Some Redruth folk’s marital issues

Occasionally, peering through the routine pages of the nineteenth century censuses examining the lives of our predecessors can seem to veer perilously close to prurient curiosity. Perhaps we discover something that they tried hard to hide – an illegitimate child brought up by the grandparents, a deserted wife describing herself as a widow, a bigamist … Continue reading Some Redruth folk’s marital issues

Camborne versus Redruth: Regrettable scenes

One of the iconic dates in the Cornish sporting calendar is the annual rugby match between Camborne and Redruth, held on Boxing Day. Sometimes, the two teams also met on Easter Monday to renew their competition. On occasion however, this resulted in more than friendly local rivalry between two neighbouring towns. Take this fixture from … Continue reading Camborne versus Redruth: Regrettable scenes

A Cornish colony in Mexico

In 1826 the West Briton carried a report from Redruth: a miner recently back from overseas had  ‘astonished the natives by appearing in the streets in the dress usually worn by the Mexican miners.’ The migration links between Cornwall and Mexico in the 1800s have been less often covered than the much more numerous flows … Continue reading A Cornish colony in Mexico

The Miners’ and Womens’ Hospital

In 1863 the dominant occupational group in Cornwall obtained their own hospital. The West Cornwall Hospital for Convalescent Miners was opened at Redruth on land donated by T.C.Agar-Robartes of Lanhydrock. Robartes also provided the bulk of the cash needed to pay for its upkeep. Patients were under the care not of doctors working full-time at … Continue reading The Miners’ and Womens’ Hospital

Rumours of plague? Mortality crises in 16th century Cornwall

In May of 1591 deaths began to spiral at Redruth. That year saw burial numbers in the parish registers hit a figure nine times higher than the usual. Yet by Christmas the crisis was over and burials had reverted to their normal level. Sudden short mortality crises like that at Redruth suggest an airborne infection, … Continue reading Rumours of plague? Mortality crises in 16th century Cornwall

John Passmore Edwards: the Cornish philanthropist

Anyone who walks around Cornish towns with half an eye open cannot fail to spot the buildings adorned with the name ‘Passmore Edwards’. But who was Passmore Edwards? John Passmore Edwards was born on 24th March 1823 in a nondescript cottage in Blackwater, a mining village a mile or two east of Redruth on the … Continue reading John Passmore Edwards: the Cornish philanthropist

When Camborne-Redruth was the most radical place in the UK

The general election of 1885 has one major similarity with the one we’re now enduring. Polling day was in December. But in most other respects it was quite different. And although the newly created Mining Division in 1885 had very similar boundaries to the present Camborne-Redruth constituency, nowhere was this difference starker than in the … Continue reading When Camborne-Redruth was the most radical place in the UK