven’s imperious sway,
Nor deem thyself a prey to unmixt woes;
The gentler virtues sooth the cares of day,
And life’s calm eve shall lead to long repose.

Finally, Boconnoc-house is distinguished by having been the head quarters of King Charles the First in August and September 1684, when the army commanded by General Lord Essex, capitulated at Fowey.

This parish contains 1772 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1252 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 142 15 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Or somewhat more than 22 per cent. in 30 years.

The Geology of this parish has nothing peculiar or characteristic. Dr. Boase remarks that the eastern part is a continuation of the barren downs which extend nearly to Lostwithiel, and that the southern, which is the fertile part, belongs to the calcarious series of the schistose group, but that the rocks are too much concealed under the alluvial soil to allow of their nature being very evidently manifest.

[12] The exact weight of the diamond is said to be 136¾ carats. A carat is equal to 3⅙ grains (see the Universal Cambist by Dr. Kelly, vol. i. p. 220, article London). It weighed therefore 433 grains, very nearly nine-tenths of an ounce troy of 480 grains.

Illustration: diamond

For these 433 grains of diamond, the Regent Duke of Orleans is stated to have given 135,000l. or two thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine pounds troy of standard gold, or nearly one ton one hundred and a quarter avoirdupoise; above thirty-eight thousand four hundred times its own weight, or seven thousand five hundred and eighty times its bulk.

The Regent and his two successors in the government of France, used this diamond as an ornament to their hats on occasions of state. It was stolen during the license of the great Revolution, but recovered.

Napoleon had it placed between the teeth of a crocodile, forming the handle of his sword, unaware perhaps of how much this gem had contributed towards raising up the most formidable opponent to his ambition and ultimate aggrandisement.

[13] A series of his letters to Mr. Justice Hardinge has been published in Nichols’s Literary Illustrations of the Eighteenth Century, vol. vi. p. 74-139.

[14] A large quantity of Mr. Forster’s lively correspondence with Richard Gough, esq. Director S. A. and John Nichols, esq. F.S.A. has been printed in Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, vol. ix. p. 648-650, and the Literary Illustrations, vol. vi. p. 290-328, 860-864.




Bodmin is situate in the hundred of Trigg, and hath upon the north Helland, south Lanhydrock, west Lanivet, east Cardinham. In Domesday Roll 1067, or 1087, it was rated by the name of Bod-ran, id est, command, authority, or jurisdiction share, or division. In some other ancient manuscripts, Bod-man.

[Mr. Hals gives here a long detailed account of the supposed Bishopric of Bodmin, and of the Bishops themselves, with a great variety of collateral incidents; but the late Mr. Whitaker has shown, in his learned work on “The Cathedral of Cornwall,” that the whole is devoid of any foundation whatever. It is therefore omitted; and the reader desirous of information and entertainment is referred to that curious production of our learned antiquary.]

Algar Earl of Cornwall, successor of Ailmer, (as the Monasticon Anglicanum, tom. i. p. 213, and tom. ii. p. 205, informs us,) at his own proper cost and charges re-edified the church of St. Peter at Bodmin, as it now stands; consisting of three roofs, each sixty clothyards long, thirty broad, and twenty high, so that for bulk and magnificence it is parallel to the cathedral of Kirton, and little inferior to that of Exeter. Earl Algar gave the church to a society of Augustines or Black Canons.

Afterwards, if Leland’s manuscripts may be credited, those Black Canons were displaced, and succeeded by St. Benedict’s monks; and then again those monks were displaced, and succeeded by a nunnery of Benedictine nuns. Then again, saith he, those nuns were displaced, and succeeded by secular priests; who also were again displaced, and Canons Regular, or Black Canons Augustine, restored to their places; under which circumstance of religious men Leland found it when 74 King Henry the Eighth sent him into Cornwall, to inspect the orders and revenues of the religious houses therein. And in this state it was found by the Commissioners, 26 Henry VIII. when dissolved, at which time its revenue yearly was valued at 270l. 11s. Dugdale; 269l. 11s. 11d. Speed. Now this value, the reader must observe, was only the conventionary or annual rent reserved on leases of the priory land, set out to tenants for 99 years, determinable upon lives, and the common way of valuing those old rents was after the rate of ten per cent.; so that 270l. rent was then worth 2,700l. now worth 6,000l. per annum: which lands and rents are now chiefly in the hands and possession of Godolphin, Buller, Robarts, Morrice, Prideaux, Vivian, Rashleigh, Nicholls, Moyle, Molesworth, and many others.

The churches appropriated to this priory were, 1. Bodmin, 2. St. Wenn, 3. Withiel, 4. St. Kew, 5. St. Breock, 6. Little Pederick, 7. Padstow, 8. St. Ervan, 9. Crantock, 10. Cubert, 11. St. Colomb-minor, 12. Tregony, 13. St. Minver, 14. Lanhydrock, and some others, whereof the priors were either patrons or founders.

The Prior of this church of St. Peter kept his treasurer, his steward, almoner, hospitalarius, et infirmarius, that took care of sick and weak beggars and travellers. The priory-house wherein he dwelt is yet extant, though his domestic chapel and burial-place be dilapidated and demolished, all contiguous with the church aforesaid.

The jurisdiction and royalty over the river Alan, from Camelford to Padstow Rock, was given to this Prior by Algar Earl of Cornwall, in right of his manor of Helston, in this hundred, excepting the right of free fishing to the tenants thereof; a river famous for infinite number of those kings of fishes called salmon, which between Midsummer and Christmas are taken there, reputed, by such as are skilled in the gusto or palate, the best of that kind in Cornwall (except the salmon of the Val 75 river, in this county). But, since the dissolution of this priory by King Henry the Eighth, this royalty is disjointed, if not dismembered from it, and enjoyed in co-partnership by such as are the now owners of its lands and revenues, and by some others whose lands are contiguous with that river; though the now Duchy tenants of the manor of Helston aforesaid still pay barbe-agu, or bar-ba-gut money, id est, barbed-spear money, annually to the Duke of Cornwall, who is Lord thereof, for free fishing with salmon-spears.

The list or catalogue of the names of the Priors of this church is lost, except Thomas Vivian, the last save one;[15] a man famous in his days for his piety and charities, as his benefactions make him still memorable in ours; for he built the rectory-house at Withall, the mansion-house at Ryalton, the south roof at Edleshayle church, and the lofty spire and steeple lately upon his prioral, now parochial church of Bodmin aforesaid, which was all struck down with lightning and thunder anno Dom. 1699, and since again re-edified as it now stands, without a spire, at the proper cost and charge of the inhabitants of Bodmin town and parish.

This Prior Vivian was by the Pope consecrated Bishop of Megara, in Achaia, a city of Greece. He lies entombed with his bust or skeleton within a costly and curious stone chest or monument, about seven feet long, and three feet high above ground, on the top of which is cut at full length his portraiture as a man, and on this figurative body his episcopal robes, his mitre on his head, his staff or crosier in his hand, his face encompassed over with the wings of two cherubim standing by: somewhat defaced in the interregnum of Cromwell, as a superstitious monument. This tomb is also adorned round with crosses; the arms of his Bishopric of Megara, viz. in a field Gules, three human thigh-bones saltirewise Or, or Proper; the arms of his priory aforesaid; 76 the arms of England, France, and Ireland; and lastly, that of his own or his ancestors’ arms, viz. in a field Argent, on a chevron Azure three annulets, between three bears’ heads erased and muzzled Sable, on a chief Gules three martlets Or; which are arms of a strange confused bearing, according to the rules of heraldry, composed or consisting of two of the honourable ordinaries, a chevron and a chief, and the same charged with martlets and annulets, of colours yellow, white, red, blue, and black, charge upon charge, and colours upon colours; all which monument is surrounded with an ancient and broken inscription to this purpose:

Hic tumulatus venerabilis Pater Thomaus Vivian, Megarensis Episcopus, hujus domus Prior; qui obiit tertio die Junii, anno Dom. 1533. Cujus animæ propitietur Deus. Amen.

This church of the Prior’s, after dissolution of the priory aforesaid, was converted to a parochial church for the parish and town of Bodmin, and the secular church of Beni left to fall into utter ruin and decay, as it now stands; and is discontinued either for use of living or dead human creatures, the tower only standing, and cattle daily depasturing in the same, and the cemetery thereof, as in other places.

Also this prioral rectory church, long before its dissolution, was converted by the Prior into a vicarage church; for in the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester before mentioned, anno Dom. 1294, Eccles. de Bodmin, in Decanatu de Trigg minor, was taxed to the Pope’s annats vil. xiiis. 4d. Vicar ibidem nihil propter paupertatem. The rectory or patronage now in Prideaux, the Incumbent Wood (Key), and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 89l. 1s. per annum; the borough of Bodmin 178l. 12s.; in all 267l. 13s.

In Bodmin churchyard is a well-built school-house, built over a very spacious charnel-house or grott, where 77 are piled up the dry bones of such men and women as are found in new-made graves, to put the scholars and townsmen in mind of mortality; and is now commonly called the Bone-house. This school Queen Elizabeth endowed with about 16l. 13s. 4d. per annum revenues out of the Exchequer for ever.

The name Bodmin anciently comprehended no more than the town or borough itself, as it is now taxed in the Exchequer; for in the Domesday tax Beni, Lanlaran, now St. Lawrence, and Lantallan, were districts rated by themselves, though now consorted under that name of Bodmin parish and town. It is called a burge, or burghs, from the same Japhetical original as the Cornish word purguse, πυργος [purgus], turris, a tower, castle, fenced or fortified place, from whence the Latins had their word burgus, of the same import; and suitable thereto, notable it is, this town hath in it still a place called Tower-hill; as also, that every considerable town or burg in Cornwall heretofore had near it, for its defence, some castle, tower, or citadel, to defend it from the invasion of enemies. And agreeably to this interpretation and custom, Bodmin town, upon the east part thereof, upon a high-mounted hill, hath still extant the ruins and downfalls of a treble British entrenchment, containing above twelves acres of ground, formerly and still called Castle Kynock, alias Cunock, synonymous words, i. e. the King’s, or the supreme and sovereign castle. (See Truro, Launceston, Saltash, Helston, &c. for the like.)

Hence it is in the Cornish-British we have πυργες, purges, Anglice burgess, or a citizen (from whence the Latins had their word burgensis), which signifies an inhabitant of such a place as kept a tower, castle, fort, or hold, or had a college-court of purgesses (now burgesses) in it. And I doubt that, long before the Norman Conquest, or bishopric here was erected, this town of Bodmin 78 by prescription was invested with the jurisdiction of a court-leet, (id est, a court that kept a law-day, or festival,) though the same was not confirmed by a charter or incorporated before King John, A.D. 1216, granted one thereto; whereby he privileged the same with the tribunal also of a mayor, recorder, town clerk, twelve aldermen, and twenty-four common-councilmen, or assistants, who have power to nominate and elect a new mayor annually by the majority of voices, as also members of parliament. The mayor and town clerk, and last preceding mayor, justices of the peace for one year after within the said borough; the town clerk during life. This town and borough is held of the King of Great Britain, and pays annually to the King’s Audit at Launceston between five and six pounds per annum rent, beyond the records of time.

By the same charter it was made also one of the towns for coinage of tin, though long since discontinued (see Lostwithiel for the Tinners’ Charter); and made also the only staple town in Cornwall where in a public market merchants might carry their goods for wholesale, and whereby the mayor and town clerk also were authorized to take the acknowledge of statute staple bonds between party and party as the law directs.

Now to remove an action depending in this court-leet of Bodmin to any superior court, the writ must be thus directed:

Majori et Communi Clerico Burgi sui de Bodmin, in comitatu Cornubiæ, salutem.

The chief men within this town, and within the circumstances aforesaid, are Mr. Philipps, Mr. Bullock, Mr. Hobbs, Mr. Bligh, Mr. Wymond, Mr. May, Mr. Smith, Mr. Tomm.

The precept for electing members of parliament is thus directed: Majori et Burgensibus Burgi sui de Bodmin, &c.

79 This town, for number of inhabitants (as in Mr. Carew’s time, 1602) far exceeds any other town in Cornwall; which is also privileged by its charter with keeping a weekly market on Saturdays, wherein is vended of all creatures both living and dead, corn, fish, and fowl, and all other things necessary for the life of man, in such great abundance, and at a moderate price, as the same equals if not exceeds the markets of Tavistock and Exeter, in Devon. It is also appurtenanced with fairs, upon January 25th, December 6th, Saturday after Mid-lent Sunday, and on Wednesday before Whitsun-day. There is a street in this town called Cassiter-street, that is to say, Woodland-street. (See Falmouth, for Cassiter and Cassiteros.)

I have been told that, within the memory of sixty years last past, there was extant within this town and parish the remains, ruins, and dilapidated walls of no less than 13 churches or free chapels, wherein heretofore God was duly worshipped, perhaps first erected by those religious persons mentioned by Leland, who had so often been displaced or turned out from the priory as aforesaid.

But, above all others, there is still extant in this town the stately church of the Franciscan Friars, dedicated to St. Nicholas, and their cells, consisting of one roof twenty clothyards high and fifty long, with two stone-windows, admirable for height, breadth, and workmanship; which, after the dissolution of their house and order by King Henry the Eighth, the justices of the peace of this county appointed for a house of correction for such vagrant and idle persons as the same afforded, by the name of the Friary and Shire-hall; which the townsmen taking notice of, soon after converted or profaned it further to a common market-house, for selling corn, wool, and other commodities weekly; yea, and within the same is kept yearly several fairs for selling all sorts of merchandize, the altars being pulled down, and in the churchyard, or burial-place, a fair for cattle. 80 It also lately made the tribunal or hall for the judges of assize yearly, and the justices of the peace in their sessions, and is undoubtedly, except Westminster Hall, the fairest and best in England.

The stone font of this church for baptizing infants is now converted to a measure for corn in this hall, which also, as I said, is the weekly market-house. On the same is an inscription in old characters, which I leave for abler capacities than mine to interpret.

The founder of those Cordelier or Franciscan Friars was Francis of Assium, in Italy, who was born about the year 1140. His parents placed him to school for some time to study the liberal arts and sciences, and afterwards placed him to the trade and occupation of a merchant, which in Italy still, as anciently it was amongst the Jews, is so reputable an employment that even princes themselves are merchants: which trade or occupation Francis followed, with small gain or advantage, in a fair and righteous way, for some time, but growing discontented thereat, and not knowing thereby well how to subsist, he resolved, as others did, to follow indirect arts and practices to get more riches, by stealing the duties of such goods and merchandize as he bought and sold, which then was, and still is, a capital crime in Italy; and accordingly put the same in practice, and much enriched himself thereby, though at length his fraud was detected, himself indicted, tried for his life, and condemned to death for the same. Whereupon, in order to prevent the sentence inflicted upon him, and to avoid the halter, he gave the greatest part of his goods and estate to his prince, to grant or procure his pardon, and the other part to pious uses, in relieving the poor, and re-edifying and endowing three churches. Afterwards he fell into such great horror and trouble of conscience for those facts, and that he was fully informed from Hosea xii. 7 and 8, that a merchant cannot be without guile, nor a victualler without 81 sin, it so wrought upon him, that he did not only renounce his trade of a merchant, but also forsook all worldly affairs, and took upon himself the vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity; and under the habit of a grey cover, or scapula, and a coat of the same, surrounded or girded in the middle with a twisted rope, cord, or halter, in memory of his deliverance from it and the gallows, as aforesaid, with naked legs and discalceated feet, he forsook his house, and went about the country preaching the Gospel gratis, subsisting only on the alms and charity of his hearers, and what was wanting in that particular was made up by downright beggary. And in short time he so far prevailed with the people by his predicatements, that divers brethren went about with him, following the same manner of life, under the rules and habit aforesaid, which gave him occasion or opportunity to lay the foundation of the first convent in Christendom of his order at Assissium aforesaid, and obtained a confirmation of his rule from the Pope; and two years after his death, 4th Aug. 1228, was by him canonized for a saint.

However, let it be remembered here, that afterwards St. Bonaventure, being at the 18th year of his age entered of this order of St. Francis, and in the general chapter of Narbonne chosen minister general of those friars, he then so altered and regulated his rule and order, or rather reformed it, that ever since it might more aptly be called the order of St. Bonaventure than that of St. Francis. Which St. Bonaventure afterwards being made a Bishop, and one of the Cardinals of Rome, wrote the Life of St. Francis in Latin, and therein recounted so many stories of his conversion as aforesaid, of his perfection, religion, reparation of three churches, his sincere, mortified life, and the manner of preparing creatures for his refection, his humility, obedience, condescension, and bowing downwards of himself, his love of poverty, the wonderful supply of his 82 wants, his affections towards piety, his desire of martyrdom, his study, and virtuous orations, his skill in Scripture and spirit of prophecy, his efficacious predicatements, his sacred marks, and holy chastisements of his body, his patience in undergoing the pangs of death, 4th Oct. 1226, that in this place I have only room to name them. And as a surplusage thereto, St. Bonaventure, as also Alosi Lepomani, Bishop of Seville, ascribe to St. Francis, before and after his death, the doing of no less than 113 miracles, or supernatural acts, which, I think, are more than are recorded by the sacred writings to be done by our Saviour Jesus.

But, notwithstanding all that is done and said by St. Bonaventure in praise of St. Francis, he did not much rely upon the merit of him or any other Saint, since it is an established sanction at the end of all his hymns pertaining to this order of Franciscans,

Soli gloria tibi, Domine, qui natus es de Virgine.

Now though this Order of St. Francis, after convents were erected and endowed, for the most part lived in convents under these rules as aforesaid, without alms or begging, yet a particular sort of them went abroad to preach the Gospel in parochial churches and free chapels, where the rector, vicar, curate, or chaplain was no preacher, and administered the sacraments as occasion required; having, moreover, committed to their charge or jurisdiction, by the Pope, the commutation of penance for sins committed; and, because by their rule they were not to take money, they took the same in corn, wool, fruits, fields, goods, and chattels, for their Superior. Those kind of missionaries were called Friars Observants, and went at large as supervisors, who pretended to a stricter observation of their rule than the master conventuals that went not abroad. What revenues this stately church of St. Francis at Bodmin had at its dissolution I know not, neither doth the Monasticon Anglicanum inform me; besides five quarterly pence, and 83 twenty penee by the year out of every family or dwelling-house in Cornwall, that was not excused propter paupertatem. Supplication of Beggars to Henry the Eighth, p. 2.

Those Franciscan friars, Mendicant or Minors, came not into England till Henry the Third’s days (since which time this church at Bodmin must be erected) in all but nine in number, who landed at Dover; five of which went to Canterbury, where, by the King’s leave, they built the first convent in England of their order; four went to London, and had a place given them in St. Nicholas Shambles, anno Dom. 1260, to erect another convent or monastery, by John Jewyn, merchant. However, let it be remembered that the Black Friars Mendicant, or Augustines, were founded by William de Paris, and first brought into England in the time of William the Conqueror, to whom Robert Kilwarby, Archbishop of Canterbury tempore William I. at the west end of London, on the bank of the Thames, founded and endowed there a monastery to them. For White Friars, or Cistersians, see Kilkhampton; for Dominicans, St. Dominick. Carmelite Friars were founded at Carmellus, a town in Syria; as also a latter order of those discalceated friars were founded by St. Mary de Theresa, of Jesus, of the blessed Lady of Mount Carmel, 1540. She was a native of Castile, and died 4th October, 1582, in the 68th year of her age, and 47th of being religious. She was canonized by Pope Gregory XV. 12th March 1622. The Friars of St. Francis of Paula, in Italy, were founded by him 1414; little different from those others. Finally of these friars: Bishop Usher, in his Discourse of the Primitive Church, fully demonstrates that, before the Reformation of religion, besides monks there were in this land, of the five orders, above thirty thousand begging friars.

At Lan-car, in this parish, (rest-rock, or rock-temple, if ever any church or chapel was extant here, otherwise, 84 by the rock may be signified some notable stone-quarry found in those lands,) was the dwelling of John Mountstephens, Esq. sometime member of parliament for West Looe, who purchased the same from Mr. Bullock. He was the son of Mounts or Stephens, alias Mountstephen, of St. Mabyn, and had his first education under Mr. Stephens, sometime schoolmaster of Bodmin, to whom at length he became usher; afterwards was clerk or servitor to William Lilly, Esq. and so became an undergraduate in Oxford; and, being recommended by him to the notice of the Earl of Sunderland, Lord President of the Council temp. James II. he made him one of his clerks or secretaries, which circumstance further brought him to the knowledge of Jonathan Lord Bishop of Bristol, by whose interest he obtained a burgess-ship at West Looe for the parliament, and was afterwards made one of the Commissioners for the King’s Tin-farm in those parts; by which ways and means he got himself considerable wealth and reputation.

But, notwithstanding all those his prosperous successes of fortune, in the month of December, or beginning of January, 1706, aged about 60 years, when he was at London, a member of parliament as aforesaid, and in his own house till eleven of the clock, one day upon some discontent went from his company, and so into a more retired apartment, where he took a razor and cut his own throat, and instantly fell dead on the spot, the razor by his side all bloody, to the great terror and amazement of his domestics, who found him in that posture.

Various were the reports and sayings of people upon occasion of this sad accident; some said it was for that he made addresses of marriage to a gentlewoman above his degree, who rejected his amours, upon account of some concubine, or bedfellow, he kept at Truro; others, with more probability, gave out that he was detected by the Earl of Sunderland (who raised him) for eighteen years’ space to have been a French pensioner, and to have 85 received a great sum of money annually for communicating the secrets of the Queen and Parliament to the Secretary of the French King, which as soon as he understood, by a letter shown him under his own hand, he instantly went home to his lodgings, burnt all his papers, and committed the felo-de-se aforesaid.

Bo-carne,[16] in this parish, id est, cows, kine, cattle, and white spar-stones, comparatively rocks, is the dwelling of William Flammock, Gent. that married Reynolds, and giveth for his arms, out of a supposed allusion to their name, Argent, a chevron between three estoiles Sable, (that is, in a wavy or flaming posture,) for flammock, after the Cornish-British, must be interpreted a flame and smoke; since the Latin words flamma, or flame, or bright burning fire-sparkle, and flammans, burning, flaming, are both derived from the British word flam; for exæstuo is the proper and native word, to burn, or flame.

Again, this family indifferently wrote their name Flam-mank, Flam-manc, id est, in Cornish, flaming or burning glove, sleeve, or gauntlet; so called, perhaps, for that some of this family was a notable soldier, and famous in the combat at sword and gauntlet, (viz. military glove,) or a sleeve and gorget of mail, as the above name. And flammock may relate to some soldier of this tribe that was as renowned in his charge with the fusee or firelock, soon after the invention of guns: for Camden, in his Remains, tells us that in Edward the Third’s French wars gunaria, or gunarii, had its pay; which was before the invention of guns in Germany.

But if flammeck, flammeg, flammock, be a monosyllable, and not a compound or conjugated word, it signifies in British blear-eyed-ness, or one that hath a sparkling or flaming eye, either by natural or accidental infirmity, an obstruction of sight.

I take this gentleman to be the lineal descendant of 86 that Mark Le Flemanc who was possessed of 16l. rents in lands and tenements in Cornwall, 40th Henry III. (Carew’s Survey,) that were held by the tenure of knight’s service, and was no knight; who was obliged by his tenure to send into the King’s army a man and horse armed with lorica, capello ferri, gladio, et cultello, a breastplate, a brigandine, an iron headpiece, a sword and cuttler. As was also that Thomas Flammock, a lawyer, in the reign of King Henry VII. 1496, who, together with Michael Joseph, a smith of these parts, stirred up the Cornish people to a rebellion against that prince, under the pretence of the severity of a land tax, though it was but a subsidy of an hundred and twenty thousand pounds, charged by Act of Parliament for one year of the thirty-seven shires of England, towards the Scotch war; which, after the severest imposition, could not amount to above 2,500l. on this county. But really the ground and design of this insurrection was to depose King Henry from his crown and dignity, and in his stead to set up Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, the true heir male of the House of York, sister’s son to King Edward the Fourth. Which being well understood by the inhabitants of Cornwall, gave Flammock and Joseph opportunity to raise such an army, as thereby to become so formidable that John Basset, of Tehidy, then Sheriff, with his posse comitatus, dared not encounter them. Whereupon they marched with their army, consisting of about six thousand men, from Bodmin to Launceston, and from thence into Devon; where also they appeared so tremendous that Sir William Carew, Knight, then Sheriff thereof, with his posse comitatus, would not venture a battle with them, but suffered them (either through fear or affection) to pass through his Bailiwick into Somersetshire, and so Taunton there; in which place they slew the Provost Perrin, a commissioner for the subsidy aforesaid, and then advanced to Wells; where James Touchet, Lord Audley, knowing the mystery of their 87 design, confederated with them, and became their general. Soon after, they published their declaration of pretended grievances, chiefly concerning the said land tax, and wholly laying the blame of that exaction upon John Martin, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Reginald Bray, Knt. two of the King’s Council, whom they would have removed from that station.

Upon which pretence (and the secret reserve aforesaid) the people, being better affected to the House of York than to that of Lancaster, suffered these rebels quietly to march from Wells to Salisbury, from Salisbury to Winchester, and from thence into Kent, where they expected great aid and assistance; but when they came there, contrary to promise and to expectation, no person came to their help: but on the contrary, for the King there appeared in arms against them, with the Earl of Kint, the Lord Abergavenny, Sir John Brook, Lord Cobham, and divers other gentlemen, with great forces, to stop their further proceedings that way. Upon which disappointment, the rebels turned their march towards London, and encamped upon Blackheath, about four miles from thence; where they had not long been before they were encountered by Giles Lord Daubeny, King Henry’s general, who, after a short conflict with them, and the loss of three hundred soldiers on the King’s part, and two thousand on the Rebels’ side, the remainder of them fell into despair, threw down their arms, craved mercy, and yielded themselves prisoners. The King pardoned many; but of the chief authors of the insurrection none. The Lord Audley was committed to Newgate, and from thence drawn to Tower-hill in his coat-armour (painted on paper), reversed and torn, where he was beheaded. Flammock and Michael Josepp the smith, were hanged, drawn, and quartered, and has their heads and quarters pitched upon stakes set up in London and other places, June 26, 1496. [See Lord Bacon’s History of King Henry the Seventh. An opinion 88 is still prevalent in Cornwall, that after themselves the people of Kent are the most brave in England.]

This town and parish of Bodmin is also notable for the rendezvous of Perkin Warbeck’s army from St. Michell’s Mount, which he had also raised to the number of six thousand in opposition to King Henry the Seventh, anno Dom. 1498, as the pretended Richard of Shrewsbury, second son to King Edward the Fourth; where he was proclaimed King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, by the name of Richard the Fourth: but he and his army at length underwent the same fate as the former rebels did. (See St. Michael’s Mount, in this our History.)

Here also was the rendezvous of the Cornish rebels under Humphrey Arundell, Esq. anno 3 Edward VI. who pitched their camp upon Castle Kynock aforesaid, and imprisoned such gentlemen as would not willingly ride with them, till the King’s forces vanquished the one, and delivered the other, at and near Exeter. (See St. Hillary.)

Now Sir Anthony Kingston, Provost Martial of the King’s Army, coming from Exeter to do justice in Cornwall according to the law of arms against such rebels as had escaped thence, executed Thomas Boyeer, the mayor of this town, and the miller’s man, is set forth in Mr. Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, p. 124 (p. 292 of Lord Dunstanville’s Edition).

In this parish is St. Laurence, so called from the chapel dedicated to his guardianship. The name is derived from the Latin words, laureat and ensis, that is, a laureat sword, or a sword of triumph. St. Laurence was a native of Osca, in Spain, born about the year 280. He received holy orders from St. Xysten, who was raised to the chair of St. Peter in 257. During the persecution by the Emperor Valerian, St. Laurence, finding that not even the sacred vestments nor the decorations of the church were safe from profane hands, availed himself 89 of the office of chief deacon, which he then held, to dispose of the whole, and to distribute the wealth thus acquired among the indigent of his spiritual brethren. This having been made known to the Prefect of Rome, a man devoted to the worship of false gods, but more, as the biographer observes, to the adoration of silver and gold, he demanded from St. Laurence the riches of the church, who promised in three days to produce them; and on the third day he returned with the poor persons among whom their value had been divided. When the Prefect, transported with rage, is said to have ordered his destruction by the most cruel death. The legend reports him to have been fastened on an iron bed, and consumed by fire placed under it. Hence the familiar emblem attributed to this martyr, of a gridiron. The event is referred to the 10th of Aug. 261.

In this parish the town, or rather village of St. Laurence, is situated between two hills, and with a pleasant river running through its street, about a mile and a half west from Bodmin. In it stands a lawres hospital, that is to say, a hospital for lepers (loure, or lower, in British is a leper), which hath good endowment of lands and revenues appertaining thereto, founded by the piety and charity of the well-disposed people of this county in former ages, for the relief, support, and maintenance of all such people as should be visited with that sickness called elphantiasy, in Latin lepra or elphantia, in English leprosy, in British lowerery; being a white infectious scurf running all over the bodies of such persons as are tainted therewith. Which disease heretofore in many families was hereditary, and infected the blood for generations.

This disease, though common in Asia, was thought to have been first brought into England from Egypt by seamen and traders, so that generally it spread itself over this kingdom about the year 1100. Soon after 90 which, a general collection of charitable benevolences was gathered throughout the land by one of the Mowbrays, a gentleman tainted with the disease, for erecting and endowing the lazar-house or hospital of Burton, in Leicestershire, to which place was made subject all other hospitals of this sort in England, as the Master of Burton Hospital was afterwards made subject to the Master of St. John’s Hospital of Jerusalem, in London, and then, soon after the erection of lazar-houses throughout this kingdom, was invented that writ called Leproso amovendo, for removing a leper from his country-house to the hospital. But the custom in this place was such, that none were to be admitted by the governors of the same for the time being, unless the person so brought in paid them 5d. a pot for dressing their meat, a purse and a penny in it to receive alms. At present I hear of no lepers in this hospital, nor any person visited with this disease in Cornwall: however, daily in the chapel of Lawrence, by the townspeople, God is duly worshipped by a chaplain in deacon’s orders, who reads divine service to them according to the church of England; and at three several times at least in the year the Vicar of Bodmin, and Rector of Lannerat, for a small stipend preach and administer the sacraments to them. Infants baptized, and the dead bodies thereof buried, at Bodmin church.

The lands, customs, and privileges of this lazar-house,[17] or lower hospital, were much augmented or enlarged, and also confirmed by a charter from Queen Elizabeth, in the beginning of her reign, with the jurisdiction of a court-leet within the precincts of its manor of Ponteby, (id est, by the ford or bridge whereon the town of St. Lawrence is situate,) the white-rod erected or held up yearly whilst the court is sitting. It is also by that charter privileged with a weekly market, to be kept on Wednesday, within the town of St. Lawrence, though of 91 late discontinued; as also with fairs yearly on the 10th of August and the 18th of October.


In respect to the etymology of the name Bodmin, or Bodman, I have no difficulty. I looke upon the word as Saxon-Kernawish, bode and man, or bode-men in the plural, which may safely, and without a catachræsis, be interpreted, the preacher-man, or men. That bode signifies priest, or preacher, in the Cornish, the Gaelic, and other cognate tongues, I confirm by the authority of Alfred, the Saxon grammarian, and of Verstegan, from which is derived our modern Kernawish word for a priest.

And this sense is preserved in the names of divers other churches throughout the land; as in the hundred of Weston, Herefordshire, where we find Boddenham Vicarage, bod-den-ham, preacher-man-dwelling, den being in Kernawish synonymous with man.

[The remainder of Mr. Tonkin’s narrative agrees so nearly with that of Mr. Hals as not to require its insertion.]


“The paroch chirch standith at the est end of the town, and is a fair large thyng,” says Leland, an author with whom Mr. Hals had no acquaintance (though the Itinerary of that author was published in 1710, and in some years immediately following; and the Collectanea in 1715); “there is a cantuarie chapel at th’est ende of it.” This is the present school, situated a few yards east of the eastern end, raised upon vaults, ascended by steps, entered by an arched door of stone peaked, 92 having a large arched window peaked; at the east two windows in the arch, two on the south, arched and peaked; with three stalls of stone on the south, near the eastern end. The space below, lately a bone-house to the church, now atttached to the school, must formerly have been a walk under the vault.

“Bodmyn hath a market on every Saturday, lyke a fair for the confluence of people.” (Itin. ii. 114.) Bodmin was then at the height of its glory: it began soon afterwards to sink. The many decayed houses, says Carew, 120 years afterwards, prove the town to have been once very populous. What occasioned this decay was the Reformation, probably, throwing the revenues of the priory, and of the house of friars, into the hands of men laical and distant.

“There was a good place of Gray Freres in the south syde of Bodmin town. One John of London, a merchaunt, was the beginner of this house. Edmund Erle of Cornewaul augmentid it. There lay buried in the Gray Freres Sir Hugh and Sir Thomas Peverel, Knightes, and benefactors to the house.”—(Leland.) The remains of this form the south side of an open space, which must have been the quadrangle or court of the Friars, and have been surrounded by its buildings, on the east, the north, and the west. On the west end, near the grand door in these remains, was the church-yard, or burying-place, which Mr. Hals says was made a fair for cattle; and here were very lately found, by sinking a saw-pit, bones in a considerable quantity.

The remains themselves are, a long and lofty room, once a church, but since used as Mr. Hals describes. It has a fine window at the east end, peaked in the arch; the only part of it that is not blocked up being very pleasingly broken into small parts by mullions of stone.

It has another arch for a window to the west, but not so fine; and four arches on the north and south sides, all peaked, but those most easterly more sharply 93 than the others. What Mr. Hals calls a font is still there; and a font it assuredly is, the Friars having just as much right to a font as to a burying-place; but the inscription upon it is on two or three squares of the hexagon in which the font is shaped, and is too modern to mean any thing.

“There is a chapel of St. —— at the west ende of the toune. There is another chapel in Bodmyn beside that at the west ende of the toune, and an almose house, but not endowid with landes.” (Leland, Itin. ii. 114, 115.) Query, says Tanner, respecting the latter, Whether this alms-house was St. Anthony’s or St. George’s? for the will of John Killigrew, proved A.D. 1500, gives legacies Pauperibus Sancti Antonii de Bodmyn, et Pauperibus Sancti Georgii de Bodmyn. Both these chapels had an almshouse. The latter is that chapel which stood on the summit of a hill north of Bodmin, called Berry, from some castle or fort upon it, I suppose, and giving name to the valley below it, Berrycoomb, or Bereum. The remains of this chapel are merely a tower, neat but slight, making a considerable object to the road from its elevation, yet small in its rise, or its pitch, and carrying a face of no great antiquity, being merely three hundred years old. The town, says tradition, stood formerly here, was burnt down, and then removed to its present site. That this is false as history we know for certain, as we know the town to have been where it now stands, but that the town in the days of its high prosperity had shot out hither.

“The showe and the principale of the toun of Bodmyn,” says Leland, “is from west to est along in one streate.” (Itin. ii. 114.) There were (says Mr. Hals upon the credit of information) within these sixty years past no less than thirteen churches, or free chapels, remaining either whole or ruined in the town and parish, and this was one.

94 The church of the priory, notes Mr. Hals, after the dissolution of religious houses, was converted to a parochial church. It was, indeed, such from the beginning: so Leland tells us concerning it in his time, “that the parish church standeth at the east end of the town,” &c. It was even converted as such from a rectorial to a vicarial church before 1290.

This prioral rectory church, Mr. Hals himself informs us, (long before the dissolution, and therefore not after the dissolution of the priory, as said before,) was converted by the Prior into a vicarage church; for in the Inquisitions of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, Ecclesia de Bodman was rated to the Pope’s annats at 6l. 13s. 4d. Vicar. ejusdem nihil propter paupertatem. So directly does Mr. Hals confute himself; but the words of the record are not cited fairly, and are in reality these:

Ecclesia de Bodmynia vil. xiiis. 4d.
Vicar. ejusdem xis.

Nor could any one of the thirteen be a free chapel, as no such chapels existed in the first or in the second valuation, and therefore none are mentioned therein.

Vivian’s “tomb is adorned round with crosses.” In truth, it has only one, and that is upon the northern side. “The arms of his Bishopric of Megara,” the arms of this Priory, and lastly, “those of his own or of his ancestors.” But there are three fishes repeated as arms twice; and Mr. Hals affirms himself that the jurisdiction and royalty over the river Alan, from Camelford to Padstow Rock, was given to this Priory by Algar Earl of Cornwall; and in further testimony of Algar’s donation of the royalty of this river, he gave for the perpetual arms of him and his priory, In a field Azure, three salmon-fishes in fess barwise Argent; which arms were lately extant in all the church windows of the churches under the priory.

Castle Kynock, as called by some to this day, but called simply the Castle by the generality, lies more than half 95 a mile to the south-west, has two ditches and two ramparts; the outer are very deep and very massy, the inner are much shallower and slighter. It takes in the whole crest of the hill, the ground within rising from the sides to the summit; is circular in form, because the hill is so; and has its only entrance on the east, denoted as an original entrance by the bridge of earth, as it were, which leads across the hollow of the ditches into it. The whole is double, I believe, to the extent that Mr. Hals gives it; and, from the position of the entrance on the east, appears to be Roman in its origin.


It is not my intention to enter on any discussion relative to the remote and obscure antiquity of Bodmin. Tanner, in his Notitia Monasticon, says Bodmin, or Bodmanna.

There was a church built here to the memory of St. Petroc, a religious man born in Wales, but who, coming from Ireland, is said to have built a monastery on the north coast of Cornwall, about A.D. 520, and to have been there buried; but his body being afterwards removed to Bodmin, a church was built to his memory, and the episcopal see for Cornwall was believed to have been therein placed by King Edward the Elder and Archbishop Plegmund, A.D. 705. Here King Æthelstan is reported to have met with old Saxon, or rather British, monks following the Rule of St. Benedict, to whom he granted so great privileges and endowments that he is accounted founder of the monastery here, about A.D. 926. That settlement was destroyed by the Danish pirates, A.D. 981; yet the religious continued here under several shapes, and much alienation of their lands, both before and after the Conquest, till about the year 1120, when Earl Algar, with the King’s license, and the consent of William Warlewach, Bishop of Exeter, re-established this religious-house, and placed 96 therein regular canons of the Order of St. Austin, who continued till the general suppression, when it was styled the Priory of St. Mary and St. Petroc, and was valued at 270l. per annum according to Dugdale, and 289l. 12s. according to Speed. The site, with the demesnes, were granted, 36th of Henry VIII. to Thomas Sternhold, one of the first translators of the Psalms into English metre.

Any one desirous of learning all that can be known or conjectured respecting the Western Bishopric, is referred to “The Ancient Cathedral of Cornwall historically surveyed,” by the Rev. John Whitaker; where that subject and various others are discussed, with the eloquence, ability, erudition, and confidence, usually displayed by that eminent writer; who appears always to assume throughout the whole of his work the very questionable fact, that monastic historians, distant both in time and in space from the events which they relate, are possessed of perfect information, and that their narratives flow with unerring accuracy, at a period when none of the inventions for rapidly carrying intelligence, and for stamping it with the authentic impression of public notoriety, had yet occurred to the human mind.

I willingly leave these recondite, and, in truth, little interesting researches, for others of a more modern date, the objects of which are still extant, and their effects influencing the present times. Those connected with Bodmin we owe, in a great measure, to the ability, the industry, and the laudable zeal of Mr. John Wallis, the present vicar, on whom I would readily bestow more praise, if his merits had not rendered commendation from me superfluous.

One event, however, intermediate between the Saxon antiquities of Bodmin and those disclosed by Mr. Wallis, is so very curious, and so illustrative of opinions and of habits long passed away, that I cannot help inserting the details of it from Benedictus Abbas, an author of high reputation, Abbot of the great monastery of St. 97 Peter at Medeshamsted, or Peterborough, and contemporary with the transactions which he relates.

In his work “De Vita et Gestis Henrici secundi et Ricardi primi,” ex editione Thomæ Hearnii, Oxon. 1735, 2 vols. 8vo. vol. i. pp. 228-229.

Eodem anno, quidam Canonicus de Abbatiâ Bothmeniæ, quæ in partibus Cornubiæ sita est, Martinus nomine, statim post Epiphaniam Domini, furtivè asportavit Corpus Sancti Petroci; et cum eo fugiens transfretavit, et illud secum detulit usque ad Abbaciam Sancti Mevenni, sitam in partibus Minoris Britaniæ. Quod cùm Rogero Priori Bothmeniæ & Canonicis ibidem Deo servientibus innotuisset, predictus Prior, consilio Fratrum suorum, D’n’m Regem Angliæ Henricum, filium Matildæ Imperatricis, adiit, ut, per ipsius potentiæ auxilium, Corpus Sancti Petroci, quod per furtum amiserant, recuperassent. Ad instantiam autem illorum, concessit eis præfatus Rex auxilium suum; & mandavit per litteras suas Rollando de Dinamno Justiciaris Britanniæ, quod sine dilatione faceret illud Corpus reddi. Audito itaque mandato Regis, prædictus Rollandus venit cum armatâ manu & potenti ad Abbatiam Sancti Mevenni, et præcepit illud corpus reddi; quod cùm Abbas et Monachi ejusdem loci reddere nollent, ipse minas addidit, jurans se per vim, nisi celerius redderetur, extrahere velle illud. Quod ipsi audientes, noluerunt iram prefati Regis Angliæ incurrere: sed beatum Corpus illud reddiderunt prænominato Rogero Priori Bothmeniæ, die Dominicâ Clausi Pentecosten, festo scilicet Sanctorum Gervasii et Prothasi, Martyrum, scilicet 13 kalendas Julii; redditumque est ei corpus illud Sanctum cum omni integritate, & sine aliquâ diminutione, Abbate & Monachis Ecclesiæ Sancti Mevenni, jurantibus super Reliquias ejusdem Ecclesiæ quòd de Corpore illo nihil retinerent, sed idem Corpus non alternatum redderent. Quod cùm factum fuisset, prænominatus Prior Bothmeniæ cum gaudio in Angliam rediens, Corpus beati 98 Petroci in Teca Eburnea reconditum, usque Civitatem Wintoniæ detulit; et cùm in conspectu Regis allatum fuisset: Rex, viso eo & adorato, permisit prædictum Priorem in pace, cum Sancto suo, ad Abbatiam Bothmeniæ redire.[18]

Which may be thus translated:

“In the same year (1177), immediately after the Epiphany of our Lord, a certain Canon of the Abbey of Bodmin, in Cornwall, by name Martinus, secretly took away the body of St. Petroc. Flying with it, he passed beyond the seas, and carried the body to the Abbey of Saint Mevennus, in Lesser Britany.

“When this transaction became known to Roger the Prior of Bodmin, and to the Canons who served God in the same place, the aforesaid Prior, with the advice of his brethren, went to Henry King of England, son of the Empress Matilda, that by his powerful aid they might again get possession of the body of St. Petroc, of which they had been fraudulently deprived. The King granted his aid to their entreaty, and by his letters commanded Rollandus de Dinamnus, the Justiciary of Britanny, that, without any delay, he should cause the body to be restored. When, therefore, Rollandus had received the King’s command, he came with a powerful and armed band to the Abbey of St. Mevennus, and ordered that the body should be given up; and when the 99 Abbat and the Monks were unwilling to comply, he added threats, that, unless the body were yielded immediately, he would use force and take it; which when they heard, they feared to incur the displeasure of the King of England, and therefore restored that blessed body to the before-named Roger, Prior of Bodmin, on the Lord’s Day (Clausi Pentecostes), being the feast of St. Gervasius and of St. Prothasius, martyrs, the thirteenth before the calends of July (June the 19th). And that sacred body was restored in all its integrity, without the least diminution; the Abbat and Monks of St. Mevennus having sworn on the relics belonging to their church that they had not retained any part of the body, but had restored it wholly unaltered.

“When this was done, the before-named Prior of Bodmin, returning with joy into England, brought the body of the blessed Petroc, closed in an ivory case, to the City of Winchester. And when it was brought into the King’s presence, the King, having seen and adored it, permitted the Prior to return in peace with his Saint charge to the Abbey of Bodmin.”

It would appear that such depredations must have frequently occurred, since one precisely similar, but not followed by a restoration of the relics, took place in the neighbouring monastery of St. Neot. In this case, the stolen body of the Saint, having been enshrined at Eynesbury, in Huntingdonshire, bestowed his name as a new appellation to the place. See “A Description, accompanied by sixteen coloured plates, of the Church of St. Neot, in Cornwall,” by J. P. Hedgeland, 1 vol. 4to. 1830, with Illustrations by Davies Gilbert.

Mr. Wallis has collected a very great variety of curious and interesting particulars respecting this town and parish, and given them to the public in a work entitled, “The Bodmin Register; or, Collections relative to the past and present State of the Parish of Bodmin.” And, in doing so, he has proved that the antiquities of a 100 county cannot in any way be illustrated, except by the exertions of individuals locally residing in the district to which their attentions are directed, and that from zeal and ability in such persons every thing may be expected.

The following are extracts from this publication:

The benefice is a vicarage in the gift of Lord de Dunstanville, situated in the Deanery of Trigg Minor, and in the hundred of Trigg. The following are the dimensions of the church: length 151 feet, breadth 63 feet. The greater part was built in the reign of King Edward the Fourth. It was roofed in 1472, as appears by an inscription on the cornice on the northern side of the south aile of the chancel. The northern chancel and the tower appear to be of an earlier date. The walls of the tower are eight feet thick at the base, made for the support of a lofty spire, which was destroyed by lightning, between seven and eight o’clock on Saturday evening, December the 9th, 1699. The present awkward pinnacles were then erected: three of them are dangerous from the decay of the stone.

The ancient building in the church-yard, adjoining to the vicarage-house, was, it is believed, a chantry chapel dedicated to St. Thomas. The interior, 44 feet 9 inches by 19 feet, was used till lately for the free grammar-school. It is now converted to a national school for girls. Under is a crypt or bone-house.

The isolated tower at Berry, on the north of the town, belonged to the chapel of the Holy Rood. The building of this tower was commenced on the 12th of September, 17th of King Henry VII. 1501.

Since the year 1814, both the church and church-yard, which were in a very ruinous and neglected state, have been greatly altered and improved.

Over the porch are the remains of two small rooms, each about eleven feet square, formerly the record and the council rooms of the corporation. The floor of the higher one, the record room, gave way about eighty 101 years ago, as some gentlemen were inspecting the documents. In the lower room some valuable records had remained for a long time neglected, till in the year 1807 or 1808 they were removed to the guild-hall, and there examined and arranged. They contain many curious particulars relative to the history of the parish, and incidentally of the county, during a period of five hundred years, the oldest document bearing date in the 14th Edward II. (1320). Among them is a charter of the 36th Edward III. (1362); another, in good preservation, of the 3d year of Richard II. (1380), having reference to the reigns of Henry the First and Second. A minute of the receipts and payments for the rebuilding of the church, in the years 1469, 1470, and 1471; and also for the erection of Berry Tower, in 1501; the contract with Matthy More, carpenter, for making the pulpit and open seats throughout the church in 1491, the carved remains of which are at present much admired; Resolutions of the Corporation on the destruction of the spire in 1699; also a Petition to King Henry the Eighth, on the eve of the Reformation, conveying some ludicrous charges against the Prior; with various others.

In the north chancel is the altar-tomb of Prior Vivian, the inscription on which has been inserted in page 76. The tomb was repaired, and placed between two pillars of the chancel, in 1819, by the late Sir Vyell Vyvyan, of Trelowarren.

The very splendid organ was given, in the year 1775, by Mr. James Laroche and Mr. George Hunt, at that time Members for the town.

Mr. Wallis enters into a very minute detail of particulars highly interesting to the immediate neighbourhood, but which would occupy too much space in a general parochial history of Cornwall.

The carving in the church is indeed greatly admired, but a large part of that admiration is excited by the appropriate and judicious manner in which it has been rendered ornamental by the present vicar.

102 The inscriptions on various monuments are noticed by Lysons, and other writers.

But a splendid addition has been recently made to the decorations of the church by Lord De Dunstanville, on his retiring from the office of recorder in the corporation. The large east window of the chancel is entirely filled with painted glass, and the middle part contains a well-drawn representation of the Ascension.

Bodmin parish contains 5279 statute acres.

Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815: £. s. d.
 The Town 7784
 The Parish 3077
10,861 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831:
 The Town 1012 0
 The Parish 318 10
1330 10 0
in 1801: in 1811: in 1821: in 1831:
The Town 1951 2050 2902 3375.
The Parish 348 383 376 407.
Total 2299 2383 3278 3782 

Increase on a hundred in 30 years, sixty-four and a half per cent.


Dr. Boase says of the Geology: the town of Bodmin is about midway between two insulated groups of granite, and it is principally built of a stone quarried on the spot, and which well deserves the attention of geologists. This rock in the deeper parts of the quarry becomes more blue; but its common appearance presents various shades of drab or fawn colour, with irregular spots of an ochreous yellow. It breaks into thick laminæ, or slabs, which are traversed by parallel joints; so that, with care, this stone may be obtained in oblong quadrangular masses. It is soft; sometimes so much so as to lose its cohesion. The substance appears to be almost entirely argillaceous.

103 All the cultivated parts of this parish, north and north-west of the town, rest on this rock: and the barren parts on a schistose rock, which is very siliceous, affording by its partial disintegration no more than a shallow, meagre soil; silica predominating in the one, and argillaceous earth, or alumine, in the other. The characteristic rocks of these genera occur next to the granite in the parishes of Blisland and St. Breward, and they will be noticed in the description of the latter parish.

The editor is aware that the article Bodmin has extended to a very great length. It might easily have been extended much further from interesting materials collected by Mr. Wallis relative to the past and present state of this chief seat of our ecclesiastical establishments. On their abolition the town unquestionably fell into great decay, till about the middle of the last century, when roads were made in all directions, and Bodmin, from being almost inaccessible by the modern system of travelling, became an extensive thoroughfare; the market has grown into one of the first in Cornwall, and the whole town is renovated by trade and industry.

If any further apology is required, the editor hopes that he may be excused for some partiality towards a place which he has represented in eight successive Parliaments, after as many unanimous elections.

[15] Speccot.

[16] Bocarne, or Boscarne, seems evidently the house [on] a rock.

[17] This establishment having completely degenerated, and become a mere receptacle for persons of the very worst description, the charter was, about twenty years ago, declared forfeited; and the revenues have been attached to the county hospital, reserving a preference for lepers over all other patients, if any such should present themselves.

[18] A similar account of this curious affair is given by Hoveden, another contemporary author, who continued the history of England from the year 731, where that of Bede ceases, to 1202, the fourth year of King John.

A.D. 1177. Eodem Anno, Martinus, canonicus regularis ecclesiæ de Bomine, furtivè asportavit corpus Sancti Petroci, et fugiens secum detulit in Britanniam ad Abbatiam Sancti Mevenni. Quo comperto, Rogerus Prior Ecclesiæ de Bomine, cum saniore parte capituli sui, adiit Regem Angliæ Patrem; et adversus cùm effecit, quòd præcipiendo mandavit Abbati et Conventui Sancti Mevenni, ut sine delatione redderent corpus Beati Petroci, Rogero Priori de Bomine, jurantes super Sancta Evangelia, et super sanctorum reliquias, quòd ipsi idem corpus, et non alternatum, cum omni integritate reddiderunt.

But King Athelstan is said to have given a part of the bones, the hair, and the garments of this saint to the church of St. Peter at Exeter.



Is situate in the hundred of East, and hath upon the north, Pillaton; south, Salt-Ash, and part of St. Stephen’s; east, Landulph; west, Landrake. For the first name, it signifies “Flemings’ Parish;” for blo, bleau, pleu, in Cornish, is of that signification (viz. a parish); 104 for the second name, it signifies “Flemings,” making amends, or supplying defects (see Verstegan on the word Bote), and seems from the name to be a church founded or endowed by some gentlemen of that name, in order for the commutation of penance for sins committed, and to pray for the founder’s soul, his ancestors, and relatives; by which expedients most religious houses and churches heretofore were built. Originally these Flemings came from Stoke Fleming in Devon, so called, for that once a nobleman of Flanders resided there, and was lord thereof: one of whose posterity, tempore Richard I. in this place, held by the tenure of knight’s service seven knights’ fees, by the name of Stephen Flandrensis (Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, p. 48), who probably was the founder of this church, still bearing his name. His son Richard Flandrensis was sheriff of Cornwall three years, from the third to the sixth year of King John’s reign. Finally, the estate, name, and blood of those Flemings, tempore Henry IV. ended in a daughter and heir, which was married to John Coplestone, of Coplestone, in the county of Devon.

This district of Bote-Fleming, at the time of the Norman Conquest, was rated under the name of Pillaton, still contiguous therewith. But at the time of the inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester into the value of benefices in Cornwall 1294, in order to the Pope’s annats, Ecclesia de Bote-fflemmen in Decanatu de Est Wellshire, was rated iiis. iiiid. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, £16. 15s.; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax 1696, £103. 14s.

Mutten-ham, id est, the Mutton dwelling or habitation, alias Mott-an-ham, the meeting or court dwelling, in the year 1689 was the dwelling of my kind friend John Waddon, Esq. (a justice of peace and deputy-governor of Pendennis Castle for King James, under John Earl of Bath); in which house and place his lordship first treated with the Prince of Orange’s Commissioners, in order to render into his possession the 105 castles of Pendennis and Plymouth, which soon after was performed, on condition of the Earl’s holding his former dominion as governor of those places under him; whereupon he caused the Prince’s declarations to be first proclaimed or published in those garrisons amongst the soldiers; who received and heard the same with great joy, shouts, and acclamations, to the utter destruction of King James’s jurisdiction and power in Cornwall and Devon, and establishing that prince’s.

At this time were dispersed those rhymes, said to be made by father Peters:

“Henricus Octavus
Sold the land that God gave us;
But Jacobus Secundus
Shall refund us.”

The dispersion of which two papers, made all possessors of church lands and impropriators, together with all rectors and vicars of churches in Cornwall (except Mr. Beauford of Lantegles, and Mr. Polwhele of Newland,) to renounce their allegiance to King James, and to take an oath of fealty to the Prince of Orange, after his accession to the crown of England.


I shall take leave to add this interpretation of the words making up the name of this parish. Bote signifies help, succour, aid, or advantage; as in Bridgebote, Burgbote, Ploughbote, &c.; and Fleming, from its ancient lords the Flemings, which family was heretofore of good esteem in this county. In the times of Richard I. and of Henry III., the Flemings are recorded as having large possessions in Cornwall.


The following very extraordinary occurrence has taken place with respect to the estate of Hatt in this parish.

A brother of the last Mr. William Symons went through his clerkship as an attorney with Mr. Rashleigh 106 at St. Austell. He there formed an attachment to a respectable young woman, but in a situation of life so much inferior to his own as to excite a violent opposition against this marriage on the part of his friends. In consequence Mr. Symonds suddenly disappeared; no trace could be discovered, nor was any information received about him, either by his relations or by the deserted object of his affection.

The elder brother died unmarried, and his sisters or their families took possession of his property; till, about forty years after Mr. Symonds had left Cornwall, a young man claimed the whole as his eldest son, and finally substantiated his claim by the verdict of a jury, and to the entire satisfaction of a full court. His father had disappeared about the year 1780; he had employed himself in various humble, but not disreputable occupations, married, and finally settled in Liverpool, where he was accidentally drowned. His family then first acquired, from inspecting his papers, any knowledge of Cornwall, or of the stock from whence they were derived; they found his articles of clerkship, with various letters and documents, which placed his identity beyond all doubt, and the son now possesses the manor house, with a fair private gentleman’s estate.

This parish contains 995 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1887 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1831 223 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase on a hundred in 30 years 32.86, or nearly 33 per cent.

Present Rector, Rev. William Spry, instituted 1826.

This parish is said by Doctor Boase not to be favourable for geological pursuits, the rocks being generally covered with a fertile soil; they belong, however, to the calcareous species.




Boyton is situate in the hundred of Stratton, and hath upon the east the Tamer River, south Warrington, north Tamerton, west North Pedyrwyn, and as a mark of its antiquity and grandeur it was taxed in the Domesday Roll 1067 or 1087, by the present name. In the Inquisition of the Bishop of Lincoln and Winchester before-mentioned, Capella de Boyeton, in Decanatu de Stratone, was rated xxxs. but whether rectory or vicarage I am ignorant; the same not being mentioned either in Wolsey’s Inquisition or Valor Beneficiorum. The patronage in ——. The incumbent ——. This parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, £89. 14s.

Most probable it seems to me, that this place was denominated Boyton in memory of a colony of the Boii Gauls, that out of that country of Gaul first planted themselves here; who were a people on the further side of the Rhine, that with the Helvetians first invaded Gaul, as Cæsar informs us, and placed themselves amongst the Hedui, a people of Gallia Celtica, near the Loire River, and possessed a great part of Burgundy; Cæsar also makes Boia in Gaul the name of a town.

Bradridge in this parish, the broad ridge or farrow of land (Saxon), is the dwelling of John Hoblyn, Esq. barrister at law, son of Mr. Hoblyn, attorney at law, of Bodmin; which place came to this gentleman by marriage with the sole daughter and heir of William Symons, Gent. attorney at law, as it did to him by marriage with the daughter and heir of Heale.

The Heales’ arms are, Party per fess Argent and Sable, a pole counterchanged with three trefoils, one on each side the pole in chief, and the other thereon, in base counterchanged.

108 At Northcott, in this parish, temp. Queen Mary, lived Agnes Prest, but where born, or what her maiden name was, is to me unknown, whose merit challengeth to be recorded in this place, as being the only martyr that suffered death for the Protestant religion in the diocese of Exon during the said Queen’s reign. She is described by Holinshed, Howell, alias Hooker, and by Fuller from them, to be a contemptible woman in respect of her person, (as St. Paul was for a man,) little, and short of stature, and of a brownish complexion. She was indicted, as Mr. Vowell says, at Launceston, in this county, upon Monday the fourth week in Lent, the 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary, before the Grand Jury there assembled. The matter suggested in the Bill was: “For that she denied the Real Presence in the sacrament of the altar; and for saying the same was but a sign and figure of Christ’s body; and that no Christian doth eat the body of Christ carnally, but spiritually.” The evidence against her were her own husband and children; from whom she fled, for that they would compel her, by force, to be present at the celebration of mass. Notwithstanding, upon their testimonies the bill was found, and indorsed, “Billa vera.” Whereupon she came to her trial before William Starford, then Justice of Assize, (probably he that wrote the Pleas of the Crown,) where, upon a full hearing of the case, the Petty Jury also found her guilty, on the testimony aforesaid; after which she was presented to James Turbervill, Bishop of Exeter, for further examination on the premises, but she persisting in her former opinion, was by him condemned as a heretic.

After her condemnation, she refused to receive any money from well-disposed people, that formerly relieved her, saying, she was going to that City where money had no mastery. Soon after she was delivered over to the secular power to be burnt, to Robert Cary, of Cockington, Esq. then Sheriff of Devonshire, or to his Under Sheriff, who saw her executed at Southernhay, without the walls of Exon, in the 54th year of her age, and in 109 the month of November, 1558. This was the only person in whose persecution Bishop Turbervill did appear, in matters of religion, during the time he sat in that see, (consecrated Sept. 8, 1555, deprived in January 1560,) and, as Dr. Fuller saith, her death was procured more by the violence of Blackston, the Chancellor, than by any persecution of the Bishop.

And here it may not be impertinent to show, that our ancestors the Britons of Cornwall received and took the blessed Sacrament in the same sense as this martyr Agnes Prest did receive it; that is by faith only, contrary to the doctrine of Transubstantiation: as is evident from Mount Calvary, a manuscript in verse in the Cornish tongue, written about five hundred years since, a copy of which is now in my own custody, which containeth the history of the Incarnation and Passion of Christ, according to St. John’s Gospel; wherein, amongst others, verse the 79th containeth these words:[19]

Du benegas an bara, therag ay ys abestlye,
An gorfe ay ma, eshenna, ynmeth Chrest, sur rag rye why
Kemeras a berth, en bysma, dispersys henna nos avyth
Dybbery tho gans cregyans, thu da gober teck hag gevyth
Hay gwynsa wor an foys, ef a ranas in tretha
Yn meth Chrest, henna ys goyse ow, evough why pur Cherity.

Which sounds thus in English:

God blessed the bread in presence (or among) his Apostles (or Disciples);
The body of me in this, saith Christ, certainly given for you;
Taken secretly, and in this world despised, this night shall be.
Eat it with faith, thy good, fair reward, and remission.
And the wine on the wall he divided amongst them:
Says Christ, this is my blood; drink you in pure charity.

110 Anno Dom. 1050, Berengarius, a deacon of Angiers in France, disproved and refuted the doctrine of Transubstantiation in a large manuscript, which he sent with letters to Lanfrank, then Abbat of Caen in Normandy, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury from 1070 to 1089, which letters and reasons, in the absence of Lanfrank, being opened by some of his clergy, the same were transmitted to Pope Leo IX. whereupon calling a council at Rome, and the letters and reasons of Berengarius being read, he was condemned for an heretic in 1051. In France also the same year, Pope Leo IX. assembled another council at Versailles against Berengarius, which likewise condemned him for a heretic. The like did Victor II. successor of Pope Leo IX. in 1055, in which council Berengarius answered personally for himself; That, as to the doctrine he taught concerning the Sacrament, he adhered to no particular opinion of his own, but to that which was the ancient and common doctrine of the universal Church.

After Pope Victor II. his successor Pope Nicholas II. assembled at Rome a council of a hundred and thirteen Bishops against Berengarius’ doctrine; who thereupon submitted the same to the Pope and his councils’ correction, who prescribed him a form of recantation. But afterwards he published a refutation of that recantation, and of the doctrines therein contained, anno 1059. Notwithstanding which, the fourth council of Lateran, under Pope Innocent III. in 1160, (Frederick II. being then Emperor), consisting of four hundred bishops and holy fathers, established the Roman doctrine of Transubstantiantion, which was afterwards further confirmed by another council at Lateran, in Rome, under Pope Innocent V. an. Dom. 1215.


The etymology of this name, Boyeton, may be either from the Cornish word “byu,” which is pronounced like 111 “boy,” or from the French “bois,” a wood, which agrees extremely well with its situation in the midst of woods.

I take most if not all the parish to be a part of or holden from the manor of Boyton, which belonged to the Priory of Launceston, and was ultimately given, inter alia, by King Henry the Eighth, to the Duchy of Cornwall, in exchange for the honour of Wallingford.


For a detailed account of Berengarius, see Le Grand Dictionaire Historique, par Moreri, under the word Berenger, who refers to a great variety of authorities.

The account given of Agnes Prest is curious, if she alone suffered in the whole diocese of Exeter during Queen Mary’s persecution. They still exhibit at Exeter the place of her martyrdom, and are persuaded that grass has refused to grow on the spot ever since.

The measurement of this parish is 3,710 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1477 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 240 5 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

Increase on an hundred in 30 years 41.7, or more than 41½ per cent.

Present Vicar, Rev. Edward Rudall, instituted 1826.

The hamlet of Northcot lies in Devonshire, and is therefore not included.

Dr. Boase observes, the dunstone of Devonshire, so ably described by the late Rev. J. E. Conybeare, in the 2d vol. of the Transactions of the Geological Society of London, p. 495, constitutes the rock of this parish. Its compact varieties are very quartzose, and form barren hills; but the schistose dunstone produces a good substratum, which near the Tamar affords productive arable and pasture land.

[19] The whole of Mount Calvary, with a translation by Mr. John Keigwin, made in the year 1682, has been printed by the Editor of this work from a manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The passage above cited occurs in the 44th and 45th stanzas. The general meaning appears to be the same, but the words are differently spelt and divided. The Editor has also printed “The Creation of the World, with Noah’s Flood,” a Play, or Mystery, in the Cornish language, and a Translation into English by the same Mr. John Keigwin; both from the office of Mr. Nichols, No. 25, Parliament-street, London, the printer of this work.




St. Bradock is situate in the Hundred of West, and has upon the south Boconock, the west St. Wennow, east St. Pynnock, north Cardinham, and by this name Bradock or Brodock it was taxed in the Domesday Roll. If its etymology is Saxon the name means broad oak.

In the Pope’s Inquisition into the value of benefices before mentioned, anno 1294, Capella de Bradock in decanatu de Westwells, appropriata domui de Lanceston, was valued at xiiis. ivd.; from whence it appears that this church was endowed by the college of St. Stephen, near Launceston. In Wolsey’s Inquisition and Valor Beneficiorum, at viiil. xiiis. ivd. The patronage in the Bishop of Exeter; and this parish was rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax for one year in 1696 at 57l.


This church is a vicarage; the patronage in Samuel Wetton, Esq.; the incumbent, Mr. James Pearce, who has also the sheaf.

The manor of Bradoke is one of the two hundred and eighty given by the Conqueror to Robert Earl of Morton.


This living, which is stated in the Liber Valorum to be a rectory, was consolidated with Boconnoc in the year 1742, and the clergyman’s residence has recently been removed to Bradock. The united parishes are now in the presentation of Lord Grenville.

Bradock down was the scene of two important events in the civil war.

113 First, a victory obtained by the King’s forces early in 1623 under the command of Sir Bevill Granville, Sir Nicholas Glenning, Sir Ralph Hopton, Arundell, Trevanion, and other gentlemen of the county, over a much larger force commanded by Ruthven, Governor of Plymouth. The victory was so complete that Ruthven with difficulty reached Saltash, accompanied by a few only of his troops, from whence they were speedily driven across the Tamar; and this advantage mainly contributed to the more splendid victory at Stratton, obtained on the 16th of May of the same year; a victory which, rolling on its tide of success through Devonshire and Somersetshire, over Lansdowne and Bristol, might have swept the whole of England but for the recoil of its waves from the walls of Gloucester.

The second event was on a more extensive scale.

Lord Essex having conducted a large army into Cornwall, was followed by the King in person, till they approached so near that the King had his head quarters at Boconnoc, and Lord Essex at Lanhidrock, when, after various skirmishes and proposals for negotiation on the part of the King, Lord Essex at last, on the 30th or 31st of August 1644, accompanied by Lord Robartes, and some other officers, abandoned his army, and reached Plymouth by sea; and on the same day Sir William Belfour, with Col. Nicholas Boscowen, Lieut.-Col. James Hals, of Merther, Henry Courtenay, of St. Bennet’s in Lanivet, Col. John Sentaubyn of Clawanar, his Lieut.-Col. Briddon, Col. Carter, and others of the horde of two thousand five hundred cavalry, forced their passage through the King’s army, over St. Winnow, Boconnoc, and Bradock Downs, to Saltash, and from thence to Plymouth. Their escape is said to have been mainly owing to the negligence of General Goring, whose ill conduct and exactions in Cornwall, have left his name as a term of severe reproach up to the present time.

114 After these discouraging events, Major-Gen. Skippon found himself in command of the infantry, for whom he obtained a favourable capitulation, the particulars of which may be seen in Lord Clarendon’s History, and they are given by Mr. Hals, from whose statement the above is chiefly abridged.

Mr. Hals adds a circumstance illustrative of the animosity excited by internal dissensions; and, as his feelings and opinions were all on the royal side, the narrative may be esteemed deserving of credit.

Notwithstanding the articles, the disarmed soldiers of the Parliament, as they marched by the King and his army on Boconnoc and Bradock Downs, and elsewhere, were barbarously slaughtered and shot upon by the King’s soldiers, so that many perished thereby, others were stripped comparatively naked, and robbed of their money, others had their horses taken from them; whereupon Major-General Skippon, with undaunted courage, rode up to the King’s troop, and told him personally of the injury and violence offered, and the slaughter of his men, contrary to the articles, which in such cases were kept inviolable by all nations of men; and therefore prayed the King to be just, and to prohibit those barbarities of his soldiers for the future, which the King forthwith commanded to be done. But his word and authority were little regarded while his army were in sight of the Parliamentary soldiers.

This total discomfiture of Lord Essex’s army left the King without an enemy in arms through the whole of Cornwall, and a letter is preserved in the hands of Lord Dunstanville from his ancestor Sir Francis Basset, respecting the last words addressed to him by the King: “Mr. Sheriff, I leave the county entirely at peace in your hands.”

Bradock contains 2935 statute acres.

£. s. d. 115
The annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1025 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 83 18 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

being an increase of 74½ per cent. in 30 years.


This parish may be geologically considered as a part of Boconnoc. The substratum is the same. The rocks and stones are rather more quartzose, accompanied by an increased appearance of shorl.



St. Breock is situate in the hundred of Pyder, and hath upon the north St. Issy; east, Wadebridge on the Alan river; south, St. Wenn and Withiel; west, St. Columb Major.

The name is derived from St. Breock or Briock, the patron of this church, of one in the island of Guernsey, and perhaps of Breage near Helston.

This St. Breock was a native of Ireland, born at Cork about the fifth century. A man famous in his day, for the most strenuous support of the orthodox faith in opposition to Arianism, the heresy at that time distracting the Latin Church. He was bishop of a diocese in Armorica, now called Britany, where the place of his residence is at this day distinguished by his name.

This parish does not appear in the Bishop of Lincoln’s valuation; but in that of Wolsey it is rated at 41l. 10s. 6d.

116 In the Domesday survey this parish was rated under the district of Pelton or Penpow, now Powton.

This Powton was the voke lands of a manor given to the See of our Cornish Bishop; afterwards to the Bishop of Kirton, and then to Exeter; finally to the Priory of St. Petroc at Bodmin. After the dissolution of monasteries, this barton, together with the extensive manor to which it belonged, passed through a great variety of hands by sale, so that Mr. Hals says the manor had sixteen lords of different families in about sixty-two years; a mutability not to be instanced in any other lands in Cornwall, except Fentongellon in St. Michael Penkivell, which also contained a religious house, but in 26 Henry VIII. was converted to secular purposes.

This manor of Pelton has always possessed a court leet, where writs might be entertained without any limit of amount; but, the lord of the manor having suffered from various escapes of persons confined for debt, the prison, and with it the judicial functions of the court, have been discontinued. Sir William Morice, the secretary of state and friend of General Monk, acquired this manor by purchase. His second daughter, Barbara Morice, married Sir John Molesworth of Penconnow, and brought this property into that family, where it still remains.

Hurston in this parish, which I take to be from the Saxon, and to mean wood town, is still situated in a wood, and formerly belonged to the Cormynews of Fentongellon.

Tredinick gave name and origin to an ancient family of gentlemen. Christopher Tredinick was sheriff of Cornwall in 22 Henry VIII.; he gave for his arms, In a field Or, on a bend Sable three bucks’ heads caboshed Argent. His family and name are now, I take it, both extinct. In the time of Charles II. this property came by purchase to Lord Robartes.

[Mr. Hals adds a fanciful derivation of this name; 117 but since “doon” and “din” are well known to signify a place tenable either by nature or art, and “ick” is unquestionably water, Tre-din-ick will be either the fortified town, or the hill town, near a river.]

Trevorder, meaning the further town, or the one most distant; also Trevorder Bickin, the far-off beacon-town, belonged to the Carmynews of Fentongellon, having come to them by the heiress of Trenowith, as Trenowith had acquired it by the heiress of Tregago. It passed by sale from the Carmynews to Vyell, and has subsequently split between six coheiresses, who married Prideaux, Vyvyan, Dennis, Grensill, Rinden, and Smith.


Mr. Tonkin has not any thing worth inserting that differs from Mr. Hals, except perhaps his etymology of the name Dunveth, a place belonging once to Tredinick, and situated near the churchyard, and therefore named the hill of graves; beth being a grave in Welch and Cornish, and the labials b and v perpetually changing into each other.


This parish measures 6875 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 6910 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1831 776 14 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

being an increase of rather more than 50 per cent. in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. W. Molesworth, presented in 1816 by Sir W. Molesworth, Bart.


On the north and north-eastern parts of this parish, in the vicinity of the Camel, the land is fertile, resting on a rock which sometimes resembles a calcareous schist, 118 but more commonly that kind of clay-slate which abounds in the calcareous series. This slate at Penquean splits into very thin leaves, and is then quarried as a roofing slate, but is softer and has less lustre, and is not so durable as that raised at Delabole near Camelford. The south and south-western parts of the parish consist of barren downs; the rock forming the substratum is, however, very similar in appearance to what occurs in the other division; but it contains more silex and is less laminated, does not easily cleave, and is less susceptible of decomposition than the former, and therefore produces only a meagre, arenaceous soil.



Is situate in the hundred aforesaid, and hath upon the north, Crowan; west, Germow; east, Sithney; south, the British Channel. Of the name and titular guardian of this church I have spoken before. By the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, to the Pope’s annats, 1294, ecclesia Sancti Breuc in decanatu de Kerryer, was rated 16l. Vicar ejusdem 36s. It is now the mother church of Cury, Germow, and Gunwallo, and goes in presentation and consolidation with them, though at the time of the inquisition aforesaid they were taxed separate. In Wolsey’s Inquisition 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, they are valued together in first fruits 33l. The patronage in the crown, the incumbent Trewinard. This parish was rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax 1696, 230l. 4s. temp. William III. At the time of the Norman conquest, if this parish was not taxed under the jurisdiction of Lanmigall, i. e. Michael’s Temple or Church, (now St. Michael’s Mount,) the priors whereof, or the king or duke, endowed it, together with those other before named, it was rated under the 119 district of Treskeaw, that is to say the skeawe, or elder-tree town, a place, as I am informed, well known and still extant there.

In the pleas of the crown in the Exchequer, 12th Edward I., I found it thus written of Pengelly in this parish.

“Johannes de Treveally tenet in Pengelly, in comitatu Cornubiæ, dimidium acram terræ Cornubiensem, (above a hundred English,) per sergiantiam recipiendi unam capam de grisando ad Pontem de Penleton, cum Rex fuerit inveniendus versus Cornubiam; et intrando Domino de Cabilla, qui eam in adventu domini Regis ibidem deferre debet, et eam tradere eidem Johanni, qui quidem Johannes eandem capam ferre debet cum domino Rege pro totam in Cornubiam;” which Mr. Hals interprets, that the half acre Cornish is held by the duty of its owner receiving a great coat from some one in Devonshire at Penleton Bridge, and to carry it about for the King’s use, so long as he remains in Cornwall.

In this parish stands the barton and manor of Good-ol-gan, also God-al-gan, synonymous words, only varied by the dialect, meaning a place that was altogether a wood down, a name anciently given and taken from the natural circumstances thereof. Otherwise, if the name consist of English-Cornish, God-ol-gan signifies a place that was altogether God’s downs. As for the modern name Good-ol-phin, God-ol-fyn, it, in like manner as the former, admits of no other etymology or construction than that it was a place that was altogether a wood, fountain, well, or spring of water, or altogether God’s fountain or spring of water. But because the words god, gud, good, in Cornish, Belgic, and British, are always taken and adopted in the first sense, to signify only a wood, and the words Du, Due, and Dyu, are the proper appellations of God, and no other in Cornish, I cannot apprehend how that sacred name is concerned in the initial part of this word, Godolphin, which refers, 120 as I said before, to the circumstances of the place, viz. that no table, fountain, well, or spring of water here, that passeth beneath the house, through the gardens, and the woods and groves of timber that still surround the same.

Contrary to this etymology, Mr. Carew, in his “Survey of Cornwall,” page 153, says that godolphin signifies a white eagle, than which nothing can be more untrue; for, in all those compound words, there is not one particle or syllable relating thereto, or any other than the British language whatsoever: for wen erew, wen eryr, wen eriew, and by contraction wen-er, is a white eagle in the Welch, Little-Britannic, and Cornish tongues. [See Dr. Davis’s British Lexicon, and Floyd upon Aquila.] In like manner Verstegan tells us, that, in the Saxon tongue, blond erna is a white eagle; as also in the German and Dutch tongues; and the French dictionaries inform us that blanch ægle, or aegle, is a white eagle; ἀετος [aetos] in Greek; aquila, in Latin; nesher in the Hebrew; from whence our British erew, erier, eryr, eriew, is derived.

In opposition to all those etymologies of the word godolphin, Mr. Sammes in his Britannia, and the author of the additions to Camden’s Britannia, tells us that godolac in the Phenician tongue signifies a land of tin, from whence they apprehend the name of godolphin is derived, especially because tin is found in the precincts thereof, but surely not comparable in quantity to what is made in forty other places in Cornwall, that yet come not under that denomination of godolphin, as being tin land.

From the name I proceed to the matter or thing itself, viz. the manor and barton of Godolphin; which lands, in the time of Edward III., were the lands of Sir John Lamburne, Knight, of Lamburne in Peransand, whose daughter and heir was afterwards married to Sir Renphry, or John Arundell, of Lanherne, Knight, one 121 of whose posterity, viz. Edmond Arundell, Knight, tempore Henry VI. sold the same to one Stephens, upon condition of a kind of domineering, lording, or insulting tenure, and reservation of rent to his manor of Lamburne in Peransand, viz. “that once a year for ever the Reeve of the said Manor should come to Godolphin, and there boldly enter the hall, jump upon the table, or table-board, and there stamp or bounce with his feet or club, to alarm and give notice to the people of his approach, and then and there make proclamation aloud three times, ‘Oyes! oyes! oyes! I am the Reeve of the Manor of Lamburne in Peransand, come here to demand the old rent, duties, and customs, due to the lords of the said Manor from the lands of Godolphin.’ Upon which notice there is forthwith to be brought him 2s. 8d. rent, a large quart of strong beer, a loaf of wheaten bread worth sixpence, and a cheese of the like value; which the Reeve having received, he shall drink of the beer, taste the bread and cheese in the place, and then depart, carrying with him the said rent and remainder of those viands, to the lords of the Manor aforesaid, to whom they are still duly paid, which at present are Sir John Seyntaubyn, Bart. and others, who claim it in right of the two daughters and heirs of the said Edmund Arundell, which were married to Danvers and Whitington, as Whitington’s heirs were married to St. Aubyn and others.

After Stephens purchased those lands of Godolphin from Arundell, and came possessed thereof, his only daughter and heir was married to Ralph Knava, or Nava, of ——; which name or word is of quite another signification in the British tongue than what it signifies in the English; for knava, nava, nawe, naue, signifies the same as servus, servulus, famulus, minister, administer, ministrator, in Latin; hence it is that in Trevisa’s and Tyndale’s translation of the Bible into English, the word is used in this sense by them; Titus 122 i, v. 1, “Paul a knava of Jesus Christ;” and the like, 2nd Timothy, chap. i. v. 1, “Paul a nava of Jesus Christ;” which words, in the translation of the Bible in James I.’s time, the translators have rightly rendered into new English, by the names of “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ;” and “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ;” that is, a messenger, an ambassador, or servant, sent, as apostolus; in the original Greek δουλος (doulos), servus και et αποστολος (apostolus); and in all other places in the Old and New Testament, where they met with the Greek words doulos and apostolus, they are by them so rendered.

From the British names nave, nava, nawe, knawe, the old name or distinction of this tribe or family may be plainly inferred, for that the first ancestor or progenitor thereof was of a mere British extraction; a servant, steward, ambassador, minister, or messenger of God, Christ, his king, prince, or other master, (for those words are all synonymous, only by the dialect varied with the transposing of a vowel,) and is a name of office of one that is a substitute or vicegerent, and acts under another.

But more certain I am that John Knava, of Godolphin, Esq. was struck Sheriff of Cornwall by King Henry VII., 1504, who declared his great liking of that gentleman in all circumstances for the said office, but discovered as much dislike of his name after the English, not understanding the import thereof in Cornish, and so further said, that, as he was pater patriæ, he would transnominate him to Godolphin, whereof he was lord; and accordingly caused or ordered that in his letters patent under the broad seal of England, for being Sheriff of Cornwall, he should be styled or named John Godolphin, of Godolphin, Esq. and by that name he accounted at the year’s end with that king for his office in the Exchequer, and had his acquittance from thence, as appears from the record in the Pipe Office there.

123 Since which time his posterity have (ever since) made Godolphin the hereditary name of their family. His son, William Godolphin, Esq. was Sheriff of Cornwall 21 Henry VIII.; William Godolphin, Knight, was Sheriff of Cornwall 29 Henry VIII.; William Godolphin, Knight, was Sheriff of Cornwall, 3 Edward VI.; William Godolphin, Knight, was Sheriff of Cornwall 12 Elizabeth; Francis Godolphin, Esq. afterwards Sir Francis, was Sheriff of Cornwall 21 Elizabeth; Francis Godolphin, Knight, was Sheriff of Cornwall 2nd James I.; Francis Godolphin, Esq. afterwards Knight, was Sheriff of Cornwall 13 Charles I., whose son, Sir William Godolphin, was by Charles II. created the five hundred and fifty-second Baronet of England 29th April 1661. His younger brother, Sidney Godolphin, Esq. Member of Parliament for Helston, one of the Commissioners of the Treasury, who had been sent several embassies to foreign princes, was by King Charles II. by letters patent bearing date 8th Sept. 1684, created Lord Godolphin and Baron of Rialton.

Certes, from the time that this family was seised of Godolphin, such a race of famous, flourishing, learned, valiant, prudent men have served their prince and country in the several capacities of members of Parliament, justices of the peace, deputy lieutenants, sheriffs, colonels, captains, majors, and other officers, both military and civil, as scarce any other family this country hath afforded, which I do not mention (for that my great-grandmother on the one side, the wife of Sir John Arundell, of Tolverne, Knight, was daughter of the aforesaid Sir Francis Godolphin, Knight, Sheriff of Cornwall 21 Elizabeth,) but as their just character and merit; and I challenge the envious justly to detract from the same.

This Right Honourable Sidney Lord Godolphin aforesaid, was a commissioner for the Treasury about twenty years, which trust and office he discharged with 124 unquestionable justice, fame, and reputation, during the reigns of King Charles the Second, King James the Second, and till the latter end of the reign of King William the Third, when he voluntarily resigned his office. After that King’s death he was by Queen Anne made sole Lord High Treasurer of England, 1701, in which station he continued with unblamable conduct till the year 1710, the time of his death, (having been before, by that Queen, created Earl Godolphin,) a place of such import, trust, grandeur, and honour, as no Cornishman before him ever arrived to, except the Lord Benham, (or rather their name of old Cardinham,) temp. Henry VII. Two such persons perhaps for their skill in accounts, rents, revenues of the crown, and other matters pertaining to the exchequer, equal to, if not superior to, any Lord Treasurer of England before them.

The paternal coat-armour of this noble family are, Gules, an imperial eagle with two necks between three fleurs-de-lis argent.

Pen-gar-wick in this parish, also Pen-gars-wick, id est, the head word, or command, fenced or fortified place; so called from the command or authority of the lord thereof heretofore in these parts, and the strength of the house and the tower thereof, otherwise Pen-gweras-ike, i. e. the creek, cove, or bosom of waters, head help, as situate upon the sea, or waters of the British Channel. This barton and manor, in the latter end of the reign of Henry VIII., was purchased by one Mr. Milliton, a gentleman of the county of —— where having wilfully or accidentally committed murder, or slain a man, in order to shun or avoid justice he privately made the purchase aforesaid in the name of his son, and so immured himself in a private chamber of the tower of Pengarwick, that he was not seen of any person but his trusty friends, so that he finished the natural course of his life without detection of his person, or punishment for the crime aforesaid; but, alas! notwithstanding his concealment, 125 and design of perpetuating his name and tribe in this place, his son Job Milliton, Esq. 1st Edward the Sixth, made Governor of St. Michael’s Mount, (in the room of Renphry Arundell, Esq. executed for rebellion,) who married Godolphin, and had issue William Milliton, Esq. sheriff of Cornwall 7th Elizabeth, 1565, that died without issue, and six daughters, that became his heirs, married 1. to Erisy, afterwards to Sir Nicholas Parker; 2. to Lanyon; 3. to Trefusis, and Tregothick; 4. to Trenwith, Arundell, and Herle; 5. to Bonython; 6. to Abbot, from some of which heiresses, Sir Nicholas Hals, Knight, at his first coming from Efford in Devon into Cornwall, purchased their parts of this lordship, with leases from the rest of the coparceners, and for some time made it and Trewinard the places of his dwelling till he removed to Fentongollen. This place afterwards, by his unthrifty son and heir, John Hals, had all its timber cut down that was growing upon it, and sold, which tradition saith was great store; the lands also were sold to Godolphin and some others.

The arms of Milliton were, out of a supposed allusion to their name, a chevron between three millet fishes hariant or erected; whereas Milli-ton is a mill town.


There is not any thing in Mr. Tonkin of importance, differing from Mr. Hals.

He gives the Cornish distich, which has often been repeated,

Germow Mathern,
Breaga Lavethas.

“Germow was a king—Breaga a midwife;” which he explains in a spiritual sense.

In the church-yard of Germoe, is a small alcove called King Germoe’s Throne: it may perhaps have been a plain, simple shrine.



Mr. Sidney Godolphin must be considered as the most eminent statesman and politician of this county, not excepting Lord Chatham, if his birth at Boconnoc should be deemed sufficient to make him a Cornish man.

Advanced to the honour of Earl of Godolphin, decorated with the Garter, and placed in high office as Lord High Treasurer, he mainly conducted the great national affairs at home, while the Duke of Marlborough vindicated, by splendid victories in the field, the religious and civil liberties of the world.

—— Victorque volentes
Per populos dat jura; viamque affectat Olympo.

To Lord Godolphin we are also indebted for conducting to a successful conclusion a measure most beneficial to this whole island, the Union with Scotland; and the whole tenour of his administration procured for him, with the consent of all parties, the appellation of Wise.

In an ode inscribed to the Earl of Sunderland on his receiving the Garter, is this stanza:

In after times, as Courts refined,
Our patriots in the list were join’d,
Not only Warwick stain’d with blood,
Or Marlborough near the Danube’s flood,
Here in their crimson crosses glow’d;
But, on just law-givers bestow’d,
Those emblems Cecil did invest,
And gleam’d on Wise Godolphin’s breast.

Sidney Earl of Godolphin died in 1712, and was succeeded by his son Francis, then called Lord Rialton, who had married Henrietta Churchill, eldest daughter of the Duke of Marlborough.

This lady became Duchess of Marlborough on the decease of her father in 1722, under the provision of a special Act of Parliament, but dying in 1733 without issue, the Dukedom and property devolved on her nephew 127 Charles Spencer Earl of Sunderland, son of her sister Ann Churchill.

The Earldom of Godolphin expired also on the death of Francis Godolphin in 1766; but a Barony had been conferred on him, with remainder to the heirs of his uncle Henry Godolphin; this fell to his first cousin Francis Lord Godolphin. On his decease in 1785 the name and honour of Godolphin became extinct. But Mary, daughter and eventually sole heir of Francis the second and last Earl of Godolphin, had married Thomas Osborne, fourth Duke of Leeds, and his great-grandson Francis Godolphin D’Arcy Osborne, Duke of Leeds, inherits the property as heir-at-law.

The Godolphins appear never to have possessed an estate in land beyond the limits of what might fairly belong to a private gentleman; but the produce of tin has been very great from the period recorded by Mr. Carew, so that the name of the place may well be derived from that metal; subsequently, the produce of copper has exceeded that of the tin. The whole parish of Breage is covered by mines, and the largest and most productive, and most expensive tin mine ever known, is now producing a greater quantity of metal than was yielded in former times by the whole county. Whele Vor, now employing several steam-engines of the largest size to exhaust the water, and numerous others to draw up the ore, and afterwards to reduce it into the state of a fine powder, is said to have used, about a century ago, the first steam-engine ever seen in Cornwall.

Pengelly in this parish was the residence, for many generations, of the Spernons or Sparnons. The family became extinct on the death of a gentleman in the medical profession at Lostwithiel, and the property was sold about fifty years ago.

For an anecdote respecting newspapers and despatches, see the notice of Mr. Ralph Allan in St. Blazey.

This parish contains 6456 statute acres.

128 £. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 8673 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 1293 15 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

103 per cent. or 3 per cent. above doubled in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. R. G. Grylls, presented by the King in 1809.


This extensive parish includes nearly the whole of that granitic patch known by the names of Tregonning and Godolphin Hills; and it also comprises the greater part of the country lying between those hills and those of the opposite range of granite in Wendron and Crowan, called the Forest. Its mines, quarries, and sea cliffs afford most interesting geological sections.

The granite of Godolphin Hill is of the common kind, containing in several places an intermixture of shorl, and it is traversed by numerous thick veins of quartz, which sometimes pass into compact shorl rock. The granite of Tregonning Hill is of two kinds; one fine-grained like free-stone, which is extensively quarried on the western side of the hill, and used for ornamental building, under the name of Breage stone; the other, abounding in talc, and in a state of considerable decomposition, affording, like the similar granites of St. Austell and St. Stephen’s, the china clay, which is here worked for economical purposes, but not to any great extent.

The western part of the celebrated mine Whele Vor is situated in Breage; and, as the workings approach the granite, they exhibit a highly interesting arrangement of rocks, the granite and slate alternating in the same manner as they have been observed to do at Delcoath in Cambourne. The composition of these rocks, and the nature of their connection, are very evidently seen 129 in the heaps of fragments piled round the shafts; but they are better and more clearly illustrated in the cliffs near Trewaras Head.

It would occupy two much space to enter into details on this important subject. It may, however, be noticed that both the granite and the slate gradually pass into each other; and that they appear to differ very little in their mineral composition. These facts seem to explain, in a satisfactory manner, the nature of granite veins. For, if both rocks have a similar composition, and have been produced at the same time, the form, position, contents, and other circumstances of these veins, are no longer perplexing.



St. Breward is situate in the hundred of Trigg, and hath upon the north Advent, south Blisland, east Altar Nun, west St. Tudy. There was not such parish or church extant in Cornwall at the time of the Norman Conquest as Brewer; probably it was taxed under Tudy. In the inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, in order to the Pope’s annats, 1294, Ecclesia de Bruerd, in Decanatu de Trig-minor-shire, was valued at 7l. vicar ejusdem 20s. In Wolsey’s inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, 8l.; the patronage in the Dean and Chapter of Exeter; the incumbent Downes, the rectory or sheaf, in ——, and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound land-tax, 1696, by the name of Brewer, 111l. 12s. The present name of this church is celebrated in memory of its founder, William Brewer, (son of William Lord Brewer, Baron of Odcombe in Somerset,) who was consecrated Bishop of Exeter, 1224, and was afterwards, by King Henry III., sent on divers 130 embassies to foreign princes, and to conduct Isabel, sister of the said King Henry, to be married to Frederick the Emperor, whom he and Peter de Rupibus, Knight, afterwards accompanied into Palestine, and were made generals of 40,000 men against the Turks. And after all those fatigues, as Bishop Godwin saith, he returned home safely to his see of Exeter, and spent the remainder of his days in building and endowing churches, adorning and enriching his own cathedral church, and instituting within the same a dean and twenty-four prebendaries, allowing the latter a stipend of 4l. per annum, since augmented to 20l. (which is no more than 4l. in those days was worth). He also set up a chantor, chancellor, and treasurer within the same. To the chantor and subdean thereof he appropriated the rectory of Rainton and Chudleigh in Devon, and the rectory then, now a vicarage, of Egloshayle, in Cornwall. To the chancellor he appropriated (or impropriated) the vicarage of Newlan in Cornwall, and Stoke Gabriel in Devon, on condition that he should preach a sermon once a week. To the canons a lecture in Divinity, or on the Decretals, within the cathedral of Exeter, and in case the chancellor should fail in this particular, it should be lawful for the bishop thereof for the time being to resume the said churches so appropriated, into his own hand, and bestow them at his pleasure; as appears from a deed between the said bishop, dean, and chapter, 12th May, 1662, as Hooker saith. But this covenant is exactly kept ever since by the chancellor or his clerk, who once a week, at six o’clock morning prayers, preach a sermon to the canons.

This Bishop Brewer appropriated this church bearing his name to the dean and chapter of this cathedral, which he had as aforesaid erected. He lies buried in the middle of the choir thereof, with an inscription still legible, which, amongst others, containeth these words: Hic jacet Willielmus Brewer, quondam hujus Ecclesiæ 131 Cathedralis Episcopus; fundator etiam quatuor principalium ejusdem Ecclesiæ Dignitatum. By the four principal dignities or dignitaries of the church, I suppose, is meant the dean, chantor, chancellor, and treasurer thereof.

The deanery of Exon was founded by William Briwere, Bishop of Exon 1225.[20]


This parish of St. Breward is also called Simon Ward; and the popular legend has changed a pious and venerable bishop into one Simon Ward, a domestic brewer to King Arthur. I rather conjecture that on the division of parishes it was called Brewer from “bruiers,” which in the French tongue is “heath.”


The principal villages in this parish are Lank Major, Lank Minor, without doubt Lank Vrauz, and Lank Vean; perhaps lank may be lan, varying with local pronunciation in the absence of all orthography, when the names will signify the great and small inclosure; also Swallock. Mr. Lysons states that the ancient manor of Hamethy, or Hametethy, is situated in this parish, five-sixths belonging to Mr. Mitchell of Hengar, in the adjacent parish of St. Tudy, and the other sixth to Mr. Kekewich.

But this parish is distinguished from all others in Cornwall by the locality of Roughtor and Brown Willy; these hills, pre-eminent from their elevation, and from the granite crags studded over the whole expanse of their surfaces, may be seen from an elevation crossed by the road near Ilfracombe in the north of Devon, and 132 from the high land in Zennor, about ten miles from the Land’s End.

This parish contains 8552 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property as returned to Parliament in 1815 2561 0 0
Poor Rates in 1831 289 2 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

increase on a hundred in 30 years of 22210 per cent.

Present Vicar, the Rev. T. J. Landon, presented in 1815 by the Dean and Chapter of Exeter.


The greater part of this parish is situated on granite, including within its boundaries Roughtor and Brown Willy, the highest hills in Cornwall, the latter being 1368 feet above the level of the sea. The composition of this granite has been already noticed under the head of Advent: it affords few varieties, which may be owing to its offering few opportunities for examination.

The circumstance most attractive of attention is the great sterility of this extensive district; some few contracted spots are indeed brought into cultivation; some parts afford summer pasturage for cattle, and others turf for fuel; but by far the greater portion of the whole lies entirely unproductive. And this character belongs to the whole insulated patch of granite more than ten miles in diameter; and the church of St. Breward is the only one to be found on this extensive surface of perhaps from forty to fifty thousand acres; while nine churches are to be found on the granite district of the Land’s End, where this substratum, departing from its usual qualities, gives fertility to the soil.

The western extremity of this parish is fertile, resting on a peculiar kind of slate, which possesses geological interest. It may be seen at Combe, at Penrose, and at other places near the river Camel, and appears to be a 133 variety of mica slate, being composed of granular felspar, interlaminated with mica. It contains beds of dark purple felspar rock, very similar to that which abounds in the mining district in the western part of the county. This micaceous slate gradually passes into a thick lamellar rock, which extensively disintegrates and becomes argillaceous, exactly resembling the stone quarried for building at Bodmin.

[20] This is written in a different hand.



Bridgerule is situate in the hundred of Stratton, i. e. street or highway town. Now the part of the parish that is on the north side of the river Tamar, hath upon the north Launcells, west Marham Church, south Whitstone, east the Tamar river. The church stands on the Devonshire side, in the Halisworthy hundred, so that this rule or dominion of the Bridge extendeth itself into both counties, as to spirituals and temporals. In the Valor Beneficiarum, it is called Brige Rowell. Ecclesia de Bridge Rule, in Decanatu de Stratone, was taxed to the Pope’s annats, in 1294, at vl. iiis. 8d. Vicar ibidem nihil propter paupertatem. In Wolsey’s Inquisition it was taxed at 14l., and the parish was rated to the 4s. land-tax, in 1696, at 45l. 3s.

At the time of the Domesday Roll, 20 W. Conq. this district was taxed under the name of Tacabere, which place is now the dwelling place of Mr. Samuel Gilbert.


Mr. Risdon, in his History of Devon, part ii. p. 298, gives the true etymology of this place, in those words, “Bridge Renold, of the vulgar Bridge Rule, anciently 134 Brige, by which name it is simply so called before the Norman Conqueror bestowed it upon Reginald[21] Adobed, and hence it took the adjunct of its owner.” The original of the primitive name is the bridge connecting the two parts across the Tamar.

The manor of Tackbere, in Domesday called Tacabere, was one of those which the Conqueror bestowed on his half-brother the Earl of Morton.


This manor of Tacabre, or Takkebere, which appears to have been very extensive, is said by Mr. Lysons to have been bestowed by King Edward the Third on the Abbey of St. Mary of Graces, which appears in Tanner’s Notitia Monastica to have been founded by that king in the years 1349-50, in the new church-yard of the Holy Trinity, eastward of the Tower of London. The manor has since acquired the name of Merrifield, probably Maryfield, from the monastery. It was for many years the property of Gilberts, a branch from the Gilberts of Crompton Castle, near Torbay. The only daughter of the last Mr. Gilbert, of Tackbere, married Mr. Cotton Amy, of Botreaux Castle, who left two daughters; Anne, who survived her sister, but died unmarried after a long insanity; and Grace, married to Mr. Jonathan Phillipps, of Camelford, and of Newport, near Launceston, who was subsequently knighted in 1786, on the memorable occasion afforded by Margaret Nicholson. This lady had several children: two daughters were alive at the time of her decease in 1788, but they both died in twelve months after their mother, and Tackbere has ascended through the two female lines, and become vested in the right heirs-at-law of Mr. Samuel Gilbert, the father of Mrs. Amy.

The portion of this parish which is situated in Cornwall, 135 measures no more than 851 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 719 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 80 1 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of just 31 per cent. in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. Thos. Hockin Kingdon, B.D.

Doctor Boase has not noticed this small division of a parish. The geology will probably be stated with that of some parish adjoining.

[21] The Domesday surname, however, is still nearer to the modern orthography; being, not Reginald, but Ruald.—Edit.



Budock is situate in the hundred of Kerrier, and hath upon the north Gluvias, east Falmouth, west Mawnan, south the British channel; and by the name of Bowidoc it was taxed in Domesday Roll, a corruption of Bud-oc, or Bud-ock, signifying a bay, cove, creek, haven, or inlet of waters, and oak; according to the ancient natural circumstances of the place.

In the inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, into the value of benefices, in order to the Pope’s annats, ecclesia de Sancto Budoco, in decanatu de Kerrier, is rated at 6l. At that time, it seems, it was not consolidated into Gluvias; though afterwards, in Wolsey’s Inquisition, they were united, as will appear in that place. The patronage in the Bishop of Exeter, the incumbent Collyer; the rectory or sheaf in possession of Pendarves, and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound land-tax, 1696, 122l. 11s.

Against the south wall of this church stand some 136 funeral monuments, pertaining to the ancient and famous family of the Killigrews, particularly that of Sir John Killigrew, Knight, that married Wolverston, temp. Elizabeth, and some others. The barton of Arwinike, their chief seat in former ages, being within this parish, till Falmouth parish where it now stands was dismembered from it by Act of Parliament 1663, near which monument is a stone fastened to the wall of the said church, also containing the memorial of Sir Nicholas Parker, Knight, some time Governor of Pendennis Castle, who married the widow of Erisey, one of the coheirs of Militon of Pengerwick, and died 1608, who was succeeded in that dignity by Sir Nicholas Hals of Fentongollan, Knight.

The arms of Parker were, as I take it, Chequy, a fess.

Ros-meran in this parish, was of old the lands of Killigrew.

Trescobays, also Triscobays, Triscovays, in this parish, (synonymous words, signifying treble or threefold kisses,) was the dwelling of William Gross, gentleman, that married Erisey the widow of Charles Vyvyan, of Merthin, Esq. mother of Sir Richard Vyvyan, Baronet, who, upon some jealousy or discontent of his wife, drank a pint or quart of brandy, entered his chamber, took a pistol and charged it with a brace of bullets, and then forthwith shot himself dead, about the year 1693.

At Treon, Trone, (id est, Saxon, a tree,) for two or three descents, was the dwelling of the Thomases, transnominated to Carnsew, by living at Carnsew in Mabe; id est, the dry rock, where they married Tripcony, Seyntaubyn, and —— finally Thomas Carnsew, gentleman, attorney-at law, sold those land to Trewinard, and in testimony of the truth of the said transnomination, this family still give for their arms the same as Thomas, and not that of Carnsew; viz. in a field Argent, a chevron between three talbots Sable. Trewinard hath since sold it to Rundle.



On the western side of this parish, behind Arwinnick, the seat of Sir Peter Killigrew, is a large pool, like a little harbour, between two hills, but that it hath a bar of sand and pebbles, which keepeth out the sea, like that of the Loe near Helston. It is commonly called the Swan Pool, for that Sir Peter Killigrew, to whom it belongs, kept abundance of swans here.

Trewoon, or Treoon, in this parish, the downy dwelling, or house —— in the downs, was the seat of the Carnsews, who had their name from their habitation at Carnsew in Mabe, where they formerly possessed a fine estate, which, being wasted by extravagant living, this barton was at first mortgaged, and a little after the late Revolution, sold by Mr. John Carnsew to Joseph Trewinnard, rector of Mawnan.


The manor of Penwerris, become of great value by its proximity to Falmouth, is the property of Lord de Dunstanville, derived from his grandmother Mary Pendarves of Roscrow. The best part of Falmouth itself is now built on this property, and distinguished by the name of Green Bank.

Budock measures 3507 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 8618 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1832 640 8 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

being an increase on an hundred of 131 per cent.

The parish feast is celebrated on the Sunday before Advent.


The extreme western part, adjoining Mabe, consists of granite of a very crystalline variety, and excellent for 138 building; it is exported in great quantities from Penryn. Nearly the whole western half of the parish is coarse; but the eastern part is well cultivated. The soil rests on a species of hornblend slate, which furnishes deep soil by its decomposition.

On the sea shore at Swanpool a most interesting phenomenon occurs in a bed of felspar porphyry, (elvan course,) which runs north-east and south-west for several hundred feet: near low water it exhibits that appearance called by the miners a heave. The course terminates abruptly, and begins again about twenty feet further to the south, from whence it goes on as before the heave.

This porphyry is decomposed at the surface and to some depth, into a fine white clay, from which bricks of a good quality are made on the spot.



Burian is situated at the western extremity of the county, having two adjoining parishes, Senner and St. Levan annexed; the former of which includes the Lands’ End. In Domesday tax this district was rated by the name of Beriand, for Berian or Bury-an; synonymous words, signifying a cemetery or burying place for human creatures; that is to say, that place which is now called the churchyard, which was an inclosure, as in most other places, converted to that use before and since the church was erected therein. This instance of a Domesday Roll, wherein this district is named Beri-an, overthrows the story of Camden’s conjecture, that the name thereof was derived from one St. Buryana, an 139 Irishwoman that was the tutelar guardian of this church, whereas the appellation of Saint, as I have elsewhere observed, at that time was not given to but one church in Cornwall. Besides, this Irish saint is not to be found in the Roman legend, or calendar, nor in Capgrave’s catalogue of English and Irish Saints.

This church was founded and endowed by King Athelstan, about the year 930, after such time as he had conquered the Scilly Islands, as also the county of Devon; and made Cornwall tributary to his sceptre. To which church he gave lands and tithes of a considerable value for ever, himself becoming the first patron thereof, as his successors the Kings of England have been ever since: for which reason it is still called the royal rectory, or regal rectory, and the royal or regal peculiar. Signifying thereby that this is the church or chapel pertaining to the king, or immediately under the jurisdiction of him as the supreme ordinary, from when there is no appeal; whereas other peculiars, though exempt from the visitation or jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop within whose see they stand, yet are always subject to the provincial archbishops of Canterbury and York, or other persons.

This church or college consisted of canons augustines, or regular priests, and three prebendaries, who enjoyed the revenues thereof in common, but might not marry; and the lord chancellors of England of old visited this peculiar, which extended only over the parishes of Burian, Sennen, and St. Levan, for the king.

One of the Popes of Rome, about the time of Edward III. obtruded upon this church, the canons and prebends thereof, a dean to be an inspector and overseer over them: whom he nominated to be the bishop of Exon for the time being, who for some time visited this church as its governor, as the lord chancellor did before; which encroachment of the Pope being observed by Edward III., as appears from the register of the writs, 140 folio 40 and 41; 8 Edward III. rot. 97. This usurpation of the Pope was taken away.

[Mr. Hals here enters into long dissertations respecting secular canons, regular canons, the state generally of the church and of the clergy, benefices held in commendam, &c. which, not having any particular relation to the parochial history of Cornwall, are omitted.]

Boscawen-ros in this parish, compounded of Boscawen-ros, is a name given and taken from the natural circumstances of the place, and signifies in Cornish-British “a valley, notable for skeawe or scawen” trees. And indeed this place, being naked and exposed to the sea on the cliffs of the British Channel, anciently, as it seems, produced no other trees than scawen, (i. e. elder,) proper to that part of the country; neither, I think, is there any other trees at present that grow there. From this place was transnominated an Irish gentleman that settled here either by marriage or purchase, in the latter end of the reign of Edward IV., who discontinued his paternal name, and styled himself John de Boscawen, which latter name hath been the hereditary name of his posterity ever since; who from hence transplanted their dwellings to Tregameer in St. Colomb Major; and Trevallock in Creed or St. Stephen’s; and from thence, by marriage with the daughter and heir of Tregothnan by Lawrence Boscawen, gentleman, attorney-at-law, temp. Henry VII., who died 1567, and lieth buried in the north aile of St. Michael Penkivell Church, as is testified by a brass inscription on his gravestone, there lately extant, upon which, on a lead escutcheon, was engraved his paternal coat armour, viz. in a field Vert, a bull passant Argent, armed Or; on a chief Ermine, a rose Gules; crest a boar Argent:—out of a supposed allusion to their present name, as if it had signified a white bull and a rose. In the reign of James I. his posterity discontinued this bearing, and gave only for their arms, Ermine, a rose; which, I take it, also is the hereditary 141 coat armour of Beverley. See St. Michael Penkivell. Since the writing hereof this place is become the hereditary honorary title of Hugh Lord Boscawen, Baron of Boscawen-rose, and Viscount of Falmouth.

Upon Boscawen downs, some of which was lately the lands of Mr. Christopher Davis, stands a monument called Dance Meyns, that is to say the dance stones; which are nineteen pyramidal stones, about six foot high above ground, set in a round circle, distant from each other about twelve feet, having in the centre one pitched far bigger than the rest; a little to the north of those are two admirable great stones in perpendicular manner, much bigger than the rest, those are vulgarly called the Pipers. But since it is not probable that those stones were either dancers or pipers, I take the common appellation dance meyns, only by the dialect to be a corruption of dans meyns, id est, men’s stones; that is to say stones set up in memory of once so many famous men that lived in those parts, or lie interred there, before the sixth century.[22] Mr. Davis aforesaid informed me, that, contiguous with those dans meynes, he caused not long since divers barrows of earth to be carried abroad in order to manure his lands, in several of which burrows he found two or three urns or earthern pots, sound and firm, having in them pieces of bones, and ashes.

142 About twenty years past, the sexton of this parish sinking a grave four feet deep in the ground, he met with a large flat marble or other stone, which he lifted up out of the earth, on which was cut or engraved a long plain cross, surmounted on four grieces or steps; on the border of this stone, round the said cross, was an inscription in Norman French, which soundeth thus in English:—“Clarice, the wife of Geffery de Bolleit, lies here; whosoever shall pray for her soul shall have ten days’ pardon. Amen.”[23] There is a place still extant in this parish called Bolait, or Bolaith, i. e. a place of slaying or killing cows, kine, or cattle; otherwise it may be interpreted cow’s milk, or a place notable for the same.

Trove, in this parish, is, in Cornish and Armorick, a dent, pit, a cavern, or valley: a name doubtless taken from the natural and artificial circumstances of the place, situate between two hills, on a cavern; also Trewoofe, that is to say the town or dwelling of ob-yarn, such as the sail-spinsters make, in order to be woof, or woven cross the warp in pieces of cloth, stuff, or serges, from whence was denominated a family of gentlemen named Trewoofe; who, out of a mistaken etymology of their name, (as many others in Cornwall,) gave for their arms, in a field —— three wolves’ heads; whereas, try-bleith, try-bleit, is three wolves in Cornish; the heiress of which family was married to Leveale, temp. Henry VIII. of the old Norman race, whose posterity flourished here in good fame for several descents, till, for want of issue male, Lewis Leveale’s daughter and heir, by Cooke of Tregussa, carried this place, together with herself in marriage, to Mr. Uspar or Vospar, temp. Charles I. who had issue Arthur Vosper, his son and heir, who married Eyans, of Eyanston in Oxfordshire, who had issue by her two daughters, married to Mr. 143 Marke of Woodhill and Mr. Dennis of Leskeard. This last gentleman, Mr. Vospur, bathing himself in the river Isis in Oxfordshire, with other young men, was there unfortunately drowned, about the year 1679. The name Vosper or Vospur, in British-Cornish, signifies a pure or immaculate maid or virgin. The arms of Leveale were three calves or veals.

In the middle of this barton of Trove, on the top of a hill, is still extant the downfalls of a castle or treble intrenchment called ——, in the midst of which is a hole leading to a vault under ground. How far it extends no man now living can tell, by reason of the damps or thick vapours that are in it; for as soon as you go an arrow flight in it or less, your candles will go out, or extinguish of themselves, for want of air. For what end or use this vault was made is uncertain, though it is probable it was an arsenal or store-house for laying up arms, ammunition, corn, and provision, for the soldiers of the castle wherein it stands, in the wars between Charles I. and his Parliament. Divers of the royal party, pursued in the West by the Parliament troops under Sir Thomas Fairfax, were privately conveyed into this vault as far as they could proceed with safety, where Mr. Leveale fed and secured them till they found opportunity to make their escapes to the king’s friends and party. See St. Evall.

Pentre, otherwise Pendrea, in this parish, id est, the head town, or town at the head of some other, denominated a family of gentlemen from thence called Pendre, who gave for their arms, Argent, on a bend Gules and Sable, three fleurs de lis of the Field. John Pendre, the last of this tribe, temp. Henry VI. leaving only two daughters that became his heirs, who were married to Bonython of Carclew, and Noy. To Noy’s share fell this tenement of Pendrea, which was the dwelling of him and his posterity for several descents; and here was 144 born, as I was informed, William Noy, the Attorney-general to Charles I., who designed to have built a notable house here but was prevented by death, having before brought great quantities of materials to this place in order thereto; his grandson, William Noy, Esq. sold this place and several others to my very kind friend Christopher Davis, Gent. now in possession thereof.

Burnewall, in this parish, id est, the walled well or well-pit of waters, so called from some such place on the lands thereof, was also formerly the lands of the said William Noy, who sold it to the said Mr. Davis, who conveyed it to his nephew Henry Davis on his marriage with Hester, daughter of Humphrey Noy, Gent. younger brother of the said William Noy, now in possession thereof, and hath issue. The arms of Davis are, Argent, a chevron Sable between three mullets Gules, which also is the coat armour of Davey of Creedy in Devon.

Leah, also Lahe, id est, lawe, or leh, a place or dwelling, is the seat of Oliver Ustick, or Usteck, Gent. (id est, Nightingale; otherwise, Eus-teck is fair nightingale,) that married Roscrow of Penryn.

From Als, now Alse, and Alsce, viz. lands towards or upon the sea-coast, as this whole parish and its members are situate, was denominated John de Als, or from Bar-Als-ton in Devon; temp. Henry I. and King Stephen, ancestor of the De Alses, formerly of Lelant, now Halses, see Lelant; which place was heretofore the voke lands of a considerable manor, now dismembered and in the possession of Trevanion and others. This family, in Edward III.’s days, wrote their surname De Als, now Halse. See Prince’s Worthies of Devon, upon Hals.


This parish is of large extent, and the land generally good, and lying very warm on the South Sea, which, 145 with the desire of living quiet, has induced several gentlemen to settle themselves in this remote corner of the kingdom, where they may liberally entertain all such as out of curiosity come to visit the Land’s End.

Mr. Francis Paynter was brother to Doctor William Paynter, Rector of Exeter College, Oxford, (elected in 1690, died Feb. 19, 1715, aged eighty, was rector of Wootton in Northamptonshire, where he is buried,—Editor;) both younger brothers to Mr. Paynter of Trelisick’s father, who by his skill in husbandry, in which he has scarce his fellow, not his superior in the county, and some helps of the law, has purchased to himself a very fair younger brother’s inheritance. Though this place lies near the sea, and very much exposed, yet has this gentleman, by the means of furze ricks and other ingenious contrivances, raised several fair walks of trees about it, and made it a pleasant and profitable seat, which I mention here, that those who live under the same inconveniences may imitate his industry. At Leigha liveth Mr. Oliver Ustick, married to Julia the eldest of two daughters of —— Roscrow of Penryn, of the family of Roscrows of Roscrow. Leigha is part of the manor of Rosemadans, now the property of Mr. Grosse.

Boscawanrose, in this parish, gave name and habitation to the famous and honourable family of Boscawan, who, led away, as many other Cornish gentlemen have been, by the similarity of sound between words in the Kernawish tongue and others in French or in Latin, have mistaken rose a valley, for the flower a rose; and more anciently they are said to have borne in their arms, besides a rose, an ox, having mistaken the word bos, which signifies a house or dwelling, for the name of that animal.


It seems very improbable that King Athelstan, after founding and splendidly endowing a church to commemorate 146 or to sanctify his conquest of Cornwall, should bestow on it a name so very indiscriminate as The burial-ground; more especially at a time when missionaries from Ireland had recently converted the inhabitants to Christianity, and had left to posterity a reputation for piety so elevated as to invest them at once with the appellation of saints, and to procure for them, in after times, the dedication of almost all the churches throughout the County.

St. Burian is mentioned by Leland, Camden, Tanner, and various other antiquaries, as a holy woman from Ireland, to whom King Athelstan dedicated this church, and in Doctor Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints, &c. her festival is given on the 4th of June.

The establishment consisted of a dean and three prebendaries, who are said by Mr. Lysons to have held from the King by the service of saying a hundred masses and a hundred psalters for the souls of the King and of his ancestors. It is not stated how frequently those recitations were to take place.

Bishop Tanner, in the Notitia Monastica, states that this deanery was seised into the king’s hands in the time of Edward III. under the pretence that John de Mount, the third dean, was a Frenchman. In 18 Henry VI. this deanery was given to his college (King’s) in Cambridge; and afterwards, by Edward IV. probably in the true spirit of party, to the collegiate church of Windsor. It was, however, soon separated from Windsor, and continues, according to the foundation of Athelstan, exempt from all inferior jurisdiction, and consequently since Henry VIII.’s assumption of all temporal power exercised by the Pope, there is not any appeal from the local authorities but to the king himself; a constitution most inexpedient, and likely to produce the most serious inconvenience, if matters of much importance ever came for investigation and decision before a court wholly unfitted, from its very nature, from entertaining 147 them; and yet empowered to declare a judgment final to all intents and purposes, unless it is immediately revised by the highest and most expensive ecclesiastical tribunal.

This exemption from all episcopal authority has, in times not very remote, admitted of such abuses in the administration of divine service, and of the spiritual care of the three parishes, as would not otherwise have been endured. It would be worse, however, than useless to expatiate on a system which is fortunately passed by.

I believe that no dean has resided since the final dissolution of the college; the Royner’s hand having been there so forcibly applied as to wrest off the whole glebe, not leaving even an habitation, nor the smallest portion of land on which a house could be built. The nominal deanery of St. Burian, like that of Battle and two or three more, is not esteemed a dignity in the church: yet with cure of souls, and for no better reason than its not being mentioned eo nomine in the canons and acts of Parliament, this living is allowed to be tenable with all other preferments, and at all distances.

Pendrea, the birth place and property of Mr. William Noye the attorney-general, was sold by his eldest son, Edward Noye, to Mr. Davies of Burnuhall, and by his grandson to Mr. Tonkin, whose great grandson, the Rev. Uriah Tonkin, possesses it at this time. At Burnuhall there still remains a curious performance of shell-work, said to have been made by Mr. Davies’ daughters, strongly expressive of the political feelings then almost universal throughout Cornwall. King Charles II. is represented flying from his enemies, and one of them, in full pursuit, has a legend, “This is the heir! come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be our own!” whilst an angel exclaims in the same manner from a cloud “Is it not written, Thou shalt 148 do no murder?” The material of this work is found in great variety and beauty round the coast, and particularly at Porth Kernow, near the Logging Rock.

The last Mr. Davies of Burnuhall married —— Kegwin of Newlyn; he wasted the remains of a property which had been gradually diminishing in the hands of his father and of his grandfather; so that about the year 1750, Burnuhall and some other farms were sold to Admiral Boscawen.

Boskenna is the property and residence of Mr. Francis Paynter, a very respectable gentleman and magistrate, the great-grandson, I believe, of the individual distinguished by Mr. Hals for his skill in husbandry. There is a tradition of his having purchased the place of one whose family had long possessed it, but who had ultimately become the huntsman of a pack of hounds kept originally as his own.

Mr. Francis Paynter, uncle of the gentleman now possessed of Boskenna, was greatly distinguished for his wit and humour. He was either the sole or joint author of a poem made in imitation of Prior’s Alma, and in ridicule of the then dean of Burian, called “The Consultation.” Mr. Paynter practised his profession of the law near St. Columb. He married Miss Pender of Penzance, and left several sons. The exercise of wit is not always, perhaps not frequently, associated with pecuniary gain. The Editor has heard Mr. Paynter declare that “The Consultation” prevented his obtaining a valuable stewardship from the family of which the dean was a member.

The Vyvyans of Trelovornow are said to have originated from Treviddror in this parish. And Lord Chief Justice Tresilian was from Burian, in whose descendants Pendor and Ristchurch, after the lapse of nearly five centuries, some of his property still remains.

From about fifty to seventy years ago Boskenna attracted much attention, and gave occasion to various 149 conjectures over the whole neighbourhood, in consequence of a gentleman and lady residing there under the assumed name of Browne, and withdrawing themselves entirely from public observation. They were conjectured to be members of some distinguished family on the continent implicated in political disputes; or at the least, some very eminent persons of our own country, till at last the mystery was explained by a disclosure of their real name and condition.

Mr. Berty Birge, having been involved in the pecuniary affairs of an individual who subsequently became insane, found himself obliged to retire, although it is understood that nothing discreditable to his character occurred in the transactions. On that individual’s decease Mr. Birge resumed his real name, and removed to Penzance, where he passed the remainder of his life.

The church of St. Burian is among those most distinguished for size and beauty in the west of Cornwall. It is situated on high ground, with a lofty tower, conspicuous therefore from a very great distance. It possessed, till within these few years, a curious rood-loft.

A station of the great trigonometrical survey was placed in 1796 very near Burian church, and in the Philosophical Transactions for 1800, the latitude of the tower is stated to be 50° 4 32.8, and the longitude is 5° 36 10.5, or in time 22 24.7 west of Greenwich.

Burian measures 6274 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 7288 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 350 0 0
The parish feast is kept on the nearest Sunday to old May day.
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

being an increase of 47 in a hundred in 30 years.

Present Rector, the Hon. F. Stanhope.


The whole of this parish, with the exception of a small patch of slate at Rosemodris, rests on granite. Judging from what occurs in the eastern part of Cornwall, one might be led to expect that the land of St. Burian must be sterile. In some elevated spots it undoubtedly is so, but in general the parish is well cultivated and highly productive.

This difference in the granitic soils of east and of west Cornwall, may be, in part, explained by the gradual diminution of height towards the west, accompanied by a corresponding improvement of the climate; but in this part of the county more of the debris, especially of diluvial clay, is retained on the surface, that of the more elevated eastern ridges having been in great measure swept away.

This circumstance must not, however, be omitted. The granite of Burian exhibits more varieties than have been yet found in the eastern district. The slate in the cliffs at Rosemodris is a felspar rock, and its contact with the granite is distinctly seen; where it may be observed at the eastern extremity traversed by numerous granite veins; and the granite near this junction abounds in shorl.


Doctor Paris has remarked on the granite of this district, that it contains full twenty-five per cent. of felspar, which he says at once explains the rapidity of this stone’s decomposition, and the fertility which is so very unusual in granitic countries; and that this granite in a state of decomposition, when it is provincially called growan, has actually been applied to some lands as a manure, and with the best effect.

I had the pleasure of attending Doctor Withering (author of the Arrangement of British Plants, &c.) to 151 the Land’s End in 1793, when he expressed much surprise at the fertility of a granitic soil, and explained it as Doctor Paris has since done, by observing that in all the granite he had previously seen siliceous matter abounded, and that the very word was synonymous with sterile, but that here felspar and fertility appeared together.

Felspar is said to contain nearly a third part of its weight of alumine, about an eighth part of lime, and a twentieth of soda.

[22] That there exists, however, a prevalent connection of these monuments with allusions to dancing, is shown in the Essay on Dracontia, by the Rev. J. B. Deane, F.S.A. in Archæologia, vol. xxv. The name of Dans Maen is generally given to the various stone circles in the county of Cornwall. Dr. Borlase remarks that there are four circles in the hundred of Penrith, having nineteen stones each; viz. Boscawen-ûn, Rosmodrevy, Tregaseal, and Boskednan, the two most distant being not eight miles apart. Of Boscawen-ûn there are views in the works of Borlase and Stukeley, as well as among the more accurate etchings by William Cotton, Esq. 4to. 1827. He has also given a view and plan of the dans-meyne at Bolleit in this parish; and two obeliscal stones at the same place are represented in Borlase, pl. 10. See also in pl. 14 the hanging stone in Karn Boscawen, and a Maen Tôl, or holed stone, both in Burian; as is the circle called Rosmodrevy.—Edit.

[23] Engraved in Gough’s Camden, vol. I. pl. 1.



Neither Mr. Hals nor Mr. Tonkin notice this parish. It is appended to the parish of Southill. The name is pronounced Kelliton in the immediate neighbourhood.

Callington is situated in the hundred of East, having Southill and Stoke Climsland on the north; Calstock on the east; St. Mellior and St. Dominick to south; and St. Ive to the West.

The town is said to have sent members to Parliament so early as the reign of Henry III., when the privileges of markets and fairs were granted; but the first authentic return was in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

In the time of Henry III. the manor and lordship of Callington were vested in the family of Ferrers, by a grant from the earls of Cornwall; the possession has passed by heiresses to several families; and finally, through Dennis, Rolle and Walpole, to Mr. George William Trefusis of Trefusis, in Milor; together with the barony in fee of Clinton, created by a writ directed John de Clinton, 17 Edward I. A.D. 1299. His grandson sold the property to Mr. Alexander Baring, at a period when some adventitious circumstances, no longer 152 in existence, added materially to its value. The church and town are handsome specimens of the gothic architecture which distinguishes the west of England; and there exist several ancient monuments of individuals formerly lords of the manor.

This parish contains 2387 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 4142 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1831 950 17 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 70 per cent. in 30 years.


The north-eastern part of this parish extends to the east of Kitt Hill, the most elevated point of Hingston Downs, which is composed of granite. The slate adjoining thereto resembles that which occurs in similar situations in the parishes of St. Austell and St. Blazey; and this district has been the scene of considerable mining speculations. In former ages it abounded in stream tin to such an amount that the Cornishmen of those days expressed their opinion of its value by the distich

Hengsten Down, well yrought
Is worth London town, dear ybought.
Carew, Lord Dunstanville’s Edition, p. 272.

As the town of Callington is approached, the slate becomes of a darker blue, and passes into hornblend rock, which prevails in the other parts of the parish, and in several places so much abounds in quartz as to form barren downs. This rock, however, has not any marked character, and it is not often exposed to view; near St. Ive it appears to graduate into the calcareous series.




Calstock is situate in the hundred of East, and hath upon the north Stoke Clemsland, west Kellaton, south St. Dominick, east the Tamar river.

The rectory of Calstock church seems to be extant before Domesday Tax, since it passed then by that name, and hath never admitted of any change of name or alteration since, and was undoubtedly founded and endowed by the Earls of Cornwall, out of their manor of Calstock, wherein it is situate; and the Duke of Cornwall, or the King, in that right, are still patrons thereof. Ecclesia de Calstock, in Decanatu de Estwellshire, was valued to the Pope’s annats, 1294, cs.; in Wolsey’s Inquisition and Valor Beneficionum, 26l. 4s. 4d. The patronage as aforesaid, the Incumbent Blackburn, and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, temp. William III. 302l. 0s. 2d.

It appears from the ancient survey of the Duchy of Cornwall in the Exchequer, and Blount’s Tenures from thence, p. 122, that the tenants of this manor had granted them, by the Earls or Dukes thereof, its lords, the liberty of free fishing on the Tamar river, in his verbis: “Nativi tenentes de Calstock, in comitatu Cornubiæ, reddunt per annum de certo redditu, vocato Berbiagium, sine barbague, ad le Hoke-day, 19s. 6d.” Now barbague, barbagyu, is, in Cornish, a bearded or barbed spear, such as is commonly used for killing salmons in the Tamar and other rivers. [See Stoke-Clemsland.] The salmon wear, here built over the Tamar, is, by lease from the Duke of Cornwall, in possession of Sir John Carew, baronet, and hath formerly been set for 120l. per annum. [See Helston in Trigg for Barbiague. Tenants on the Alan river there.]

154 Cuthill, in this place, I take it was the most ancient seat of the knightly family of Edgecombes in Cornwall, and is still in their possession; and here lived Sir Richard Edgecombe, knight, that assisted Henry the Seventh against Richard the Third, who was bountifully rewarded for his services by that prince.


has merely transcribed from Hals.


Calstock, or Calstoke, has of late become a mining parish on an extensive scale. The manor having been sold by the Duchy for the redemption of Land Tax, has ultimately become the property of Mr. John Williams, one of the most skilful and successful miners in Cornwall.

Cotehele is preserved by Lord Mount Edgecombe as a faithful representative of what were the residences of country gentlemen or barons in the ancient acceptation of that word.

“It came,” says Lysons, “into the possession of the Edgecombe family, by the marriage of Hilaria, daughter and heir of William de Cotehele, with William de Edgecombe, in the reign of Edward III. After this marriage, Cotehele became for a while the chief residence of the Edgecombe family.” Carew, speaking of this place, says, “the buildings are ancient, large, strong, and fayre, and appurtenanced with the necessaries of wood, water, fishing, park, and mills, with the devotion of (in times past) a rich-furnished chapel, and with the charity of almshouses, for certain poor people, whom the owners used to relieve.”

The beauty of its situation, the river and ancient ponds, united with the antiquities of the place, render Cotehele one of the most curious and worthy of attention in the West of England; and the following description, 155 taken in 1830 by an architectural correspondent of the Gentleman’s Magazine, is therefore extracted from that miscellany for 1833.

“There is a singularity about this Mansion, which requires to be accounted for. It cannot claim an origin in very remote antiquity, the earliest parts being not older than the reign of Henry the Seventh; yet the narrowness of the windows and other openings, and the tower above the gateway, would lead to the idea that it was built in an early insecure period. This, I think, may be accounted for from the fact that the builder, Sir Richard Edgecombe, had encountered personal danger in the wars of the Roses, and probably erected his mansion in the early part of the reign of Henry the Seventh, so soon after the conclusion of the conflict, that he might be impressed with the fear that the reign of the newly enthroned monarch might not be more peaceable than that of his predecessors, and he adopted under these impressions the style which the mansion now displays.

“The house is quadrangular, with a court-yard in the centre; and, like the generality of the mansions of antiquity, has the appendage of a hall and chapel. It is built of moor-stone in irregular courses, though some of the blocks are exceedingly large. The west front is not imposing, from the want of height, which detracts from its general appearance. The entrance is not in the centre, and is only wide enough for foot passengers; it consists of an obtuse pointed arch, slightly moulded with foliage on the spandrils, which is inclosed within another of larger dimensions with a weather cornice, and on the space between the two is a blank shield accompanied by two bold leaves. The windows are situated high in the wall; they are of small dimensions, being in fact little more than enlarged loopholes. The chimneys are square, having caps formed with coping stones. Above the entrance is a tower of a cubical form, with an embattled parapet. On entering the court through 156 the gateway, the Hall is seen in the front, and near it, on the west side of the quadrangle, the lantern window of the Chapel.

“The interior of the Hall is very interesting. The roof is timber, and arched; and on the walls hang various pieces of armour and weapons of considerable antiquity, with a complete suit of armour, which is probably not older than the Civil wars. In the end walls are apertures in the shape of a quatrefoil, which admit a view of the hall from adjacent apartments, and would allow the motions of persons assembled in it to be watched. There are some specimens of ancient furniture in the hall; in particular a chair having the date 1627. In the windows are several armorial shields in stained glass.

Chapel at Cotehele


“The Chapel projects from the western side of the mansion. It is small and neat, and has a small bell-tower. The square window in the west end is unglazed; the aperture being secured by wide bars; but allowing 157 any person standing on the outside to see the altar. At the distance of a few feet from the door lies an ancient font, 19 inches square by 14 inches deep; it is formed of a block of moorstone, and panelled at the sides. The interior of this chapel is approached from the mansion by the hall, to which it communicates through a small room. The roof is timber, ribbed and panelled; and coved in the form of an obtuse arch. In the south window St. Anne and St. Katherine are represented in painted glass. The altar is oak, with upright panels, having quatrefoil heads. An ancient altar cloth is preserved in the house; it is formed of red velvet powdered with fleur-de-lis, and the part which was shown when it was laid on the altar, had a crucifix in the centre, accompanied by the twelve apostles in rich embroidery, and the arms of Edgecombe.

“The limit of a single visit would not allow me to particularize the various articles of furniture contained in the mansion. In the drawing-room the screen to the doorway appears to be of the date of the building; on the door itself are roses in lozenges. The bedroom, called King Charles’s, has a fine ancient state bed, with a profusion of carved work about it; and a steel mirror. The dog-inns, some of which are probably as old as the mansion, remain in the fire-places. Two chairs commemorate a visit from King George the Third and Queen Charlotte in 1789.

“In the grounds is another chapel, which derives its interest from the circumstance of its having been erected by Sir Richard Edgecombe in commemoration of his escape from his pursuers by concealment near the spot. It is much injured by modern alterations made in 1769, and externally retains little of its original features. In the interior are several ancient paintings, which probably formed the decorations of an ancient altar-piece; when entire, it represented the Annunciation. In the east window are St. George, and a female saint with a 158 sword, in painted glass, and several coats of arms. There is also an ancient painting of the monument of the founder of the chapel, who was buried in the conventual church of Morlaix in Bretagne, in September 1489; and a carving in wood of St. Thomas a Becket.”

It is a curious circumstance in the history of Cornwall, that several of the principal gentlemen from this remote county, took active parts on either side between King Richard the Third and his antagonist Henry the Seventh: many were present at the battle of Bosworth. Mr. Carew relates (p. 269, Lord Dunstanville’s edition) the almost miraculous escape of Sir Richard Edgecombe of Cotehele, when he was pursued (as I apprehend) by Bodrigar, who, in his turn, found himself obliged to fly after the defeat of King Richard; and his property was divided between Edgecumbe and Trevanion, with whom a large part of it still remains.

The river from Cotehele to New Bridge exhibits a magnificence of scenery very rarely to be found: the cliffs on the east and north-eastern bank affording here the steep and bold scarpment, as in all other similar situations throughout the country.

Harewood, in this parish, although in the different style of a modern seat, almost rivals Cotehele: this spacious and elegant house was built almost forty years ago by Mr. Foot; but the place was sold after his decease, and it is now the property and residence of Mr. William Salusbury Trelawney, heir of that ancient and distinguished family. Mr. Trelawney married Miss Carpenter, of Mount Toby, near Tavistock, and now (1833) represents the eastern division of Cornwall in Parliament.

Sandhill is another handsome seat in this parish, occupied by Mr. Williams, who, since his purchase of the manor, has improved the waste lands, planted such elevated or steep portions as were unfit for agriculture, and in every way contributed to the prosperity of the place and of its inhabitants.

This parish contains 5035 statute acres.159

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned £. to Parliament in 1815 5801 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 1426 0 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

being an increase of about 111 per cent. in 30 years.

Present Rector, the Rev. Edward Morshead, presented by the King in 1796.


The Geological structure of this parish is precisely similar to that of Callington; but, as it is better developed, it will admit of a little more detail.

The northern part consists of the granite of Hingston Down, which is crystalline, and it is extensively quarried for economical purposes. The quarries near the summit of Kitt Hill afford excellent illustrations of the internal structure of the granitic mass. On this Down, beds of fine-grained granite project here and there above the surface, resembling that which occurs as Elvan courses in the adjacent slate. The latter rock consists of a basis of granular felspar, spotted and spangled with a shining mineral like mica. This slate, as well as the granite, have been long explored for tin and copper. Shorl and mica generally abound in the lodes; and the former mineral is often so intimately combined with the quartz, as to form a dark-coloured compact shorl rock. Southward the slate becomes more blue, and is fissile into extended slabs. Near the village of Calstock it is soft and lamellar, having evidently graduated into the calcareous series. At Cotehele, near the landing place, a beautiful oved-coloured calcareous schist is quarried, which is said to prove a good material for lining kilns and ovens: it has a shining talcose appearance, resembling that of Trenalt, near Pallephant, in Alternon.

160 Nearly opposite to the Rectory, built by Bishop Blackbourn, and pleasantly situated on the river, may be seen the debouch of a canal from Tavistock, with an inclined plane, descending into the Tamar. This canal, in one part of its line, passes through a hill at the depth of seventy fathoms.



Camborne is situate in the hundred of Penwith, and hath upon the east Redruth, north Illugan, west Gwynier, south Crowan. For its modern name, Camborne, which was not extant at the time of the Norman Conquest, signifies a crooked or arched burne, or well.

This parish is said to derive its name from a holy well situated within it, to which great numbers of persons resorte from a high opinion of its great medical virtues, in addition to its sanctity.

Ecclesia de Camborne, in Decanatu de Penwid, 1294, was rated to the Pope’s annats viiil. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, £39. 16s. 9d. The patronage in Basset, the incumbent Newcombe; the parish rated to the 4s. per £1. Tax, 1696, £203. 16s.

Pendarves in this parish, I am informed, transnominated a family of gentlemen from Tresona, i. e. the charm town, in St. Enoder, to Pendarves, temp. Eliz. William Pendarves, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 30th Cha. II. 1680, married Adiston, daughter of Edmund Prideaux, Esq. but died without issue; whereby his estate descended to his second brother’s son; and he dying without issue, it descended to his third brother’s son, viz. Sir William Pendarves, knight, now in possession thereof, who married Godolphin, the widow of Hoblyn of Nanswidon. 161 His father, Thomas Pendarves, clerk, rector of St. Colomb Major, and St. Mawgun in Pider, married Hoblyn of Nanswiddon; his grandfather, Arundell of Menadarva; his great-grandfather Humphrys; and giveth for his arms, in a field Sable, a falcon Argent displayed, between three mullets Or.

Menadarva, in this parish, is the dwelling of William Arundell, Esq. descended from the Arundells of Trerice, to whose ancestor, temp. Charles I. it was given by the last will and testament of John Arundell, of Trerice, Esq. (commonly called John of Tilbury, for that with Queen Elizabeth, at that place, he was an officer under her in the standing army posted in that place in expectation of and to oppose the Spanish Armada 1588), in those words amongst other—“Item, I give to my naturall son, John Arundell, my mannor and barton of Menadarva in Camburne, and to his heirs lawfully begotten for ever.”

The last gentleman of this family dying without issue male, his sisters for a time, married to Tresahar and others, became possessed of this lordship; but it happened that a brother of theirs also, who was a merchant factor in Spain, who married an innkeeper’s widow there, in Malaga or Seville, of English extraction, was said to be dead without issue, but it seems before his death had issue by her an infant son, which was bred up in Spain till he came of age, without knowledge of his relations aforesaid; who, being brought into England with his mother, temp. Will. III. delivered ejectments upon the barton and manor of Menadarva, and the occupants thereof, as heir-at-law to Arundell, and brought down a trial upon the same at Lanceston, in this county; where upon the issue it appeared, upon the oaths of Mr. Delliff and other Spanish merchants of London, that the said heir was the legitimate son of Mr. Arundell aforesaid in Spain, and born under coverture or marriage; he obtained a verdict and judgment thereon for the same, 162 and is now in possession thereof. He married Tremanheer of Penzance, and hath issue. The arms of this family are the same as those of the Arundells of Trerice, with due distinction.[24]

Roswarne, in this parish, gave to its owner the name of De Roswarne, one of which tribe sold those lands, temp. James I. to Ezekiel Grosse, gent. attorney-at-law, who made it his dwelling, and in this place got a great estate by the inferior practice of the law; but much more,[25] as tradition saith, by means of a spirit or apparition that haunted him in this place till he spake to it (for it is notable that sort of things called apparitions, are such proud gentry that they never speak first), whereupon it discovered to him where much treasure lay hid in this mansion, which, according to the (honest) ghost’s direction he found, to his great enriching; after which this phantasm or spectrum become so troublesome and direful to him day and night, that it forced him to forsake this place (as rich, it seems, as this devil could make him) and to quit his claim thereto by giving or selling it to his clerk John Call; whose son, John Call, gent. sold it again to Robert Hooker, gent. attorney-at-law, now in possession thereof. The arms of Call were, in a field three trumpets, in allusion to the name in English; but in Cornish British, call, cal, signifies any hard, flinty, or obdurate matter or thing, and hirgorne is a trumpet.

Crane, adjoining Roswarne, gave name to its possessor Cit-crane, who gave bustards or cranes for his arms; for as Crana, Krana, is as grus in Latin, so it is a crane in English; garan and cryhyr is in the Welsh. One of which gentlemen sold this tenement also to Gross, who conveyed it to Call, as Call hath to Hooker aforesaid.

Treswithan, or Trease-withan, in this parish, compounded of Tres-with-an, was of old the seat of the De 163 Brayes, gentlemen heretofore of great antiquity, good note, and considerable revenues in those parts; though in the time of Charles I. their estate was much impaired, so that the last gentleman of this family dying much indebted, and no heir appearing, occasioned a memorable lawsuit between Sir Francis Basset, knight, lord of the manor of Tyhiddy, of which those lands of Treswithan were held, and the creditors of Mr. Braye, then in possession of the premises: when in fine, upon the issue at law at Lanceston, the jury gave it in escheat, for want of issue, to Sir Francis Basset, in right of his manor aforesaid, the verdict passing against the creditors; whereby the posterity of Sir Francis are possessed of it to this day.


has merely copied from Mr. Hals.


Camborne has risen more rapidly into wealth and importance than any other parish in Cornwall. The church tower is so large and well-built, and it possesses with a market so many appendages of a regular town, that the prefix church may well be omitted.

Pendarves was given by Mrs. Percevall, surviving sister of Sir William Pendarves, to Mr. John Stackhouse, second son of Doctor William Stackhouse, Rector of St. Anne, who married Miss Williams, heiress of that branch of the Williamses of Probus, which had settled at Trehane. Mr. John Stackhouse married Miss Acton, with whom he acquired a very large property in Shropshire: his son, Mr. Edward William Wynne Pendarves is now the proprietor. Pendarves has become a very handsome seat in consequence of the successive improvements made by the late Mr. Stackhouse and himself. He has adopted the name of Pendarves in the place of Stackhouse, and added Wynne in gratitude 164 of a large addition made to his fortunes by the late Reverend Luttrell Wynne, LL.D.

Mr. Pendarves has followed the examples of his two immediate predecessors, by marrying a considerable heiress, Miss Triste, from Devonshire. He has been twice elected member for the county, and now (1833) represents the western division of Cornwall.

Menadarva was purchased by the late Mr. Basset, and belongs to his son, Lord Dunstanville.

Rosewarne was the residence of Mr. William Harris, who greatly increased his fortune by skill and success in mining. He served the office of sheriff in 1773. His only daughter and heiress is married to Mr. Winchcombe Hartley, a gentleman of Berkshire.

Crane, with several adjoining farms, became the property of Mr. John Oliver Willyams, of Carnanton, in right of his mother, and the whole, on his demise, was purchased by Lord Dunstanville.

I cannot close my short additions to Camborne without noticing Mr. Richard Trevithick. No one, with the exception of Mr. Watt, has probably contributed in so great a degree to the improvement of steam-engines, the most important and the most philosophical of all mechanical inventions. His enterprise has also equalled the abstract powers of his mind, and for several years he laboured in South America to give the mines of that great continent the advantage of European machinery; but civil wars, and the instability of Governments, defeated his best endeavours, so as to render them, up to the present time, unavailing either to those mines or to himself.

Camborne contains 5933 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 11,783 0 0
Poor Rates in 1831 2,649 16 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 60 per cent. in 30 years.


The eastern and south-western sides of this parish are situate on granite, the greater part consisting of high and barren hills, including Carnbrea and Carnkie. This rock is large-grained, and not very prone to disintegrate; it is occasionally traversed by beds of felspar porphyry.

On the boundaries of this granite, and in the adjacent slate, are numerous tin and copper-mines, the most interesting of which are Delcoath and Cock’s Kitchen; the latter extends into the parish of Illogan, but is a continuation of the Camborne lodes. Delcoath has been for many years the deepest mine in Cornwall. It stands at the surface, about fifty fathoms (300 feet) above the level of the sea, and the deepest shaft is about a hundred and eighty fathoms (1080 feet) below the sea level, making on the whole a depth from the surface of nearly 1400 feet.

These mines exhibit the curious geological phenomena of alternating granite and slate; that is, in sinking a perpendicular shaft, the miner passes repeatedly out of one of these rocks into the other. Various theoretical opinions have been entertained on this subject: some geologists supposing that the layers are no more than irregular protuberances from the main mass of the rock; whilst others consider them as large veins dipping towards and communicating with the granite at a great depth. But it is ascertained that these granite layers are sometimes detached or insulated masses, whilst at other times they form large veins or courses, which have regular bearings to a considerable distance, and are then called elvans; to form, however, a correct idea of the features of these phenomena, we must become acquainted, not with the appearance only, but with the nature and composition of these two rocks.

Granite and slate are usually considered, from their exterior character, as very dissimilar, whereas in this situation their real composition is nearly alike.

166 The granite immediately in contact with the slate, consists of compact felspar, containing particles or crystals of felspar, quartz, and mica, in variable proportions, but the whole generally increasing towards the centre of the mass. So that the granite is changed into a felspar rock or porphyry rock, scarcely ever resembling a well characterised granite; while the slate in contact has received the various names of greywacke, greenstone, clayslate, and killas; but it appears to be a rock sui generis, consisting almost entirely of compact felspar, coloured purple or blue by its intimate union with a dark-coloured micaceous mineral, sometimes seen distinct on the surface of the slate, and from which it appears to derive its lamellar structure. The bases of these two rocks are therefore the same, and at the point of contact it is often difficult to draw a line between them; for the slate passes into white compact felspar by the gradual disappearance of its colouring mineral; and this granite rock, by the more and more additions of felspar, quartz, and mica, reassumes its usual character.

On this view of the subject, it is easy to comprehend why the granite and the slate alternate and mutually pass into each other; and an explanation may also be given of the complicated phenomena of granite veins in slate, when it is assumed that both rocks are not only of contemporaneous origin, but likewise similar in their mineral composition.

Between this mining district and a line drawn east and west across the parish, a little north of the church town, the land is in most places very good; but north of this line, at the extremity of the parish, where it abuts on the sea, the ground is almost entirely uncultivated, affording nothing more than a slight pasturage for sheep. At Godrevy Point there is laid open an interesting section of diluvial deposits: one of the beds, composed of shelly sand and pebbles, is consolidated with sandstone and conglomerate.

[24] See Symons of Halt in Botus Fleming.

[25] Here the word “fire-side” is interlined; and at ‡ the words “good now” in the same hand with the paragraph within brackets.




Cardinham is situate in the hundred of West, and hath upon the north Blisland, Temple, and part of Altarnun; south, Bradock and Warleggan; west, Bodmin. For the name, it is compounded of those particles, car-din-ham, id est, the rock-man’s-home or habitation; also car-dyn-an, i. e. the rock man, or a man that dwells upon, or has his residence amongst rocks, or in a rocky country, with which sort of inanimate creatures the north part of this parish aboundeth. It takes its denomination from the manor and barton of old Cardinham; as from thence did its lord and owner Robert de Cardinan, temp. Richard I., the same gentleman mentioned in Mr. Carew’s “Survey of Cornwall,” that by the tenure of knight-service held in those parts seventy-one knight’s fees; which undoubtedly then was the greatest estate pertaining to any private man in this province. He was not only the founder and endower of the Alien Priory of St. Andrew at Tywardreth, (of which more in that place,) but also of this rectory church. By the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester into the value of benefices in Cornwall, as aforesaid, 1294, Ecclesia de Cardinan in Decanatu de Westwellshire, was rated 6l. 8s. 4d. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, 24l. 17s. 6d., by the name of the Rectory of Cardenham, synonymous with Cardinham. The patronage in the Lord Dynham’s heir, Arundell, and others; the incumbent, Waddon; this parish was taxed to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, temp. William III., 161l. 8s.

And here it must be observed, that there was no such parish or church extant at the time of the Norman conquest as Cardinham; for in the Domesday Rate, 1087, 20 William I., this division passed then under the 168 districts of Cabulian, Dovenot, and Glin, (see the Domesday Catalogue); but after the building and endowing of this church, Glin was converted into Cardinham parish, and Cabulian into Warliggon; under which name and title they have hitherto passed, as members thereof. I find it much controverted amongst antiquaries and historians, whether the Dynhams, that afterwards became possessed of this manor and barton, were the descendants of this Robert de Cardinan, or not; some averring one thing and some another; but certain I am they were possessed thereof as his heirs and assigns; but whether denominated from thence, or the local places of Dynham in St. Menvor, or Dinham-bridge in St. Kew, I know not. Nevertheless, contrary to both those conjectures, Mr. Camden tells us that those Dinhams were a French tribe that came into England with William the Conqueror; particularly one Oliver de Dinant, one of whose sons, viz. Galfrid de Dinham, temp. Henry II. was a great augmenter of the Abbey of Hartland; and changed the secular priests founded there by Githa, wife of Earl Godwin, into Black Canons Augustine. See Monasticon Anglicanum, in Devon.

One Oliver de Dinant, or Dinham, was by writ of summons called to Parliament as a Baron, 24 Edward I. who had issue Josce, who had issue John, who had issue John, who had issue John, who had issue John; who were all knighted; which last John had issue, by Sir Richard Arche’s heir, John Dinham, of Old Cardenham, Esq., sheriff of Devon, 39 Henry VI., 1460, who then resided at his barton of Nutwell, in Woodberry parish, eight miles from Exeter, who at that time made use of his authority in promoting the safety of the Duke of York’s friends, viz. the Earls of March, Salisbury, and Warwick, and others, then attainted of treason by Act of Parliament, who, in order to the preservation of their lives, fled into Devonshire, 169 where they were concealed by the said John Dinham at Nutwell aforesaid, till he had opportunities from Exmouth to convey them to Guernsey, from whence they were transported to Calais, which place they secured for the Duke of York. But as soon as King Henry and the Parliament understood thereof, immediately the Duke of Somerset was dispatched with a commission to be governor of that place; who no sooner approached the harbour of Calais with his ships, but those fugitive lords ordered the train of artillery at Rysbank (there) immediately to be fired upon the Duke of Somerset and his companions, as they were coming on shore, which so obstructed their design that they were forced, with some damage and loss, to return to their ships, weigh anchor, spread sails, and bear off for the English coast, and dropped anchor safely at Sandwich in Kent; from whence King Henry and Queen Margaret had some notice from the Duke of Somerset of the affront offered his Majesty and him at Calais, whereupon the King ordered his navy royal, as soon as possible, to be in readiness to attend and assist him, in order to reduce Calais to his obedience.

But, alas! maugre those contrivance, the said John Dynham, before the King’s navy could be provided and got together, out of affection to the Duke of York, the Earl of March and his confederates, like a daring, valiant, courageous, and invincible hero, as he was, with a small company of armed men, boarded the Earl of Somerset’s ships in the harbour of Sandwich, and therein took the Lord Rivers, designed for his admiral against Calais, and by a strong hand carried him and all his ships thither; and then, with the same ships, conveyed the Earl of March and his friends from Calais to the Duke of York his father, then fled into Ireland.

After the restoration of the House of York to the crown, in the person of Edward IV. we find this John Dynham was knighted. In the 6th Edward IV. he was 170 by writ summoned to Parliament as a Baron thereof, by the name of John Dinham, Baron Dinham, of Cardinham. In the 9th Edward IV. he obtained a grant of the custody of the forest of Dartmoor, the manor and borough of Lidford, and the manor of South Teign in Devon, during his life, under the yearly rent of 100 marks, and 6s. 8d.; and soon after he got a grant of the office of steward of the honours, castles, manors, and boroughs of Plympton, Oakhampton, Tiverton, Sampford Courtney, and some others, and was made Knight of the Garter; and in the first year of Henry VII., 1485, he was by letters patent created Baron Dinham, of Cardinham; afterwards he was made Lord High Treasurer of England, which office he held fifteen years, and died 17 Henry VII. aged seventy-two years. He left issue Charles Dinham, Esq. his son and heir, sheriff of Devon, 16 Edward IV., 1476, that married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Lord Fitzwalter, who died without issue; by reason whereof his four sisters became his heirs, and were married, Jane, to Baron Zouch, of Totness; Joan, to Lord Arundell, of Lanherne, knight; Margaret, to Nicholas Baron Carew, of Molesford, in Berkshire; and Elizabeth, to Foulk Bourchier, of Tavistock, Lord Fitzwarren. The arms of Dinham were, in a field Gules, three fusils in fess Argent, within a border Ermine; but Nicholas Upton, in his manuscript of heraldry, 1440, written before the invention of printing, tells us, Monsieur Oliver de Dinham port de Goules un fess engrelle de Ermine, un bordure endentee Argent.

The Lady Elizabeth Dinham, widow of the Lord Fitzwarren aforesaid, after his death, was married to Thomas Shapcott, of Elton, in Huntingdonshire, Esq., where, at her own proper cost and charge, she erected a private chapel to the honour of Almighty God, of that curious and costly workmanship, both in walls, roof, and window, that it is worthy the admiration of all beholders, and parallel to, if not superior, to any other 171 church or chapel of its bigness in England. See Camden in Huntingdonshire.

Nicholas Baron Carew aforesaid, together with his lady, were buried in Westminster Abbey, amongst the kings and queens of England, as appears from a grey marble tomb-stone, with a brass inscription round it, containing, as I remember, these words.

Orate pro animabus Nicolai Baronis quondam de Carew, et Dominæ Margaretæ uxoris ejus, filiae Johannis Domini Dinham, Militis; qui quidem Nicholaus obiit sexto die mensis Decembris, anno Dom. 1470; et predicta Domina Margareta obiit die mensis Decembris, anno 1471. Of this famous family Mr. Carew, in his “Survey of Cornwall,” hath only these words: “formerly at Cardinham lived the Lord Dinham.”

Glin, Glynn, in this parish, is a name taken and given from the ancient natural circumstances of the place, where lakes, pools, and rivers of water abound, and groves of trees, or copps, flourish and grow; derived from the Japhetical Greek λιμνη, [limnee] lacus; under which name, and devyock, or deynock district, part of the now parish of Cardinham, was taxed 20 William I., 1087. From which place was denominated an ancient family of gentlemen surnamed De Glynn, who for many generations flourished there in worshipful degree, till about the time of Henry VII., when the sole daughter and heir of this family was married to Carmynow of Resprin, or Polmaugan, whose heir being married to Courtney, brought this barton of Glynn into that family; by some of whose posterity it was sold to a younger branch of this family of Glynn, who thereby was restated therein, and so became possessed thereof; from whom was lineally descended Nicholas Glynn, Esq. Member of Parliament for Bodmin, temp. Charles II., who married one of the coheirs of Dennis, of Orleigh, in Devon, as did Sir Thomas Hamson, Knt., of Buckinghamshire, the other; who 172 had issue Denny Glynn, Esq. that married two wives, Foow of Tiverton, and Hoblyn of Bodman; who had issue William Glynn, Esq., that married Prideaux of Padstow, and giveth for his arms, in a field Argent, a chevron between three salmon-spears Sable; alluding to their custom, privilege, or right of hunting or fishing for salmons in the Fowey river, passing through this barton or lordship of Glynn towards the sea. Mr. Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, tells us this place is called Glynford, by reason of a bridge or pass over the Fowey River there; for ford in British signifies a street, road, pass, or highway over waters; but the authority of Domesday Roll aforesaid, which calls it Glin, plainly shows that this latter appellation, ford, was added to this word Glynn after the bridge aforesaid was erected, and not otherwise to be applied. Nicholas Glynn, of Glyn-ford, Esq. was sheriff of Cornwall 18 James I.

Devynock, as aforesaid, was another district now in this parish, taxed in Domesday Roll, now in possession of —— Hann, Gent.


Mr. Tonkin has not any thing of the least curiosity that differs from Hals. He ends indeed by saying, that “nothing can be more ridiculous than Mr. Hals’s derivation of the name of this parish.”


It is much to be wished that some one learned in the Celtic language, perhaps a native of Britany, would investigate the derivations of all the names of places, of hills, and of rivers, after visiting their localities.

Car, in composition, is probably the same as cairn or kairn a rock, and din is a fortress; but these do not seem likely to take up the Saxon termination ham, an house or dwelling.

173 Glynn has not, in all probability, any connection with the Saxon words gline or glen. A word of very similar sound in one of the Celtic dialects denominates a spear, and this agrees with the family arms, which are Argent, the heads of three fishing-spears or tridents, with their points downwards, two and one, Sable. A new house was built at Glynn by Mr. Edmund John Glynn, son of Serjeant Glynn, distinguished in the political dissensions of Mr. Wilkes. The house was accidentally consumed by fire before the whole interior had been completed. The walls, however, were not much injured, and the building will probably be restored. It is now the property of the Right Hon. Gen. Sir Hussey Vivian.

Serjeant Glynn succeeded to his elder brother’s son, a young man said to be possessed of considerable abilities and even learning, but of such singular and eccentric habits, that he remained for years without speaking a single word, communicating his thoughts by writing. A verdict of lunacy was at last obtained against him at the Cornwall Assizes, but much to the general dissatisfaction of the country, as interested motives were readily imputable to the uncle; and his mother felt so strongly on the subject, that being heiress of an ancient family, Nicholls of Trewane in St. Kew, she devised nearly the whole of her possessions, in honour of her son’s name, to Mr. Glynn of Heliton; probably of the same stock, but very distantly related.

This parish measures 7750 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 3029 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 429 17 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

an increase of 32 per cent. or nearly one-third in 30 years.


A continuation of the granite of Blisland and St. Breward forms the north-eastern corner of this parish. A belt then succeeds, which appears to be of the same kind as the micaceous slate of St. Breward already described; it may be traced along the side of the Leskeard road in a disintegrated state. On leaving this road and proceeding towards the church, the rock becomes more argillaceous, as round Bodmin, and the land improves in quality. The western and southern parts of the parish consist of barren downs, reposing on rocks which abound in quartz.



St. Cleer is situate in the hundred of West, and hath upon the north, Altarnun; south, Liskeard; east, St. Tew; west, St. Neot. The modern name of this parish was not extant at the time of the Norman Conquest, but probably then passed in the Domesday tax under the titles of Trelven, Niveton, or Trethac. At the time of the Pope’s inquisition into the value of Cornish benefices, in order to his Annats, 1294, Ecclesia de Sancto Claro, in Decanatu de Westwellshire, was charged ten marks; Vicar ejusdem 40s. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, 19l. 16s. 8d. and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 241l. 17s.

The name of this parish is taken from the church, and the church’s name from the titular guardianess thereof, to whom the same is dedicated, viz. St. Clare 175 or Cleer; whose name is derived from the Latin word claro, i. e. clear, bright, shining, transparent; and she herself was born of an honourable lineage at the city of Assisum in Italy.

[Mr. Hals here gives a long history of St. Clare, much more in detail than is suited to a parochial history.

It may be sufficient to add, she was the daughter of Phavorino Sciffo, a noble knight, and of Hortulana, his most virtuous wife, and born in the year 1193. St. Francis was then alive and at the height of his fame. St. Dominic and St. Francis, as is well known, instituted the two great orders of begging monks or friars. Those who entered into any of the previously existing monastic establishments, underwent what was termed a civil death, renounced all individual property, bestowing what was at their own disposal in any way most agreeable to themselves, and suffering what was inalienable to descend to their heirs. Hence has originated the expression natural life, as opposed to civil life, still used in legal proceedings. But St. Dominic and St. Francis, not content with this individual poverty, extended it to their orders; so that with the exception of a dwelling, some furniture, and necessary raiment, their friars were to live, as the cynics had done of old, upon the accidental charity of victuals given in kind and from day to day; for a broad and impassable boundary was drawn between receiving bread from the donor’s hand, and a piece of metal for which that bread might be procured; in the same manner as any portion of the increase arising from flocks or herds might lawfully be given; whilst anathemas were thundered against him who accepted the least return for valuable commodity, in exchange for which similar flocks or herds could easily and freely be procured.

As impassioned harangues were obviously the most efficient agents for eliciting or extorting these daily 176 alms, they were incessantly employed; so that the mendicants soon acquired the distinctive appellation of preaching friars; and the whole institution being suited to the genius, the spirit, and the prejudices of the rude age in which it arose, the Dominicans and Franciscans acquired and maintained, during some centuries, almost the temporal sovereignty of Europe; till their dissentions, the scandalous immorality growing out of their vagrant lives, and the diffusion of knowledge, dissolved the charm.

This contagion readily extended itself to females, so that, with some indispensible modifications, societies soon arose of women bound by the same rule of individual and collective poverty. St. Clare appears to have been the first female disciple of St. Francis, or at least the first raised by him to eminence and power, acquisitions far more captivating to the human mind, than wealth with all its passive luxuries and enjoyments.

St. Clare had the gratification of eloping from her parents to receive the veil and the tonsure from the hands of St. Francis, who placed her at first in a monastery of Benedictine Nuns; but the young saint soon found herself in the situation of an abbess, with her mother and two sisters members of the community, submitted to her sway. From this station she advanced to be the founder of an order, having numerous houses established under her supreme authority, exercised according to rules dictated by St. Francis; and the poor Clares constitute a principal branch of the female monastic establishments existing in all Catholic countries up to the present times.

Pope Innocent IV. made a journey on purpose to visit Clare, not long before her death in 1253, and again to assist at her funeral. His successor, Pope Alexander IV. two years afterwards, inscribed her name in the celestial canon. Mr. Hals then proceeds to particulars.]

177 In this parish is yet to be seen a famous chapel Well, dedicated to St. Clare, a work of great skill, labour, and cost, though now much decayed, which formerly pertained to some nunnery of those sort of religious women extant here or at Leskeard. (See Truro and Kenwyn, for Clares.) From this parish was denominated an ancient family of gentlemen, surnamed de St. Cleare, from whence are descended the St. Clears of Tudwell, in Devon, who, suitable to their name, give for their arms, in a field Azure the sun in its glory shining or transparent; of which tribe was that Robertus de Sancto Claro, qui tenet decem libratas terræ, in hundredo de Mertock, in comit. Somerset, de domine rege in capite, per servicium inveniendi unum servientem armatum cum uno equo in exercitu domini regis in Wallia per xl. dies sumptibus suis propriis. (Pleas of the Crown in Scaccario, 8 Edward I.)

In this parish is Tre-worg-y, the mansion of John Conock, Esq., that married Burgoigne; his father Heale and Courtney; and giveth for his arms, Argent, a fess dancette between three spread eagles Gules.

The name Conock or Connock signifies rich, prosperous, thriving, successful, of which name and family those in Cornwall are descended from the Conocks of Wiltshire, and the first propagator of this tribe in those parts was one Mr. Conock, who in the time of Queen Elizabeth came to Leskeard town a tanner, and in that occupation got much riches, and laid the foundation of his estate, as Mr. Thomas River, of Liskeard, informed me.

Tre-mabe, in this parish, id est, the son’s town, viz. a place in former ages by some father given as the dwelling to his son, was formerly the lands of Samuel Langford, Gent. that married Cary of Clovelly.

Tre-wor-oc, also Tre-wor-ock, the town on a lake, was formerly the lands of Trubody, who sold the same to 178 Jackman, now in possession thereof. In the church on seats or pews, pertaining to those Trubodys, I have seen this inscription, Nati honoris; in what sense to be construed is mystery to me, since I have not understood that any of this tribe was either a son nobly born, or inherited to any kind of honour, dignity, or promotion.

At Pennant in this parish, id est, the head of the valley, or the valley head, in the open downs by the high road or street-way, formerly stood a large flat moor-stone, about eight feet long, in perpendicular manner, described by Mr. Carew and Mr. Camden, wherein is still to be seen on the one side thereof this inscription, in Roman Saxon letters, then in use when it was set up, containing these words: doniert rogauit pro anima.

[Instead of the long and uninteresting account given by Mr. Hals of this monument, I will take the liberty of substituting an extract from Mr. Bond’s Topographical and Historical Sketches of the Boroughs of East and West Looe, printed by J. Nichols and Son, Parliament Street, in 1823, which will be found of a very different description.]

“Not far from Dosmery Pool may be seen a curious heap of rocks, called Wring Cheese or Cheese Wring; and, at a short distance therefrom, an artificial curiosity called the Hurlers, and another called the Other-half-stone.

“Camden, in his Britannia, speaking of St. Neot’s parish, says, ‘Near unto this, as I have heard, within the parish of St. Cleer, there are to be seen, in a place called Pennant, that is, the head of the vale, two monuments of stone; of which the one in the upper part is wrought hollow, in manner of a chair; the other, named Other-halfe-stone, hath an inscription of barbarous characters, now in a manner worn out,’ which he thinks should be read thus: DONIERT ROGAVIT PRO 179 ANIMA. As for this Doniert, Camden thinks he was that prince of Cornwall whom the chroniclers name Dungerth, and record that he was drowned in the year of our salvation 872. Camden also says, ‘Hard by there is a number of good big rockes heaped up together; and under them one stone of a lesser size, fashioned naturally in form of a cheese, so as it seemeth to be pressed like a cheese; whereupon it is named Wring Cheese. Many other stones besides, in some sort four-square, are to be seen upon the plain adjoining; of which seven or eight are pitched upright of equal distances asunder. The neighbouring inhabitants term them Hurlers, as being by a devout and godly error persuaded, they had been men sometime transformed into stones, for profaning the Lord’s day with hurling the ball. Others would have it to be a trophy (as it were) or a monument in memorial of some battle. And some think verily they were set as mere stones or landmarks; as having read in those authors that wrote on limits, that stones were gathered together of both parties, and the same erected for bounders. In this coast the river Loo maketh way and runneth into the sea, and in his very mouth giveth name to two little towns joined with a bridge together.’

“On the 6th August, 1802, I went with a party of friends to see these natural and artificial curiosities, mentioned by Camden. I first got the party to Red-gate,[26] in St. Cleer parish, about four miles from Liskeard, in order to find out Doniert or Dungerth’s monument, which I understood was somewhere near to it. I made inquiry at the house at Red-gate after this monument, but could get no account of it for some time, 180 though I questioned in a variety of ways; at last, however, we got information where it was situated. It is about a quarter of a mile off from Red-gate, eastward, in a field next the high road. We got into this field, and seeing an erect stone went towards it, and found it to be the monument we sought. One moorstone stands erect, and the other with the inscription on it, lies in a pit close by. The figures of these stones in Borlase’s History are most like them of any I have seen.[27] I made out and copied the inscription very perfectly, by rubbing a soft stone which left its mark in the letters.


“This stone by recollection is about two feet wide at top, and about five or six feet in length. And the other stone, which still stands erect, and ornamented with cross lines, &c. is about the same in height.

181 “The west front is quite plain; the top has the remains of a kind of mortice, left hand corner broken off. The east front is dotted over, but has no letters.

“I find in Hals, that the pit in which the stone with the inscription lies, was formed in the latter end of the reign of Charles II. in consequence of his, Hals’s, going there at that period with some gentlemen, to view, as he says, the, at that time thought barbarous, inscription; for some tinners in the contiguous country, taking notice of these gentlemen visiting this place, apprehended they came there in quest of some hidden treasure; whereupon, as Hals says, some of them wiser than the rest, lay their heads together, and resolved in council to be before-hand, and accordingly went with pickaxes and shovels, and opened the earth round about the monument, to the depth of about six feet; when they discovered a spacious vault walled about, and arched over with stones, having on the sides thereof two stone seats, not unlike those in churches for auricular confession. The sight of all which struck them with consternation, or a kind of horror, that they incontinently gave over search, and with the utmost hurry and dread, throwing earth and turf to fill up the pit they made, they departed, having neither of them the courage to enter or even to inspect into the further circumstances of the place; which account Hals says, he had from the mouths of some of the very fellows themselves. Some short while after, the loose earth, by reason of some heavy rains which fell, sunk away into the vault, which occasioning also a sort of terræ-motus and concession of the earth adjoining, the said monument was at length so undermined thereby, that it fell to the ground, where it still remains. Would some gentlemen of ability and curiosity, says Hals, and so say I, be at the charge of again opening and cleansing this under-ground chapel, or whatever else it may be denominated, it might probably afford matter of pleasing amusement, if 182 not grand speculation to the learned searchers into matters of antiquity.

“This monument formerly went by the name of ‘the other half stone.’ Some translate the inscription, ‘Pray for the soul of Dungerth,’ others ‘Doniert asked for his soul;’ and there seems to be great controversy for what purpose this monument was erected. High stones might originally, in the early ages of Christianity, have been erected near roads in desolate situations, and at short distances from each other, to direct travellers in their journies; and crosses might have been placed on them as a memento for thanksgiving, when the traveller had effected this part of his journey in safety. Now if the inscription on the above monument is meant for ‘Pray for the soul of Dungerth,’ may we not suppose that it was meant as a request to those who should happen to be praying for themselves, to offer up a prayer also for Dungerth, who probably caused that monument to be erected, or who was buried near the same, perhaps in the chapel before mentioned to have been discovered by the tinners. Or if the inscription is to be read, ‘Doniert asked for his soul,’ which seems the proper translation; may we not suppose that Doniert (who by all accounts was a very pious prince) erected this stone, and prayed or asked for mercy thereat. Perhaps originally these stones might have been called Ave stones, from the Latin word ‘Ave,’ all hail! God speed you; God save you, &c. a very appropriate expression in a desolate situation to a wanderer or traveller. And the reference to another Ave stone might signify the one which is a little to the eastward of it, bearing a cross, and by its appearance formerly a legend underneath. This word Ave (pronounced in the same manner it is in Ave-Mary-Lane, London) might be corrupted into Half; so that Ave stone and Half stone might mean one and the same thing. And in Cornwall the F is very frequently pronounced as a V, and the V as an F, at this 183 present time.[28] If this does not meet approbation, I will add another conjecture. As the circle of stones called the Hurlers, are at a short distance from this monument and the cross before-mentioned, might not the monument and the cross be called the ‘one heave stone,’ and the other, ‘the other or outer heave stone,’ places from whence the ball during the game of hurling was thrown. The traditionary story of the stones called the hurlers, being once men turned into stone for profaning the Sabbath, will give some slight sanction to this conjecture; and in addition, even at this time the high-cross is vulgarly believed to have been the man who ran off with the ball.

“With respect to the stones called the Hurlers being once men, I will say with Hals, ‘Did but the ball which these Hurlers used when flesh and blood, appear directly over them immoveably pendant in the air, one might be apt to credit some little of the tale;’ but as this is not the case, I must add my belief of their being erected by the Druids for some purpose or other, probably a court of justice; long subsequent to which erection, however, they may have served as the goal for hurl players. And indeed a finer spot for such a game could not be fixed on perhaps any where. But I believe the Hurlers took their names from some other source than that of the game of hurling the ball being used there.


“After sufficiently viewing Dungerth’s monument, we directed our course towards Cheese-wring, and soon came to the Hurlers, but first we rode up to the High Cross before mentioned, which at a distance looked somewhat like a man. Under its cross it has an oblong square, as if the border of an inscription, but at present there is not the least vestige of a letter on it. Soon after we came to the Hurlers, which we found to be moorstones of about five or six feet high, forming two circles one without the other (not as represented in Hals’ Parochial History, but like that in Borlase), the circle nearest Cheese-wring less than that of the other. Some of the stones are fallen down, and remain where they fell, and others have probably been carried off for gate posts and other purposes. The areas of the circles are not level, there being many pits in them, as if the earth had sunk over large graves. I confess I was not much struck with the appearance of these famous stones, not having faith to believe they once were men. Near this place we fell in with a man going to Cheese-wring, and were glad to follow him as a guide. Among other questions, I asked him, as we passed along, whether he could tell me the name of the tenement on which Dungerth’s monument was; he answered Pennant. I also asked him whether he knew where the source of the Looe river was; he said in a field next below Dungerth’s monument. I was sorry to hear this, as we could not conveniently return to see it, but I learned from him it was a mere spring of water uninclosed.

“When we reached Cheese-wring, we discovered a man and woman on the top of the mount (on the declivity of which Cheese-wring stands), who, we afterwards found, were cutting turfs for fuel. Our guide first led us to the house of the late Daniel Gumb (a stone-cutter), cut by him out of a solid rock of granite (the rocks all around this place are granite, or moorstone as commonly called in Cornwall, and of the finest quality). This artificial 185 cavern may be about twelve feet deep and not quite so broad; the roof consists of one flat stone of many tons weight, supported by the natural rock on one side, and by pillars of small stones on the other. How Gumb formed this last support is not easily conceived. We entered with hesitation lest the covering should be our grave-stone. On the right-hand side of the door is ‘D. Gumb,’ with a date engraved 1735 (or 3). On the upper part of the covering stone, channels are cut to carry off the rain, or probably to cause it to fall into a bucket for his use; there is also engraved on it some geometrical device formed by Gumb, as our guide told us, who also said that Gumb was accounted a pretty sensible man. I have no hesitation in saying he must have been a pretty eccentric character to have fixed on this place for his habitation; but here he dwelt for several years with his wife and children, several of whom were born and died here. His calling was that of a stone-cutter, and he fixed himself on a spot where materials could be met with to employ a thousand men for a thousand years.

“After quitting this house, we ascended a few paces to the pile of rocks called Cheese-wring, the resemblance of which is well expressed by the print in Borlase’s Nat. Hist. We were all struck with astonishment at this wonderful work of nature; we surveyed it over and over again, went round it several times, and viewed it from every part. It is about thirty-two feet high. The uppermost stone I have no doubt has Druidical basons formed in it. One of them shows itself by the edge of the stone having fallen away. After spending some time in viewing this tremendously awful pile of rocks, we ascended to the summit of the mount on the side of which it stands. This summit is surrounded by an artificial rampart of loose stones, not piled up; possibly they might have formed a wall, or have been carried there for building one; for if they were placed as they 186 now are with an intention so to remain, they could not have been very defensive to this mount. Possibly the name of Cheese-wring may be derived from this ring of stones, and not from the vulgar idea of the Cheese-wring rocks being like a cheese-press.

“The area within the rampart may be about half an acre of ground, and has rocks scattered all over it; but in some places verdure even in this rude region makes its appearance. We found a man and a woman within the area cutting turfs between the rocks for fuel. Among other questions, I asked the man to whom the spot belonged; his answer was, ‘he believed to nobody.’

“Several curious piles of rocks, some forming cromlechs, and others of various forms and positions, are here also to be seen, and several of them have Druidical basons on them. The rocks having these basons are the most lofty or most remarkable for shape or situation. On some rocks there are two or three basons; and where there are more basons than one, they generally communicate by a channel. The basons here are of different sizes, though all of them are of the same shape, which is circular. Some of them are about a foot and a half in diameter, and six or eight inches deep; others not so large or deep. Never having seen any Druidical basons before, and having had my doubts till this time, whether they might not be natural productions caused by rain, lightning, &c. I was led to examine other rocks, whether they had (though equally exposed to the weather) similar formations, but could not find a bason on any rock that was not singular either for its shape or situation. I therefore concluded that these basons were the work of art, and not of nature; and I think they were not intended for the purpose of receiving the rain for common uses, for if so, why were they not made on rocks of easy access? It is possible, however, that rain being held in a natural hollow of a rock, may decompose that part of the rock on which it rests, and being whirled about by the wind from time to 187 time, may form these basons which we attribute to art; and if this is the case, they must continue increasing in size and depth. Have such basons ever been seen but on granite rocks? if not, probably water dissolves the feltspar and disunites the quartz and mica; and the winds driving round the water with particles of quartz at the bottom of the bason, must consequently fret away the rock and enlarge the bason. A rock of white marble lies on the sea-beach near Looe, completely covered with hollows like what are termed Druidical basons; these hollows in this rock I have no doubt have been formed by the sea; it lies near an insulated high rock under Sanders Lane, and is every tide covered with the sea, and is very frequently covered with sand. A person fancying the basons on this rock of marble to be an artificial work, might also fancy that it once was placed on top of the elevated rock near it; the contrast of the white marble on top of the elevated rock, which is of a very dark colour, would give a singular appearance. When this high rock is shown to strangers, they are generally told, with a serious face, that when it hears a cock crowing at Hay (which is a farm just above it) it turns round three times!


“After leaving the area before-mentioned, we mounted our horses, and went towards another very considerable rocky eminence, about half a mile north-east; the road to which over the Down is full of rocks and stones, so as to prevent a horse from going other than step and step at times. On our way we passed a small circle of stones, the remains I rather think of an ancient Barrow, whose earth had been washed away by the rains. We shortly after passed another pretty large circle of stones, just about the diameter to appearance of the lesser circle of the Hurlers; at length we arrived at the pile of rocks, called by our guide Sharpy-torry (Sharp-torr, from 188 its conical shape). We alighted from our horses and ascended. On the north or north-west side of it there appears a hollow, more like a large chimney than any other thing I can compare it to; the outside of which seems to have given way, and the steep hill below is strewed with an immense quantity of rocks and large stones, as if carried down or poured out from this hollow. Whether this was caused by the operation of fire or water bursting from this hollow or crater, if I may use the expression, I will not take upon me to say; but that one or other of these agents burst from this mount appears to be extremely probable, for the rocks and stones seem exactly as if they had been tumbled or thrown out of this crater by a current of some kind. We could not, however, discover lava; therefore it is probable water might have burst out, unless the lava has been decomposed. The views from this place are truly sublime. The spot is nearly the centre of the broadest part of the county; from it we saw both seas, north and south, and consequently the intervening land; and I believe it is the only eminence (except perhaps Brownwilly) in the eastern part of Cornwall, from whence both seas may be seen. We also saw in the North Sea a very high land, which we concluded must be Lundy Island; but the horizon to the north being rather hazy, I will not take upon me to say positively that it was that island, though it is probable to have been so. The prospect was equally extensive east and west, and as I took a pocket spying-glass with me, we viewed therewith the vast extent we commanded. We discovered Launceston Castle with the naked eye; through the glass it became very visible. We were much struck with the beautiful and highly-cultivated lands to the east of us, terminated in part by the high land of Dartmoor. To the westward, nothing was to be seen but a vast continuance of moor land, without a hedge, without a tree, for a stretch of many miles. The cultivated land commenced 189 just below our feet to the eastward, and the uncultivated from where we stood westward; the contrast on turning from west to east, or vice versâ, was astonishing. Our station seemed to be amidst the wreck of mountains of granite, rocks piled on rocks were strewed around in awful grandeur. The extreme point of our western view, dimmed by distance, showed us that elevated rock called Roach Rock, and we also saw Dosmerry Pool about four or five miles off; our south view commanded Plymouth Sound, and a long extent of coast and sea; the northward in one part was terminated by the sea. The views brought to my mind the beautiful lines in Ovid:

“Tum freta diffundi, rapidisque tumescere ventis
Jussit, et ambitæ circumdare littora terræ.
Addidit et fontes, immensaque stagna lacusque.
Jussit et extendi campos, subsidere valles,
Fronde tegi silvas, lapidosos surgere montes.”

“Then he ordered the seas to poured abroad, and to swell with furious winds, and to draw a shore quite round the inclosed earth. He likewise added springs, and immense pools and lakes. He ordered likewise plains to be extended, and valleys to sink; the woods to be covered with green leaves, and the rocky mountains to rise.

“From this elevated spot (Sharp Tor) Hingston Hill appeared considerably beneath us. After spending some time on Sharp Tor, we reluctantly descended and went towards another range of rocks, called Killmarth Hill (which signifies the Holy Hill or Land, or perhaps Holy Grove), about three-quarters of a mile off. This range of rocks looks from Sharp Tor, like an immense wall of artificial masonry, with here and there turrets ascending, and it brought to my mind Sir George Staunton’s account of the Chinese wall. When we arrived at its base, we alighted from our horses, and ascended. This natural wall-looking range is composed of granite rocks of, I should suppose some of them, a thousand tons weight. We traversed along the ridge, with some difficulty, towards the first turret, and from 190 that to the next and so on, but the highest, which at a distance looked somewhat like Wringcheese, was yet to be explored; at length we arrived at it, and found it, if possible, more curious than Cheese-wring itself. It consists of immense rocks piled one on the other, to the height of twenty or thirty feet, and it leans so much, that a perpendicular dropped from its top would, I may venture to say, reach the bottom fifteen or more feet from its base; and from where we stood on the ridge, its support at the base appeared so slight as if a man could shove the whole mass over the precipice. Some of the uppermost stones of this pile are, I should think, from fifteen to twenty feet over, and the base of the whole fabric appeared so slight, that I imagined the handle of my whip would have exceeded its thickness. Upon descending to take another view of this astonishing structure, we found that the rocks were considerably thicker on one side than the other; so that the thick parts formed a counterpoise to the overhanging parts; but this not being apparent from the spot on which we first stood, was the cause of our great astonishment. However, though our astonishment was somewhat lessened, yet much remained at this stupendous pile. This is the most western turret.

“From this place one of the party and myself, the others not chusing to accompany us, went to explore the easternmost turret. Upon our arrival at its base we found much difficulty in ascending it; the rocks jutted out, one over the other, in such a manner that, had we slipped but a few inches, we must have dropped over a considerable precipice. I arrived first at the base, and attempted to ascend, but fear pulled me back. Upon my friend’s arrival we thought we would exert ourselves to get up, as we conjectured there might be a Druidical basin at top. My friend got up the first rock by creeping at full length under the overhanging rock; and I was under the necessity of several times desiring him, 191 in the most energetic manner, to keep as close in as possible; for if the body had gone a few inches farther out, it must have slid over the sloping rock which overhung the precipice. It took him a few minutes to drag himself in in this manner. In this creeping state he thought he should have broken his watch to pieces, as he was obliged, as before stated, to crawl at full length, there being no possibility; on account of the overhanging rock, of going on hands and knees. Upon trying to get out his watch, I earnestly entreated him to desist, for fear of losing his centre of gravity; for on the left hand was the precipice, and raising his right side ever so little might have been attended with most serious consequences. He took my advice, and by another exertion got far enough in to raise himself on his hands and knees, and then on his legs. I then followed him in the same manner. We then examined the rocks above us, in order to observe the best mode of ascending them. I first made the ascent, and in the uppermost rock discovered the largest Druidical basin we had met with, and observed it had a lip or channel facing the south. The horrid precipices on each side prevented my getting on the top of this rock, as I felt a slight vertigo. I then got down on a lower rock, and my friend ascended the uppermost one, and not finding himself dizzy, got into the basin itself (where I hope he will never go again), and waved his hat to our companions below. I desired him to measure the circumference of this basin, which he did with his whip, and found it to be about three feet and a half in diameter. We did not take its depth, but I think it must have been about a foot; it was of a circular form. The next thing to be considered was, how we should get down again; which at last, however, we effected nearly in the same manner (only reversing our movements) as we got up; and I believe nothing will ever induce me to pay a second visit to the top of this rock.

192 “We had a very fine day for our excursion; the sun being clouded, it was not over warm; and there was but little wind: had there been more wind, we should not have been able to ascend some of the places we did, particularly the last. The air was somewhat hazy over the North and South seas, which was the only thing we had to regret.

“A finer situation for Druidical[29] residence, rites, and 193 ceremonies, I think, could not be fixed on anywhere; every thing around is awfully magnificent; probably in ancient days these masses of rocks were surrounded with trees. Our guide indeed informed us that on digging the soil trunks of large trees have been there discovered; and Kil-mar, Kill-mark, Kil-marth signify, in Cornish, the Great, the Horse, or the Wonderful Grove.”

Since writing the above, I have been again to see these curiosities (but did not visit the top of the easternmost turret), and went by the way of St. Cleer Churchtown, near which is a curious old well, with a moorstone cross by it, worth seeing; the stone itself is in form of a cross, and it has a cross in relief cut on its cross. About a mile from St. Cleer Church (on the way to Cheese Wring) stands a most magnificent


on a barrow in a field near the high road, on the tenement called Trethevye. A friend who was with me took a rough measurement of the upper or covering stone, and calculated it to be about five tons weight. The stones which form this Cromlech are supposed to have 194 been brought some miles from where they stand, as there are none of the same kind near it. That this is a work of art there cannot be a doubt. One can hardly, however, suppose it possible that such immense stones could have been brought from a distance, and erected in the manner they are. What machinery was used baffles all conjecture. The upper or covering stone has a hole in it; for what purpose I have no idea, unless to support a flag-pole. One of the party remarked it might have been made for a chain to drag it by; but I rather thought it too near the edge for that purpose. Mr. Britton, in his “Beauties of England and Wales,” has given a vignette of this Cromlech, which is well executed, and like the original. Speaking of this Cromlech, Mr. B. says, he believes it has not been described by any writer,[30] though it is more curious and of greater magnitude than that of Mona, or any other he was acquainted with. He says “it standeth about one mile and a half east of St. Cleer, on an eminence commanding an extensive tract of country, particularly to the east, south, and south-west; and is provincially denominated Trevethey Stone. On the north the high ground of the Moors exalts its swelling outline above it. It is all of granite, and consists of six upright stones, and one large slab covering them in an inclined position. This impost measures sixteen feet in length and ten broad, and is at a medium about fourteen inches thick. It rests on five of the uprights only; and at its other end is perforated by a small circular hole. No tradition exists as to the 195 time of its erection; but its name at once designates it being a work of the Britons, and sepulchral; the term Trevedi (Trevethi) signifying, in the British language, the place of the Graves.”

King Doniert is said to have been the father of St. Ursula, rendered famous by her unfortunate expedition from Cornwall to the coast of Flanders, but still more famous by the beautiful picture of her embarkation, painted by Claude de Lorraine, where the Saint, accompanied by her eleven thousand virgins, are descending to their ships in a port, decorated with buildings the most superb, and surrounded by a distant landscape, imagined and arranged in the highest style of that celebrated master.

Those ladies, although an exaggeration from eleven to eleven thousand is suspected by some writers, were to have married a Roman emperor and his principal officers; but being attacked on their landing by Pagan Saxons, they defended themselves with a courage worthy of Cornwall, until all were slain with arms in their hands. Yet one hardly sees why these heroic females were honoured among the saints. Their deaths as martyrs are referred to the 20th of October 383, and their tomb is still shown at Cologne, where a monastery has been built to their memory.


Not far from King Doniert’s stone monument is another perpendicular moor-stone, on which is still apparent the figure of a cross; and on another, not far distant, is a cross shaped like a T.

Without doubt I think this our King Doniert lived and died in his town and castle of Leskeard, where it was not lawful to bury the bodies of dead men till the year 700. It is moreover to be noted, with regard to the inscription on his monument of stone, that about this time it was customary to pray for departed souls.

196 Not very distant from the said monument, in the open downs, are to be seen a great number of moor-stones, some artificially squared, and placed in a perpendicular manner about three feet high. These are commonly called the Hurlers: a Druidical monument having been changed, by the fraud and artifice of the priests, into a supposed monument of God’s vengeance against persons for not attending on their masses.

St. Cleer measures 9118 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 5448 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 833 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

being an increase of about 27 per cent. in 30 years.


About a mile north of the church the granite hills make their appearance, and run across the parish in a curved line. The only variety which this rock presents are coarse and fine grained masses, and a kind of fluor, near Carraton Hill, containing hornblende. Immediately south of the granite, on the side of a barren moor, masses of compact and quartz ore felspar rock protrude, indicating the same formation as at Trewist in Alternun. Near the church hornblende slate prevails, which is said to contain veins of actynolite and asbestos. A little further south, on the ridge of a barren down, massive hornblende rock projects in tiers; and loose blocks of the same stone lie scattered over the side of the hill, and in the adjacent valley.

The whole of the southern part of the parish is composed of varieties of this same rock, several of which are well displayed in the vicinity of Rosecradock.

[26] Probably this place took its name not from a gate painted red being there placed, as is generally imagined, but from its being situated just above Fowey river; Rhie-gat signifies River’s course. The Fowey river at this place is not above half a mile from the source of Looe river.

[27] The following account of these stones is copied from Mr. Polwhele’s Cornwall, vol. ii. p. 195.

“In the parish of St. Clere, about 200 paces to the eastward of Redgate, are two monumental stones which seem parts of two different crosses. They have no such relation to each other as to warrant the conclusion that they ever contributed to form one monument. One is inscribed; the other, without an inscription, called ‘the other half stone,’ seems to have been the shaft of a cross, and originally stood upright, but has latterly been thrown down, from an idle curiosity to ascertain whether any concealed treasures were beneath its base. On one of its sides are some ornamental asterisks, but no letters of any kind. Its present length is about eight feet; yet it seems to have been once longer, as the upper part is broken, and displays part of a mortice. The inscribed stone, nearly square, appears to have been a plinth of a monumental cross, having the words ‘Doniert rogavit pro anima’ inscribed upon it, in similar characters to those used about the ninth century. Doniert is supposed to mean Dungerth, who was king of Cornwall, and accidentally drowned about the year 872. Of the meaning and intention of this monument, see Borlase, pp. 361, 362.”

[28] I take some credit to myself for this conjecture as to the original meaning of “the other half stone.” And I have, long since writing this, accidentally discovered what strongly confirms my opinion. The authors of the Beauties of England and Wales, speaking of inscribed stones at Ebchester, in Durham, say, there is one having the single word “Have” for Ave on it. This stone is supposed by Horsley to be sepulchral. Have Melitina Sanctissima. The custom of thus saluting, as it were, the dead, or taking their last farewell of them, is very well known, and it may seem almost needless to produce any instances of it. Thus Æneas bids eternal adieu to Pallas:

Salve æternum mihi, maxime Palla,
Æternumque vale.—Æneid, XI. 97.

Thus also a passage in Catullus,—Ave atque vale.

[29] Druid, Druides, or Druidæ.—Some derive this word from the Hebrew Derussim, or Drussim; which they translate Contemplatores. Pliny, Salmasius, Vignierius, and others, derive the name from δρυς, an oak, on account of their inhabiting, or at least frequenting and teaching in forests, or because they sacrificed under the oak. Menage derives the word from the old British “Drus,” which signifies “Dæmon” or “Magician;” Borel, from the old British “Dru” or “Deru;” whence he takes δρυς to be derived. Goropius Becanus, lib. i. takes “Druis” to be an old Celtic or German word, formed from “trowis” or “truis,” signifying a “Doctor of the Truth and Faith.” Father Peyron, in his book of the Original of the Celtic Language, will have both Greek and Latin to come from Celtic; and if so, the Greek word δρυς must come from the Celtic “deru.” The groves where they worshipped were called Llwyn; thence, probably, is derived the word “Llan,” signifying now, in Welch, a church. These groves were inclosures of spreading oak, ever surrounding their sacred places; and in these words, “1st. Gorseddan,” or Hillocks, where they sat, and from whence they pronounced their decrees, and delivered their orations to the people; “2nd. Carnedde,” or Heaps of Stones, on which they had a peculiar mode of worship; “3rd. Cromlech,” or Altars, on which they performed the solemnities of sacrifice.

There were several orders of them:—1st. Druids; the chief of these was a sort of Pontifex Maximus, or High Priest; these had the care and direction of matters respecting religion; 2nd. Bards; who were an inferior order to the Druids, and whose business it was to celebrate the praises of their heroes, in songs composed and sung to their harps; 3rd. Eubates; who applied themselves chiefly to the study of Philosophy, and the contemplation of the wonderful works of Nature.

There were Women as well as Men Druids; for it was a female Druid who foretold to Dioclesian, when a private soldier, that he would be Emperor of Rome. They taught physics, or natural philosophy; were versed in astronomy and the computation of time; were skilled in arithmetic and mechanics; and appear to have been the grand source from whence the ages in which they lived derived all the knowledge which they possessed.

Among the numerous places sacred to Druidical worship many hieroglyphical characters have been discovered, which doubtless were intended for something relative to their opinions of the Deity to whom they paid their adoration. But, in addition to this, they taught their pupils a number of verses, which were only a sort of memorials or annals in use amongst them. Some persons remained twenty years under their instruction, which they did not deem it lawful to commit to writing. They used indeed the Greek alphabet, but not the language, as appears by a note, chap. xiii. lib. VI. of Cæsar’s Commentaries de Bell. Gall. This custom, according to Julius Cæsar, seems to have been adopted for two reasons: first, not to expose their doctrines to the common people; and, secondly, lest their scholars, trusting to letters, should be less anxious to remember their precepts, because such assistance commonly diminishes application and weakens the memory.

The original manner of writing amongst the ancient Britons was by cutting the letters with a knife upon sticks, which were commonly squared, and sometimes formed with three sides. Their religious ceremonies were but few, and similar to those of the ancient Hebrews. The unity of the Supreme Being was the foundation of their religion; and Origen, in his Commentaries of Ezekiel, inquiring into the reasons of the rapid progress of Christianity in Britain, says, “this island has long been predisposed to it by the doctrine of the Druids, which had ever taught the unity of God the Creator.” (Extracted from the Monthly Magazine and Literary Panorama for November 1819.)

[30] This author is mistaken. Norden not only speaks of it as follows, but has given a tolerably good plate of it. He says, “Trethevic, called in Latin Casa Gigantis, a little house raysed of mightie stones, standing on a little hill within a field, the form hereunder expressed. This monument standeth in the parish of St. Cleer. The cover being all one stone is from A to B 16 foote in length; the breadth from C to D is 10 foote; the thickness from G to H is 2 foote. E is an artificial hole 8 inches diameter, made thorowe the roofe very rounde, which served, as it seemeth, to put out a staffe, whereof the house itself was not capable. F was the door or entrance.”




St. Cleather is situate in the hundred of Lesnewith, and hath upon the north, Trenegles; east, Egles-kerry and Laneast; south, part of Altarnun; west, Davidstowe. For the name of St. Cleather, it refers to the vicar of the church, and in Cornish, signifies a sacred, or holy fencer or gladiator; a person that exercises a spiritual sword for offence or defence in a holy manner; and as in this place by the holy fencer is to be understood the vicar, so by his sword is signified την μαχαιραν του πνευματος ὅ ’στι ῥῆμα Θεου, gladium spiritus, quod est verbum Dei, i. e. the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester aforesaid, 1294, Ecclesia de Sancto Clede, or Cledredi, in Decanatu de Lesnewith, was valued to its first fruits 6l. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, and Valor Beneficiorum, 6l. 11s.d.; the incumbent, Harris; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound land-tax, 1696, 71l. 4s. 8d. Quere, whether St. Clede, or Clete, mentioned in that Inquisition aforesaid, relate not to St. Clete, or Cletus, Bishop of Rome and martyr, as the tutelar guardian and patron of this church? whose history in short is thus: He was born at Rome, of an old family of gentlemen or noblemen, in the reign of Tiberius; whose father’s name was Emelianus, a Christian, that placed his son Clete a disciple under St. Peter; after which he made him and Linnus coadjutors in the ministry. To Linnus St. Peter gave the charge of affairs within Rome, to Cletus the charge of the churches abroad; and those two holy men had both the succession of the Bishopric of Rome, after St. Peter’s 198 death, (Clement through humility declining that office, who in justice should have had it,) till the time that Domitian, the son of Vespasian, enjoyed the empire, who, degenerating from the morality of his father and brother Titus, raised the second persecution against the Christians; at which time, amongst many others, St. Cletus Bishop of Rome received the crown of martyrdom, after he had held the Bishopric twelve years and seven months and two days, 26th April, anno Dom. 91, tempore Domitian. He lies buried by the body of St. Peter at Rome, and is one of the saints mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, as also in St. Paul’s Epistle to Timothy. He is said, by order of St. Peter, to have divided the City of Rome into twenty-five districts or parishes, and to have set up a priest to rule and govern in spiritual matters over such Christians as were within the same, and attended their predicaments; whose successors afterwards in those churches were called cardinals.

See Peransand for the family of Cleathers.

Bas-ill, in this parish, or Bas-yll, in former ages (at best being but a poor corn country) has been for many ages the seat of the worshipful family of the Trevillians [Trevelyan]; the present possessor, Peter Trevillian, Esq. that married Borlace, his father Arundell.

His ancestor was John Trevillian, Esq. of Nettlecomb in Somerset, who was sheriff of Somerset and Dorset 17 Henry VII.; his grandson John Trevillian, Esq. was sheriff of Cornwall 38 Henry VIII. The arms of which gentlemen are in a field Gules, a demy horse Argent, issuing out of the waves of the sea Azure, grounded upon a tradition that one of their ancestors, at the supposed general inundation or concussion into the sea, of a tract of land called Lyon-ness, extending from St. Sennan to the Scilly Islands, saved himself by sitting on the back of a white horse, whilst he swam from thence through the sea to the insular continent of 199 Cornwall, where he came safe to land; but when I consider that Solinus, who lived 1500 years past, tells us that the Cassiterides, by which he means the Scilly Islands (or the tin islands), in his days were separated from the coast of the Danmonii, by a rough sea of two or three hours’ sail (as it still appears to be), and that hereditary coat armours and surnames in Britain are little above five hundred years old in Britain or Cornwall, there is small credit to be given to this tradition.

In this parish, or part of Davidstowe, is Foye-fenton, the original fountain of the Foys River; which well, in old records, is also called West Fenton, i. e. the west well, to distinguish it from Mark well in Lanick, otherwise east well; from which places the two cantreds (hundreds) of Eastwellshire and Westwellshire are denominated. And to this purpose it is evident, from Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, page 41, that in 3 Henry IV. Reginald de Ferrar held in East Fenton and West Fenton, several knights’ fees of land of the honour of Tremeton, which is now East and West Hundreds. (See also St. Stephen’s by Saltash, of those tenures in 1360.)


In this parish stands Basil, a word sometimes taken for a herb or vegetable, sometimes for a vein in the human body, sometimes for the basilisk or cockatrice, &c.; but here I take it to signify after the Greek, a basilica or stately building; and although at present this mansion will not answer the etymology in the extreme latitude or longitude thereof, yet in probability it formerly did, at least comparatively so in respect to other houses in the neighbourhood.

This place is the mansion of the ancient, famous, and knightly family of Trevillyans; the present possessor of Basil is Peter Trevillyan, who married a daughter of Mr. Nicholas Borlase of Treludderin. From this Cornish 200 family are descended the Trevillyans of Nettlecomb in Somersetshire.

Although this parish is commonly called and written St. Cleather, yet the right name is St. Eledred, and so it is written in the Taxatio Beneficiorum; which St. Eledred I take to be Ethelred King of the Mercians, who, after he had held the crown for thirty years, and governed with great reputation, and especially with much regard to religion, which (as William of Malmesbury observes) was more to this prince’s inclination than arms, resigned the kingdom to his kinsman Kendred, became a monk, and died soon after in the monastery of Bordeney in Lincolnshire.

There was, however, another St. Ethelred, King of the West Saxons, who is said by Mr. Browne Willis, in his Notitia Parliamentaria, to be buried at Wimborne Minster in Dorsetshire, with the following inscription:

In hoc loco quiescit corpus Sancti Ethelredi Regis West-Saxonum martyris, qui A.D. 872, 23 die Aprilis, per manus Danorum Paganorum occubuit.

Perhaps this latter is the true patron.


Bishop Tanner, in the Notitia Monastica, says of Bordeney Abbey,

“Here was a public monastery before the year 697, to which Ethelred King of Mercia was a great benefactor, if not the original founder; who upon the resignation of his crown retired hither, and became first a monk, and afterwards abbat of this house till his death. It is said to have had three hundred monks, but was destroyed by the Danes A.D. 870.”

The branch or stock of the Trevelyans settled at Basil is now extinct. A Sir John Trevelyan, Knight, of that place, is said to have greatly reduced his fortunes by various law-suits. An anecdote is anciently related of him in the neighbourhood, that having failed 201 in making an appearance to some civil suit, a process issued to the sheriff for attaching his person, who went to Basil accompanied by several horsemen, and riding into the court-yard made proclamation of his authority, and called on the defendant to surrender; but he, on the contrary, threatened the sheriff if he did not depart, with letting loose his spearmen upon him, and then overturned some hives of bees, which effectually routed the whole troop.

Basil now belongs to the family of Mr. Robert Fanshawe, an Out Commissioner of the Navy Board resident at Plymouth, who made the purchase from Mr. Tremayne of Sydenham.

This parish contains 3242 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1998 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 112 0 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 27½ per cent. in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. J. P. Carpenter, instituted 1823.


The western moiety of this parish runs much further south than the eastern, stretching in an irregular form into the granite near Roughton and Brown Walley.

The rocks adjoining this granitic portion are compost and schistose felspar, as at Alternun, and in a similar position. These are succeeded in the vicinity of the church by a peculiar calcareous rock, consisting almost entirely of hornblend and calcareous spar. The northern part makes part of a downs, extending almost to Launceston, and abounding in manganese.




St. Clement’s is situate in the hundred of Powder, and hath upon the north St. Herme and St. Allen; on the west Kenwyn; east the creek of Trevilian River; south and west Truro River, or arm of the sea.

In Domesday Roll, 20 Wm. I. A.D. 1087, it was taxed under the Great Earl of Cornwall’s manor (now Duchy) of Mor-is or Mor-es, id est, the manor or parish of the sea, or a manor situated on the sea, according to the natural circumstances of the place. And I doubt not that before the Norman Conquest this church or chapel was extant; since, at the time of the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester (1294), it was valued to the first fruits vil., vicar ejusdem xiiis. iiiid., by no other name than Ecclesia de Mores, which was endowed or founded undoubtedly by the Lords of the Manor of Mores, that is the Earl of Cornwall, whose successors, the Dukes, still possess the lands, and are patrons of the church. In Wolsey’s Inquisition 1525, and Valor Beneficiorum, this church is called Clemens, and valued to first fruits £9.

In this church town is the well-known place of Conor, Condura, id est, the King or Prince’s Water (viz. Cornwall), whose royalty is still over the same, and whose lands cover comparatively the whole parish; from which place in all probability was denominated Cundor or Condor, in Latin Condorus, i. e. Condura, Earl of Cornwall at the time of the Norman Conquest, who perhaps lived, or was born here. And moreover, the inhabitants of this church town and its neighbourhood will tell you, by tradition from age to age, that here once dwelt a great lord and lady called Condura.

This Condurus, as our historians tell us, in 1016 submitted 203 to the Conqueror’s jurisdiction, paid homage for his earldom, and made an oath of his fealty to him; but this report doth not look like a true one, for most certain it is, in the 3rd year of the Conqueror’s reign, he was deprived of his earldom, the same being given to the Conqueror’s half-brother, Robert Earl of Morton in Normandy, whose son William for a long time succeeded him in that dignity after his death. Is it not, therefore, more probable that this Earl Condurus confederated with his countrymen at Exeter, in that insurrection of the people against the Conqueror in the 3rd year of his reign, and for that reason was deprived of his earldom? Be it as it was, certain it is he married and had issue Cad-dock (id est, bear or carry-war), his son and heir, whom some authors call Condor the Second, who is by them taken for and celebrated as Earl of Cornwall.

But what part of the lands or estate thereof he enjoyed (whilst Robert and William, Earls of Morton aforesaid, his contemporaries, for thirty years were alive, and doubtless possessed thereof, as well as his title and dignity) hath not yet appeared to me. His chief dwelling and place of residence was at Jutsworth, near Saltash and Trematon, where he married and had issue one only daughter named Agnes, as some say, others Beatrix, who was married to Reginald Fitz-Harry, base son of King Henry I., by his concubine Anne Corbett, in whose right he was made Earl of Cornwall, after William Earl of Cornwall aforesaid had forfeited the same, by attainder of treason against the Conqueror and his sons, and was deprived thereof.

This Earl Caddock, or Condor the 2nd, departed this life 1120, and lies buried in the chancel of St. Stephen’s Church, by Saltash, and gave for his arms, in a field Sable, 15 bezants palewise, 4, 4, 4, 2, 1. (See St. Stephen’s.)

Lambesso, Lambedo, Lambessa, in this parish, parcel of the Duchy manor of Moris aforesaid, where heretofore 204 was kept the prison, or place of durance and correction, for the prisoners and offenders thereof; which barton for several generations was the dwelling-place of the family surnamed King, duchy tenants, till my kind friend Henry King, gent. temp. Charles II., for want of issue, by his last will and testament settled the same upon John Foote, gent. attorney-at-law, now in possession thereof; who married Avery, daughter-in-law to Mr. King, by his wife, the widow of Avery, and daughter of Lampeer, as I take it.

Query, whether Oliver King, Chaplain in ordinary to King Henry VII., Dean of Winchester, Register of the Noble Order of the Garter, and one of the principal Secretaries of State to that King, created Bishop of Exeter the 9th of February 1492, and from thence translated to Wells 1499, and died 1505, (since Isaac, in his Memorials of Exeter, saith he was a Cornish man), were not of this family? who gave for his arms, in a field Argent, on a chevron Sable, three escallops of the First.

Mr. Foote, as I said, married Avery, and was descended from the Footes of Tregony; and giveth for his arms, Vert, a chevron between three pigeons or doves Argent. His son Henry Foote, attorney-at-law, married Gregor of Cornelly, and is, at the writing hereof, in possession of Lambesso.[31]

Pen-are, alias Pen-ar, in this parish, parcel of the Duchy manor of Moris aforesaid, was heretofore the dwelling of my kind friend James Lance, Esq. a Commissioner of the Peace and Surveyor of the Duchy of Lancaster during the Interregnum, or usurpation of Cromwell. He married —— Blackston of London.

This gentleman sold this barton to Hugh Boscawen, 205 of Tregothnan, Esq. who settled it in marriage with his daughter Bridget, on Hugh Fortescue, of Filley, in Devon, Esq. now in possession thereof.

Since writing the above, Mr. Fortescue departed with those lands to Grenvill Hals, of Truro, gent., who dying without issue, and his unthrift elder brother, James Hals of Merthyr succeeding as his heir to those lands, he hath sold the same to one Mr. Cregoe, for about twelve hundred pounds.[32]

Tre-simple, in this parish, was the lands of I have forgot whom, who sold it to Henry Vincent, gent. attorney-at-law, descended, as Mr. Foote informed me, from the Vincents of St. Allen, who married Kendall of Pelyn; his father, Lampen; and gave for his arms, in a field three cinquefoils.

By Kendall he had issue Walter Vincent, Esq. barrister-at-law, who married —— Nosworthy, and a daughter named Jane, married to Harris, of Park; after by his second wife, daughter of Richard Lance, gent. he had issue Peter Vincent, to whom he gave this Tresimple, who sold it to his brother Walter Vincent aforesaid, and Shadrack Vincent; Edward Vincent, killed by a fall from his horse 1700; and Mary, married to Joseph Halsey, clerk, some time rector of St. Michael, Penkwell.

Park, in this parish (id est, a field, or a park for beasts), is the dwelling of Covin, gent.

Pol-wheele, or Polwhele, in this parish (id est, the head or top), is situate at the top of a hill; from whence was denominated an ancient family of gentlemen surnamed Polwhele, who gave for their arms as underneath: in a field Sable, a saltire engrailed Ermine; and from that 206 time discontinued the arms of Trewoolla (viz. three owls), the Cornish motto of which Polwhele’s arms was, Karenza whelas Karenza, id est, Love or affection seeks, searches, begets, or works love. The present possessor, John Polwhele, esq. barrister-at-law, who married Redinge, of Northamptonshire, his father Baskewill of Dorset, his grandfather one of the daughters of Judge Glanvill in Devon, his great-great-grandfather one of the coheirs of Ten-Creek of Treworgan, which place afterwards he made his dwelling.

Lastly, let the reader observe, that if the true name of this church be St. Clement’s, then its tutelar guardian and patron, to whom it was dedicated, was St. Clement, Pope and martyr of Rome; whose name is derived from Clemens, mild, meek, merciful, gracious. He was born in the region of Calimontana in Italy; his father’s name Faustine. He was contemporary with St. Paul, and was his coadjutor or assistant in preaching the Gospel, as is testified by himself in his epistle to Timothy, wherein he saith, “Help those persons that labour with me in the Gospel, whose names are written in the Book of Life.” He appointed that in the seven regions of Rome should be the notaries, to write the deeds and martyrdoms of the Christians, and commanded that such as were baptized and had learnt the principles of the Christian religion, should receive the sacrament of confirmation, and as some write, he made the Canon of the Apostles and the Apostolic Constitutions now extant. Finally, for preaching the Gospel of Christ in derogation of the Roman religion, he was by command of the Emperor Trajan, with a rope about his neck, and an anchor fastened thereto, cast into the main sea and drowned, uttering those last words, “Eternal Father, receive my soul!” after he had been Pope of Rome nine years, two months, and ten days, the 23rd of November Anno Dom. 102. He gave orders twice in December, and ordered fifteen bishops, ten priests, and twenty-one deacons, as Baronius saith.


The Polwheles of this place are of great antiquity. They flourished before the Conquest, at which time they were so eminent that Drew de Polwhele was chamberlain to the Conqueror’s queen; and the late John Polwhele, Esq. had not long since in his possession, a grant from her to the said Drew of several lands in this county, which deed he having sent to a gentleman to peruse, he could never get it back again. From the time of this Drew or Drogo de Polwhele, the family have lived with much esteem in this their habitation, till the latter part of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, when Degory Polwhele, on his marriage with Catherine the eldest daughter and coheir of Robert Trencreek, Esq. removed to her seat of Treworgan in St. Erme, where the family resided till the sale of that place to Mr. Collins, when they returned to their old dwelling.

The present possessor, Richard Polwhele, Esq. was sheriff of Cornwall 9 George I. 1723.

The family suffered greatly in the civil wars.

Penhellick was once a considerable seat, although now it is divided into several premises, in one of which lately resided Mr. Robert Polwhele, younger brother to John Polwhele, Esq. and in another Captain Thomas Gregor, of Truro.

Trewhythenick formerly belonged to a family of the same name, who gave for their arms, Argent, a chevron within a border engrailed Sable. This manor came afterwards to the Chamonds.

Park also belonged to a family of the same name.

Lambesso belonged to the Tredenhams, but for some time past to the Footes.


Polwhele has descended from the gentleman who 208 served the office of sheriff in 1723, to his grandson, the Rev. Richard Polwhele, author of a history of Cornwall, and so distinguished by his works in every department of literature; by his early poetical effusions, when

“He lisp’d in numbers for the numbers came;”

by those of his maturer age; by sermons equally sound in learning and in diction, and persuasive by their eloquence; that no Cornishman of the present day can presume to place himself, I will not say in competition, but in the same class of literary excellence with Mr. Polwhele.

At Penhellick, about seventy years ago, the Rev. John Collins, rector of Redruth, built a house for his own residence after removing to the village; he is reported to have selected this spot in consequence of several persons residing in it having attained great ages. On his decease, the house and lands were sold to a Colonel Macarmicke, originally a wine merchant at Truro, who much enlarged the house, and endeavoured to affix some fanciful new name on the place. The property has since passed through various hands, and the house has generally been unoccupied.

This parish contains 3156 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 7027 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1831 1100 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 115 per cent. in 30 years.


The rocks are not much exposed in this parish.

In the southern part they consist of glossy slates, which break into thick lameller leaves, and they appear to belong to the calcareous series.

[31] Their son Henry married Jane, the only daughter of Jacob Jackson, of Truro; and their son and heir, John Foote, married a daughter of Sir Edward Goodere, member for the county of Hereford, and sister of the unfortunate Sir John Dineley Goodere, and Captain Goodere. Their son was the celebrated Samuel Foote, called in his time the English Aristophanes.

[32] Admiral Carthew Reynolds built a good house here in the latter part of the last century. He was considered to be an excellent officer and a skilful seaman; yet he lost his life when a ninety-gun ship, under his command, was first injured by some other vessel, and then driven on the flat sands near the entrance of the Baltic in the winter 1811-12.




Is situate in the hundred of Pider, and hath upon the north, Maugan; east, St. Colomb Major; south, St. Enedor; west, Lower St. Columb.

It is so called from the barton of Little Colon or Golon, contiguous with the church, on part of which ground perhaps the same was founded, and endowed with part of the lands thereof. At the time of the Norman Conquest this district passed in tax under the names of Carneton, or Ryalton; and the church being built and endowed by Walter Brounscomb, Bishop of Exeter, 1250, it was by him appropriated to the canons Augustine of his college of Glasnith, by him founded. For that we read in the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester into the value of benefices for the Pope’s Annats in Cornwall, 1294, Ecclesia Sancti Colani, appropriata Canonicis de Penryn, 4l.; Vicar ejusdem 6s. 8d. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, 6l. 14s. 8d.; the patronage in the Bishop of Exeter for the time being; the sheaf or rectory in possession of Vyvyan; the incumbent, Bagwell; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax 1696, 63l. 16s.

From this barton of Colon was denominated an old family of gentlemen, from thence surnamed De Colon; of which family Roger de Colon was seised of a knight’s fee of land 25th Edward III., which he held by the tenure of knight-service. Carew’s Survey Corn. p. 52. Roger Colon, grandson of the said Roger, having issue only two daughters, Jane and Margaret, the which Jane was married to John Blewet, a younger branch of the 210 Blewets of Holcomb Rogus in Devon, who afterwards was made sheriff of Cornwall the 26th Henry VI. (when Richard Yeard, Esq. was sheriff of Devon); which Jane’s estate was no small advance of the wealth of his house, from whom all the Blewets of Cornwall are since descended, some of whom have erected a monument in this church in memory of those De Colons; and several of them have made Colon a font name in their family to this day, of which I may not in justice forget my late kind friend Major Colon Blewet, a valiant commander under King Charles I. against the Parliament army, who married Elizabeth daughter of Sir William Wrey, Knight, but died without issue; whose brother Robert, that married Arundell, a base son, succeeded to this his estate, who had issue another Robert that married Wood, as I remember, and sold the moiety of this barton of Colon to Robert Hoblyn, of Nanswiddon, clerk, rector of Ludgnan, now in possession thereof; the arms of Blewet were, Or, a chevron between three eagles Vert. The Hampshire Blewets, as Camden saith, gave Or, an eagle displayed with two necks and heads Gules.

Coswarth, also Cosowarth, synonymous words, the far off, or remote wood, which place, as Mr. Carew tells us, at the time of the Norman Conquest, transnominated the French family or name of Escudifer, i. e. shield-bearer or Esquire, to that of Coswarth; in which place those gentlemen flourished in great wealth and tranquillity, till John Cosowarth, Esq. lord of this place, tempore Henry VIII. having issue, by Williams, one only daughter named Katherine, married first to Allen Hill, and afterwards to Arundell of Trerice, suffered the greatest part of his lands and estate to go with his daughter’s children, and then entailed this manor and barton of Coswarth on the heirs male of his family, by virtue of which settlement his uncle, John Cosowarth, succeeded to those lands, who had issue by Sir William 211 Lock’s daughter, Thomas Cosowarth, Esq. that married Seyntaubyn, sheriff of Cornwall 26th Elizabeth, who by her had issue John and Dorothy; and Dorothy was married to Kendall. After the death of John, Edward Cosowarth his uncle succeeded to this inheritance of Cosowarth, and married Arundell of Trerice, who had issue by her Samuel Cosowarth, Esq. afterwards knighted by Charles I. He married Heale of Fleet, and had issue Edward, Samuel, and John, that died before their father; Robert and Nicholas succeeded to this estate successively, but died both without issue. The which Robert, upon some distasteful words given him by his cousin John Coswarth, one of the heirs male in remainder, did by fine and proclamation bar the estate tail, and made it fee simple in himself and his heirs. So that after his decease his brother Nicholas succeeded to the estate, who by an accidental fall from his horse (coming home from St. Colomb, as was reported, somewhat intoxicated with liquor), instantly died, without issue; after whose decease Bridget Cosowarth, his only sister, daughter of Sir Samuel aforesaid, succeeded to his inheritance, who married Henry Minors of St. Enedor, her cousin-german, by whom she had issue one only daughter named Anne, who was married to Captain Francis Vivian of Truan, by whom he had issue one only daughter named Mary, since become wife and lady of Sir Richard Vyvyan, of Trelowarren, Bart. now in possession of Coswarth and Vivian’s estates.

The arms of Cosowarth are, Argent, on a chevron between three falcons’ wings Azure, five Bezants.

This place I suppose is that manor of land in the Domesday roll taxed by the name of Chor, also Chore, and now vulgarly called Cud-chore, or Cud-jore, viz. the wood-play, interlude, show, or diversion; pageants, sights, pastimes, to delight the people. Now choariou in Cornish, hoariou in the Armorican tongue, is as ludi in Latin, and ludo and ludus. And further memorable 212 it is that Sir Samuel Coswarth of this place frequently styled himself Sir Samuel Cudjore for Cudchoariou, for such was the name of the place before the woods about were destroyed. Then it assumed the name of Cosowarth, i. e. the further-off wood, when the woods on the south-west part of it were destroyed.

Tonkin has not any thing of the least importance different from Mr. Hals.


This parish contains 1481 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1685 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 94 14 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of nearly 37 per cent. in 30 years.


The geological structure in this parish is not very evident; but where the rocks are exposed they very much resemble some varieties of the calcareous series.



Is situate in the hundred of Pyder, and hath upon the north side Little Pedyrick, St. Ewyn, and St. Issey; on the east, St. Wenn and Roach; west, Maugan; south, St. Enedor, Little Collun, and St. Dennis. At the time of the Norman Conquest the name of this parish or church was not extant, for then it was taxed under the names of Tollscat or Todscad, now the duchy manor of 213 Tollskidy, (that is to say, the shady hole, or pit,) Bodeworgy, and Chiliworgy, places still well known in those parts. At the time of the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, into the value of Cornish church revenues, Ecclesia de Sancte Colombe Majoris in Decanatu de Pedre was taxed 18l. 13s. 4d. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, and Valor Beneficiorum, it was valued at 53l. 6s. 8d.; the patronage in Arundell of Lanherne, the incumbent Bishop, Pendarves, Collyar, and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 306l. 9s. 4d.

This church of St. Colomb was erected about the twelfth century of Christianity; the north and south ailes by the lords of Trenoweth, and Tresuran’s lands, but who the same were is now past ability of finding out, though Tresuran’s lands, ever since, are charged with the payment of 13s. 4d. per annum towards repair of the south aile aforesaid. This church consists of three roofs, and the south-east chancel thereof was built for a peculiar chapel for the Arundells of Trembleth, or Lanherne, who endowed this church, and have ever since been patrons thereof; and in testimony thereof, here is yet extant on one of their gravestones a brass inscription containing words to this purpose, “Here lieth the body of Renphry Arundell, Knight, patron of this church and founder of this chapel, who departed this life the —— Anno Dom. 1340.”[33] His lady, as I remember, was Sir William Lamburn’s heir.

The tutelar patron or guardian of this church is St. Colomb, to whom the same was dedicated, an Irish gentleman by birth; though, contrary to this opinion, at the bottom of Camden’s Britannia, in Cornwall, we are told that this church bears the name of, and is dedicated to one Sancta Colomba, a holy woman who lived in those 214 parts, and that her life was written in the Cornish tongue, and in possession of one Mr. Roscarrock, though now there is no such person or book extant that I can hear of. Only, let it be remembered that I found it written in the Sieur D. T.’s French book of the Saints, as also in Surrius’ and Bosquet’s books, and Baronius (out of them), that there lived at Senns, in Gallia, now France, in the time of the fifth persecution by the emperor Aurelian, anno Dom. 276, a holy Christian Virgin named Colomba, of such exquisite beauty that one of his sons fell passionately in love with her; but because he could not obtain his lustful desire of her, offered her marriage, but he being an idolater she refused his embraces. Whereupon she was much persecuted by Aurelian and cast into prison; where she suffered much hardship, and was comparatively starved to death in that place; so that in great misery she expired there, and was buryed at Senns. At whose grave many supernatural facts, or miracles, being said to be done, she obtained the reputation of a saint and martyr, anno Dom. 300.

The feast of the dedication of this church is in November, near Sancta Colomba Virginis et Martyris day; and the fair depends upon it.

As for the south aile of this church before-mentioned, it was called Jesus Chapel, and therein was founded Trinity chantry; towards building or endowment whereof the Lords of Resurrans tied these lands for ever to pay to the same 13s. 4d. per annum, with power of distress. At the dissolution of this chantry 1 Edward VI. John Chaplin was chief chanter, or sole priest thereof, and seised of the said rent, as his predecessors had been long before; and King Edward being so possessed, by virtue of an Act of Parliament, sold the same, with other things, to Sir Hugh Pomeroy, Knight, and Thos. Pomeroy, Esq. his brother; who the 4th Edward VI. sold it to 215 William Saplyn; and —— Saplyn, in the 1st and 2nd of Philip and Mary, sold it to John Glyn, Esq., John Ganergan, William Prye, John Manifield, Richard Carter, Henry Rouse, John Vivian, and Richard Hancanon, who were trustees for the parish of Sancta Colomba. After which conveyances the Lord of Resurrans refused to pay the said rent. Whereupon the parish distrained those lands, and the owner thereof replevined the goods so taken, which occasioned the parish bringing an action in replevin against the replevers thereof; and for plea, by way of avowry, did allege that those goods they ought to take, for that one John chaplain of Trinity chantry was seised of the said rent in fee, as his predecessors time out of mind had been before, in right of the said chantry, from which it passed to King Edward the Sixth, and the purchasers under him as aforesaid. Whereupon the issue passed for the plaintiff, or parish, against the Lord of Resurrans. (See St. Michael Penkivell, St. Mary Wike; also for Chantry, see St. Cuthbert for prayer for the dead.)

In the year 1676, the greatest part of this church of St. Colomb was casually blown up with gunpowder by three youths of the town, scholars therein, who, in the absence of their master and the rest of their companions, ignorantly set fire to a barrel of gunpowder, the parish stores, laid up in the stone stairs and walls of the rood-loft, which occasioned the destruction of it and themselves together; for the glass-window, roofs, timber, stones, and pillars, thereby made a direful concussion together, especially those shot from the walls of the moorstone stairs aforesaid, to the total defacing the church and many pews thereof.

In this tragical concussion several accidents were strange and unaccountable. As, first, that one Nicholas Jane, a hellyar, was on a ladder mending the healing, or stones on the roof of the church, when it happened, whereby he himself and the ladder under him 216 were blown up also; but both fell to the ground without hurt. Secondly, the church bible and common-prayer book, with their leaves open, in the rector’s pew, scarce two feet from the rood-loft stairs, where the powder took fire and broke out, were neither singed, moved, nor so much as any dust about them, though many thousand stones were cast about the church. Thirdly, there was at least a ton weight of lime and stone cast upon the communion table, which was old and slight, having but one foot or pedestal to stand upon, and yet the same was not broken nor hurt. Fourthly, the pulpit was in like manner preserved from the fury and rage of the fire and stones, when the very walls and pillars near it were shattered to pieces. Let divines and philosophers give a reason for these things, if there was not a supernatural cause or Providence for it!

By this sad accident this church of St. Colomb received damage to the value of about 350l.; yet was, by the liberal contributions of its inhabitants, in nine months time built and repaired as it now stands, and what was wanting in subscriptions to make up that sum, was raised by a small parish rate on the lands thereof. The chief subscribers, Sir John Saint Aubyn, of Trekininge, Baronet, 20l.; his grandmother-in-law, the widow of Peter Jenkin, Esq. 20l.; John Vivian, Esq. of Truan, 20l.; his three sons, Thomas, John, and Francis Vivian, 15l.; Robert Hoblyn, Esq. 10l.; Edward, his son, 5l.; Captain Ralph Keate, 5l.; the writer of this volume 5l.; John Day, Gent. 5l.; Peter Day, Gent. 5l.; Honour Carter, widow, 10l.; John Bligh, Gent. 5l.; Peter Pollard, senior, 10l.; John Beauford, rector, 20l., with several others.

And, as if the fiery element had a particular power over this church, it is further memorable that several times before a stone pinnacle of the tower thereof was cast down with thunder and lightning, and had as often been built up again to no purpose, till at length the 217 workmen were advised, upon their last operation, to inscribe in the stone thereof, “God bless and preserve this work;” since which time it hath stood invincible for about sixty years. But, alas! notwithstanding this pinnacle hath been thus exempted from the raging of the fiery element, yet its next neighbour, the lofty spire or steeple on the said tower, a strong and well-built structure, bound or cramped together with iron and cast lead through the moor-stones thereof, (so that, comparatively, according to man’s judgment, it might last till the final consummation of all things,) yet so it happened on a Thursday in July 1690, that about one of the clock in the afternoon, when the people were at their traffic in the market place contiguous with the churchyard, the said spire or steeple was torn and shattered to pieces with a flash of lightning, and totally thrown to the ground, and the iron bars therein wreathed and wrested asunder as threads, to the great terror and astonishment of the beholders. It was further observable when this concussion happened, only divers flashes of lightning appeared, but no sound or crack of thunder was heard; from whence I infer that when the voice of thunder is heard, the fiery matter in the middle region, perhaps not three miles above our heads, hath spent its force and strength. This spire also was soon after re-edified by the inhabitants of this parish, though much short of its former height and bigness, as it now stands.

Again, contiguous with this church-yard was formerly extant a college of Black Monks or Canons Augustine, consisting of three fellows, for instructing youth in the liberal arts and sciences; which college, when or by whom erected and endowed I know not. However, I take it to be one of those three colleges in this province named in Speed and Dugdale’s Monasticon, whose revenues they do not express, (nor the places where they were extant,) but tell us that they were dedicated to the 218 blessed Virgin Mary, the lady of angels, and were black monks of the Augustines.

In this college, temp. Henry VI., was bred up John Arundell, a younger son of Renfry Arundell, of Lanherne, Esq. sheriff of Cornwall 3 Edward IV. where he had the first taste of the liberal arts and sciences, and was afterwards placed at Exon College in Oxford, where he stayed till he took his degree of Master of Arts, and then was presented by his father to John Booth, Bishop of Exeter, to be consecrated priest, and to have collation, institution, and induct, into his rectory of St. Colomb. Which being accordingly performed, and he resided upon this rectory glebe lands for some time, which gave him opportunity to build the old parsonage house still extant thereon, and moat the same round with rivers and fish-ponds, as Sir John Arundell, Knight, informed me afterwards. In the year 1496, he had by Henry VII. bestowed upon him the bishopric of Lichfield and Coventry, then void upon the translation of William Smith to Lincoln, (the successor of John Hals,) in which see he remained till the year 1501, and then, upon the death or translation of Richard Redman, Bishop of Exeter, he was removed to that diocese by Henry VII. then possessed of great revenues, but died at London, 1504, and was buried at St. Clement’s Danes Church.

Before this church of St. Colomb was erected, within the borders of its now parish were extant four free chapels, wherein God was worshipped in former ages, viz. at Tregoos (i. e. the wood towne), Tre-sithan-y (the weekly town, the town frequented on the Sabbath); Ruth-es (i. e. the multitude is); and Lan-hengye (i. e. the church or temple of sentence, judgment, or deliberating cases). The old cemeteries of which are now all converted to orchards and gardens, or arable ground.

The town of St. Colomb, by the mediation of its lords, the Arundells of Lanherne, is privileged with a weekly market on Thursdays, wherein all things necessary for 219 the life of man are vended at a moderate rate; as also with fairs on Thursday after Midlent Sunday, and on Thursday after Allhallows.

This place was heretofore for a long time notorious for the vice of excessive topling or toping, not only to the damage of many of the inhabitants’ healths and wealth, but also to the loss of too many lives; I mean in the time of Charles II. when the practice of quaffing, toasting, or healthing, debauch and immorality, overspread the land in general.

In this parish stands Castell-an-Dinas. It consists of about six acres of ground, within three circles or intrenchments, upon the top of a pyramidal hill, composed or built of turf and unwrought stones, after the British manner, without lime or mortar, comparatively a hedge; each of those circles or ramparts rising about eight foot above each other towards the centre of the castle, consisting of about an acre and a half of land, in the midst whereof appear the ruins of some old dilapidated houses; near which is a flat vallum, pit, or tank, wherein rain or cloud-water, that falls down from the middle regions, abides more or less in quantity as it falls one half of the year; which, I suppose, heretofore supplied the soldiers’ occasions, as no fountain, spring, or river water is within a thousand paces thereof. There were two gates or portals leading to this fort, the one on the east, the other on the west side thereof, which, on a stony causeway now covered with grass, conducts you up and down the hill towards Tre-kyning, that is to say the king’s, prince, or ruler’s town. Moreover, contiguous with this castle are tenements of land or fields, named Tre-saddarne, that is to say god Saturn’s town, a place where the god Saturn was worshipped by the soldiers, who probably had their temple or chapel here before Christianity.

Near this castle, by the highway, stands the Coyt, a stony tumulus so called, of which sort there are many 220 in Wales and Wiltshire, as is mentioned in the Additions to Camden’s Britannia in those places, commonly called the Devil’s Coyts. It consists of four long stones of great bigness, perpendicularly pitched in the earth contiguous with each other, leaving only a small vacancy downwards, but meeting together at the top; over all which is laid a flat stone of prodigious bulk and magnitude, bending towards the east in way of adoration, (as Mr. Lhuyd concludes of all those Coyts elsewhere,) as the person therein under it interred did, when in the land of the living; but how, or by what art this prodigious flat stone should be placed on the top of the others, amazeth the wisest mathematicians, engineers, or architects, to tell or conjecture. Colt, in Belgic-British, is a cave, vault, or cott-house, of which coyt might possibly be a corruption.

Not far from this coyt, at the edge of the Goss-moor, there is a large stone, wherein is deeply imprinted a mark, as if it were the impress of four horseshoes, and to this day called King Arthur’s Stone; yea, tradition tells us they were made by King Arthur’s horse’s feet, when he resided at Castle Denis, and hunted in the Goss Moor. But this stone is now overturned by some seekers for money.

On another part of this parish, near Retallock Barrow (that is to say, Retallock Grave), is a notable tumulus, wherein some human creature of that place was interred before the 16th century. Retalloch signifies exceeding or too much buckler or target, not far from which is still extant, in the open downs, nine perpendicular stones, called the Nine Maids, in Cornish Naw-voz, alias the nine sisters, in Cornish Naw-whoors, which very name informs us that they were sepulchral stones, erected in memory either of nine natural or spiritual sisters of some religious house, and not so many maids turned into stones for dancing on the Sabbath Day, as the country people will tell you. Those stones are set in 221 order by a line, as is such another monument also called the Nine Maids in Gwendron, by the highway, about twety-five feet distance from each other; or it is rather in Stithian’s parish.

Truan, Truin, Truyn, Trevan, Trewyn, are all synonymous words, signifying a nose, nook, or beak of any matter or thing; here to be construed as a nose, nook, or beak of land, extant or notable amongst others; which place and Trenouth, for four descents, hath been the dwelling of the gentle family of the Vivians, who have flourished here in worshipful degree.

The present possessor of this place is my very kind friend John Vivian, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall about 20 Charles II. and one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, a gentleman famous for his hospitality and charity. He married three wives; the first, Jane, daughter of Sir John Trelawny, Bart., but had no issue by her that lived; his second was Mary, daughter of John Glanvill, of Killyvor, Esq., in Devon, by whom he had issue Thomas, John, Francis, Anne, and Jane; his last wife was Specott, the relict of —— Nicholls, by whom he had no issue. His father married two wives, —— Buller and —— Cavall; his grandfather married —— Lure; his great-grandfather one of Tresaster’s heirs, as I am informed.

Thomas Vivian, Esq., eldest son of the aforesaid John, married —— Blathwayte, sister to William Blathwayte, Esq. Secretary at War to King James the Second and William the Third, but had no issue by her. His second wife was the daughter of —— Dodson, Esq. but died without issue by her. His second brother, John Vivian, Esq. barrister-at-law, married also two wives: the first Anne, daughter of Matthew Hals, of Efford, Esq., but she also died without issue; on whose death her father-in-law made this epitaph fixed on her hearse, 1682:

Who underneath this mournful sable lies,
But one that did all worldly pomp despise?
It’s not adorned with painted pageantry,
To blazon forth her great antiquity;
Nor were’t more necessary to be done,
Than lighting candles in the mid-day sun;
Her shining virtues did so far exceed,
That of this lesser lustre there’s no need.
These praise her in the gates; these speak on earth,
Her higher extract and her heavenly birth.
And now she’s parted hence, but to go home;
For where she born was, thither must she come.
Could cares, or tears, or prayers have her repriev’d,
She had, to our great comfort, longer lived.
Farewell, then, dearest Saint, till thou and I
Do meet in bliss, to live eternally. J. V.

His second wife was Mary, daughter of Joseph Sawle, of Penrice, Esq. by whom he hath issue John, Mary, and Thomas.

Francis Vivian, Esq. third son of the aforesaid John, married Anne, daughter of Henry Mynon, gent., sole heir to her mother Bridget, the only surviving child of Sir Samuel Coswarth, Knight (see Colan), by whom he had issue one only daughter named Mary, now wife of Sir Richard Vivian, Baronet. Ann Vivian married Simon Leach, gent. some time her father’s clerk; Jane married James Beaufort, clerk.

The arms of those Vivians are the same as was borne and given by Prior Thomas Vivian, of Bodmin, with some small difference. (See Bodmin.)

In the town of St. Colomb, for three or four descents, lived the gentle family of the Carters (originally descended from the Carters of Staffordshire), where by trade and merchandise they got a great estate, and married with Vivian, Arundell of Solverne, and Moyle of Bake; and lastly, Richard Carter, Esq., a Justice of the Peace, and Member of Parliament for Mitchell, married Elizabeth King, alias Lucas, alias Shepard, of the City of London, spinster, a woman destitute of fame and fortune, whereby he was led into such excess of riot and expence of monies that he was forced to sell all his lands, and 223 reduced himself to about 50l. per annum during life. Part of his lands were sold to his younger brother, John Carter, who married —— Lawry, whose three daughters and heirs were married to William Silly, Esq., Giles Risdon, of Badleigh, Esq., and Thomas Hoblyn, gent. attorney-at-law, now in possession thereof. The arms of Carter were, In a field Argent, two lions combatant Sable, armed and langued Gules.

Trevethick, in this parish, alias Trevidick, i. e. the rustic or farmer’s town, for several descents had been the dwelling of the gentle family of the Arundells, a younger branch of Lanherne stock, particularly Thomas Arundell, who married the daughter of Sir Giles Montpesson, Knight, by whom he had issue Thomas Arundell, Esq. that died without issue, but not without wasting a great part of his estate.

Trekyning aforesaid was for two descents the seat of the Jenkyns, descended from James Jenkyn, gent., attorney-at-law, temp. James I. who (from a mean origin, his father being a miller), by the inferior practice of the law, got a very great estate, and married —— Carter, the relict of —— Brabyn, and had issue Peter Jenkyn, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall temp. Charles I.

Nans-widdon, Nanc-widd-an, i. e. the valley of trees, or the tree valley, in this parish, for four descents has been the dwelling of the gentle family of the Hoblyns, of Leskeard or Treburge, in St. Pinoch, as I am informed. The present possessor, Robert Hoblyn, Esq., married —— Carew of Penwarne; his father —— Apeley; his grandfather ——; and giveth for his arms, Argent, a fess Gules, between two flanches Ermine. By Carew Mr. Hoblyn had issue, viz. Edward Hoblyn, Esq. his son and heir, who married Avant’s heir, and left issue only a daughter, married to —— Bickford, Esq.; Richard Hoblyn, bred a merchant factor at Smyrna, that married —— Striblehill, but died without issue; Robert Hoblyn, clerk, rector of Ludgvan, and a commissioner of the pence 224 and land taxes, that married the heir of Burgess of Truro, and left issue only Francis Hoblyn, Esq., that married Godolphin, and died leaving issue only a son named Robert, heir; Thomas Hoblyn, attorney-at-law, that married one of Carter’s heirs, and left issue by her John Hoblyn, of Kenwyn, Carew Hoblyn, clerk, and other children, and three daughters; Anne, married to Bishop, rector of St. Colomb Major; Grace, married to Pendarves, rector of Maugan; Mary, married to William Cock, attorney-at-law, of Helston. From this house are descended the Hoblyns of St. Enedor, Bodmin, Egleshayle, Helland, and Gurran.

Bode-worgye, now Bos-worgy (on part of the lands whereof are yet extant the ruins and downfalls of an old chapel or cemetery extant before the Norman Conquest), formerly the voke lands of a man taxed in Domesday Roll, 20 William I. 1087, for four or five descents was the seat of the genteel family of Keates, and was till lately in the possession of my very kind friend Capt. Ralph Keate, who died without marriage or issue, and therefore settled this Bosworgy, and other lands, upon Sir Jonathan Keate, Bart. of the Hoo, in Hertfordshire, patent 478, 12 Chas. II. whose father married the only dau. and heir of W. Hoo, of Hoo, Esq. Sheriff of Hertfordshire 5 Charles I., a younger branch of the Baron Hoo of that place, whose heir was married to the Earl of Huntingdon temp. Henry VIII., and in testimony thereof gave the same arms as those barons, viz. Quarterly, Argent and Sable. Those Keates within the memory of man, as they branched downwards, married with Bear, Hals, Avery, and others, and gave for their arms, Argent, three cats Sable. Keate, Ceate, in British, is fallacy, cheat, or delusion.

Gauer-y-gan, in this parish, id est, the goat’s downs, gave name and original to the genteel family of the Gauerigans, who for several generations lived here in good reputation, till the middle of Queen Elizabeth’s 225 reign, at which time the last two daughters and heirs of this family were married to Godolphin and Trefusis, whose heirs are now in possession of their estate. Which family gave for their arms, in allusion to their names, in a field Vert, a goat passant Argent, as I am informed; the form of which is still extant in their pew or seat, the foremost in one of the middle rows of seats in this church.

At Tre-sugg-an (id est, the town on the Saggor Bog), in this parish, is the dwelling of Peter Day, gentleman, that married —— Brabyn. He left issue only two daughters, that became his heirs, married to Richard Williams, of Trewithan, Esq., and John Williams, of Carmanton, Esq.

Trekyninge Vean, i. e. Trekininge the Less or Lesser, is the dwelling of Joseph Hankey, gent., attorney-at-law, who, by his care and skill in that profession, hath got himself considerable wealth and reputation in those parts. He married two wives, Matthews of Tresangar, and Buroughs of Ward Bridge; but hath issue by neither. His father married Hoblyn of St. Stephen’s.

Upon Bodeworgy lands aforesaid, or contiguous with it as aforesaid, are still extant the ruins of an old chapel, wherein God heretofore was worshipped, before St. Colomb church was erected, called Bes-palf-an.


Mr. Tonkin has here copied Hals with very little alteration, except by way of abridgment.


Mr. Hals has a very long dissertation on the claims of another person, a male St. Colomb, to be accounted patron saint of this parish.

It is well known that Cornwall received the Christian 226 faith from various individuals who came from Munster, in Ireland, where the learning and the religion of these times certainly flourished: all those persons were held in veneration by their converts, and were distinguished by them as saints. These missionaries were, moreover, so numerous in all parts that Ireland was called the Land of Saints. St. Colomb may possibly be one of those missionaries; but the subject is of little importance, and I am unwilling to bestow the elegant appellation of the Holy Dove, on any other than a female saint.

Nanswhyden, unquestionably the White Vale, is mentioned by Mr. Hals as belonging to the Hoblyns. Mr. Robert Hoblyn, of Nanswhyden, who died in 1756, was a very distinguished person. He was generally a man of letters; but, what is rarely to be found in a country gentleman, he excelled in the recondite learning of the East. He built a magnificent house at Manswhyden, and established there a library so extensive, and so rich in manuscripts, as to be valued at thirty thousand pounds.

This gentleman received a great addition to his fortune from a most productive copper mine, called Herland, or the Mane Mine, in the parish of Gwineat, and he married a daughter of Mr. Coster, an Alderman of Bristol, at that period the most extensive smelter of copper ores. In consequence of this connection, and his deserved reputation, Mr. Hoblyn was chosen one of the representatives of Bristol.

The house was entirely consumed by an accidental fire in 1803. The property has descended to his collateral relation, the Reverend Robert Hoblyn, who inherits also a large portion of his classic taste.

Castle-An-Dinas[34] is situated on one of the highest hills in the hundred of Penwith, commanding an extensive view over the western extremity of Cornwall, from St. Ives to the Land’s End. Borlase gives the following description of its remains: “Castle-An-Dinas consisted of two stone walls, one within the other in a circular form, surrounding the area of the hill. The ruins are now fallen on each side the walls, and show the work to have been of great height and thickness. There was also a third, or outer wall, built more than halfway round. Within the walls are many little inclosures of a circular form, about seven yards diameter, with little walls round them of two or three feet high, they appear to have been so many huts for the shelter of the garrison. The diameter of the whole fort from east to west is four hundred feet, and the principal ditch sixty feet. Towards the south, the sides of the hill are marked by two large green paths, about ten feet wide. Near the middle of the area is a well, almost choked up with its own ruins, and at a little distance a narrow pit, its sides walled round, probably for water also, now filled up.”

It is to be regretted that Borlase did not publish a plan to illustrate his description of this Castle, as it has been much dilapidated since his time. A tower was built on the site of the outer wall about forty years ago, by Mr. Rogers, of Penrose; and subsequent reparations have not contributed towards a restotation of the old walls. Nor are there any perceptible remains of the inclosures.

This parish measures 12,045 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property as returned to Parliament in 1815 10,581 0 0
Poor Rates in 1831 1186 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving somewhat more than an increase of 53½ per cent. in thirty years.

Parish Feast, the nearest Sunday to the 17th of November.


A small portion of the southern part of this parish, adjoining to St. Dennis, rests on granite, the surface of which abounds in projecting masses of shorl rock. Leaving this granite district about the Indian Queens, on the Great Truro Road, a tin mine, called the Fat Work, presents itself, and displays some interesting phenomena. The basis of the rock is a compact felspar, sometimes almost colourless, at other times dark blue and glossy; but more commonly both these kinds are blended together in stripes or spots like agates. This rock next the lode is much decomposed, the blue parts being changed into a light pink; which shows that the colouring mineral is not hornblend. It is probably shorl, a substance abounding in the quartz veins by which the rock is traversed. The lode of this mine is very curious. It consists of a large massive rock, fifteen fathoms in width, throughout which shorl, and irregular veins of tin ore, are dispersed. The matrix consists of a dark-coloured basis, interspersed by innumerable angular and fragment-like portions of rock.

Near the Indian Queens a manganese mine was formerly worked, and the adjacent moors abound in stream works.

A fine blue fissile slate occurs around the town of St. Colomb, and continues for some distance northwards. Near Trewan it is found to contain beds of compact rocks (not unlike those of the Mount Bay), which inclose veins of actynolite. Still proceeding northward, quartz so much prevails, as to occasion sterility in the 228 land, displayed in open downs like those of Roach, to which they adjoin.229

230 Castle-An-Dinas is composed of a siliceous variety of the rock found at Fat Work mine; and it appears to be one of the sources from whence must have been derived the pebbles and striped shorl rock scattered over Tregoss Moor.

[33] There is, or was, this inscription also:

D’s John Arundell, Mill. CCCC. verus Patronus hujus Ecclesiæ, qui hanc Capellam fecit.

[34] Extracted from an “Account of certain Hill Castles, near the Land’s End in Cornwall,” by William Cotton, Esq. F.S.A. printed in the Archæologia, vol. XXII. where a plan and section of Castle-An-Dinas will be found, taken with greater care than that in Lysons’s Cornwall. In the Gentleman’s Magazine, LXXII. p. 393, are engravings of two stone weights found within the inner circle of this fortress. The weight of one was seventeen pounds and a half; and that of the other three pounds one ounce.



Is situate in the hundred of Pedyr, and hath upon the north the Irish sea and St. Mawgan; east, Little Colan; west, Crantock; south, Newland. For the name see St. Columb Major. This church’s revenues being wholly impropriated, or appropriated to the prior of Bodmin before the Inquisitions of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, or Wolsey’s afterwards, is not named therein; the prior by ancient composition paying the vicar or curate here only six pounds per annum; by which bargain he was a great gainer, at least 250l. per annum, and I take it the present patron and impropriator, Mr. Buller, paya the curate not above 25l. per annum. This parish was rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 207l. 9s.

This church, according to its bigness, is the finest, best-kept, pewed, or seated, that I know of in Cornwall; the rood-loft, (yet standing, though without a rood on it,) a most curious and costly piece of workmanship, carved and painted with gold, silver, vermillion and bice, is the masterpiece of art in those parts of that kind. The pews or seats are uniform, all made of blackt oak; and to prove their antiquity, there is yet extant an inscription on one of them, containing these words: 231 “These seats were built by the poor’s stock in the year 1525.”

At Tre-loye in this parish (the flowing or abounding town) is still extant a famous chapel, dedicated to St. Pedyr, perhaps of public use before this church of St. Colomb was erected.

This district in Domesday Roll passed under the name and jurisdiction of the great lordship and manor of Ryalton, heretofore pertaining to the prior of Bodmin, which lands are held of the Bishop of Exeter’s manor of Penryn, and pay yearly 10l. high rent to the same; from whence I gather that formerly both pertained to the bishopric of Cornwall, afterwards converted into Kirton and Exeter; and that afterwards, by compact between the said bishop and prior of Bodmin, it was dismembered from that bishopric, and restored to that priory, as parcel of the ancient bishop of Bodmin’s revenues, of which that priory consisted, and was endowed with at its first foundation by the bequests of the ancient earls of Cornwall.

For the name of Rial-ton or Ryal-ton (if it consists of those particles), it signifies the royal, kingly, or princely town, as pertaining heretofore to the king of England or earls of Cornwall; and suitable to this etymology it claimeth the jurisdiction and royalty over the whole hundred of Pider. So that whosoever is now farmer thereof, is by custom its head bailiff, as the prior of St. Pedyr at Bodmin was; from whose font-name the same is still denominated Pider (id est, Peter, as formerly said), the which farmer or bailiff is steward of the Court Baron of the said hundred or decima, and also of the Court Leet held within the jurisdiction or precincts of the manor aforesaid, and his substitutes constantly attend the service of both. To remove an action-at-law depending in the Court Leet of this manor, the writ must thus be directed: Senescallo et Ballivo manerii nostri de Rialton in comitatu de Cornubiæ salutem. To remove 232 an action out of hundred court, whereof as I said the farmer of this manor is lord, the writ must be thus directed: “Senescallo et Ballivo hundredi et libertatis de Peder, in comitatu Cornubiæ, salutem.”

When the priory of St. Peder at Bodmin was dissolved, 26 Henry VIII. and those lands vested in the crown, one John Mundy, barrister-at-law, (son of John Mundy, sheriff of London 6 Henry VIII. afterwards Sir John Mundy, Knight, Lord Mayor of London 14 Henry VIII.) was sent down from London to be seneschal or steward of this manor of Ryalton and hundred of Pider. In which capacity he demeaned himself so well, temp. Elizabeth, that when the set-off of the last prior for ninety-nine years expired, and Mr. Mundy’s son succeeded in the same office as his father, was in this place, at such time as James I. by statute prohibited the granting of church lands at lease for longer than twenty-one years under the old rent, Mr. Mundy took a lease thereof from the Crown for that term, viz. of 60l. per annum, and his posterity renewing or retaking the same as those leases expired, thereby this estate, worth about 1000l. per annum, continued in this family till some time after the restoration of Charles the Second, when Sir Francis Godolphin, Knight, by favour of that King, took a reversion or new set thereof, before Mr. Mundy’s expired, on condition of doubling the rent from 60l. to 120l. per annum, so that Sir William Godolphin, Bart. is now in possession thereof; and the Right Hon. Sidney Lord Godolphin was created Baron Godolphin of Ryalton, 33 Charles II. whereby this family of Mundy are comparatively undone, notwithstanding they were stout Cavaliers and opposers of Cromwell and the Parliament army to their utmost power and strength. Well therefore doth the royal Psalmist advise all men not to put their trust in princes, nor in the sons of men, in whom is no help.

The arms of Mundy are, in a field, three lozenges, on a chief three eagle’s legs erased.

233 The mansion-house at Ryalton wherein Mr. Mundy dwelt, was much beautified and augmented by prior Thomas Vivian, to which belongs a strong prison and dungeon for putting debtors in durance. Query, whether this barton of Ryalton payeth tithes to the impropriator? All priories, monasteries, religious houses, &c. above the yearly value of 200l. per annum, being exempted from it by the statute 31 Henry VIII. chiefly because the same were given for and applied to charitable uses and the maintenance of the poor; and verily, if the name Ryalton be compounded of those syllables ry-all-ton, it signifies give or bestow all town, or a town that gave or bestowed all its revenues to the poor, and pious uses. And that the reader may know in what manner poor men were sent to such religious houses to be fed and maintained during life, as penitentiaries or otherwise, by their superiors, or such as had power to visit the same, I will set down an instance or example, out of Fox’s Acts and Monuments, page 53, temp. Henry VIII. contained in a letter from John Langland, Bishop of Lincoln, 1524, to the Abbot of Ensham, viz. “My loving brother, I recommend me hearty unto you, and whereas I have according to law sent this bearer T. R. to perpetual penance within your monastery of Ensham, there to live as a penitent and not otherwise; I pray you nevertheless, and according to the law command you, to receive him, and see you order him there according to his injunctions, which he will show you if you require the same. As for his lodging, he will bring it with him, and his meat and drink he must have as you give of your alms; and if he can so order himself by his labour within your house in your business, whereby he may deserve meat and drink, so may you order him as you see convenient to his deserts, so that he pass not the precinct of your monastery. And thus, fare you heartily well. From my place, &c.” This injunction of penance was, 1. To fast every Friday during life, taking no other sustenance than bread and ale after it; 234 and every even of Corpus Christi’s day to fast during life, and after fasting to take no other sustenance than bread and water that day, unless prevented by sickness; also in part to say our lady’s Psalter every Sunday during life; he is marked in the cheek, as other penetentiaries, with the letter P. (See Egleshayle and Penuans in Creed.)

At Towan in this parish, is that well-known place called Newquay, a pretty safe road and anchorage place for such ships as trade in St. George’s Channel, and also a convenient place for a fishing trade, were the inhabitants disposed to adventure therein.

At Hendra, also Hendre, in this parish, synonymous words, old, ancient town, is the dwelling of John Tonkyn, Gent. that married Keen of Roach; his father the heir of Cock, by whom he had this place; his grandfather Tregian, originally descended from the Tonkyns of St. Agnes.

Trevedick, also Trevithick, words of one signification, id est, rustic or farmers’ town, is the dwelling of Nicholas Polamonter, Gent. (so called from Polla-monter in Newland.)


has not, again, any thing of the least importance different from Mr. Hals.


Rialton is the object of highest importance in this parish. Its antiquities are not much known; but when Mr. Sidney Godolphin was created Earl of Godolphin, his son, who had married Henrietta Churchill, eldest daughter of the Duke of Marlborough, assumed the appellation of Lord Rialton, and Lady Rialton was one of the ladies of the bedchamber to Queen Anne.

A small print is given of the south entrance gate still 235 remaining, in C. S. Gilbert’s History of Cornwall, vol. ii. p. 673.

The property belonged to the late Mr. Thomas Rawlings of Padstow, having probably been acquired when lands were sold by the duchy to redeem the land-tax, but it was alienated on his decease.

New Quay, mentioned by Mr. Hals as a pretty safe road and anchorage for vessels, and also as a convenient place for establishing a fishery, is become a successful station for sea nets. In Lord Dunstanville’s edition of Carew, p. 357, it is stated, “The place was called New Quay, because in former times the neighbours attempted to supply the defects of nature by art, in making there a quay for the road of shipping, which conceit they still retain, although want of means in themselves or in the plan have left the effect in nubibus. The quay has now been many years constructed, but I apprehend it is not capable of receiving any other than small vessels.”

This parish measures 4759 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 6238 0 0
The Poor Rate in 1831 783 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of about 40¾ per cent. in 30 years.

The parish feast, like that of St. Columb Major, is on the Sunday nearest to the 17th of November.


On the eastern side adjoining to the Downs, the rocks are quartzose, but the greater part of this parish is composed of slates belonging to the calcareous series, which extend to the sea shore. At Tremper Bridge, and in the islands lying at the entrances of St. Columb Porth, beds of black limestone occur, associated with talc, schist, and blue slates.

The most interesting feature, however, of this parish 236 is the testaceous sandstone at New Quay, and on the shores of Fistral Bay. The land adjacent to the sea at those places is covered with sand, which above high-water mark is lapidified, as is also a bed of pebbles on which the sand sometimes rests. For the particulars of this phenomenon the first and the fourth volumes of the Cornwall Geological Transactions may be consulted.



Is situate in the hundred of Kerrier, and hath upon the north, part of Stithians; west, Gwendron; south, Hayleford channel and Mawnan; east, Mabe and Budock. It is also commonly Cus-ten-ton, i. e. wood-stone town, a place heretofore notable for woods and stones, and I take it an unpleasant strag of moor-stones and rocks are still visible upon a great part of the lands here. Perhaps it is the Crostedeton mentioned in the Domesday Roll. Otherwise it was taxed under Trewardevi or Penwarne. The name Constantine is derived from the Latin Constantia.

In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, Ecclesia de Sancto Constantino, was valued to first fruits 10l. Vicar ejusdem 40l. in Decanatu de Kerryer. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, Constantine Vic. was taxed to first fruits 19l. 8s. 10½d. The patronage in the Dean and Chapter of Exeter; the incumbent Perry; the rectory in Robert Quarme of Creed; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 168l. 16s. 8d. by the old name of Constenton. The titular guardian of this church, St. Constantine, Emperor 237 of Rome, was the first emperor in the world that professed Christianity. He was the son of Constantius Chlorus Emperor of Rome; first an officer of war under the Emperor Aurelian, against Coill or Coillus, King or Duke of Colchester in Britain, (called by some writers Caer-Collyn, Caer-Col-lyn, i. e. the city or castle on the neck of the lake, or bosom of waters, it being situate on the confluence of the Medway river), which Coil, having refused to pay the tribute due to the Senate of Rome, caused that province to revolt; but Constantius forced him into a submission, when soon after he died; and Constantius is said to have married his only daughter and heir Helen, by whom he had all her father’s lands and territories, Anno Dom. 289. By her he had issue Constantine, who followed the wars in his father’s time against Maxentius; and lying on his bed, before a battle, a dream or vision appeared to him in shape of an angel, holding in his hand a shining red cross, and calling to him with a loud voice “Constantine! Εν τουτῳ νικα, in hoc signo vinces, i. e. under this sign or banner thou shalt have victory.” Whereupon he commanded a red cross to be pourtrayed in all his banners, called the labanum, and soon after gave battle to Maxentius at Pont Milvium, in Italy, where his [the latter’s] army was routed, and himself drowned in that river. The success of which battle so wrought upon Constantine that he forthwith turned Christian, and was baptized by Pope Silvester, Bishop of Rome.

In this parish, at Tre-warde-vi, as taxed in Domesday Roll, (i. e. the shining or flying guard town, or the indignation, or wrath guard town,) is the dwelling of John Trewren, Esq. i. e. the wren’s town, who married Vyvyan of Trelowarren; his father Rice; and giveth for his arms, Azure, three Besants. The present possessor —— Trewren, Esq. that married Prisk of Helston.

In this parish is the dwelling of Edward Chapman, Gent. that married Bligh of Botadon.

238 This gentleman received from God’s holy angels a wonderful preservation in the beginning of the reign of William III. when returning from Redruth towards his own house about seven miles distant, with his servant, late at night, and both much intoxicated with liquor, (as himself told me,) nevertheless having so much sense left as to consider that they were to pass through several tin mines or shafts near the highway, on the south-east side of Redruth town, alighted both from their horses, and led them in their hands after them. The servant went somewhat before his master, the better to keep the right road in those places, which occasioned Mr. Chapman’s turning aside somewhat out of the way, whereby in the dark he suddenly fell into a tin mine above twenty fathom deep, at whose fall into this precipice his horse started back and escaped; in this pit or hole Mr. Chapman fell directly down fifteen fathoms without let or intermission, where meeting a cross drift (above six fathom of water under it), he in his campaign coat, sword, and boots, was miraculously stopped, where coming to himself, he was not much sensible of any hurt or bruises he had received, through the terror and horror of his fall; when, considering in what condition he was, he resolved to make the best expedient he could to prevent his falling further down, (where, by the dropping or reesing of stones and earth moved by his fall, he understood there was much water under,) so he rested his back against one side of the mine, and his feet against the other, athwart the hole, and in order to fix his hands on some solid thing, drew his sword out of its sheath and thrust the blade thereof as far as he could into the opposite part of the shaft, and so in great pain and terror rested himself.

The suddenness of this accident, and the horse’s escaping in the dark as aforesaid, was the reason why Mr. Chapman’s servant, who went before him, did not so soon find him wanting as otherwise he might, which as 239 soon as he did, he went back the road way in quest of him, calling him aloud by his name; but receiving no answer, nor being able to find the horse, he concluded his master had rode home to his house some other way, whereupon, giving up all further search after him, he hastened home to Constantine, expecting to have met him there; but, contrary to his expectations, found he was not returned. Whereupon his servants, early next morning, went forth to inquire after him, and suspecting (as it happened) he might be fallen into some tin-shafts about Redruth, hastened thither, where, before they arrived, some tinners had taken into custody his horse (with bridle and saddle on) which they found grazing on the Wastrell Downs. Whereupon, consulting together about this tragical mishap, it was resolved forthwith that some of those tinners, for reward, should search the most dangerous shafts in order to find his body either living or dead; accordingly they employed themselves that day till about four o’clock in the afternoon without any discovery of him. Finally, one person returned to his company, and told them that at a considerable distance he heard a kind of human voice under ground; to which place they repaired, and making loud cries to the hole of the shaft, he forthwith answered them that he was there alive, and prayed their assistance in order to deliver him from that tremendous place; whereupon, immediately they set on tackle-ropes and windlass on the old shaft, so that a tinner descended to the place where he rested, and having candle-light with him bound him fast in a rope, and so drew him safely to land, where, to their great admiration and joy, it appeared he had neither broke any bone, or was much bruised by the fall; verifying together the attribute of Divine Omnipotence that nothing is impossible with God,—and that old English proverb, that drunkards seldom take hurt; for, as the tinners said, if he had fallen but two or three feet lower, he must inevitably have 240 been drowned in the water. But maugre all those adverse accidents, after about seventeen hours stay in the pit aforesaid, he miraculously escaped death and lived many years after, and would recount this history with as much pleasure as men do the ballads of Chevy Chase or Rosamond Clifford.

In this parish is the dwelling of James Trefusis, Gent. that married Worth; his father Penarth, originally descended from Trefusis of Trefusis in Mylor, as I am informed.

Moreover, it must be remembered in this place, of St. Constantine, that he was the first prince that ever endowed Christian churches beyond the seas with standing rents, lands, and revenues, and also gave to the church the tenth part of all lands and goods he possessed himself, whereupon the clergy claimed tithes therein by a law. And such officers or publicans as gathered it were called Decumani, (as Appian saith); for before that time tithes were only taken by the Senate of Rome and Emperor for the supply of the legions and armies in time of war, and not otherwise. Afterwards, Constantine made a law that all princes under his dominion should give the tenth part of their revenues towards the maintenance of churches and temples, as himself had done.

From this law and example Ethelwulf, the second sole Saxon monarch in England, Anno Dom. 838, in the year 855 (as Ingulphus, Abbat of Croyland, in his history of Britain, 1066, informs us), by royal charter confirmed the tithes of all his lands on the church in those words: “Decimam partem terræ meæ,” &c.; and this was done (gratuito consensu) by consent of his princes and prelates. This donation afterwards was confirmed by King Ethelred. “Nemo auferat à Deo quod ad Deum pertinet, et præcessores nostri concesserunt,” &c. Afterward King Athelstan made a law, Anno Dom. 926, that every man should pay tithes out of all the goods he 241 possessed, as Jacob did; which Edmund Ironside confirmed under penalty of being accursed, 1016. Afterwards King Edward the Confessor, 1046, ordained more expressly that all tithes should be justly paid to the elder or mother churches, viz. de garba, grege equarum, pullis, vaccis, vitulis, caseo, lacte, vellis, porcellis, apibus, bosco, prato, aquis, molendinis, parcis, vivariis, piscariis, virgultis, hortis, negotionibus, et omnibus rebus, quas dederit Dominus, &c.; which decree or statute was afterwards ratified by William the Conqueror and his successors. (See more of Tithes under Keye.)


Tonkin adds nothing to Mr. Hals in respect to this parish except the following short account of the manor of Merthyr or Merther. Mr. Tonkin cites from Carew, (p. 128 of Lord Dunstanville’s edition,) “Rogerus de Carminou ten. 20 part. feo. milit. extra 10 part. illius 20 in Wynnenton, Merthyr, et Tameron.” This Sir Roger de Carminow, for he was a knight, left this manor inter alia to his eldest son and heir Sir Thomas Carminow, of Carminow, Knight, who, leaving only three daughters his heirs, this manor fell to the share of Philippa, the wife of John Treworthen.


Merther is now the property of Sir Richard Vyvyan, and has been for a considerable time in his family.

The family of Trewren of Trewardreva, is now I believe extinct; the name is usually pronounced Trew-ren, and certainly has not the etymology which Mr. Hals imputes to it.

Carwithenick in this parish was the seat of Mr. Chapman, preserved almost by a miracle according to Mr. Hals’s account, received from himself, when he fell into a shaft, see page 238. It now belongs to Mr. Hill.

242 Chapels are said to have been erected formerly at Benalleck and Buderkvam.

This parish measures 6883 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 6503 0 0
Poor Rates in 1831 712 1 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 63 per cent. in 30 years.

Parish feast, the nearest Sunday to the 9th of March.

Present Vicar, the Rev. Edward Rogers, presented by the Dean and Chapter of Exeter in 1817.


The church is situated on the borders of the granite, which extends to the extreme northern part of the parish, and is for the most part of that common kind which is shipped at Penryn for the London market. Proceeding southward from the church town this granite is bounded by a belt of rocks belonging to the porphyritic series, such as the felspar and hornblend rocks; but in the vicinity of the Helford river these are succeeded by the calcareous series.



Is situate in the hundred of Powdre, and hath upon the north, Probus; east, Tregony; south, the Vale River; west, Lamorran and Merther. For the modern name of this place, Cornell-y or Kornell-y, it signifies the angle, nook, canton, quarter, or corner; and, suitable to its name, it is a dismembered district from Probus parish; a remote canton or corner of land in respect 243 thereof, but as to spirituals consolidated, and goes in presentation with it as a daughter church. The patronage is in the Bishop of Exeter; the incumbent Baudree (Duddowe).

This parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 72l. 4s. The rectory or sheaf in possession of Hawkins and Huddy. In the Domesday tax, 20 William I., 1087, this parish was taxed under the name and jurisdiction of Pen-pell, that is the far off or remote top or head. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, this church is called Gro-goth.

Tre-den-ike in this parish, (i. e. the man town, creek, or cove of waters,) also Tre-warth-en-ike, (i. e. the farther town of, in, or upon the cove, creek, lake, or bosom of waters,) is the dwelling of my very kind friend John Gregor, Esq. who married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Walter Moyle, Knight; his father, Francis Gregor, Esq. married one of the coheirs of Prideaux of Gunlyn, sheriff of Cornwall 19 Charles II.; his grandfather, Jane, daughter of Nosworthy, of Truro. And he giveth for his arms, Or, a chevron Gules, between three partridges Proper, out of a supposed allusion to their name in Cornish, wherein Grugyer and Gyrgirk is a partridge.


I take the word Cornelly to be a corruption of the Cornish Caren Gli, that is love of God.

In this parish is Trewithenike, compounded of Tre-with en-ike. The dwelling-tree, or a rivulet, (query, tree?—Ed.) which was in Queen Mary’s days the lands of William Weyte, Gent. as appears from an old deed in my custody, who was also lord of divers other tenements in those parts, as also of Fentongimps in St. Pyran Sabolo. He had a brother that lived at Lestwithiel, and was mayor of the town in the time of Henry VIII. whose daughter and heir was married to Kendall of Treworgye 244 or Pelris, whose inheritance was no small augmentation to the paternal estate of that family. The arms of Wayte, Argent, a chevron between three salmons erect Azure. This barton is now the property of John Gregor, Esq. who has lately built a fine new house here. He married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Walter Moyle of Boke. His father, Francis Gregor, was sheriff of Cornwall 19 Charles II. (21 Charles II. A.D. 1669.—Ed.) He married one of the heiresses of Prideaux, of Gurlyn in St. Erth.

It is said by some that St. Cornelius the Centurian is patron of this parish; if so, the name Cornelly is probably from him. Nearly the whole of this parish is included within the manor of Grogith or Crogith.


Francis Gregor, son and heir of John Gregor and Elizabeth Moyle, married a daughter of William Harris of Pickwell in Devonshire; and their son Francis Gregor, born in 1728, left two sons, Francis Gregor, sheriff of Cornwall in 1788, and member for the county from 1790 to 1806, and the Rev. William Gregor. Mr. Francis Gregor first married the eldest daughter of Mr. William Masterman, of Restormal, who had married a Cornish lady, and made a large fortune by the practice of the law, as a solicitor in London, and afterwards represented Bodmin in Parliament. Mr. Gregor married secondly Miss Urchuarth from Scotland, but died in 1815 without any family; and his brother, the Rev. William Gregor, survived but a few years, leaving an only daughter, who died at the age of three or four-and-twenty, and with her the name of Gregor became extinct.

But Mr. Masterman had a second daughter, married to Mr. Francis Glanville Catchfrench, who also left an only daughter. To this lady Miss Gregor gave the whole of her property, with an injunction to take her 245 name. Miss Granville is married and has several children, having made Trewarthenick her residence, and improved the fine new house mentioned by Mr. Tonkin into one of the largest and most decorated mansions to be seen in Cornwall.

This parish contains 1047 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1704 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 88 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 24 per cent. in 30 years.


Near Tregony Bridge, a fine-grained, glossy, and very fissile blue slate is exposed in a quarry, which appears to be the prevailing rock of this small parish. This slate probably contains beds of massive lamellar rocks, as the same kind of slate does in the adjoining parishes, but they are not in this particular district visible on the surface. All these rocks belong to the calcareous series.



Is situate in the hundred of Pedyr, and hath upon the north the Irish sea; on the west, St. Cuthbert; south, Newland; east, St. Columb Minor. As for this compound name, it is plain British; Cran-tock, Cran-dock, id est, a place that heretofore bore or carried beech trees. But others will have the name to be derived from its pretended titular guardian, one St. Carantochus, 246 a British disciple of St. Colomb’s, of whom I must plead non sum informatus; otherwise than that Carantodhius in old British, Scots, and Irish, is love, affection, tenderness. Cran-teck is fair beech trees.

More sure I am that this district, at the time of the Domesday Roll, was taxed under the name of Ryalton or Cargoll; and in the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, into the value of church livings in Cornwall, Ecclesia Sancti Carentini in Decanatu de Pidre is thus rated, the vicar 40s. and the nine prebends, then extant in this collegiate church, were thus taxed, viz. John de Woolrington, 53s. 4d.; John de Cattelyn, 30s.; Nicholas Strange, 30s.; John de Ingham, 40s.; Ralph de Trethinick, 53s. 4d.; David de Monton, 40s.; William de Patefond, 40s.; John Lovell, 30s.; John de Glasney, 6s. 8d.; in all 19l. 3s. 4d. From whence I gather this collegiate church had great revenues then belonging to it, since it is higher rated to the Pope’s annats than any other church then in Cornwall. However, before Richard II.’s time it was wholly impropriated or appropriated to its founder and endower, the Prior of St. Pedyr at Bodmin; the vicar subsisting only by a small salary of 6l. and oblations and obventions; for which reason it is not mentioned in Wolsey’s inquisition, or Valor Beneficiorum.

Which collegiate church being dissolved by the statute 26 Henry VIII. and the revenues vested in the crown, the impropriator Mr. Buller is patron and rector of the vicarage church now extant; the incumbent Warne, who comparatively subsists upon his bounty; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 73l. 16s.

By reason of the great quantities of sea-sand blown up from the Gannell creek by the wind (tempore Edward VI. as Holinshed saith), the place where the college stood is now scarce discernible; only a consecrated 247 arched well of water bears the name of St. Ambrose’s Well, contiguous therewith.

Speed and Dugdale, in their Monasticon Anglicanum, tell us that at its dissolution, 26 Henry VIII. it consisted only of four prebends, whose revenues were valued only at 89l. 15s. from whence it appears five prebendary’s rents were dismembered from it before that time; and since its suppression the lands of those four prebends have passed from the crown to Louis, from Louis to Goldingham, from Goldingham to Lutterell, now in possession thereof.

The vicarage church of Crantock is commonly called lan-guna, or lan-gona, that is to say the hay temple or church; and is, suitable to its name, situate in a large hay meadow of very rich land, containing about three acres, where, by ancient custom the vicar’s cattle depasture over the dead bodies interred therein.

Tre-ganell, or Tre-gonell, in this parish, that is to say, the canal or channel town, situate upon a creek of the north sea, gave name and original to an old family of gentlemen surnamed Tregonell or Treganell, whose three daughters and heirs, tempore James I. were married to Bauden, Pallamonter, and Penpoll, who gave for their arms, in a field Argent, three Ogresses between two cottices in fess Sable, as many Cornish daws Proper.

John Tregonell, or Treganell,—of his posterity (now transnominated to Tregonwell), was a younger brother of this house, tempore Henry VII. who had his first education in this college of Crantock at a cheap rate, (as any may be had at Aberdeen or Glasgow in Scotland,) from whence he went to Oxford, and proceeded so far in book-erudition as to take his degree of Doctor of the Civil and Canon Law, and acquired such perfection and fame therein, that he was chosen proctor for Henry VIII. in that costly divorce betwixt him and Queen Catherine of Spain; by whom he was also 248 knighted, and for his labour and pains therein had a pension of 40l. per annum settled upon him during his life; and afterwards, upon the resignation of that annuity, and the payment of a thousand pounds, he had by that king settled upon him and his heirs the site and demesne of Midleton, a mitred abbey in Dorset, of great value, which his posterity enjoy to this day, himself being buried in Midleton church 1540. He had issue John, afterwards knighted, sheriff of Dorset, 1 Philip and Mary; who married ——, and had issue John Tregonell, Esq. sheriff of Dorset 2 James I., who also married ——, and had issue John Tregonell, Esq. sheriff of that county 15 James I., when Francis Vyvyan, Esq. was sheriff of Cornwall.

Tre-ago, also Tre-agho, synonymous words, in this parish, that is to say, the fishing spear or barbed iron for stabbing fish, used it seems heretofore in the gannell or channell haven contiguous therewith, by the owners of this little barton and manor, and from thence denominated; tri-ago is in Latin-Cornish a threefold action, or acting or making; tre-ago, the town of action. From this place was also denominated its lord, of an ancient family of gentlemen surnamed De Tre-ago, who at his own proper cost and charge built the south aile in the now vicarage church of Crantock, and appropriated the same to his family or heirs and assigns for ever, by charging those lands with the repair and maintenance thereof (for ever) as at this day they do, without being chargeable to the parish of Crantock. The sole daughter and heir of those Treagos, as I am informed, was married to Mynors, tempore Edward IV. who made it the seat of his family; as afterwards, tempore Elizabeth, the issue male of Mynors failing, his only daughter and heir was married to Tregian, and Tregian’s posterity, by ill conduct, wasted this barton and manor of Treago, and sold the same for the payment of bills of cost to John Cooke, Gent. attorney-at-law, tempore James I.; and 249 in like manner Thomas Cooke, Esq. within fifty years after the death of his father or grandfather, sold this place and most of his other lands to Hugh Boscawen of Tregothnan, Esq. now in possession thereof, viz. temp. Charles II.

This place was heretofore privileged with the jurisdiction of a court leet, and a strong prison for keeping prisoners for debt in durance, though now I take it to be destitute of both. The arms of Mynors were, Sable, an eagle displayed Or, on a chief Azure, bordered Argent, a chevron between two crescents above and a rose beneath Or. This last bearing on the chief, and marshalled within the escutcheon was, as tradition saith, the coat armour of Treago; and such sort of marshalling divers coats Nicholas Upton doth approve of, especially where a man hath large possessions by his mother, and but a small patrimony from his father; as perhaps the case was thus with Mynors.

In this parish is the port, haven, or creek, called the gonell or ganell, that is to say the canal or channel of the Tremporth river, leading into the sea, wherein much fish and fowl is caught; and many times ships frequent this place for trade and safety, the sea here winding up itself between the lands about a mile in the country. It also, at full sea, affordeth entrance and anchorage for ships of the greatest burthen, if conducted by a pilot that understands the course of the ganell or channel; at the head of which, as a ligament fastening the parishes of Lower St. Colomb and Crantock together, is a county bridge, called Trem-porth; that is to say, the tying, fastening, terrifying, or making afraid gate, cove, or entrance, so aptly named perhaps from the rapid confluence of this channel or river in winter season, before the bridge was built, where it meets the salt waters, and the softness of the clay and sea-moore marsh there on which the bridge is situate.

I find William Smith, Esq. of Crantock in Cornwall, 250 (which I take to be of this place,) was created a baronet by Charles I., 27 December 1642, patent 418. I suppose the son of that Smith of Exon, that married one of the coheirs of Vyell of Trevorder. He had issue Sir James Smith, Baronet, (but where they lived in this parish I know not,) whose arms were, Sable, a fess and two barrulets, between three martlets, Or.

The manors of Cargoll and Ryalton being given by our earls of Cornwall before the Norman Conquest to the Bishop of Bodmin or Cornwall, or the prior thereof; some of them were founders and endowers of this college of Crantock out of the lands and revenues thereof.


I take the tutelar saint of this parish to be St. Kerantakers, a disciple of St. Columb in the Hebrides; and the parish no doubt had its name from him.

This parish is wholly impropriated to John Butler, Esq. of Morval, who allows out of it a small stipend to the incumbent (at present Mr. Warn), by which, together with the parishioners’ benevolence, he makes a hard shift to live.

The collegiate church here was, as tradition saith, endowed by the prior of Bodmin; but by which prior is unknown to me.


Bishop Tanner, in his Notitia Monastica, says,

Karentoc or Crantoc, near Padstow, in the deanery of Pider. Here were secular canons in the time of St. Edward the Confessor, who continued till the general dissolution, when its yearly revenues were valued at 89l. 15s. 8d. which were divided amongst the dean, nine prebendaries, and four vicars choral. The collegiate church was dedicated to St. Carantocus, said to be a disciple of St. Patrick, and was in the patronage of the Bishop of Exeter.

251 Doctor Tanner quotes the following extract from Prynne, vol. II. p. 736, (probably from his Records:) Many grants of the deanery and prebends here by the king appear upon the rolls, but seem to be made during the vacancy of the see of Exeter.

Anno Dom. 1315, Feb. 22, Walterus episcopus Exon. contulit Joanni de Sandale, cancellario regis, Præbendam in ecclesia St. Karentoci. See Wharton’s Historia de Episcopis et Decanis Londinensibus, necnon de Episcopis et Decanis Assavensibus a prima sedis utriusque fundatione, ad annum MDXL.

This parish measures 2490 statute acres.

£. s. d.
The annual value of Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 3244 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 265 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 53 per cent in 30 years.

Parish Feast, the nearest Sunday to the 16th of May.

Vicar, the Rev. C. H. Paynter, instituted 1809.


This parish is composed of the same kind of rock, and is in every respect similar to St. Columb Minor, which occupies the opposite or northern side of the gannel.



Is situate in the hundred of Powdre, and hath upon the north, St. Stephen’s; east, St. Mewan; west, Probus; south, St. Tue. For the present name, it is derived from Credo, i. e. belief, trust, confidence; and refers to the holy Christian faith, read or rehearsed in 252 this church by the rector, viz. the Apostles’ creed, Nicene creed, or St. Athanasius creed, in opposition to Arianism.

Now, for that beyond the records of time, as Mr. Carew in his Survey of Cornwall tells us, the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and Ten Commandments, were translated into and used in the Cornish tongue for the benefit of the inhabitants, who formerly little understood the Saxon or English tongue; and for that the Cornish tongue is now comparatively lost in those parts, I will here, for the reader’s satisfaction, set down the Apostles’ creed as it was then used.

Me agris en Du, an Tas ologologack, wresses a neu
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of
hag doar; hag en Jesu Chrest, ys nuell mab agan
heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son our
Arluth, neb ve conceveijs ryb an hairon Sperres, genijs
Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born
ay an voz Mareea, cothaff orthaff Pontius Pilat; ve
of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate; was
crowsye, maraws hag bethens, Eff deskynas en the Iffran,
crucified, dead and buried, He descended into Hell,
hag an trysa journa, Eff sevye arte thort an maraws, ef
and the third day he arose again from the dead, and
askynnus en the neuf; hag setvah wor an dighow dorne
ascended into Heaven; and sitteth on the right hand
ay Du an Tas allogallogack, rag ena ef fyth dos the
of God the Father Almighty, from whence he shall come
judgye an beaw hag an maraws. Me agris benegas
to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy
Spirres, an Hairon Catholic Egles, an communion ay
Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of
sans, an givyans ay peags, an sevyans ay an corfe,
saints, the remission of sins, the resurrection of the body,
hag an bew regnaveffere. Amen.
and the life everlasting. Amen.

At the time of the Norman Conquest this parish was 253 taxed under the name of Tybesta, of which more under. At the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, in order to the Pope’s Annats, 1294, Ecclesia de Sancto Credo, in Decanatu de Powdre, was valued 4l. 13s. 4d. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, it was rated 13l. 6s. 8d. The patronage in the king or duke of Cornwall, who endowed it; the incumbent Crews; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 132l.

The great duchy manor of Ty-besta encloses almost the whole of this parish; and there are yet extant in this manor the ruins of an old chapel, called by the name of Tybesta. This manor is privileged with the jurisdiction of a court leet within its precincts, and of the court baron held for the hundred of Powdre, and hath stewards and bailiffs to attend the service of both, and the royalties over the river Vale.

Within this lordship is situate the borough of Grampont, Gram-pond, or Gran-pont, that is, great bridge; on which Mr. Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, saith that in his time, (about a hundred years past,) if that were its true name, it had nothing then extant but nomine sine re, though now it hath a fair stone bridge over it, built and repaired by the county stock. But, alas! notwithstanding those names, it appeared from the charter lately extant, wherein the ancient rights and privileges thereof are confirmed by Edmund Plantagenet Earl of Cornwall, son of Richard, King of the Romans, Anno Dom. 1290, that it was incorporated by the name of Coyt-fala, or Coit-fala; id est, the wood, (river) in the midst of which wood heretofore the same was situate; also Pons-mur, id est, great bridge, so named from some eminent timber bridge over the river, before that of stone was erected.

It is privileged with the jurisdiction of a court leet and quarterly sessions of the peace, within the same, before the mayor, recorder, and eight aldermen, or magistrates, and a town-clerk. The mayor to be 254 chosen out of the eight Magistrates that are free-men; and also with sending two Members, to sit as their Representatives in Parliament, who are to be chosen by the Mayor, Magistrates, and Freemen, or the major part of them; by election of which, if common fame be true, the townsmen have in the last ages reaped great gain and advantage. It is also appurtenanced with public fairs, upon January 18 and June 11, and a weekly market on Thursdays. The chief inhabitants of this town are Mr. Teague, Mr. Harvey, Mr. Moor.

The arms of this Borough are, a castle, two ports open, over the same a lion rampant crowned, within a bordure bezanty, which latter charge was the proper arms of King Richard Cœur de Lion, uncle of the said Edmund Earl of Cornwall, and his predecessors Caddock and Condur, Earles thereof.

Tre-veleck, alias Tre-belech, in this parish, id est, the Priest’s Town, in old British and the Armorican tongue, was of old the seat of the De Boscawens, of Boscawen Rose in Buryan, of which family was Lawrence Boscawen, gent. attorney-at-law, that married Tregothnan’s heir, temp. Henry 8th, who left this place to his younger son; where his posterity flourished in genteel degree down to the latter end of the reign of King Charles I.; when the last gentleman of this house, that married Tanner, had issue only two daughters, married to Brewar and Tousen, which latter’s daughter and heir was married to Collins, now in possession of those duchy lands.

At Ten-Creek, or Tene-Cruck, i. e. the fire-bank, or tumulus, viz. the sepulchre of one interred there before the sixth century, whose body was burnt to ashes by fire, according to the then accustomed manner of intering the dead, and his bones and ashes laid up in an urn or earthen pot, in a bank, or barrow, or tumulus, upon some part of the lands of this barton; from which facts it was called Ten-creek, in which place for many ages flourished a family of gentlemen, from thence denominated de Tencreek (which compound word Mr. 255 Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, by conjecture interprets as the town of the burrow, bank, or tumulus); the last gentleman of which house died in the middle of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, leaving issue only three daughters, married to Mohun, Penwarne, and Polwhele. Those lands came to Mohun, a younger brother to Reginald Mohun, Bart. father of John Lord Baron Mohun, of Oakhampton. The present possessioner, William Mohun, Esq. (my very kind friend), one of his Majesty’s Commissioners for the Peace and Taxes, that married Jane, daughter of Sir John Trelawney, of the Lawne, Bart. and hath issue Warwick Mohun, Esq. whose arms are, Or, a cross engrailed Sable. [See Boconnoc]. The arms of Tencreek were, Argent, a cross pattée surmounted of a chevron Sable.

Pennans, part of the Duchy manor of Tybesta, is compounded of Pen-nans, the head of the valley, a name taken from the natural circumstances of the place. It is the dwelling of Philip Hawkins, Gent. attorney-at-law, who by his great pains, care, and skill in that profession, hath got himself a very great estate in those parts. He married Scobell, and giveth for his arms, Argent, on a saltire Sable, five fleur-de-lis Or. The same coat armour is given by the Hawkins’ of Kent. He had issue John, his eldest son, who married Rashleigh, and was a doctor of divinity; Philip, that married Ludlow, of London, Member of Parliament for Grampound; and daughters.

Nan-tell-an, in this parish Duchy, was the dwelling of John Vincent, Gent. attorney-at-law, who got a considerable estate by the law; but since his death I take it this place, and all other his lands, are wasted by his son, &c. Nantellan sold to Henry Vincent, of Treleven, Esq. Mr. Vincent married Evans, and giveth for his arms as mentioned under St. Allen, the original tribe thereof.

Car-lyn-ike, in this parish, parcel of the Duchy 256 manor of Tybesta aforesaid, probably the rock and lake of water, is the dwelling of John Woolrige, Gent. that married Maunder, and giveth for his arms, Gules, a chevron Argent, between three wild ducks volant Proper. The descendant of Woolridge, rector of St. Michael Penkivell, temp. James I.

Nan-car (Duchy) i. e. the Valley Rock, or the Rock in the Valley, is the dwelling of Walter Quarme, Clerk, that married Grace Gayer, daughter of Samuel Gayer, of Araler, Gent.; his father Ceely, his grandfather a Trefusis, and giveth for his arms, Barry lozengy Argent and Gules.


Trencreek is interpreted by Mr. Carew the town of the Burrow, by which I apprehend he means a dwelling near some creeig, byrig or tumulus; for that is the import of the word Trencreeig, from whence an old family of gentlemen, now extinct, were denominated, who gave for their arms, Argent, a cross patee, surmounted with a chevron Sable. But the tumulus importing their name must have been erected since the doctrine of Christianity was brought into this land; for before that time graves were called beths,[35] veths, or byrigs, from whence our modern words burrow or bury. The Brigantes mentioned by Tacitus were so denominated from their lofty tumuli, byrigs, or graves.

All the lands in this parish are either held from or in parts of the Great Duchy.

The Borough of Grandpont. This is the name given to it by the Normans, for the ancient Cornish name was Ponsmur, signifying the same thing. In all likelihood this is the ancient Voluba of the Romans mentioned by Ptolemy; so called from its situation on the river Val or 257 Fal. Browne Willis, in his additions to Camden, cites a charter still extant from John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, by which all former privileges are confirmed to the vill of Grampont, with all the lands of Coytpale, which signifies Tolewood, and a part of the town is at this time called Caitfala. This charter is dated at Chippenham Oct. 26, 1332.

North of Grampond lies Trevellick, the town on the mill stream or water, where is a ruined chapel and a well, dedicated to St. Naunton or Nonnio, as at Alternum. The estate now belongs to Degary Polkinhorne, Gent. To the North of this lies Nantellan, which was the seat of John Vincent, Gent. an eminent attorney.

Trewinnow, that is the dwelling on the marshes, has been long held under the Duchy by the family of Seccomb.

Pennance, the head of the valley, is held under the tenure of customary Duchy, and was formerly the seat of Henry Hoddy, Gent. descended from the Huddys or Hodys, of Nethoway, in Devonshire. He had a considerable estate in these parts, which he foolishly lavished and at last sold to Mr. Thomas Lower, younger brother to the famous Doctor Lower,[36] who did not keep it long, but conveyed his right in it to Philip Hawkins, Gent. since become the most wealthy attorney which this county ever produced. He married Mary, the daughter of Richard Scobell, of Menagwins, Esq. and left the bulk of his estate, computed at one hundred thousand pounds, to his eldest son John Hawkins, D. D. Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, who married Rachel Rashleigh, of Menabilly, but died sine prole. Doctor Hawkins laid out very large sums of money on the improvement of Pennance. He died in London July 30, 1736.

258 Trigantan belongs to the family of Sperrack.

The Church is situated at one end of the parish near the river Val or Fal, in a fruitful spot of land, but low. It is but a mean structure, consisting of a nave, a south aile of the same length, and a cross north aile. Here was formerly but a poor small tower covered with wood, in which were three bells; but the parishioners took that down in 1732, and have in this year (1733) finished a handsome square tower. The Rectory House has also been new built in a neat manner by the present incumbent Mr. Hughes.


The manor of Tybesta, carrying with it the advowson of the rectory, was purchased from the Duchy by the late Sir Christopher Hawkins.

Grampound is the only place ever wholly deprived of its privilege to return Members to the House of Commons, previously to the general dissolution of Boroughs in 1832. Cricklade, Shoreham, and Aylesbury, had been thrown into adjacent hundreds, that is, the freeholders of these districts were admitted to a concurrent right of voting with those previously possessing it; but from Grampound the Members were transferred at once to the County of York.

The passage referred to in Mr. Carew (p. 328 of Lord Dunstanville’s edition) is this:

“Grampond, if it took that name from any great bridge, hath now nomen sine re; for the bridge there is supported with only a few arches, and the Corporation but half replenished with inhabitants, who may better vaunt of their town’s antiquity than the town of their ability.”

The town is said to have very greatly improved, in all respects, moral, physical, and intellectual, since the minds of its inhabitants have been directed to other objects than low intrigue and servile dependence on the exertions of others.

259 Mr. Philip Hawkins, who purchased and settled at Pennance, was the son of Mr. Henry Hawkins, whose ancestor in the third or fourth degree, is said to have come from Kent into Cornwall as Rector of Blisland.

Mr. Henry Hawkins had four sons, the Rev. John Hawkins, Rector of St. Michael Caerhayes, St. Stephen’s, and St. Dennis, married, but died sine prole.

Philip Hawkins, who married Mary Scobell, eldest daughter of Richard Scobell, Esq. made heiress of his whole landed property.

Henry Hawkins, of St. Austell, who married Barbara, younger daughter of Mr. Richard Scobell.

Joseph Hawkins, a merchant at Falmouth, married Reid, but died sine prole.

Mr. Philip Hawkins had a very large family.

1. Henry, died at Oxford.

2. Mary, died young.

3. Elizabeth, married Mr. Thomas Corlyer, of Tregrehan, and left several children.

4. Ann, married Sir Edmund Prideaux, of Devonshire, and left an only daughter, who married John Pendarves Basset, Esq. of Tehidy.

5. George, died young.

6. The Rev. John Hawkins, D. D. Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, married Rachel Rashleigh, of Menabilly, died sine prole.

7. Mary, married, perhaps her distant relation, a gentleman of the same name, Christopher Hawkins, of Trewinnard, in St. Erth, barrister at law, made sole heir of his landed property by her brother Dr. Hawkins.

8. Jane, married James Stone, of Bundbury, Wilts.

9. Philip, married Elizabeth Ludlow, of London, represented Grampound in Parliament, died s. p.

10. Barbara, married Mr. Hambley, of St. Columb.

Mr. Henry Hawkins, who married Barbara Scobell, had also a numerous family.

1. Henry, died in 1723.

260 2. John, died in 1722.

3. Ann, married David Moyle, and left a daughter Ann Moyle, married to Mr. Carthew.

4. Barbara, married Mr. Edward Hoblyn, of Crone, and left a daughter, Damaris Hoblin, married to Mr. Kirkham, a Captain in the Cornwall Militia, but not a Cornishman; ob. s. p.

5. Elizabeth, married John Hawkins, of Helston, and left Mr. John Hawkins, who married Catherine Trewren; ob. s. p.

6. Gertrude, married Mr. Thomas Kent, and left children.

7. Grace, married John Tremayne, of Heligan, Esq. who left a son, the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne, and a daughter married to Charles Rashleigh, Esq. of Disporth.

The Creed given by Mr. Hals, in his account of this parish, differs materially from both subjoined to my edition of “The Creation of the World, and Noah’s Flood,” one of which is said to be in old Cornish, and the other in modern. All the three go to prove how utterly vague and uncertain must be a language not fixed by some general reference to works of authority, nor guided by the superior influence of a Capital.

This parish contains 2552 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 2442 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 205 12 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 19 per cent in 30 years.

Annual value of the Real Property in Grampound, for 1815 854 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 274 12 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

being an increase of 36 per cent.

Vicar, the Rev. John Trevener, instituted 1817.

[35] The word bethman, pronounced bedman, which is used in Cornwall for a sexton, must evidently be derived from beth, a grave. Edit.

[36] Richard Lower, M. D. an eminent physician and anatomist, was born in Cornwall about 1631, died in 1691. He wrote several important works; among them Tractatus de Corde; item de Motu et calore Sanguinis, et Chyli in eum transitu.




Has situate upon the north Camburne, west St. Erth, south Sythaney, east Wendron. At the time of the Norman Conquest this parish was taxed either under the jurisdiction of Lanmigell, viz. Michael’s Mount, temple, or church, or Caer, id est, a city or castle, now Caer-ton, Castletown; so called from the British treble entrenchments of turf and stones yet extant in this parish. At the time of the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, Ecclesia de Crowen, in Decanatu de Penwith, was rated VIIIl.; vicar ibidem, XLl. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, 11l. 9s.d.; the patronage in Sir John Seyntaubyn, the rectory in Seyntaubyn, the incumbent Glyn. The parish was rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1699, 177l. 10s. This church was endowed by the Prior of St. Michael’s Mount, its patron. After its dissolution 26 Hen. VIII, it fell to the Crown; from whence, as I am informed, the patronage was purchased by Thomas Seyntaubyn, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 37 Hen. VIII.

Clowens, in this parish, id est, White Cloos, those sort of grey marble stones so called, whereof an innumerable strag of them are visible upon a great part of the lands of this barton above ground, particularly in the Deer Park. Mr. Carew tell us, that Clowens is derived from the Greek κλω, cloow, to hearken. But glewas in Cornish is to hear, and golsowins, to hearken. This place for many ages hath been the seat of the genteel and knightly family of the Seyntaubyns, now Baronets, whose first ancestor came out of Normandy, a soldier, with William the Conqueror, 1066, who first settled himself at ——, in the county of Devon; and in process of time Guy Seyntaubyn (afterwards knighted), Sheriff of Cornwall 22 Richard II. as I take it, first 262 settled himself in this place, and married Alice, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir Richard Sergreaulx, Knight, Sheriff of Cornwall 12 Richard II. (who died at Killigarth, or Colquite), by whom he had issue. But after Sir Guy’s death, his lady Alice having her lands all in her own dispose, married Richard de Vere, Knight of the Garter, and the 11th Earl of Oxford of that house; by whom he had issue John the twelfth Earl of Oxford; and Sir Robert Vere, Knight, that married Margaret, the daughter of Sir Hugh Courtenay, of Haccomb, Knight, heir to her mother Philippa, one of the coheirs of Sir Warren Archdeacon, Knight, by the which Margaret he had issue John, who married Alice, daughter of Walter Killrington, Esq. by whom he had issue John fourteenth Earl of Oxford, that died without issue 14th July 1526 [See Killygarth], upon whom she settled most of her lands, and deprived her issue by Seyntaubyn thereof.

Thomas Seyntaubyn, Esq. was Sheriff of Cornwall 37 Henry VIII. Thomas Seyntaubyn, Esq. was Sheriff of Cornwall 30 Elizabeth. John Seyntaubyn, Esq. was Sheriff of Cornwall 11 Charles I. John Seyntaubyn, Esq. was Sheriff of Cornwall 13 Charles II. who married Godolphin, and had issue John Seyntaubyn, Esq. (my very good friend) that married Anne, one of the coheirs of James Jenkyn, of Trekininge, Esq. who by letters patent, bearing date 11 March 24 Charles II. was created the 797th Baronet of England. He had issue by her, Sir John Seyntaubyn, Bart. that married De la Hay, and had by her issue another Sir John Seyntaubyn, now in possession of this place.

This famous worthy family, as it descended downwards, married Sergreaulx, Colshill, Whittington, Grenvill, Mallett, Godolphin, and others. The arms of Seyntaubyn are, Ermine, on a cross Gules five Bezants. And the said family was denominated from Mount Seyntaubyn in Normandy. Finally, as Sergreaulx’s 263 heir, after the death of Sir Guy Seyntaubyn, passed away her lands from her issue by him to her children by her second husband, the Earl of Oxford aforesaid; so Jenkyn’s heir, after the death of Sir John Seyntaubyn, Bart. disinherited her heir by him, and sold most of her lands for the payment of her second husband’s debts, Mr. Spencer, of Lancashire; and after his death married one Mr. Page, for whose benefit she did her son Seyntaubyn what further damage she was able to perform by sale of more of her lands. So unconstant and irregular are some women’s affections.

Tregeare or Tregeire, Cornish Saxon, in this parish, id est, the dwelling of honour, or the honourable dwelling, gave name and original to a British family, from thence denominated De Tregeare. It is now in the possession of my very kind friend Richard Tregeare, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 3d of Queen Anne, and Receiver of the Land Tax temp. William III. who married Rawle, the relict of ——, but died without issue, who left his estate to one of his name (though none of his tribe or blood, as I am informed), who gave for his arms, in a field Argent, a fess Gules, between three Cornish daws Proper.


For the name of this parish, it is in Cornish Crows-on, the cross; probably so called from some notable cross erected in the parish.

But nevertheless, I learn from others that the name is derived from its female patroness, Sancta Crewenna, and not from any noted cross. In the Lincoln Taxation it is written Ecclesia Sancte Crewenne: which Crewenne, says Leland, came over from Ireland with St. Breage, or Breaca.

Mr. Tonkin reports what is stated by Mr. Hals of the family of St. Aubyn, and adds, in the year 1733: This 264 family has been no less than six times Sheriff of Cornwall. They have served their prince and country, not only in the office of sheriff, but also as members of parliament and as justices of the peace.

The Sergreaulxes were of old a family of noble fame and worth in this County. It appears, from Carew’s Survey, that Richard de Sergreaulx held three fees by the tenure of knights’ service, tempore Henry IV. at Killigarth, Lerneth, and Lonsallos. Also, he had Killcoid (now Colguite) in the parish of Holland.

Tregeare, in this parish, Tre(g)eor (the g euphoniæ gratiâ to avoid an elision), is the mansion of an old family from thence denominated. Arms: Argent, a fess voided Sable, charged with three Torteauxes between three Cornish choughs Proper. Tregeare, interpreted, signifies not only a dwelling in honour, but an honourable dwelling; neither had the Saxon nor Kernawith Britons any other word to express honour or honourable by than the termination ge or gor, as appears not only from that incomparable antiquary Verstegan,[37] but also from the names of divers places among our ancestors. I have further to add respecting the word geor, and as we have many places so called in the County I shall once for all endeavour to give the true meaning of it.

Geare, fruitful, from guer, viridis, green (see Lhuyd’s Archæologia, vol. I. fol. Oxford, 1707, p. 174,) as this estate is at present, and as all others of the same name, I presume, formerly were. The family of Tregeare are said to date from before the Conquest.

Manor of Hellegar and Clowance: For Hellegar was formerly the chief place, and signifies the hall or place on the Downs; and there was lately standing there, and I believe yet remains, a hall of large dimensions. This 265 was anciently the seat of a family bearing the same name; whose arms were, Gules, a bend Vaire between six cross-crosslets Or. Sibill, one of the daughters and co-heiresses of this house, married Pierce Kemell, or Kymyell, of Kymyell, in St. Buian, whose arms were, Argent, three dolphins in pale Sable. Elizabeth, one of the daughters and coheiresses of Pearce Kemell, married Geoffrey St. Aubyn, the second son of Guy St. Aubyn, Knight, and brought to him, with several other lands, this manor of Hellegar and Clowance.


Mr. Hals commits an apparent mistake in assigning the advowson of this parish to Mr. St. Aubyn at the period of Wolsey’s Valuation, and then stating that it was acquired by purchase at the general dissolution of religious houses.

It is probable that the advowson was acquired when the alien priories, or all such houses as were cells in England subject to monasteries abroad, were given to the King by an Act of Parliament, 2d year of Henry V. A.D. 1415. See the statute in original Norman French, vol. VI. p. 986, of Dugdale’s Monasticon, London, 1830; and in Latin, vol. IX. p. 281, of Rymer’s Fœdera.

Sir John St. Aubyn, mentioned by Mr. Hals as in possession of Clowance at the time of his writing, represented the County in Parliament, and acquired popularity by opposing the administration of Sir Robert Walpole. He married Catherine, daughter, and eventually coheiress of Sir Nicholas Morice, of Werrington, and the Lady Catherine Herbert, and great-granddaughter of Sir William Morice, Secretary of State at the Restoration.

This lady brought a fortune of ten thousand pounds, which, the Editor remembers to have heard from a very aged member of the family, were conveyed in two carts 266 from Werrington to Clowance, all in half crowns, and that he assisted in taling them.

But in addition to ten thousand pounds Miss Morice also received at her marriage, or afterwards succeeded to, the manor of Stoke Damarel, on the Eastern bank of the Tamar, near Hamoaze, and purchased not a long time before from the Wises, a respectable family in the South of Devon, for eleven thousand five hundred pounds.

On this manor all the dock yards and government buildings have been constructed, and the whole town of Plymouth Dock, now Devonport, has been built, together with Morris Town, Stoke, &c. so that the annual income has risen to perhaps three or four fold the original purchase money.

This Sir John St. Aubyn left a son of his own name, and three daughters, who married Basset, Molesworth, and Buller.

The son, Sir John St. Aubyn, had also the honour of representing the County in Parliament. He married Miss Wingfield, from the North of England; and dying in October 1772, left his estate to an only son, the present Sir John St. Aubyn. He left also four daughters, who have married Prideaux, Molesworth, Lennard, and White.

Mr. Lysons states that the church of Crowan was given by William Earl of Gloucester to the Priory of St. James, in Bristol, which was a Cell to Tewkesbury Abbey. If that is so, Mr. Hals must be entirely mistaken in assigning the advowson to a St. Aubyn at the time of Wolsey’s Valuation.

Mr. Lysons also says, that Kerthen, in this parish, belonged to a family of the name of Cowlins, from whom it passed to the Godolphins by a marriage.

Leland was entertained at Kerthen in the course of making his Itinerary, by a Mr. Godolphin, who resided there. Leland, however, writes the name Cardine.

267 In submitting to the press by far the greater part of Mr. Hals’ Manuscripts, and also of Mr. Tonkin’s Manuscript, in so far as it differs from the former, the Editor has been especially careful to preserve all such anecdotes and narratives of events as may tend to illustrate the manners or the opinions of the times to which they relate, adding to them many that have come to his knowledge from other sources.

Just a hundred years ago such a series of events took place with reference to the possession of Skewis, a farm in this parish, as would induce any one of the present time to think that he must be living in another land, under a different administration of the laws, and in a totally dissimilar state of society.

Skewis had been, for I know not how long, the freehold patrimony of a succession of yeomen proprietors of the name of Rogers. There were now two brothers, the elder married and lived on the farm, but without a family, the younger brother, Henry Rogers, married and had several children. He carried on for several years in Helston the trade of a pewterer, then of considerable importance to Cornwall, although it is now lost. A large portion of the tin was then exported in the shape of pewter made into plates, dishes, &c. all of which have been superseded by earthenware. At the first introduction of earthenware, provincially called clome, it was a popular cry to destroy the clome, and to bring back the use of tin. He had for some years retired to this parish.

I have made many diligent inquiries about Henry Rogers, and they have not gone to represent him as a bad man, but as one little in the habit of restraining his passions, of great bodily strength, and of what is termed a wilful disposition; and his prejudices were probably supported by an opinion, still prevalent among country people, that freehold lands, which have once descended to an heir cannot be alienated by any possessor without the concurrence of his heir.

268 The elder brother died, when a will was produced giving all the freehold property to his widow, whose maiden name was Millett. Henry Rogers averred, and possibly believed, that the will was spurious, and would be invalid at all events. Under that impression, and despising legal remedies, he waited for an opportunity when his sister-in-law was from home; he then turned some female servants out of the house, and took forcible possession. The widow of course appealed to the law, with the voice of the whole country, however, against her; and it is universally reported that Sir John St. Aubyn, the principal gentleman of the parish, would have supported Rogers in a legal proceeding. However that may be, he prepared for violence, and refused to yield up possession when judgment was given against him; so that the Sheriff was at last directed to eject him by force. But Rogers got several persons, ignorant and lawless as himself, to remain with him in the house, which had been barricaded and adapted for defence, and great numbers of people, partly from curiosity, but in part also to countenance his resistance, having assembled on the spot, the civil power was completely resisted, and two men killed by shots from the house; the Under Sheriff himself having narrowly escaped,—as he states in his evidence, rather ludicrously, that the discharge of a gun from the house burnt his wig and singed his face.

This happened on the 18th of June, 1734.

On the following day the Under Sheriff came back, assisted by some soldiers, who were fired on and one killed. They returned the fire, but without effect. And then, which would appear almost incredible, Rogers was allowed to remain in quiet possession, after these murders, till March of the following year, when he was again blockaded by soldiers; and the siege, I apprehend, continued for several days, with the loss of two more men, when at last cannon were brought from Pendennis Castle. On the night following their arrival, Rogers 269 contrived to effect an escape. He travelled on foot, and got as far as Salisbury, with the intention, as he stated, of making his case known to the King.

Whatever might have been the opinions of gentlemen, and educated persons, on the abstract merit of his case, it became impossible for them not to join in bringing to condign punishment one who had thus taken away the lives of innocent persons, and set at equal defiance the laws of God and man.

Sir John St. Aubyn now took an active part in endeavouring to secure the fugitive, and being through his marriage connected with the Herberts Earls of Pembroke, who resided in the neighbourhood of Salisbury, handbills descriptive of Rogers were circulated round that town. I have always heard that a postboy, driving homewards a return postchaise, was accosted by a stout man walking with a gun in his hand, requesting to be taken in. The boy drove him to the inn, where he procured a bed; but the circumstances and description had excited strong suspicion, and he was secured in his sleep.

The prisoner was of course removed to Cornwall. He was there convicted of murder, together with John Street, who seems to have been his principal partisan, and both made an atonement for their offences with their lives.

Through the favour of Lord Hardwicke, I have procured a copy of the evidence, and a portion of the charge given to the Grand Jury, in reference to those prisoners, by his Lordship’s grandfather, the justly-celebrated first Earl of Hardwicke and Lord Chancellor.

Launceston, Aug. 1, 1735.

The King against Henry Rogers and John Street.

Indictment for murder of William Carpenter, by shooting him in the back with a gun charged 270 with leaden bullets, 19th June 1734, at Crowan, in com. Cornub.

Plea, Not Guilty.

Sergeant Chapple pro Rege.

Stephen Tillie was Under-Sheriff 1734. 8 June 1734 received a writ of assistance under the great seal. 31 Maij, 7 Geo. II. writ of assistance, reciting the writ of execution of the decree and writ of injunction, whereby possession was to be delivered to Anne Rogers, commanding to put Anne Rogers into possession, and to remove and expel the said Henry Rogers, his tenants, and accomplices, from possession of the premises.

18 June he went to the house; the prisoner was in the window, and held a gun at him; he called to him, and told him that he had the king’s writ, and must have possession; would not meddle with his person.

Prisoner said Lord Chancellor made an unjust decree. He said that then he might deliver possession and appeal. Swore, damn him, he would not deliver possession. Saw two or three hundred people. Read the proclamation. The prisoner fired a gun, burned his wig, and singed his face. One of his officers said he was shot through the head. Expostulated again. Then he swore if the King and Lord Chancellor came he would not deliver it. Several guns were fired. He told him he would give him time till tomorrow morning eight o’clock. Sent to Captain Sadler for a few soldiers; the captain sent them; he went with them; he demanded entrance. Prisoner said, “Damn you, are you come again?” A gun was mounted out of the hole cut in the door within an inch of his body; discharged; and it shot Carpenter, who fell with it, and said he was a dead man. Another gun fired, and shot Hatch, his servant. Rogers had a gun in his hand when he first saw him, and afterwards came out with a gun in his hand. Carpenter was a bailiff to the sheriff, and he had commanded him to go to his assistance. Mrs. Rogers, the plaintiff, was there both times.

271 George Ellis. 18 June was desired by Mrs. Rogers to go with them. Rogers and his wife in the window, and had a gun between them. Mr. Tillie demanded possession. Prisoner said he would not; swore and cursed, and said he had strength enough to defend his possession against any person; insisted the estate was his. The Under-sheriff expostulated with him, and told him if he had a right, his best way was to submit to the law. Sheriff read the proclamation. Rogers asked him to drink a dram; he went for it, and in the meantime his wife held the gun; guns were fired.

19 June went again. Under-sheriff told him he hoped he was in a better mind now, and would deliver him possession. Refused. A gun fired from the house. Soon after, heard it called out that Carpenter was shot in the back, and a soldier shot in the groin. He is a surgeon, and dressed Carpenter; found him shot from about the fourth rib to his buttock; many slugs and jagged pieces of lead in it.

Between two and three hundred men there the first day, and a great many the second day, but not so many. Sir J. St. Aubin having sent out his steward, heard the under-sheriff ask him who were in the house. He said only his own servants.

No gun was fired, or any force used by any of the Under-sheriff’s company till Carpenter was shot.

Mr. Lukey, surgeon. Found a gun-shot wound in the small of his back. He saw him on Wednesday the 19th, died on Friday. It was a great quantity of small shot; thinks the wound went through into his belly.

Samuel Hatch, servant to Mr. Tillie, the Under-sheriff. 18th was there. The Under-sheriff read the King’s writ to him. He did not see who fired the gun, but saw no man in the house that day but Rogers, whom he knows.

Cannot say he saw Rogers fire the first time. Carpenter was shot, and another soldier shot, and two men wounded before any of the soldiers or Sheriff’s company fired. He was shot with slugs.

272 Richard Vinsam. Was there the first day, and the Sheriff read and showed him the writ; told Rogers that if he would try the cause again he should be as ready to put him in as to take him out. He was there again the second day. The Sheriff told him he was come again to do his office, and desired him to be easy. Gives the same account, and that the soldiers did not fire till after Carpenter was shot.

As to Street.

Edward Williams. Was at Skewis House the 19th day of June 1734. Saw John Street there in the house, with a sword in his hand. Kept people in the house, and said he would run any body through that offered to go away; said now was the time to do a friend service; assisted Rogers by keeping persons in by force; the Sheriff was then come to demand possession.

Street was in the house when the firing was.

Rogers’s wife was apprehended by the time the Under-sheriff came to the house.

Mr. Black, ensign, was there with the soldiers; with the others; had orders from the commanding officer to attend the Sheriff. No firing by the soldiers or sheriff’s company till Carpenter and a soldier killed.

John Ellett was one of the soldiers who went with the Under-sheriff to assist him. Agrees with the rest, that Carpenter was shot from that part of the house where he saw Rogers. There was no firing by the soldiers or the sheriff’s assistants till Carpenter was wounded.

Henry Jeffries was corporal to the party. Heard the Under-sheriff read the proclamation, and demand entrance; when Rogers refused.

Carpenter went up and struck at the door; and as he turned about was shot in the back; he was shot in the leg; had orders from the Under-sheriff to fire.

The Prisoner. Had good counsel, and thought he had a good right to the estate; was unwilling to deliver it up the first day; told him he intended to appeal; said 273 if he did not deliver possession he might bring a writ of rebellion against him. Sheriff swore he would have possession. Sheriff went off, and he did not expect to see him again. Next morning heard the soldiers were coming. Sent his wife out; they seized her. With beat of drum the Sheriff and soldiers came and fired at him; the soldiers fired about five rounds apiece.

Henry Berriman. 18 day of June saw the sheriff go, and heard him demand entrance; and the prisoner said he should have none. The next day the Sheriff came with soldiers; but he was two coits cast off; the soldiers were on the eastern side of the house; the soldiers fired three rounds; but he did not see the gun fired out of the house. Carpenter was shot on the eastern side of the house, and he was on the western side of the house; the Undersheriff desired him to carry him off. Did not see Carpenter receive the shot. Was not on the same side of the house when Carpenter was shot; as far off as the tower of this town from this place.

[Carpenter was on the eastern side of the house when he was shot].

Thomas Pendarves. Rode through the town just as the soldiers came with the Sheriff; saw Henry Rogers’s wife; was on the south side of the house when the firing was first; but that was on the east side of the house; however, thinks he could distinguish whether it came from the house or the soldiers, because the firing from the house was by single pops now and then, and the soldiers shot many together. To his sight and perception the first firing was by the soldiers. Can’t say any more. He was not on the east of the house at all. A great number of people assembled.

Henry Johns was in company with Carpenter; said he forgave Mr. Rogers.

John Rogers saw Carpenter in his bed, and drank with him. He asked how he came to throw a great stone. He said he did not know; but he freely forgave 274 the man that shot him; for if they had not been merciful they might have destroyed them all.

John Street was at the house at his labour.

Writ of execution of the decree read.

Mr. John Hawkins was solicitor for Mrs. Rogers; went with the Sheriff; demanded possession; saw a gun fired from the house; did no hurt; saw Carpenter actually shot and fall; no firing by the soldiers till after that of two other guns.

Verdict, both guilty of murder.

The King against Henry Rogers and John Street.

Indictment for the murder of George Woolston alias Wilson, with a gun charged with leaden bullets 19th June 1734, at Crowan, in com. Cornub.

Plea, Not Guilty.

Serjeant Chapple, pro Rege.

Writ of Execution, Injunction, and Writ of Assistance, put in.

Mr. Tillie. Gives the same account that he did before. Second day after Carpenter was shot, Henry Rogers came to the window with his gun on the east side, fired, and a shot went through his hat, and a soldier wounded. He ordered the soldiers to fire. Woolston was on the west side, and was shot there. No gun was fired by the soldiers, or any person in the assistance of the sheriff, nor a sword drawn, nor any force, till after Carpenter was shot and Hatch wounded, and Jeffries shot through the leg. Woolston declared that Rogers had shot him, on his asking him. Died in about half an hour after. Soldiers went to the assistance of him; ordered them to use no force till resistance.

John Ellet. He was on the east side of the house; he carried off Woolston; was shot from the waistband of his breeches to the buckle of his shoes. Gives the same account as to the occasion. There was no firing on the eastern side of the house till after Carpenter was killed and Jeffries shot in the leg.

275 Nicholas Daniel was serjeant, and went to Skewis House. After the first firing William Carpenter was killed. The officer ordered him to go with ten men to the west side of the house. As soon as he came into the court, saw the prisoner Rogers come to the window and fire his gun and shot Woolston, of which he died in an hour.

Cross-examined. After Carpenter was killed, some of the soldiers had fired on the east side of the house before he went to the west side.

Samuel Hatch gives the same account as before of the facts on 18th and 19th June. The first guns which were fired were by persons that were withinside of the house, and not by persons that were withoutside of the house. No firing by the soldiers, or any in assistance of the sheriff, till after one was killed and two wounded.

George Ellis. The same as before. Saw Woolston go with the soldiers to the west side of the house. Soon afterwards heard a cry that Woolston was shot. Went and saw him. He was shot from the groin to the ancle. He was then in a manner dying; died of that wound. The first firing from within the house, before the Sheriff had finished the concluding words of the proclamation; three guns fired before the soldiers fired.

Richard Vinsam. Saw Rogers looking out at the window. Several guns fired before the Sheriff had quite finished the proclamation. No guns fired by the soldiers till they had fired from the house.

Mr. Black. After the firing from the east side, ordered eight or ten soldiers to go round to the west side, and soon heard Woolston was shot. No firing by the soldiers till after from the house.

Mr. John Hawkins. 19th, no gun fired from the soldiers till after Carpenter dropped.

Piercy Price. 18th March last at Skewis. Was with the soldiers when they took possession. Rogers looked out of the little door. Asked him how he came to let a 276 man lay unburied who was there? owned “he killed him. As to the old soldier that was killed, I had no animosity against him. It is true I killed him, but it was time, he was too proud; intended to kill the Sheriff and his men.”

As to Street.

Edward Williams. Was there when Woolston was killed. Street was on the inside of the house at the western door when Woolston was killed. Had a sword drawn. He asked to go out. Street said if he offered to do it he would run him through; hindered him and another from going out; said if they would do a friend any good or service now was the time; the service was to keep the possession against the Sheriff. The prisoner Rogers thought his appeal had been lodged.

Henry Berryman. The soldiers fired upon the house about three times before they parted to different sides of the house; did not see Carpenter shot, nor does not know when he was shot; was as far off as the length of the whole hall; did not see Street there.

Thomas Pendarves. By his perceivance the soldiers fired first. Stood on the south side of the house, two hundred yards off; did not see either Carpenter or Woolston shot.

John Street has no evidence.

Verdict, both Guilty.

The King against Henry Rogers.

Indictment for the murder of Andrew Willis, alias Tubby, by shooting him in the breast on the 16th of March at Crowan.

Plea, Not Guilty.

Serjeant Chapple, pro Rege.

Edward Bennett. Was a constable, and on 16th March called Andrew Willis, alias Tubby, to give in his assistance to take the prisoner Rogers at Skewis House on account of murders that he had committed. Tubby was 277 about sixty yards from the house, and he saw a gun fired from a window of the house; immediately on that Tubby fell down; he ran off; immediately saw Rogers in the window from which the fire came; afterwards saw Rogers come out to the man and walk round him and take Tubby’s gun, but before Rogers came out another gun was fired; saw one or two more at the window afterwards; intended to apprehend him and bring him to Launceston.

John Williams. Was with Bennett and Tubby at the constable’s desire to take Mr. Rogers, but ordered them not to shoot without necessity; about sixty yards off the house saw Tubby on his knee, almost before he heard the report of the gun; immediately saw Rogers in the window with a gun in his hand; thought Rogers was gone out of his house. Tubby cried, “Lord! Lord!” and fell down. Another gun fired, and he crept away through the hedge.

Henry Thomas. Saw Rogers on 16th March, with a gun, walk by the dead body forwards and backwards. Said, “Here lies the black Bill.”

Henry James. Was called to assist William John the constable the Sunday that Tubby lay dead at Skewis; saw the prisoner with a gun within twelve feet of the body. Prisoner said, “Sir Andrew, thou didst make thy brag last Sunday that thou wouldst lend me a brace of bullets, but I think I have paid thee.” Asked them to come in and drink a dram; refused. He said, “If he would, he would make them come into the castle.” They went away, and we retired. Rogers stood in the lane with a gun in his hand, bid them turn in; said, Sir John St. Aubyn would be angry if they had any thing to do with any body in the house. He said, “Damn them, if they did not he would shoot them.” Asked, if they knew who killed the man? “No.” Said, “There was a black man lay dead in the moor, if any body would own him they should have him. I have the bill;” produced 278 the gun; “Damn him, if they don’t come and own him, I’ll cut off his head and stick it on the chimney.”

James Fall. Heard the gun go off. Heard somebody say, “Take up the man.” He ran out, and Rogers looked out of his window, asked, what he was going for? said, “To see what you have done; you will be hanged at last.” Said, “If you do not go back, I will shoot you too.” Said to him, “Did not I tell you to tell Sir John, that I would take them off as he would fetch them.” He said “fetch them?”

Prisoner. That these people followed him and endeavoured to shoot him.

Verdict, guilty.

An addition which appears to have been made to a charge delivered by Lord Hardwicke, Chief Justice on Western Circuit in 1735.

Of the truth of this observation and of the pernicious consequences of lawless force, you of this country have lately had a flagrant but an instructive instance. In that you have seen from what small springs a torrent of violence may arise. How people once engaged in such practices, go on from invading the property, to taking away the lives of their fellow subjects; and from an obstinate contemptuous opposition to the regular decisions of the ordinary Courts of Justice, they advance almost to open rebellion.

The honourable and indefatigable endeavours of the gentlemen of this county to reform and suppress such daring outrages cannot be sufficiently commended, and must always be remembered highly to their honour. And happy it is that these endeavours, enforced by the seasonable and gracious assistance of his majesty, had the desired effect. To consider this affair in its full extent, it ought on the one hand to be looked upon as a strong proof that the King will make use of the extraordinary 279 as well as the ordinary powers of his government, only for protection and security of his people; and on the other hand, that the gentlemen of England will unite in the support of the laws, and of legal, well established government, against all attempts of any kind whatsoever to introduce disorder and confusion.

So great were the apprehensions entertained of a man who had in this extraordinary manner, and for months set at defiance the whole authority of the country, that, immediately after his absconding, the magistrates of the hundred issued the following proclamation:

Cornwall.—To all Magistrates, Headboroughs, and Officers of Towns and Parishes, to whom these presents shall come.

Whereas several murders have lately been committed by Henry Rogers, of Skewis, in the parish of Crowan, in the county of Cornwall, and whereas the said Henry Rogers and his gang did last night abscond and withdraw themselves from justice, notwithstanding a strict guard of soldiers and others which were placed about the house at Skewis to prevent their escape, and any further mischiefs that might ensue from their wicked intentions and intrigues of the said Henry Rogers and his abettors; And whereas they withdrew from Skewis with their guns and ammunition, whereby it is suspected that they will plunder and ravage the whole county:—We therefore desire you to transmit this to the next town, that it may go through the whole county, not only that all his Majesty’s good and peaceable subjects may be guarded against the said Rogers and his gang, but that they may do their utmost endeavours to apprehend them, and bring them to their trial, that all such horrid practices, which threaten destruction to society and government, may for the future be prevented, the public 280 peace preserved, and the authors of such infamous disorders be brought to condign punishment.

We are, with much respect, gentlemen,

Your most humble servants,

John St. Aubin.

John Borlase.

Wm. Arundell.

March 21st, 1734-5.[38]

There is a reward of 350l. for taking him. He hath on a whitish fustian frock, with bastard pearl buttons, and a blue riding-coat.

Although no one ventured to justify the violence, and especially the murders committed by Rogers, yet long within my remembrance a strong feeling of compassion was generally entertained for him. One of his sons lived to a very advanced age at Penzance, where he procured a scanty living as a saddler, merely employed, I believe, from kindness.

In October 1812 I had a long conversation with this old man about his father; and the following are minutes made on the occasion:

“On the 30th of October, 1812, I called on Mr. Henry Rogers, formerly a saddler at Penzance, but then residing there in great poverty, being supported by a small allowance from a club, and by half-a-crown a week given him by the corporation, nominally for yielding up the possession of a house, but in truth to prevent his becoming a common pauper.

“Mr. Henry Rogers was then eighty-four years of age, and remembered the unfortunate transactions at Skewis perfectly well; he was between seven and eight years old at the time. He recollected going out with his father into the court after there had been some firing. His father had a gun in his hand, and inquired what they wanted. 281 On this his father was fired at, and had a snuff-box and powder-horn broken in his pocket by a ball, whilst he stood on the other side.

“He recollected that whilst he himself was in the bed, several balls came in through the window of the room, and after striking against the wall rolled about on the floor.

“One brother and a sister, who were in the house, went out to inquire what was wanted of their father, and they were not permitted to return.

“On the last night, no one remained in the house but his father, himself, and the servant-maid. In the middle of the night they all went out, and got some distance from the house. In crossing a field, however, they were met by two soldiers, who inquired their business, &c. The maid answered that they were looking for a cow, when they were permitted to proceed. The soldiers had their arms, and his father had his gun. The maid and himself were left at a farm-house in the neighbourhood, and Mr. Rogers proceeded on his way towards London. Mr. Henry Rogers said that he was born in Crowan, and he apprehended so were most of the children; that his father, although bred a pewterer, had for many years occupied land in that parish.”

All these circumstances, after so long an interval, were related to me by the old man with tears in his eyes.

It is curious to compare this account of the escape of one man, a woman, and a child, with the proclamation of the next day.

On the 8th of January, 1816, I called at Skewis, and saw several holes in the partitions, made by shot of different sizes, when Mr. Henry Rogers resisted the law in 1735.

I have an extract from a letter written by a Cornish gentleman in May 1735, who states that he had seen Rogers in the prison at Salisbury, when he seemed to rejoice in what he had done. And I have found in an account-book 282 of my great uncle, Mr. Henry Davies, the following receipt:

“1st July 1735. Received of Mr. Henry Davies, towards the taking of Henry Rogers, two pounds two shillings, per Francis Arthur.”

A print of Rogers was soon after published with the following legend:

“Henry Rogers lived at a village called Skewis. He was so ignorant of the reason as well as of the power of the law, that when a decree in Chancery went against him, he resisted all remonstrances, and fortified his house, making loopholes for his muskets, through which he shot two men of the posse comitatus who attended the Under-sheriff. A little after he shot one Hitchens, as he was passing the high road on his private business. He also fired through the window and killed one Toby, and would not suffer his body to be taken away to be buried for some days. At length the neighbouring justices of the peace assisted the constables, and procured an aid of some soldiers, one of whom he killed, and afterwards made his escape; but at Salisbury, on his way towards London, he was apprehended and brought down to Cornwall, when at the assizes in August 1735 five bills of indictment were found againt him by the grand jury for the five murders aforesaid; to save the court time he was tried only on three of them, and found guilty of every one, before Lord Chief Justice Hardwick. As he lay in gaol after his conviction, the Under-sheriff coming in, he attempted to seize his sword, with a resolution to kill him; swearing he should die easy if he could succeed in that design. He was attended by several clergymen; but they could make no impression on his brutal stupidity, and he died at the gallows without any remorse.”

283 Extract made at the British Museum July the 8th, 1812, from the Weekly Miscellany, by Richard Hooker, of the Middle Temple, Esq. for Saturday Aug. the 9th, 1735, No. CXXXIX.

Launceston, August 1.

This day came on before the Lord Chief Justice Hardwick, the trials of Henry Rogers and John Street, one of his assistants, for murders committed in opposing the Sheriff of Cornwall in the execution of his office.

Rogers was arraigned upon five indictments, and Street upon two. The trials began about seven in the morning and ended about two in the afternoon. Rogers was tried upon the three first indictments, and being found guilty on all three, the Court thought it unnecessary to proceed upon the other two. Street was found guilty of the two indictments against him. And they both received sentence of death before the Court rose.

The Counsel for the king were Mr. Serjeant Chapple, Mr. Fortescue, jun. The Counsel for the criminals Mr. Pratt and Mr. Draper. The Solicitor for the Treasury Richard Paxton, Esq. was also there on the part of the Crown, he being sent down purposely to prosecute the affair.

At the assizes at Launceston Henry Rogers and John Street received sentence of death for a murder they committed in opposing the Sheriff of Cornwall in the execution of his office, and were executed on the 6th of August 1735. They seemed very penitent, particularly Rogers, who did not care for any sustenance but bread and water. He said he was guilty of one of the murders, but knew nothing of the other; but had it been in his power he would have killed as many more, and thought he committed no crime. Street, who was his servant, 284 had little to say, but that what he did was to defend his master, and he was willing to die, for by the course of years he could not live much longer, and he hoped God would receive his poor soul.

And lastly, I subjoin an address to the parish of Crowan, by Sir John St. Aubyn, the gentleman whom I have mentioned as one of the opponents of Sir Robert Walpole’s administration.

“As I am obliged to attend at the assizes, I must earnestly recommend the care of the parish in my absence to you, and hope that you will do your endeavours to prevent the very great expense and mischief which must otherwise fall upon us; although you do not at present seem to perceive the danger that threatens us; for the outrage and murder which happened in our parish have justly alarmed the government, and induced his majesty to issue out a proclamation, wherein he offers a reward of two hundred pounds for apprehending Henry Rogers, and one hundred pounds for each of the other offenders, together with a pardon to any who shall discover and apprehend them. He likewise commands all civil magistrates, upon pain of his majesty’s displeasure, to be diligent in suppressing this riot, and bringing the authors of it to the punishment which their crimes deserve. In obedience to this, I think myself obliged, in the faithful discharge of my duty for the preservation of the public peace, and the good of our own parish in particular, to admonish you and the principal inhabitants of it, to give me your aid and assistance in this dangerous and troublesome affair. His Majesty, as he declares in the proclamations, being firmly resolved to put an effectual stop to such enormous practices, hath by his warrant from the Secretary of War, sent orders to the commanders of regiments of soldiers at Exeter, to send to the Sheriff so many soldiers as he shall require and think sufficient 285 to suppress this notorious violation of the laws of the land, and which certainly will be done by force of arms, if it cannot be stopped by a gentle and careful process. This is a true and exact state of cause; and whoever considers it with due temper, must be filled with the most melancholy apprehensions of the mischief that must happen, if every good subject and Christian does not endeavour to keep off this evil, by endeavouring, as far as his influence can prevail, to make the usual method of bringing crimes to justice effectual. It is for this reason I now write this letter to you, which I hope you will read with serious attention more than once, that it may have a good effect upon you. I myself can foresee, and I wish you likewise could, the dreadful inconvenience and expense of a regiment of soldiers sent down and quartered upon us; particularly this parish, being the unfortunate place of this disorder, must, in a much heavier manner, feel the burthen of it. Consider the charges and the trouble of having every house in the parish filled with soldiers; consider what must be the consequence of abetting and supporting Rogers, whose house will be fired about his ears, and those lives which may be lost if he continues in his extravagance. Take notice, that I have done my duty as justice of the peace and a parishioner; and if you all likewise do yours, by encouraging a proper subjection to authority, and aiding the civil magistrates in discovering and bringing the offenders to justice, these dismal calamities may be prevented. I think more reasonable to advise you of this, because there is too general a mistake and prejudice, or rather vicious encouragement shown, and that too by many who should and do know better, to the unhappy author of this disturbance. To pity the unfortunate is a virtuous character, even to those whose vices have made them so; but at the same time we ought to detect their crimes, and it is for the public good they 286 should be punished; and this consideration ought to prevail over the concern we may feel for a private person. Murder is a crime of the basest nature, and what the law in common cases never forgives; but when it is committed on any officer in the execution of his duty, and in supporting the usurpation of another’s right, and what the law shall determine such, it is certainly a more complicated guilt. Whosoever abets a murderer, or does what he can to conceal and defend him from justice, is in the eye of God a murderer himself in cold blood. To justify a murderer is the strongest indication of a most base temper; and whosoever does not cry out against the misguided spirit of the people in behalf of Henry Rogers, deserves that character. Whilst the lawsuit was depending all people were at liberty to weigh on either side. It does at first sight seem a little hard that one brother should give away an estate from another; and there must be some strong provocation to make it appear reasonable; but the circumstances of the whole case are not known, and therefore no man is able to form a true judgement of it; not even to pass harsh censures on particular persons; but when the law has determined right, all people must submit to that determination; otherwise no man is secure in his property, but a number of idle resolute fellows may wrest it from him, and declare that in their opinion he has an unjust title to it. So that if you give your estate by will unequally among your children, as they may have behaved more or less dutiful to you, that which has the least may take the other’s part from him; or another relation may possibly hire such another mob, to take away the whole from them. We shall not at such times see property determined by judge and jury, but by force of arms; and the richest and most powerful man will be able to swallow up all the estates of his lesser neighbours. The law is the only protection of our lives and 287 estates, and if that is once set aside, we must hold them only by the base sanction of a giddy rabble. The law therefore should be strictly maintained by all such who have any possessions. The inferior people indeed, who have nothing to lose, will be at all times for breaking down the fences, that they may have some share of the common plunder. I should mention one instance. Suppose any of you had bought this estate of the late Rogers, being advised by your lawyer that he had the power to sell it, (which he certainly had, as the law has declared he had a right of giving it away,) you would then think it very hard that the present Rogers, with his wicked crew, should come and take it away by force, and afterwards keep it as he now does. Suppose the money you paid him for it he gave to his widow; should you in such a case agree that ’tis his brother’s right to have the estate? Let every one make this his own case.

“I believe you all honest men, and wo’nt suspect any one of you of justifying this affair; but I have put these arguments into your mouths to warn other people from this vicious way of thinking, and that you may exert yourselves in keeping this hardship from the parish, from which I could never learn this Rogers deserved so much kindness as to suffer on his account; for he never paid church, priest, or poor, when he was in possession of the estate, and withheld from many their just due. The character of the honest and just man is to relieve the poor, to pity the unfortunate; but to use their utmost endeavours to punish the guilty, and to recommend and enforce an obedience to the laws of the land, which are the only protection of our lives and properties.”

I am, gentlemen,

Your friend and servant,

John St. Aubyn.

288 The church of Crowan was given, by William Earl of Gloucester, to the priory of St. James in Bristol (which was a cell to Tewkesbury Abbey), and confirmed by Henry II. It contains a series of monuments to the family of St. Aubyn, which are engraved in thirteen plates in Mr. Polwhele’s History of Cornwall. There was formerly a chapel of ease at Binnerton, of which there are no remains. The charity-school in this parish was endowed with the interest of 100l. by the St. Aubyn family, about the year 1830.

This parish contains 6742 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 13,175 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 1,588 17 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of nearly 67½ per cent. in 30 years.

Parish Feast the nearest Sunday to the 1st of February.

Present Vicar, the Rev. William Grylle, presented by Sir John St. Aubyn in 1828.


This parish, which is adjacent to that of Comborne, is composed of the same kind of rocks. The eastern half reposes on granite, the western on slate. Like Comborne it has long been celebrated for its mines. Although its general aspect is dreary and barren, yet it contains some very fertile spots; that of Clowance in particular gladdens the eye; the rich and intrinsic beauties of its pleasure grounds and extensive plantations being heightened by the contrast of surrounding desolation.

[37] Richard Verstegan, born in London, is supposed to have died about 1634. His principal work is, “Restitution of decayed Antiquities concerning the most noble and renowned English Nation, with Cuts,” Antwerp, 1605, in 4to. London, 1628 and 1634.

[38] According to the New Style this date would be 1735.




Is situate in the hundred of Pider, and hath upon the north St. George’s Channel, or the Irish Sea; west Peransabulo; east Crantock. This new name of Cuthbert is Saxon, and compounded of Cuth-bert, id est, knowledge, skill, wisdom, or understanding, clear or bright, and refers to St. Cuthbert, the tutelar guardian and patron of this church; for in Domesday Roll, 20 Will. I. 1087, this district was taxed under the name of Chynowen, now Chynoweth. In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, into the revenues of Cornish benefices, Ecclesia Sancti Cuthberti in Decanatu de Pider, is valued iiiil. xviis. viiid. Vicar ibidem, xs. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, is rated 8l. 6s. 8d. The patronage formerly in the prior of Bodman, who endowed it; now Prideaux. The incumbent Bradford; the rectory or sheafe in Prideaux; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax 1696, 99l. 9s. 6d.

The history of St. Cuthbert.—He was born in Cumberland, of British Saxon parents, about the year 600; and had his Christian education as a monk in Bangor Monastery, in Ireland; from whence he removed to the abbey of Landisfarne, opposite to Northumberland and North Durham, where, after he had remained some years, he was chosen or made a bishop of that diocese. I remember to have seen in this church, painted against the wall, about thirty years past, the portraiture of a bishop, attired in his episcopal robes, with mitre or crown on his head, a crosier or shepherd’s crook or staff in his hand, and an inscription in ancient character near it, viz. St. Cuthbertun. Which picture, I am told, is since covered over with lime by the churchwardens.

290 Now, it happened after the death of St. Cuthbert, that the island of Landisfarne was extremely troubled with the piratical thievish Danes, who wasted the same, without regard of secular or religious persons and places. Whereupon the Bishop of St. Ethelwin, with his monks, privately escaped into Northumberland, and left their houses and estates a prey to their enemies, anno Dom. 800, carrying with them as their chief treasure the enshrined relics or skeleton of St. Cuthbert, with which, during the lives of twelve titular bishops of Landisfarne, they wandered up and down Northumberland for the space of ninety years, without any fixed place of abode or settlement, till Aldwyn, titular bishop of that island, obtained leave of King Alfred, ann. Dom. 890, to pitch and settle his episcopal church at Durham, where he and his monks laid the foundation thereof; which, after it was by them finished, was consecrated and dedicated to the honour of Almighty God in the name of St. Cuthbert, where they again erected his shrine or relics; thereby transferring or translating the bishopric of Landisfarne to that place, and no more styling themselves bishops thereof, but of Durham.

But this fabrick of Bishop Adelwyn, though a stately church, was pulled down by William Carilepho, the 29th bishop (13 Will. I. 1080), who in the place thereof laid the foundation of that cathedral church now extant there; though he did not live to see it finished; but Ralph Flambard, his successor, Lord Treasurer of England, went on with the work, and brought it to that perfection it now showeth; though some additions indeed were made by Nicholas de Farnham, and Thomas Welscomb, prior thereof, 1242.

King Alfred, and Guthrun the Dane, his deputy-governor of Northumberland, gave much lands to this church between the rivers Tees and Tyne, which King Alfred confirmed by his charter.

In William the Conqueror’s days it was reputed a county palatine or principality, and did engrave upon its 291 seal an armed chevalier, holding a naked sword in one hand, and in the other the arms of the bishopric, viz. Azure, a plain cross between four lions rampant Or.

But the immunities of this church of Durham were shortened by the statute 27 Henry VIII., and the lordly absolute power of this bishopric conferred upon the king. Afterwards, temp. Edw. VI. the lands and whole title of the bishopric of Durham was by act of parliament conferred upon that king, which act was repealed 1 Queen Mary, when the dissolved bishopric and the royalties of it were in a measure revived and restored as it now stands.

In this parish is that famous and well-known spring of water called Holy-well (so named the inhabitants say, for that the virtues of this water was first discovered on Allhallows-day). The same stands in a dark cavern of the sea-cliff rocks, beneath full sea-mark on spring-tides; from the top of which cavern falls down or distils continually drops of water, from the white, blue, red, and green veins of those rocks. And accordingly, in the place where those drops of water fall, it swells to a lump of considerable bigness, and there petrifies to the hardness of ice, glass, or freestone, of the several colours aforesaid, according to the nature of those veins in the rock from whence it proceeds, and is of a hard brittle nature, apt to break like glass.

The virtues of this water are very great. It is incredible what numbers in summer season frequent this place and waters from counties far distant.

Chynowen, now Chynoweth, id est, New-house, was the voke-lands of a considerable manor, under which jurisdiction this parish was taxed, 20 Will. I. 1087, from which place was denominated an old British family of gentlemen, now in possession thereof, surnamed De Chynoweth; which (were not comparisons odious) I would, for antiquity, rank with or before the tribe of any other family extant in this province; though I do not understand their estate, or post in the public service of their country, was ever above 292 the degree of a juryman of the parish of Chynoweth (now Cuthbert), or that of a hundred constable; for, if tradition may be credited, some of this blood were possessed of those very lands before the Norman Conquest, and then at length, after the manner of the French, writ de Chynoweth.

The present possesser, John Chynoweth, Gent. giveth for his arms, Sable, on a fess Or, three eagles’ heads erased Gules.

Carynas, or Carrynas, id est, dead carrions, in this parish, it seems, was so denominated from the lodging of such dead bodies of bullocks, horses, or sheep, as died of age, poverty, or sickness, and were either on trees, or in carrion pools, laid up here for hunters or their dogs. It is the dwelling of John Davis, Gent. that married Lannar, alias Vincent; his father Hoblyn, of Penhall; his grandfather.


By the register of this parish (which is very ancient) it appears that in the year 1569 there was a great plague here, by which died, from the 20th of August to the 10th of November, seventy people, and it then abating, from the 25th of December to the 23d of February fifteen more; which is the more considerable, for that in the parish at present, in its flourishing condition, there are not above three hundred and fifty souls; and so healthy is the place in general, that I have been assured by Mr. Bradford, the present Minister, there was not a single burial from the 12th of September, 1699, to the 18th of October, 1700, the year following.

The Holy Well, if it may properly be so called, (it being nothing but a little water dropping out of the cliff under Kelsey, in a small cove made by the sea, to be come at only when the tide is out,) has been much frequented of late, and several strange cures attributed to it. It is a water that petrifies of itself, as may be seen by the incrustations 293 on the rock over which it runs; and these incrustations make the ascent to it very slippery and dangerous.

The Manor of Hellanclose, that is, the four halls, belonged to Robert Trencreek, Esq. fell to Degory Polwhele, Esq. who sold it to Sir Richard Robartes, in whose family it still is, Henry Earl of Radnor being the present lord thereof. The barton has been in lease for four generations to the Hoskins, the wealthiest farmers in those parts. Mr. Joseph Hoskin is the present possessor.

The church is seated upon the top of a hill, and so visible at a great distance.

One part of the parish is drowned in the sands, and that promontory of land is called Kelsey, famous for feeding the sweetest mutton (though but small) in England.


This parish contains 2009 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 2552 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 185 2 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 81 per cent. in 30 years.

The parish feast is celebrated on the Sunday next after the 4th of October.

Present Vicar, the Rev. Thomas Stabback, instituted in 1809; he is also patron of the vicarage.


This parish is contiguous to Crantock, and has precisely the same geological structure.




Is situate in the hundred of Powdre, and hath upon the north Probus and the Val river; east, St. Tue; west, Ruan Lanyhorne. This new name is taken from the tutelar patron and guardian of this church after it was erected; for in the Domesday Tax, 1087, this district passed under the names of Trigony, Tregny, and Tregony Medan.

At the time of the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester into the value of Cornish benefices, 1294, it was rated by the name of Ecclesia de Tregny, cvis. viiid. Vicar ibidem xxs. in dec. de Powdre. In Wolsey’s Inquisition 1521, 10l. 4s. by the name of St. Cuby and Januarius. The patronage formerly in the prior of Bodman, who endowed it, now Prideaux; the incumbent Bedford; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 91l. 13s. 9d. The borough of Tregony 71l. 10s.

The history of St. Cuby. He was the son to Solomon, Duke, King, or Earl of Cornwall, about the year 350; and being bred up a zealous Christian of the orthodox faith, and finding the churches of Britain much pestered with the heresy of the Arians, who denied the equality of the persons in the Trinity or Godhead, holding one to be before or superior to the other, Cuby not inclining to receive this new doctrine, especially having read some of the writings of St. Hilary, Bishop of Poictiers in Gaul, in opposition thereto; he made addresses to that worthy father in order to his better instruction; by whom he was kindly invited into Gaul, and went there accordingly. He was so charmed with the wisdom, piety, and holy doctrine of St. Hilary, that he became his disciple, and was by him ordained or consecrated priest, and took upon him the office of a preacher; in which capacity he grew so famous for his preachings in that country, he was at length, by St. Hilary, sent missioner of the gospel into North Wales; and he proved so successful therein, 295 that the greatest part of the people were converted to the Christian faith, and the altars and images of Jupiter, Mars, Apollo, Minerva, and other gods worshipped by the Britons and Romans there, were thrown down and defaced. Capgrave, who compiled his life, tells us that St. Cuby wrought miracles, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the leprous, caused the dumb to speak, cured the palsy, and those possessed of devils. Moreover, saith he, Cuby was in Ireland, where he preached the gospel, and built churches there before St. Patrick came into that country. And he further saith of him, that he was very studious of the peace of the church. And Bale tells us he was such a self-denying man that, after his father’s death, he refused the dominion of Cornwall, his fortune, and wealth, out of a desire he had to acquire learning, and to preach the gospel.

Leland tells us in his Itinerary Manuscripts, that St. Hilary made St. Cuby Bishop of the Isle of Anglesey; that he died about the year of our Lord 400; after his death his disciples set up his shrine, that is, his bones, in his church there; and when the Irishmen of Dublin, a thousand years after, in June 1404, invaded the island and found this relic, they carried away the same, and set it up in the church of the Holy Trinity in Dublin. Nevertheless there are still extant in the Isle of Anglesey three notable monuments of him and his master, viz. Point Hilary, Holyhead, and Caer-Cuby, viz. Cuby’s City or Castle.

That Tregony Borough was invested with the privileges of a manor and court-leet, before the Norman Conquest, Domesday Roll informs us. How long before by prescription, no man living can tell. King Henry I. (the Earldom of Cornwall being then vested in the Crown) gave it the freedom of sending two burgesses, citizens, or townsmen, to sit in Parliament as its representatives, to be chosen by the majority of the townsmen that were housekeepers; which favour was obtained upon the humble petition of Henry de Pomeroy, lord of this manor, temp. of the said Henry I. But this place was not incorporated but by 296 the charter of King James I. 1621; and consists of a mayor, recorder, and eight capital burgesses, the eldest of which is justice of the peace for life within the borough. It hath also a weekly market on Saturdays, and fairs yearly upon May 3, July 25, September 1, November 6, and Shrove Tuesday. The castle of Tregony, as tradition saith, was built by the said Pomeroy, on behalf of John Earl of Cornwall, in opposition to King Richard I. his elder brother, then beyond the seas in the Holy War. The chief inhabitants of this town are Mr. Tonkin, Mr. Penlyer, Mr. Peters, Mr. Earle. The arms of which borough are, a pine-apple, or pomegranate, on its stem, with two leaves.

This Pomeroy was the descendant of Ralph de Pomeroy, or Pomeraye, that came into England with William the Conqueror, and was such a friend and favourite of his, as Dugdale saith in his Baronage, that he conferred upon him fifty-eight lordships, whereof this Tregony and Wich (now Mary Wike) in Cornwall, were two; perhaps such lands as fell to the Crown by virtue of their lord or owner’s rebellion against the Conqueror in that insurrection at Exeter, in the second year of his reign. This Ralph de Pomeroy had issue Joel, that married one of the natural daughters of King Henry I. by Corbet’s daughter (mother also by him of Reginald Fitz-Harry, Earl of Cornwall); the which Joel had issue by her Henry and Josceline. Henry married de Villie’s daughter, and by her had issue Sir Henry de Pomeray, lord of this place, and Bury Pomeroy in Devon, who sided with John Earl of Morton and Cornwall against Richard I. then beyond the seas; and afterwards gave to the Knight Hospitallers of St. John the Baptist, the church of Maddarne in Penwith.

One Sir Roger Pomeray of this tribe cousin and heir to Roger de Vallorta, lord of the castle of Trematon, dead without issue male, did by deed 12 Edward III. release to Prince Edward, then created Duke of Cornwall, all his right, title, and interest in the said castle and manor of 297 Trematon; in consideration whereof King Edward III. granted him and his heirs an annuity of 40l. per annum, to be paid out of the Exchequer. The last gentleman of these Tregony Pomerays, temp. Elizabeth, left issue one only daughter, married to Richard Penkivell, of Resuna, Esq. in whom is terminated the name and estate of that family, who gave for their arms, Or, a lion rampant Gules, within a bordure engrailed Sable.

Mr. Penkivell, lord of this manor, borough, and leet, temp. Charles I. having wasted his whole patrimony in this and other places, sold this manor of Tregony Pomeroy to Hugh Boscawen, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 10 Charles I. from whom it passed by descent to his son Hugh Boscawen, Esq. father of William Boscawen, Esq. who settled it as part of his wife’s jointure, on the Lady Anne FitzGerald, daughter of the Right Hon. Charles Earl of Kildare, who, over-living her husband, was married to Francis Robartes, Esq. youngest son of the Right Hon. John Earl of Radnor, who is now, in her right, as freehold for life, in full possession thereof. The arms of Penkivell are, in a field Argent, two chevrons and in chief a lion passant Gules.

King John by virtue of his manor of Tybester (vide Creed) granted the liberty of fishing, or the royalty of the river Val, to one of the Pomeroys, lord of the manor.

To remove an action at law depending in the court-leet of Tregony, the writ of certiorari, or avedas ad curiam, was thus directed, as was also the precept for members of parliament. Seneschallo et Ballivo Henrici Pomeray, Manerii sui de Tregoni Pomeraye, in comitatu Cornubiæ, salutem; again, ad curiam C. W. Arm. de Tregony in comitatu Cornubiæ salutem. Who this C. W. Esq. set down in the Exchequer should be, query? I take it to be Charles or Christopher Wolvedon, of Golden; and this to be that manor set down in the Domesday Tax, by the name of Tregny Medan aforesaid.

At Crego, that is a burrow, bank, or tumulus, in this parish, liveth Charles Trevanion, Esq. barrister at law, that 298 married —— Curthorp, of London; his father ——, his grandfather Arundel, originally descended from the Trevanions of Carhayes and Tregathin, who is that great though unfortunate gentleman, who at his own proper cost and charges, and for his own benefit, by virtue of an act of parliament, 19 Charles II. undertook to make the river Val navigable as far as Crowe-hill, in St. Stephen’s; and though his first summer’s work seemed to favour his design, bringing the salt water by two or three sluices above Tregony Bridge, the place of its old flux and reflux, yet by reason of the great and rapid confluence and washes of the Val river, in the winter season, after the foundation of the walls of those sluices being made upon mud or osier ground, where the sea was driven back as aforesaid, were undermined, fell down, and were comparatively driven away. However the good undertaker was not discouraged at this misfortune, but re-edified the same the summer following; and so on for many summers after with greater skill, cost, and charges. But alas! still the lofty current of the river Val, in winter season, was such a malicious and invincible enemy to this noble project, that, as before, it continually undermined the walls of those sluices for about the space of twenty years, so that the very worthy gentlemen aforesaid, in order honestly to defray the charges of this work, hath spent the greatest part of this fine estate, and given over his undertaking as too difficult and unprofitable an enterprize.

At Carreth, in this parish, i. e. rock, grave, or tumulus, dwelleth —— Hearle, Gent, doctor or practitioner in physic, son of —— Hearle, Rector of St. Hearne, who by the honest practice of his profession, and small fees, hath advanced himself to considerable wealth and reputation in those parts. He married Nance, and hath issue James Hearle, that married Daye, and Glynn; and Hearle, a student in physic, that married the daughter and heir of Edmund Hals, doctor of physic, by Curthop, of London, a younger brother of the Halses, of Efford, in Devon, by whom he had a considerable estate.

299 The Right Honourable Hugh Boscawen, Esq. Privy Councillor to William III. Lord and High Lord of this town, built a fair house or hospital within the same for poor people, and endowed it with lands of considerable value.


The Manor of Crogith, which perhaps signifies the wooden cross, has always gone with the same owner as Carhays. The barton is at present the seat, on lease under Mr. Trevanion, of John Croaker, Esq.

As you enter into this parish from the West, you pass over a stone bridge of —— arches, at the foot of which, and in the meadows around, stood the old town of Tregony, part of the ruins of which are sometimes visible after great floods; and a little to the north of the bridge are still standing a part of the walls belonging to the church dedicated to St. James Minor, which gives the title of rector to the incumbent at St. Cubye, although he is not obliged to take a distinct presentation. The patron, Prideaux of Devonshire.


Much of uninteresting legend has been omitted from Hals respecting the patron saint, and some fanciful etymologies from him and from Tonkin.

Mr. Whitaker has collected every thing that can be known or conjectured respecting the ancient state, not of Tregony, but of a town or city supposed of great commercial and ecclesiastical importance, which must have stood nearly on the same spot.

Mr. Whitaker describes the ancient castle, and a priory adjacent to it. The whole, including further particulars of the patron saint, is much too long for this parochial history. It may be found in Mr. Whitaker’s work, “The Cathedrals of Cornwall historically surveyed,” 2 vols. 4to, 1804, vol. II. sec. ii.

300 Bishop Tanner says of Tregony, in his Notitia Monastica, the advowson of the Priory of Tregony, as belonging to the Abbey of De Valle, in Normandy, is mentioned fin. div. com. 52 Hen. III. n. 18. Perhaps, instead of the priory, it should have been only the rectory or church of St. James, in Tregony; which, by means of some exchange, was made over by the abbot and convent of De Valle to the prior and convent of Merton, to whom it was appropriated, and a vicarage endowed by Peter Quiril, Bishop of Exeter.

Dugdale, edit. 1830, vol. VI. p. 1045, repeats from Tanner, and adds in a note, Tanner says: Vide inter munimenta Eccl. Cath. Exon, cartam Abbatis et Conventus de Valle, de resignatione hujus Prioratus. See also MS. Cole, British Museum, vol. XL. p. 59.

Cubye contains 2,186 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual Return of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 £2,402
Tregony 841
3243 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831, the parish £187 15
 —— the town 466 3
653 18 0
in 1801, in 1811, in 1821, in 1831,
The parish, 139 152 140 155
The town, 937 923 1035 1127
Total 1076 1075 1175 1282

giving an increase on the whole of 19 per cent. in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. Thomas Vaughan, presented by the Marquis of Cleveland in 1825.


Cubye extends much further south than the parishes of Cornelly and Creed; but it is composed of similar kinds of rocks, principally abounding in beds of a lamellar micaceous rock, all belonging to the micaceous series.




Is situate in the hundred of Kerryer, and hath upon the east St. Martin’s, south Mullion, west Gunwallo, north Maugan in Meneage.

At the time of the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, into the value of Cornish Benefices, this parish church was not extant or named; but I find, 24th Henry VI. the same was rated to fifteenths by the name of Curytowne 15s. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, it is called Curyton, of the same signification. It goes in presentation and consolidation with Breock, Germow, and Gunwallow. The patronage in the Crown; the rectory in ——; the incumbent Trewinard; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 108l. 12s.

At the time of Domesday Roll (1087) this district was taxed under the jurisdiction of Buchent, now Bochym, that is to say, the cow, kine, or cattle house or lodge; which place gave name and origin to an old family of gentlemen surnamed de Bochym, tempore Henry VIII. who were lords of this manor and barton, till such time as John Bochym, tempore Edward VI. entered into actual rebellion against that prince, under conduct of Humphry Arundell, Esq. Governor of St. Michael’s Mount, and others, whose force and power being suppressed by John Lord Russell, lieutenant-general of that prince at Exeter (as is elsewhere shown), and those rebels attainted of high treason, their lands were forfeited to the Crown. Whereupon King Edward VI. gave this barton and manor to Reginald Mohun, sheriff of Cornwall 6 Edward VI. who gave this barton of Bochym to one of his daughters, married to Bellot, but settled it upon his great-grandson, William Mohun, Esq. now in possession thereof. Lastly, by 302 this rebellion Bochym lost not only his lands, but his life also. The arms of Bochym were, Argent, on a chief Sable three mullets pierced of the Field.

If those Bellots came not into England with William the Conqueror, they were of the number of those three thousand French gentlemen that came out of France into this land with Isabel, wife of King Edward II. who all settled themselves in this kingdom, as our chronicles and Verstegan testify. Since they came to Bochym they married with Mohun, Monk, Pendarves; and the present possessor, Renatus Bellot, esq. one of her majesty’s commissioners for the peace, married the inheritrix of Spour of Trebatha, who is dead without issue. The arms of Bellot are, in a field Argent, on a chief Gules three cinquefoils of the Field.

Since the writing of the above, this estate of Bellot’s is all spent by riot and excess, and, as I take it, the name extinct in those parts; and this barton sold to Robinson.

Bonython is in this parish; from whence was denominated an ancient family of gentlemen surnamed de Bonithon, who for many descents flourished here in good reputation till the reign of Queen Anne; at which time Charles Bonython, Esq. serjeant-at-law, sold this barton to one Carpenter, now in possession thereof. The arms of Bonithon were, Argent, a chevron between three fleur-de-lis Sable.


Charles Bonython, of Bonython, in this parish, was a serjeant-at-law, and steward of Westminster, which city he also represented in parliament. He married Mary, the daughter of —— Livesay, Esq. of Livesay, in Lincolnshire. His father, John Bonython, married Ann, a daughter of Hugh Trevanion, of Trelegon, Esq. His grandfather, Thomas Bonython, married Frances, the daughter of Sir John Parker, of London.

From this place also were descended the Bonythons of Carclew, in Milor.

303 This Charles Bonython, however, in a fit of madness shot himself in his own house in London, leaving two sons, Richard and John, and a daughter, married to Thomas Pearse, of Helatin. Richard Bonython, the eldest son, a very ingenious gentleman, was called to the Bar; but being tainted likewise with his father’s distemper, first sold portions of his estate in parcels, and at last this barton, which had been so long in his family, to Humphry Carpenter, jun.; and then, to complete the tragedy, for he was never easy in his mind after this sale, first of all he set fire to his chambers in Lincoln’s-inn, burnt all his papers, bonds, &c. and then stabbed himself with his sword, but not effectually; but he then threw himself out of the window, and died on the spot.

John Bonython, the second son, was bred in King’s college, Cambridge, and is now an eminent physician in Bristol.

Roskymer Bonython, of this place, was Sheriff of Cornwall in the 17th James I. A.D. 1619.

Bochym. In 1703 this barton belonged to Renatus Bellot, Esq. who then represented the borough of Michell in parliament. He married the inheritrix of Spoure of Trebartha. He died of a fever in 1709, leaving an only son of the same name, who died soon after his father, when the estate was sold for the payment of debts to George Robinson, Esq. who has made it his seat.

In this parish is the manor of Skewys, supposed to be so called from skeu, a shadow. It was formerly the seat of a family of the same name, of which John Skewys was sheriff of the county in the 12th year of Henry VIII.


Several supposed etymologies have been omitted from Mr. Hals and from Mr. Tonkin, as being evidently unfounded. Bonython appears to be derived from the well-known word for an house, and possibly ethon, furze.

This parish contains 2,673 statute acres.304

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 2529 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 221 9 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 73 per cent. in 30 years.

Parish Feast on the nearest Sunday to November the second, or to all Souls Day.


The most southern portion of Cury forms a part of Goonhilly Downs, which rest on a dark and rather hard serpentine, spangled with small scales of diallage, and having asbestos, indurated talc, and other magnesian minerals, lining the joints, by which this rock may be easily split. The remainder of the parish is composed of compact and schistose hornblend rocks, of the calcareous series, which are best exposed on the shores of Gunwalloe.



Is situate in the hundred of Lesnewith, and hath upon the north Lesnewith, west Lanteglos, south Altar Nunn, east Treneglos. Its present name David refers to the tutelar guardian or patron of this church, David, Bishop of Menevia in Wales. At the time of the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester into the value of Cornish benefices, 1294, Ecclesia de Sancto David in Decanatu de Major Trigshire was rated viil. vs. Vicar ibidem xvs. In Wolsey’s Inquisition and Valor Beneficiorum 8l. The patronage in the Crown, the incumbent Pennington; the 305 rectory in possession of ——, and the parish rated to the four shillings in the pound Land Tax 1696, 163l. 10s.

The History of St David. He was a Welsh Briton by birth, but of what place in Wales I know not, about the year 840; bred up in the Christian religion; afterwards became learned in all the liberal arts and sciences; was ordained priest, and by reason of his regular living and sanctity of life, was constituted Presul or Bishop of Menevia, and held the Christian faith in great purity, opposite to the doctrines of Arius and Pelagius.

Near this church is situate the barton of Davidstowe, formerly the lands of —— Pearse, Gent. whose daughter and heir carried it, together with herself, in marriage, to John Nicholls, Esq. whose son married Erisey, his grandson a daughter of Sir Joseph Tredinham, Knight, as his father did Pearse.

Since which time the heir general of this family of Nicholls is married to —— Glynn, of Glynn, Esq.


That this parish was called Davidstow from St. David, the titular saint of the Welsh, I make no question; for I have never heard that the holy King David was ever enlisted for the patron of a Christian church. I shall say no more of St. David, than that he was uncle to King Arthur, and therefore it is not wonderful that this church should be dedicated to him; and that after he had attained the age of a hundred and forty-six years he died at his bishopric of Menevia, in Wales, since called from him St. David’s, A.D. 642.


St. David appears to have been a very extraordinary person, in reference to the period in which he lived. Giraldus Cambrensis, in his Itinerarium Cambriæ, published with annotations by David Powell, at London, 1585, 8vo. and by Sir Richard Hoare, in 2 vols. 4to. 1806, gives 306 many particulars of St. David, his predecessor in the bishopric; and the praises bestowed by Giraldus on a founder of monasteries may be esteemed deserving of credit, as he was a professed and violent enemy to the monastic orders. He is even said to have added to the Litany, “A monachorum malitia libera nos, Domine,” in an age when their power and influence were esteemed irresistible.

St. David is said to have been the son of Xantus, Prince of Caretica, since named Cardiganshire. He was made a priest early in life, and then participating in the opinion universally prevalent, that the Deity would alone be propitiated by men rendering themselves useless to their fellow-creatures, by assuming almost the feelings and habits of brute beasts, and by adding, so far as they were able, to the misery and wretchedness of the human race, he betook himself to an ascetic life in the Isle of Wight, under the guidance of one Paulinus. But having at length acquired a sufficient stock of reputed sanctity by these efficacious means, he emerged like others from the desert, added to the establishments at Glastonbury, or as some say refounded the great work of St. Joseph of Arimathea, and then created twelve monasteries in Wales.

But St. David owes the largest share of his popularity to the active part which he took in the controversy at that time dividing the Western church; one party maintaining that it had pleased Almighty God to bestow at once on his creatures, and from their births, the inclination and capability of serving him; the other, that these gifts were reserved for some future period, or dealt out from time to time, and bit by bit. The latter opinion having been voted to be the orthodox faith, was zealously supported by St. David against the former, known as the Pelagian heresy.

He certainly lived to a very advanced age, and was buried in the cathedral at Menevia; from whence, we have the testimony of St. Kentigern that his soul was visibly carried by angels into heaven. It is more certain that about the year 962 his relics were transported to Glastonbury, 307 as this transaction is circumstantially related by John of Glastonbury, in his history of that splendid abbey, published by Hearne.

St. David affords a remarkable instance, not merely of the fact that events are wrested to suit the taste or the prejudices of aftertimes, but of their being utterly inverted and transformed.

When Eastern fictions became blended with the chivalry of Europe, this anchorite, polemic divine, and apostle of his native country, appeared as a military hero, expelling the Saxons from Wales, at the head of an army in which each individual was distinguished from their Pagan adversaries by affixing to his helmet the plant which has since been ever venerated by the Welch. And finally, Mr. Richard Johnson, a canon of Exeter, having adopted the mystical number seven for the Champions of Christendom, and bestowed the undue proportion of four out of seven on these Islands, makes St. David, the champion of Wales, perform all the ordinary achievements of knight errantry, and adding, as was highly proper, a spirit of gallantry to that of valour, presents him as a lover eloping from Jerusalem with an Hebrew princess, who on her part had previously, by entreaties to her father, preserved the hero’s life.

The great tithes of this parish belonged to the priory of Trewardruth, the vicarage to the duchy.

This parish contains 5734 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 3393 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 235 5 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of nearly 80 per cent. in 30 years.


This parish extends southward from the church to the foot of the granite hills near Roughtor. The northern 308 part consists of the same rocks as St. Cleather. On the common near the church numerous large blocks and boulders of rock occur, composed of crystalline hornblend, in a basis of compact felspar. It resembles the rock already noticed on the side of the hills descending to Pollaphant, in the parish of Alternun.



Is situate in the hundred of Powdre, and hath upon the north, St Columb; east, Roach; south, St. Stephen’s, in Brannell; west, St. Enedor. As for the name, it is derived from the tutelar guardian and patron of this Church, St. Denis or Dionysius the Areopagite, President of Athens, in Greece, whose name Dionisius in Latin, hath a Greek original, viz. from διονυσος Dionusos, Bucchus, Vini Inventor; quod excitet mentem.

This place I take to be that Landines, or Landineri, taxed in Domesday Roll 20 William I. 1087, that is to say, Denis’s church, temple, or chapel; though, indeed, I meet not with the name thereof in any other authentic record till Wolsey’s Inquisition into the value of benefices in Cornwall 1521; at which time it was wholly appropriated, or impropriated, together with St. Stephen’s, to the Rector of Carhayes, and consolidated into it; and this parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 62l. 4s. The patronage in (Tanner[39]) Pitt. The incumbent (Tanner[39]) Sutton.

St. Denis was born in the city of Athens in Greece at the time of Tiberius’s reign over the empire; a place renowned 309 for wisdom, learning, arts and sciences. He was descended of a rich and honourable family, morally just, courteous, and loving to strangers. From his youth he was bred up and addicted to learning, and became so eminent therein, that he had a chief place amongst the magistrates and rulers of the academy and city of Athens. He was most elegant in the Attic tongue, as being the dialect of his native country, and consequently a good rhetorician. But that which made him more eminent was his skill in the doctrine of the Stoics, Epicureans, and other philosophers.

Mr. Hals continues through several pages the history of St. Denis, but as the facts want altogether the support of historical authority, and do not include the most interesting of all, that of his walking from Montmartre, where the sentence of decapitation was executed, to the place since denominated from him, with his head under his arm, I shall omit the whole; as also an account of blood having fallen in this remote and sequestered churchyard, as the best and most authentic mode of apprising the whole nation that their fleet would be defeated by the Dutch, and that a plague would break out in London; notwithstanding that some of the stones, having blood upon them, were seen by the author himself.


Mr. Tonkin has not a single observation different from Hals on this parish.


The church of St. Denis is placed on the top of a hill, without any appearance of habitations, and very little of cultivation; and the flat country round it is destroyed in the most efficacious manner, having been turned over and over again down to the solid rock, in what is termed streaming for tin.

The only village of any size in the parish is called Hendra. The late Mr. Thomas Rawlings, of Padstow, had 310 some property in the parish, but much the greater part belongs to Lord Falmouth.

This parish, united in the same presentation with St. Michael Carhayes and St. Stephen in Branwell, may claim a share in the honour of Robert Dunkin, who was ejected in the interregnum and restored with the monarchy, and who has acquired celebrity by entering the field as a controversialist with the great John Milton.

This parish contains 2789 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 1524 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 318 1 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 126 per cent. in 30 years.


The southern part, situated on granite, amounts to more than half the parish. Near Restowrick the granite is large-grained and crystalline, like that of the range of Roughtor and Brown Willy; but it is associated with porcelainous granite, similar to that of Breage and of St. Stephen’s (which will be noticed under the latter parish), and also with shorl and shorl rocks, as in Roach where the rocks are better displayed.

[39] Erased, and the other names substituted.



Is situate in the hundred of Eastwellshire, and hath upon the north, Calstock; east, the Tamar river; south, part of Landulph; west, St. Mellen. For the modern name of this parish and church, it is derived from St. Dominick the monk of Spain, presidual saint and tutelar guardian of this 311 church, who instituted that religious order of men called Ordo Prædicatorum, or the Order of Preaching Monks or Friars, (who taught the Gospel without hire or reward, except what was given them of charity or alms, as the Franciscans did); he flourished anno Dom. 1215. At the time of Domesday Roll 20 William I. 1087, this district was taxed under the name of Halton. In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester 1294, Ecclesia Sancti Dominici, in Decanatu de Estwellshire, was rated to first fruits or annats iiil. vis. viiid. In Wolsey’s Inquisition 1521, it was valued at 23l. 11s. The patronage in Clarke, the incumbent Clarke, and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 164l. 8s.

History of St. Dominick, abridged from Hals:

He was born at Calarvega in Spain, about the year 1167. His father was Don Felix de Gusman, his mother Donna Giovanna Deza, both well descended and faithful servants of God. Dominick early distinguished himself by his great ability, diligence, and proficiency in learning. He first studied at the University of Placentia, and from thence he was removed to Salamanca by Frederick the Second, King of Castille. He here obtained a reputation so far above all the other students as to induce Don Diego, Bishop of Osuna, to select him as the most proper person to become a canon in his church. Dominick was soon after appointed by Don Alonzo, King of Castile, to accompany his ambassador to the Court of France. On this journey the saint first encountered some of the Albigenses, and to the extinction of their heresy he chiefly devoted the remainder of his life, by instituting his celebrated order of Dominican Preaching Friars A.D. 1215, in imitation of the Franciscans, established about six years before. St. Dominick did not, however, implicitly rely on his own exertions, or on those of his order, suited as it was to the ignorance and abject slavery of those times; but called loudly to their aid the secular arm, and established the Inquisition, so that after thousands had been converted from their heresy, and tens 312 of thousands massacred, the conquerors enjoyed in the possession of their plundered property the additional conscious satisfaction of having freed the church from heretics so audacious as to deny that wheaten[40] flour was entirely changed into the body of Christ.

Dominick departed this life in the odour of sanctity on the 6th of August 1221, having completed his fifty-first year. Having performed various miracles, and even raised people from the dead, he was canonised by Gregory IX. in 1234. Before the close of his short life, a great number of houses were founded throughout Europe for his disciples, and, faithful to the original object of the new order, he bequeathed to their charge the Tribunal of the Inquisition.

The Dominicans and Franciscans for a long time supported the power of Rome, according to the dream of Pope Innocent III. in which he saw the Lateran Church in danger of falling down, and St. Dominick sustaining its weight. But finally, the sale of indulgences, through the medium of this order, excited the resentment or the envy of others, and Friar Martin Luther, assisted by the growing genius of the age, crumbled to pieces a spiritual authority, of which it was fondly believed that destiny had said with more truth than of its temporal predecessor,

His ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono;
Imperium sine fine dedi.

Hall-ton, in this parish, id est, either a town notable for a hall, or a moor-town; wherefore, the natural or artificial circumstance of the place must be considered to determine 313 which. By this name the now parish of St. Dominick, as aforesaid, was taxed in the Domesday Roll 20 William I. 1087, which place gave name and original to an old family of gentlemen, surnamed De Halton, who flourished here in gentle degree from the Norman Conquest to the ninth year of Edward the Second, at which time Joan, the only daughter and heir of Richard de Halton, Lord also of the Manor of Hardfast, in this county, was married to Robert Wendyn, of Compton Gifford, in Devon, who had issue by Joan de Halton, one only daughter, that became his heir, married to John Whiteleigh, of Efford, in Devon, father of Richard Whiteleigh, Sheriff of Devon 9 Richard II. grandfather of Richard Whiteleigh, Esq. Sheriff of Devon 6 Henry VII. whose two daughters and heirs were married to Roger Grenvill, of Stowe, and Richard Hals, of Kenedon, from whom the writer of this book is lineally descended. Of this family was John de Halton, Bishop of Carlisle, who died 1318.

The 19th of Elizabeth, Anthony Rous, Esq. then Sheriff of Cornwall, was possessed of this place; as was also his son Anthony Rous, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 44th Elizabeth. But —— Rous, Esq. the last possessor of this barton, dying without issue, as I take it, passed these lands to his widow for payment of debts, who afterwards married —— Cossens, and then sold it to her brother Henry Clerk, gent, that married —— Sescomb, of St. Kevorne, now in possession thereof. Mr. Clerk’s father came into those parts as steward to the Lady Drummond.

Rous’s arms are, Or, an eagle displayed Azure, pruning her wings, langued Gules.


Crockaddon in this parish is the mansion house of James Trevisa, Esq. descended from John Trevisa, born in this place, as I am informed, and bred at Oxford. He became a secular priest and chaplain to James Lord Berkeley, by whom he was made vicar of Berkeley in Gloucestershire, 314 and at his request he translated the Bible into English, although the same had been done by John Wickliff fifty years before, but not with that perfection of language that Trevisa did it, although Trevisa’s translation fell as far short of Tindall’s in Henry the Eighth’s days; by reason the English language was still improving to a higher pitch, for they all agreed in the original sense and meaning of the text. Trevisa also translated Bartholomew de Proprietatibus Rerum, the Polychronicon of Ralph Higden, and divers other Treatises. He died a very aged man, about 1410, since which time the descendants of his family have flourished in good fame in those parts.

Their arms are, Gules, a garb Or.

Pentilly is the mansion of Sir James Tilly, Knt. formerly steward to Sir John Corington, who married first, a daughter of Sir Henry Vane, and was afterwards knighted by King James the Second. After this, having assumed the arms of Count Tilly, of Germany, together with his supporters, he had them taken from him, and was fined by the kings at arms several hundreds for his presumption. This occurrence gave rise to an unfounded story of his having been degraded from his knighthood, for that he was not a gentleman either of blood, arms, or descent; but it is clear that a knight need not be a gentleman of blood, witness the number at present that are not so. To his second wife he married the widow of Sir John Corington, his former master; she was one of the daughters of Sir Richard Chiverton, of London; but he did not leave any remaining issue by either of his wives. This Pentilly is a new name given by himself to this his seat, from its situation on the side of a steep hill, having a pleasant prospect of the river Tamar, and of the country round about. He has adorned it with fine new buildings, composed of several towers with gilded balls, and several walks of lime-trees on the side of the hill. All which together at a distance made a pretty show, Sir James Tilly dying without issue, left his estate and his house to his sister’s son, James Tilly Woolley, who, 315 by the name of James Tilly, Esq. is now, 1734, sheriff of Cornwall.

The manor of Halton, the town in the moor. In Domesday Book it is called Haltone; and it was one of the manors given by William the Conqueror to his brother Robert Earl of Morton, when he created him Earl of Cornwall.

I believe this parish does not derive its name from St. Dominic de Gusman, the first author of that barbarous tribunal the Inquisition, the name being anterior to him; but that it has a female patroness, Sancta Dominica, for in the Taxatio Beneficiarum, A.D. 1291, it is called Ecclesia Sanctæ Dominicæ, and valued at 3l. 6s. 8d.


I believe that St. Dominica must be sought for in the same Canon with St. Veronica and St. Kurie Eleeeson.

Mr. Lysons says that Francis Rous, distinguished as a member of both houses during the Protectorate, was born at Halton about the year 1579. He was made provost of Eton College, and died at Acton, in Middlesex, in January 1659. The property now belongs to Mrs. Bluett, daughter and heiress of Mr. John Clerk, in whose family were this manor, and the advowson of the living.

Mr. Lysons further states that Charles Fitz-Geoffry, rector of this parish, where he died in 1637, published the Life of Sir Francis Drake, written in lofty verse and when he was only Bachelor of Arts, a Collection of Latin Verses, &c.

Sir James Tillie appears to have been at the least an eccentric man, from the fanciful directions which he gave respecting his funeral. He was succeeded, as has been stated, by his nephew, James Woolley, who took his name; and the only daughter of this gentleman’s grandson married the late Mr. John Coryton, of Crockadon, descended by a female line from the Corytons of Newton. Mr. Coryton was Sheriff of Cornwall in 1782. His son, 316 Mr. John Tillie Coryton, has built a splendid Gothic mansion on Pentillie, and made it one of the finest seats in Cornwall.

Both Mr. Hals and Mr. Tonkin have reference to Crockadon and Pentillie in the parish of St. Dominick, whereas Pentillie is in Pillaton, and Crockadon in St. Mellion.

The parish of St. Dominick measures 2,778 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 4149 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 595 4 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 35 per cent, in 30 years.

Present Rector, the Rev. E, J. Clarke, presented by Edward Bluet, Esq. in 1803.


The geology of this parish is the same as the southern part of Calstock and the eastern part of Callington.

[40] The bread about to be transmuted by consecration into actual flesh must be made, at least as to the larger part, of flour from wheat, or the conversion will not take place. See the Summa totius Theologiæ, by St. Thomas of Aquine, Part iii. Quæstio lxxiv. Articulus iii. Conclusio, where the authority of St. Augustine is adduced to prove that the meal of any inferior or harder grain would be typical of the severity enacted by the Laws of Mount Sinai, whereas “Hoc Sacramentum pertinet ad suave jugum Christi, et ad veritatem jam manifestatam, et ad populum spiritualem. Unde non esset materia conveniens hujus sacramenti panis ordeaceus.”Edit.



Is situate in the hundred of West, and hath upon the north, St. Keyn; west, Lanreth; east, Morvale; south, Plint. For the modern name of this district, it is taken from the church, and is compounded of Du-Lo, Du-Loe, or Loo, id est, God’s Lake or River of Water, either referring to the Loo River, on which it is situate.

In the Domesday Roll 20 William I. 1087, this parish was rated under the jurisdiction of Treworgye. At the time of the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester 1294, into the value of Cornish benefices, Ecclesia de Dulo in decanatu de West Wellshire, was taxed at viil. vis. viiid. Vicar ejusdem xxxs. In Wolsey’s Inquisition it was rated as a rectory 22l. The vicarage 8l. 0s. 11½d. the 317 patronage in Seyntaubyn and Arundell alternately. The incumbent Fincher (Smalle). The parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax 3 William III. 1696, 246l. 4s. The rectory of the vicarage is in possession of Knicker (Sandford).

One Forbes, or Forbhas, was presented rector of this parish in the latter end of Cromwell’s usurpation, and lived here on this fat benefice, without spending or lending any money, many years, always pretending want thereof; at length he died suddenly intestate, about the year 1681, having neither wife nor legitimate child, nor any relation of his in blood in this kingdom; upon news of whose death Mr. Arundell, his patron, opened his trunks, and found about three thousand pounds in gold and silver, and carried it thence to his own house. The fame and envy of which fact flew suddenly abroad, so that Mr. Buller, of Morval, had notice thereof, who claimed a part or share in this treasure, upon pretence of a nuncupative will, wherein Forbes some days before his death had made him his executor, and the same was concerted into writing, whereupon he demanded the 3,000l. of Mr. Arundell. But he refusing to deliver the same, Mr. Buller filed a bill in Chancery against him the said Mr. Arundell, praying relief in the premises, and that the said money might be brought or deposited in the said court, which at length was accordingly done; where, after long discussing this matter between the lawyers and clerks in that court, in fine, as I was informed, the court, the plaintiff, and the defendant shared the money amongst them, without the least thanks to, or remembrance of the deceased wretch Forbes for the same; abundantly verifying that saying in the Sacred Writings, “man layeth up riches, but knows not who shall gather them.”

Since the writing of the above, the incumbent, Mr. Fincher, has built a pretty fine house on the glebe lands of this vicarage, equal if not superior to any other of that sort in Cornwall of its bigness, except Altar-nun, as designing to buy the patronage thereof, being a sinecure, 318 which I interpret too often to be, without care, thought, regard, or guardianship, over souls, where the rector presents to the vicarage. But maugre all designs and endeavours of Mr. Fincher to purchase the patronage of this church, Sir John Seynt-aubyn and Mr. Arundell, the patrons thereof, sold the same to Balliol College in Oxford 1701. At the consideration of which fact, as common fame saith, Mr. Fincher was so dismayed, that forthwith he grew melancholy, and the grief thereof so depressed his spirits, that he broke his heart, and departed this life 26th November 1703, at night; and so went to Heaven in that great tempest and hurricane that then happened, with many others. The vicar has now all the tithes, paying 40l. yearly to the master or one of the fellows of Balliol College, by act of parliament. Properly he is the rector of a church, that hath a parsonage where a vicarage is endowed, to which he presents, as in this parish; and yet it is supposed, in some places, that person is the patron, or he in whom the right of patronage is; for before the second Council of Lateran, A.D. 1131, he had right to the tithes, in regard of his having endowed the church which he had founded. But the Council of Lateran aforesaid, under Pope Innocent II. consisting of two thousand bishops, made it sacrilege and damnation for laymen to take tithes.

Tre-wer-gy, id est, the village or farm-town, the same, I suppose, in Domesday Roll, taxed by the name of Treworgan, being still the voke lands of an ancient barton and manor, which claims the royalty or liberty of fishing over the river and haven of Loo, by virtue of the grant thereof from the ancient Earls and Dukes of Cornwall in right of their honour, manor, borough, and castle of Liskeard, situate upon the same river, which place was the mansion of the ancient, worshipful, and gentle family of the Kendalls for many ages; and in particular here lived Richard de Kendall, Sheriff of Cornwall 8 Richard II. 1385, as his posterity continued to do till John Kendall, Esq. having no issue temp. William III. and his estate being incumbered 319 with debt, sold this barton and manor to William Williams, of Boderick, merchant, now in possession thereof. The arms of Kendall are, Argent, a chevron between three dolphins Sable. Ken-dall signifies to see or behold the dale or valley; otherwise Kendall or Cendall is fine linen; and Cen-dale may be a corruption of Pendall, id est, the head of the valley.

Tremada in this parish signifies the extasy or transport town, alias Tremodart, that is, the dart or javelin affliction (as Cornish-English for hobel is a dart). This barton and manor, as I am informed, was the dwelling of the Col-shills, id est, neck-shields; so called from their wearing, in time of battle, their shield or coat armour with a ribbon about their neck, originally denominated from Colshill parish, in Arden hundred, in Warwickshire. And in particular here lived John Collshill, sheriff of Cornwall 16 Rich. II. 1393; John Collshill was sheriff of Cornwall 21 Richard II.; John Colshill was sheriff of Cornwall 17 Henry VI.; John Collshill, Knt. was sheriff of Cornwall 7 Edward IV., whose issue male dying, his inheritance fell amongst his two daughters, married to Seyntaubyn and Arundell (a younger branch of the Arundells of Trerice), now in possession thereof, that married Kelland: his father Drew; and giveth the same arms as the Arundells of Trerice. The lords of this manor and barton of Tremadah, I suppose, founded and endowed the vicarage and rectory church of Dulo. Perhaps the Collshills, since their posterity aforesaid, have long been patrons thereof. Their manor of Manley Collshill is in St. Veepe. This gentleman is dead, and the family extinct.

West-north, or rather north-west, is the voke-lands of a dismembered manor, formerly belonging to the Kendalls of Treworgye, and was by one of them, temp. Edward IV. given with his daughter in marriage with Kellyow; whose only daughter and heir was married to —— Bastard, a barrister-at-law, temp. Hen. VIII. which brought this then undivided manor into that family, who seated themselves therein for several generations, till Sir William Bastard, Knt. sold it to John Antis, Gent. Register of the Archdeaconry 320 of Cornwall, now in possession thereof. Bastard’s arms are painted in several glass windows of this house, together with divers matches or quarterings; whose arms are, Or, a chevron Azure. The arms of Kellyow are, Or, a chevron between two cinquefoils and a mullet Sable.

Trenant in this parish, id est, the valley-town, is the seat of —— Medhop, Gent. whose father married Porter. His grandfather, rector of St. Martin’s by Looe; his great grandfather, rector of the same parish; which gentlemen, as I am informed, are lineally descended from the Mydhops of Essex, some of whose ancestors gave lands in frank-almoine to the Abbey of Furneaux there, 1290, viz. Roger de Mydhop, son and heir of Henry de Mydhop, who gave for his arms, Ermine, a lion rampant Azure, crowned Or. See Gwillim, p. 195.

Tre-wenn, in this parish, id est, the white town, or town-white, is the dwelling of William Dandy, Gent. attorney-at-law, that got a considerable estate in that profession. Since the writing of the above this estate is much impaired, and gone out of the direct to the collateral heir, of the name of Dandy; which name signifies in Cornish, deadly, cruel, mortal, fatal.


This parish is a rectory. The vicarage is valued in the King’s Book at 8l. 0s. 11d. The rectory is a sinecure, and the rector presents to the vicarage.

Trenant was sold by Mr. Medhope in the 1st year of Queen Anne to Edward Dennis, of Liskeard, attorney-at-law, who had before a mortgage on it, and it is now the seat of his son, George Dennis, Esq. sheriff of Cornwall in the 1st year of George II. In respect to the name of this parish, I cannot agree with Mr. Hals in supposing it God’s Lake. I rather interpret it the Black Lake, alluding to the river Looe, which runs through it, and I guess takes that name from its forming a deep lake or pool between the two towns and it when the tide is in.


The etymology of Dulo given by Mr. Tonkin appears to be very probable; but another is quoted by Mr. Bond, in his excellent work, entitled, “Topographical and Historical Sketches of the Boroughs of East and West Looe, in Cornwall,” printed by Nichols in 1828, p. 48:

“In Archbishop Usher’s work, Britannicarum Ecclesiarum Antiquitates et Primordia, it appears that the church of St. Theliaus, in Wales, is called, Lhan Deilo Vaur, the Church of Great Theliaus; and the change of Deilo to Dulo is so easy, says a recent writer, that St. Theliaus seems to have the best title to this parish, as patron and owner of it. In confirmation of this conjecture, says the same writer, we find in the barton of Treridern in St. Burian a chapel dedicated to St. Dillo, who is indisputably the Theliaus.”

St. Theliau, or Theliauses, was born at Ecclesis Gwenwau, near Monmouth. He is said to have made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem about the year 500, with St. David and St. Paternus. On his return he became Bishop of Landaff, and he has ever since been considered as the patron of that diocese.

Trewargy, properly Tre-war-gie, the house or town on a stream, is now the property of Mr. Eliot, a gentleman resident in London.

Trenant has frequently changed its proprietors since the time of Mr. Hals. It passed from Mr. Dennis to his sister’s son, Sir Christopher Treise, who was Sheriff of Cornwall at the accession of King George the Third, and knighted on the occasion of presenting an address. The property thus devolved on his nephew Sir John Morshead, of Cartuther, who acquired a large fortune by his marriage, succeeded to an ample patrimony, dissipated the whole, and left the prefix of three letters as an inheritance to his son. It was then purchased by Admiral Sir Edward Buller, and again disposed of after his decease to Mr. Hope, who at this instant, 1833, offers it for sale. Some at least of these 322 changes have been ascribed to combinations and arrangements which were materially varied in the last year.

This parish contains 5,051 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 5094 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 901 5 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of about 31 per cent. in 30 years.


The structure of this parish is not well explored; where-ever the rocks make their appearance, they are found to belong to the calcareous series.



Is situate in the hundred of Lesnewith, and hath upon the north, the Irish sea; east, Trevalga; south, Lantegles; west, St. Teth. For the etymology of the first compound word, it signifies the safe, secure, or impregnable fort or fortress; for the second, safe, secure, impregnable, or invincible man; or a man so fortified, magnified, or fenced, by art or nature, that he was not liable to hurt or danger, referring perhaps to the King or Earl of Cornwall, whose fort or castle it was; as also the manor of Dundagell, contiguous therewith, privileged with the jurisdiction of a court leet, and other marks of grandeur over the adjacent country, still pertaining to the Duke of Cornwall.

In the Domesday Roll, 20 William I. (1087), this place was taxed under the name of Dune-cheine. In the Inquisition 323 of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, Ecclesia Dundagell, alias Bosithney, was valued viiil. the vicar iiiil. vis. viiid. In Wolsey’s Inquisition 1521, it was valued 8l. 11s.d. the patronage in the Duke of Cornwall. The incumbent —— Chilcott. The rectory in possession of ——. The parish of Dundagell rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, which comprehends the boroughs of Trebennen and Bosithney, 200l. 4s., which from thence appears to be only adjectives, and fallen upon the parish, as several other boroughs in Cornwall are. Those boroughs have a weekly market, and a fair on October 8 yearly.

Trebennen, in the Exchequer, signifies the woman’s town, alias Trevenna, the spring, marsh, or well of water town.

The arms of these united towns are, King Arthur’s Castle of Dundagell, port open, on the top three turrets or watch towers. They are privileged with a court leet, and a mayor chosen annually by a jury out of the sworn free members, as also with sending two members to sit in the Commons House of Parliament, elected by the freemen of the borough that have lands of inheritance there. And the parliament precept from the sheriff, as also the writ to remove an action from this court to a superior, must be thus directed:—“Majori et Burgensibus nostris de Trebennen, alias Bosinny,” otherwise “Majori et Burgensibus Burgi nostri de Trevenna, alias Bosythny, in comitatu Cornubiæ, salutem.

Dundagell gave name and original to an old family of gentlemen, surnamed De Dundagell, now extinct, of which family was Robert de Dundagell, who, temp. Richard I., held in this county, by the tenure of knight service, five knights’ fees. Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, p. 44.

But that which made this place most famous was the castle and palace of Dundagell, wherein in all probability, the Kings, Dukes, or Earls of Cornwall, at some time had their residence, for pleasure and safety, before Cæsar came into this land; and for that it was the birthplace of Arthur 324 King of Britain, of whom more under. The castle itself stood on the sea cliff, and a high promontory of land or island, shooting into the North Sea or St. George’s Channel, fastened to the main land or insular continent of Britain, by an iron chain and drawbridge, which Mr. Carew saith was extant about 100 years before he wrote his Survey of Cornwall 1602. Hence it was that in the Domesday Tax, 20 William I. 1087, it is called Dunecheine, as aforesaid, viz. the fort, fortress, or castle chain or chained. Under which drawbridge the sea formerly did daily make its flux and reflux, through the rocky passage beneath. But now this passage is barred up by the falling down of the contiguous cliffs, and want of repair; nevertheless, thereby at low water is offered to the foot traveller an indifferent way of access to the castle or island aforesaid. Which island is now by lease from the crown in possession of Mr. Travers, who sets it to rent for about 5l. per annum, where twice a year about thirty fat sheep are bred or fed, that thrive to admiration.

The back or outer part of this fort or island, contains about three acres of land, which affords good pasture for sheep, goats, and rabbits, whereon is a consecrated well, and chapel heretofore applied to the service of God, by the Prince Gothlouis, his domestic servants and soldiers, though now neglected and falling into continual decay. The most northerly and remote part of this island is called Pen-dew, or Pen-diu, that is to say black head, so named from the black cliffs and rocks thereof; a well known seamark, amongst mariners. The cliffs all round this island and decayed castle are from the sea inaccessible, excepting in one place on the east, where is an indifferent landing place for boats; but the same is artificially barred with a long lofty and strong wall of lime and stone, through which was a gate, called in British, Porth Horne, Anglice Iron Gate, leading to the hill. Under this island the sea runneth through a natural cave or arch of rocks, where boats may pass at full sea without danger, though scarcely without 325 horror and amazement of the passengers; which tremendous place gave occasion to a British bard to describe the same in verses, mentioned by Camden in his Britannia, viz.

Est locus Abrini sinuoso littore ponti,
Rupe situs media, refluus quem circuit æstus
Fulminat hic latè turrito vertice, castrum,
Nomine Tindagium veteres dixere Corini.

Thus Englished by Mr. Carew, p. 286, Lord Dunstanville’s edition:

There is a place within the winding shore of Severne sea,
On midst of rock, about whose foot the tides turnkeeping, play;
A towry topped castle here, which blazeth over all,
Which Corineus’ ancient brood Tindagell Castle call.

However, I think, the meaning of the author is rather thus in English prose: “There is a place in the intricate windings of the Severn sea, situate in the middle of a rock, which the waves or billows of the sea compass or flow about, a towering top of a castle, shining or blazing abroad far and near, which the old or ancient Cornish call Dundagell.”

Of this place Joseph of Exeter, a priest of that Cathedral, that went with King Richard I. into the Holy Land, and described the wars thereof, in his poem called Antiochesis, written at Antioch 500 years past; a person excellently skilled in the Greek and Latin tongues who after his return from the Holy Land, was made Archbishop of Bourdeaux (see Hooker and Isaac), hath these words (thus Englished) of Dundagell.

From this blest place immortal Arthur sprung,
Whose wondrous deeds shall be for ever sung,
Sweet music to the ear, sweet honey to the tongue.
Look back, turn o’er the great records of fame,
Proud Alexander boasts a mighty name,
The Roman annals Cæsar’s actions load,
And conquered monsters rais’d Alcides to a god.
But neither shrubs above tall pines appear,
Nor Phœbus ever fears a rival star;
So would our Arthur in contest o’ercome
The mightiest heroes bred in Greece and Rome.
The only prince that hears this just applause,
Greatest that e’er shall be, and best that ever was.

From which words it is evident Joseph had seen Merlin’s prophecy of King Arthur.

The History of King Arthur and his progenitors is this:

After the death of Ambrosius Aurelius, anno Dom. 497, succeeded to the dominion of Britain, some say his brother, others a Britain named Uter, alias Uter Pen-dragon; that is to say in British the terrible or dreadful head or chief dragon, so called, as our historians tells us, from a direful, bloody, or red dragon, pourtrayed in his banners of war with a golden head, as is to this day borne in our imperial standards of war, in memory doubtless of the red dragon mentioned in Merlin’s Prophecy, by which the British nation is figured. For his paternal coat armour, as Upton saith, was, in a field Vert, a plain cross Argent; in the dexter quarter the image of the blessed Virgin Mary, holding the image of her blessed Son in her right hand, Proper. He likewise gave for his cognizance of Britain, d’Or, deux dragons Verd, coronés de Goules, contrelés, or endorsed.

Which prince, about the fourth year of his reign, having had divers notable victories over his enemies the Saxons, killing Pascentrus, the son of Hengist, and Gwellimoore King of Ireland, taken Octa and another son of Hengist, and Cossa, his nephew, prisoners, and routed their forces; he resolved the Easter after to make a kind of triumphal feast and solemnity for the principal nobility, gentry, and soldiers, of his kingdom; and ordered likewise that their wives and daughters should also be invited to his court, to congratulate his victories against his Pagan enemies. Now this feast was to be kept at Caer-Segont, id est, the city or castle of conquest or victory, afterwards called, by the Saxons, Cell-Cester, id est, Great Castle, now Winn-Chester, as much as to say, the overcoming, conquering, or winning castle, as before; the very place where the Emperor 327 Constantine first put on the purple robes, in order to his dignity.

Amongst other princes and confederates that attended this solemnity, Goth-lois, or Goth-Louis, id est, purple back or spear, Prince, King, or Earl of Cornwall, with Igerna, his lady, graced the same with their presence. And it was observable that in this great assembly, the said lady, for beauty, port, and mein, exceeded all other women then present. With whose unparalleled demeanour and charms, King Uter was so much taken and delighted, or intoxicated rather, that for several days he omitted all other most necessary affairs of his kingdom, in order to enjoy her company. Yea, so violent was his affection, that he could not restain or curb his passion, but kissed and courted her openly, even in the sight of her lord and others. Whereupon Gothlouis was so possessed with jealousy that he took the first opportunity, without leave taken of the king or his nobility, together with his duchess and servants, and posted from Winchester, towards his own country of Devon and Cornwall. He had not been long gone, but the notice thereof was soon brought to the king, who took it in so ill a part, by reason of his inordinate affection to his lady, that forthwith he sent messengers after him, to let him know that he had further occasion to use his counsel about affairs of the nation.

But Gothlouis so highly prized his lady, who by this artifice he foresaw would be exposed to the king’s attempts, that he sent back positive answer that he would not come. At which return the king grew more enraged, and sent the Prince of Cornwall word, that if he persisted in his obstinacy, he would invade his country, and beat his towns and castles about his ears; but in vain were his menaces, for Gothlouis returned him word that he was, as his predecessors time out of mind had been, a free prince, and owed him neither homage nor allegiance. Nevertheless, as his countryman, he acknowledged himself his ally and confederate against all foreign opposers, and would keep his 328 articles of agreement; but if Uter were not contented with this answer, but would forcibly invade his country and property, he would endeavour to keep and preserve the same against him and his adherents. Whereupon King Uter denounced hostility against him, and sent him defiance as an enemy, and forthwith set all things in a posture of war against him. Neither was Gothlouis less solicitous to keep his country and duchess from Uter’s possession or indeed vile usurpation.

In brief, therefore, as aforesaid, King Uter having raised a great army of soldiers, under pretence of chastising the pride and contempt of Gothlouis, marched with them towards his territories, which extended as far as Axminster, where he no sooner arrived than he falls a plundering the country, and burning the houses of the inhabitants, with the terror whereof some fled away, and others submitted to his mercy. Gothlouis being then at his chief palace and castle of Caer-Iske, id est, the Fish Castle or City, situate upon the Fish River, now called Exe, as the City is Exeter, and hearing of this affrightment and revolt of the people on the east part of his dominions, and fearing the cowardice of his citizens of Caer-Iske, he quitted the same upon Uter’s approach with his army, and fled from thence with his lady, and posted themselves in this castle of Dundagell, where he left his duchess, himself retiring to Dameliock Castle, now in St. Veye or St. Vewe, where his army lay entrenched within a treble walled fortification of earth, still extant, and retaining its name, wherein he had laid up sufficient provision and ammunition for his camp and soldiers, &c. And there also he was promised to receive assistance of soldiers from one of the five Kings of Ireland, which were daily expected.

King Uter understanding of Gothlouis’ departure from Caer-Iske, soon marched after him with his army into Cornwall, and laid siege to the castle of Dameliock, that is to say, the house or place of skirmish, battle, or hazard of war, and no sooner approached the lines, but he sent an 329 herald or trumpet to Gothlouis, demanding the surrender of himself and castle on mercy. Gothlouis, rewarding the trumpet, returned answer, “that he gave King Uter no just cause of war, or for breaking the league or invading his country, and wasting the same in such barbarous manner. But especially, he being a free prince, neither could nor would betray his trust, or give up his dominions and subjects to an unjust invader.” At which answer King Uter was so enraged, that he gave order for a straight siege of the castle, and forthwith made many violent assaults by storm in several places thereof; but he was as stoutly repulsed and driven back by the besieged. In this manner, with various success, for many days the siege and war continued, which occasioned the many camps, fortifications, and intrenchments in those parts, called Castle Kitty, Biny, Castle Kynven, &c.

Whereupon King Uter being more desirous to obtain the Lady Igerna, than to shed blood, or take the fort of Dameliock, thought of nothing more than how to get possession of her. In order to which, he was so vain as to inquire whether the said lady was within the said castle, and whether she was in so good state of health as when he saw her at Caersegant. To which questions answer was made, that fame reported nothing to the contrary as to her health, but for her person, that was not in Dameliock Castle, but kept in a much more secure place, within the impregnable fort of Dundagell. Then, inquiring further of a deserter what manner of place that was, he was told it was a castle munified by art and nature, and of so narrow entrance over the sea and rocks by a drawbridge, that three armed men at once would keep out his whole army, maugre all their skill and strength. At the relation of which circumstances, King Uter seemed mightily dismayed, so that his countenance changed through anguish and perplexity of mind, which put him into such great anxiety as was Ahab for want of Naboth’s vineyard, David for Bathsheba, and Nero for Sabina Popeia, other men’s wives.

330 King Uter Pendragon, in this extremity, as not being able to reduce Dameliock Castle by storm, nor, if he could, would that redress his grief, by procuring the sight of Igerna, resolves upon this expedient, to dislodge part of his soldiers and troops from Dameliock, and march with them to Dundagell, in order to try the fortune of war in both places. But as soon as he came in sight thereof, the same appeared more formidable, tremendous, and invincible, than what report or fame had spoken of it. For in those days the wit and force of man, could not oblige that castle to a surrender, unless through bribery or treachery of its defendants, for that the same could neither be scaled, battered, or starved.

The consideration of which put Pendragon into greater sadness and perplexity of mind, through the charge and fatigues of war, the stain of his honour in these unsuccessful attempts, but chiefly for that he could not obtain the fair Igerna; whereupon he grew sickly and took his bed, his physicians despairing of his life. When it happened, as historians tell us, that one Ursan, of Richardock, a place near Dameliock or Dundagall, one of King Uter’s cabinet council, advised him to send into Wales, for the old British prophet Merlin, and try whether he could do that by his magic art which neither the art or courage of men of war could effect; whereupon Pendragon sent for the prophet, who when arrived to his camp was made acquainted with the premises, and immediately bid the king to be of good comfort, for that he doubted not but in short time he would introduce him to the company of Igerna, without further bloodshed or hostility.

The king gladly heard this discourse, and promised to follow any expedient he should prescribe, in order to obtain the lady; and further assured him of a great reward, in case his project succeeded. Whereupon Merlin ordered the king, together with Ursan, of Richardock, to attend him one night in the twilight, with whom in secret manner he went towards the drawbridge gate of Dundagell Castle, 331 where, making a noise, the sentinel or porter demanded in the dark who they were? Merlin being transformed into the shape of Bricot, a servant that waited on Gothlouis, and lay in his chamber, made answer that his master, Duke Gothlouis, escaped from the siege of Dameliock, was at the gate for entrance. The porter apprehending he heard the very voice of Bricot, and seeing at some distance two persons talking together, the one King Uter metamorphosed into the shape of Duke Gothlouis, and another, viz. Ursan, of Richardock, transformed into the shape of Jordan, of Dundagell, he let down the drawbridge, and so gave them opportunity to enter into the insular castle aforesaid, where he had further confirmation of the identity or reality of their persons, by their speech and apparel, as far as the night would permit him.

Whereupon he forthwith joyfully conducted King Uter to Igerna’s chamber, who, not discovering the fraud, gladly received him as her lord; when that very night was begotten that valiant, noble, and religious Prince Arthur, who for his brave, facinourous, and heroic achievements, made his name glorious in his days, as it is still the paragon of ours.

Now on that same night his soldiers were so careful and valiant in the siege of Dameliock Castle, that they stormed it with their scaling ladders, but were as stoutly driven back by the besieged; whereupon, Duke Gothlouis resolved no longer to be thus cooped up, or confined in walls or trenches, but either to conquer or die, and the next morning sallied forth with a party of soldiers, and assaulted his enemies in their quarters by surprize: but alas! the success was not answerable to his courage and resolution, for King Uter’s men were all in readiness to receive his charge and onset, so that in the brunt of the first encounter Gothlouis was killed on the spot, his party slain or routed, and all that were taken in arms put to the sword. The castle of Dameliock yielded on condition of life, though some say otherwise, the plunder to the king’s soldiers.

332 Early on the same morning, before King Uter and the duchess were out of their chamber, or had on their wearing apparel, to the great astonishment of the porter, centinel, and the garrison, a messenger arrived at Dundagell Castle, giving a full account of the tragical fact. But when he was admitted to the Duchess’s bedchamber, and saw, as he verily believed, Duke Gothlouis in her company, he could hardly credit his own report; especially the Duchess Igerna being of the same opinion. But then, alas! so unavoidable a thing is fortune or fate, the prophet Merlin began to uncharm and dissolve his former spells and incantations, so that King Uter appeared no longer as Gothlouis Duke of Cornwall, but sole monarch of Britain; his companion, not Jordan of Dundagell, but Ursan of Richardock; and the third, not Bricot, but Merlin the prophet, to the great admiration of all spectators.

Whereupon the king took leave of the Duchess, and posted to his army, then in possession of Dameliock Castle, and ordered search to be made for the dead body of the duke; where at length it was found in common soldier’s apparel, extreme bloody, mangled, and cut. Whereupon he called an embalmer, who forthwith embalmed the body with salt and aromatic spices, to prevent putrefaction till a military interment could be prepared for him, which a month after was splendidly provided, the King and Duchess being chief mourners; when, a few days after, King Uter publicly married Igerna the duchess, by whom as aforesaid he had a son named Arthur and a daughter named Amye.

Lastly, it is observed by our annalists upon the foregoing history, that after this bloody war, and unjust fact of King Uter’s, he never had any tolerable success against his Saxon enemies; but in many battles was worsted by them, and finally, some of them understanding of a good spring or well of water, whereof he usually drank, they secretly envenomed the same, so that afterwards the king, drinking his customary draught thereof, soon after, with intolerable pains, died in the fifteenth year of his reign, and the flower of his 333 age, anno Dom. 515, fulfilling that saying in the Sacred Writings, “The same measure that ye mete shall be measured to you again, brimfull and running over.” So that I shall conclude this history in the words of St. Paul, “O the height of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out!”

After the death of King Uter Pendragon, his son and heir Arthur, begotten as aforesaid, succeeded to his dominion of Britain, anno Dom. 515, but as others say 518. He is therefore rightly named by some authors, Arthur Mab Uter Pendragon, viz. Arthur, the son of Uter Pendragon. Which name Arthur is probably derived from the British Arthou, a good or sharp pointed weapon. Of this King Arthur, long before his birth, had Merlin prophecied to King Vortigern:

“Aper etenim Cornubiæ succursum præstabit [si non potius erit] et colla eorum sub pedibus suis conculcabit, insulæ oceani potestati ipsius subdentur; et Galicanos saltus possidebit; tremebit Romulea Domus sevitiam ipsius; et exitus ejus dubius erit; in ore populorum cœlebrabitur, et actus ejus cibus erit narrantibus. Sex posteri ejus tenebunt sceptrum,” &c.

Which in English amounts to this:

“That the boar of Cornwall shall bring aid and assistance, and shall tread the necks of our enemies under his feet, the islands of the ocean shall be subject to his power, and the Gaulish forests he shall possess, the house of Romulus shall tremble at his wrath. As for his death or end, it shall be doubtful or uncertain. His name shall be celebrated by the people, and his famous acts shall be food to those that do relate them. Six of his lineage shall sway the sceptre,” &c.

King Arthur no sooner succeeded to his father’s dominions but he applied himself with great piety and religion to administer law and justice to his people, the best expedients to establish a tottering sceptre. In the next place 334 he took care to fortify and strengthen himself with soldiers and arms against his Saxon enemies, a mighty and warlike people, then possessed of the greatest part of this kingdom by the late misfortunes of his father and other princes, in battle with them, so that only Wiltshire, Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, and Wales, made up his dominion. Against these King Arthur drew into the field a mighty army of soldiers, and after eleven pitched battles against them, overthrew their whole armies, and obtained the total dominion of this kingdom, and confined the Saxons, on condition of tribute and submission, only to the kingdom of Kent. And recorded it is by annalists, that in one of those battles which King Arthur had with them, he girded himself with an approved sword, called Callib-burne, with which in one day he slew with his own hands 800 Saxons. It seems, this weapon was like Goliah’s sword wrapped in the ephod, there was no sword like it. And thus, according to Merlin’s prophecy, did the boar of Cornwall bring help and assistance, and tread Britain’s enemies under his feet.

But no sooner was this land settled in peace at home, but plots and designs from abroad were laid to disturb the tranquillity thereof. For at that time the Romans, having made a peace with their enemies the Vandals, sent messengers to King Arthur, demanding 3,000l. per annum tribute, a prodigious sum in those days, many years in arrear, according to the agreement Julius Cæsar made with King Cassibellan, and was still due to the senate. At which demand King Arthur was so distasted, that he sent away the messengers in scorn, and prohibited any Romans ever after to come into this land upon that account. Especially for that the Romans for many years had voluntarily quitted or forsaken the government thereof, so that the Britains had neither their protection nor aid against their Saxon or other enemies. When these messengers returned to Rome, this contempt of King Arthur was resented by the Senate, who thereupon unanimously voted a war against him. And accordingly a great army was raised in order to conquer 335 and reduce this land, which arrived here under conduct of Lucius, their prince or emperor, as historians tell us, together with ten kings, his confederates and auxiliaries. Against these king Arthur advanced with a mighty host, and gave them battle, where, after a sharp and bloody conflict, the Roman Emperor Lucius was slain, his body afterwards sent to Rome, the whole Roman army routed, and the greatest part of them put to the sword, and those whose lives he spared he made his feodors and vassals.

But, alas! notwithstanding King Arthur’s good fortune in this island against the Romans, he was not contented therewith, but he resolved to be further revenged upon them for his wrongs, bloodshed, and indignity, and for prevention of any such invasion for the future, to make a descent with his army upon the Roman territories in Gaul, especially for that from thence the Romans were assisted with great numbers of soldiers, under Lucius, to invade his kingdom of Britain. Whereupon King Arthur, with a considerable fleet of ships, and a great army of soldiers, landed in Normandy, then called Neustria, and summoned the people either to come and submit to his sceptre, or give him battle. But they, confiding in the strength of the Roman legions in that country, slighted his offer, and gave him battle, in which contest they were totally overthrown, routed, or slain. So that, soon after the province of Normandy submitted to his mercy, cast down armour, and payed tribute. Whereupon he gave to Gaius his taster, the earldom of Andegavia, now Angieurs; and to Bedeverus, his cupbearer, the dukedom of Normandy, for their good services. In memory of which donations, it grew to a custom amongst the kings of France, for many ages after, to make their tasters and cupbearers Earls of Andegavia and Normandy.

After this victory King Arthur dislodged his forces, and advanced further into the Roman Gaulish provinces, and subdued by conquest to his sceptre Flanders, Burgundy, Aquitain, and Andegavia, and as some tell us afterwards 336 Poland, and obliged those people to pay him an annual tribute according; as Merlin had predicted of him, that the Gaulish forests he should possess, and that the house of Romulus should tremble at his wrath. After those victories he returned safe into Britain, and then also by his fleet and army reduced to his dominion, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Gothland, Norway, Dacia, and made them all tributary, which also was foretold by Merlin in those words, “the islands of the ocean shall be subject to his power.”

When, after he had established peace in all those lands, and returned into Britain, he instituted an honourable order of knighthood, called the Knights of the Round Table, the most antient order of knighthood in the world, chiefly to promote self-denial, and prevent differences amongst his nobility and gentry or soldiers, who had well deserved of him and his country, for their good services at home and abroad, that so no occasion of dispute might arise about precedence, in merit, antiquity, valour, wealth, honour, or nobility, amongst them, for that all the knights of this his order were alike equal in those respects in his esteem, and might sit down indifferently at the table, go in and out of the house or church, field, or market, before each other as they came without exception; being an allowed rule amongst them, that the highest seat at the court, senate, church, or table, did no more argue the worth, value, religion, valour, or prudent conduct of a man, than the precedence of a military officer did prove him more valiant than his soldiers. The place of meetings of those knights was at Winchester aforesaid, where they assembled yearly at Pentecost or Whitsuntide.

He gave the same religious Christian coat armour as was given by his father, which I have blazoned before; and in testimony of his thirteen victories over so many crowned heads, he bore also in a field Azure, thirteen imperial crowns Or, as Upton tells us.

Lastly, after this prince had thus vanquished his enemies abroad and at home, had restored the Christian Religion, 337 eclipsed by the Saxons, ordained this useful order of knighthood, and done all the good offices a just, pious, and religious king could do to his subjects, he was at last, as many others, ungratefully dealt with by his own people, who at the instigation of his discontented cousin Mordred on the Roman Pictish title, confederated with the Saxons as against a bastard, and rose a great army in Cornwall in opposition to his power; against whom King Arthur marched with his army, and gave them battle at a place near Camelford. Where, though he obtained the victory, and Mordred was slain, yet in that battle King Arthur received his mortal wounds, so that, soon after, in order to a cure, he retired to the vale of Avallan, id est, the apple valley, near Glastonbury, Somerset, where he lies buried.

King Arthur’s usual place of residence, where he kept his court (as Hennius the Briton tells us, who flourished anno Dom. 600), was at East or West Camellot, near Cadbury, in Wiltshire.

There was extant in the Welsh tongue in bard’s verses 1170, temp. Hen. II. a song which said that the body of King Arthur was buried at the Isle of Avallan, near Glastonbury, between two pyramids. Whereupon King Henry ordered search to be made after his corpse, as that most classical and authentic author Giraldus Cambrensis, who was an eye witness thereof saith, who relates, that after the pioneers had sunk about seven foot deep, they lighted upon a stone in form of a cross, to the back part thereof was fastened a rude leaden cross, something broad, with those letters inscribed: “Hic jacet sepultus inclitus Rex Arturius in Insula Avalonia.”

Two feet beneath this cross they then also found two coffins made of hollow oak, wherein were the bones and skeletons of King Arthur and of Genevour his wife, the hair of the said lady being then whole and of fresh colour, as Fabian saith, but as soon as touched it fell to powder. This history, for substance is gathered out of Galfridus and other chronologers, John Trevisa’s book of the Acts of 338 King Arthur, temp. Henry IV. John Lidgate, a monk of St. Edmondsbury, who wrote a tract of King Arthur’s Round Table, anno Dom. 1470, William Caxton, the author of that Chronicle called Fructus Temporum, who also wrote the history of King Arthur, 1484, Nicholas Upton, Canon of the Cathedral Church of Wells 1440, and others.

King Arthur’s three admirals at sea, as appears from the book of Thriades in British, were Gerint ab Erbyn, a nobleman of Cornwall, for then Cornwall and Devon were one county or province, slain at Lhongporth, now London, by the Saxons, anno Dom. 540; March ab Meircyon, and Gwenwynwyn ab Nau.

There is yet extant in the British tongue an elegy upon the death of this Gerint, which amongst others contains those words. Ray Rhytharmaur mab Erbin.

Yn Longborth yllas Gerint,
Gur deur o godir Dyfneint,
Wyntwys yn Lladhgyt as ledeint
Yn Llongborth llas y Arthur,
Guyr deur Kymmuvint o dur
Amheravdyr llywyadyr llauur.
In Longporth was slain Gerint,
A man beloved of Devon,
Overcome in fight or vanquished
In Longporth where he was slain for Arthur,
A man beloved, that commanded over the water,
Admiral or General of a fleet great.

King Arthur also, by reason of the great schism in the Church between the Arian and Catholic Clergy, instituted the order of Knights of the Holy Trinity, and built the Chapel of Trinity at Restormell.

Pierce Gaveston being made Earl of Cornwall by King Edward II. and afterwards banished for his wicked practices, and put to death by licence of that king, took out of the jewel house a table of gold, and tressells of the same, that once belonged to King Arthur, and delivered them to Amery of Friscoband, a merchant, to be carried into Gascoigne, where they were sold at a great price to his own private advantage, as our chronologers tell us.

339 But in memory of King Arthur, Roger Mortimer soon after, at such time as he and Queen Eleanor his concubine, wife of Edward the Second, governed this kingdom, in imitation of him, kept a round table, to which many noble knights belonged and frequented, to his infinite cost and expense, which by him were called the Knights of the Round Table. (Heywood’s Chronicles, p. 193.)

The Isle of Man being conquered by William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, temp. Edward III. he caused him to be styled King of Man, and gave him leave to institute at Windsor, in a chamber two hundred feet round, in imitation of King Arthur, a society of Knights of the Round Table. (Daniell’s Chronicle, p. 196.)


I shall offer a conjecture touching the name of this place, which I will not say is right but only probable. Tin is the same as Din, Dinas; and Dixeth, deceit; so that Tindixeth turned for the easier pronunciation to Tintagel, Dindagel, or Daundagel, signifies the Castle of Deceit, which name might be aptly given to it from the famous deceit practised here by Uter Pendragon, by the help of Merlin’s enchantment.

The manor of Tintagel was very antiently demesne land of the crown, and famous for its castle, and Browne Willis says, the castle, manor, and borough of Tintagel, were settled by Edward the Third on his son Prince Edward, whom he created Duke of Cornwall, and continued it to his heirs, the succeeding Dukes of Cornwall, before which this king’s brother, John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, held it. This castle boasts much greater antiquity, and is said to have been the seat of the Dukes of Cornwall, and pretends to have been the birthplace of the famous King Arthur, which happened above five hundred years before the Norman Conquest, that prince having been born in the year 500, fifteen years after which he is said to have succeeded 340 his father in the kingdom, and to have lost his life in the thirty-sixth year of his reign in a place near Camelford. The borough of Bossiney, known in this county by the name of Tintagel, is a very small village, and contains scarcely twenty houses, and those not better than cottages. This place, with Trevenna, another little hamlet equally mean, lie in the parish of Tintagel, from which church they are at no great distance, and with it make up the one borough. It was privileged by Richard Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans, who granted “Quod Burgus noster de Tyntaivil sit liber Burgus.” It is governed by a mayor. The first return of Members to serve in Parliament is in the reign of Edward the Sixth.

In an indenture during the reign of Queen Mary it is styled Trevenna alias Bossiney, in others Trevenna simply, in others Bossiney alone.

The borough is held from the duchy at a fee-farm rent of 11l. 16s.d.


Mr. Lysons says, “this castle, which is of great antiquity, is reported to have been the birthplace of King Arthur, with respect to whom it was the opinion of Lord Chancellor Bacon, ‘that there was truth enough in his story to make him famous, besides that which was fabulous.’ His history nevertheless has been so blended with the marvellous by the monkish historians, that some authors have been disposed to doubt of his existence; and the circumstances connected with his supposed birth at Tintagel, are clearly not among those parts of his story most entitled to credit. We find no mention of this castle in authentic history till the year 1245, when Richard Earl of Cornwall was accused of having offered an asylum at his castle of Tintagel, to his nephew David Prince of Wales, in rebellion against his uncle Henry the Third. Thomas de la Hyde was governor or constable of the castle in 1307, Thomas 341 le Arcedekne in 1313, and William de Botreaux in 1325. It appears by a survey taken about that time, that the castle was in a very ruinous state. The great hall was taken down by John of Eltham. John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon, was made constable in 1388.” Mr. Carew states, p. 286 Lord Dunstanville’s Edition, “that being turned from a palace to a prison, this castle restrained one John Northampton’s liberty, who for abusing the same in his unruly mayoralty of London, was condemned hither as a perpetual penitentiary,” and Thomas Earl of Warwick was also a prisoner there in 1397.

Lord Treasurer Burleigh abolished the office of constable or governor of this castle.

Norden has a print, accompanied by a description of the castle, as it remained in his time, about 1584, when considerable portions of the fortress appear to have remained both on the island and on the main land.

The living belonged to the Great Benedictine Monastery at Fontevrault in Anjou, distinguished by the peculiarity of being presided over by an abbess, although the establishment consisted of monks as well as nuns. Having been seized into the king’s hands with other benefices belonging to alien houses, this parish was given by Edward the Fourth to the collegiate church of Windsor, where the great tithes and the patronage of the living still remain.

It is stated by Doctor Borlase, that besides the chapel within the fortress, dedicated to St. Ulette or Uliane, two others existed in the parish, one dedicated to St. Tiron and the other to St. Dennis.

I have retained the fabulous history of the Great Arthur, with feelings similar to those which induced the Greeks to dwell on the twelve labours of their Hercules, or the Scandinavians to recount the exploits of Odin. In a manner similar to what took place with respect to them, there exist reasons for conjecturing, at least that a mythological personage of remote antiquity became blended with a 342 British warrior who opposed the Saxons, and that the constellation Arcturus is in this way connected with the Cornish chief.

The tales translated from the Celtic by Jeffery of Monmouth, Bishop of St. Asaph in 1152, are followed by the author from whom Mr. Hals collected his materials; they are also copied into the romance of Prince Arthur, where in Caxton’s edition is a print of the king sitting in the middle of his round table, with the knights companions surrounding its circle. And this print has evidently given origin to the lines of our most facetious poet, proving from the round table that knight errants were accustomed to eat like other persons. See part I. canto 1, line 387.

Mr. Hals says this is the place called Donecheniv in Domesday Survey. Dunechine, would mean the fortress or a chasm, corresponding precisely with the situation.

Joseph of Exeter, from whom Mr. Hals has translated some lines on this place, is mentioned with great commendation in Warton’s History of English Poetry: “But a miracle of this age in classical composition was Joseph of Exeter, commonly called Josephus Iscanus. He wrote two epic poems in Latin heroic verse. The first is on the Trojan War; it is in six books, and dedicated to Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury. The second is entitled Antiocheis, The War of Antioch, or the Crusade. The former is preserved; but a fragment only remains of the latter, found in the library of Abingdon Abbey.”

In the retreat of Gothlouis before Uter Pendragon, Mr. Hals mentions Exeter under the name of Caer Iske, but without much commendation of the martial spirit possessed by its inhabitants. If either Iske is the proper name of this river, or the general term for a river has been changed into Ex, the Celtic name will exactly accord with the present Ex-cester, as the word is still pronounced in Devonshire, the camp or fortress on the Ex.

Tintagel parish contains 4001 statute acres.

343 £. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 3674 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 499 10 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 55 per cent. in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. Charles Dayman, presented by the Dean and Canons of Windsor in 1810.


This parish offers many objects of considerable interest to the geologist. It is entirely situated on rocks belonging to the calcareous series. In the southern part, its rocks consist of clay slates possessing various degrees of fissibility, from the most perfect roofing-slate of Delabole, to a slate that can only be separated into thick flags. Amongst these strata occurs an interesting rock, which appears to be composed of hornblende and compact felspar, and in some parts of hornblende and calcareous spar only. The latter variety is well known in the neighbourhood under the name of green freestone, and may be seen in the walls of the oldest churches. It is in situ in a croft near the pretty little waterfall of Nathan’s or Kneighton’s Kieve.

In the northern part of the parish, near King Arthur’s Castle, and in Bossiney Cove, the slate is very talcose, and is occasionally coated at its joints with calcareous spar. At the former place also occurs a large mass of compact felspar, but which is so much decomposed that its precise nature has not been ascertained. In the sea-cliffs are several slate-quarries, the quality of which, however, is inferior to the Delabole, and is known in the market by the name of cliff slate. In this slate are impressions apparently derived from shells, which have been referred to the genus producta. This is the only instance of a fossiliferous slate hitherto detected in Cornwall, though it is probable that others may exist, particularly between St. German’s and the Rame Head.




Is situate in the hundred of Penwith, and hath upon the north, Philack; east, Gwyniar; west, Breage, Geenlow, and St. Hillary. For the modern name, it signifies holy or consecrated ground or earth, referring to the church and cemetery thereof. In Domesday Roll this district was taxed under the jurisdiction of Trewinard, of which more under. At the time of the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, into the value of Cornish Benefices, this church was neither extant or endowed, since it is not named in that inquisition, in Decanatus de Penwid. But in Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, it is called San Etghi, or Yrghe; id est, the holy charge, cure, or command, viz. of souls, and was then valued 14l. 1s. The patronage in the Dean and Chapter of Exeter; the incumbent Ralph. The rectory in Painter, by lease under the Dean and Chapter; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 125l. 19s. 2d.

Trewinard, taxed in Domesday Roll, by the name of Trewinerder, id est, the high, haughty, beloved town, alias Trewinar, id est, the town of the beloved lake or river of water, on which those lands are situate, viz. the Hayle River, gave name and origin to an old family of gentlemen surnamed De Trewinard, who flourished here for many generations in genteel degree down to the latter end of the reign of King Henry VIII. at which time John Trewinard, Esq. was Member of Parliament for the borough of St. Ives, and so became privileged against his creditors, being a man much encumbered with debts, who during the intervals of parliament kept house here and stood upon his guard, at which time one of his creditors obtained judgment and outlawry against him, after three terms in the county court, broke his 345 house, took his person, and carried him prisoner to the sheriff’s ward, where he remained till the next session of parliament, against which time he brought his writ of habeas corpus, and was brought up to Westminster in expectation of great damages against his creditor that put him in durance. Upon this restraint of Mr. Trewinard’s person, the house resolved not to sit, looking upon it as a breach of privilege, but entered before their rising into a grand committee for hearing this case pro and con, betwixt Trewinard and his creditor, when it appeared as aforesaid Trewinard was outlawed and so out of the king’s protection, and till that outlawry was reversed he could not lawfully sit as a member; by which expedient Trewinard was forced to compound with his creditor and sue forth the king’s pardon, and then appeared in parliament in statu quo prius. This John Trewinard had, as I take it, issue Martin Trewinard, steward of the stannaries, who had issue Deiphobus Trewinard, that in his rage or anger killed an innocent man and buried him secretly in Trewinard Chapel, of public use before the Church of St. Earth was erected; however, this fact was not so covertly carried, but the coroners of the shire had notice of it, who accordingly came to this place, opened the grave, took forth the body, and impannelled a jury thereon, who upon oath gave their verdict, that this party’s death happened by a wilful murder of Trewinard’s, whereupon he was carried before a justice of the peace, and upon further examination of this matter, had his mittimus made, and was accordingly sent to Launceston gaol, where he remained till the next assizes.

In the mean time, foreseeing that this barbarous fact would tend both to the destruction of his life and estate, he applied to Sir Reginald Mohun, Knight, a favourite of the Queen Elizabeth’s, and proposed to him, that he would make over and convey to him, his heirs, and assigns for ever, all his lands and tenements whatsoever, under this proviso or condition, that in case he were condemned for the murder aforesaid, that he should or would procure the Queen’s 346 pardon or reprieve for his life; which proposal being accepted by Sir Reginald Mohun, lease and release of his lands were made and executed for a valuable consideration accordingly to him, bearing date the day before this tragical fact was committed, whereupon Sir Reginald Mohun forthwith became seised of this barton and manor of Trewinard, and at the next assizes held for this county, Mr. Trewinard being indicted for this murder, was found guilty by the grand and petty juries, and accordingly condemned to be hanged to death, at which instant Sir Reginald Mohun having gotten the Queen’s reprieve or pardon for Mr. Trewinard, put it into the sheriff’s hands, whereby his execution was stopped, and himself afterwards, on sureties for his good behaviour, was set at liberty from the gaol, and subsisted upon some small stipend allowed him by Sir Reginald out of his lands during life.

The arms of Trewinard are yet extant in the glass windows of this house, viz. in a field Argent, a fess Azure, between three Cornish daws Proper. Sir Reginald Mohun took such pleasure in this place, that at some times he lived on it in the middle of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, and finally settled it upon his three daughters, one of whom was married to Sir Thomas Arundell, of Talvorne, Knight.

Sir Thomas Arundell’s part of the premises was purchased by Sir Nicholas Hals, of Fentongallan, Knight, who having leases of the other two parts, some time also for pleasure resided on this barton, whose son and heir John Hals sold the same.

The present possessor of one third part in fee, and two third parts in lease of this barton and manor, from Praed and Penrose, as I take it, is Thomas Hawkins, Gent. who giveth for his arms the same bearing as Mr. Hawkins, of Creed.

Such another tragical story of murder is to be seen under Falmouth district, as also in Prince’s Worthies of Devon, how that Sir John Prideaux, of Orchardton, killed in a duel Sir William Bigberry, of Bigberry, Knight, whose ancestors 347 from the Norman Conquest had lived there, in worshipful degree, for nine descents, to the year 1360, when the two daughters and heirs of this murdered gentleman were married to Champernowne, of Beer Ferries, and Durneford, of Stonehouse. By this misfortune Prideaux being condemned to be hanged, gave most of his estate to obtain his pardon from Edward the Third.

In like manner he tells us that Sir Alexander Cruwys, Knt. temp. Henry VI. slew one Mr. Carew, and for that fact was condemned to be hanged, but in order to procure his reprieve or pardon, he sold twenty-two manors of land. Also that John Copleston, of Copleston, in Devon, Esq. commonly called the Great Copleston, in the middle of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, in a rage slew his natural son and godson, for which fact he was condemned to the gallows, but in order to procure a reprieve or pardon, he was forced to sell thirteen manors of land in Cornwall. His son left only two daughters that became his heirs, married to —— Copleston and —— Elford.

Lastly, he further tells us that Sir John Fitz, of Fitzford, Knight, slew in a rage one Mr. Slannen, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, after which fact, posting away to London, with his servant, in order to get his pardon, and at every stage shutting his chamber door, for fear of being taken where he lodged, it happened in the night that his servant knocking violently at his chamber door with some intelligence, and he not well awaked out of his sleep, or not well understanding his servant’s voice in the dark, he rushed to the door, shot off a pistol, and slew his own servant, which as soon as he understood, he took another pistol and shot himself dead also.

Trenhayle, in this parish, that is to say, the stout, strong, or rapid river, gave name and original to an old family of gentlemen, from thence denominated Trenhayle, whose sole inheritrix, temp. Edward III. was married to Tencreek, as Tencreek’s daughter and heir, by her was married to Thomas Budeoxhed, of Budeoxhed, in Devon, by 348 whom he had Thomas Budeoxhed, Sheriff of Devon, 26 Henry VI. whose son married Pomeray, his grandson Trevilload, his great-grandson Halwell, and his posterity successively Stroote, Trowse, and Champernowne, which last gentleman, Philip Budeoxhed, having no issue male or female, temp. Elizabeth, his sisters became his heirs, and were married, Winifred to Sir William Gorges, Elizabeth to John Amadis, of Plymouth, Agnes to Oliver Hill, of Shilston. Gorges sold Budeoxhed, temp. Charles I. to Mr. Trevill, a merchant of Plymouth, now in possession thereof. The arms of Budeoxhed are, Sable, three fusils in fess between three bucks’ heads caboshed Argent.

Mr. Budeoxhed, aforesaid, Sheriff of Devon 26 Henry VI. at his own proper cost and charge, pulled down the old church of Budeoxhed, and built the new church of Budeox, as it now stands, wherein himself lies interred, some time after his eldest daughter died, who was the first person that was buried therein after the same was built and consecrated. Prince’s Worthies of Devon, p. 71.

Trelizike, in this parish, the town or lands situate upon the gulph, cove, creek, or bosom of waters (see Landowenach Lizard), temp. Edward IV. as appeared from a deed that I have seen, was the lands of Otho de Trefusis, ancestor of the Oates of Peransabulo, from whose heirs it came to the Smiths and others. In particular, Sir James Smith, of Exeter, was seised thereof, temp. Charles II. who sold the reversionary fee thereof to Arthur Paynter, Gent. attorney at law, his father having a chattel estate therein before that purchase. The ancient name of those Paynters, as Mr. Arthur Paynter informed me, was De Camburne, from which name they were transnominated, upon this occasion; John, the son of John De Camburne, being bound an apprentice temp. Queen Mary to a painter in London, and happening, in some contest, to kill or murder a man there, he forthwith made his escape thence, and fled into Ireland, where he remained undiscovered for several years, at length returned into his native country, and fixed in St. Earth church 349 town, where he set up a painter’s shop, and surnamed himself Paynter, from whom those gentlemen so called are lineally descended. The present possessor Francis Paynter, gentleman, that married Sutherland, and Paynter, his father Praed, his grandfather ——, and giveth for his arms, in a field Sable, three slabs of tin Proper.

Gurlyn, id est, the husband’s lake, or riveret of water, otherwise Gorlyn, is the fat or fertile lake of water in this parish, formerly held of the Crown by the tenure of knight’s service, was, temp. Edward III. the lands of Dinham, from whose heirs it came to Nansperian, and by Nansperian’s daughter and heir, to Matthew Prideaux, and by Prideaux’ two daughters and heirs, in marriage to Gregor and Bickford, now in possession thereof. The arms of Nansperian were, Argent, three lozenges Sable. Nansperian signifies the valley of thorns.


In the Taxation of 1291, the 20th Edward I. this parish is called, Ecclesia de Lanhudnow, the rectory being valued at xxvis. viiid. and was appropriated to the Church of Exeter, to which it still belongs. As for the present name, St. Earth, I take it to be a contraction of Sancta Hierytha, of whom Camden, in Devon, speaks thus: “Chettlehampton, a little village where Hierytha, calendered among the female saints, was buried.”

Trewinard, in this parish, was of old the seat of a well regarded family of gentlemen, from thence denominated De Trewinard. It is now in the possession of Thomas Hawkins, Gent. attorney at law, that married, first, the daughter of James Praed, Esq.; and secondly, Anne, the daughter of Christopher Bellot, of Bochim, Esq. By the first he has only one daughter, but by the second a numerous issue. He giveth for his arms, in a field Argent, a saltire Sable, charged with five fleurs-de-lis Or.

Mr. Hawkins owns but a third part of the mansion and 350 barton of Trewinard, of which Sir John St. Aubin, and Mr. James Praed, are joint lords with him. Mr. Thomas Hawkins is since dead; and this is now the seat of his son Christopher Hawkins, Esq. and Clerk of the Assizes. He hath married Mary, one of the daughters of Philip Hawkins, of Pennance, Esq.

I take the etymology of this name, Trewinard, to be a town or dwelling on a marsh.

The Trewinards lived here probably before the Norman Conquest, and were once possessed of an estate worth at the least three thousand pounds per annum, as I have been informed by one of their descendants, the late Rev. Mr. James Trewinard, Rector of St. Mawgor in Meneage.

James De Trewinard was one of the Knights of the Shire for Cornwall 20 Edward III. William De Trewinard was so likewise in the 28th year of this reign.

Martin De Trewinard, Esq. (whom Mr. Carew calls a merry Cornish gentleman, and tells a comical story of) I believe was the last of them that possessed this estate, for Norden, who wrote his description of Cornwall towards the latter end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, saith, that Trewinard was the seat of Mannering.

Trelisick, compounded of Tre-lis-ick, a dwelling on the broad creek, suitable to its situation on that part of the river Hayle, where it openeth itself into a lake, is the seat of the ancient family of Painter. The present owner of which is Francis Painter, Esq. formerly one of the Clerks of the Admiralty, and now General Receiver of the Prize Money which shall become due to captors. He married a daughter of —— Sutherland, Esq. late one of the Clerks of the Admiralty, by whom he has only one surviving son Mr. James Painter. His arms are, Azure, three slabs of tin Argent, each charged with an annulet Sable.

Mr. Francis Painter is since dead, leaving two daughters by his second wife, a daughter of his uncle Mr. Francis Painter, of Boskina in Burian. William Painter, D.D. Rector of Exeter College in Oxford, was also a brother of his father Arthur Painter.

351 —— Painter, of Antron, was, I am informed, a younger branch of this family, and arrived at considerable eminence, but, like many branches, it has withered, while the parent stock remains fair and flourishing. But the family of Trelisick is now extinct in the male line, by the death of Mr. Francis Painter, jun.


St. Earth, now invariably written without the a, is supposed to derive its name from St. Ergan, one of the female missionaries from Ireland.

The church stands at the side of what must have been an estuary in former times, pretty much like Egleshayle, near Wadebridge. The church is neat and plain, with three ailes of equal height, the roof has wooden ribs with bosses, and the whole was plastered about the year 1747. The tower is not inferior to most others, and the south porch is remarkable for its beauty. The whole eastern extremity of the south aile is said to have belonged exclusively to Trewinnard, but for want of asserting it, the right has been lost.

The walls of the church were covered with sentences, and the windows were ornamented by stained glass, but in the great repair bestowed on the church in 1747, all these were removed, as it is said, by the zeal of Mr. Collins, at that time Vicar, against all vestiges of the religion professed by our forefathers. A few small panes of glass only remain, and the cross engrailed Sable, on a field Or (the arms of Mahon), can alone be distinguished. The south wall of the church is supported by a continued buttress, added about the year 1760.

On a slab stone, just before the communion table, is the following inscription:

Here lyeth the body of the below named
John Ralph,
who ended this life the 10th of Feb. anno Domni 1729,
in the 85th year of his age.
The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

352 Here lyeth the body of Loveday, the wife of
John Ralph, Vicar of this parish,
by whom he had three children,
Mary, John, and Loveday;
the last died in her infancy.
The other two were alive at their
mother’s death.
She was a virtuous and prudent wife,
a loving and indulgent mother,
a friendly and prudent neighbour,
and very charitable to the poor.
She exchanged this life for a better
the last day of November, in the year
of our Lord 1715, and in the 82d year
of her age.

“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, yea, saith the spirit, that they rest from their labour.” Rev. xiv. 13.

John Ralph, son of the above, obtained the living of Ingatestone, in Essex, and died there in 1755.

Adjoining to this stone is another, with an interesting inscription:

Underneath is deposited,
in hopes of a joyful resurrection,
the body of Elizabeth, wife of Edward Collins,
Vicar of this parish, whose filial piety and obedience,
conjugal love and fidelity, maternal care and affection,
unfeigned charity and benevolence, uniform and constant
perseverance in all the duties of Christianity,
have been equalled by few, excelled by none.
She was the daughter
of Nicholas Kendall, of Pelyn, Clerk,
Canon Residentiary of St. Peter’s, Exeter,
and Archdeacon of Totness,
by Jane, daughter of Thomas Carew, of Harrabear, Esq.
son of Sir Alexander Carew, of East Anthony, Bart.
353 She was born Aug. 19, 1701; married July 22, 1731;
died Nov. 30, 1749.
Conjugis opt. dilectissimæ
H. M. L. M. P. C.
Maritus amantissimus
juxta cum Deo visum deponendus.

The six letters stand for, Hoc Marmor Loco Monumenti Poni Curavit.

Mr. Collins died in October 1755, and was buried under the same stone, but without any additional inscription. Mr. Edward Collins was the eldest son of John Collins, Esq. of Treworgan, in St. Erme, and brother of Mr. John Collins, Rector of Redruth. He studied for some years at the Temple, with the view of being called to the bar, and it is said that he became a clergyman from principles of conscience.

Mr. Collins retained uniformly through life the respect of all around him; he appears to have been a man of learning and of taste, but of austere manners. I have heard from one who was present, that Mr. and Mrs. Collins meeting accidentally, at a neighbouring gentleman’s, a lady who was not of the Established Church, they refused to hold any conversation with her.

Their only son, Mr. John Collins, Vicar of Ledbury in Herefordshire, supported the reputation derived from his father. He distinguished himself as a man of letters on various occasions; one of the editors of Shakspeare left his library to Mr. Collins, in gratitude for assistance afforded him, and there may be found a very curious note at the conclusion of Troilus and Cressida, in the edition by Johnson and Steevens, with Mr. Collins’s name subscribed.

The next Vicar of St. Earth was Mr. Symonds, who acquired the living through a curious combination of circumstances. Mr. John Stephens, the principal merchant at St. Ives, and agent for the Earl of Buckinghamshire in the management 354 of the borough, was a zealous Presbyterian. The living of St. Ives with Lelant, had been designed for some young man of the town, who indiscreetly, and probably in joke, declared that when he succeeded to the church he would preach furiously against Presbyterians, and teach that Hell itself was strewed over with their bones. This was said in a garden, in defiance of the Cornish proverb, Nynges gun heb lagas, na kei heb scover. “There is no downs without eyes, nor hedge or wall without ears.” And Mr. Stephens walking in a garden adjoining overheard this declaration, and in consequence exerted his influence with the patron to obtain the living from the Bishop of Exeter for one who might prove less unfavourably disposed towards his sect, the only one at that time considered as formidably hostile to the Established Church; and to ensure this object Mr. Symonds was selected, because his father, who exercised the trade of a barber at Cambridge, discharged also the office of clerk to a Presbyterian meeting-house.

Mr. Symonds was received as a friend at St. Ives, and elected into the Corporation. But in the course of a few years a violent struggle arose respecting the election of a Recorder, when Mr. Symonds most prudently considering that nothing further was likely to be obtained from those who had already given him a living, sold himself to the opposite party, carried the election for them by his casting vote, and received the living of St. Earth. See various Essays in the London Magazine, with the signature Y. Z. for 1767, pp. 225, 456, 464, 628; for 1768, pp. 25, 199, 575; for 1769, pp. 18, 235, 578.

Mr. Symonds died in 1775, and was succeeded by Mr. George Rhodes, of Devonshire, some time a Fellow of Exeter College. This gentleman having obtained preferment near his immediate connections, resigned the living in 1781, and was succeeded by Mr. Mayow, of Bray near Looe, who never resided, and died in the year 1800, when the benefice was given to Mr. Samuel Gurney, recently deceased (1833) and to whose memory a marble slab has been 355 immediately placed over the chancel door by his mother, in her ninety-fourth year.

The glebe land is more extensive and of greater value than in most other parishes, and the vicarage house is one of the best in Cornwall, a new front having been added by Mr. Collins, and some improvements made by Mr. Rhodes. There is also a rectorial glebe; and a large house near the eastern end of the bridge, stands on the spot where formerly was a barn for receiving the tithe corn.

There is a third slab stone in memory of Mr. Richard Shuckburgh, brother to the well-known mathematician and astronomer of Shuckborough, in Warwickshire. Mr. Humphrey Williams, then the resident curate, had married Miss Sarah Bate, his half-sister, who is also buried in St. Earth’s church.

The church-yard is still too small for the parish, notwithstanding its being enlarged in the year 1817, chiefly at the expense of the Editor, and by virtue of a general Act of parliament which he brought into the House of Commons for that express purpose, 56 Geo. III. c. 141.

The bridge is said by Leland to have been constructed two hundred years before his time, or about five hundred years ago. The causeway is very long, but there were originally only three small arches. A fourth, somewhat larger, has been added at the eastern end. The roadway was so narrow that a single carriage had, at one part, great difficulty to pass, and the whole created a large expense to the county, occasioned by accidents to the walls, and by wheels always running in the same track. In the year 1816, the Editor procured a grant of fifty pounds, and, expending somewhat more than an equal sum himself, he got the road widened sufficiently for all useful purposes, more especially as in the year 1825 a causeway was made across the river, about a mile further down. St. Earth adjoins to no less than seven parishes: Lelant, Ludgvan, St. Hilary, Breage, Crowan, Gwinear, and Phillaek.

356 Trewinnard has been, without all comparison, the principal place in this parish.

I have not any means of affirming or of contradicting the relation of Mr. Hals, as to the tragical event imputed to the last Trewinnard: some indistinct tradition of a murder was handed down to within my remembrance. The transactions of this gentleman’s grandfather with the House of Commons are given by Mr. Hatsell, as derived from authentic sources, in his Parliamentary Precedents, vol. i. p. 59, of the edition of 1796, and p. 60 in the last edition. I apprehend that he was then Member for Helston. One of the family resided till very lately in the Strand, London; for, struck by the name “Trewinnard,” the Editor was induced to call at the house. Mr. Trewinnard said that his family came, as he had heard, from a town so called in Cornwall, and that he had some old deeds in his possession. These were exhibited, and proved to be leases of various farms in St. Earth parish. The Mohuns appear to have made this place a principal ressdence, for the cross engrailed exhibits itself not only on fragments of painted glass preserved in the church, but also on the seat or pew, quartered or impaled with various arms, and in one instance with the fleur-de-lis and the lions, of England and France.

Mr. Hals states that the estate was divided between the three daughters of Sir Reginald Mohun; that one of these daughters married Sir Thomas Arundel, of Talvorne, and that his part was purchased by Sir Nicholas Hals, of Fentongallon, who had the other two-thirds on leases for lives; but that John Hals sold the whole. It is probable that the purchaser must have been Mr. Bellot, of Bochym, whose daughter brought the one-third freehold, and the two-thirds lease for lives, to Mr. Thomas Hawkins; yet Reginald Mohun is said by Mr. Lysons, under Cury, to have given one of his daughters, with Bochym, to Francis Bellot; through whom Mr. Hawkins, the present possessor, connects himself with the ancient and baronial family of Mohun.

357 However Mr. Thomas Hawkins acquired Trewinnard, the property has now been possessed by his family above a century and a half.

The first of his ancestors who settled in Cornwall was Mr. John Hawkins, who is said to have come from Kent in the year 1554. He married a daughter of the officiating Minister of Blisland.

Second, John Hawkins, their son, designated merchant, married Jane Rother or Williams, of Grampound.

Third, John Hawkins, gent. married Paschas, daughter of Joseph Cooke, of Mevagissey.

Fourth, Thomas Hawkins, who died in the lifetime of his father, married Adry, daughter of —— Crudge.

Fifth, John Hawkins, gent. married Loveday, daughter of George Trenhayle.

Sixth, Thomas Hawkins, their son, married, first, Florence, daughter of James Praed, esq. of Trevethow, by whom he had one daughter, married to John Williams, of Helston, merchant. He married, secondly, Ann, daughter and coheir of Christopher Bellott, of Bochym, and died in 1716, leaving one son and one daughter.

Seventh, Christopher Hawkins, esq. barrister-at-law, married Mary, daughter and coheir of Philip Hawkins, of Pennance, esq. and practically his sole heiress, as well as of her brother Philip Hawkins, D.D. sometime Master of Pembroke college, Cambridge.

They resided during several years in London, where Mr. Hawkins practised as a lawyer; but, having lost several children, they determined on removing into the country, and finally settled at Trewinnard about the year 1750. They had one daughter, Jane, married to Sir Richard Vyvyan, of Trelowarren. And

Eighth, Thomas Hawkins, esq. who married Anne, daughter of James Heywood, esq. a merchant of London. He represented Grampound in Parliament, and died in 1766, leaving four sons and one daughter.

Philip died at Eton.

358 Sir Christopher, Member for Michell, Grampound, Penryn, and St. Ives, in different Parliaments, and created a Baronet July 28, 1791. He was a Fellow of the Royal, Antiquarian, and Horticultural Societies, and published in 1811 “Observations on the Tin Trade of the Ancients in Cornwall, and on the Ictis of Diodorus Siculus.” He died unmarried in 1829.

Thomas died a young man.

John Hawkins, the present representative of the family, celebrated throughout Europe for his general knowledge on all subjects, his science, literature, and travels, especially through Greece, the most interesting portion of the ancient world, married the only daughter of Mr. Sibthorpe, Member for Lincoln, and has two sons and four daughters; the eldest, Mr. John Heywood Hawkins, is a distinguished Member of the present Parliament. His sister is the widow of Mr. Trelawney Brereton.

The house at Trewinnard has been so much altered and improved since Mr. Christopher Hawkins came to reside there, about eighty years ago, as scarcely to leave a trace of what it had been in former times; but the garden remains, a pleasing specimen of cut yew, trim box, and thorn hedges. There was also a building, detached from the house, supposed to have been the ancient chapel, although, I think, inaccurately, as it stood north and south. One of the upstairs rooms has tapestry representing the victory of Constantine, with his celebrated vision of the Cross. But, above all, here are preserved the remains of an old coach, suspended on long leathers without springs, and in general form corresponding with the coach exhibited by the Lord Mayor of London. I believe, however, that it is much less ancient than has generally been supposed, and it has been in actual use within seventy years.

Trewinnard has the advantage of a stream of water, brought with great art over very uneven ground from a distance of two or three miles, conducted into almost every field, and supplying the house.

359 The place of next importance in this parish is Trelisick. Perhaps the etymology of this word may be tre-lès-ick, the town on the inclosed water, les, or lis, being an inclosed place; and the river Hayle here expands itself into the appearance of a lake; and the same circumstance applies to Trelesick as the head of Falmouth harbour.

The tale related by Mr. Hals respecting the change of name from De Camborne to Paynter, does not seem very probable. I remember, however, a man of that family who was a house-painter, and who would be driven into most violent fits of passion when boys hallooed after him, “Painter by name and painter by nature.”

Mr. Francis Paynter is said to have married, first, a daughter of —— Sutherland, Esq. one of the Clerks of the Admiralty, and to have had by her one son, who died in his father’s lifetime. I apprehend that this son, James, too warmly espousing the politics then most popular in Cornwall, took an active part in proclaiming King James on the death of Queen Anne; that he was indicted by the victorious party, acquitted at Launceston, and welcomed by bonfire and by ball from thence to the Land’s End.

Of the two daughters by his second marriage, with his cousin of Boskenna, one made a most imprudent match with a foreigner, and settled in France, leaving many descendants.

The other daughter, Mary, born in 1709, married a very respectable gentleman, Mr. Hearle, of Penryn. They acquired the other sister’s share of the property by purchase, and the whole is now equally divided between the families of her three daughters. One married the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne, of Heligon; another Francis Rodd, Esq. of Trebather; and the third Capt. Wallis, of the Royal Navy, well known for his discovery of Otaheite, in a voyage round the world.

The house at Trelisick has been greatly reduced in size; but the whole place continues to bear the appearance of a gentleman’s seat, and the property is much improved by the rapid advance of trade and of establishments at Hayle.

360 This portion of the Hearle and Paynter estate has been assigned to Mr. Francis Hearle Rodd.

The place next of importance in this parish was probably Tredrea. The name, perhaps, imports the thoroughfare town, as it lies on the way from Trewinnard to the church.

There was here a large house inhabited by a family of the same name, who appear in the parish register two centuries ago as Esquires, a distinction then sparingly applied. The property is said to have passed, by a mortgage unredeemed, to the St. Aubyns of Crowan, who granted it on a lease for lives, in the year 1685, to Mr. Matthew Phillips. One of his daughters married Mr. John Davies, younger brother of Henry Davies, Esq. of Bosence. Mr. John Davies had a daughter, Catherine Davies, eventually heiresss of her brother Henry Davies, and through him of her father and uncle. Her son is the Editor of this work.

The old house at Tredrea having fallen into a state of decay, Mr. Henry Davies took it down about the year 1750, and built small a neat house on the same spot, where the Editor still occasionally resides.

Bosence, in St. Earth, has belonged time out of mind, (certainly from before the reign of Henry the Seventh,) to the family of Davies. On it there is a very perfect Roman entrenchment; and various articles of Roman workmanship, found on removing the earth, are described and figured by Dr. W. Borlase, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, p. 316, edit. 1759; and also in a Paper communicated to the Royal Society in 1759, vol. xi. p. 322, of the Abridgment; and the Articles themselves having been presented by Mr. Henry Davies to Dr. Borlase, were by him deposited in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, where they are now preserved. Another Roman intrenchment, but much less perfect, is situated on the summit of the hill on the south side of the road leading eastward, at about half a mile distant from St. Earth bridge: this is mentioned by Leland. The Editor availed himself 361 of an opportunity for purchasing it about ten years ago, to prevent its further destruction.

In the church-yard are several monuments to the Davieses, particularly one to Mr. William Davies, the Editor’s great-grandfather.

A flat stone, lying on a raised grave, having the arms of Davies, a chevron between three mullets pierced, impaled with the ancient arms of Noye, Azure, three crosses botony in a bend Argent. The more recent arms are, Argent, three bendlets and a canton Sable, on the canton a cross of the Field. There is this inscription round the edge.

Here lieth the body of William Davies, of Bosworgy, in this parish, Gent. who was buried the 28th day of February, in the 54th year of his age, anno 1690.

On the middle of the stone:

Virtus post funera vivit.
Must death divide us now, and close thine eyes?
How shall I live, when thou art gone, to hear
Our children’s cries?
Look on, but spare your tears, forbear to weep:
My death’s no death—in Christ a blessed sleep.
O blessed Sleep to me! that art both free
From sting of Death, and from Grave’s victory!
O, Death, where’s now thy sting, or, Grave, thy power?
My soul triumphs in Christ, my Saviour;
Cease, then, your tears for me, who am in bliss—
Tho’ here intomb’d, my soul in Heaven is.
Be sure always t’ observe old David’s song,
And never trust that man that did me wrong.
Survivors will be apt to act their part,
And seek all means they can to break thy heart;
But trust in God, and he will thee defend
From all thine enemies: and love thy friend.
Farewell, dear wife and children! Friends, adieu!
Observe those friends whose promises prove true.

I cannot account for this extraordinary epitaph.

362 Near this tomb stands a handsome marble sarcophagus, erected over a stoned vault, with the following inscriptions:

On the south side:

In memory
of Henry Davies, of Tredrea, Esq.
a Lieutenant in the Cornwall Militia.
He was a dutiful son, an affectionate brother,
an obliging relation, a sincere friend,
and in all repects a worthy gentleman.
He died of the smallpox at London,
December 10, 1760, aged 36,
justly lamented by all his friends and acquaintance.

On the north side:

Here lyeth interred the remains
of John Davies, Gent.
who departed this life May the 29th, 1737,
in the 51st year of his age.
And of Mary and Philippa, his daughters.
Mary Davies died Jan. 2d, 1740, aged 8.
Philippa Davies died at Bristol Wells,
August the 18th, 1755, in the 25th year of her age.

On the northern end:

Elizabeth Davies,
widow of Mr. John Davies,
and daughter of Matthew Phillipps,
of Tredrea,
died April the 21st, 1775,
aged 80.

On the west end:

In memory of the Rev. Edward Giddy, M.A.
during 43 years an active and most useful Magistrate,
who departed this life March the 6th, 1814,
in his 80th year.
Also of
Catherine, his wife,
363 sister and heir of Henry Davies, Esq.
who died February the 3d, 1803, aged 75,
leaving one son and one daughter:
Davies Giddy,
Mary Philippa Davies Guillemard.

The Editor is desirous of preserving a short memorial to a relation, whose kindnesses to him were unceasing from infancy to the fifty-fifth year of his age; and to a servant whom he has ever regarded with gratitude as the one whose precepts and instructions he imbibed with the utmost pleasure and delight, and whose tales of the times of old remain deeply impressed upon his mind.

To the memory of
Mrs. Grace Jenkins,
born at Treloweth, 1734,
died April 7th, 1823,
having passed the greater part of her life
in this parish, universally
esteemed and respected.

This memorial,
in gratitude for her long and faithful service,
is inscribed to the memory of
Jochebed Hoskin,
who died March the 23d, 1814, aged 86,
by Davies Gilbert.
She came to live with Mrs. Elizabeth Davies,
at Tredrea, in 1750,
and continued in the family ever afterwards.

Time rolls his ceaseless course! the race of yore,
That danced our infancy upon their knee,
And told our wondering childhood legends store
Of strange adventures happ’d by land or sea,
How are they blotted from the things that be!

364 There is a vault belonging to the family of Hawkins; and Mr. Christopher Hawkins, in 1767, and his widow, Mrs. Mary Hawkins, in 1780, are laid in it, I believe with some of their children; but there is not any inscription.

Perthcolumb presents some appearance of antiquity. There is a tradition of its once having given a sheriff to the county. The place now belongs to Mr. Andrew Hoskin, descended from a very ancient family in the adjoining parish of Lelant.

Gear has a good house, once the seat of another branch of the Davieses, but bought by the Editor’s father.

Tregethes belonged for several descents to the Penroses. It is now the property of Mr. Ellis, who resides in it.

About the year 1782, a mill was constructed on a part of Trewinnard, for rolling copper and iron, by a company established at Hayle thirty years before, on the supposed patriotic principle of smelting our own copper ore; but, after many years of competition against the smelting-works in Wales, it was discovered that one shipload of copper ore required three shiploads of coal, and that by importing coal from Swansea to work the steam-engine, and by exporting the ores to be smelted there, vessels were enabled to obtain cargoes in both directions; and, in consequence, the works at Trewinnard and at Hayle are no longer employed for their original purposes.

The rage for importing coals to reduce our own ores at home, which was epidemic about the middle of the last century, seems to have originated from a confusion of ideas in the application of analogies, the most abundant source of error. It would be absurd to send our food across the seas to be roasted or boiled; therefore the same principle was extended to copper ore.

These establishments were, however, maintained for some considerable time by the genius and the abilities of one man. Mr. John Edwards had been taken as a clerk for general business by Mr. Hawkins, just at the time when he 365 and other Cornish gentlemen set on the copper-works. Mr. Edwards soon forced himself into the chief management, became a partner, and continued the works during the whole of his life; not being distinguished merely as a merchant or manufacturer, but as a scholar and a gentleman.

Gurlyn is said by Mr. Lysons to have been the residence of various considerable families. It has, for perhaps a century, been the joint property of Messrs. Gregor and Harris. About the year 1760, Mr. John Millett, possessing a lease of this place for lives, built an entirely new house there; but the lease has been bought in by the gentleman seised of the freehold, and the house taken down.

Treloweth is a manor heretofore the property of the Tredreas. On a part of this manor stands a tin-smelting house. Tin, by the laws of the Stannaries, must be reduced to the metallic state in Cornwall; and much less quantities of coal are required than in the case of copper. Till about the commencement of the last century, all the tin ores of Cornwall were smelted in small blast furnaces, by means of charcoal or of peat. At that period some Germans introduced the reverberatory furnace, and with it the use of coal. Several smelting-houses were immediately constructed by the gentlemen of the county, and although not among the first, that at Treloweth. I have ascertained the exact period of its building, from this circumstance, that the workmen were interrupted by the total eclipse of the sun, which happened about 15 minutes before nine on the 22d of April, 1715, O. S.

Mr. Henry Davies, the Editor’s great-uncle, was among those who contributed to the building, and the crest of his arms, a lamb carrying a flag, was adopted as a mark to distinguish the slabs of this house; all the different smelting and blowing houses having always used specific marks. The crest, had, I presume, been originally taken in allusion to the Welch and Cornish sound, at least of his name; davas being Cornish for a sheep, or perhaps a shepherd. This mark, however, conveyed to the minds of persons in 366 Catholic countries some idea of consecration, and procured a preference for the Lamb Tin, although it never claimed to have the slightest superiority; and finally, all the other houses have taken the same, or similar marks.

Among the Germans who introduced the reverberatory furnace, was the celebrated Becker. His son became a bricklayer, and his grandson’s widow died about twenty-five years ago in the poorhouse at St. Earth.

The Rev. John Ralph, Vicar of Ingatestone, son of the Vicar of St. Earth, gave in 1754 a hundred pounds towards founding a school at St. Earth, to be applied as Mr. Collins, the then Vicar, and Mr. Hawking, of Trewinnard, should direct. Some portion of the 100l. was expended in repairing a small house in the church-yard. The remainder, together with another hundred pounds, given by Mr. Hawkins, remain in aid of the schoolmaster.

This parish measures 3,791 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 4,708 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 558 2 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase in 30 years of 71 per cent.

The feast is the nearest Sunday to all Souls, Nov. 2.

Present Vicar, the Rev. John Punnett, collated in 1835 by the Right Rev. Henry Phillpotts, present Bishop of Exeter, on a lapse from the Dean and Chapter. Mr. Punnett has wonderfully improved the house and the vicarage generally, which had previously been considered one of the best in Cornwall.


St. Earth is situated on felspar and hornblende rocks belonging to the porphyritic series. In many parts these rocks are so silicious as to give rise to very unproductive soils; but in other places, where the felspar predominates, the land is very fertile. These rocks are traversed by metalliferous veins, which are richer in copper than in tin ores.




Is situate in the hundred of Trig-minorshire, and has upon the north St. Minvor, east St. Mabyn and Bodman, south and west the river Allan. For the modern name, it is taken from the church and the place of its situation, and signifies the river church, or the church upon the river. In the Domesday Book, 20th William I. this parish was taxed under the jurisdiction of Treworder, or Trevorder, viz. the further town, upon the confines thereof. In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, Ecclesia de Egles-haile was valued to first fruits cs.; Vicar ejusdem nihil, propter paupertatem, the patronage in the Bishop of Exeter, who endowed it. The incumbent Maye; the rectory in possession of Walker. This church, in Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, was rated 16l.; and valued to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 200l. Walter Brounscomb, Bishop of Exeter 1270, endowed this church, and Stoke-Gabriel church in Devon, and gave the sheaf thereof towards celebrating the festival of the Angel Gabriel, which he had instituted.

Park, that is, a field of any sort, otherwise in this parish it signifies a deer-park, was one of the ancient seats of the Peverells, lineally descended from William the Conqueror, by Jane his concubine, the wife of Randolph Peverell, of Hatfield-Peverell parish, in Witham Decanatus, in the county of Essex, who abdicated the said Jane, and left her wholly on the Conqueror’s hands, who had issue by her a son, named William Peverell, (who, because born during the joint marriage and lives of the said Randolph and Jane, was surnamed Peverell,) upon whom the Conqueror settled the honor, manor, and borough of Nottingham, and town of Lyndeby, on him, and his heirs male. [Here Mr. Hals goes into a long history of the Peverells, wholly unconnected with Cornwall.]

368 Thomas Peverell, of Park, a supposed descendant of the Conqueror’s son, who was also of Ermington and Sandford, in Devon, was Sheriff of Cornwall 13 Richard II. He was also Sheriff of Devon 20 Richard II. Richard Peverell, his son, was Sheriff of Devon 14 Henry IV. who dying without issue male, his lands went in marriage with his daughter, married to Basset of Umberleigh, Botreaux, and others.

On this lordship of Park those gentlemen had their deer-park, some of the walls and fences being yet standing; their tower-house, and other buildings answerable, their gardens, walk, and fish-ponds beneath the same, the ruins whereof are yet extant. How those lands descended down from Peverell’s heirs to the last age I know not; about which time it was in the possession of Opie and Hickes; from whom it passed by sale to the Hon. John Molesworth, temp. Queen Anne, as I take it.

The arms of Peverell were, Gules, a fess Argent between six crosses pattée Or.

Those Peverells are especially memorable here by two crosses of moorstone in the highway set up by them, still extant, and called Peverell’s Crosses. Not far from them is another moorstone cross, near Mount-Charles, called the Prior’s Cross, whereon is cut the figure of a hook and a crook, in memory of that privilege and freedom granted by him to the poor of Bodmin, for gathering, for fire-boote and house-boote, such boughs and branches of oak-trees in his contiguous wood of Dunmear, as they could reach to or come at with a hook and a crook, without further damage to the trees thereof. From whence arose the Cornish proverb, concerning filching, purloining, or taking another person’s goods, overmuch or indirectly, beyond what is allowed them, &c. “that they will have it by hook or by crook.”

Pen-carou, Pen-caro, alias Pen-carow, i. e. head-deer, or chief-deer, formerly part of the Peverell’s deer-park; and from thence so denominated, as some think. But when I 369 consider that Caer-kynock, or Caer-kunock, is situate on the lands thereof, now called Castle-kynock, i. e. the king, prince, or sovereign’s castle, extant here long before the Norman Conquest, I take the modern name Pen-carow only to be a corruption of Pen-caer-ou, or Pen-caer-ow, i. e. my head castle, or city, intrenched or fortified place, according to the artificial and natural circumstances thereof, it being on a high hill, overlooking the contiguous country, the ruins are of the largest British camp or intrenchment that ever I saw in Cornwall, containing about 100 acres of land, and consisting of a four-fold rampart, yet of a great height in some places, with several platforms or counterscarps within the same, for offence or defence, in case of storm or surprise.

[The camp in Pencarrow Park has a double vallum, the inner one oval, inclosing an area 250 feet by 200; the outer one of an irregular form. On the east side, at the distance of about 700 feet from this camp, are some extensive outworks. Lysons.]

This barton gave name and original to an old family of gentlemen, surnamed De Pen-carow, who siding with Richard the Third against Henry the Seventh, as some say, but, as others will have it, with Flammock, in his insurrection against that King, he lost this place, and other lands, by attainder of treason (see Bocarne, in Bodmin), having before conveyed a great part of his estate to Henry the first Lord Marney, of Colquitta, to procure a reprieve, or pardon of his life, from that king; from whose heirs it came to the Walkers of Exeter, by descent or purchase, and from them to John Molesworth, of Tretane, Esq. first but an attorney-at-law, afterwards commissioner or auditor to Queen Elizabeth in those parts for the Duchy of Cornwall, that married one of the coheirs of Hender, so called from the parish of Molesworth, in Lightstone hundred, in the county of Huntingdon.

From the local place aforesaid, was denominated Walter de Molesworth, Sheriff of Bedfordshire, from the 26th to 370 the 36th of Edward I. anno Dom. 1298; the which gentleman accompanied King Edward into Palestine, and returned with him safe into England again. After the decease of the said Edward, he was knighted by King Edward the Second, and was made Sheriff of Bedfordshire again by the name of Walter de Molesworth, Knt. from the 6th to the 9th of Edward II. 1316, in which year he died, and was succeeded by John de Pabenham. From which gentleman, as I am informed, was lineally descended John Molesworth, Esq. aforesaid, that married Hender, and by her had issue, Hender Molesworth, Esq. that married Spark of Plymouth, and by her had issue my very kind friend John Molesworth, Esq. and Hender Molesworth, with a daughter married to Dr. Hart; the which John Molesworth married two wives, Wise, and Slannen, the relict of Legard, afterwards knighted by Charles the Second, and had issued by Wise, John Molesworth, Esq. that married Arscott of Tetcot, and hath issue, Hender Molesworth aforesaid, the son of Hender Molesworth, who being bred a soldier, managed affairs with that valour and conduct, that, after passing gradually to the dignity of a colonel, he was by King James the Second made a baronet of England, and governor of the Island of Jamaica, where he purchased a considerable estate in land, and called it Tremolesworth, which, together with his honour (if he died without issue male, according to the limitation of his letters patent as a baronet), is now legally descended to Sir John Molesworth, of Pencarow, Bart. The arms of Molesworth are, Vaire, a bordure Gules, charged with eight cross-crosslets Argent.

Kestell, in this parish, i. e. a castle, so called, I presume, for that heretofore it had upon the lands thereof some camp or castle-like intrenchment, for kestell is derived from the provincial Latin of the Romans in Britain, castrum, or castellum; which place gave name and original to an old family of gentlemen, surnamed de Kestell. The 371 first possessor thereof of this tribe, as appears from the record in the Office of Arms, was John de Kestell, temp. Edward I. where his posterity have ever since flourished, to the time of writing hereof, in good fame and reputation, between the degrees of a justice of the peace and that of a hundred constable; the present possessor James Kestell, Gent. that married Vaughan of Trewothick and Ottery, in Devon, his father Kestell of Manacow, and giveth for his arms, Argent, three falcons Proper; as also, Or, three castles turreted Gules. (See Kestel, in Manaccan.)

Pen-davy, or Pen-duffy, i. e. David’s head, (why so called, qu.?) a head or promontory of land situate between the Alan and the Kestell rivers, was formerly the lands of Kestell (and before that the Prior of Bodmin’s, as I am informed); by Kestell’s daughter and heir it passed in marriage to Nathaniel Moyle, Esq. barrister-at-law, of Bakehouse, who for want of issue sold it to Mr. Ustick, now in possession thereof.

Crone, Croan, in this parish, signifies a skin or hide of leather; so called either from the tanner that made or sold leather here, or rather for that this tenement consisteth in quanto of a hide or skin of land, viz. as much arable ground as one plough can cultivate in a year, commonly reckoned about eighty statute acres. This barton was formerly the lands of Roscarrock, by whom it was sold to Michael Hill, Gent. by whose son, John Hill, Rector of St. Mabyn, it was sold to Edward Hoblyn, Gent. attorney-at-law, a younger branch of the Nanswhiddon family by the Hoblyns of Bodmin, now in possession thereof. He is especially memorable for his saying, when first he began to practice, “that he would get an estate by the law one way or other,” viz. right or wrong, and common fame saith he was as good as his word, in the worst[41] sense. Whereupon, 372 since his death, by an unknown but arch hand, was fixed upon his grave in this parish church this taunting epitaph:

Here lies Ned,
I am glad he’s dead,
If there must be another,
I wish ’twere his brother,
And, for the good of the Nation,
His whole relation.

Treg-leah, in this parish, i. e. the law town or dwelling, is the lands of William Keckwitch, Gent. a younger branch of the Keckwitches of Trehawke, and giveth for his arms, Argent, in bend two lions passant Sable. It was since sold to Mr. Hoblyn.

In this parish is Castle Killy-biry, or Killy-biny, consisting of about six acres of ground upon a well-advanced hill, within a treble intrenchment of earth. Perhaps one of the castles possessed by that arch-traitor the Pictish Mordred, slain by King Arthur, (see Dundagell,) from whence his soldiers were routed; for the circumstance of this castle on the Alan river may agree with those verses mentioned under Lentegles by Camelford, for the river Camel is properly called the Alan river, as well as Camel.

Below Egles-hayle church (on the Alan river as aforesaid), where the sea creek or cove of Padstow Haven makes its daily flux and reflux, stands Ward Bridge, i. e. guard or watch bridge; otherwise, as Mr. Carew says, called Wade Bridge, from a little ford near it, which afforded, when the tide was out, a short but dangerous passage over it. But where this little vadum, or ford, should be, I know not, there being no other river to pass over from east to west but the Alan river aforesaid. Which bridge, as an artificial ligament, fasteneth the two parishes of Egles-hayle and St. Breock together, they being in all other places separated by the river. It was built in the latter end of Edward the Fourth’s reign, and beginning of Henry the Seventh’s; not, as Leland says, at the county charge, but, as all other works of this kind were, viz. by collections, and commutation of penance for sins 373 committed; for it was not made a county bridge till the beginning of James the First’s reign. Now this licence of all spiritual benedictions, collection, and commutation of penance, throughout the counties of Cornwall and Devon, was there granted by Dr. Peter Courtenay, Bishop of Exeter, to Thomas Longbound, then Vicar of Egles-hayle, his chaplain or vicar, 1485, who raised a considerable sum of money by that means, viz. of absolution, as also from charitable and well-disposed Christians. The undertaker, that expert mason John de Harlyn, and the treasurer Longbound, brought the bridge’s building to that perfection as it now stands, consisting of seventeen arches of stone of great height and magnitude, all built with great cost and labour, through which (as aforesaid) the sea passes up and down daily through the Alan river to Tagus, (i. e. Goodwood,) a mile, and is navigable for boats, barges, and lighters, to that place, which there bring sea sand, and other commodities, for the country-people’s use.

On the lower side of the bridge, from Padstow Haven, ships and barks laden with merchandise frequently arrive, of burthen from twenty to sixty tons, from Bristol, Wales, Ireland, and other places, where their commodities have better vent than at Padstow, two or three miles below, nearer the main sea.

Leland, in his Itinerary, tells us, volume the second, that some of the arches of this bridge were laid upon quicksand, which for some time made the treasurer and undertaker despair of success, till they projected the laying of packs of wool under the groundwork, which proved such a useful expedient as carried on the fabric according to their desire, and the same stands firm to this day.

After this bridge was erected, Longbound, the vicar, gave a small parcel of land towards the repair thereof, now worth 20l. per annum, and enfeoffed the twelve men of this parish, and their successors, in trust with the same for ever. There are also other lands in St. Breock, given by 374 the Prior of Bodmin, and other well-affected benefactors to the bridge, for the same purpose. At present this bridge stock is about 300l. and is set at the yearly rent for about 10l. per annum. Lastly, this just and indefatigable benefactor Longbound, after he had finished the bridge, with the moneys and stones left, caused to be built the tower of Egles-hayle church, as it now stands; over the belfry-door of which, in stone, on the north side, are cut in an escutcheon his arms, viz. a human heart, and superscribed Longbound. On the other side of the door aforesaid are cut, impaled, a chevron between two falcons, and a chevron between three ravens’ heads. Which first I take to be the arms of Kestell, and the latter of Ravenscroft of Cheshire, his wife.

From this parish was denominated an old family of gentlemen surnamed de Egles-hayle, of which family was Matheus de Egleshayle, Sheriff of Devon from the 1st year of Edward the First to the 6th, who gave for his arms, Argent, a cross Sable, and a fleur-de-lis in the first quarter.


In this parish stands the lordship and barton of Pencarrow, which name may signify a deer-park. But I take the name of Pencarrow to be of a much more ancient date than the first bringing of deer into this land, and that the name is taken from the natural circumstances of the place, as compounded of pen-car-ow, head-rock-ry, for in this place is digged a quarry of bright clear freestone, that works with tool, plane, or hammer, equal to any other in Cornwall, as may be seen by the beautiful house Sir John Molesworth has built with it, and which is not yet quite finished. And surely it may be said of this barton, without disparagement to any other man’s lands, that for wood, water, and stone, it may compare with, if not exceed, any other part of the kingdom; neither do the lands come 375 behind any in the neighbourhood for fruitfulness. It is the seat of Sir John Molesworth, Knt. and Bart. who was knighted by Charles the Second, and succeeded to the title of baronet by the issueless decease of his younger brother, Sir Hender Molesworth, Governor of Jamaica, who left him a considerable estate in that island, and was the first baronet created by William the Third. This family is a younger branch of the descendants of Sir Walter de Molesworth, of Northamptonshire, who flourished in martial prowess in the days of Edward the First, and went with him to the Holy Land. John Molesworth, son of the above Sir John Molesworth, married the daughter of —— Arscot, Esq. of Tetcot, in Devonshire.

Kestle. The very name implies that heretofore it was a fortified place. Here liveth James Kestle, Esq. from thence denominated ever since that John de Kestle, lord of this place in the time of Edward the First, assumed that name; where his posterity, for about twenty descents, have ever since flourished in good fame and reputation; and give for their arms, Argent, a chevron Sable between three falcons Proper, armed with tasses and bells Or. Their crest, a castle Gules.

Pendavy, the good promontory, is situated on a hill forming a peninsula by the river Alan, on the west side, and a rivulet which has two heads, one in St. Teath and the other in St. Mabyn, on the east side. Here dwelleth Nathaniel Moyle, Esq. a younger brother of Sir Walter Moyle, of Bake; to whom, by his marriage with Johan, the daughter and heir of Thomas Kestle, of this place, Esq. the lordship descended. Mr. Moyle having only one son, of the same name as himself, by this marriage, that died unmarried about four years since, and being something indebted, sold this lordship (which claimeth a royalty over all the river, and the bushelage of all goods brought up to Wade bridge) for a very considerable value (reserving his own and his lady’s lives on the barton), in the year 1703, to Michael Ustick, Gent. collector of Bideford, and 376 second brother to Oliver Ustick, of Lea, in St. Burian, Gent.

The Harbour of Padstow is navigable every tide up to this place, where vessels of sixty or seventy tons carry and recarry their loading of such commodities as the country needs, coal, salt, limestone, &c. and here they find generally a better vent for their goods than at Padstow, near the mouth of the river, which has occasioned the building of some houses on each side of the bridge, but mostly on the eastern, where are indifferent good quarters for travellers, who are sometimes forced to stop here against their wills, there being no passing over the bridge to the west in high spring tides, by reason that the ground on the western side is very low, and at such times overflowed with the sea.

Croan, the cross. Mr. Edward Hoblin built a good house at this place, and left it to his eldest son, of the same name, who was sheriff of Cornwall 8th George I. He married Barbara, the second daughter and coheir of Henry Hawkins, of St. Austell, Gent. by whom he had only one daughter, Damaris.


Wade Bridge has a considerable number of houses on both sides of the river; and I apprehend that no inconvenience is now experienced from high tides on the western side. A toll has been levied for some years past, in aid of the revenue left for its repair; and in this year (1833) a railway, or tram road, is being constructed from thence to Bodmin.

Pendavy was inhabited by Mr. Ustick, the son or successor of Mr. Richard Ustick, who made the purchase. This gentleman married Catherine Trewren, daughter of the Rev. Richard Trewren, of Trewardreva, Rector of Withyell, and Catherine Davies, of St. Earth.

Mr. Ustick parted with Pendavy from a cause similar to that which induced the former proprietor to sell it; and 377 his widow, left without a family, or much provision, resided at Padstow till her decease in 1791. Pendavy now belongs to Sir William Molesworth.

Crowan was given by the will of Mrs. Damaris Kirkham to her first cousin, the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne, and it is now the property of his son, John Hearle Tremayne, Esq.

The church of this parish is situated in a manner very like to that of St. Earth, on the river Hayle.

Egles-hayle measures 4,250 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 6757 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 622 14 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 71 per cent. in 30 years.


This parish lies parallel with that of St. Breock, on the opposite side of the river Camel, and is composed of similar rocks.

Present Vicar, the Rev. Richard Corey, collated by the Bishop of Exeter in 1804.

[41] But whether in the first or last way who shall tell?



Is situate in the hundred of East, and hath upon the north North Petherwin; east, St. Thomas; south, Trewenn; west, St. Cleather. In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, Capella de Egleskerry in Decanatu de Major Trigshire xll.; after which time, but before the statute of Richard the Second 378 against the total impropriation of vicarages, it was, by its patron and endower, the Prior of Launceston, alias St. Stephen’s, wholly impropriated; so that it is not named in Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and I take it Tremayne vicarage was then as a daughter church consolidated into it by the said Prior: whereby it is only a lectureship, the Vicar subsisting on a small stipend.

In the Domesday Roll, 20 William I. (1087), this district was taxed under the name of Pen-hall-an, now Penheale, then and still the voke lands of a considerable manor. Soon after the Norman Conquest, if not before, the De Boterells, alias De Botreauxes, were possessed of this place; for in the time of Henry the Second and Richard the First, Richard de Botreaux held 12 knights’ fees in Cornwall (Carew’s Survey thereof, p. 49); one of which was held of the King in this place by his posterity to the 3d Henry the Fourth; where we further read, p. 41: “William de Boteraux tenet dimid. part. feod. de Morton, in Penhele, de Rege.” From the Botreauxes, for want of issue male, those lands, by a daughter, with much other, were carried in marriage to Hungerford; as Hungerfords’ heirs, in like manner, carried it to Hastings. By Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, it was sold to George Grenvill, Esq. that married Julyan, one of the daughters of William Vyell, of Trevorder, who sold it to John Speccot, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 20th James I. grandfather of my kind friend the Hon. John Speccot, Esq. three times chosen Shire Knight for this county, temp. William III. (in order to which the writer hereof and many of his friends were his votes). He married the Lady Essex Robartes, daughter of the Right Hon. John Earl of Radnor, who died without issue, and settled those lands upon his kinsman Thomas Long, Esq. now in possession thereof; and who giveth for his arms, Sable, a lion rampant between eight cross-crosslets Argent: descended from the Longs of Wiltshire.

John Speccot, Esq. gave by his last will and testament a thousand pounds for the benefit of a mathematical school 379 in the county of Cornwall, where all children were to be taught gratis; the master to have the interest of the 1,000l. This school was first opened at Penryn, but is now at Looe.

Tre-lyn-ike, in this parish, i. e. the town of the lake, leate, or bosom of waters, is the dwelling of Christopher Baron.

Since the writing hereof this gentleman is dead; and this place, for want of issue, is descended to his sister’s son, Mr. Saltern, now in possession thereof.


This church is dedicated to St. Kyryasius, or Carisius, Bishop of Ostia, in Italy, and who is said to have suffered martyrdom in the year 226. But Moreri relates of this person, or of one similarly named, that he pointed out to the Empress Helena the spot where the true Cross had been concealed.

The Hon. John Speccot, three times Knight of the Shire, married the Lady Essex Robartes, daughter of the Right Hon. John Earl of Radnor, but on the very day subsequent to their marriage Mr. Speccot was seized with the small-pox; and the lady experienced a fatal attack from the same dreadful disease about a month afterwards, just as her husband was getting well. His father married a daughter of John Eliot, of Port Eliot, Esq. Mr. John Speccot died in August 1703, without issue, and gave a great deal to charitable uses; but he devised the bulk of his estate to the heirs of his aunt, and, after many lawsuits and disputes, his first cousin, Thomas Long, came into possession of Penhele. He was Sheriff of Cornwall In 1724, and left one son, John Speccot Long, and three daughters. This gentleman died sine prole. He was the last male heir, and the property went among his sisters.

The arms of Speccot are, on a bend Gules, three millrinds pierced Argent. Penhele, or Penhale, is the head of the river.


Of the three sisters of Mr. John Speccot Long, one remained single. Another married Mr. Charles Phillipps, of Camelford, eldest son of Mr. John Phillipps, attorney-at-law. This gentleman represented Camelford in Parliament, and was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Cornwall Militia. He survived his wife, and acquired through her a third part of the Long property, which, with all his other possessions, he bequeathed in equal portions to his two brothers, Mr. Jonathan Phillipps, a Captain with him in the militia, and the Rev. William Phillipps, Rector of Lanteglos, the parish including Camelford. These two brothers came to some arrangement with the two sisters, by which this share of Penhale at least reverted to them.

The third sister, Margaret Long, first married Mr. Charles Davie, of the family settled at Orleigh, in Devonshire. He carried on, however, some business in Bristol, and is said to have been in very bad circumstances. He died after a few years, and in her old age the widow was induced to marry Mr. John Bridlake Herring, a Major in the army, who resorted to all possible methods for extorting money from the old lady; one that will scarcely be credited, by terrifying her with supposed apparitions. The three sisters are reputed to have excelled in beauty of person, but to have been so utterly neglected in their education, as scarcely to possess the common acquirement of reading.

The Editor remembers to have seen Penhale and the old lady in 1788. Her appearance, then near eighty, justified the report respecting her youth, and the house seemed to rank among the very finest specimens of ancient buildings in Cornwall, as well for size as for architectural decoration. Near the entrance stood a very curious dial, probably placed there by Mr John Speccot, who founded a mathematical school.

The barton of Penhale is again divided; one portion 381 belonging to a grandson of Major Herring, who has taken the name of Cloberry, and another to the Rev. Charles Sweet, of Kentisbury, in Devonshire.

This parish measures 2,829 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 181 2195 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 301 17 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 74 per cent. in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. John Serjeant, instituted in 1826.


Egles-Kerry is almost entirely situated on that extensive chain of downs, which runs across the country from Launceston to the Bristol Channel; composed of rocks which are very quartzose, but in many parts appear to be almost entirely felspar, commonly, however, united with some colouring material which stains them to a dark blue. This is particularly the case near the church, where the rocks very strongly resemble those at Rosecradock, and in other parts of St. Cleer. Northward, these rocks appear to pass into the Dunstone; but it must be confessed that their geological position is not yet elucidated; for, like the compact rocks of King Arthur’s Castle in Tintagel, of St. Stephen’s, and Pentire Points, on each side of Padstow Harbour, and elsewhere, they yet require to be carefully and patiently investigated.




Is situate in the hundred of Trigminor, and hath upon the north the Irish Sea; east, St. Teth; south, St. Kewe; west, St. Minvor. This is that Delian taxed in Domesday Roll, 20th William I. (1087,) and refers to the name of the tutelar guardian and patron of this church, here extant before the Norman Conquest, viz. St. Delian, or Telian, a British saint, said to be made Bishop of Menevia, or Landaff, after St. David’s death, anno Dom. 563, (see Davidstow,) (who was born in Merionethshire, and had his education under St. Dubritius, Bishop of Landaff, anno Dom. 520,) by whose instruction and piety he became a learned and pious divine, and was furthered and confirmed therein by St. David, afterwards Bishop of Landaff, alias Menevia.

This St. Delian accompanied St. David in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to visit the holy cross and sepulchre, from whence they safely returned again into their own country; and finding the same greatly infected with the plague, St. Delian, as was generally said, by his sincere and fervent prayers soon delivered that country from the malignity of that fatal disease, which long time before had destroyed great numbers of its inhabitants. He is placed by Harpsfield and Campion in the Constat of the Bishops of Landaff, and that he died about the year 570.

In this church of St. Delian, (now called Ene-Delian, or Ene-Dellian,) soon after the Norman Conquest, some gentlemen, lords of tenements in this parish, set up and endowed here a court, corporation, or college, of six Prebends, or Canons Augustine, as council or assistants to the Bishop, Dean, or Rector, viz. the Lord of the Barton of Trearike, now Peter’s, and two others, who alternately are patrons of this church, and present the rector thereto. 383 The Prebend of Trearick was given by Richardson to one Grey; the patronage of which is in the Earl of Radnor.

In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, the revenues of Ecclesia de Enedelian-ta, (id est, the church of the good soul of Delian,) then a vicarage, were thus charged:

1. Prebend. Dom. Paganus de Liske, in eadem, xls.

2. Prebend. John Moderet, lxs.

3. Prebend. Henricus de Monkton, iiiil. iis.

4. Prebend. Dominus Reginald Thick, iiiil. iis.

5. Prebend. Magister Osberti, iiii. xs.

6. Prebend. Magister William de Wymondham, iiiil. xs.

Vicarius ejusdem xxs.
In all 23l. 4s.

In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, this church of Endelian is rated to First Fruits 10l. The Incumbent Wills; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 180l.

Within this district now stands the barton and manor of Ros-cur-ok, rated as the voke lands of two manors or parishes in Domesday Roll, 20th William I. (1087.) The same, I suppose, mentioned in Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, p. 47.

Tre-freke, alias Tre-vreke, alias Tre-frege, synonymous words in British, (that is to say, the wife’s town, or a town pertaining to some wife,) is the dwelling of John Hamly, Gent, that married Treffreye.

Pen-nant, in this parish, (i. e. the head of the valley,) is the dwelling of John Rawe, Gent. that married Kelly.

Tresongar, or Tresongadh, is the dwelling of John Matthews, Gent. that married Vivian of Truan. The present possessor, Mr. Matthews, leaving no issue male, his only daughter and heir is married to Henry Bond, Gent. attorney-at-law, steward to the Earl of Radnor.

In this parish, as I take it, is situate the barton of Cheny (see St. Teth).

It is now, I suppose, in possession of Mr. Danell.


Roscarrake, in this parish, gave name and residence to the old and famous family of gentlemen, from thence denominated De Roscarrake.

Richard de Roscarrack held in this place the fourth part of a knight’s fee in the reign of Henry the Fourth, as appears from Carew’s Survey.

John Roscarrack was Sheriff of Cornwall in the 6th Henry VII. Richard Roscarrack was Sheriff in 4th Edward VI. again 2d Elizabeth. And John Roscarrack was Sheriff 17th Elizabeth.

They received great augmentation to their estate by the daughter and heir of Pentire of Pentuan, who brought to them the whole patrimony of that family: but, alas! so true is that saying, “Man doth not always flourish,” the great estate of this family, by ill conduct, was much wasted; and in the reign of Charles the Second, this very barton and manor of Roscarrack was sold by Charles Roscarrack to Edward Boscowen, Esq. in whose son and heir, Mr. Hugh Boscowen, of Tregothen, it now resteth.

Trefreke now belongs to Mr. John Hemley, who giveth for his arms, Argent, three hounds passant Azure.


Port Isaac, a small town of the sea coast, with a harbour for boats and sloops, is situated in this parish.

The church, standing on a high hill, is a landmark from the Bristol Channel.

The rectory, and one of the prebends, are in the gift of the Crown. Another of the prebends belongs to Mrs. Agar, the representative of the Robartes. The third is in the presentation of Mr. Gray.

385 The north aile of the church is said to have been built by the Roscarracks, and to have remained their private property, with a burial-place below it.

This parish measures 3,083 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 5215 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 745 6 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 67½ per cent. in 30 years.


St. Enedellyan has been long celebrated for its mines of antimony. This metal occurs in the state of a sulphuret, associated with iron pyrites, in quartz veins, which run east and west, traversing a blue lamellar slate, very similar to that which frequently abounds in the calcareous series, and to which, indeed, this slate belongs. Some curious varieties of rocks in this series are found in St. Enedellyan, one of which, in particular, abounds between the church and Port Isaac, which was noticed by Sir Humphrey Davy in a decomposing state, under the name of mandelstone. In this state it is a dull earthy argillaceous rock, of an ochreous colour, full of small, roundish cavities. In its perfect state this rock is a greenish-grey, glossy, compact felspar, containing granules of flesh-coloured calcareous spar, and minute prisms of hornblende. During decomposition, the calcareous spar is dissolved, and washed away by the rainwater, which produces the honeycomb appearance; and the ferruginous stain is derived from the iron contained in the hornblende. This rock has been described by Mr. Prideaux as occurring in Devon. It is very rare in Cornwall.




Is situate in the hundred of Pidre, and hath upon the north Little Colon; east, St. Stephen’s and St. Denis; south, Ladoch; west, Newland. In the Domesday Tax, 20th William I. (1087,) this district was taxed under the names of Borthy and Resparva. And Berthy is still the voke lands of a manor pertaining to Penrose, now Boscawen and others. The 3d Henry IV. one Ralph de Borthy held in Dinbegh, in Pidre, by the tenure of knight-service, a small knight’s fee. (Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, p. 41.)

In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester into the value of Cornish Benefices, (1294,) Ecclesia Enadori in Decanatu de Pidre, is rated viil. vis. viiid. Vicar ejusdem xxs. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, and Valor Beneficiorum, Enador Vic. is valued at 26l. 13s. 4d.; the patronage in the Bishop of Exeter, who endowed it; the Incumbent Martin; the Rectory, or sheaf, in possession of Davy’s heirs; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, (1696,) 141l. 6s.

Some of the inhabitants of this parish have told me that one St. Athenodorus is the tutelar guardian of this church, from whom it is denominated Enador. Athenodorus, the stoic philosopher of Athens, was born before Christ Jesus, and was tutor to the Emperor Augustus, who taught him that he should neither do or say any thing, but take respite till he could say over the Greek alphabet, that so he might neither say or do any thing through rashness or anger; for which advice he is specially remembered.

Car-vin-ike, alias Car-fyn-ike, (i. e. the rock spring, fountain, leat, or riveret of water, so called from the natural circumstances of the place,) is the dwelling of Anthony Tanner, Gent. that married Carthew; his father Arundell, 387 by whom he had this place. Originally descended from the Tanners, late of Court and Boderick, in St. Stephen’s, and giveth the same arms.

Pen-coll, or Pen-cooth, in this parish, (i. e. the head-wood, a name also of old taken from the ancient natural circumstances of the place,) is the dwelling of Arthur Fortescue, Gent. that married Verman; his father Elford, being of the Fortescues of Filleigh, in Devon, and gives the same arms.

Gon-rounsan, in this parish, is the dwelling of John Flammock, Gent. that married Coode, and giveth for his arms the same as the Flammocks of Bodmin. This land is since sold to Philip Hawkins, Esq. son of Mr. Hawkins of Creed.

Tre-wheler, in this parish, is the dwelling of Edward Hoblyn, Gent. that married Williams; his father Cosowarth; a younger branch of Nanswhiddon family, and giveth the same arms.

This parish of St. Enedor is the flattest or levellest parish of lands in Cornwall, and, by consequence, the storehouse or preserver of moisture, or water; and in testimony of the wateryness of this soil, I do remember that in the latter end of the reign of King Charles the Second, the tower of this church sunk in its foundation, so much that the whole fabric fell to the ground, and greatly damnified the church with its stones; which church and tower, by the Bishop of Exeter’s grant of a collection throughout his diocese, are both again well-built and repaired as it now stands.

This parish is enriched with lodes of tin and copper.

At Pen-hale, or haile, in this parish, that is to say, the head-river, or the head of the river; and suitable to its name, in the low lands thereof are the original fountains or springs of two notable rivers, viz. that on the south side of those lands, making its current or flux to Tresillian Bridge, in Merther, on the south part of this county; that on the north side of Penhale lands, making its course to Lower 388 St. Colomb Port, on the north part of Cornwall; both which rivers abound with fishes proper to the country in their seasons, as trouts, eels, peal, and salmon, &c. before they empty themselves into the North and South Seas of the British Channel, and the Irish or Atlantic Ocean.


I have to remark on this parish, that all the southern part is in the hundred of Powder, although it is wholly rated to that of Pidar.

Athenodorus, to whom this church is dedicated, is a saint in the Roman Calendar, and brother to Gregory Thaumaturgus, or the miracle-worker, both natives of Neocæserea, in Pontus, or Cappadocia; of noble extraction, very well skilled in the sciences, the knowledge of tongues, and philosophy; who, hearing of the great fame of Origen, came to hear him, and were by his learned lessons, and holy exhortations, brought to leave the Pagan philosophy and all mundane sciences, and to embrace the holy theology, in which they made so great a progress in the space of five years, under so good a master, that, although they were both very young, they were honoured with the office of Bishops in the churches of Pontus. This St. Athenodorus suffered martyrdom about the year 272, under Aurelian.


In this parish are situated three villages, called Summercourt, Penhale, and Fraddon, each of which had formerly the privilege of holding an annual fair. All are now transferred to Somercourt. One held on the 25th of September, is considered to be the most important in Cornwall. The name is obviously modern, although the village itself seems to be quite as ancient as any in the neighbourhood.

There is in this parish also another village, of considerable importance up to the year 1832, called Michell, St. Michael, or Modeshole.

389 This place, although never entitled, by the utmost stretch of courtesy, to the appellation of a town, was privileged with sending Members to Parliament in the time of King Edward the Sixth, probably to increase the political power of the Lords Arundell, who then possessed the paramount manor of Michel, together with an unrivalled influence in that part of Cornwall.

Many of the small places in Cornwall received this privilege from the Tudors, for the express purpose of becoming close or nomination boroughs, withdrawn as they then were from public view or attention.

The system thus created has acted at different periods in various ways. At first, many of the small Boroughs returned neighbouring gentlemen to Parliament, the natural aristocracy of the country, and practically the peers of other gentlemen holding hereditary seats, and distinguished by the shadowy appellation of offices long since extinct. These representatives formed the strongest bulwark of national liberty in the subsequent reigns of the Stuarts. So that Charles the Second, and his brother King James, endeavoured to smooth the way for their progress towards despotism by invading chartered or prescriptive rights; and thus the inviolability of these rights became associated in men’s minds, after the Revolution, with the very idea of liberty itself; and this union remained so permanently fixed and strong at the distance of a century, as to dash in pieces the otherwise powerful administration of Mr. Fox and Lord North, because they proposed to interfere authoritatively with the Charter of the East India Company. Times were, however, at that period completely changed. The English Empire had extended itself into all parts of the globe; an immense manufacturing and commercial interest had grown up; and, of still greater consequence, the national debt had created a vast monied capital, not subject to the laws of primogeniture, and therefore inclined towards democracy. All these obtained representatives through the small Boroughs, but tempered in most cases 390 by the media through which the seats were acquired. Statesmen by profession, and many inclined to support the existing order of things by their situation in life, and by their connection, obtained admission also into Parliament in the same manner, and all these, united with the representatives of counties, and of large towns, formed an assembly, owing its existence, no doubt, to accidental causes, but, in the opinion of many wise and experienced men, better adapted to the government of a great country than any one that the world had seen, or than could be established by systematic arrangements.

That House of Commons has been swept away by the enactment of 1832; and it remains to be proved by an experiment, at which bold men might shrink, whether a more direct delegation will as effectually represent all the varied materials of the State, and whether a body so powerful may not ultimately absorb into its immediate superintendence the whole legislative and executive functions.

Michell had to boast among its representatives of Sir Walter Ralegh, of Mr. Carew, the historian of Cornwall, and of many distinguished gentlemen of the county. It used to be said, that Colonel Clive spent so much money in a contest for this place as to occasion his return to India, where he gained the battle of Plassey, and established the Eastern Empire.

The right of election seems to have been vague and undefined at Michell, as it was in early times at almost all other places; but repeated decisions of the House of Commons tended to ascertain, and usually to abridge the right, as this was deemed most favourable to the new Government; and finally, by Act of Parliament in 2d George II. the last decision of the House of Commons on any right of voting acquired the force and authority of law.

Such a decision took place with respect to Michell in the year 1700, fixing the right of voting in the possessors of five burgage tenures, here denominated mesne lordships, and in all resident payers of scot and lot. Property 391 within the limits of the borough being divided, and each possessor of land wishing to multiply voters, they were raised to the amount of sixty or eighty, till at last the whole property coming into the hands of two Cornish gentlemen, they, in promotion of a system which may yet be regretted, consolidated the land, let the better houses on conditions, such as to prevent the occupiers from appearing on the parish rates, and converted to farm shelters, or took down, hovels that were originally constructed for election purposes. Contests were thus avoided, and the borough rendered close; the two proprietors having mutually pledged themselves in writing to support each other in their equal shares.

One of the proprietors died, and his son continued to act on the agreement. The other proprietor also died; and his brother having verbally ratified the compact, continued also to act on it, and a joint return was made in 1830. But a total change of men and measures having taken place in the administration of Government, the Reform Bill was introduced, and so powerful is the action of party feelings on the most honourable minds, heightened as they were, on this important occasion, by an honest conviction generally entertained on all sides, of the real and permanent welfare of the country being involved, that one of the proprietors thought himself absolved from adhering to the contract, unless his associate would take the same line of politics on this great subject as himself. A poll was thereupon called for, and the numbers were, for Kenyon five, for Best three, and Hawkins two; one voter having been got over by the infringing party.

Pencoose is now the property of Mr. William Basset, having been purchased from the Fortescues.

Trewhele belongs to Mr. John Basset, of this parish.

Treweere is held in joint tenantry by Mr. Retollock, son of Mr. Retollock who resided at Michell as agent for the borough, and Sir Richard Vyvyan, of Trelowarren. This place is considered to be a barton; and it must 392 formerly have been the residence of some gentleman, although the place is now reduced to a common farm.

Gomronson, heretofore the property of the Flammocks, now belongs to Hawkins.

Boswallow was purchased by Mr. John Stephens, of St. Ives, about the middle of the last century, and now belongs to his grandson, Mr. Samuel Stephens, of Tregenna.

The paramount manor of Michell has passed into various families, on account of its political importance. Originally Arundell’s, it for some time belonged to the Scawens, an ancient race of Cornish gentlemen now extinct. One of the family held the honourable, and then gratuitous, office of Vice Warden, on the Restoration of King Charles the Second.[42] This manor was finally purchased by the late Sir Christopher Hawkins, and belonged to his devisee at the period of the general dissolution of close boroughs.

St. Enodor measures 6,140 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 5303 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 399 12 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 29⅓ per cent. in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. S. M. Walker, collated by the Bishop of Exeter in 1828.


Its extreme eastern corner is situated on granite, where it meets with the parishes of St. Columb Major and St. Dennis. The remainder of this parish rests on rocks of the schistose group; the part next the granite belonging to the porphyritic, and that more remote to the calcareous series, conformably, in all respects, to the geology of St. Colomb Major.

[42] The last representative of this family resided in Surrey, and died about the year 1770.




Is situate in the hundred of Powdre, and hath upon the east Probus, north Newland, west St. Allen, south Clements. As for the name it is derived from St. Herme, the tutelar guardian saint of this church, extant and endowed long before the Norman Conquest, by the Lord of the Manor of Polsew or Polduh, taxed in Domesday Roll, and therefore the Church again is taxed in Domesday Roll 20 William I. 1087, by the name of Ermen-hen, i. e. old or ancient Herme. In the taxation of benefices to the Popes in Cornwall, made by the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester 1294, Ecclesia de Hermita in Decanatus de Powdre is rated at 6l. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, and Valor Beneficiorum, by the name of Erme 22l. 13s. 4d. The patronage in Lutterell, Lord of the Manor of Polsew, aforesaid. The incumbent Carthew, and the parish rated to the 4s. in the pound Land Tax, 1696, 120l.

The following short account of the patron saint is substituted for six or eight pages of uninteresting legend given by Mr. Hals.

St. Hermes or St. Ermes, the supposed patron saint of this parish, is said to have suffered martyrdom at Rome in the persecution raised by the Emperor Adrian, about the year 132. His tomb in the Salian Way was ornamented by Pope Pelagius the Second, who filled the chair of St. Peter from 577 to 590. The name of St. Hermes is much celebrated in the ancient martyrologies.

In the Missale Romanum is the following prayer, to be used on the 28th of August, the day consecrated to his memory:

Deus, qui beatum Hermetem Martyrem tuum virtute constantiæ in passione roborasti, ex ejus nobis imitatione 394 tribue, pro amore tuo, prospera mundi despicere, et nulla ejus adversa formidare. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum filium tuum.

Tre-gasa, alias Tre-gaza, in this parish, id est, the wood town, to prove which etymology there is still extant a considerable wood adjoining to the town place thereof, was the dwelling of Thomas Coke, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 27 Charles I. that married Lance, his father Herle. His grandfather John Coke, Gent. attorney at law, of Trerice, in St. Allen, who first came into those parts temp. Elizabeth, from St. Mary Ottery, in Devon, without money or goods, placed himself a servant or steward under Sir Francis Godolphin, Knight, where he began from, and with his inkhorn and pen, to turn all things that he touched into gold (as King Gyges), and that by indirect arts and practices as tradition saith; for that Sir Francis taking a great liking to him, left the management of his estate and great tin works to him, his said steward Coke. He accordingly took care that all such tin of his master’s as was melted at the blowing-house into slabs or blocks, was justly marked with the dolphin stamp, as is customarily done on those gentlemen’s tin to this day. After some years, Mr. Coke remaining in service as aforesaid, by his subtle arts and contrivances, out of Sir Francis’ toll, and the shares of other adventurers, and the wages of labouring tinners, he produced considerable quantities of his own block tin, which, when melted at the blowing-house, as aforesaid, to distinguish it from his master’s, he marked thereon the figure of a cat; the same, it seems, being the coat armour of his family or ancestors. At length, against coinage time there was more tin brought by Mr. Coke to be coined at the coinage towns, marked with the cat, than there was of his master’s marked with the dolphin.

Whereupon, Sir Francis’s Lady being informed of his ill practices, and resolving by the next coinage to be better instructed in this mystery, at such time as Godolphin blowing-house was at work, privately, with one of her 395 maids, in a morning, on foot, went to that place, where according, as common fame reported, she found many more blocks or slabs of tin marked with the cat than there were with the dolphin; the one part pertaining to Sir Francis, the other to Mr. Coke. Whereupon, abundantly satisfied, the returned to Godolphin House, but could not be there timely enough against dinner; whereat Sir Francis was greatly distasted, having at that time several strangers to dine with him. At length the lady being arrived, she asked all their pardons for her absence, and told them it did not proceed from any neglect or want of respect, but from an absolute necessity of seeing a strange and unheard-of piece of curiosity, which could not be seen at any other time; viz. to see the cat eat the dolphin (indeed cats are great lovers of fish elsewhere as experience shews) and then gave an account of the premises, to their great wonder and admiration: whereupon, soon after, Sir Francis dismissed him from his service. But by that time he had gotten so much riches, that forthwith he purchased the little barton and manor of Trerice, in St. Allen, and made that place his habitation till he purchased this barton and manor of Tregasa, and seated himself here; where, by parsimony and the inferior practice of the law, he accumulated a very considerable estate in those parts. But, maugre all his thrift and conduct in providing wealth for himself and posterity, his grandson Thomas Coke, aforesaid, succeeding to his estate, upon the issueless decease of his elder brother Christopher Coke, and buying in his widow’s jointure at a dear rate, and also undertaking the building of the present new and finely-contrived house at Tregasa, though never finished, yet the said fabric was so costly and chargeable to him, together with the vain extravagance of his wife (Lance), that he was necessitated to sell divers parcels of lands, in order to raise money for his necessary occasions; and finally to mortgage this manor and barton of Tregasa, and all his other lands that were before unsold, for about fourteen thousand pounds, to Hugh Boscawen, of Tregothnan, 396 Esq. and lastly, for that consideration and others, did, by lease and release, fine and proclamation, convey the same to the said Hugh Boscawen, his heirs and assigns, for ever, who are now in possession thereof. Soon after this fact Mr. Coke fell into great want and distress, together with his wife and children, and died suddenly by a slip of his foot into a shallow pit, wherein he was searching for tin, out of a conceited opinion he had that he should at last raise his fortunes by tin, as his grandfather before him had done.

The arms of Coke are, in a field Argent, upon a bend cotised Sable, three cats Or, with a crescent for distinction of a second house.

Truth-an, in this parish, parcel of Cargoll manor, held of the Bishop of Exeter, (that is to say, the trath or trudh-an, id est, the trout fish,) is the dwelling of John Williams, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 4th of Queen Anne, by lease, who married Courtney, of Tremeer; his father Maunder; originally descended from that Williams, of Probus, mentioned in Carew’s Survey of Cornwall, p. 140; and giveth for his arms, Argent, within a bordure enurny and enaluron, a greyhound in full course Sable.

Tre-worg-an, in this parish, was formerly the lands of Tencreek, by whose heir it came in marriage to the Polwheles, and became their seat, till John Polwhele, Esq. barrister-at-law, sold it to John Collins, Gent. now in possession thereof, who married May, of Truro, and giveth for his arms, Sable, a chevron gouté of blood Argent, between three Cornish choughs Proper.

Tre-worg-an Vean, in this parish, parcel of the Duchy manor of Moris, is the dwelling of Andrew Ley, Gent. First Lieutenant of her Majesty’s ship the Medway, that married Gibbs, of St. Colomb; and Bourchier, daughter of Henry Bourchier, Rector of Creed, his father Tonkyn, of Trevawnas; his grandfather Bligh, and giveth for his arms, Argent, three pine trees Vert.

Innis, in this parish, that is to say an island, viz. a fresh water island, a place, as many others in Cornwall, so denominated, 397 where two rivers, whose original fountains are above such lands, form between them, in their current towards the sea, a piece or promontory of land, shaped in form of a corner, or triangle, at the meeting or confluence of those two rivers beneath the same (as amnicus, and mediamnis in the Latin), is the dwelling of Itai Jago, Gent. that married Bauden, his father Tonkin; his grandfather Molesworth and Herle, who was steward to Francis Buller, of Shillington, Esq. The arms of Jago are ——.

As for the name Jago, whether it be derived from the Celtish, British, Jago, and signifies James, or from Gago, or Jago, a spear, or military tuck, I determine not, or from gages and pledges for battle; however, this name was of ancient use in Britain; for Galfridus Monmouthensis tells us of a king named Jago, before Julius Cæsar landed in Britain, that reigned twenty-five years, and lies buried at York.

Trehane, in this parish, i. e. old or ancient town, is the dwelling of William Courtney, Gent. a younger branch of Trethurfe family, that married Seawen, his father Trevanion, of Tregarthyn, and giveth the same arms as the Trethyrie Courtneys do.


A part of this parish is within the manor of Cargaul, belonging to the Bishop of Exeter, but long held by the Borlases, of Treladra, on a lease for lives, and under them by the Jagos, a family of antient standing in this parish. During the Civil Wars and the subsequent usurpation, John Jago, of this parish, Esq. was a Justice of the Peace, and a mighty sequestrator, so that he got into his possession the greater part of Mr. Borlase’s estate, and drove his family to great extremities. Mr. Jago died before the Restoration, leaving one son by his first wife, a daughter of John Molesworth, Esq. of Pencorrow; and three daughters by his second wife, a daughter of —— Herle, of Prideaux, 398 Esq. and widow of Williams, of Truthon. His three daughters were married to three Clergymen, to Mr. Charles Tremayne, Vicar of St. Austell; to Mr. Carthew, Vicar of St. Erme; and to Mr. Drinkwater, Vicar of Mevagissey. His son John Jago enjoyed this and the rest of his father’s estate till the Restoration; when Mr. Borlase got his own again, and among the rest this barton, the lease under him having expired by the death of Mr. John Jago, sen. Mr. Borlase settled Truthon on his son Humphry Borlase on marriage with a daughter of Sir John Winter, of Sydney, in Gloucestershire, Bart. maid of honour to Queen Henrietta Maria, but had not any children that survived their infancy, except one son, Nicholas Borlase, who was taken off in the flower of his youth. Mr. Borlase built here a very convenient new house, and made it the place of his constant residence; but Mr. Borlase being deeply engaged in the interest of the late King James, and Sheriff during the two last years of his reign, sold his copyhold lease of Truthon to the before-mentioned Mr. Williams, who was Sheriff of Cornwall, in the 4th year of Queen Anne, 1705. He left four sons and three daughters. His eldest son John Williams, Esq. now lives here in the commission of the peace, and as yet unmarried.

The manor of Killigrew, which signifies the Eagle’s Grove, from Kelly, a Grove, and Eriew or Erigrew, an Eagle, gave name to that ancient and very eminent family of Kelligrew, whose seat it was for a long time; till on their marriage with the heiress of Arwinick, they removed thither, as being the more pleasant and convenient seat. This place, however, continued in their possession till the reign of King James the First, when Sir John Kelligrew first mortgaged it to his kinsman —— Mitchell, of Truro, and after that dismembered and sold it in parcels. The barton and various high rents were purchased by the said Mitchell, who sold them again about the year 1636, to the before mentioned Mr. Jago, of Truthan, who left the barton to his son John Jago, who on the recovery of Truthon, by Mr. Borlase, 399 at the Restoration, removed to a farm adjacent, which his father had purchased with the barton.

Ennis or de Insula, which explains the meaning of the word, was formerly the seat of the Opies, for here resided, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, John Opie, sen. whose son Robert Opie, married Jane, the daughter of Agnes Jago, of this parish, widow, and the said Robert or his son sold the barton to John Jago. These Opies I take to be a younger branch of the Opies of Towton, who give for their arms, Sable, on a chevron, between three garbs Or, as many hurtleberries Proper.

The above named John Jago married, in 1664, Juliana, the second daughter of Thomas Tonkin, of Trevawnance, by whom he had several children; he survived her, and dying in the early part of this century (i. e. 1700) left the two bartons of Killigrew and Ennis to his eldest son Itai Jagoe, who married the daughter of John Bowden, of Trelassick, in the parish of Ladock, who is still living, but has sold the manor or manors to Robert Corker, of Falmouth, Esq. lately deceased, reserving to himself the barton of Ennis, and a part of the barton of Killigrew on lease. The arms of Jagoe are, Argent, a plough Proper, between three fleurs-de-lis Azure (Mr. Lysons says, Or, a chevron between three cross crosslets Sable.) Mr. Itai Jagoe has since sold the fee of Ennis to John Stephens of St. Ives, Gent. reserving to himself the lease for three lives; which Mr. Stephens, has this March, 1737, bought also the manor of Killigrew of Sir J. Molesworth and Edmund Prideaux, Esq.

Polglase is not far from Killigrew, and was anciently a part of that manor. It signifies the green pool, and was sold by the above-named Sir John Killigrew to John Luxton, Gent. inter alia, in the 8th year of King James the First, who, two years afterwards, sold it to John Rosogan, sen. of the Rosogans of St. Stephen in Bronnel, who came to live in this place, and left it to his son John Rosogan, of Lyon’s Inn, Gent. This John Rosogan married in 1632 Elizabeth, 400 the daughter of John Haulsey, Esq. by whom he had one daughter, Elizabeth, married to Edward Westbury, of Winston Westbury, in the County of Southampton, Gent. and they joined in conveying this estate, January the 20th, 1660, to Thomas Tonkin, of Trevawnance, in whose posterity it still continues.

The arms of Rosogan are, Argent, a chevron between three roses Gules, bearded Proper, seeded Or.

To the south is Trevillon. This was the seat of a younger branch of the Langhernes, for here, in the reign of Edward the First, lived Thomas Langherne, Gent. and this place continued in his posterity till the reign of Charles the Second.


Cornwall is indebted to this parish for introducing the very respectable family which now (1833) gives a member for the County.

The advowson has belonged in succession to the families of Luttrell and Wynne. Doctor William Stackhouse is said to have acquired this living by exchange, but it appears to be more probable, on account of his connection with the patrons, that the presentation came immediately from them. He was the brother of the Rev. Thomas Stackhouse, Vicar of Benham, in Berkshire, author of the well known History of the Bible, first published in 1732, in two volumes folio, and of various other works.

Doctor William Stackhouse resided on his living, and there married the heiress of the parish, Miss Williams, of Trehane. He had two sons, William, who married and spent his life at Trehane, and lived till June 1830, in his ninetieth year; and John, to whom Mrs. Perceval, heiress of the Pendarveses, of Pendarves, in Cambourne gave her whole estate. Mr. John Stackhouse married Miss Acton, of Acton Scot, near Church Stretton, in Shropshire, and acquired with her a very extensive property, which through the liberality of Mrs. Stackhouse (living in 1833) is possessed by 401 hes second son, on whom the estate was settled after her decease;[43] and through a similar act of liberality on the part of his father, Mr. Edward William Stackhouse, the eldest son, had the property in Cornwall placed in his possession on his marriage with Miss Trist, an extensive heiress in Devonshire.

This gentleman has moreover derived a very considerable addition to his fortune by the will of the Reverend Doctor Wynne, patron and some time Rector of this parish, and in remembrance of the family of Pendarves, and of the family of Wynne, to both of which he is related, and from both of which he has obtained ample possessions, Mr. Stackhouse has exchanged his original name for those of Wynne Pendarves, under which he now represents the County in Parliament. Mr. Pendarves has erected a monument to Dr. Wynne, on the western wall of the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, with the following inscription:

Lutterello Wynne, LL.D.
Prosapia antiqua et generosa oriundo
Coll. Omn. Anim. Oxon. olim Socio,
Ecclesiæ de Sto Erme, in agro Cornub.
Rectori et Patrono,
litteris humanioribus et philosophiæ studiis
feliciter imbuto,
mira morum comitate, summa animi benevolentia,
incorrupta fide, simplici pietate,
Obiit iii kal. Decembris, A. S. M.DCCCXIV. ætatis lxxvi.
Hoc quale quale sit
optime de se merito,
P. L. C.
Edws Guls Wynne Pendarves, de Pendarves,
in agro Cornub. Arm.
cognatus et hæres.

402 The manor of Pelsew, or Peldu, in this parish, is said by Mr. Lysons to have belonged to Robert Earl of Cornwall at the period of the Domesday Survey; that it was forfeited by John Vere, Earl of Oxford, to Edward the Fourth, in 1471; and that it passed through the families of Mapowder and Luttrell to Doctor Wynne, conveying with it the advowson of the church. Dr. Wynne held the rectory for many years on his own presentation, deputing the care of his parish to the very eminent scholar and preceptor Dr. Cardew; but when residence became necessary for all incumbents, under the provisions of an act of parliament, he bestowed the living on the distinguished individual who had long been his curate. Dr. Cardew departed from this life in December 1831, having advanced into his 84th year. A monument is placed to his memory in St. Erme church, bearing an inscription written by himself, which might otherwise have the unusual blame imputed to it, of not sufficiently recording the merits of him whom it is intended to praise:

H. S. E.
Cornelius Cardew, S. T. P.
Proba et innocua
quamvis humili stirpe editus,
benigno tamen Numine,
ab anno M.DCCLXXXII.
Ecclesiæ de Ewny Lelant Vicarius,
Regiæ Celsitudini
Georgio Walliæ Principi e Sacris,
per annos triginta quatuor
Scholæ Grammaticæ apud Truronenses
præsidebat Archididasculus,
Prætorio munere bis ibidem functus.
Ab anno M.DCC.LXXI. ad annum M.DCCC.IV.
in hac Ecclesia Sancto Ermeti dicata
Rectoris Luttrell Wynne, LL.D.
vicem supplebat;
403 deinceps
ejusdem jam patroni munificentia
ipse Rector.
Uxorem duxit primo Elizabetham Brutton,
secundo Mariam Lukey Warren,
quarum ex illa quatuor, ex hac novem
suscepit liberos.
Natus decimo tertio die Februarii, anno M.DCC.XLVIII.
obiit decimo-octavo die mensis Septembris,
anno Salutis M.DCCC.XXXI.
vixit annos lxxxiii. menses viii. dies xviii.
Qualis erat
suprema indicabit dies,
cui propitius sit

The manor of Pelsew is a part of the property devised by Dr. Wynne to Mr. Pendarves, who is in consequence patron of the church. Present incumbent, Mr. Pomery.

Treworgan and Truthan are now the property of Mr. Edward Collins, descendant in the fifth degree from Mr. John Collins, mentioned as having purchased Treworgan.

Truthen, with the whole manor of Corgol, was acquired by the late Sir Christopher Hawkins from the See of Exeter in 1805, under the act of Parliament for redeeming land tax, and since his decease Mr. Collins has purchased the freehold of Truthen, and resides there.

The manor of Killigrew, purchased by Mr. John Stephens, of St. Ives, descended to his only surviving son, Mr. Samuel Stephens, Member for St. Ives, about the year 1750, who built the house at Tregenna; and it has passed from him, by will, to his second son, the late Samuel Stephens, Esq. who also represented St. Ives, and who resided in the house at Tregenna, which his father built. He died at Leamington, Feb. 25, 1834.

This parish measures 4,155 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual Return of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 2935 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831404 232 8 0
in 1800,
in 1810,
in 1820,
in 1830,

giving an increase of 63½ per cent. in 30 years.


Dr. Boase observes on this parish of St. Erme, that it is composed of the same rocks as the adjoining parishes of St. Allen and St. Clement.

[43] Mrs. Stackhouse died at Bath in the beginning of 1834.



Is situate in the hundred of Pyder, and hath upon the north St. Merryan; east, Little Pedrick; west, St. Evall and Mawgan; south, St. Colomb. For the modern name, if it be not taken up in memory of Gerint ab Erbin, one of King Arthur’s admirals at sea, slain by the Saxons at London, (see Dundagell,) the same is derived from the divine service or worship of God performed in this church, for Ervan, Ervyn, in the British tongue signifies a humble request or supplication, and properly signifies at the holy Litany, as Litania in Latin. In the Domesday Book or Roll, 1087, this district was taxed under the jurisdiction of Trewinock, now Trewinicke, that is, the beloved lake, or spring of waters, running to the sea; still the voke lands of a manor. In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, Ecclesia Sancti Ervanis, in Decanatu de Bolton, was valued at cs. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, it was rated 19l. 6s. 8d.; the patronage formerly in the Prior of Bodmin, who endowed it, now Morice. The incumbent Vivian, and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, 100l. 8s.

405 Trembleigh, Trembleth, alias Trembleith, alias Tremblot, (see Tremblethick, in St. Mabyn) synonymous terms, signifies the wolf’s town.

From this place was denominated an ancient family of gentlemen, surnamed De Trembleth; who, suitable to their name, gave the wolf for their arms; whose sole inheretrix, about Henry the Second’s time, was married to John de Arundel, ancestor of the Arundels of Lanherne; who, out of respect and grateful remembrance of the great benefit they had by this match, ever since gave the wolf for their crest, the proper arms of Trembleth.

In this town they had their domestic chapel and burying place, now totally gone to decay, since those Arundels removed from hence to Lanherne. This manor was anciently held of the manor of Payton, by the tenure of knight’s service. And here John de Arundel held a knight’s fee (Morton, 3d Henry IV.) as I am informed. In digging up the grounds of this old chapel and burial-place not long since, was found an urn, wherein were contained certain pieces of bones, ashes, and coals. The remains of some human creature, that after death had his body burnt, and committed to that kind of burial; which must be at least 1500 years past.

Tre-ranall, alias Tre-ranell, alias Tre-renell, (synonymous words,) in this parish, is the dwelling of George Beare, Gent. that married Lanyon; his father Arundel of Lanherne; his grandfather Keate; and giveth for his arms, after the English, in allusion to his name, in a field —— a bear ——.

The barton of Trembleigh aforesaid is exempt and free from paying tithe, either great or small, to the rector, by reason, as tradition saith, there was a bargain or compact made betwixt the Trembleiths or Arundels, lords thereof, the Prior of Bodmin, and the Rector of the said church, at such time as it was first endowed, that the possessors or owners of the said barton’s land should for ever annually pay upon the high altar, to the said Rector, the full sum of ten shillings.


At Treravall, in this parish, lived George Bere, the representative of a very ancient family. There was formerly in the hundred of West a family of the same name, of great wealth and account in Henry the Eighth’s days; but whether or not related to this family, I cannot resolve. Their great estate went with a daughter and heiress to John Bevill, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 16th Eliz. and was no small advancer of that gentleman’s estate, at that time much impaired, by the elder brother’s daughter. Their arms are to be seen in the windows and seats of Leskeard church, where they had much lands.

In this parish is a manor called Trenowith, or the new town; and on it resided for many generations the family of Hare, who give for their arms, Azure, on a bend Argent three Torteauxes.


This parish measures 3,034 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 2812 0 0
263 11 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of about 26½ per cent in 30 years.

Present Rector, the Rev. W. Molesworth, instituted in 1817.


The southern part is a barren down, a continuation of that of St. Breock, with which this parish is parallel, and has a similar geological structure. The northern part is fertile, gradually passing into the calcareous series.




Is situate in the hundred of Pider, and has upon the north St. George’s Channel, or the Irish Sea; west, Mawgan; south and east, St. Ervyn and St. Colomb Major. In the Domesday Tax it was rated by the name of Avalde. In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester (1294,) Ecclesia de Avello, in Decanatu de Polton, was valued to first fruits vil. xiiis. iiiid. Vicar ejusdem xxs. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, (1521,) rated at the same value; the patronage in the Bishop of Exon, who endowed it; the incumbent Bagwell: the rectory, or sheaf, in Hawkins; the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, (1696,) 82l. 15s. 6d. The sheaf, or rectory, pays an annuity of 20l. per annum as an augmentation yearly to the vicar incumbent for ever, by virtue of an act of parliament. Probably the tutelar guardian and patron of this church is St. Ewalld or St. Evalld, from whence it obtained the appellation of St. Evall, or Avalld; who, as Malmesbury, in his Chronicle, and Herbert, in his Festivity of the Saints, tell us, was the son of Ethelbert the Second, martyred by the Danes, anno Dom. 749, brother to St. Edmund, king of the Saxon East Angles, who also was martyred by those people, and had his country wasted by them, till reduced by the West Saxon king, Edward the Elder; and though, after the death of St. Edmund, his brother Ewalld had right and title to the crown, and was requested by the people to take it upon him, yet he told them in answer that he preferred a religious and solitary life before all the kingdoms in the world, and therefore retired to Dorchester, in Oxfordshire, to a monastery called Cornehouse, where in great piety and holiness he lived, and died anno Dom. 850, and was interred, and held in great veneration for many supernatural facts done there after his death, whereby he obtained the reputation of a saint.

408 Trethewoll, Trethvall, in this parish, was the seat of John Nanfan, Sheriff of Cornwall 7th Henry VI. who at first, as tradition saith, was a servant to one of the Eriseys, temp. Henry V. and in that prince’s wars with the French was by them promoted to a captain’s post in that expedition, wherein he behaved himself with such valour and conduct, always attended with success, that he was highly rewarded by that prince, with much lands in England and France; upon which foundation, and by his thrift and good conduct, he laid up a very great estate in lands, and particularly was the purchaser of this manor and barton of Trethvall, and Tregenyn in Padstow, where he seated himself. He was again, because of his great advancement by his prince’s bounty, made Sheriff of Cornwall 15th Hen. VI. Again, his son John, 29th Hen. VI. Again 35th Hen. VI. by the name of John Nanfan, Esq. who is the first gentleman, on the Records of the Pipe Office for Cornish Sheriffs, distinguished by the name of an Esquire, which appellation or terminative distinction in Cornwall, was not given generally to those officers till about the middle of Henry the Eighth’s reign. He was also made Sheriff of Wiltshire 30th Henry VI. He had issue Richard Nanfan, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 20th Edward IV. also 4th Henry VII. who dying without issue male, in grateful remembrance of Mr. Erisey’s kindness and favour to his grandfather, he gave this barton and manor, and Tregerryn also, to James Erisey, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 4th Henry VIII. by some of whose posterity it was sold to Grenvill; and by the Grenvills to Smith of Exeter; and by the Smiths to Leach, father of Sir Simon Leach, Knt. of the Bath, temp. Charles II. who married Vivian of Truan; his father Gully; and giveth for his arms, Party per fess engrailed Gules and Ermine, in chief three ducal crowns Or. The arms of Nanfan were, Sable, three martlets, 3, 2, 1, and Argent.


Mr. Tonkin has nothing of the least consequence different from Mr. Hals.


This parish measures 2,707 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 2399 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 175 6 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of about 23 per cent. in 30 years.

Present Vicar, the Rev. Walter Kitson, collated by the Bishop of Exeter in 1803.


Doctor Boase observes that this parish is composed of the same rocks as the adjoining parish of St. Ervan.



Is situate in the hundred of Eastwellshire, and hath upon the north Northill; south, Quethiock; west Menhynyet; east, St. Mellyn. For the modern name of this parish, it is taken from the tutelar guardian of the church, not St. Eve, that is to say, life or living, the first woman created by God, whose history is to be seen in the third chapter of Genesis; but, as the parishioners tell us, St. Eve is a corruption of St. Ivonis, in British St. John, viz. St. John Baptist, to whom the same is dedicated. And suitably in the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, 410 this church is called Ecclesia Sancti Ivonis in Decanatu de Eastwellshire, and valued to First Fruits iiiil. xiiis. iiiid. In Wolsey’s Inquisition and Valor Beneficiorum 26l. The patronage heretofore belonged to the preceptor of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John Baptist, at Jerusalem, who endowed it; now to Coryton. The incumbent Holden; and the parish rated to the 4s. in the pound Land Tax, by the name of St. Ive, 1696, that is to say, St. Ivonis or John, 170l. 8s. 8d.

At the time of the Domesday Tax, 20 William I. 1087, this district was taxed under the jurisdiction of Bicketone, id est, little town, then and long before, by prescription, the voke lands of a manor, barton, and court leet; the same now extant by the name of Tre-bighe, or Tre-bicke, that is town little; but not so little but that it was a kind of franchise royal, exempted and privileged in some respects against the common law, and within its precincts held pleas of debt and damages before the steward thereof, life, land, and limb, excepted, and had its prison and bailiff for the public service, as the hundred courts have. Now the writ to remove an action at law depending in this court must be thus directed: Senescallo et Ballivo Manerii sui de Trebiche, alias Trebighe, in comitatu Cornubiæ salutem.

This lordship was either by King Stephen or King Henry II. given to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John Baptist of Jerusalem, about the year 1150; (who endowed this church as aforesaid), where they had their preceptory or commandery, a corporation under a preceptor or commander, who took care of all their revenues, lands, and tenements, churches, chapels, and tithes; and those, their churches, were wholly appropriated to them, though they were not in holy orders, to preach or administer the Sacraments. These followed the rules of Augustine and Bernard.

This order originated in the time of the first Crusade, about the year 1100, when the members were called Knights of the Military Hospital of St. John Baptist of Jerusalem. They were most amply endowed throughout Christendom, 411 and especially from the spoils of the Knights’ Templars. The prior of the order for England, had his residence in St. John-street, London, and was accounted the first Baron of the land.

When the Franks were driven from Jerusalem and the whole of Palestine, this order of monastic warriors took refuge in the Isle of Rhodes, where it continued to rule till the Turks expelled them in 1523. The Island of Malta was then given to them by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, where they have remained as Knights of Malta, opposing an impenetrable barrier against the progress of the Turks.

In the 31st year of Henry the Eighth, all the possessions of the Knights of Malta in England were seized, together with all other monastic property; and the last prior of the English, William Weston, is said to have died from grief.

This lordship of Trebich, or Trebigh, passed from Henry the Eighth to John Wrey, Esq., and from him to John Wrey, Esq. Sheriff of Cornwall 28th of Elizabeth, that married Killigrew, and had issue by her William Wrey, Esq. afterwards knighted, that married Courtney of Powderham, Sheriff of Cornwall 41st of Elizabeth; and had issue William Wrey, Esq. created the 209th Baronet of England, that married and had issue Sir William or Sir Chichester Wrey, Bart. that married Frances daughter of Richard Bourchier, the fifth Earl of Bath, who by her had issue Sir Bourchier Wrey, Bart. that married Rolle of Stephenston, now in possession thereof; who also, for that his uncle, Henry Bourchier, sixth Earl of Bath, died without issue, in right of his mother is become one of his heirs. The arms of Wrey are, Sable, a fess between three hatchets Argent.


Hay, in this parish, is the residence of Thomas Dodson, Esq. a commissioner for the peace and taxes, and burgess in this parliament (1702) for Liskeard. He married a daughter of John Buller, of Morvell, Esq.; his father a 412 daughter of Lidley. Originally from the Dodsons of London. Their arms, Argent, a bend engrailed Azure, between two birds Sable; quartering, Argent, an etoile Gules.

The parish is so called from St. Ivo, or Ives, a Persian bishop, as says Mr. Camden; who, they write, about the year 600, travelled over England with a great reputation of sanctity, all the way carefully preaching the Gospel, and left his name to this place, where he left his body too, meaning St. Ive’s, in Huntingdonshire. Perhaps in his peregrination, though vix credo, he might take this place in his way.

Trebigh manor had formerly lords of its own name, from whom is descended the Hon. George Treby, of Plymston, in Devonshire, Master of his Majesty’s Household, and some time Secretary at War, only son of the late Lord Chief Justice Treby. He bears, Sable, a lion rampant Argent, armed and langued Gules, three Plates in chief.

The manor of Bickton was one of the 288 manors in this county given by the Conqueror to Robert Earl of Morton with the Earldom of Cornwall. Under him, I suppose, it was held by a family of the same name, Bickton, who gave for their arms, Gules, a fess Or between four fleurs-de-lis Argent in chief, and three annulets in base of the Second.


The town and parish of St. Ives, in Penwith, are universally believed to have for their patroness a female missionary from Ireland. The ruins of an old fortress is there called Dinas Iva; and various other circumstances tend to confirm the tradition. It seems to be much more likely, therefore, that another parish in Cornwall should be dedicated to the same person, than to a Persian bishop, of whose pilgrimage to England there can be little assurance.

The church stands on the top of a hill; and the tower is remarkable from the circumstance of having the two buttresses at each corner, as well as the corner itself, terminated 413 by a pinnacle, making twelve in all. The patronage is in the Duke of Cornwall.

This parish measures 5,085 statute acres.

£. s. d.
Annual value of the Real Property, as returned to Parliament in 1815 3767 0 0
Poor Rate in 1831 404 3 0
in 1801,
in 1811,
in 1821,
in 1831,

giving an increase of 35 per cent. in 30 years.

Present Rector, the Rev. J. Jope, presented by the King in 1806.


The southern part of this parish touches on the great eastern patch of granite. Its rocks are similar to the rocks of St. Cleer, with the exception of those in the southern part, which contain a portion of calcareous spar.



Alias Hewa, or Hevh, is situate in the hundred of Powdre, and hath upon the north and east, St. Mewan and Mevagissey; south, Geran; west, Cuby, and St. Michael Caryhayes.

At the time of the Norman Conquest, this district was taxed under the jurisdiction of Goran, Caryhayes; or is rather that Nantvat mentioned in Cornwall in the Domesday Book, 1087, which signifies in Cornish at the side of the valley, near some high lands, as perhaps this church is situate.

In the Inquisition of the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, into the value of Cornish benefices, Ecclesia de Sancti Ewe in Decanatu de Powdre, was valued viiil. In Wolsey’s Inquisition, 1521, by the name of Ewa, 21l. 414 The patronage formerly, I take it, in the Prior of Tywardreth; now in St. Aubyn, Tredinham, et aliis. The Incumbent, May or Pineck; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax for one year, 1696, 279l. 16s. But, when all that is said or done in this matter, St. Tue may be a corruption of St. Hugh, the tutelar guardian and patron of this church’s name; who, in all probability, was either St. Hugh, the twenty-sixth Bishop of Lincoln, 1186, who died 1203, or St. Hugh who was also born and lived at Lincoln, as Copgrave out of Matthew Paris informs us; who was stolen from his parents at nine years old by the barbarous and bloody Jews (first brought and tolerated in England by William the Conqueror), who, in derision of Christ and Christianity, in a private place, was by them inhumanly crucified, the 7th of July, 1255. Nevertheless, this fact was not so secretly performed but that at length it came to the magistrates’ ears, who thereupon apprehended the malefactors, and so ordered their indictment that severe justice was done upon all those offenders, that could be discovered to have had a hand in shedding the blood of this innocent youth. But, alas! this punishment of part of them did neither fully content or satisfy the prince or people at that time; for soon after King Henry the Third, by proclamation, set out all Jews in his dominions at a certain rent to such as would poll and rifle them, and amongst others to his brother Richard King of the Romans; who, after he had plundered their estates, committed their bodies as his slaves, to labour in his tin-mines of Cornwall; the memory of whose workings is still preserved in the names of several tin-works, called Towle Sarasin, and corruptly Attall Saracen, i. e. the refuse or outcast of the Saracens; that is to say, of those Jews descended from Sarah and Abraham. Other works were called Whele Etherson, the Jews’ Works, or Unbelievers’ Works, in Cornish.

But, alas! this matter did not rest here; for King Edward the First, out of an abhorrence of them for the aforesaid 415 crime, and for that they were accused of clipping and corrupting the sterling money of the kingdom, caused two hundred and ninety-seven of them to be executed on the gallows, and the remainder of them by public proclamation banished out of this land, and all their goods and chattels confiscated to his use, after they had been in England two-hundred and twenty-three years. Lastly, Copgrave further assures us, who lived tempore Edward the Fourth, that at the shrine of this St. Hugh at Lincoln, divers supernatural facts or miracles were done; for which reason he was put into the Catalogue of Roman Saints. Hugh, ugh, in British-Cornish, is a matter or thing high, large, and lofty.

In this parish is the barton and manor of Lan-hadarn, alias Lanhaddarne, alias Lanhadden, alias Lansladarne, the thieves’ or robbers’ place.

Which place gave name and original to an old family of gentlemen, from thence surnamed de Lanhaddarne; of which family was Serlo de Lanhaddarne, called by writ of summons to Parliament as a Baron tempore Edward the First or Second: of whose posterity Serlo de Lanhaddarne, 3 Henry IV. held in this place Guran and Lantine, by the tenure of knight service, one fee and a half of lands; whose issue male failing in Henry the Sixth’s days, he left only two daughters, that became his heirs, the one married to Sir John Arundel, of Lanherne, Knight, the other to Sir John Arundel, Knight, of Trerice; in whose issue the name, blood, and estate of those gentlemen is terminated; which was no small augmentation of the wealth and revenues of those Arundels; and as the present possessor of this lordship, Sir John Arundel, of Lanherne, Knight, hath for many years made of his toll-tin out of the wastrel lands thereof at Tolgoath above fifteen hundred pounds per annum; so in like manner the Lord Arundel of Trerice, out of the manor of Allett in Kenwen, at a place called the Garrows, parcel of those Lanhaddarns’ lands, hath had considerable benefit from an ancient lead-mine there, out of which divers thousand pounds’ worth of lead and silver have been extracted. (See Kenwen.)

416 Treg-on-an, in this parish, i. e. the dwelling on the valley or on the level valley, is the seat of Sir Joseph Tredinham, Knight, that married the daughter of Sir Edward Seymour, of Berry Pomeroye, in Devon, Bart. His father, an attorney-at-law, married the daughter of Molesworth, of Pencarrow, Esq.

Sir Joseph Tredingham succeeded to his estate, upon the issueless decease of his elder brother, Sir William Tredingham, Knight; and had issue by —— Seymour, John Tredinham, Esq. Member of Parliament for St. Mawes, that married —— Jones, of Wales, as I take it, but died without issue by a fall from his coachbox; and also two daughters, the eldest married to John Nicholls, of Trewane, Esq. the other to Francis Scobell, Esq. Member of Parliament for Mitchell, now in possession of this lordship, and all other Sir Joseph’s lands, greatly encumbered with debts.

Hal-liggon, in this parish, is the dwelling of Sir John Tremayne, Knight, serjeant-at-law, who married, but died without issue. His father, Colonel Lewis Tremayne, married —— Carew, of Penwarne, by whom also he had issue —— Tremayne, Clerk, Vicar of St. Austell, whose son by —— Jagoe, —— Tremayne, Esq. is