Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1814.
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ST. SAMPSON, commonly known in the neighbourhood by its ancient name of Glant, is situated in the deanery and in the west division of the hundred of Powder, about four miles south-south-east from Lostwithiel, and about three north from Fowey, which is the post-office town. The principal village in St. Sampson is Golant or Glant, which formerly gave name to the parish. The manor or honor of Lantyan, in this parish, was among the ancient possessions of the Montacutes, Earls of Salisbury. On the attainder of Margaret Countess of Salisbury (fn. n1), who was beheaded in 1541, it fell to the crown. This estate is now the property of William Rashleigh, Esq., M.P.: the Rashleighs were possessed of it, as early as the year 1620. (fn. n2) The Earls of Salisbury had a castle here, the site of which is called Castle-Dore: William of Worcester, in his Itinerary (temp. Edw. IV.), speaks of it as a dilapidated castle, by the name of Dirford, near Golonant.
Pencoite, or Penquit, was the seat of a family of that name, afterwards of the Barrets, whose heiress brought it to the Prestwoods: the last mentioned family possessed it as late as the year 1734: it is now the seat of Thomas Graham, Esq., being held on lease under the Rashleighs, who purchased of Prestwood. GreatTorfrey, some time a seat of the family of Couch, was purchased of them, in 1804, by Mr. Sleman, the present proprietor and occupier.
This parish was formerly a chapelry to Tywardreth. In 1507, there was an agreement between the inhabitants of the chapelry and the parishioners of Tywardreth, about a cemetery at the chapel of St. Sampson at Gullant (fn. n3): from this time, probably, it has been deemed a separate parish. Mr. Rashleigh is improprietor of St. Sampson's, and patron of the curacy. The tithes were formerly appropriated to the priory of Tywardreth: the great tithes were granted by Queen Elizabeth to Thomas Kendall, Esq., who sold to the Barrets; the small tithes were granted by King Henry VIII. to — Curzon.
Sancreed or Sancreet
SANCREED or SANCREET, in the deanery and in the west division of the hundred of Penwith, lies six miles and a half nearly north-east from the Land's-end, and three and a half nearly west from Penzance, which is the post-office town. The principal villages in this parish are, Bejouans, Bosvennen, Botreah, Sellan, Trenuggo, and Tregonnebris.
The manor of Tregonnebris, the only manor now known in the parish, is in severalties between James Buller, Esq., M.P., by inheritance from Grosse; Messrs. Alexander Marrack, George Hosken, and Pascoe Ellis. Bosvennen, formerly esteemed a manor, belonged, in the reign of Edward IV., to the family of Phelip (fn. n4): the barton, on which is now a farm-house, is the property of Mrs. Hunt. The bartons of Botreah, belonging to the family of Usteck, and Sellon, belonging to John Borlase Esq., are occupied also by farm-houses. Drift, which we suppose to be the same as Driff, which was the ancient seat of the Trewrens, is now a farmhouse, the property of Mr. Alexander Marrack, and Mr. Peter Harvey.
The great tithes are appropriated to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, who are patrons of the vicarage. There are the remains of three ancient chapels in this parish; chapel Uny, in the small village of Brahan; another in the small village of Bosence; and a third on Chapel-downs.
SENNEN, in the deanery and in the west division of the hundred of Penwith, is the most westerly parish in England, lying near the Land's-end, about eight miles and half west-south-west from Penzance, which is the post-office town. The principal villages in this parish are, Mayon (called by Martyn, Mean), Penrose, and Trevear. Mean is the last village towards the Land's-end. The large stone spoken of by Dr. Borlase, called Table-Mean, concerning which there is a tradition that three Kings once dined together at it on a journey to the Land's-end, is in this village, in which is a house of entertainment for travellers: on the western side of its sign is inscribed, "The first Inn in England;" on the eastern side, "The last Inn in England." The Land's-end, which, according to Dr. Berger (fn. n5), is 391 feet above the level of the sea; Cape Cornwall (fn. n6), and Whitsandbay, are in this parish: it was at this bay that King Stephen landed on his first arrival in England; also King John on his return from the conquest of Ireland, and Perkin Warbeck in the reign of Henry VIII.: near this bay is the site of an ancient castle, called Castle-Mean. The manor of Mean or Mayon, as it is now spelt, belongs to Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart., and Dionysius Williams, Esq. The barton of Penrose was, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the seat of the family of Jones: it is now the property of Lord Falmouth. The barton of Treveare was some time the seat of the Ellis family: a part of this estate was, by purchase, the property of the late Rev. Edward Giddy; the remainder belongs to—Thackworth, Esq. The houses on these bartons are now occupied by farmers.
SHEVIOCK, in the deanery and in the south division of the hundred of East, lies two miles south-south-east from St. Germans, which is the post-office town, and seven miles west from Plymouth-dock. The principal village in this parish is Crafthole. Crafthole, called in ancient records, Croftil-borowe, had formerly a weekly market on Wednesdays, granted in 1314 to Nicholas Dawnye (fn. n7), then lord of Sheviock, with a fair for three days at the festival of St. James: the market has been long discontinued: there is now at this place a cattle fair (of late establishment), held at Ladyday, and a holyday fair (of long standing) on Easter Tuesday. Carew, speaking of this village, says, "a poore village, but a much frequented thorow-fare, somewhat infamous, not upon any present deserts, but through an inveterate byword; viz. that it is peopled with 12 dwellings, and 13 cuckolds: for as the dwellings are more than doubled, so I hope the cuckolds are lesse than singled. Howsoever, many wayfarers make themselves glee, by putting the inhabitants in mind of this privilege; who againe, especially the women, (like the Campellians in the north and the London bargers,) forflow not to baigne them, (unlesse they plead their heels the faster,) with a worse perfume than Jugurth found fault with in the dungeon, where the Romanes buried him alive, to attend his lanquishing and miserable death." At Wrinkle-Cove is an ancient pier, and a considerable pilchard-fishery.
The manor of Sheviock was anciently in the family of De Alneto, Dannye, or Dawney, of whom Nicholas had summons to parliament as a baron, in the reign of Edward I.: their heiress brought it to the Courtenays (fn. n8). On the attainder of the Marquis of Exeter, in 1538, this manor escheated to the crown, and was granted in 1554, by King Edward VI., to Sir Walter Mildmay, and by him sold in 1558 to Thomas Carew, Esq.: it is now the property of the Right Honourable Reginald Pole Carew, M.P., representative of the ancient family of Carew. Mr. Pole Carew purchased in 1798, under the powers of the land-tax redemption act, the manor or borough of Crafthole or Crofthole, which, after the attainder of the Marquis of Exeter, had been annexed to the duchy of Cornwall.
In the parish-church are some ancient monuments, said by Carew to be of the Dannye or Dawney family: one of them appears to be that of Sir Edward Courtenay, who married the heiress of Dawney (fn. n9). Mr. Carew is impropriator of the great tithes, and patron of the vicarage.
SITHNEY, commonly called Sinney, in the deanery and in the west division of the hundred of Kirrier, lies about two miles nearly west-north-west of Helston. The principal villages, exclusively of the church-town, are Gwavas, St. Johns, Lanner-vean, Millingoos, Penrose, Portleven, Prospidnick, Tregoose, Trevarnoe, and Truthall. At St. John's, which almost adjoins the town of Helston, was the hospital or priory of St. Mary Magdalen, or St. John the Baptist, said to have been founded by one of the Killegrews: Bishop Stafford, when he was at Helston in 1411, granted an indulgence to all benefactors to the poor of this hospital: its revenues, at the time of the dissolution of religious houses, were valued at 12l. 6s. 4d. (fn. n10): this hospital is said to have been dependant on the priory of St. Michael's Mount.
The manor of Truthall is said, by Hals, to have belonged to the KnightsHospitallers, but we do not find it enumerated by Dugdale among the ample possessions of that fraternity: it is more likely that it belonged to the priory of St. John before-mentioned. After the Reformation, we find it in the family of Nants or Nance (fn. n11), who were succeeded by the Arundells of Tolverne. The first Arundell of Truthall was Captain John Arundell, an active royalist in the reign of Charles I., who, after the Restoration, was made duputy-governor of Pendennis castle. Truthall was purchased of the Arundells by the late Mr. Justice Buller, and is still vested in his family. The manor-house is now occupied by a farmer.
The manor of Penrose was, from an early period, the property, and its barton the residence, of the ancient family of that name, which became extinct by the death of John Penrose, Esq., in 1744. Mrs. Cuming, niece of Mr. Penrose (fn. n12), who inherited under her uncle's will, sold this estate in 1770 to John Rogers, Esq., the present proprietor. Penrose, now the seat of Mr. Rogers, is near the small lake already described, called Looe-pool (fn. n13): this lake was measured in 1771, and found to contain 163 statute acres; but it varies according to the season of the year. The surrounding scenery is very beautiful; the lake abounds in water-fowls, and a peculiar species of trout, called the Looe-trout. The Treville family formerly held lands near Helston, by the service of providing a boat and nets for the King's use in Looe-pool, during the whole time of his stay, whenever he should visit Helston. (fn. n14)
The manor of Fenton or Venton-Vedna, in this parish, was purchased in 1768, by Sir William Lemon, Bart., of Sir Edward Dering, Bart., and others, being the representatives of the Lowers. A considerable part of the lands of this manor belongs to John Rogers, Esq. The manor of Trannack belongs to Lord Falmouth: Mrs. Cuming, as heiress of the Penroses, has a moiety of the tenement. The manor of Prispidnick, which belonged to the Arundells, was purchased of Lord Arundell by Christopher Wallis, Esq. The manor of Penventon, which had been in the Killegrews, was sold in parcels in the year 1690. The manor of Antron belonged to an ancient family of that name, whose heiress, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, brought it to the Paynters: it was purchased of the latter in 1670, by the Hoblyns, the descendant of whom (the Rev. Robert Hoblyn) sold the barton to John Rogers, Esq., late commander of one of His Majesty's packet-boats, and the manor to Messrs. Grylls, Borlase, and Scott, solicitors at Helstone. Captain Rogers resides at Antron-lodge.
Trevarnoe, formerly the seat of a family of that name, is now the property and residence of Christopher Wallis, Esq. Gwavas, some time the seat of an extinct family of that name, is now occupied by a farmer: a moiety of the barton belongs to John Rogers, Esq.; the other moiety to William Carlyon, Esq. and Mrs. Elizabeth Veale, as representatives of the Gwavas family. (fn. n15)
In the parish-church are memorials for John Arundell, Esq. (the first of that family who possessed Truthall), son of Thomas, 1671; and Richard Hoblyn of Antron, 1692. A tomb-stone had enough of the inscription remaining, in Borlase's time, to shew it to have been that of Bernard Penrose, prior of St. John's hospital, who died in 1532. (fn. n16) The great tithes, which were formerly appropriated to the college of Glaseney, and which, since the Reformation, were in the family of Paynter, are now the propery of Admiral Spry. The Bishop of Exeter is patron of the vicarage. There was formerly a free chapel at Truthall, with a cemetery: the ruins of the chapel remained in Tonkin's time.
The great manor or franchise of Callilond or Kalliland, to which the church of Southill was appendant, is of very extensive jurisdiction: it belonged formerly to the baronial family of Stafford (fn. n17): two-thirds of this manor passed from the Staffords, by a coheiress, to Willoughby Lord Brook, and are now vested in Lord Clinton: the other third part was in the crown, and granted by King Richard III. to John Coryton, Esq. of Newton: this belonged, in 1620, to the Glanvilles (fn. n18), and is now vested in Richard Strode, Esq.
Manaton, in this parish, many years the seat of a family of that name, is now the property of Sir W. P. Call, Bart.: there is a farm-house on the barton; the old mansion of the Manatons is dilapidated. Lord Clinton is patron of the rectory.
ST. STEPHENS in Brannell lies in the deanery and in the east division of the hundred of Powder, four miles nearly west from St. Austell, which is the postoffice town, and seven north-east from Truro. The manor of Brannell was granted by King John to Richard Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans, who gave it to Richard de Cornubia or Cornwall, his natural son by Joan de Valletort (widow of Sir Alexander Oakeston). From the Cornwalls it passed, by successive female heirs, to the families of Hendower, Tregarthyn, and Tanner. It was mortgaged by the latter to Sir John Baber, who afterwards purchased the equity of redemption of the heiresses of that family. Sir John Baber sold this manor and Trethosa to Thomas Pitt, Esq. of Boconnoc: having since passed with that estate, they are now, in right of his lady, the property of the Right Honourable Lord Grenville. The manor-house of Brannell, called Court, has been pulled down: the Tanners were the last family who inhabited it. Godfrey de Cornwall, a Carmelite frier, author of several learned works about the year 1300, was of the family of Cornwall above-mentioned, and said to have been born at Court.
The manor of Bodinneck belonged to the Carminows of Boconnoc, from whom it passed to the Courtenays: it was afterwards in the family of Pye, and was sold by them to John Tanner, Esq., M.P. for Grampound, who made Bodinneck his residence: it is now a farm-house, the property of Lord Grenville. The manor of Tolgarrick has long been in the Trevanion family, and is now the property of J. P. T. B. Trevanion, Esq. The barton of Trenague was the original residence of the Trethewey family, who had seats also at Mellidor, Penhale, and Tregargas, in this parish: these are all now farm-houses. Resuggac, which in 1620 belonged to the Robartes family, was many years the seat of the Truscotts: it is now a farm-house, held on lease by the representatives of the late Admiral of that name, under Lord Grenville.
In the parish-church is the tomb of Hugh Wolridge, a physician, who died in 1652, in the 30th year of his age (fn. n19). This church is consolidated with those of St. Michael-Caerhayes, and St. Dennis, forming an united rectory, which is a sinecure, and a vicarage. St. Michael is the mother-church, but St. Dennis and St. Stephen are separate parishes. The rectory and vicarage are held by the same incumbent: Lord Grenville is patron.
In this parish are the clay-pits already spoken of. (fn. n20)
ST. STEPHENS, near Saltash, lies a mile west-south-west from that town (which is within the parish), in the deanery and in the south division of the hundred of East. The principal villages in this parish, exclusively of the church-town, are Buraton, Carkeel, and Trematon. The manor and honor of Trematon, in this parish, was held under Robert Earl of Moreton and Cornwall, in the reign of William Rufus, by Reginald de Valletort, whose descendant, Roger de Valletort, the last heir male of the family, gave it to Richard Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans. In the year 1315, Peter Corbet and Henry de Pomeroy commenced a suit in parliament, with a view of recovering this estate, on the grounds that the said Roger was not in his right mind when he made the deed of gift. The proceedings, which had been some time dormant, were renewed in 1327, but, as it appears, without success: a compromise afterwards took place, for in 1339 we find Henry de Pomeroy, in consideration of an annuity of 40l., releasing to Edward the Black Prince all right and title to the honor and castle of Trematon, as heir of Roger de Valletort: the preceding year this estate had been annexed to the duchy of Cornwall. The Prince granted the manor of Trematon for life to Sir Nigel Loring (fn. n21), who had been his brave companion in arms during the wars with France, and who, it is probable, made Trematon-Castle his occasional residence. Sir Nigel had estates in Bedfordshire, where he is said to have been buried.
Carew relates, that, during the Cornish commotions in 1549, Sir Richard Grenville held this castle for awhile against the rebels; that having been induced to quit it, for the purpose of holding a parley with the besiegers, they intercepted his return, seized on the castle, sent him a prisoner to Launceston gaol, and plundered and ill-treated his lady and her attendants. We find no account of this castle having been occupied by either party during the civil war in the seventeenth century.
A survey of the duchy of Cornwall, bearing date 1337, (fn. n22) describes a hall in Trematon-castle, with a kitchen and lodging-chamber, as built by Edmund Earl of Cornwall; and speaks of an ancient chapel within the gate: Carew speaks of the inner buildings of this castle, as "all sunke into ruine; the ivie tapissed walls of the keepe and base-court only remaining, and a poor dwelling for the keeper of the gaol." The survey made by order of parliament in 1650, after stating that lands were held under the honor, by the service of the tenants repairing every one his part of the castle; adds, that it was so much out of repair, that there was scarcely any thing left but the walls on the south side; that there was on that side an old ruined house, in which the keeper dwelt, and kept the prisoners arrested in the honor (fn. n23). On the south-east side was a barn, which had been a chapel; near which was a gate-way, with several rooms, all in ruins. There are still considerable remains of the old castle. A modern house has of late been erected within the bas-court, by Benjamin Tucker, Esq., surveyor-general of the duchy of Cornwall. Trematonstands in a beautiful situation on the banks of the Lyner. Carew says, that the lord-warden was steward of Trematon-castle by patent, Anthony Rous, bailiff by inheritance, and Richard Carew of Anthony (himself), keeper by lease.
Martin de Ferrers held the manors of Shillingham and Hornaeot, and was succeeded by his great-grandson, John Bonville, descended from his daughter Joan. Lord Bonville sold the manor of Shillingham to Jasper Horsey, clerk, who settled it, with Combe, parcel thereof, on a chantry founded by himself. The manors of Shillingham and Trehan, and Combe farm, have been more than two centuries in the Buller family, the elder branch of which became extinct by the death of James Buller, Esq. of Shillingham, (who had been one of the representatives of the county in two parliaments,) in 1710; when the Shillingham estate passed to the Bullers of Morval, and is now the property of James Buller, Esq., M.P., of Downes, near Crediton in Devonshire. There are scarcely any remains of the old mansion at Shillingham, which was some time the chief seat of the Bullers, except the ruins of the chapel.
The manor of Ashe-torre or Esses-torre, the site of which is a rock at the bottom of Saltash town, abutting on the water, has an extensive jurisdiction, although it was itself held as seven fees under the honor of Trematon. Carew speaks of this rock as "invested with the jurisdiction of a manor, and that it claymed the suites of many gentlemen as his freeholders in knights' service." This manor, which extends its jurisdiction into several parishes in Cornwall and Devonshire, belonged to the ancient family of Fleming of Devonshire, barons of Slane in Ireland: it was sold in the sixteenth century, by Nicholas and Robert Dillon, sons and heirs of Anne, one of the sisters and coheiresses of Christopher Fleming, Baron of Slane, to Thomas Wyvell, Esq., from whose family it passed, by a female heir, to the ancestor of Francis Wills, Esq. of Saltash, the present proprietor. The site of this manor is thus described in old papers (fn. n24):—"All that messuage, dwelling-house, palace, &c. and waste ground in and nigh Ashe-torre Rock, with the remains of houses, on which premises manor-courts were held, all unconnected with any other person's land, and forming a peninsula, situated at the bottom of Fore street or road, in the borough of Saltash, on a rock, part of which abutteth into the sea." "A record of the year 1620," says Thomas Wyvell, Esq., "claimeth Wadsworthy as parcel of the demesne of the manor of Ashetorre." (fn. n25)
The manor of Trevellard belonged, in the year 1620, to the Rolles and Wyvells, in moieties (fn. n26); Thomas Williams then claimed it to be held under his manor of Torrpike (fn. n27): this manor was purchased of Mr. Wills, together with Wyvelscombe, the ancient seat of the Wyvells, by Sir Edward Buller, by whom they were both sold to Mr. Richard Billing, the present proprietor and occupier.
The manor of Notter, now the property of the Right Honourable Reginald Pole Carew, M.P., was purchased, in 1551, of William Clopton, by Sir Richard Edgcumbe, whose nephew, Peter Edgcumbe, Esq., sold it, in 1590, to Mr. Carew's ancestor, Richard Carew, Esq. of Anthony, author of the "Survey of Cornwall."
The barton of Earth, called a manor in a record of the year 1620, (fn. n28) was the property and seat of the ancient family of Earth, whose heiress brought it to the Bonds: it is now a farm-house belonging to the devisees of the late Mrs. Connock (fn. n29). Ince or Innes was at an early period in moieties between John de Innes and Thomas de Stonehouse: the whole was afterwards in Charles Blount, Earl of Devon, who had purchased a moiety of William Marquis of Winchester (fn. n30), they having been coheirs of Willoughby Lord Brooke. Ince is now the seat of Edward Smith, Esq., who purchased it of Pendock Neale, Esq., of Nottinghamshire. Burell, the seat of John Burell, Esq., has been the residence of his ancestors from a very early period, certainly before the reign of Edward II., when one of them married the coheiress of Woodland. Stocketon-house, built about the year 1770, by Stephen Drew, Esq., is now the property of the Honourable ViceAdmiral De Courcy, by whom it has been improved, for his own residence. Weard-house, built by Admiral Harrison, who distinguished himself in the Monmouth, in the year 1747, and died in 1759, is now the property of Captain Harrison, of the artillery, and let to occasional tenants: it commands a fine view of the Tamar, Plymouth, &c.
Carew relates, that in the church of St. Stephen's a leaden coffin was found about the middle of the sixteenth century; but the grounds on which he supposes it to have been that of Orgarius Duke of Cornwall, are very weak; for it appears that all he learned from his informant, who had been an eye-witness of the discovery, fourscore years before, was, that an inscription on the lead imported that it contained the body of a duke, whose heiress married a prince. In this church are monuments for Master Hechins, as Carew calls him, lessee of the great tithes in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, whose heiress married George Wadham; Mary, daughter and coheir of Edward Stradling, and wife of Samuel Rolle, Esq. (1613); and a daughter of F. Buller, Esq., who married Arthur Burell, Esq., and died in 1635. A manor in St. Stephens, called the Sanctuary manor, is held on lease under the church of Windsor, together with the great tithes, by Mr. Thomas Edwards, who lately purchased it of the Buller family: James Buller, Esq., M.P., is patron of the vicarage. The church of St. Stephen's was given to Windsor College by the Black Prince.
There is no endowed alms-house in this parish; but Mrs. Ellen Mabbot, in 1771, gave certain lands, now let at 70l. per annum, the rent of which is to be given to poor widows, at the discretion of the proprietor, for the time being, of the mansion of Earth (fn. n31), and the minister of the parish. Sir John Hayward, Knt., of the city of Rochester, having in 1635 given his manor of Minster, in the isle of Shepey, to be sold, and the money to be applied to the relief of the poor, according as the discretion of his trustees should direct; and this trust having devolved to J. F. Buller, Esq., of Shillingham, he laid out the sum of 120l. in lands at Shillingham, now producing 14l. per annum, for the benefit of the poor of this parish.
The town of Saltash, formerly called Esse and Assheburgh, is situated on a steep ascent upon the banks of the Tamar, consisting of three principal streets, which, as Carew observes, "every shower washes clean." Saltash was made a free borough in the reign of King John, or that of Henry III., by Reginald de Valletort, who confirmed to the burgesses divers privileges which they had enjoyed under his ancestors: these privileges were confirmed by King Richard II. In the year 1682, King Charles the Second granted this borough a renewed charter of incorporation (fn. n32), under which the body-corporate was defined to consist of a mayor and six aldermen, styled the council of the borough, who had liberty to choose a recorder. A new charter was procured in 1774, under which the corporation consists of a mayor, aldermen, and an indefinite number of burgesses. Saltash has sent two members to parliament ever since the reign of Edward VI. The right of election is vested in the mayor, aldermen, and the holders of burgage-tenements; the number of electors being about 120. Some names of eminence appear in the list of representatives, as Sir Francis Cottington, Edward Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon, and Edmund Waller, the poet.
There was a market attached to the castle of Trematon, and probably held at Saltash, when the survey of Domesday was taken: it is spoken of in that survey as a new market of the Earl's, which had been prejudicial to the abbot's market at St. Germans. There is now a small market for butchers'-meat on Saturday: Browne Willis says, that the burgesses claimed another on Tuesday, but that it was not then held. The present fairs are on the Tuesday before each quarterday (the remnant, probably, of their Tuesday's market), February 2, and July 25: the two last are for horned cattle and sheep. The tolls of the market and fairs belong to the corporation, who hold also the manor of the borough of Asseburgh under the duchy, and are entitled to a ferry over the Tamar, the privilege of dredging for oysters, the farm and tolls of oysters, and certain duties payable by masters of ships, which altogether produced about 300l. per annum in 1714. (fn. n33) The manor of Asseburgh had been held under temporary grants, by the Earls of Kent and Huntingdon, Lord Fanhope, &c. (fn. n34) In 1620 Sir Richard Buller is stated to have held Aish, formerly held by John Amys, under the honor of Trematon (fn. n35). The Justing-place, and other lands at Saltash, which had belonged to the duchy, were sold, in Oliver-Cromwell's time, to William Braddon and Charles Boscawen. (fn. n36)
Leland speaks of "Asche as a praty quik market-town. The tounesmen," says he, "use boothe marchandise and fischery." Norden says, "the towne increaseth daylie in merchaundise and wealth: there belong unto the towne some 8 ships besydes small boates. The haven is capable of anie burden. The great carrack that Sir Frauncis Drake browghte home so rich, arrived here, and was here disburdened, and after fatally fyred." Carew tells us, that in his time Saltash contained between 80 and 100 houses: in 1801, the number of houses was 160; that of inhabitants, 1,150: in 1811, the houses 190, the inhabitants 1,478, according to the returns made to parliament at those periods.
The assizes for the county were held at Saltash in 1393. (fn. n37).
Saltash, being a very important station, as one of the principal passes into Cornwell, was frequently the subject of contest during the civil wars: it was first garrisoned by the parliament, and surrendered without opposition to Sir Ralph Hopton, in the autumn of 1642. General Ruthen, finding it open after his defeat at Bradock-down, in January 1643, took possession, and hastily fortified it; but it was soon afterwards taken by assault, by Lord Mohun and Sir Ralph Hopton: a garrison was left in it in the month of May that year, but on the approach of the Earl of Essex, it was given up the latter end of July 1644. We are told that on this occasion Sir Edward Waldegrave gallantly defended the pass, and, as it appears, with temporary success. After the capitulation of Essex, Saltash was again taken possession of by Sir Richard Grenville: in the month of October following, it was taken by a detachment from the garrison at Plymouth: Sir Richard Grenville afterwards recovered it by assault: it was finally abandoned by the King's troops, in the month of February 1646. (fn. n38)
There is a chapel of ease in Saltash, dedicated to St. Nicholas: the mayor nominates the minister. The Exeter registers speak of chapels formerly in this town, dedicated to St. Faith and St. John the Baptist (fn. n39). There are meeting-houses for the baptists and the Wesleyan methodists.
STITHIANS, in the deanery and in the east division of the hundred of Kirrier, lies about five miles nearly north-west from Penryn, which is the post-office town, and about four south-south-east from Redruth. There are gunpowder mills at Kennal-wood, in this parish. (fn. n40)
The manor of Kennal belonged, in the reign of Edward II., to Matthew Penfern (fn. n41); afterwards to the Carminows, one of whose coheiresses brought it to the Arundells of Lanherne; having passed with the Lanherne estate till the year 1800, it was then sold by Lord Arundell to three brothers of the name of Bath, who are the present proprietors. The manor of Roseeth is the property of Thomas Hocker, Esq., as devisee of the late Thomas Reed, Esq. The barton of Tretheage belonged to the family of Morton, afterwards to the Pearces: it is now the property and residence of Mrs. Curgenven, widow of its late proprietor, Captain Curgenven, of the Royal navy. The barton of Penalurick, formerly the seat of a family of that name, is said to have passed to the family of Skewish, who sold it to John Hals, in the reign of James I.: it was purchased of Hals by William Pendarves, Esq.: this barton, on which are two farm-houses, is now partly the property of Stephen Ustick, Esq., as devisee of Sir Michael Nowell, and partly of Thomas Hocker, Esq., as devisee of Mr. Reed. The bartons of Treweek and Tresavern belonged to the family of Haweis, of whom they were purchased by the present proprietor, Mr. James Brown.
Lord Falmouth is impropriator of the great tithes and patron of the vicarage, which is consolidated with Perran-Arwothall. The church of Stithians was given by Edward the Black Prince to the abbey of Rewley, near Oxford, in exchange for the manor of Nettlebed.
STOKE-CLIMSLAND, in the deanery and in the north division of the hundred of East, lies three miles north from Callington, which is the post-office town, and nine south-south-east from Launceston. The principal villages in this parish are, Burraton, Drawcombe, Lidwell, Luckett, Polhilsa, Stoke, Tutwell, Underhill, and Venterdon.
The manor of Stoke-Climsland being one of the franchises enumerated by Carew, is parcel of the ancient possessions of the duchy of Cornwall. The manor of Climsland-Prior, partly in this parish, and partly in Linkinhorne, belonged to the priory of Launceston, and was one of those annexed to the duchy by King Henry VIII., in lieu of the honor of Wallingford. During the feudal times, the tenants of Stoke-Climsland manor, in common with many other manors, could not send their sons to school, or marry their daughters, without the leave of the lord. The estate called Carybullock, or Keribullock-park, in this parish, which was disparked by King Henry VIII., is held on lease under the duchy by Weston Helyar, Esq.
Aldren, many years a seat of the Knights, and afterwards of the Cocks; Climson, many years a seat of the Doidges; Burraton, of the Lampens, and afterwards of their representatives in the female line, the Harris's of Mount-Radford; and Lower-Hampt, some time a seat of the Phillips family, — are now farms belonging to Sir W. P. Call, Bart. Holwell, another seat of the Lampens and Harris's, is now a farm belonging to Mr. Richard John Parson. Middle-Hampt is the property and residence of Mrs. Kelly, widow of Thomas Kelly, Esq. Higher-Hampt, which belonged to the family of Pengelly, afterwards to the Harrisons, is now the property and residence of Mr. William Mason. Combe-head, some time a seat of the Calmady family, is now a farm-house. Whiteford-house, the seat of Sir William Pratt Call, Bart., was purchased by his father, Sir John Call, Bart., of Mrs. Prowse: it had been before in the family of Addis. The Knapmans, for whom there are monuments in the church, had a seat in this parish.
The valuable rectory of Stoke-Climsland is in the patronage of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, as Duke of Cornwall: the parsonage-house and grounds are well suited to the value of the benefice. The greater part of Hengiston-down is in this parish.
STRATTON, a small market-town in the north part of the county, being in the hundred to which it gives name, and in the deanery of Trigg-Major, lies about 18 miles north-north-west of Launceston, and is 223 from London. The road into Cornwall, by way of Stratton, was much frequented before the making of the Camelford turnpike-road, about the year 1760. The market, which appears to have been held by prescription, is on Tuesdays, for corn and provisions: there are three cattle fairs; May 19th, November 8th, and December 11th. This parish is said by Camden to have been famous for gardens and garlick: there are now no gardens in the neighbourhood, but such as are cultivated for private use; nor is it remarkable for the culture of garlick, although it is sometimes offered for sale in the market, and purchased by the cattle-doctors.
The principal village in this parish is the small sea-port of Bude, containing a few cottages, which furnish lodgings for such families as frequent the coast in the summer season for sea-air and bathing. The trade of this place has considerably increased of late years: the chief exports are, timber, bark, and oats; the imports, coal and limestone from Wales, and groceries, &c. from Bristol. The harbour, on account of its sands, is best suited to vessels from 50 to 60 tons burden; but, occasionally, vessels of 80 and 90 tons enter it; one of upwards of 90 tons was built at Bude in 1813 for the trade of this port. Great quantities of sea-sand (fn. n42) are carried from Bude for manure, not only into the neighbouring parishes, but into the north of Devon, to the distance of 20 miles and upwards.
Stratton has acquired considerable note from the great victory which was obtained in its immediate vicinity by the King's forces over the parliamentarians, in the early part of the civil war (fn. n43). In consideration of his eminent services in this battle, which are particularly specified in the patent, Sir Ralph Hopton was, in 1643, created Lord Hopton of Stratton. After his death, which happened in 1654, King Charles II. (being then in exile), in the year 1658, created Sir John Berkeley, to whose courage and good conduct the victory at Stratton has been chiefly attributed, Baron Berkeley of Stratton: this title became extinct in 1773. In 1797, Lord de Dunstanville was created Baron Bassett of Stratton, with remainder to his daughter and her issue-male.
The manors of Stratton and Binamy belonged, at an early period, to an ancient family, called in various records, De Albo Monasterio, Blanchminster, and Whitminster. Sir John de Blanchminster, dying without issue, towards the latter part of the fourteenth century, these estates passed to Emmeline, only daughter and heir of Sir Richard Hiwis, who had married Alice, daughter of Sir Ralph de Blanchminster, and aunt of Sir John: this Emmeline married to her first husband Sir Robert Tresilian, Chief Justice of the King's Bench (fn. n44), and after his death, Sir John Coleshill, to whom Guy de Blanchminster, rector of Lansallos, released in 1393 all right in the manors of Stratton, Binamy, &c. Sir John Coleshill (son of the above), who was killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, left an infant son, after whose death, in 1483, the large estates of this family passed by a female heir to a younger branch of the Arundells, soon extinct, and were afterwards in severalties among its numerous representatives. The manors of Binamy and Stratton, having been purchased by the Grenville family, passed with the Kilkhampton estate, and are now the property of Lord Carteret. Binamy-castle, which appears to have been built by Ralph de Blanchminster, in or about the year 1335 (fn. n45), is spoken of as a seat of the Coleshills by William of Worcester, who made a tour through Cornwall in the reign of Edward IV. Borlase describes the house of the Blanchminsters as having been situated half a mile from Stratton, and a furlong from the ancient causeway made by that family: on this estate, now called Binhamy, is a farm-house; a little to the west of which, is a moated orchard, described in Camden's map as a square fort, and called Binnoway.
The manor of Efford alias Ebbingford belonged, at an early period, to the Waumfords or Waunfords (fn. n46), from whom it passed by a coheiress to the Durants: the heiress of the latter brought it to the Arundells of Trerice: it has since passed with the Trerice estate, and is now the property of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, Bart.: part of the old mansion is occupied as a farm-house, and part of it is the occasional residence of Wrey J'Ans, Esq. When Leland was in Cornwall in the reign of Henry VIII., Efford was the residence of Sir John Chamond, who had married the mother of John Arundell, then of Trerice, and widow of Sir John Arundell, the brave naval officer.
In the parish-church is the monument of John Arundell, Esq. 1561, and that of a knight, with his effigies in armour: it is supposed to be intended either for Ralph de Blanchminster, or his grandson Sir John, both lords of the manor. In the parish-register is recorded the following remarkable instance of longevity: — "Elizabeth Cornish, widow, buried March 10th, 1691. This Elizabeth Cornish was baptized in October 1578: her father's name was John Veale: she was when she died in the 114th year, having lived at least 113 years, 4 months and 15 days." It appears by the register that 153 persons died of the plague in this small town, in the year 1547. In 1729, out of 49 persons buried, 42 fell victims to that destructive distemper, the small-pox. There was formerly a chapel on a little hill at the mouth of Bude harbour, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St. Michael, and another at Efford, dedicated to St. Leonard. (fn. n47)
The great tithes of this parish, and the manor of Sanctuary, belonged to the priory of Launceston. This manor, to which the advowson of the vicarage is attached, was one of those annexed to the duchy of Cornwall in 1540, in lieu of the honor of Wallingford. The spot called the Sanctuary, which gives name to the manor, is near the church, and occupied by a few cottages. The great tithes of Stratton, which, subsequent to the Reformation, were some time in the family of Waddon, have been sold in severalties.
One of the Blanchminster family gave lands of considerable value to the church and poor of this parish: he gave also 48s. per annum, payable out of the tithes of Egloskerry, to the vicar of Stratton, for preaching four sermons on two Sundays, in Egloskerry church.
The lands given to the church of Stratton, lying in the parishes of Stratton, Week St. Mary, and Tresmere, are now let at 53l. 5s. per annum; those given to the poor are wholly in the parish of Stratton, and are let at 113l. 13s. 4d. per annum: there was a donation of land also (now let at 7l. per annum) to the poor of Egloskerry. The management of these estates, given to the parish of Stratton, has long been vested in certain persons, called the feoffees and eight men, who distribute the rents payable to the poor, among such as are not actually chargeable to the parish.
In Stratton church is the following epitaph, in memory of Mr. John Avery, a school-master, who died in 1691, being one of the eight men of the town; much credit seems to be given to him for having discovered some abuses relating to these charities, and having recovered the benefactions which had been lost or misapplied: —
"Near by this place interr'd does lye,
One of the eight, whose memory
Will last and fragrant be to all posterity.
He did revive the stock and store;
He built the almshouse for the poor;
Manag'd so well was the revenue ne'er before.
The church he lov'd and beautified,
His highest glory and his pride;
The sacred altar shows his private zeal beside.
A book he left for all to view,
The accounts which are both just and true;
His owne discharge, and a good precedent for you.
Be silent then of him who's gone;
Touch not, I mean, an imperfection,
For he a pardon has from the Almighty throne.
Look to your ways, each to his trust;
That when you thus are laid in dust,
Your actions may appear as righteous and as just."