Parishes: Botus-Fleming - St Burian

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

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Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons, 'Parishes: Botus-Fleming - St Burian', Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814), pp. 38-51. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons. "Parishes: Botus-Fleming - St Burian", in Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814) 38-51. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

Lysons, Daniel. Lysons, Samuel. "Parishes: Botus-Fleming - St Burian", Magna Britannia: Volume 3, Cornwall, (London, 1814). 38-51. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

In this section

Botus-Fleming or Blo-Fleming

BOTUS-FLEMING or BLO-FLEMING, lies in the deanery and in the south division of the hundred of East, being situated six miles south-west of Callington, and three miles north-west of Saltash, which is the post-town. Hals says, that this parish takes its name from the family of Flandrensis or Fleming, lords of Botus-Fleming, whose heiress married into the Copplestone family. It does not appear, nevertheless, by any records that we have been able to discover, that they were ever lords of the manor. The only manor in this parish is that of Modeton, now called Moditonham, which was held by Philip de Vautort, under the Earl of Cornwall: it was afterwards in the Dauney family, passed with its heiress to the Courtenays, and was, at a later period, in the Waddons. In the year 1689, Moditonham, or as it was commonly called Muttonham, being then the property and seat of John Waddon, Esq., John Earl of Bath there treated with the Prince of Orange's commissioners, about the surrender of Pendennis and Plymouth castles. Moditonham was purchased of the Waddons by the grandfather of the Rev. William Batt, by whom it was sold, a few years ago, to Charles Carpenter, Esq., the present proprietor. Mention is made in the Bishop's registers at Exeter, of a chapel at Motton, in this parish, dedicated to the Holy Trinity.

Hatt, an ancient mansion in this parish, was, for many generations, the residence of the Symons family; it is now in the occupation of the Rev. Charles Tucker, who married one of the sisters of William Symons, Esq., the last heir-male of that family, who died in 1802. The Rev. William Batt, the present incumbent, is patron of the rectory.


BOYTON, in the hundred of Stratton, and deanery of Trigg-Major, lies six miles north of Launceston, which is the post-office town. The principal village in this parish, except Boyton church-town, is Bennacot. The manor of Boyton, which had been purchased for the abbey of Tavistock, out of the church property, by Suetricius, abbot of that convent, was taken away by Robert Earl of Cornwall, who held it in consequence of this forcible usurpation, at the time of the Domesday survey (fn. n1); it afterwards became parcel of the possessions of Henry de Bodrugan, who died in 1308: not many years after, it belonged to the prior and convent of Launceston (fn. n2); and having been given, with other manors, to the Duke of Cornwall, in 1540, in lieu of the honor of Wallingford, is still attached to the duchy. During the interregnum, in the seventeenth century, it was sold to William Comeby. The manor of Darracot, which belonged to the late Richard Wymond, Esq., was bequeathed by him to his widow, Mrs. Ann Wymond, with remainder to his son William, to whom he bequeathed the barton of Bearden, in this parish, formerly a seat of the family of Lovice (fn. n3) : part of the house on this barton is occupied by the tenant of the farm; the other part being fitted up as a gentleman's residence, and let to temporary tenants.

The barton of Bredvosy or Bradridge belonged also to Launceston priory, and was attached, at the same time, to the duchy, under which it has ever since been held on lease. The Symons family were lessees, and resided there in the seventeenth century. William Symons, Gent., who died in 1692, gave the sum of 100l. towards rebuilding the tower of the church; it was completed in 1769, as appears by a tablet on the outside. The heiress of Mr. Symons brought Bradridge to John Hoblyn, Esq., who died in 1706: his widow sold it to Sir William Pendarves, who made it one of his seats. After his death, the estate passed to his sister Grace, who married Robert Coster, Esq.; the lease is now vested in John Prideaux, Esq.: the mansion has been long occupied as a farm-house.

The great tithes of this parish, which were appropriated to Launceston priory, belonged, with the exception of those of the hamlet of Northcott, to the late Richard Wymond, Esq., who bequeathed them to his only daughter Henrietta. Mr. Prideaux is patron of the curacy; the curate has the small tithes of Boyton, and the hamlet of Northcott, on the Devonshire side of the Tamar: the great tithes of Northcott have lately been put up to sale, and chiefly purchased by the landowners.


BREAGE, in the deanery and in the west division of the hundred of Kirrier, is situated three miles west of Helston, which is the post-office town. The principal villages in this parish, besides the church-town, are, Kannegy or Kenegy, Portleven, Rinsey, Tregunno, Trescow, Trevorian, Trevorvas, and Trew.

The manor of Godolgan, or Godolphin, was, from an early period, in the ancient family of that name (fn. n4), in whose representatives it continued, till the death of Francis Lord Godolphin in 1758, when it passed to the late Duke of Leeds (grandson of Francis Earl of Godolphin), and is now the property of his son, the present Duke.

The Godolphin family appear to have been settled at Godolgan-Hall for some descents, when it became extinct in the male-line, by the death of David Godolgan, whose only daughter married John Rinsey, Esq. This John took the name of Godolgan, and was great great-grandfather of John Godolgan or Godolphin, sheriff of the county in 1504, supposed to have been the first of the family who adopted the present spelling of the name (fn. n5). Sir William Godolphin, grandson of John, was several times chosen knight of the shire, and five times served the office of sheriff, he distinguished himself by his military prowess, particularly at the siege of Boulogne. Mr. Carew says, "he demeaned himself very valiantly beyond the seas, as appeared by the scars he brought home, no less to the beautifying his fame, than to the disfiguring his face." Dying without male issue, Godolphin passed to Francis Godolphin, son of his brother Thomas, who had served with him, and been wounded at the siege of Boulogne. Sir Francis Godolphin was the contemporary of Mr. Carew, and contributed his assistance towards the survey of Cornwall. Mr. Carew speaks in high terms of his bravery, in the defence of his country against the Spaniards, when they landed in Cornwall, in 1593; of his skill in minerals, and the improvements introduced by him in the tin-works. Sir William Godolphin, his son, distinguished himself against the Irish rebels, in the latter end of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Sir William's sons were all loyalists during the civil war. Sir Francis, the eldest, was governor of the Scilly Islands, which he delivered up to the parliament, when the King's cause became hopeless. Sidney lost his life, in battle, at Chagford, in Devonshire; Sir Francis was created one of the knights of the Bath at the Restoration; his son, William, was created a baronet, in 1661, and died in 1710, without issue. Sidney, a younger brother of Sir William Godolphin, Bart., became a political character of considerable note, and, although he had been a leading person in the administration, during the latter part of King Charles II.'s reign, and that of his successor, was made first Lord Commissioner of the Treasury by King William, in 1690; continued to have the chief management of the Treasury department, during the remainder of that reign, and was appointed by Queen Anne, in 1702, to the office of Lord High Treasurer of England. On the union of England and Scotland, in the effecting of which he had a principal share, he was constituted Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain; which high office he held till the year 1710, two years before his death, which happened in the month of September 1712, at the Duke of Marlborough's house at St. Alban's. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a monument (with his bust) was erected to his memory. In 1706, the Lord Treasurer, who had been created a baron in 1684, by the style of Baron Godolphin of Rialton, was advanced to the dignity of an Earl, being created Earl of Godolphin, and Viscount Rialton. These titles became extinct by the death of Francis, the second Earl, in 1766, when Godolphin passed to his cousin, Francis, son of Dr. Henry Godolphin, Dean of Windsor, who succeeded to the title of Baron Godolphin of Helston; a patent for which barony had been procured in 1735, by Francis Earl of Godolphin, with remainder to the heirs-male of Dean Godolphin. This Francis, who inherited the title of Lord Godolphin of Helston, died without issue, in the month of May 1785, as before-mentioned, when the Godolphin family became extinct in the male line. Godolphin Hall is now occupied as a farmhouse. The portico was built of white moorstone, from Tregoning, by Francis Earl of Godolphin (fn. n6). The rooms over it were never fitted up. There is a view of this house in Borlase's Natural History. William of Worcester, whose Itinerary of Cornwall was written in the reign of Edw. IV., speaks of a castle at Godolphin, which he calls Godollen, and describes it as in a state of dilapidation. Leland says, "Carne Godalcan, on the top of an hille, wher is a diche, and there was a pile and principal habitation of the Godolcans. The diche yet apperith, and many stones of late time hath beene fetchid thens. (fn. n7) "

The manor of Spernon and Pengelly belonged to the family of Spernon, who had their seat at Pengelly, now a farm-house: the estate was purchased by the late Mr. Justice Buller, and is now the property of his grandson, a minor. The manor of Methleigh was formerly the property of Sir Thomas Arundell, of Truthall in Sithney. About the year 1702, it passed, by sale, to the family of Coode, and is now the property of Edward Coode, Esq., of St. Austell.

The manor of Pengersick, in the reign of Henry VIII., became the property, by purchase, of the Militon family. Job Militon, son of the purchaser, was made governor of St. Michael's Mount in the year 1547, in the room of Humphrey Arundell, who was executed for rebellion. His only son, William Militon, Esq., who was sheriff of Cornwall, dying in 1565, without issue, the inheritance of this estate passed to his six sisters, and has, ever since, continued in severalties. Sir Nicholas Hals, at his first coming into Cornwall, purchased some of the shares, and resided occasionally at Pengersick; his son, John, sold them to the Godolphin family. The Duke of Leeds, as representative of the Godolphins, has now one-third and a sixth; James Buller, Esq., of Downes, in Devonshire, possesses a third, and Messrs. Beard and Pascoe, the remaining sixth, by purchase, from Mrs. Hunt, heir-at-law of the late Earl of Radnor. There are considerable remains of an ancient castellated mansion on this estate, called Pendersick-castle, the principal rooms in which are made use of as granaries and hay-lofts; one of them, which is nearly entire, is wainscotted in pannels; the upper part of the wainscot is ornamented with paintings, each of which is accompanied with appropriate verses and proverbs in text hand. The manor of Pengwedna, which belonged to the Arundells of Lanherne, was purchased, a few years ago, of Lord Arundell of Wardour, by Christopher Wallis, Esq., the present proprietor.

Breage is the mother-church of Cury, Germoe, and Gunwalloe. The great tithes, which were appropriated to the abbey of Hayles, in Gloucestershire, in 1246, are now vested in the representatives of James Richards, Gent., and others.

The King is patron of the vicarage. There was formerly a chapel at Godolphin, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (fn. n8), of which there are now no remains.

Leland says that the ancient name of this parish was Pembro, and that the church was removed by St. Breaca from a place called Trenewith to its present site. (fn. n9)

On Tregonin-hill, in this parish, formerly called Pencaire-hill, is the site of a circular fortress thus mentioned by Leland: "Cair Kenin, alias Gonyn and Conin (Castrum Conani), stoode in the hille of Pencair. There yet apperith two diches. (fn. n10) "

St. Breock

ST. BREOCK lies in the hundred and deanery of Pyder, seven miles west of Bodmin and the same distance east of St. Columb. The market, at Wade-bridge, was granted by King Edward II., in the year 1312, to Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, to be held on Friday, within his manor of Pawton, and two fairs, one on the festival of St. Vitalis the Martyr (fn. n11), the other at Michaelmas. The market, although now inconsiderable, is still held at Wadebridge for butchers'-meat and other commodities; there are now three fairs, May-day, June 22, and Michaelmas-day.

Wade bridge, which consists of sixteen arches over the river Alan, was built about the year 1485. It is partly in this parish and partly in that of Egloshayle. There are certain estates belonging to this bridge, vested in the lord of the manor of Pawton, the rector of St. Breock, and the vicar of Egloshayle, as trustees, with the rents of which, aided by certain tolls (from which the inhabitants of the two parishes in which it is situated are exempt), the bridge is kept in repair (fn. n12). The principal villages in this parish, exclusively of Wade-bridge (which is the post-office town), are Great Burlawn or Burlorne, and Trevanson.

The paramount manor of Poulton or Pawton belonged, from a very early period, to the Bishops of Exeter. By some exchange it is probable, and at a period, as Tonkin thinks, not much earlier than the Reformation, Pawton became the property of the Prior of Bodmin, and having been seized by King Henry VIII., on the suppression of religious houses, continued in the crown till the year 1606, when it was granted by King James I. to Sir Arthur Gorges (fn. n13); after this, it passed, by successive sales, to the families of Opie, Fownes, Gibbons, and Briggs; to Lord Dunlace and the Duchess of Buckingham his wife; to the family of Dawes, and that of Opie, a second time; and from the latter to Sir William Morice, secretary of state to King Charles II., having had, as Hals observes, sixteen lords in about sixty years, being a greater mutability of property than could be instanced in all Cornwall, except in the descent of the manor of Fentongollan. A granddaughter of Secretary Morice, Barbara, daughter of Sir Nicholas Morice, Bart., became heiress to her brother Sir William, the last baronet of that family, and brought this manor, by marriage, into the family of Molesworth. It is now the property of her great-grandson, Sir Arscott Ourry Molesworth, of Pencarrow, Bart. The bishops of Exeter had extensive privileges belonging to this manor, which was one of the nine franchises enumerated by Carew (fn. n14); a market and two fairs at Wade-bridge, as before observed, and a prison at Tregunnow in this parish, now converted into a dwelling-house. The barton of Pawton was one of their country-seats, to which was attached a deer-park. There are still some remains of the old mansion and the out-buildings occupied by the tenant of the demesne farm. This barton did not undergo the same alienations as the manor, but continued many years in the family of Opie. In the year 1701 Mr. Nicholas Opie, being in reduced circumstances, sold it to Dr. Vincent, of Plymouth, who possessed it when Hals wrote his parochial account (about 1730). It afterwards became re-united to the manor, and is now the property of Sir A. O. Molesworth, Bart.

Hurstyn or Hurston, a small manor held under that of Pawton, belonged at an early period to the Carninows, from whom it passed to the family of Vyell, and from the latter, by marriage of a coheiress, to that of Prideaux. It is now the property of the Rev. Charles Prideaux Brune, of Place, near Padstow. The ancient mansion belonging to this manor was a seat of the Carninows, and had a chapel. What remains of the buildings is fitted up as a farm-house. Part of a small manor called Padstow-Penkevill, belonging also to the Prideaux family, lies within St. Breock parish. The manor of Penlees, which belonged to the Arundells, is now the property of Thomas Rawlins, Esq., of Padstow.

Trevorder, in this parish, was anciently a seat of the family of Tregago or Treiago, from whom it passed, by successive female heirs, to the families of Trenowith, Carminow, and Vyell. One of the coheiresses of Vyell brought this estate to the Prideaux family, by whom it was sold to Sir John Tregagle; a descendant of Sir John resold it to the Prideauxes in the reign of George I., and it is now the property of the Rev. C. Prideaux Brune. Tredinick, in this parish, was the seat of the ancient family of that name, which became extinct in the reign of Charles II., when it passed by sale to Lord Robartes. The Earl of Radnor, his descendant, was possessed of it in 1736; it is now the property of Sir A. O. Molesworth. Mr. Tonkin describes the ruins of this mansion as those of a stately pile of buildings, and speaks of the hall windows as the largest of the kind in the kingdom (fn. n15) : it has long ago been destroyed, and a farm-house occupies the site.

Dunveth, a seat also of the Tredinicks, was sold by Lewis Tredinick to Robert Wilton, whose grandson conveyed it, in 1702, to Sir John Molesworth; it is now a farm-house, the property of Sir A. O. Molesworth, Bart. Treraven, belonging to Sir A. O. Molesworth, some time a seat of the Pierces, as lessees, is now a farm-house.

In the parish-church of St. Breok are some grave-stones of ecclesiastics, with crosses-flory and inscriptions nearly obliterated. There are memorials also of the Tredinick family, with dates of 1578, 1642, &c., and the Tregagles (fn. n16), 1678, 1708. In the chancel is a large monument for the family of Vyell, with figures, on slate, of a man in armour and his wife, without date.

The advowson of the rectory, which has always been annexed to the manor of Pawton, is vested in Sir A. O. Molesworth, Bart.


BRIDGRULE lies partly in this county, and partly in Devonshire, in the hundreds of Stratton and Black-Torrington, five miles west from Holsworthy, in Devonshire, and nearly the same distance, south-east-by-east, from Stratton. The church is in Devonshire, in the deanery of Holsworthy. There are distinct rates and separate officers for the Cornish and Devonshire parts of the parish. The principal villages, in the Cornish district of the parish, are, Bridgrule-bridge, Merrifield, Burrow, Knowle, and Little-Bridge.

The manor of Tacabre, or Takkebere, was given to the abbot and convent of St. Mary de Graces, by the feoffees of its founder, King Edward III., but we find it afterwards granted, as having been the property of James Lord Audley, to John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon: it was seized by King Richard III., in the first year of his reign, having been the property of the Duchess of Exeter, sister to King Edward IV. This manor, which extends into Whitstone, Tamerton, and St. Stephen's, Launceston, in Cornwall, and Sourton in Devon, seems afterwards to have acquired the name of Merrifield (a corruption probably of Mary-field), by which it is now known. The barton of Tackbear, with the manor of Merrifield, passed from the Gilberts, by marriage, to the family of Amy: it is now vested in the committee of Mrs. Ann Amy, a lunatic, only surviving daughter (her sister Lady Phillipps, widow of Sir Jonathan, being dead without issue,) of Mr. Cotton Amy, of Bottreaux castle: the house is now occupied by George Harward, Esq., a descendant of the Gilberts, who is entitled to a moiety of this estate on the death of Mrs. Amy. Newacot is the property and residence of John Braddon, Esq., in whose family it has been for a considerable time. The Rev. T. S. Kingdon is patron and incumbent of the vicarage.

Broadoak or Bradock

BROADOAK or BRADOCK, in the hundred of West, lies about six miles west from Liskeard, which is the post-office town, and about five north-east of Lostwithiel.

The manor of Broadoak, having been in the Courtenay family, was granted, in 1573, as parcel of the possessions of the attainted Marquis of Exeter, to Thomas Prideaux and Thomas Willyams: in 1619, it was solely in Willyams; and, at a later period, in the family of Watton, by whom it was sold, to Governor Pitt, soon after his purchase of Boconnoc: it is now the property of Lord Grenville. The benefice, which is a discharged rectory, was consolidated with Boconnoc in 1742; the patronage is in Lord Grenville. There was formerly a chapel, dedicated to St. James, at a place called Bellasize, in this parish. The historical circumstances spoken of as connected with Bradock-down, appear to belong to the parish of St. Pinnock (fn. n17). Penventon, a barton of this parish, formerly a seat of the Spillers, after passing through some intermediate hands, is now a farm-house, the property of Lord Grenville.

St. Breward or Simon's Ward

St. BREWARD or SIMON'S WARD, in the hundred of Trigg, and deanery of TriggMinor, lies six miles south-by-west from Camelford, and about the same distance from Bodmin, which is the post-office town. It is said, that the church was built by William Brewer, who was consecrated Bishop of Exeter in 1224, and that the parish takes its name from him: but although that prelate, who was distinguished as a soldier as well as a divine, fought at the head of 100,000 men against the infidels in Palestine, we have no account of his having been canonized; and, indeed, it seems too modern a circumstance to have been the origin of the name of the parish. The principal villages in St. Breward are, Lank-Major, Lank-Minor, and Swallock: in this parish is the ancient manor of Hamethy or Hametethy, which, in the reign of Edward II., was held by John Peverell of Roger Le Jeu (fn. n18). Hugh Peverell held it 23 Edw. III.; the coheiresses of Peverell married Basset and Hungerford; and it appears, that this manor was some time in moieties between the Killigrews, and Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, as representative of the Hungerfords. Five-sixths of this estate now belong to Mathew Mitchell, Esq., by bequest from the late Samuel Michell, Esq., having been before successively in the Billings and Lowers. The other sixth part is the property of Samuel Kekewick, Esq., by bequest of his uncle, the late John Trehawke, Esq. Mr. Michell inherits also the manor of Penrose-Burden, in this parish, and Michaelstow. This manor, which took its distinctive name from the family of Burden or Burdun, who possessed it in the reign of King John (fn. n19), is of large extent, comprising the whole of Roughtor, and the adjoining moors. It is probable that it continued some time in the Burden family (fn. n20). It was afterwards successively in the families of Copplestone, Speccot, and Billing. From the latter it passed, with Hametethy, to the Michells (fn. n21). The benefice is a vicarage, endowed with a small portion of the tithesheaf; the impropriation belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, who are patrons of the vicarage. Rough-Tor, commonly called Router, and Brown-Willy, two lofty hills, from which may be seen a great part of the north-west of Cornwall, and the north and south channels, are in this parish. Brown-Willy is the highest land in Cornwall.

St. Budock lies in the deanery and in the east division of the hundred of Kirrier, two miles west of Falmouth. Greenbank or Dunstanville town, a populous suburb of Falmouth, is in this parish, from which Falmouth itself was taken, having been made a distinct parish in the reign of Charles II. Some houses adjoining the borough of Penryn, are also in this parish.

The manor of Pennance, which belonged to Sir Nicholas Slanning, and passed, by inheritance, to the Heywoods, of Maristow, in Devonshire, was purchased of that family, in the year 1788, by the Rev. Joseph Richards, and Shuldham Peard, Esq., captain in the Royal navy, who have purchased also (subject to a lease for lives granted to Peter Browne Harris, Esq.) the impropriation of the great tithes, which formerly belonged to the college of Glaseney. The Bishop of Exeter is patron of the vicarage, which is united with that of St. Gluvias.

Rosmeran, in this parish, was formerly a seat of the Killigrews; it was afterwards leased by them to the Knyvets, who continued to inhabit it for three descents, after which it passed, by successive purchases, to the families of Chapman and Mason, and is now the seat of Peter Browne Harris, Esq. It was purchased by Captain Browne, in 1773.

The manor, or reputed manor, of Penwerris, in which Greenbank or Dunstanville town is situated, is the property of Lord de Dunstanville, who inherited it, with other estates, from his grandmother, Mary Pendarves. It had been purchased by her great-uncle of the Killigrews, about the year 1660.

Tre-on, Trone, or Trewoone, was the seat of a branch of the family of Thomas of Roscrow, who took the name of Carnsew, upon fixing their residence at Carnsew, in Mabe; about the time of the Revolution, it was mortgaged by Mr. John Carnfew to the Rev. Joseph Trewinnard, rector of Mawnan; it has since been in the family of Rundle, and is now a farm-house, the property of James Moor, Esq., of Falmouth.

Trescobays or Triscobays, formerly the seat of a younger branch of the family of Grosse, is now also a farm-house, the property of the Right Hon. Lord Wodehouse, in right of his lady, who is representative of the Killigrews. In the parishchurch are some monuments of the Killigrew family, whose chief seat, Arwenick or Arwenack, now adjoining Falmouth, was in this parish, before Falmouth was separated from it in 1663. John Killigrew, Esq., who died in 1567, was made, by King Henry VIII., the first governor of Pendennis castle. Sir John Killigrew, his son, succeeded him in that command, and died in 1584. The monument of Sir John Killigrew, which was put up by his grandson in 1617, has kneeling figures of himself and his lady, Elizabeth, daughter of Philip Wolverston, of Wolverston Hall, in Suffolk.

On a slab of slate against the south-wall of the chancel, is a Latin inscription in memory of Sir Nicholas Parker, Knt., who succeeded Sir John Killigrew in the government of Pendennis-castle, and died in 1603.

Mr. Robins by his will, bearing date 1768, gave the interest of stock, amounting to nearly 7l. per annum, for the support of a school in the parish of St. Budock.

St. Burian

ST. BURIAN, commonly called Burian, in the hundred and deanery of Penwith, about six miles south-west from Penzance, which is the post-town, and about two miles from the western extremity of the island. It contains, exclusively of the Churchtown, the small villages of Bolleit, Boscawen-Oon, Boscawen-Rose, Penberth-Cove, Rosemoddris, Treeve, Tregadgwith, Trelew, Trevorgans, and Trevorrian. There was formerly a market on Saturday at St. Burian, granted to the dean by King Edward I., together with two fairs, one at the festival of St. Burian, and the other at that of St. Martin, in the winter. (fn. n22)

King Athelstan is said to have built and endowed a collegiate church at this place in honour of St. Burian or Burien, a holy woman who came from Ireland in company with St. Breaca and other devout persons, and received sepulture here. The foundation is attributed to a vow made by that monarch at the Oratory of St. Burian, before he went on an expedition to the Scilly Islands, and he is said to have granted to it the privilege of sanctuary. An ancient building on an estate called Bosliven, of which the walls are now remaining, about twelve feet high, overgrown with ivy, is said, by what is most probably a groundless tradition, to have been the sanctuary, and is held in much veneration (fn. n23). It stands about a mile east from the church, and about two miles from the sea. It appears by the Domesday survey that there were secular canons in this church at the time of the conquest. When the Lincoln taxation was made, the establishment consisted of a Dean and three prebendaries, as it continued till the Reformation. The collegiate estate was held by the service of saying 100 masses and 100 psalters for the souls of the King and his ancestors (fn. n24). The deanery having been seized by King Henry VI., because its incumbent was an alien, was given by that monarch to King's College, in Cambridge, and not many years afterwards, by King Edward IV., to the Dean and Chapter of Windsor, but neither of those societies long possessed it. The deanery of the royal chapel of St. Burian (fn. n25) is a dignity held immediately under the crown; the Dean exercises an independent jurisdiction in all ecclesiastical matters within the parish of St. Burian and its dependent parishes of St. Levan and Sennen. The three prebends belonging to the church of St. Burian were called Prebenda Parva, Prebenda de Respermel, and Prebenda de Tirthney (fn. n26); the former is now in the gift of the Bishop, the two others are annexed to the deanery of St. Burian.

The manor of Treviddron, still the property of the Vyvyan family, was their original seat, and continued to be their residence till they removed to Trelowarren. The fee of this manor appears to have been in the Champernownes in the reign of Edward III. (fn. n27) On this estate, by the sea-side, are the ruins of an old chapel, called that of St. Loy or St. Dillower.

The manor of Tresidor belonged formerly to the family of Whalesborowe (fn. n28); it is not now known as a manor: the barton belonged for many years to the Tresilians, and was sold by their representative, Mrs. Jenkins, to Mr. John Weymouth and Mr. John Permewan, jun., who are the present possessors.

The manor of Rosmoddris was in severalties in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when four-fifths of it were granted to St. George Carye, and sold by him to Ezekiel Grosse, Esq. This manor is now partly the property of Lord Falmouth, and partly of James Buller, Esq. M. P. by descent from Mr. Grosse.

Boscawen-Rose was the original seat in this county of the ancient family of Boscawen, who took their name from it. It appears that they were possessed of this place, which is still the property of their descendant, Lord Viscount Falmouth, as early as the reign of King John. The Boscawens removed to Tregothnan, their present seat, in consequence of the marriage of their ancestor with the heiress of the Tregothnan family in the reign of Edward III. Boscawen is now a farmhouse. On Boscawen-downs is the circle of stones called Boscawen-oon.

Trou or Trewoof, beautifully situated on the side of a woody hill, overlooking a romantic valley, which is terminated by Lamorna-cove, was the seat of the family of Levelis, which is said, by what appears to have been an erroneous tradition, to have been settled there before the Norman conquest (fn. n29), and which became extinct in 1671, when Trewoof passed by marriage to the family of Vosper, since extinct. Hals speaks of two coheiresses of the Vospers, to one of whom this estate was assigned. It has since been divided into severalties: the house is occupied by a farmer. Within this barton is a triple entrenchment, in which is a subterraneous passage, and it is said that during the civil wars a party of royalists were here concealed from the observation of Sir Thomas Fairfax's army by Mr. Levelis. There is a chalybeate spring on this estate.

Pentrea or Pendrea, in this parish, was for many years a seat of the Pendreas, whose coheiresses married Donnithorne and Noy. The latter inherited this place; and here, says Hals, was born William Noy, attorney-general to King Charles I., a learned lawyer (fn. n30), who died in the year 1634; his grandson sold Pendrea to Mr. Christopher Davis, from whose family it passed to that of Tonkin, in which it is still vested. Burnuhall in this parish, another seat of the Noys, which was sold also to the Davis's, belongs now to the Boscawen family; this house is said by some to have been the birth-place of William Noy. Pendrea and Burnuhall are now both farm-houses. Leah or Leigh, now also a farm-house, was a seat of the Grosse family, and afterwards of the Usticks. It is now the property of John Scobell, Esq., who married the heiress of the family last-mentioned. Boskennan, in this parish, formerly belonging to the Carthews (fn. n31), is the seat of John Paynter, Esq. whose family have been settled there ever since the reign of Charles II.; they were originally of Deverel, in Gwinear, afterwards of Trelisick, in St. Erth. (fn. n32)

The parish-church stands on the highest ground in that part of the county, 467 feet above the level of the sea (fn. n33). In this church is a handsome roodloft; an ancient tomb in memory of Jane wife of Geffery de Bolleit; and a memorial of the family of Levelis, the last of whom, Arthur Levelis, Esq., died in 1671. The Dean of St. Burian is rector of the parish, and is entitled to all the tithes: a visitation court is held in his name, at which the churchwardens are sworn, wills proved, &c.; the appeal from this court is directly to the King in Council. This preferment is in the gift of the crown as a royal peculiar, and is tenable with any other. The deanery was, through Bishop Ward's interest, annexed to the see of Exeter, but was separated from it again before the year 1709.

St. Loy's chapel has been already spoken of; there are the ruins of another on an estate called Vellanserga. A school has lately been instituted, under the management of certain trustees, who provide a house for the master, and pay him eight guineas per annum for teaching seven poor boys.


  • n1. Exeter Domesday.
  • n2. It belonged to that convent as early as 20 Edw. III.
  • n3. Norden.
  • n4. Hals says, that the manor and barton of Godolphin were "sold, temp. Hen. VI., by Edmund Arundell, Knt., to one Stephens, upon condition of a kind of domineering, lording, or insulting tenure and reservation of rent, to his manor of Lambourne, in Peransand, viz.; 'That once a year for ever, the Reeve of the said manor should come to Godolphin, and there boldly enter the hall, jump upon the table, or table-board, and there stamp or bounce with his feet, or club, to alarm and give notice to the people of his approach, and then and there make proclamation aloud three times; O, yes! O, yes! O, yes! — I am the Reeve of the manor of Lamburne, in Peransand, come here to demand the old rent, duties, and customs, due to the lords of the said manor from the lands of Godolphin.' Upon which notice, there is forthwith to be brought him 2s. 8d. rent, a large quart of strong beer, a loaf of wheaten bread worth sixpence, and a cheese of the like value; which the Reeve having received, he shall drink of the beer, taste the bread and cheese in the place, and then depart, carrying with him the said rent, and remainder of those viands, to the lords of the manor aforesaid." (Hals's Parochial History of Cornwall, p. 35.) It is still held of Sir John St. Aubyn, as of his manor of Lambourne, by the payment of a gammon of bacon.
  • n5. His name appears thus spelt in the list of sheriffs. Carew, whose work was published in 1602, says, "Godolghan, a house so intitling his owner, though lately declined (with a milder accent) to Godolphin."
  • n6. Borlase's Natural History, p. 99.
  • n7. Itin. III. p. 16.
  • n8. Borlase's notes from the registers of the See of Exeter.
  • n9. Itin. III. 15.
  • n10. Ibid.
  • n11. Cart. 5 Ed. II. No. 41.
  • n12. See the account of Egloshayle.
  • n13. Records in the Augmentation Office.
  • n14. See his Survey, f. 86.
  • n15. Tonkin's MS.
  • n16. John Tregagle, Esq. of Trevorder, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir William Hooker, alderman of London; Jane, wife of John Tregagle, Esq. and daughter of Sir Paul Whichcote, Bart., of Qui-Hall, in Cambridgeshire.
  • n17. See the Appendix.
  • n18. Originalia, 7 Edw. II. Rot. 12.
  • n19. Peter Burdun, 3 Joh., gave sixty marks and a palfrey for seifin of Penros. (Madox's History of the Exchequer, p. 406.)
  • n20. Nicholas Binden is said to have held it, 20 Edw. III., in the feodary, printed in Carew's Survey, f. 42.; but there are so many names mispelt in that record, that it is most likely that Burden or Burdon was meant.
  • n21. See the Account of Hengar, in St. Tudy.
  • n22. Cart. 30 Edw. I. 26.
  • n23. The sanctuary no doubt, as was usual, comprised the church itself, the church-yard, and perhaps a certain privileged space beyond it. The remains of the building to which the tradition attaches are probably those of an ancient chapel.
  • n24. Esch. 20 Edw. III.
  • n25. The incumbent is called in old records Dean of the King's free chapel of St. Burian. (See Cart. 30 Edw. I.)
  • n26. Unless it were the same as Tirthney, it appears that there was formerly a fourth prebend belonging to this church, called Trethin or Trethyn, on which was a chapel. By certain proceedings relating to it in the year 1328, it appears to have been in or near St. Burian. (See Rot. Parl., II. 19.)
  • n27. See Carew's Survey, f. 39, b.
  • n28. Esch. 5 Ric. II. 5 Hen. V.
  • n29. It appears to have been the family-tradition by a monument in St. Burian church, but the pedigrees of the family do not trace them higher than six generations above the year 1620. They were originally of Castle-Horneck, whence they removed to Trewoof, on marrying the heiress of that barton, which match, according to Hals, took place in the reign of Henry VIII.
  • n30. Author of the "Grounds and Maxims of the Law," "The compleat Lawyer," &c.
  • n31. Norden.
  • n32. Hals.
  • n33. Dr. Berger's Paper on Cornwall, in the Transactions of the Geological Society.