Padstow: saints but no sinners

Some have argued that Christianity first arrived in Cornwall in Roman times from Ireland (others prefer Gaul or the south east of Britain). Several ‘saints’ later venerated in Cornwall had connections with Ireland. One was Petroc, who was supposed to have studied in Ireland and who gave his name to Petrocstow, also known in Cornish … Continue reading Padstow: saints but no sinners

Patronyms and the Cornish language

Does the presence of patronymic surnames (surnames derived from first names) tell us anything about the last days of the traditional Cornish language? I have argued elsewhere that the distribution of the most common surnames in nineteenth century Cornwall – Williams, Thomas and Richards – offers a good indication of the geography of the language … Continue reading Patronyms and the Cornish language