Egloskerry provides us with a fine example of the small rural parishes that lie to the west and north of Launceston in north Cornwall. In the nineteenth century heavily dependent on farming, nonetheless its children were not inevitably rooted to the soil. Quite the opposite in fact as, of the five Egloskerry children in the Victorian Lives database, only one spent all their time in the parish. The last place Martha Maunder, maiden name Herring, was living was the hamlet of Badharlick, incidentally, a place where my grandmother also lived in the 1940s and 50s.
Of the other four, two had spells as domestic servants in the Exeter district of Devon in the 1880s. The others remained in Cornwall, but not at Egloskerry.
Emma Davy was the daughter of William and Mary Davy. Living at Tor village in the parish in 1861, Emma left to work as a domestic servant in the nearest town – Launceston. There, she was one of the three servants in the household of a doctor in Southgate Street. But her stay there could not have been long, as in the last quarter of 1861 she married William Wadge.
William was a farmer (of 37 acres in 1881) and a butcher by trade. The couple set up home in William’s home parish of North Hill, to the south of Launceston. They were doing well enough to employ living-in farm servants with a domestic servant helping Emma to manage the domestic side of the farm and the growing number of children (seven by 1891).
Meanwhile, Daniel Wickett had been born in the neighbouring parish of Tresmere. At the age of 11 Daniel was already employed as a farm servant at the large farm of Treludick in Egloskerry. Daniel followed the normal path of some years as a farm servant living in the farmhouse followed by life as an independent farm labourer. He married early, before he was 21, moving to Tintagel, the home of his wife. From there, the pair jumped across east Cornwall to Latchley in Calstock. Daniel remained a farm labourer although his son Richard had taken up mining in 1891.