St Issey: going up in the world

The quickest though not the easiest guarantee of a life of ease and comfort, free from financial worries, is still to be born rich. Nonetheless, education offers a theoretical route to social mobility. This wasn’t an option for the great majority of children in the Victorian Lives database. For them rudimentary learning went little further … Continue reading St Issey: going up in the world

St Gluvias: return migration at Penryn

As we saw in the previous blog in the case of Eliza Bennett, short stays overseas were by no means unknown in Victorian Cornwall. Temporary sojourns in North America seem to have been particularly prevalent in the Penryn district. Often these involved stonemasons and quarrymen, presumably taking advantage of higher wages in American quarries when … Continue reading St Gluvias: return migration at Penryn

St Eval: a Scottish sojourn and some sad deaths

In 1938 St Eval's churchtown was demolished to make way for an airfield as part of the re-armament programme. The church was left intact and used as a navigational aid. The airfield closed in 1959 but the church remains. Of the 12 children in our database who were living in the parishes of St Ervan … Continue reading St Eval: a Scottish sojourn and some sad deaths

St Ervan: farriers, farming and traffic

The two neighbouring farming parishes of St Ervan and St Eval north of St Columb managed to avoid the trouble and turmoil that periodically scorched through Cornish rural parishes dependent on mining. Nonetheless, their populations slowly drifted downwards in the 1800s, the exodus gaining force in the final decades of the century as farmers reduced … Continue reading St Ervan: farriers, farming and traffic