On a particularly stormy night, when the wind howls down the chimney and the rain crashes against the windows, you might hear the spirit of John Tregeagle, wailing and raging as he roams the moors and cliffs or tries to complete various hopeless tasks. Folk tales about Tregeagle agree that he was summoned from the … Continue reading Who was the real John Tregeagle?
Many will be aware of the name of Richard Carew of Antony, near Torpoint. He was the author of the Survey of Cornwall, published in 1602, the first such history written in the British Isles and a window onto life in Cornwall in the late 1500s. His son and grandsons are less well known but … Continue reading How the Cornish Carews lost their heads
In the civil wars of the 1640s the battle of Lostwithiel was a Parliamentary disaster and the last major Royalist victory of the wars. More a series of skirmishes than an all-out set-piece battle, an out-numbered Parliamentary army found itself trapped between Lostwithiel and Fowey. It was forced to surrender on September 2nd, 1644. How … Continue reading The battle of Lostwithiel, 1644
The chough is a mysterious bird, in the sense that some of the information on it isn’t that reliable. The Daily Telegraph last week reported that there were now 12 breeding pairs of choughs in Cornwall, brought back by what it called ‘Operation Chough’. The chough, it went on, had been absent in Cornwall since … Continue reading The Cornish chough
In the war of the five nations in the 1640s we last saw the Cornish army triumphant at the Battle of Stamford Hill at Stratton. Filled with enthusiasm, the army of 3,000 foot soldiers and 800 horsemen, led by Sir Ralph Hopton, advanced across the Tamar. They made contact with the Royalist army of Prince … Continue reading Royalist victories but Cornish disaster: July 1643
Just over 367 years ago the second major Cornish battle of the British Wars took place. After their victory at Braddock Down in January the Royalists had unsuccessfully besieged Plymouth before being driven off, while one of their leaders – Sidney Godolphin - had in the meantime been shot dead in an ambush near Chagford … Continue reading The Battle of Stamford Hill: May 1643
This week sees the anniversary of the first battle of the Cornish army in the seventeenth century civil wars – the battle of Braddock Down. In the autumn of 1642 when the wars began it wasn’t at all certain who would rally Cornwall behind them. Would it be Royalists or Parliamentarians? The greater gentry in … Continue reading The battle of Braddock Down