Cholera in Cornwall: the Victorians’ coronavirus

Not strictly Victorian perhaps, as it preceded Victoria’s reign by five years. As if the endemic typhoid, typhus and dysentery, not to mention the measles, mumps and whooping cough that every year cut a swathe through thousands of infants, were not enough, in 1832 cholera arrived in Cornwall. Outbreaks periodically panicked local authorities into the … Continue reading Cholera in Cornwall: the Victorians’ coronavirus

The Cornish language: polemics and plans

Two booklets have appeared recently on the subject of the Cornish language and here I provide a review and summary of them. Rod Lyon’s Colloquial doesn’t mean Corrupt: Observations on contemporary revived Cornish is a searing indictment of the stilted and unconvincing spoken Cornish of many Cornish users. This is something Rod argues is the … Continue reading The Cornish language: polemics and plans

Who were the richest families of late Victorian Cornwall?

In 1885 a letter appeared in the West Briton listing what were claimed to be the 27 richest men in Cornwall with their reputed incomes. Here’s the richest nine. (For a rough modern equivalent of the income multiply the figures by 120). NameHouseAnnual incomeThomas Charles Agar-RobartesLanhydrock£75,000John Charles WilliamsCaerhayes£60,000Evelyn BoscawenTregothnan£50,000Duke of Cornwall£40,000Gustavus BassetTehidy£32,000William Henry EdgcumbeMount Edgcumbe£30,000Thomas … Continue reading Who were the richest families of late Victorian Cornwall?