Egloshayle – born in the workhouse

Egloshayle in the nineteenth century was a predominantly rural parish although including the bit of Wadebridge that spilled over the bridge from St Breock. Nevertheless, the 14 children from Egloshayle who appear in our database could claim rather more diverse family backgrounds than the bog-standard rural parish. There were a couple whose fathers were the expected farm labourers but others included gardeners and woodmen, bargemen working along the river, a few craftsmen – a plasterer, carpenter and blacksmith – and a quarry labourer.

Parishes mentioned in the text

A third of these children were still in the parish in 1891 while the others who have been traced had not strayed far, most remaining in mid-Cornwall. Numbered among these was Rebecca Elizabeth Growden. Rebecca had been born in Bodmin Workhouse, to which Elizabeth Growden, her unmarried mother who was a domestic servant, had resorted in 1850. Later in the 1850s, Elizabeth married William Bray. By 1861 Rebecca was living at the turnpike gatehouse where her mother collected the tolls while William worked as a farm labourer.

Rebecca was a domestic servant working in the home of a pair of aged widows at St Mabyn, a neighbouring parish, in 1871.  Around 1874 or 1875, she married William Climo. The couple lived at Lanivet, south of Bodmin, where William was a gardener at Tremore House, a small manor house in the parish.

Tremore Lodge, the home of Rebecca and William in 1891. Recently on the market for £245,000 and ‘brimming with potential’ as a ‘lucrative business venture’

Among the 14 Egloshayle children, one of the two exceptions who had travelled further than mid-Cornwall was William Henry Pendray. William was the son of a wood labourer. Living in 1861 at Polbrock, a hamlet above the wooded valley of the River Camel between Wadebridge and Bodmin, William did not follow his father into the woods but left to go to sea instead. He was recorded in the 1881 census as a mate on a vessel working the Devon coast. In 1885 he married Bertha Durbin at Shepton Mallet in Somerset. Six years later the pair were found in Southampton, where they ran a pub.

One thought on “Egloshayle – born in the workhouse

  1. Fascinating as ever. I would love to know about the Clements – Dalston Clements became vicar of Warleggan in the 1840s and his wife Kathryn (Katherine, diff spellings) nee Clements became a world renowned strawberry breeder. They were both from Egloshayle and must have been cousins given their shared name at marriage. Caroline Clements later joined Dalston when Kathryn died presumably to look after him. All are buried in one grave in the old graveyard at Egloshayle. I would love to know if anyone has researched the Clements and even has photographs.


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