North Tamerton: farmers and a pharmacist

Another day, another north Cornish border parish. To the north of North Petherwin, North Tamerton was also a farming parish. Indeed, all four of the Victorian Lives sample who were children there in 1861 were sons and daughters of farmers.

Again, none of the four moved far. Philip Symons is a good example. Philip’s father, also named Philip, and mother Jenny farmed at Tamerton Town in the parish when Philip was born in 1850. Philip grew up on the farm, the farmhouse of which was sufficiently large to contain 14 people in 1871. By that time, Philip senior had given up running the 160-acre farm although he and his wife still lived in the farmhouse. They shared it with their eldest son William, who was in charge, his wife and six children, Philip junior, two of Philip’s brothers and a sister. In 1873 Philip left this extended family to marry Emma Tape from Kilkhampton. The couple took on a farm at Jacobstow, where they farmed for a couple of decades before moving across the border into Devon in the 1890s to farm at Pyworthy. Philip died there in 1917, leaving ten surviving children.

Another North Tamerton farmhouse at Well Farm. This is a probable medieval long house although much added to in the 16th and 17th centuries. Now available to rent on airbnb!

Not everyone who was born into a farming family was destined to become a farmer or a farmer’s wife. Richard Chubb was the son of a farmer who by 1861 was working the large, almost 400-acre farm at Trepoil in North Tamerton. Richard, even though he was the eldest son, took a different path, becoming a pharmacist. In 1871 he was lodging at Newport in the valley below Launceston.

Unfortunately, whatever potential Richard Chubb had was unfulfilled as his pharmaceutical training was not enough to prevent his death from meningitis in 1872 at the age of 22.

Although numbers are still a bit low for hard and fast conclusions the database is beginning to reveal some overall patterns. This pie chart shows where men who were recorded as farm servants and agricultural labourers in 1871 were living 20 years later in 1891.

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