Perranuthnoe: what to do when the bal is scat

A rural parish to the east of Penzance and Marazion, Perranuthnoe is now merely a place to ‘escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life … [an] ideal destination for a coastal retreat’, its heritage forgotten, its history unlamented. That’s a far cry from Victorian days when the parish was better known for its mines … Continue reading Perranuthnoe: what to do when the bal is scat

Denying destiny: The Baptist from Breage

Our final foray into the lives of Breage Victorians introduces an example of social mobility. The vast majority of our forebears married partners from a similar social background. Children of labourers married labourers, the offspring of miners got hitched to miners, sons and daughters of farmers tended to end up with other farmers’ sons and … Continue reading Denying destiny: The Baptist from Breage

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