Parishes: St Blazey - Bodmin

Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1814.

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Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons, 'Parishes: St Blazey - Bodmin', Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814), pp. 24-38. British History Online [accessed 22 June 2024].

Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons. "Parishes: St Blazey - Bodmin", in Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814) 24-38. British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024,

Lysons, Daniel. Lysons, Samuel. "Parishes: St Blazey - Bodmin", Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814). 24-38. British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024,

In this section

St. Blazey

ST. BLAZEY, in the eastern division of the hundred of that name, lies about four miles north-east of St. Austell. The principal villages, besides St. Blazey-Highway and the Church-town, are Biscovey and part of Par; the latter is on the east-side of Tywardreth bay and partly in the parish of Tywardreth. There is a fair in this parish on the festival of St. Blaze. (Feb. 3.) The western part of St. Blazey and the Par, having been occupied by some of the Earl of Essex's forces, were taken by King Charles I. not long before the capitulation of the parliamentary army in 1644. (fn. n1)

The manor of Tregrehan or Tregrahan belonged to the ancient family of Bodrugan; having been forfeited by attainder, it was granted by King Henry VII. to Sir Richard Edgcumbe (fn. n2), from whom it has descended to the present Lord Mount Edgcumbe. Tregrehan barton has been for many years a seat of the Carlyons, now of Thomas Carlyon, Esq.; the present mansion was built in the early part of the last century. Restineas, in this parish, some time also a seat of the Carlyons, and now the property of Thomas Carlyon, Esq., is occupied as a farmhouse. The manor of Biscovy or Boscovey was anciently in the Copplestones. In 1563 it was sold by Christopher Copplestone, of Warlegh, in Devonshire, Esq. to Richard Trehawke, of St. Blazey; it is now the property of William Rashleigh, Esq., Thomas Carlyon, Esq., and others.

The manor of Lanestock, partly in this parish and partly in Tywardreth, has passed of late years by the same title as Trenans-Austell, one moiety belonging to the representative of the Sawles, and the other to the Rev. H. H. Tremayne. This manor, or a manor of this name, appears to have been formerly in the Arundells, of Trerice, by inheritance from the Durants. (fn. n3)

Roselian, successively the seat of the Trehawkes, Kellios, and Scobells, belonged afterwards to John Deeble, Esq., by whom it was devised to John Rogers, father of Richard Rogers, Esq., the present proprietor; it was some time the residence of Shadrach Vincent, Esq., in right of his wife, a coheiress of the Kellio family. Mr. Vincent signalized himself whilst serving as a volunteer in the navy, under the brave Earl of Offory, and afterwards as a major of horse in Flanders under Sir John Fenwick (fn. n4); he sat in parliament for the borough of Fowey, and died about the year 1700. Trenavisick, a seat of the Kellios, was sold to the Williams family, who rebuilt it about the latter end of the seventeenth century; it is now the property of Mr. Edward Carthew, of Liskeard. In the parish church is a monument, without date, for Henry Scobell, Esq., first treasurer and paymaster of the farm-tin to Queen Anne. The great tithes of St. Blazey were appropriated to the prior and convent of Tywardreth; the impropriation is now vested in Thomas Carlyon, Esq.; it has passed through various hands since the dissolution of monasteries. Mr. Carlyon is patron of the vicarage.


BLISLAND, in the hundred of Trigg, and deanery of Trigg-Minor, is situated about five miles north-north-east from Bodmin, and about eight miles southsouth-west from Camelford: Bodmin is the post-town. The principal villages are the Church-town, Pendrief or Pendrift, and Tregenna or Tregennow. There is a cattle-fair at Blisland on the Monday after September 22, and another at a place called Poundscawse, in this parish, on the last Monday in November.

The manor of Blisland was granted by King Henry VII. to the Stanhopes, and afterwards passed successively to the families of Parker, Reynolds, Spry, and Molesworth; it is now the property of Sir Arscot Oury Molesworth, Bart. An ancient mansion-house, which was formerly the residence of the lords of the manor, is now occupied by labourers. The manors of Barlandew, Cassacawen, and Trehudreth, belonged, for several years, to the family of Treise, formerly of Castle-Milford, in the parish of Tremayne. They are now the property of John Wallis, Esq. of Bodmin, having been purchased by him, in 1809, of Sir John Morshead, Bart., whose father married the sole heiress of the Treises; Lieutenant-General Morshead, brother of Sir John, occupies Levethan, in this parish, which was the seat of the Kempes (fn. n5), and afterwards of the Treises. Trewardla, in this parish, is the residence of Mrs. Elizabeth Collins, widow of the Rev. John Basset Collins.

In the parish-church are some memorials for the Kemp family, and William Thomas, Esq. barrister at law, who died in 1669. The Rev. William Pye is patron and incumbent of the rectory. The Rev. Charles Morton, ejected from Blisland by the Act of Uniformity, was author of "A Discourse on improving the County of Cornwall" (the seventh chapter of which, on the utility of sea-sand as a manure, was printed in the Philosophical Transactions, for 1675), "Considerations on the New River," "a Letter to prove Money not so necessary as imagined;" besides several sermons, and biblical and theological Tracts (fn. n6). The tutelar saint of this church is said, by Borlase, to have been St. Proto, or St. Prat (fn. n7). About a mile north of the church is a decayed ancient chapel, which has been fitted up as a meeting-house for the Methodists; the field in which it stands, is called the Chapel-Park.

Boconnoc or Boconnock

BOCONNOC or BOCONNOCK, in the hundred and deanery of West, is situated about four miles east from Lostwithiel, which is the post-town, and between seven and eight south-west from Liskeard (fn. n8). The manor of Boconnoc belonged, as it appears, in the reign of Henry III., to the ancient family of De Cancia or De Cant (fn. n9), who had their chief residence at Cant, in Minver; it was soon afterwards a seat of the Carminows (fn. n10), having passed with one of the coheiresses of Thomas Carminow, at that time the elder male representative of the family, to Sir Hugh Courtenay, who settled at Boconnoc, and lost his life at the fatal battle of Tewksbury, in 1471. It is probable that, upon becoming vested in the crown, in consequence of an attainder in the Courtenay family, it was granted to John Lord Russell. It is certain that Francis Earl of Bedford sold it, in 1579, to William Mohun, afterwards Sir William Mohun, Knt., who died seised of it in or about the year 1587. Boconnoc became the chief seat of his descendants; his son, Reginald, was created a baronet in 1512, and his grandson, John, a peer, in 1628, by the title of Baron Mohun of Oakhampton. The title became extinct in 1712, by the death of Charles Lord Mohun, the third baron, who was slain in a duel with the Duke of Hamilton, which proved fatal to both the parties; his widow, to whom he bequeathed all his estates, sold this manor, and the rest of his Cornish property, in or about the year 1718, to Thomas Pitt, Esq. of Dorsetshire, governor of Fort St. George, common ancestor of the Pitts, some time Earls of Londonderry, the Earls of Chatham, and the Lords Camelford. Governor Pitt's name is well known as the original and fortunate purchaser (fn. n11) of the celebrated jewel, still known by the name of Pitt's diamond, which was sold to the Regent of France, and which now adorns the hilt of Napoleon Buonaparte's sword. His grandson, Thomas Pitt, Esq., was Lord-Warden of the Stannaries, in 1750. His great-grandson, of the same name, was, in 1784, created Lord Camelford, Baron of Boconnoc. His son, the second Lord Camelford, dying without issue, in 1804, Boconnoc passed, in marriage with his sister and sole heir, to the Right Hon. Lord Grenville, who is the present proprietor.

William de Worcester, who visited Cornwall in the reign of Edward IV., speaks of Boconnoc, which he calls Blekennoc House, as a turretted old mansion, then lately the seat of Sir Hugh Courtenay. (fn. n12)

Boconnoc House, previously to the month of August, 1644, was occupied by the parliamentary army: some time before King Charles came into Cornwall, a party of his horse, under the command of Bernard Gascoyn, surprised the garrison here, and took the Earl of Essex's Lieutenant-colonel, and other officers, prisoners: after this, Prince Maurice made Boconnoc House his head-quarters (fn. n13), and on his arrival in Cornwall, it became the head-quarters of His Majesty (fn. n14). Lord Mohun, its owner, was of the royal party, and one of the generals in the west; but after the unfortunate turn which the King's affairs took, in that quarter, in the year 1645, he submitted to the Parliament. Prince Charles, afterwards King Charles II., was at Boconnoc in 1646, as appears from a warrant for fishing in the river Larren, signed by him, and dated "from our court at Boconnoc," November 10th, 21 Car. I. The present noble owner occasionally resides at Boconnoc. The present Boconnoc House, built by the Mohuns, was newly modelled by Governor Pitt, who added a wing to the old structure. The first Lord Camelford added, from his own design, another wing, which, with the end of the old building, forms a south front of 110 feet. In this wing is a gallery sixty-five feet in length, in which, among many family and other portraits, are those of Sir Reginald Mohun, supposed to be by Cornelius Jansen, of the Duchess of Cleveland by Sir Peter Lely, given by the Duchess to the family; Governor Pitt, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, George Lord Lyttelton, Bishop Lyttelton, the first Earl Stanhope (who was made a peer for his eminent military services in Spain), by Kneller, and William, Earl of Chatham.

The manor of Bodulgate, which gave name to an ancient family, and was afterwards in the Hastings family, is partly in this parish, and partly in that of Lanreath. In the parish-church is a memorial for one of the daughters' of Sir Reginald Mohun, who died in 1637. The advowson of the rectory, which is a peculiar, has always been attached to the manor. It was consolidated with Broadoak in 1742. The parsonage and glebe, which were situated in the middle of Lord Grenville's park, were annexed to the Boconnoc estate by a late act act of parliament. A new and much more commodious parsonage-house has been built at Broadoak, and a suitable glebe annexed to it.


BODMIN, formerly spelt Bodman, a considerable market and borough town, in the hundred of Trigg and deanery of Trigg-Minor, is situated 334 miles and a half from London, twenty miles and a half beyond Launceston, on the road to the Lands-End. The late learned Mr. Whitaker, in his history of the cathedral of Cornwall, has, with much ability, proved the fallacy of the grounds upon which it was supposed to have been a bishop's see; an error into which Dr. Borlase, Browne Willis, and other eminent antiquaries, had fallen; and has shewn very satisfactorily, that it was not the monastery at Bodmin, but another religious house dedicated to St. Petroc, near the sea-side, at Padstow, that was burnt by the Danes. The priory of Bodmin is said to have owed its origin to the circumstance of St. Petroc, its founder, having taken up his abode in a valley, now occupied by the town of Bodmin, then the residence of St. Guron a solitary recluse, who having resigned his hermitage to St. Petroc, it was by him enlarged for the residence of himself and three other devout men (fn. n15), who accompanied him with the intention of leading a monastic life according to the rules of St. Benedict. Here St. Petroc died before the middle of the sixth century. His shrine was preserved in a small chapel attached to the east end of Bodmin church, as we learn from Leland and William of Worcester. The hermitage, which he had founded, continued to be inhabited by monks of the Benedictine order, till the reign of King Athelstan, who, in 926, founded, on or near the same spot, a priory of Benedictines; this convent having been dissolved at an early period, and their possessions fallen into the hands of secular canons, Robert Earl of Moreton and Cornwall seised them to his own use, and, after the death of his son, William Earl of Moreton and Cornwall, they became vested in the crown. Algar, to whom it is probable they had been granted, with the King's licence and that of William Warlewast, Bishop of Exeter, re-founded the monastery, and replenished it with Austin canons, who continued till the general dissolution of religious houses, when its revenues were valued at 270l. 0s. 11d. per annum, clear income. The prior had, among other privileges, a market and fair, gallows, pillory, &c. as proved in a quo warranto, in the reign of King Edward I. The site, with the demesnes, was granted to Thomas Sternhold, one of the first translators of the Psalms. In 1567, it was the property of Nicholas Pescod and Judith his wife, and William Pydderley and Philippa his wife, by whom it was sold, that year, to John Rashleigh, of Fowey, merchant. The immediate site was purchased of the Rashleigh family by the late William Pennington, Esq., and is now the seat of Walter Ralegh Gilbert, Esq., who married his niece, Miss Hosken.

The convent of Grey Friers, at Bodmin, is said to have been founded by John de London, under the patronage of Edmund Earl of Cornwall. William of Worcester dates its foundation in 1239, and calls its original founder John, son of Ralph, Lord of Kayryshays (fn. n16). In another place he tells us, that the church of the Grey Friers was consecrated by Bishop Grandison in 1352. (fn. n17) Sir Hugh and Sir Thomas Peverell (of Park in Egloshayle), two principal benefactors to this convent, were buried in the Friery church. The site was granted, in 1546, to William Abbot, who, the next year, conveyed it to William Vyvyan and others. In 1566, it was conveyed by the said William Vyvyan, described as of Trehunsey, in Quethiock, and John Hewet of Bodmin, to the corporation of this town, to whom it still belongs. We are told that, in Queen Elizabeth's time, it was used as the House of Correction for the county (fn. n18). The refectory, the only part of the conventual buildings which now remains, was fitted up as an Assize-hall in the early part of the last century; and Hals speaks of it as the fairest and best in England, after that of Westminster, being 60 feet in height, and 150 in length; he says that it was used also as a market-house, and that several fairs for all sorts of merchandize were kept there; and in the adjoining church-yard, a fair for cattle. The two ends of this room are now occupied by the courts of justice; in the intermediate space, is transacted, on market-days, the business of the corn-market, and over head is the grand-jury room, and a large ball-room, which is opened at the races.

The first remarkable historical event connected with this place is, that it became the head-quarters of Thomas Flammanck and Michael Joseph, the ringleaders of the rebellion of 1496, both of whom, indeed, appear to have been inhabitants of this parish. Perkin Warbeck, after his landing in Cornwall, in the year 1498, assembled, at Bodmin, a force of 3000 men, with which he advanced to attack Exeter. In 1550, the Cornish rebels, under the command of Humphry Arundell, who were much favoured by the townsmen of Bodmin, encamped at Castle Kynock, near this town, and marched thence to the siege of Exeter; after the suppression of this rebellion, which soon followed, Sir Anthony Kingston, the provostmarshal, came, with the King's commission, to punish some of the chief offenders; and it is said, that he hanged the mayor at his own door after partaking of the hospitalities of his table. A story is also told of his hanging a miller's man, who had personated his master. (fn. n19)

Bodmin does not appear to have had any garrison during the civil war; it was occasionally occupied by both parties. General Fairfax finally took possession of it for the parliament in 1646, a few days before the capitulation with Sir Ralph Hopton, near Truro.

In the year 1179, the burgesses of Bodmin paid a fine of one hundred shillings for setting up a gild without licence (fn. n20). Not many years afterwards, they obtained a charter, from Richard Earl of Cornwall, for a gild-merchant, with exemptions from toll, throughout Cornwall. This charter was confirmed by King Edward I. and King Edward III.; the latter granted the burgesses the privilege of buying and selling wool and other merchandize, with exemption from toll, throughout Cornwall (fn. n21). The corporation of Bodmin formerly consisted of a mayor and thirty-six burgesses, the twelve senior of whom, now called aldermen, are styled in Queen Elizabeth's charter, of the year 1563, capital burgesses and counsellors, and twenty-four common council-men, called, in the charter, capital burgesses, and a town-clerk or recorder, called, in the charter, the common-clerk. The mayor, together with the mayor of the preceding year, and the town-clerk, are justices of the peace, with the powers usually exercised in corporation-towns. The corporation having been dissolved in consequence of neglect, a new charter was granted to the town by His present Majesty in the year 1798. The borough of Bodmin has sent members to parliament ever since the reign of Edward I.; the election is vested in the corporation.

Among the ancient corporation-accounts, are the following curious items, relating to the election of members of parliament, and the payment of their wages, in the reign of Henry VII.:

"19, 20 Hen. VII., paide to Richard Watts and John Smyth, burgesses of the parliament for the towne, 13s. 4d.

"Paide for the endentes for the burgesses of the parliament, 20d.

"Paide and yeven in malmesey to the under-sheryff, 4d.

"Paid for the makyng a payr of endentes and an obligation, 12d.

"It. Paide and yeven onto Thomas Trote in rewarde, 20d.

"It. Paide to Sir Richard Downa, the wich was promysed by the maier and the worshipfull in a reward towardes his wagys, 13s. 4d."

There was a market at Bodmin when the survey of Domesday was taken, the profits of which, belonging to the prior, were then valued at thirty-five shillings per annum: the tolls were afterwards let at a fee-farm rent to the burgesses, in whom the market and fairs are now vested. Leland speaks of the market at Bodmin as being like a fair for the confluence of people. Hals compares it, in point of supply of all kinds of provisions, &c. to those of Exeter and Tavistock. It is still a very considerable market for corn, fish, and all sorts of provisions, and well attended. It has always been held on Saturday, as at present. The fairs, which are great marts for cattle and horses, are on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Saturday after Mid-lent Sunday, Saturday before Palm Sunday, Wednesday before Whitsuntide, and on the feast of St. Nicholas the Bishop (December 6.). Leathershoes are made in great quantities at this town, and exposed to sale in standings at the markets and fairs.

Bodmin is said to have been one of the coinage towns which had the privilege of stamping tin; but it appears that it had been lost before the year 1347, when the burgesses petitioned parliament, complaining, that although by royal charters they were authorized to deal in all kinds of merchandize, tin as well as other, in the county of Cornwall, they had of late been hindered by the Prince and his men from buying or coining tin; they were unsuccessful in their application, the answer of parliament being, that the Prince might order the tin to be sold where he pleased (fn. n22). The summer-assizes for the county have been held at Bodmin ever since the year 1716, except for the years between 1727 and 1738. The Michaelmas quarter-sessions also are held at this town. The Cornish sessions are not attended by barristers.

About five and thirty years ago, it was resolved to remove the county-prison from Launceston to Bodmin; a commodious and well-arranged structure for that purpose, from the designs of the late Sir John Call, and upon the principles recommended by Mr. Howard, was completed in the year 1780. The act of parliament under which it was erected, passed in 1778.

It has recently been determined to build a Lunatic-asylum at Bodmin, near the county prison.

Some centuries ago, Bodmin appears to have been of much greater extent than it is at present; it was probably most populous about the fourteenth century. It is by no means certain, that it contained only sixty-eight houses at the time of the Domesday survey, because that number is stated among the possessions of the priory of St. Petrock. In 1351, the town was so populous, that 1500 persons died there of a pestilence (fn. n23). Mr. Whitaker justly observes, that this has been very erroneously adduced as a proof of the unhealthiness of the town, whereas the pestilence, which happened that year, was general, not only in England, but throughout Europe; and the great number which died at Bodmin only proves, that its population must, at that time, have been much greater than it is at present. Indeed the observations made by Camden, Carew, and others, as to the unhealthiness of this town, are totally inapplicable to what has been known of it within the memory of man. Brice of Exeter, who published his Geographical Dictionary in 1759, speaks of Bodmin as a town remarkably healthy, and noted for the longevity of its inhabitants. Carew, writing in Queen Elizabeth's reign, says, that the many decayed houses in this town prove it to have been once very populous (fn. n24); he intimates, at the same time, that, in point of population, it still retained its precedence among the Cornish towns. It is not now so populous as some others. In 1801 it contained 1,951 inhabitants, and in 1811, 2,050; which is a smaller number than those of Helston, Liskeard, Mevagissey and Penryn, and considerably smaller than those of St. Austell, Truro, Redruth, Penzance, and Falmouth.

The parish-church was rebuilt in the years 1469, 1470, and 1471. William of Worcester speaks of the old church as considerably larger than the conventual church; the parish-church being ninety paces by forty, and that of the priory, only fifty-seven by thirty. The present church is a handsome structure, of which more particular mention will be found under the head of Ancient Church Architecture. A very particular account of the expences of rebuilding the church is preserved among the town records. The whole cost of the building, exclusively of presents of timber, amounted only to 194l. 3s. 6½d. The timber for St. John's aisle cost 20l. 13s. 4d. Sir John Arundell gave several timber-trees for the building. The lead for roofing the church came to 16l. 2s. 3½d. The rate of wages appears at this time to have been for a labourer four-pence by the day; for a mason hewing stones, five-pence; for making the pillars, &c. sixpence; for a plaisterer, five-pence halfpenny. The following is a specimen of some of the charges: — "Forty-nine journeys (days work) for the windows above the Vyse, 24s. 6d.; fourteen journeys on the gabell window, 7s." There was formerly a spire on the tower, said to have been built by Prior Vivian, and esteemed, as Tonkin tells us, the loftiest and finest in the west of England. It was destroyed by lightning in the year 1699; the damage then done to the tower was repaired at the expence of 227l. 9s. 1½d.

The most remarkable monument in Bodmin church, is that of Thomas Vivian, prior of Bodmin, and nominal bishop of Megara in Greece, who died in 1533; here are also monuments or other memorials for the families of Flamank of Bocarne, Michell, Hoblyn, and Pennington of the priory; and a slab of blue slate, with a cross and shields of arms, in memory of John Vivian, who died in 1545. The remarkable font in this church has been already described.

The church of Bodmin was appropriated to the priory. The rectory and advowson of the vicarage were granted, in 1609, to Thomas Ailworth, Esq. and Robert Duke, Gent. The impropriation is now vested in George Francis Collins Browne, Esq., except the tythes of hay, which were given to the corporation by one of the Opie family. Lord De Dunstanville is patron of the vicarage. Jasper Wood, thirty-seven years vicar of Bodmin, who died in 1716, a man, as we may suppose, of deranged intellects, fancied himself bewitched, and that he was delivered from the witches' power by his guardian-angel. Mr. Tonkin says that there was a printed account of this man, but we cannot meet with any one who has ever seen a copy. Various traditions relating to him are still current in the town.

There were formerly several chapels in the town of Bodmin: that of the Bery was built by the parishioners in the reign of Henry VII., and appears to have been connected with the parish-church; the site of this chapel, with the yard adjoining, is the only glebe belonging to the vicar. In the accounts of building the Bery chapel, mention is made of procuring the bishop's pardon for the Bery, "and a testymonyal of the Bery pardon;" payments to the Amatory, and the south Amatory are spoken of, and gifts to the Bery clerks. The tower of the chapel, the only part of it which still remains, was begun in the year 1501. Mention is made of the new gild at the Bery, and the gild of the Holy-rood at the Bery. There was also the gild of St. Christopher in this chapel.

The gilds, or religious fraternities, who contributed to the building of the parishchurch, appear to have been very numerous, and from the account of these we derive an intimation of some chapels or chantries, not mentioned elsewhere. We find enumerated, the gild of St. Anne in the Wood; those of St. George and the Virgin Mary, in the chapel of St. George; of St. Thomas the Martyr, in the churchyard; of St. Petrock, in Fore-street; of All-Saints, in Pole-street; of St. Leonard and the Holy Trinity, at St. Leonard's; of St. Margaret, St. Anne, St. David, AllSaints, and St. Matthew, at the Bore; of the Virgins of Bore-street, of the Virgins of Fore-street, and of St. Nicholas and St. Anne, at St. Nicholas. Mention is made also of the gilds of Corpus-Christi, in the parish-church; of the Virgin Mary, in the chancel; and of Erasmus the Bishop, St. Mary of Walsingham, St. Luke, St. Catherine, St. Stephen, St. Loy, St. Martyn, and St. Anyan the Bishop, not particularly described. The stewards of the Ridyng-Gild appear also among the contributors.

Dr. Borlase speaks of the ruins of St. Leonard's chapel, as existing in his time at the west end of the town; and those of the chapel of St. Nicholas, at the southeast extremity. The former were visible within the memory of persons now living, near the turnpike-house.

In the year 1474, Stephen Nayler had the King's licence to found a chantry, either in the parish-church of St. Petrock, or in the conventual church of the priory of St. Petrock (fn. n25). The lands belonging to this chantry were valued, in the reign of Henry VII., at 7l. 17s. 4d. per annum. In the ancient parish-accounts before-mentioned, are the following curious items: —

"20, 21 Hen. VII. Paid and yevyn in rewarde onto Harry Kyngge, and his cumpaney, for ther disportes in the Ilde (fn. n26) halle, 5s.

"—— In Wyne yevyn to the Kynges herbynger, and peesantes, 12d.

"—— Wyne to my Lord Treasurer, Sir Thomas Brandon, and other, 3s. 4d.

"Paide and yevyn unto a berewarde for a rewarde, 5s.

"21, 22 Hen. VII. Paide to John Walshe is servantis, when the hadde delyvered a privy seale to the Maier, upon the fyne for escape of Thomas Vaghan, 12d.

"Item. Paide to the Maier for his costys to ryde to Truru for the payment of the C. sh. to John Walshe.

"Paid for 2 galons of wyne yevyn to my Lord Broke, 16d.

Among the receipts is the following: —

"Of the players in the church-hay, William Mason and his fellowes, 5s."

There are meeting-houses in Bodmin for the Independents and the Wesleyan Methodists, both built within the last ten years.

The grammar-school at Bodmin, situated in the church-yard, was founded by Queen Elizabeth, and endowed with 5l. per annum, payable out of the Exchequer; to which, in Tonkin's time, the corporation added 15l. per annum (now increased to 30l.) out of the market-tolls.

About a mile east from the town, is the ancient hospital of St. Lawrence, which was incorporated by Queen Elizabeth, in the year 1582. Her charter recites, that there had, for a long time, been a great company of Lazar people in this hospital, known by the name of a Prior and Brethren and Sisters (fn. n27); but that they had never been incorporated by her or her predecessors. They are incorporated in this charter, by the name of "the master or governor, and brethren and sisters (thirtynine in number) of the hospital of St. Lawrence of Ponteboy," the poor men and women to be leprous people, and to elect one another. King James I., a few months after his accession to the throne, granted them a weekly market, on Wednesdays, and an annual fair, with a court of Piepowder, on the festival of St. Luke. The market has been long discontinued, but the fair, which is held on the 21st of August, is still kept up, and is a great mart for horses and cattle; there is another fair at St. Lawrence, for horses, bullocks and sheep, on the 29th and 30th of October. The lands with which this hospital was endowed, are worth about 140l. per annum. In consequence of the great abuse of this ancient endowment, it having been wholly diverted from its original object, the support of the sick and infirm, a Chancery-suit was instituted some years ago, which terminated in a decree, by which the corporation was dissolved, and the lands appropriated to the hospital for sick and hurt, lately established at Truro. There were two other ancient hospitals at Bodmin, dedicated to St. Anthony and St. George (fn. n28). Dr. Borlase mentions the nuns of the chapel of St. Anthony, about the middle of the town. The chapel of St. George before-mentioned, belonged, it is probable, to the hospital of that name.

The jurisdiction of the borough of Bodmin is separate from that of the parish, and extends about a mile round the town; the parish is extensive, its principal villages are Bodiniel, Dunmere, St. Lawrence, and Nantallan.

Besides that of the corporation, which belonged to the priory, and appears by the Domesday survey to have been an honor, there was another manor of Bodmin, also belonging to the priory, which passed with the site of that monastery to the Rashleighs, of whom it was purchased by Richard Barwell, Esq.; and of the latter, in 1789, by its present proprietor Lord de Dunstanville. Another manor of Bodmin was many years in the family of Robartes of Lanhydrock, and is now vested in their representative, the Honourable Mrs. Agar. A fourth, being of very small extent, has been for a considerable time in the Trefusis family, and is now the property of Lord Clinton. The manor of Bodmin and Boscarne, which belonged to the Mohuns, is now, in right of his lady, the property of Lord Grenville. The manor of Bodmin-Francis, which belonged to the Hoblyns, and passed by marriage to the Peters, has been lately sold in parcels. The manor of Bodmin and Kirland, spoken of by Tonkin, is not known to exist as a manor. Kirland, in Bodmin parish, is the property and residence of James Kempthorne, Esq.; the house was built by Mr. Hugh King, in 1740. The manor of Bodiniel, which belonged to the prior and convent of Bodmin, and afterwards to the Chamonds, is now in the Molesworth family.

The manor of Lancarfe or Lancoff, held of the honor of Bodmin, or the honor of St. Petrock, belonged, in the reign of Richard II., and for several years afterwards, to the family of Walesborowe, who then held it under the Bevilles (fn. n29) : it is now in severalties. In the fifteenth century, the barton belonged to the family of Opie; afterwards successively to the Crossmans and Bullocks. In 1685, it was purchased of the Bullock family, by John Mounsteven (fn. n30), Esq., secretary to the Earl of Sunderland, when secretary of state; his descendant, Mr. Hender Mounsteven, now of Bodmin, sold it, in 1787, to Francis John Hext, Esq., father of F. J. Hext, Esq., the present proprietor; by whose brother, Capt. William Hext, of the Royal navy, the old mansion is now occupied.

The barton of Bokarne, Boscarne, or Boskarne, in this parish, was for many generations the seat of the ancient family of Flamanc, or Flamank, who had been settled there for at least seven generations before Barnard Flamank, who died in 1656. Hals supposes the Flamanks of Bokarne to have been lineal descendants of Mark de Flamank, who lived in the reign of Henry II., and of Thomas Flamank or Flamock (fn. n31), one of the leaders of the rebellion in 1496: in the former conjecture probably he is right, but in the other, erroneous; the present family of Flamank being descended from John, a younger brother of Thomas Flamank abovementioned, who left no male-issue. Boscarne is now the property of William Flamank, D.D., the representative of this ancient family: the old mansion is occupied by a farmer.

Not far from Bodmin, is a moor called Halgaver, where a kind of low festival, called Bodmin Riding, was formerly held annually in the month of July, and attended by a great concourse of people: on this occasion there was elected a mock-mayor, who held a court, before which they presented any person "charged with wearing one spurre, or going untrussed, or wanting a girdle, or some such like felony; and after he hath been arraygned and tryed, with all requisite circumstances, judgment is given in formal termes, and executed in some one ungracious pranke or other, more to the skorne than hurt of the party condemned. Hence is sprung the proverb, when we see one slovenly appareled, 'He shall be presented in Halgaver court.'" It is probable that this custom was very ancient, and it is not unlikely, that the riding-gild before-mentioned had some connection with it. (fn. n32)

Bodmin races, which had been discontinued upwards of twenty years, were revived in 1807.

Castle-Kynock, or as it is called in some ancient deeds, Canyke, a considerable entrenchment to the east of Bodmin, is in this parish: William of Worcester, in his Itinerary of Cornwall, describes it thus: — "Castellum de Keynock, dirutum, cum tribis wardis."


  • n1. Lord Clarendon's History of the Rebellion.
  • n2. Sir Richard Edgecumb died seised of it, 5 Hen. VII.
  • n3. Pedigree of Arundell, of Trerice, communicated by J. T. Austen, Esq.
  • n4. Tonkin's MSS.
  • n5. Norden.
  • n6. Nonconformists' Memorial.
  • n7. Borlase's MSS.
  • n8. There is a curious account preserved in the Augmentation-Office, of the annual value of the property of all persons, spiritual or temporal, in the hundred of West, and of the arms possessed by the temporal men, in the early part of the reign of King Henry VIII., being returns made to the King's commission, issued for that purpose. The following being the return made for Boconnoc, is here given as a specimen of this interesting document:—
    The p'ysche of Boconnok. The yerely vaylor of the spirituall' men is possessions inh'ityng'wtyn the seid p'ysche according to the Kyngs Com'ission'.
    Henricus Tredenek Cl'icus Rector ejusdem eccl'ie valet ut in decimis oblac[ioni]b' garbis & alijs emolument' eidem Rectorie p'tin' p' annū x. li'
    Sm' spiritualiū hujus p'ochie
    The vaylor of the seid spirituall' men is goods and their harnys by their othis accordyng to the Kingis Com'ission.
    P'd'cus Henricus Tredenek valet in bonis xx. li'
    Sm' bonor' spiritualiū hujus p'ochie.
    The yerely vaylor of the tempall's men is londis w'yn the said p'ysche accordyng to the Kyng is Com'ission.
    Nich'us Opy, Senl' ib'm. Henricus Comes Devon' D'ns Man'ij de Boconnok xxx. li'
    Rog'us Greynfeld' Senl' ib'm. D'na Hastyngis D'na Man'ij de Botelyate viij. li' vj. s' viij'
    Petrus Eggecombe miles vj. s' viij. d'
    Sm' t'rar' temp'aliū hujus p'ochie.
    The vaylor of the temp'all' men is goodis and harnys inh'ityng w'in the seid p'ysche by their othis accordyng to the seid Com'ission.
    Joh'es Robyn x. li' full harnysed.
    Will'ms Hoigge x. li' full harnysed.
    Comit' Devon' ar' Rog'us Benet iij. li' full harnysed.
    Will'ms John iij. li' a bowe xij arows salett * splyntts.
    Thomas Nycoll' iij. li' a bowe xij arows salett splyntts.
    Joh'es Hoigge iij. li' vj.s' viij.d' full harnysed.
    Joh'es Coythe iij. li' a byll' salett splynts.
    Joh'es Hykke xvj. li' byll' salett splynts.
    Joh'es Due vj. li' full' harnysed.
    Will'ms Cragowe, C. s' full' harnysed.
    t' D'ne Hastyngs ar' Reynold Hykke xl. s' full' harnysed.
    Joh'es Laurens
    Jacob' Waryn xl. s' a cote a bowe xij arows.
    Joh'es Hykke iij. li' a byll' salett splynts.
    Ric'us Sagemor vj. li' full harnysed.
    Thomas Sagemor
    Joh'es Gayche xl. s' a bowe xij arows.
    Joh'es John' xl. s' a bowe xij arows salet splyntts.
    Ric'us Coche xl. s' salet splynts a bowe xij arows.
    Will'ms Coche jun' iij. li' a cote a bowe xij arows.
    Ric'us Coleford xl. s' a bowe xij arows.
    t' Comit' Devon' ar' Matheus Turney xl. s' a cote a byll'
    Sm' bonor' temp' aliū hujus p'ochie
    Numerus Armator'
    Numerus abil'.
    Salett, a sort of Helmet.
  • n9. Thomas de Cancia appears to have been possessed of the advowson, which has always been annexed to the manor, in 1268. (Exeter Registers.)
  • n10. Sir John de Carminow, presented to the rectory in 1320. (Ibid.) Ralph Carminow died seised of Boconnoc, 10 Ric. II. (Esch.)
  • n11. This extraordinary jewel, which weighs 127 carats, was purchased a rough stone, for 20,000l. sterling, and sold for 135,000l. sterling.
  • n12. Itin. p. 96.
  • n13. Whitelocke.
  • n14. Clarendon.
  • n15. Probably St. Credanus, St. Medanus, and St. Dacunus, who are all said to have been buried at Bodmin. (Leland.)
  • n16. Itinerary, p. 99, 100.
  • n17. Ibid. p. 111.
  • n18. Tanner.
  • n19. See Carew's Survey.
  • n20. Madox's History of the Exchequer.
  • n21. Rot. Cart. 9 Ed. 3. m. 10.
  • n22. Rot. Parl., Vol. II. 180.
  • n23. William de Worcester, who visited Cornwall in the reign of Edw. IV., speaks of this, as recorded in the Registry of the Friers; it was added, that there died, during that year, in various parts of the world, 13,883 of the order of Friers. (Itinerary, p. 113.)
  • n24. It was one of the decayed towns, for the repair of which, an act of parliament was passed, 32 Hen. VIII., but, as it appears, with little effect. See the account of market and borough towns, in the General History.
  • n25. Pat. 14 Edw. IV.
  • n26. Ilde is frequently written for Gild in these accounts.
  • n27. They are called by that name in a deed bearing date 29 Hen. VIII.
  • n28. See the will of Thomas Killegrew (bearing date, 1500.) in the Prerogative Office.
  • n29. Esch. Rich. II., Hen. V., &c.
  • n30. The Mounstevens had been a long time resident in the parish of St. Mabyn.
  • n31. This Thomas Flamock is described by Holinshed, as "a gentleman lerned in the lawes of the realme."
  • n32. Some remains of this custom still exist among the lower orders of people, who make a procession on horseback, carrying garlands. About twenty years ago, on the Monday nearest to the feast of St. Thomas à Becket, the principal inhabitants used to go in procession, with the emblems of their trades, preceded by music; and two men, one with a garland, the other with a pole, which they had previously deposited at the priory, and received again from the master of the house, as representing the Prior. (From the information of Walter Ralegh Gilbert, Esq.) In the Magna Britannia of 1720 (Vol. I. p. 310.), it is said that "in the middle of July, a kind of carnival was kept at Bodmin, to which thousands of people came to see the sports and pastimes. King Charles II. honoured it with his company, in his journey to Scilly, and became a brother of the society, which it seems derives its origin from the times before the conquest." It may be observed, that the season of the year in which Prince Charles journeyed towards the Scilly Islands does not accord with this tradition.