St Anthony in Meneage is found at the north-eastern extremity of the Lizard peninsula while, on the other side of the Fal estuary, St Anthony in Roseland forms the tip of the Roseland. However, both parishes were originally called Lanyntenyn, meaning the site of Entenen, a local saint. Over time, the Cornish saint was replaced … Continue reading St Anthony in Roseland: a deserted wife?
All change for Merther’s craftsmen
Merther was a small farming parish of fewer than 400 people in 1861; it’s just east of Truro and includes part of the village of Tresillian. However, none of the three Merther children of 1861 who made it into the Victorian Lives database came from a farming background. Instead, all three - two boys and … Continue reading All change for Merther’s craftsmen
Mawgan in Pydar: Lanherne, London and leaving the shores
Lanherne House The secluded and wooded Vale of Lanherne running inland from Mawgan Porth is peaceful these days. But it was a political flashpoint in the late sixteenth century, regarded as the hotbed of Cornish Catholicism. This was the base of the Arundell family which attempted, ultimately without success, to keep the flag of Catholicism … Continue reading Mawgan in Pydar: Lanherne, London and leaving the shores
Gulval: growing and going
Gulval parish stretches from the fertile low-lying coastal plain east of Penzance and up onto the moors of west Penwith, a veritable archaeological treasure house. With the arrival of railway connections to the huge market of London and the south east of England by the 1860s, the potential of this district and its mild climate … Continue reading Gulval: growing and going
The history of two Cornish surnames, one common and one rare
There were two enquiries this week about surnames from the opposite ends of the spectrum. One is in my surnames book; the other isn’t. One is very common; the other very rare. The two surnames are Roberts and Matta. I've mentioned both before in these blogs but let's re-visit them. Robert was a personal name … Continue reading The history of two Cornish surnames, one common and one rare
Hang ‘em high. Cornish executions
From 1735 to 1909 around 85 men and women (estimates vary a little) were executed in Cornwall after being found guilty of capital offences. In the eighteenth century, hangings took place at the two assize towns – Launceston and Bodmin. At Launceston the gibbet was set up either at the Castle Green or over the … Continue reading Hang ‘em high. Cornish executions
Were Cornish speakers slower to add an -s to their name?
Because the practice of adding an -s to a personal name that then became a surname first arose in England and within English-speaking communities, one might assume that non-English speakers were slower to adopt it. It didn't stop them eventually doing so, of course. Quite the contrary, as the number of Williamses or Evanses in … Continue reading Were Cornish speakers slower to add an -s to their name?