Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1814.
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Extinct Peers and Baronial Families.
Carew, speaking of the several degrees of its inhabitants, says, "for noblemen, I may deliver in a word, that Cornwall, at this present (1602), enjoyeth the residence of none at all, the occasion whereof groweth partly, because their issuefemale have carried away the inhabitance, together with the inheritance, to gentlemen of the eastern parts; and partly for that their issue-male, little affecting so remote a corner, liked better to transplant their possessions to the heart of the realm. Elder times were not so barren, for besides the Lord Tregoyes in William the Conqueror's days, Bottreaux Castle vaunted his baron of that title, both now descended to the Earls of Huntingdon. The Lord Bonville his house was at Trelawney; the Lord Bray dwelt at - - - -; the Lord Brooke at Callington; the Lord Marney at Kolquite; the Lord Denham at Cardinham; Boconnoc also appertained to the Earls of Devon." The Lord Tregoyes of William the Conqueror's days, if there was any such person, does not appear to have had any connection with this county, nor does Lord Bray appear to have had any property or residence in it. Robert Willoughby, Lord Brooke, had the manor of Callington (fn. n1), and occasionally resided at the manor-house, where he died, in or about the year 1502: his chief seat was at Bere-Ferrers, on the opposite side of the Tamer.
Valletort, of Trematon Castle, and of Harberton, near Totness, which was the head of their Devonshire barony. — Reginald de Valletort, held the honor of Trematon under Robert Earl of Cornwall, in the reign of William the Conqueror. This ancient baronial family became extinct, in the year 1289, when Roger de Valletort gave the honor of Trematon to his Lord-paramount, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, to the prejudice of his next heirs, Henry de Pomerai, and Roger Corbet.
Pomerai or Pomeroy, of Berry-Pomeroy, in Devonshire, and of Tregony Castle, in Cornwall. This baronial family was seated at the former place in the reign of William the Conqueror. At an early period, one of their seats was at Tregony Castle, which continued to be the residence of the family in the reign of Edward IV. (fn. n2) The family do not appear to have been summoned to parliament as barons after the reign of Henry III. The Cornish branch of the Pomeroys became extinct in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when the heiress is said to have married Penkevil.
Cardinan and Dinan, or Dinham. — Robert de Cardinan, who possessed the honor of Cardinan in the reign of Richard I., by marriage with the heiress of Fitz-William, is styled by Sir William Pole, Baron of Cardinan. The heiress of this opulent, and, as it appears, baronial family, married Tracy (fn. n3), and, in her widowhood, conveyed Cardinan Castle and manor, in or about the year 1259, to Oliver de Dinan. It is probable that this Oliver was of the same family with the Cardinans; Leland seems to have been of that opinion, for, speaking of Robert de Cardinan as founder of Tywardreth priory, he calls him "quidam ex Dinamiis;" we cannot find any thing in the writings of Sir William Dugdale or Sir William Pole, two very industrious genealogists, to support the conjecture, although the latter speaks very frequently of the Dinham family, and gives some account of the Cardinans, yet, from the similarity of the arms (fn. n4), and other circumstances, it seems very probable (fn. n5).
The family of Dinan, sometimes improperly called Dinant, and afterwards Dinham and Denham, are known to have been originally of Dinan, a town in Britanny. They had a castle in that town, and founded there a monastery, endowed, among other possessions, with lands in Devonshire; in which county they were originally settled and had large estates. Oliver de Dinan of Cardinham, was summoned to parliament as a baron, from the year 1295 to 1298. The immediate descendant of Oliver, Sir John Dinham, was summoned to parliament in 1464, and, in 1485, was made, by King Henry VII., Treasurer of the Exchequer. He died in or about the year 1501, leaving no surviving issue. His sisters and coheirs married Sir Foulke Fitz-Warren; John Lord Zouche, Sir Nicholas Carew, and Sir Thomas Arundell. A younger branch of this family, calling themselves Denham, continued the male line at Wortham, in Devonshire, and were, for some time also, of Nancallan in Gorran. The Dinhams married the heiresses of Hydon and De Arches, and a coheiress of the Lord Moells.
The baronial family of Tyes appear to have had a castle on their manor of Alwarton, near Penzance. Alice, the sister and heir of Henry Lord Tyes, who was executed for being concerned in the Earl of Lancaster's rebellion, in 1340, married Warine de Lisle, whose heiress married Thomas the fourth Lord Berkeley.
Sir Serlo de Lansladron, of Lansladron, in Cornwall, was summoned to parliament as a baron, in the reign of Edward I. The male line of this family became extinct by the death of his grandson. The Arundells of Trerice became eventually the heirs.
Archdekne or Lercedekne, of Shepestall (supposed to have been the original name of their castle at Ruan Lanihorn) (fn. n6). John le Archdekne was summoned to parliament as a baron, in the reign of Edward III., he married the heiress of FitzStephen of Haccombe, in Devon; his father the heiress of De le Roche; Warin, son of John l'Archdekne, married a coheiress of Talbot, and left three daughters coheirs, the elder of whom married Lucy, whose coheiresses married Corbet and Vaux; the second brought Anthony and Haccombe, through the Courtenays, to the Carews; the third married Arundell, and died sine prole.
Sir Nicholas D'Auney, of Sheviock, is said, by Dugdale, in his baronage, to have had summons to parliament in the year 1327; but it appears that his summons was to attend with horse and arms at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and that he was not summoned to either of the parliaments of that year. This family became extinct in the male line of its principal branch, in the reign of Richard II., when the heiress married Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire. The heiress of a branch of the D'Auneys, at an early period, married Archdekne, by which match the lastmentioned family became possessed of Anthony.
The ancient baronial family of Bottreaux had their residence at Bottreaux Castle in the parish of Minster, having settled in Cornwall in or about the reign of Henry I. They were first summoned to parliament, as barons, in the year 1367, and became extinct in the reign of Edward IV., when the heiress married Hungerford. The barony having passed through this family, and that of Hastings, is now vested in the Earl of Moira, as heir-general. This noble family had married the heiresses of Corbet, St. Loo, Moel, Daubeny, and Thwenge.
Three differents coats (fn. n7) have been ascribed to the baronial family of Bottreaux; and they are all quartered by Hastings in the following order: — 1. Arg. three toads erect Sable, two and one. — 2. Checky O. and G. on a bend Az. three horse-shoes Argent. — 3. Argent, a griffin segreant Gules, talon'd Azure.
Sir William Bonville, who resided at Trelawney, in Pelynt, having become possessed of it by gift of his relation Sir John Herle, heir-general of the Bodrugans, was summoned to parliament, as a baron, in 1449. His son and grandson died before him without male issue. The male line of this ancient family had been long settled at Shute, in Devonshire, having married the heiresses of Shute and Pyne. Lord Bonville's son married the heiress of William Lord Harrington. The granddaughter and heir of Lord Bonville married Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset.
Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire. — On the accession of King Henry VII., he gave this title, which had long been in the Courtenay family, and had been forfeited by the attainder of Thomas, Earl of Devonshire, who fell at the battle of Tewkesbury, to Edward Courtenay, son of Sir Hugh Courtenay of Boconnoc. Henry, the grandson of Edward, who had Boconnoc for one of his seats, was created Marquis of Exeter by King Henry VIII., but beheaded in the same reign. His son Edward, who was restored to the earldom of Devonshire, dying without issue, the descendants of the four sisters of the first-mentioned Edward became heirs-general of this noble family. Matilda, the eldest, married John Arundell of Talverne, whose immediate representative is Thomas Jago, Esq. of Launceston; Elizabeth married John Trethurfe, from whom are descended the Vyvyans of Trelowarren, the Bullers, &c.; Isabella married William Mohun; and Florence, the ancestor of the Rev. Sir Henry Trelawney, Bart.
Robert, Lord Willoughby, who was summoned to parliament in the reign of Henry VII., had a seat at Callington, where he died. His monument is in the church of that parish. The chief seat of this noble family was at Bere-Ferrers, on the opposite side of the Tamer. Robert, the second Lord Willoughby, died without surviving male issue: his grand-daughters, married to Grenville, Dawtrey, and Blount Lord Mountjoy, were his heirs.
Sir Henry Marney, whose ancestors possessed Colquite, in St. Mabyn, by descent from a coheiress of Serjeaux, was created Lord Marney in 1523. The title became extinct by the death of his son John, the second Lord Marney, in 1570. His two daughters and coheirs married George Ratcliffe, and Lord Thomas Howard, afterwards Lord Howard of Bindon.
Robartes, Lord Robartes, and Earl of Radnor.—The first of this noble family, of whom we have any account, is Richard Robartes, a merchant at Truro, grandfather of Richard Robartes, who married a coheiress of Hender, of Bottreaux Castle, was created a baronet in 1621, and in 1625 (fn. n8) a peer, by the title of Lord Robartes of Truro. His son John was, in 1679, created Viscount Bodmin, and Earl of Radnor (fn. n9). The title became extinct in 1757, by the death of John, Earl of Radnor, son of the Hon. Francis Robartes, who was the elder son of John, the first Earl of Radnor, by his second wife. The heir-general of this noble family is the Hon. Mrs. Agar, relict of the Hon. Charles Agar, daughter of the late George Hunt, Esq., of Lanhydrock, and grand-daughter of Thomas Hunt, Esq., of Great Mollington, near Chester. The latter married Mary, only sister of Henry, Earl of Radnor, who died in 1741.
Mohun, Lord Mohun. — A branch of the ancient baronial family of Mohun, of Dunster, in Somersetshire (fn. n10), became possessed of considerable property, by a marriage with the heiress of Fitzwilliam, in the reign of Edward III., and fixed their residence at Hall and Bodinneck, near Fowey; they were afterwards of Boconnoc, having purchased that estate of the Russel family. Sir Reginald Mohun, of Boconnoc, was created a baronet in 1612; John, his son and heir, was created a peer, by the title of Lord Mohun of Oakhampton. This title became extinct in 1712, by the death of Charles, Lord Mohun, who fell in a duel, which proved fatal both to himself and his adversary the Duke of Hamilton. This branch of the Mohun family, from the time of their settling in Cornwall, had married the heiresses of Fitz-William and Hayre, and the coheiresses of Courtenay Earl of Devonshire, Horsey, and Reskymer. A younger branch of the Mohuns, settled at Luny or Lithney, in St. Ewe, became extinct by the death of William Mohun, Esq., the last of the name and family, in 1737.
Granville Earl of Bath. — This ancient Norman family came over with William the Conqueror. Richard de Grenville, who married Isabel, daughter of Walter Giffard Earl of Buckingham, was common ancestor of the Grenvilles of Devonshire and Cornwall, and the Grenvilles of Buckinghamshire. The former were originally settled at Bideford, in Devonshire, and appear to have had a seat at Stowe, in the parish of Kilkhampton, from a very early period. Sir Richard Grenville, the brave naval commander, who married the heiress of Beville, appears, by the pedigrees, to have been the fifteenth in descent. His grandson was the celebrated Sir Beville Grenville, whose son, Sir John, was, in 1661, created Lord Grenville of Kilkhampton and Bideford, Viscount Grenville of Lansdowne, and Earl of Bath, with a warrant to use the foreign titles of Carboil, Thorigny, and Granville. This nobleman, and his descendants, wrote their name Granville. His younger son, John, was created, in 1702, Lord Granville of Potheridge, in Devonshire, and died without issue, in 1709. Charles, his eldest son, who succeeded him, was killed by the accidental discharge of a pistol before his father's funeral; so that it was observed that there were three Earls of Bath above ground at one time (fn. n11). William Henry, son of Charles, became third Earl of Bath, but dying without issue in 1711, the title became extinct. The last of the male line of this noble family was George Granville, the poet, who was created Lord Lansdowne in 1711, and died in 1734, leaving issue only daughters. Dr. Borlase observes, that the family may be said, like the swan, to have sung most melodiously just before it expired (fn. n12). The aunts and coheiresses of the last Earl of Bath married Sir William Leveson Gower, Bart., ancestor of the Marquis of Stafford, and Sir George Carteret, afterwards Lord Carteret, of Hawnes. The younger of the coheiresses was created Countess Granville. The sisters and coheiresses of her grandson, the second and last Earl Granville, married Thomas Viscount Weymouth, father of the present Marquis of Bath; and the Earl of Shelbourne (after Marquis of Lansdowne), father of the present Marquis. The Grenvilles of Stowe married the heiress of Beville of Brynn in Withiel, and coheiresses of Burgherst, Whitlegh, Beville of Gwarnick, and Viell.
Digory, third son of Roger Grenville, who married the coheiress of Whitlegh, settled at Penhele, in Egloskerry, which was inherited by his third son; this line ended in an only daughter of Sir George Grenville, who was ten years of age in 1620. Thomas Grenville, second son of Digory, was of Aldercombe, in Kilkhampton, and left two daughters coheiresses, married to Cary of Devonshire, and Proute of St. Stephen's, near Launceston.
Arundell, Lord Arundell, of Trerice in Newlyn. — The account of this family by Collins, as descended from a younger branch of the Arundells of Tolvern, who were a younger branch of the Lanherne family, is very erroneous. It is a doubtful point, whether they were at all connected with the Arundells of Lanherne; we think it most probable that they were at a very early period, but have not been able to ascertain it. Both Tonkin and Dr. Borlase (fn. n13) assert the contrary, on the authority of a pedigree formerly at Trerice, which Dr. Borlase speaks of as having seen. He says that it was drawn up from original documents at the Heralds' college, by which it appeared, that they were a distinct family, and that their ancient bearing was, Gules, a lion rampant Or.
Tonkin says, that this pedigree was drawn up by Camden himself. That learned writer does not mention the Arundells of Trerice in his Britannia. On inquiry at the Heralds' college, we cannot find that any thing is known there of the bearing before spoken of, or of the pedigree of this family, beyond the match with Trerice.
The Lords Arundell of Trerice bore latterly, Sab. six swallows, three, two, one Argent, (the same coat as Arundell of Lanherne,) quartered with the arms of the ancient baronial family of Lansladron (Sab. three chevronels Arg.). It seems probable, nevertheless, that the Arundells of Trerice, in the sixteenth century, bore either the lion rampant or some other coat different from that of Arundell of Lanherne. Leland says, that Arundell of Trerice gave no part of the arms of the great Arundells, and that he told him that he thought his family came from the Arundells of Normandy. The coat, with the lion rampant, was put up over the chimney-piece in one of the rooms at Efford (fn. n14). The first Arundell of this family, whom we find mentioned in any well-authenticated pedigree, is Ralph (described as of Kenelhelvas, Lord of Kenelhoke), who married Joan, daughter and heir of Matthew Trerice; the father of which Matthew married the heiress of Goveley, and eventually heiress of her grandfather, Sir Serlo de Lansladron, one of the barons of Edward the First's parliament, whose male posterity failed in the third generation. In Edmondson's pedigrees of the peers, Ralph Arundell, who married the heiress of Trerice, is described as son of another Ralph or Randall. If so, it must have been Ralph the elder, who, in 1346, had an estate at Trekening, in St. Columb; for this Ralph, in a record of 1351, is called the son of Oliver. We think it extremely probable, from the frequent recurrence of the family-names of Nicholas and John, that the Arundells of Trerice were descended from a younger son of Sir Nicholas Arundell, of Hempston-Arundell, in Devonshire, the elder branch of which failed by the death of his son Sir John, in the reign of Henry III.; and as the arms of the two families of the Arundells in Devonshire (the one of YewtonArundell, and the other of Hempston-Arundell) differ only in colour (the coat of the latter being, Arg. six swallows, three, two, one, Sab.), there is every reason to suppose, although we do not find any pedigree setting forth the connection, that they were originally of the same stock. The immediate descendant of the Arundells of Trerice was created Lord Arundell of that place, in 1664. The title and the family became extinct by the death of the fourth Lord Arundell, in 1773. The Arundells of Trerice married the heiresses of Trerice, Pollor, Durant, St. John of Pennark, Thurlebere, and Coswarth, and the coheiress of Beville. The younger branches of Arundell of Trerice are treated of amongst the extinct families of the gentry.
Godolphin, Baron and Earl of Godolphin. — The pedigree of this noble house is involved in some obscurity. It appears pretty evident that an ancient family, who, from the barton of that name, were called De Godolghan, became extinct in the male line about the year 1400. The heiress married Rinsey, who took the name of Godolghan. Hals says, that John Knava, who possessed Godolphin, by marrying the heiress of Stevens, first assumed the name of Godolphin in the reign of Henry VII.; but Carew, who lived so much nearer to the time, says nothing of this, but observes, that the family had softened the name from Godolghan to Godolphin. It is certain that, from the reign of Henry VII., the name of Godolphin was continued uninterruptedly through six descents (the family being of much note in the county), to William Godolphin, Esq., who was created a baronet in 1661. This title became extinct at his death, in 1710: his nephew, Sidney Godolphin (who became prime minister to King William and Queen Anne), was created, in 1684, Lord Godolphin of Rialton; and in 1706, Viscount Rialton and Earl of Godolphin. These titles became extinct in 1766; but Francis, the second Earl of Godolphin, having, in 1735, been created Lord Godolphin of Helston, with remainder to the heirs-male of Dr. Henry Godolphin, Dean of St. Paul's, Francis, the Dean's son, succeeded to that title, and, on his death without issue, in 1785, that title also, and the male line of the noble family of Godolphin, became extinct. The daughters and coheiresses of Francis, the second and last Earl of Godolphin, married the Dukes of Newcastle and Leeds. The elder branch of the Godolphins had married an heiress of the Killigrew family, the heiresses of Bonithon and Sydney, and coheiresses of Trenowth and Glynn.
Arms of Godolphin, Lord Godolphin: — Gules, an eagle with two heads, displayed, between three fleurs-de-lis, Argent. At one time, the family bore, Argent, three dolphins, embowed, Sable, the coat of Rinsey.
A younger branch of the Godolphins settled at Trewarveneth (fn. n15), in St. Paul's, about the reign of Henry VIII., and became extinct in 1689. The heiress of this branch married the ancestor of John Godolphin Nicholls, Esq., now of Trewarveneth. Another younger branch of the Godolphins, the first of which married one of the coheiresses of Gaverigan, settled at Treveneage, in St. Hilary, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and became extinct after two descents. The heiress of this branch married the ancestor of Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart.
Pitt, Lord Camelford. — Thomas Pitt, Esq., Governor of Fort St. George, common ancestor of Pitt, Earl of Chatham; Pitt, Earl of Londonderry in Ireland, and Pitt, Lord Camelford, purchased Boconnoc a few years after the death of the last Lord Mohun, and fixed his residence there. His grandson, Thomas Pitt, Esq., was, in 1784, created Lord Camelford, Baron of Boconnoc; the title became extinct by the death of his only son, the second Lord Camelford, in 1804. Boconnoc is now the occasional residence of the Right Hon. Lord Grenville, who married Anne, his only sister and heir.
The following instances occur of titles taken from Cornish places, by persons who have had no residence in the county: — Sir Ralph Hopton had the title of Lord Hopton of Stratton conferred on him in 1644, and Sir John Berkeley that of Berkeley of Stratton in 1658, in memory of their signal services in the battle of Stratton. Charles Berkeley, Lord Botetourt, was created Earl of Falmouth in 1664; the title became extinct, by his death without issue, the ensuing year. The title of Viscount Falmouth was given to George Fitzroy when he was created Earl of Northumberland, in 1674; it became extinct in 1716. Viscount Launceston was one of the titles given to Frederic Prince of Wales, in 1726, as Viscount Trematon was one of those given the same year to William Duke of Cumberland. When the Right Hon. Thomas Erskine was created a peer on receiving the Great Seal, in 1806, he took the title of Baron Erskine of Restormel Castle, in the county of Cornwall. It may be observed, that this distinguished ornament of his profession had no residence at this place, nor any connection with the county, except that he was some time Attorney-General of the Duchy of Cornwall.
The present noblemen's seats in this county are, Tregothnan, the seat of Lord Viscount Falmouth; Boconnoc, the occasional residence of Lord Grenville; Port Eliot, the seat of Lord Eliot; Trefusis, the seat of Lord Clinton and Say; and Tehidy Park, the seat of Lord de Dunstanville; the last mentioned nobleman keeps also in his own hands the barton-house of Bennetts in Whitstone, which he occasionally visits. The old mansion at Cotehele, the property of the Earl of Mount-Edgcumbe, is occasionally visited by His Lordship. The late Lord Graves, of the kingdom of Ireland, had a seat at Torpoint, in the parish of Anthony, now in the occupation of his relict, the Dowager Lady Graves.
Mansions of Extinct Peers.
There are very few remains of the ancient mansions of extinct peers. At Bottreaux Castle there is only the mount of the keep. Colquite, built by John Lord Marney, has been wholly pulled down. Trelawney, the seat of Lord Bonville, was nearly rebuilt by Sir John Trelawney, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but the old towers remain. Trerice, the seat of the Lord Arundell, is now a farm-house; Efford, another seat of the same noble family, in the parish of Stratton, is occasionally inhabited by Wrey J'Ans, Esq., as lessee under Sir Thomas Ackland, Bart. Not a vestige remains of Stowe, built by John Granville, Earl of Bath, and esteemed the most magnificent mansion in the west of England. Godolphin, the seat of the noble family of Godolphin, is now occupied as a farm-house!