The History of St Keverne Church
by Frank Curnow
Sometimes, words have a way of floating around like airborne seeds waiting for the right time, the right place and the right person before settling in the right soil..........George Griffiths
Over eighty years ago, a Vicar was appointed to
St.Keverne, a man who loved words and who came to love
the village. He undertook to compile a history of the parish
taken from many and varied documents. When he left in 1913,
his work was still unfinished, and it was left in the care
of Mr. P.D. Williams of Lanarth.
For years it remained forgotten in a cupboard - it seemed no-one was interested in all those carefully written words. Finally they came into the hands of Frank Curnow, and over the past years he has referred to many of the individual articles in the collection of manuscripts, when writing one of his essays for the Parish magazine.
When I came to live in St.Keverne, being a keen amateur historian, I began to ask many questions. Most were answered in the following way, "Ask Frank."I soon discovered what nearly everyone else in the village takes for granted, Frank nearly always does know, or knows someone else who does. Frank was born in the village and has lived here all of his life. One can easily detect that the words 'village' and 'life' in Frank's personal dictionary are one and the same. He is a generous, open-hearted Cornish gentleman, always with time to spare to answer any questions.
Throughout his life he has made scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings, recorded village events with his camera, meticulously made notes and remembered minute facts. When the appeal was made for the renovation of our Church spire, it presented just the opportunity to bring Canon Diggens'work into the public eye for the benefit of his Church. He intended this word picture to be a comprehensive one, so together, Frank and I, have enlarged on his original notes. We have added memories of older villagers, some who remember him in the long off golden days of their childhood - we are sure he would have approved. He died at Saltash on the l5th April,1916, perhaps saddened by the fact that one of his ambitions had not been fulfilled. So this is a miscellany of words, words used in official documents, parish poor accounts, history books, private letters and notebooks, recorded conversations and essays. Words that tell of sorrow, work, play, happiness and fear - words of a Cornish village. We hope for these words - the time is now right.
Jill Newton. March 1981.
by Frank Curnow, Churchwarden for 29 years.
Sometime between 500 and 600 A.D., a man came to St. Keverne, who eventually gave his name to the place. KIERAN or KEV RAN came from Cape Clear in the district of Kerry, Ireland, and was probably the first Christian to live in this parish. On the site of our Parish Church, he built himself a hut to live in and another close by to serve as a Church, at the entrance of which he would have placed a wooden Cross. It is not known whether he died here, but if he did, he would have been buried near his two huts, later when other Christians died, they would have been buried near him. Thus the Church and Churchyard had begun in St.Keverne. The more permanent building which followed survived the Saxon invasion, it is mentioned in Saxon Charters in 911 A.D., and there is no doubt it was collegiate, a centre of religious learning and education. The church and lands were seized by Robert, Earl of Mortain soon after the Norman Conquest, and it was then that the collegiate character of the Church was lost, and it became the Parish Church of the largest parochial area in West Cornwall. (10,158 acres). SI.Keverne is mentioned in Domesday Book (1085) as LANNACHEBRANN, i.e. the Church of St.Kebran, and reads "The Canons have one Manor called LANNACHEBRANN, which the same Saint held T.R.E. (Time of Edward) there in are eleven acres of land. Seven teams can plough this. The Canons have eight beasts, thirty sheep and twenty acres of pastures. Worth five shillings, when Count received it worth forty shillings." Norman architecture can still be seen in the north-west corner of the Church, but most of the present building is of l5th century origin. King John founded the Cistercian Abbey of Beaulieu in 1204, his son Richard Earl of Cornwall, presented the Manor of Lannachebrann with the Church of St.Acheveran to the Abbot of Beaulieu in 1235. Thus from that date until the dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1538, the Abbotts of Beaulieu were Patrons of St.Keverne. During that time, the church was rebuilt and the building assumed its present size and perpendicular style. The tower was built in 1450, and struck by lightening in 1770, when the spire was rebuilt. The Waggon roof was restored in 1893 together with other parts of the building. It was then that the l3th century wall painting of St. Christopher, over the North door was discovered, it having been plastered over and whitewashed in the Cromwellian period. The ancient bench ends salvaged from the old pews during this restoration are well worth studying. The pulpit is Jacobean and the font is of l5th century workmanship. Eight bells replaced the three originals in 1907, when the two-faced clock was also added to the tower. In the clergy vestry is a list of Rectors and Vicars dating from 1201. The East window was erected by the owners of the 'Mohegan', to the memory of 106 persons drowned when it was wrecked on the Manacles in 1898. In the north- east corner of the Churchyard are the mass graves of many victims of the wrecks on our coast. I trust this short description of our Church will inspire many to make a visit and discover for themselves many other features not mentioned here. As you walk through the South door,you are entering a place where for more than 1,300 years, men and women have come together to worship. The opportunity is yours to join them. ST.KEVERNE FEAST from notes made by Frank Curnow. Carew the historian writes "The Saint's Feast" is kept on Dedication day by every householder of the Parish, within his own doors, when he entertains all comers." St.Keverne Feast Day is l8th November, when the Parish is remembered in prayers at the Cathedral. At the Parish Church it is celebrated on the Sunday nearest to that date. In an old record dated 1 st June 1236 we read that Thomas- de-Prideas and his wife, Sibilla were ordered by the Justices to pay the Abbott of Beaulieu and Parson of St.Keveran, one pound of wax yearly at the Feast of St.Keveran, so evidently the Feast was a well known festival even in those early days. It probably dates back to the period before the Norman Conquest when St.Keverne was a collegiate Church with Deans and Canons. During the period of want and distress in the l8th and part of the l9th centuries, St. Keverne Feast was like a ray of sunshine on a wintry morning. Then, the poor with their Dorcas Club tickets obtained the food and clothing they so sorely needed. The annual market was also held in the market house in the village square. Feast Monday and Tuesday were recognised holidays in the earlier years of this century. The schools were closed, while farmers and others enjoyed the time hunting and shooting. The Tuesday evening was always a lively time in the square, when the various stalls - lit with paraffin flare lamps- sold such things as home made rock to a toy monkey on a stick. Our Feast is still kept in a modified way, with the sale in the Church Hall, Services on Sunday, Male Voice Choir Concert, and the Meet of the local Hunt, and so the memory of our Patron Saint, who brought Christianity to this place and established our Church, is remembered in this present age of so many changes. Notes from Canon W.A. Diggens, written as an introduction to his proposed History of St.Keverne. To people continuously resident in places that boast centuries of history, the antiquities that meet their eyes every day, do not always appeal, as they appeal to persons who have long dwelt in newer lands. The writer, though associated in his early life with people of peculiar archaeological interest had, up to the time he went abroad, no proper appreciation of their attractions, nor any particular desire to learn of their several histories. But after a sojourn of seventeen years, in the newly settled lands of Australia and New Zealand, where the convict settlements and the Maori Wars of the early nineteenth century, were matters of ancient history, he returned to the 'old country' to discover by contrast, a charm and fascination in these objects which hitherto had failed to impress him. To a returned emigrant like himself, St. Keverne was a place peculiarly calculated to stir up interest in the past. As he entered the noble Church with its beautiful arcades of vari-coloured stones, with its three curious rood-loft stairways, with its frescoes,carvings and monuments. As he examined the tomb stones, tablets and registers with their pathetic records of shipping disasters. As he came upon Menhir or Barrow or Cromlech in his walks, as he listened to the old men recounting their experiences of shipwreck, or relating smuggling stories that they had learnt from their parents. As he came on occasions within the mystic circle of old world superstitions, or listened to fragments of folk-lore and he was seized with a compulsion to write. He longed to write a history of the parish, as he felt with an ever increasing conviction that the annals of a place so rich in incident, ought not to be lost with the passing of time. In the British Museum and different libraries he consulted and made extracts from Rolls, Journals of Learned Societies, Episcopal Registers and other Works. He was greatly assisted in this work by his sisters, who have been indefatigable in their searches and materials, out of which to fashion a parochial history and whose patient labours cannot be too gratefully acknowledged. Documents of rare value have been freely lent by Parishioners and friends, which have enabled him to correct in one or two instances, mistakes made by writers who did not have access to those sources of information. One notable instance is that of the involuntary voyage of Mr. John Sandys and others to the coast of France. Hal's romantic but very inaccurate version has been incorporated into more than one history of Cornwall. The minutes of the Parish meetings and Churchwardens and Overseers accounts for the past 150 years, which the writer has carefully studied have not, apparently, been hitherto exploited. From these much information has been obtained as to Parochial doings in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Upon some matters of such supreme interest as the designing and building of the Church, he has unfortunately been unsuccessful in discovering records. It would seem that none of the Medieval Bishops ever ventured so far off the beaten track as to visit St.Keverne. Consequently there are few references to the Church in their Registers. It must be remembered that the Parish is not only situated in a remote country, but in a part of that country that is right away from the highways and traffic. With its great sea frontage to the East, with Crouza and Goonhilly to the South and West, and with Gillian Creek, an estuary of the Helford River to the North, it is so effectively cut off from the surrounding world as to be civilly and socially, if not geographically, practically an island. For centuries it has been a place in which the inhabitants managed their own affairs and resented anything in the nature of interference from the outside. An ex-parishioner coming back to St.Keverne was, and is today,termed a 'foreigner'. The people might quarrel amongst themselves but are agreed in resisting the counsel of the intruder. They mostly settled their differences, at least in later days, with a vote, taken by means of black and white beans. But dictation from outsiders, they abhorred. Even the great St. Kearian himself, who planted the Church in the village, is traditionally said to have been treated with scant respect. When, in the days of Norman Kings, the old Dean and Canons were abolished in order that the Church might be affiliated to the Abbey of Beaulieu, St. Keverne people appear to have given the intruding Monks anything but a welcome. At the Reformation, in the days of Edward VI, an emissary was sent to the Helston district to destroy certain images in the Churches. St.Keverne men would not submit to such an outrage upon their religious liberties, and took the speediest way of giving effect to their intentions. They went into Helston and killed the Commissioner, they initiated an armed rebellion in defence of their spiritual privileges. Coming to more modern times, they offered strenuous opposition to the Poor Law Amendments-Act, stoutly alleging that they could manage their own affairs and look after their own poor. Exposed, as they were, to 'perils of the sea' and in some periods to invasion by pirates and marauders, driven by the stern force of circumstances to rely upon their own resources, living in a little world of their own, St.Keverne men naturally developed a sturdy and independent spirit and became defiant of outside authority. Any government officers who ventured so far afield as to visit this isolated parish, mostly came for the purpose of exacting tribute and disturbing the even tenor of the people's ways. So, if the latter were unable to resist them then they tried to outsmart them and thus developed the smuggling instinct. All through their history, they have been, as compared with the rest of the county,a people apart. The political and religious movements which overwhelmed and engulfed other people, only remotely touched them. But when they happened they were roused to the bitterest and most vehement opposition. If any proof were needed of the very unique and isolated position of the parish in relation of Cornwall, it may be found in the fact that possessing, as it does, one of the finest Churches in the county and having, for an agricultural and fishing district, a large population, yet not only did none of the Medieval Bishops of Exeter find his way here, not even the Wesleys, who made so many itineries in West Cornwall, were seen not to have got sufficiently off the main thoroughfares as to visit St.Keverne. This little world so far removed from the crowded haunts of men, self-reliant, self centered and self governed, as it, almost alone of the parishes of England, could be. The very isolation of the parish and its communal independence lend to its history, in the writer's judgement, a freshness and charm that are not always found in differently situated localities. W.A.Diggens, Vicar of St.Keverne. 1896 - 1913. Description of the Mural Painting of St.Christopher, in St.Keverne Church, from the Royal Institution of Cornwall Journal,1905. "Unfortunately the picture itself is less perfect than when the paper on 'Mural Paintings in Cornish Churches' was compiled, and is still going worse the plaster has lost its nature and is daily flaking off. This has prevented further clearing of the top ornamentation part of which (e.g. the arch carrying the words 'Prais yee the Lord' is so conspicuous). This arch is coloured slate grey, as is all of the superimposed painting. It is especially conspicuous in the trellis work hiding Christopher's right shoulder in the centre panel, in the arch behind him, in the trellis work behind the arch (red) of the hermit's cell, and in the bands that cross the second panel on the left. The top left-hand panel has been slightly uncovered and probably represents the arrival of Christopher at Dagon's Court in Samos when he planted his iron staff in the ground and it forthwith put forth leaf and bloom. The chronological order of events in the legend requires us to descend on the left and ascend on the right, for the scene of the iron chair preceded that of the shooting. The intermediate panel representing Christopher as one of the cynocephali (if this is what it does represent) seems out of place, unless we conclude that the saint having been elsewhere represented as entirely human in shape (in contradiction to the legend) the artist tonk this opportunity of reminding us of the story. When the iron chair had given way Christopher started up and prayed, and his face was full of a glorious light. This so alarmed the king that he fell from his throne and lay a long time on the ground. Then arising, he addressed some abusive remarks to Christopher, and calling him an 'evil beast' (fera mala) ordered him to be shot. This expression perhaps gave the artist his opportunity, We think too, this ascent on the right gives us the explanation of the top panel, in which could, till recently, be seen a small figure seated and a tall one standing by him. Probably this represented Christopher telling Dagon how to cure his wounded eye by making clay with the saint's blood, which we prophesied he should shed upon the morrow. On the rocks to the left of the centre panel note the head of a dog (much like a modern pointer, outlined in grey and shaded yellow) and the bird (similarly coloured) swallowing a fish (red). On the rocks on the other side note the rabbits and fishing reel, and in front of the rabbits the hermit is holding the lanthorn (red) where-with he lighted the saint across the water. The figure of the hermit is now almost faded away, but the form of it can be distinctly traced. The greater part of the original picture is red of various shades, a good deal of the background is yellow, and some of the outlines are slate colour. It will be seen that the picture was formerly of greater height than it is now. It has been much damaged by having had a monument fixed over it." Canon Diggens' essay, based on his personal research about the menhir in St.Keverne, on the farm which takes its name from it - Tremenhere, (the farm or settlement by the long stone). St.Keverne boasts a splendid upright specimen on the farm which takes its name from it, Tremenhere (Tre-Men-Hir). A little to the right of the footpath leading from Touch-My-Pipes in the direction of Churchtown, the great stone is to be seen in all its pristine and rugged grandeur. Mr.Copeland Borlase describes it such, "So finely proportioned and symmetrical in its outline, is this stone, that although a tool has never been used on it, it might with justice be termed a handsome monument. It is a diallage rock measuring 9ft. Sin. in height. In bulk, at a distance 2ft. 6in. off the ground it measures lOft. l0in. but tapers off towards the top. In its ground plan it is triangular having three faces of which the southernmost is the wider. Judging from similar monuments in the West, it seems probable that on this latter side the internment took place. The ground however never seems to have been searched." But why conclude there was necessarily a burial here? If burials took place near Menhirs and Dolmens it was probably for the same reason that they have taken place in and around our Churches in the Christian Ages. The spots were considered sacred. It would be just as reasonable for the antiquarians writing in A.D.4000 to write of our Churches as places of sepulture, because human remains are found in their neighbourhood, as for us to draw the same conclusions from the fact that the ancients loved to bury their dead in what they regarded as holy ground. The Menhirs and Dolmens were perhaps not designed originally, any more than our Christian Churches, for sepulchral purposes even though in the process of time, internment might have taken place in their vicinity. Looking at the great Tremenhere stone weighing several tons, and at similar but larger ones in Brittany, such as Beg Meil, one naturally wonders how the uncivilized ancients, ever moved and erected them. Thought at once flies to the East, and we find ourselves asking if the people in Gaul and Britain could have had any instruction from the builders of the great stone monuments there. Possibly our surmises are not wide of the mark, as will, one day, be explained. From the fact that the St. Keverne Menhir is unlettered and unknown, we may conclude that it was set up before the arts of writing and stone cutting were known in the land. In that case it is likely enough that the Menhir has stood in its present position for three or four thousand years. Notes from Canon Diggens researchers about "St. Keverne's Curse." "Among other interpretations of the word Meneage, was 'Meanake' - the deaf stone - the reason given for this rendering being that though there are several mineral lodes or veins in this district, they are deaf or barren. What greater punishment could be inflicted on Cornishmen than depriving their native soil of the precious ore which gives employment to some and fortunes to others? This did St. Keveran. For the irreligion of the inhabitants and for their disrespect, he pronounced a curse against them, and caused the mineral veins to be unproductive. Hence the proverb, "No metal will run, within the sound of St. Keverne Bells." In 1281, William de Waleys and a number of bailiffs came to St. Keverne to claim some cattle from John, son of Matthew. In an ensuing fight, John was killed by William, who then took sanctuary in St. Keverne Church. In the Patent Rolls,1281-1292, we read: July lOth, Carnarvon. "Pardon at the insistence of Eleanor, the King's Mother, to Robert de Aleburne, for the trespass, which he committed with others, of dragging William de Waleys, (the King's Attorney), Charged with the murder of John, son of Matthew, from the Church of St. Keverne, Cornwall." Footnote: People who made use of the sanctuary offered by St. Keverne Church probably made good their escape under cover of darkness, along the paths through Tregonning, Treleague, Roskruge Barton and Bosahan to Treath, which is recognised as being a 'sanctuary road.' Myghal Joseph memorial slate, was placed on the churchyard wall in 1966. Myghal Josef was the village blacksmith, a man of the type Canon Diggens described in his essay, of 'sturdy and independent spirit and defiant of outside authority.' This is an extract from Jill Newton's book, 'The Lizard.' A simple slate slab, set into the wall near the Church gate commemorates - in Cornish and English - St. Keverne's martyred rebel. Myghal Josef- known as An Gof, the Smith - was the village blacksmith, 'a man of great force and great courage.' In 1497 Cornwall was heavily taxed as a result of Henry VII declaring war on Scotland. It was the last straw for the pitifully poor Cornishmen. An Gof, gathered his fellow rebels about him. Together with lawyer, Thomas Flamank, the army marched on London, rallying at Blackheath. Weary from the long march, outnumbered by the King's troops and without horse and artillery the army was defeated. Myghal Josef and Thomas Flamank were hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. An Gof said of himself that he would have 'a name perpetual and a fame permanent and immortal,' he was right. This memorial was unveiled in 1966 and each year there is a ceremony to remember him." At the unveiling of the An Gof memorial on Saturday October 2nd,1966 the following prayer in Cornish for Cornwall and Cornishmen throughout the world was said. "A Das OIIgaIlosek ha pur-druethek, ny a'th pys a ry dha vennath dhe bup Kernow- oll; yn agar Pow-ny ha dres oll an norvys, kefrys y'n enys-ma ha tremor, y'n le may mons, war dyr ha war dhowr, lemmyn ha pup ur-oll. Gwra benyga ober ha lafur ago dywla ha pup tra-oll gansa us gwres rak les Kernow, ha rak les an norvys. Ro dhedha dha nerth, may crethaho ago holon herwyth 'braster aga omgemeryans, preder, towl, creft, Iyen, gwary kyn fo, ha gront dhedha may hallons dha wordhya yn spyrys hag yn gwyryoneth, dre ras agan Arluth Jesu Cryst. Amen." The translation is as follows: "Almighty and most merciful Father, we pray Thee to give Thy blessing to all Cornishmen, in our land and throughout all the world, in this island as well as overseas, wherever they may be, on land or sea, now and always. Bless the work and labour of their hands, and everything that they do for the good of Cornwall and the world. Give them Thy might, that their hearts may be strengthened in accordance with their undertakings, whether thought, plan, crafts, learning or past-times, and grant that they may worship Thee in spirit and in truth, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen." Leland in his Itinery from 1533 -1550, writes the following: "Also wythyn III miles of the south betwene Haylford and the est side of Mountes Bay is a wyld moore cawled Goonhilly (i.e. hilly hethe), where ye brood of catayle. Also yn the west syde of the poynt of Haylford haven and withyn the land of Moncke or Manegland is a parish Church of St. Keveryn otherwise Piranus and there is a sanctuary with X or XII houses and thereby was a sel (all of monkes but now go home to ther hed hows). The ruins of the monastery yet remaineth." Norden's Speculi Britannica (written 1593, edition published 1728) Of horses in Cornwall.... "Their horses are of small growth being fed and brought up upon the high colde and harde mountaigne. There is a kind of nagges bredd upon a mountainous and spacious piece of grounds called Goon-hilly, lying between the sea-waste and Helston, which are the hardest nagges and beste of travaile for their bones within this Kingdom, resembling in body for quantitie and in goodness of mettle the Galloway Naggs." From Letters Foreign and Domestic of Henry VIII.
Sent from Sir William Drugo, Vicar of St. Keverne,1531-1547 to Lady Lisle in Calais. He writes he 'Is glad to hear of her health and desirest be commended to Lord Lisle upon the token that your Ladyship laughed heartily at dinner for the great wise answer that I gave unto my Lord." The letter continues thanking Lady Lisle for the good cheer when he was last with them and advising them that he is sending a "kilderkin containing four Cornish congers." St. Keverne 24th January, 1535. Footnote (JN): Lord Lisle (Arthur Plantagenet) was the acknowledged illegitimate son of Edward IV. In the years from 1533 - 1540 he was the Lord Deputy of Calais for Henry VIII. His wife Honor was a Grenville by birth, and whilst they lived in Calais, letters crossed the channel daily, enabling them to deal with all their home affairs. In 1540, Lord Lisle was accused of treason, and kept in the Tower of London for two years, expecting to be beheaded at any time. In March 1542, he was pardoned by the King, only to die the following night, after an excessive bout of rejoicing! In the late sixteenth century St. Keverne fishermen feared the danger of being captured by Spaniard and paid for information about the Navy. The following is a precis of a report in State papers Confession of Sampson Porth, of st. Keverne, Sailor, before Hannibal Vyvyan. "While fishing with three others in Falmouth Bay, 7th May last, we were taken by a 'shallop' of Bluett, commanded by one Ferris; a Fleming, and manned with 16 sailors and 20 soldiers. Were carried to Bluett, and bought before Don Dieo general of the army there, who by an Englishman that was in one of the galleys there, examined them on oath as to what preparation of shipping was being made in England and under whose government. Told him there was 100 and 120 sail and that Sir Francis Drake was general. He urged them to say whither they were bound but they could not tell. After re-examination of him, he had a pass to leave in a bark belonging to Mr. Sayer of Dartmouth...... By the 1630's the 'Turkish' piracy had become severe and a fleet of ships known as the 'Lion's Whelps' cruised the Channel for several years, to suppress these pirates, St. Keverne fishermen suffered badly at their hands: One account by the Justices of the Peace, sitting in the Quarter Assizes at Bodmin: "The men through terror of that misery whereunto these persons are carried by these cruel infidels would rather give over their trade than put their estates and persons into so great peril, there now being 60 vessels and about 200 seamen without employment. These Turks daily show themselves at St. Keverne, Mounts Bay and other places that the poor fishermen are fearful not only to o to the seas, but likewise lest these Turks should come ashore and take them out of their houses." From Domestic State Paper's, Charles I. June 20th (no date is given, possibly 1636). Examination of Richd. Plummer, Master of Barge at Plymouth, Called the 'Mercury.' "On Wednesday night last, he sailed in the said barge out of Plymouth with three others to St. Keverne, Cornwall and arrived there on Thursday morning, where he heard it credibly reported with sorrowful complaints and lamentable tears of women and children that on the l5th instant, 3 fisherboats belonging to St. Keverne, and 3 others from Helston,1 more from Mollans (Mullion) and about 50 men in them being on coast fishing near Blackhead between Falmouth and The Lizard, not 3 leagues from shore, were taken by the Turks who carried both men and boats away. During my time on board at St. Keverne from Thursday to Sabbath day following, no news heard of the men or boats, so goes for absolute truth thereabouts, they were surprised by Turks and carried away." From the diary of a Royalist soldier - written about 1644: "The Cornish language is spoken altogether at Goonhilly in Meneage not far from the Lizard, and about Pendennis and Land's End they speak no English." However English was also spoken in St. Keverne at this time. Captain Hannibal Vyvyan who served under Sir Richard Vyvyan of Bogan, a Captain in the Royalist Army, He left a beautifully written Will, Trelowarren, lived at Treleague, St. Keverne From the Circle, edited by Penaluna, Helston,1819: "At the time of the rebellion in the reign of Charles I, a number of men under the command of Mr. Bogans of Treleague in St. Keverne who had accepted a commission from King Charles 1st. posted themselves in a most advantageous situation at Gear in Mawgan with an apparent determination of defending that important pass. But the parliament troops advancing, and shewing themselves in much greater force than was expected Major Bogans' men deserted him with out coming to action some betook themselves to the Dinas, the greater art dispersed and Major Bogans' himself fled to Hilter's (Kilter's) Cave in this parish, and concealed himself in a cave in the rocks. This event is still remembered in Meneage by the name of The Gear Rout." Guizot in his History of the English revolution, points out how terribly the Cornish peasants hammered the parliamentarians.
"If the English," says he, "had fought as well for Charles I, as the Cornishmen the fate of the Civil War would have been otherwise." Charles recognised their loyalty and sent a letter to those who fought so bravely for him. In the back of the Church a large painted notice reads: CAROLUS REX TO THE INHABITANTSS OF THE COUNTY OF CORNWALL "We are so highly sensible of the extraordinary merits of our County of Cornwall, of their zeal for the defense of our person & the just rights of our crown, in a time when we could contribute so little to our own defense, or to their assistance, in a time when not only no reward appeared but great & robable dangers were threat'ned to obedience & loyalty of their great & eminent courage, & patience, in their indefatigable prosecutions of their work a against so potent an enemy (back'd with so strong, rich & populous cities & so plentifully furnished with men, arms, money ammunition & provisions of all kinds) and of so wonderful success with which it hath pleased Almighty God (tho with ye loss of some eminent persons who shall never be forgotten by us to reward their loyalty & patience) by many strange victories over their & our enemies, in dispite of humane probability & all imaginable disadvantages; that as we cannot but desire to publish to all the world, and perpetuate to all times, ye memory of their merits & of our acceptance of the fame, & to that end we do hereby render our royal thanks to that our County in ye most publick & lasting manner we can devise. Commanding coppies hereof to be printed and published & one of them to be read in every Church & Chapple therein, & to be kept for ever as a record in the same, that as long as the history of these times, & of this nation, shall continue: the memory of how much that County hath merited from us and our Crown may be derived with it to posterity. An account of a remarkable thunder-storm. In a letter from the Rev. Anthony Williams, Rector of St. Keverne, to the Rev. William Borlase, dated February 1770. "For several days before the thunder storm which fell on St. Keverne spire and Church on Sunday the 18th day of February last, the wind was very hard at North and the North wind accompanicd with violent showers of hail, which had done some damage to the roof of the Church and many houses in Churchtown. On the Sunday morning above mentioned, the wind was excessive hard and about six, I saw some few faint flashes of lightning, which as day came on, if it continued, became imperceptible. The weather being too bad, prevented a great number of people coming to Church which in all human probability was a happy circumstance, for about a quarter after eleven o'clock, while I was in the latter end of the Litany Service, we had a very fierce flash of lightning, followed at a distance of four or five seconds by the loudest thunder I remember ever to have heard, but which did no damage, nor seemed in the least to disturb any of the congregation, though at the same time the roof of the Church was 'riffling' and the hail made a noise terrible to be heard. In half a minute after this, as nearly as I can possibly guess, the whole congregation, except five or six persons, were at once struck out of their senses. I myself received the shock so suddenly as not to remember if I either heard the thunder or saw the lightning. The first thing that I can recollect with a degree of certainty is that I found myself in the Vicarage seat, which is very near the desk, without gown or surplice, bearing in my arms, as I then thought, a dead sister, and God knows it was a miracle she was not so. I perceived a very strong sulphurous smell, almost suffocating and a great heat. At this time the confusion amongst the congregation was inconceivable, some running out of the Church for safety and returning into it again (for stones from the roof were falling on our heads both in and out of the Church). Some of them fell to their knees imploring for Divine assistance, giving themselves up to a certain destruction and a great many in different places of the Church were lying quite motionless, whom I thought then to be quite dead. In the afternoon, my thoughts being a little composed (I believe for a full two hours I could not said to be rightly in my senses) I walked to the Church to see what damage was done; and such a scene presented is as horrible to think of, much more to see. The Churchyard is also full of ruins; the spire which was about 48 foot high from the battlements of the tower, was carried halfway down, and the remaining part cracked in four places, very irregularly down to the bottom. The North side of the tower from the battlements to the arch of the bell chamber window was quite out, except the corner stone which remained firm and unmoved; the lead on the top of the tower was greatly damaged, melted in several places and as if it were rolled together. The arch of the belfry door, which was very strongly built, with a remarkable hard iron stone laid in lead was also greatly damaged; some of the stones were cracked crossways and just removed out of their places. Others were quite hove out and the lead between the joints not only melted, but loosened so as you might pick it out with your fingers. The traces of lightning were here discovered along the surface of the earth, the stones were thrown from the top of the spire onto the tops of many houses in the Churchtown, but did no great hurt. On a gentleman's house one stone weighing l4lb. fell through the roof onto the chamber but did no further hurt than to make a hole in the roof and plastering. It is to be observed that the stones from the spire were scattered in all directions, as well as against the wind as with it, some of which, but not very large, were found but a little short of a quarter of a mile. The spire from the top six feet downwards was solid, through which passed an iron spike to fix the weather cock on. Did not the lightning strike first on this spike and was conducted through the solid part of the spire, having no iron to conduct it any more, burst into the hollow part of the spire and threw the stones in all directions. It is so remarkable that the spike was found in the bell chamber, and the weather cock in the battlements. The bells were not in the least damaged, though a deal board that lay across the beams to which the bells were hung, was split lengthways in two pieces. Every seat in Church had rubbish in it, some more, some less, and stones of a large size from 1501bs. in weight and upwards scattered here and there amongst the congregation, which damaged the seats, but did no hurt to the people though they sat in those very seats where the stones fell. The lightning entered the Church at the West end and went out through the East end. The holes where it came in and went out are not large, neither are the walls much damaged. The belfry window was shattered to pieces, not one whole pane, I believe, may be found in it. Many other windows also suffered greatly, the glass being much shattered. The lightning entered also through two places in the roof, one near the singing loft and struck upon a pillar just by it, the traces of it are to be seen from the top of the pillar almost to the bottom. There were, sitting by the pillar, two young men, one in the singing loft and the other under him in the Church, who were both lightly scorched; he in the loft, from head to foot and the other in the face only; but it is remarkable that his hat which hung on a nail just above him was cut in two pieces. In the other place, the lightning entered just above the desk and pulpit and fell in like manner on a pillar, which stands in the Vicarage seat. But here it was a great deal more violent and as the object of its prey was my sister, I hope you will excuse my being very particular. Upon this pillar rested a large oak seat, the bottom of which was burst into pieces and one of these pieces being a very large one was thrown from its place to a distance of about 20ft. and appeared to be burnt, and the other piece did not fall. From thence the lightning came down the pillar with great force, tore the seat into many pieces, knocked my sister down and made its way through the bottom of the seat into the earth. She had pattens on and the wooden part was broken into three pieces. The holes through which the ribbon is put to tie them together were quite burnt out and the ribbon found in the seat without the least damage or so much as the knot unloosened. Her shoe was burnt and rent from toe to buckle, Gut the buckle which rivets of silver remained unhurt. Her stocking was burnt and rent in the foot, just in the same manner as her shoe and scorched along to the garter and two little holes were burnt through in the leg of it. Her apron, petticoats etc. were burnt through and through and she had received slight burns on her body, besides two bruises on her head and breast caused by rubbish which fell into the seat. As she was carried out of the Church, she greatly complained of a deadness in her legs, which, as she could not move them at all, I supposed was broke. However, they was not broke, only a little burnt and turned black as ink; which by timely care, not only came to their natural colour by Tuesday noon, but could support her also to come downstairs, and excepting a hurry of spirits, grew quite well that week. Not more than ten persons out of the congregation were hurt and none of them to any great degree. One young fellow was more frightened than hurt and remained ill a long time, but I believe he is quite well now. The lightning touched the watch in his pocket, the marks of which may be seen on the crystal and silver parts to this day. Nobody remembers to have heard any more thunder or seen any more lightning after this though the weather continued very stormy all day. So that the thunder storm, from beginning to end, could last but a very short time. The damage we suffer by it, (which is now repairing, will amount to about £450). Thus, sir, I have given you a particular account of the dreadful accident, by which a great number of people, had it not been for the favourable, I may say, miraculous interposition of Providence must inevitably have perished. It must really incite to our wonder to consider that not only was not one life lost, but that no person was hurt to such a degree as to confine him for more than two or three days. I remember to have seen an observation of yours, "How deplorable would be the consequence of such blasts of lightning, if they happened where there are large congregations, in the time of Divine Service." Here you see, Sir, they happened under the very circumstances in which you then thought they must prove fatal. But Providence has let us know in this remarkable case, let the danger be ever great,and seemingly, to us, unavoidable, yet He is willing, as well as able, to save us. I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient, humble servant, Anthony Williams. In tbe parish records of 1772, there is a reference to one of the village 'characters' of the time - Dolly James. The site of where her house once stood, at the point where the St. Keverne to Helston road crosses the one from Coverack to Lanarth, is still known today as Dolly's Cross. One of the Miss Diggens' writes: Dolly's Cross takes its name from Dolly (Dorothy) James who had a house at the cross roads and was want to attend the Falmouth Market with butter, eggs, etc. for sale. One night having quitted the boat at Coverack she was nearing her home when the owls uttered their cry, "Whoo, Whoo." Dolly, thinking they were human beings, answered, "It's me." "Whoo," cried the owls again, and Dolly replied more explicitly, "It's me. Dolly James coming from market." Footnote: (J.N.) Since this story of Dolly James is told in the records of 1772, are we to assume that Dolly was perhaps then in her late eighties, and was one and the same with the Dolly James, who coming back from Falmouth in 1704, was a companion to John Sandys on his incredible voyage to France. Miss Diggens stated she was! William Jenkins was born in St. Keverne in 1757, he was one of the congregation of the Church in 1770, when it was struck by lightening. Later in his life he went to sea and encountered a great storm - his escape from drowning made such an inpact on him that he became a Methodist local preacher. In 1798, he was appointed as a missionary to Christopheris, in the West Indies. He sailed from Bristol, en route to Cork, where once again he survived a shipwreck, this is his own account: "The scene was terrific, and death seemed painted before us in a variety of shapes and colours. A most tremendous sea followed...... a horrible cliff was before us, and sharp pointed rocks in all directions along the coast seemed to cut off all hopes of life and preservation. It was about sunset when we approached the shore. There was a very heavy rain, without change of wind, and we then discovered multitudes of people running down towards the sea with a design (it afterwards appeared) to plunder the ship. We were at some distance from the shore and the vessel struck several times...... As soon as she received the first shock, the passengers below forgot their sickness and prepared to come up on deck, while one wave threw us against a large rock where the ship rested for a time. As there was every reason to expect that the next sea would carry off everything on deck, I went up into the main shrouds. The master advised me to come down. I took his advice...... By this time, a most tremendous wave approached, I saw it and called to my companions to lay fast hold on something...... otherwise they would be washed overboard...... The same wave lifted the ship over the rock, against which she lay, and threw her farther towards the land; at the same time it brake in the deadlights whereby a great quantity of water entered the vessel and our trunks were carried out of the ship through the breach and were driven on shore, where we saw the people breaking them open and plundering our property. The ship lay on her side, heeling towards the land; and as the tide was flowing the waves lifted her still higher - which gave us hope, that if we could continue until high water, we might be saved. But the cold affected us so much that it seemed impossible to endure it very long, which led me to make an effort to reach the shore. With this intention I began to disencumber myself of the burden of some of my clothes, hoping that a broken fragment of the vessel would carry me across the water. But observing the people quarrelling and fighting about their plunder, I concluded they would murder me, if it should be in my power to escape the violence of the sea. I accordingly took my station to windward of the quarter deck, beside the Minister's single sister (Miss Grant) who, like myself, placed her feet against the companion, and held the end of the mainsail in our hands to prevent being washed away by the breakers. After some time, the tide began to ebb and water receded from the ship, when the plunderers rushed aboard and began to cut the rigging. Footnote: William Jenkins and others reached the shore on the Head of Kinsale (S. Ireland) and soon after this the Militia arrived to protect them and their property. Petition for a Customs and Excise Boat at Coverack, from Isaac Head, dated 29 October 1803. First: I observe that this Port independently of the Harbour of Helford, contains within its limits five Coves or Creeks, viz: Porthoutstock, Porthallow and Coverack in the parish of St. Keverne, Cadgwith in the parish of Landewednack and that no Revenue officer resides in either of the Coves aforesaid. Secondly: That in each of the said Coves an illicit trade for Spirits, Tea, Tobacco, Snuff, Salt and etc. is carried on to an extent almost beyond conception to the great detriment of the Revenue. Thirdly: That on examining the Books in this Office, I find that previously to the year 1799, a Preventive Officer resides at each of the said Coves of Cadgwith and Coverack, but that since that Period, no Officer has been appointed to those Situations. Fourthly: That since the death of the Officers who were stationed at the Coves above mentioned the smuggling trade has rapidly increased and is still increasing notwithstanding the vigilence and activity of the Officer of the Revenue to prevent it. · Fifthly: That the King's Boat belonging to this port has been lying useless on the Beach in the River of Helford eversince the removal of Mr. Richard Thomas the Sitter and the Boatman to Falmouth by an Order from your Honours dated 16 September 1801 and that the said boat owing to her age and the little care which has been taken of her is totally incapable of being repaired so as to be useful in any way. Sixthly: That a good boat to row and sail, properly equipped and manned would, in conjunction with the Preventive Of icers at the Coves aforesaid, operate greatly in preventing smuggling from being carried on to the enormous eXtent at which it is now effected. Seventhly: That in consequence of not having a boat as above in this port it frequently happens that Vessels lie in the harbour for great length of time before any Officer of the Customs can board them by which means an opportunity is afforded to smuggle any contraband goods which may be on board without the possibility of the Revenue Officers preventing it and that whenever it is necessary to board.any vessel in the Harbour, a Boat must be hired for that purpose at any Rate and at any time which the Owner thereof may think proper and moreover that no Boat is to be had at all within two miles of the place where the Vessels trading to this Port usually discharge their Cargoes. Eighthly: That vessels frequently discharge Coals at the Coves of Coverack and Cadgwith both for the inhabitants of those Coves and also for that of the Lighthouse on the Lizard Point. That Coverack is distant six miles and Cadgwith ten miles from Helford where a Coal meter usually resided, that there is no regularly appointed Coal Meter in this Port and that Samual Penhall and John Trethowan, Tidesmen, appear to be the only inferior Officers belonging to this Port. I remain w;th the greatest respect, your Honours Obliged and Obedient humble servant. As can be seen smuggling provided a welcome income to many of our villagers, from the following examples collected from A.S. Oates, 'Around Helston in the Old Days', A.K. Hamilton-Jenkin's 'Cornwall and Its People' and Jill Newton's "The Lizard". Most of the smugglers were small bands of men, who knew their own stretch of coast, and by a system of signals from helpers on shore, knew when it was safe to land their goods. It has been said that the mainly God-fearing and Church-going inhabitants of the Lizard believed It is no sin to cheat the Government.' The Three Tuns in St. Keverne, originally An Try Baler (in Cornish), is said to have taken its name from the three kegs of brandy found in the Vicar's possession in 1467. In 1748, a Customs Officer at Penzance complained that the crew of 8 St. Keverne boat had swarn bitterly at his officers as they approached and had attempted to 'knock out their brains with a boat hook,' they also threw large stones at the Officers from the ballast. The smugglers believed they had every right to defend their cargo after all, they had prospective customers for their goods, and having given their word on a delivery they were anxious not to let their customers down. In 1762, 218 ankers of brandy were landed by P'roustock men in one night. . One of the noted smugglers from Coverack was John Carlyon. His trading started when he accepted a 'dare' to take his fifteen foot boat across to Roscoff. Thereafter he regularly edged his little craft out of the harbour bound for Roscoff on a three day round trip in fair weather. If the coast was clear, on the third day, his wife hung a red shirt on the line to dry, if not, then the line remained empty. This signal was also understood by the neighbouring farmers and fishermen. So when the evening came, and John sailed into the darkened harbour his customers were already there to quickly and quietly dispose of the cargo. From this small beginning, John Carlyon's trade grew, until he owned a lugger and expanded his trade into Spanish ports. The 'Love' from Covesack loaded 125 ankers of brandy at Roscoff, and within the week, she was back in the same port loading more. A.S. Oates wrote that "Coverack fishermen and longshoremen used to affirm that on winter nights easterly gales were heralded by a spectral craft, which they said was the old lugger 'Love ' which sailed shoreward manned by a ghostly crew. In response to a fiery signal from Goonhilly kegs of brandy were landed on the beach, and disappeared into the face of the cliff. The 'Love' and her crew then faded into the night, and the sea began to heave and moan!" On l8th September 1840, the Custom House at Helford was attacked by a band of men consisting, it is supposed, of upwards of 30 persons, who broke open the heavy doors and strong locks, and robbed the cellars of 126 kegs of contraband brandy (each keg containing four and a half gallons of spirit) which had heen seized some days before at Coverack.' Once again, the Smugglers obviously had customers they didn't want to disappoint - they weren't without humour however, and left three kegs for the benefit of the Customs Officers. Notes taken from extracts in the Church Accounts Books, made by the Misses Diggens C.1900. The Church in bygone days was the centre round which all interests were focussed. In the vestry most meetings were held, at the Church door the poor received their doles. At the Church stile misdemeanants were placed in the stocks, as a warning to others. Between 60 and 70 years ago a boy was placed there (1830/1840). If Zackary James had a cow and calf for sale or Triphema John a donkey, the fact was advertised just after the morning service on Sundays, to the outgoing congregation. It was the clerk's duty to perform the task at the Church door. He would cry "Oh Yes! Oh Yes!" and then would follow the various items for sale One old clerk was unable to read and was want to be prompted by his nephew, who was not above playing a prank of transporting the words. Thus the villagers were treated to the news that there were potatoes for sale at the door and a horse in the ground. From the old records we gather that there was a full choir accompanied by instrumental music. At a Vestry held in May 1810, it was agreed that "such instruments and books that may be deemed necessary for Church services shall in future be provided at the direction of the Church Wardens." It was also decided that the 'sum of five guineas shall be annually allowed by the Church Rate to defray the cost of a dinner for the singers.' Again in 1822 we find R. Pearce, applying for a Bassoon and two Clarionettes for the singers - 'Resolved that the o1d instruments be examined and if they are not good, new ones be provided.' And on May 3rd 1824, we have 'William Nicholls request to have a bassoon in lieu of one of his which he has worn out in the use of the singers. Allowed.' Footnote: The long history of music, both choral and instrumental, in the Church was the foundation for the fine village choirs and band, which we now possess. Extracts from many notes on three wrecks, together with information from Church records, letters etc., which occurred in the first part of the l9th century, by Miss Diggens. DISPATCH. This wreck occurred when Britain was carrying out her determination to strike a bold stroke for the rescue of Europe. Wellesley and Moore were struggling with BUONAPARTE in Spain, winning and losing alternatively, but eventually compelled to retire on Corunna. After a long and arduous march accompanied by privations unsurpassed in history, our soldiers awaited the ships which were to convey them home. The transport 'Dispatch' was in the harbour, and part of the 7th Dragoons embarked. They had lost many men, numbers of horses, wotn out and fallen by the way, had been mercifully shot. The company itself waS overcome by fatigue and semi-starvation - the enemy, in hot pursuit was gathering its forces about Corunna, the fleet, which should have been these, was absent. Anxiety for Sir John Moore and their cornered fellow warriors, added distress to a dishearted band and there was nothing to relieve their depression excepting the fact that they were going home. They started on the l4th January, two days before Sir John Moore had laid down his life for his country. 'The weather at the time was bitterly cold and rough but the Bay of Biscay was passed in safety and the Lizard was rounded on the night of the 2lst. What happened later was described in the Church Register. January 22nd 1809. "On Sunday morning about half past three o'clock the 'Dispatch' transport (George Fenwick, Master) having three Officers and seventy men of the 7th Dragoons (on her way from Corunna in Spain), was driven on the rocks, near Coverack, and all on board perished - except seven private Dragoons. The three unfortunate Officers who had survived a disastrous campaign to perish on the English Shore, were Major Cavendish, Captain Duckinfield and Lieutenant Waldegrave." An Act had been passed the previous year which required that the bodies of those cast up by the sea, should be buried in the parish graveyards and not on the cliffs, as hitherto. But the Act was unnecessary in the case of St. Keverne, for many records in previous centuries tell how Churchtown men bore shipwrecked bodies to St. Keverne, where they had a Christian burial. PRIMROSE. As recorded in the Registers, it was half past three o'clock when the 'Dispatch' was driven ashore, and hour and a half later, on the same Manacles, another ship. was foundering, and one hundred Offcers, men and six passengers on His Majesty's Brig o'War 'Primrose' were grappling with the waves. It was an awful contest which could have but one result, and despite the fact that the brave fishermen of the parish went out to their rescue, only one boy, John Meaghan, emerged from it alive. The wreck of the 'Primrose' is recorded beneath the wreck of the 'Dispatch' and the following lines complete the entry on that terrible Sunday morning of January 22nd 1809. "On the same morning about 5 o'clock, the brig o'war 'Primrose' (James Mein Esq. Commander) was wrecked on the Manacle Rocks. Her compliment of Officers and men consisted of 120 besides six passengers, only one poor lad was preserved from the dreadful catastrophe. From these wrecks were buried in the Churchyard of this parish, 104 bodies between January 24th and April 2nd." In other documents we are glad to read that the bravery of Porthoustock fishermen is highly praised, the Government recognising their self denying efforts and granted each helper a handsome gratuity on this sad occasion. JOHN. The wreck of the John occurred in May 1855, it was an emigrant ship bound for Canada, full of poor families, eager to try and build themselves a new life in a new country. It was fine weather, a N.N.W. wind filled her sails, the moon was one day past her full, the emigrants were hopeful, everything indicated a pleasant voyage. Without any warning she struck on one of the eastern rocks of the outer Manacles, she beat over this, and then received another impact from a rock nearer the shore. She began to ill with water, but all that the Captain did in this terrible crisis was to assure his charges that there was no danger. However when the boats arrived from the shore, the Captain and crew were ready to step into them with their bags, and every seaman was saved, while women and children and the other men cried in vain for help. On old Porthoustock inhabitant says, "The shore was a sight never to be forgotten. One hundred children had sailed in the 'John' and side by side in a long row numbers of these little ones were laid awaiting identification. Parents, too, were there, sisters, brothers, - struggling, hard-working men and women. Such men were fitted to build up our colonies and Canada had need of them, but the negligence of one man intervened, the unreclaimed land remains untilled and the would-be labourers were borne to St. Keverne Churchyard." James Hill (after to be Coxswain of the first Pouthoustock lifeboat) another witness, tells a story of indomitable perserverance and unostentatious bravery, he says, "I went to Porthoustock, half-dressed and got two boats out.... Finding we could not clear the point we returned, and all got out except two men and myself. We started again on our way out, we met the other boat returning, and were told it was impossible to reach the wreck. An hour after we launched the boats again, and succeeded in reaching the wreck. We took one man from a boat, which was floating, and we also took one woman and nine men from a raft, and landed them at Tom's cove...... whence they were handed up over the cliffs, by some of the neighbours and coastguards. We made three other trips to the wreck, and saved about fifty lives in all. Our crew consisted of myself, my son James, William Matthews, Thomas Pearce, Henry Tripconey and James Connor, a coastguard." Footnote:193 men, women and children died. The Captain was found guilty of manslaughter and received a prison sentence. Both the Misses Diggens and Frank Curnow have been fascinated with another village 'character,' mentioned in the parish records. A curious entry in 1821 records the fact that Reuben Welch wants a peep show which will cost £2.7s.l Od. - which was granted. Later he asked for a set of glasses for his peep show - a request which was also granted. Then he asked for a pair of shoes and work, both of these were refused. His next request was for a donkey, which it was resolved he should have. Sam Halliggy being ordered to supply the same or have his pay stopped. Apparently the arrangement didn't work out for a fortnight later, Reuben wanted an ass to carry coal. He was evidently not shy in stating his requirements. Other entries record his desire to have his sleeves cut short money to buy a pair of shoes, two shillings a week for his child, shoes to be mended, work, a reap book something towards buying a spring balance shoes for his daughter,money to buy goods and barm, money to buy an ass. It is needless to say that several of these applications were refused. Footnote: James Roberts of Constantine, writing in the 1920's towards the end of a long life,mentions Reuben Welch a character from St. Keverne, who once played the part of the Mock Mayor in Constantine's Feast Day activities for the sum of seven shillings and sixpence. A.K. Hamilton Jenkin, quoting James Roberts, in his book, Cornwall and Its People' said: "At Constantine (pronounced Costneton) a mock mayor was formerly elected on the Wednesday following the parish feast. The preceding days having been given over to revelry, shortage of money commonly provided the necessary inducement to accept the office, which a fee of about 7s.6d. was attached. The mayor was adorned with a hat, and having taken his place in a cart was dragged through the village by other revellers who like himself, had generally been we1l plied with liquor. Not infrequently the mayor was accompanied by a deputy mayor, whose duty it was to steady the chief official on his feet. Halts were made at various places, where the mayor stood up in the cart and delivered a homily in accordance with the promptings of the leading spirits. If there had been any scandal in the village during the year a halt would be made at the house of the chief actor or actors and advice given as to their future conduct." At the end of his day's reign, the mayor was unceremoniously deposed, by being tipped into a stream, rubbish tip or village pond. Such ceremonies were once common throughout Cornwall, and in other Celtic communities. For centuries, small, and often open, boats have been making the Atlantic crossing for fishing and trading purposes, most of their journeys forgotten and unrecorded. Only some 30 years after the discovery of the continent of America small west country fishing boats were fishing off the coast of Newfoundland, and in 1626 fishermen from St. Keverne had joined others from St. Mawes, Penzance, St. Ives and Padstow in fishing the waters of 'North America, an 'adventure' which meant two summers and a winter of separation from home and countless hardships and dangers. Bearing this in mind, the following account is less incredible, the story was collected and written by one of Canon Diggens' researchers, and is dated 1908. 'In the house in Coverack now occupied by Mr. Sincock, a man named Harris was born. In early life, he began a small but enterprising trade with America, and crossed over in his small boat fifteen or sixteen times, taking with him knives and various sorts of cutlery. Once he arrived with a cargo of lanterns, much to the delight of the natives. No money transactions passed between them, simply an exchange of goods - they would bring various kinds of skins in return for Harris's wares. He is spoken of as 'eccentric but upright, honourable man' as may be proved from the following incident. Once, when in London he went to an exhibition, in which several North American Indians were doing a War Dance. He was interested in watching it, when suddenly one of their number recognised him and shouted for joy, calling him by the name they had for him amongst themselves. All eyes were turned on him - some thought it was part of the performance. So great was the excitement among the natives at seeing their old friend that the Stage Manager thought it wise to ask him to come down and make a speech. He was particularly good at speech-making, so raised no objection. Before he began, however, he was lifted off his feet and embraced in proper American Indian fashion. In addressing the audience he told them how it was he became acquainted with these savage looking people, and he accounted for their fondness for him by saying that in all his dealing with them, he had never driven a hard bargain. Harris owned the property of Trevalsoe, also that of Chynales. He is buried in St. Keverne Churchyard.' Footnote: The writer of the above article ended by saying that 'the following inscription is on his tomb-stone' and unfortunately ommitted to include it. The man was perhaps, James Hartis of Chenhale who died on the 6th November, 1829, although quite a thorough search of the Churchyard, has, as yet, failed to reveal a tombstone! Notes from the Parochial Records, researched by the Misses Diggens, and relating to the poverty in the village. A century before the battle of Waterloo, the St. Keverne labourers seemed to have lived on the brink of starvation - despite the fact that very often the father, mother and children worked for wages. Every kind of food was dear in those days and dress was expensive. The wages for an agricultural worker was a few shillings a week, whilst that of his wife was usually sixpence for a day of ten hours. Boys and girls perhaps earned threepence a day. The price of wheat made it, in such cases, unprocurable- what bread they ate was made of barley. Bread and scald milk constituted their breakfast. For dinner, pilchards and potatoes at home, or a pasty with turnips, potatoes and fat bacon when out at work, furnished their chief meal of the day. For supper, barley bread and scald milk appeased their hunger. Water mills, such as the one of the north shore of Coverack, ground the grain the farmers sent. How hard the labourers had to work may be shown by the following: 'William Mildren lived at Lanarth Gate. He went to Tear Waste to work, wheeled three hundred barrows of manure (a day's work). Then he took a bag, walked to Penryn via Helford, bought half a bushel of barley, brought it home on his back, got it ground at Tregournal (Tregonwell) Mill, waited to get it ground. Brought it home on his back - all in one day.' Sadly the date is not given on this note. The Vestry meetings were in reality a small parliament endowed with the power to levy rates for making and upkeeping the roads, the relief of the poor, the punishment of offenders and the regulation of district matters in general. In times of great hardship sums of money were paid to fishermen unable to work because of bad weather, or to provide crab pots to replace ones lost, for food, rent, clothes and medicine, as the following sad account in the Parish Account book for 1767 shows us: To Leonard Collins' Family sick with smallpox. . . . . 6 shillings To Leonard Collins' Coffins for his 3 children. . . . 18 shillings A woman watching with his children for 4 weeks. . . . 12 shillings Shrouding of the 3 children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 shillings The liquour at the funerals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 shillings Wool for setting them forth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 shillings Parson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 3 shillings Sexton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 shilling & sixpence On looking at the Register of Burials for 1767, we read that Margaret Collins died on the 24th September, and Richard and Ann Collins died on October 2nd. Furze at that time was used to make fires and turf from Goonhilly downs - there was no coal. Many entries in the Account books show how Goonhilly was robbed of all that made it fertile. Hundreds of loads of turf and furze being cut yearly. Fire making was then a tedious business of striking a flint and steel and the igniting of timber took up a considerable amount of time. St. Keverne still boasts a fine Male Voice Choir, but its most famous singer, Charles Incledon, was born in the village, over 200 years ago. Frank Curnow, wrote the following about him, in 1970. "Cornwall is a land of choirs and music, St. Keverne in particular". This is one of the remarks made by Dudley Savage when he introduced "Songs of Praise" televised from our Methodist Church in November 1968. This remark would have also been very appropriate had it been made two hundred years earlier. For, at that time, one of our greatest ballad singers was still a young boy at St. Keverne. Built into the wall near the doorway at the back of the White Hart Hotel is a stone bearing the name of the'Incledons' and the date. It was in this house that Charles Incledon was born in the year l764 and, seven years later he had become a junior member of the choir of the Parish Church. Whilst in that choir, he attracted the attention of a Canon of Exeter Cathedral, who was instrumental in getting him placed with Jackson, the great composer of the Te Deum setting. At this time, Charles had also become a member of the cathedral choir at Exeter. The effect of Jackson's teaching, and the quality of Charles' singing can be imagined by the following incident. When the Assizes were being held in Exeter, the judge attended the service in the Cathedral, and Incledon sang "Let my complaint come before Thee". The boy so impressed the judge that he was seen to shed tears. He also gave Charles - five guineas. When Incledon's voice broke, he joined the navy and was much in demand for entertaining naval personnel on most of the larger ships. He had his first baptism of fire in 1782, at the age of eighteen, when he took part in a naval engagement with the French. On leaving the navy, he joined a theatrical company and it was at Southampton that he made his first public appearance. At that time, Ranzzina was director of musical entertainment at Bath. Incledon was brought to his attention with the result that the Italian instructed Charles and set him on his career as an accomplished singer. From Bath he went to Covent Garden at a weekly wage of eight pounds. He eventually left, but after a break of two years, was re-engaged at a salary of seventeen pounds per week for five years. Thereafter, he obtained engagements in many theatres throughout the country, and in 18l7, he went to America where he gained great popularity. His last London appearance was at Drury Lane in 1820. He ended his public career in October 1824, at Southampton where he had made his debut forty years previously. Incledon had a powerful voice with a natural range from A to G. He has spent his boyhood near the sea and had seen it in all its moods. This influence remained with him all his life and it was said "when he sang the spirit of the sea hovered over his audience." He died at Worcester on February 4th,1826 and was buried at Highgate, styled by King George III as the 'British National Singer.' In 1704, John Sandys of Lanarth and some other Coverack villagers were crossing Falmouth Bay, in his seine boat, when a terrific storm blew up. Two days later, land was sighted, it was Brittany.At this time England was at War with France, but these Cornishmen were helped by their Breton cousins. After his adventures and return to St. Keverne, John Sandy's wrote an account of 'God's Wonderful Deliverance' and this was published in 1798 by T. Flindell, Stannary Press, Helston. Here is an extract: "As we came nearer to the Wrah, we found the wind still more bare, and increasing; so that we thought it advisable to strike our sail (it being very dark at times) and stand to our oars; which we did. But some of our men (Odger and Cozby) not being well recovered of their former night's drunkenness, and indeed none of them being very handy (besides Henry Banfield) with an oar, in bad weather, (being country men) we were soon carried off in the sea...... "The day was almost gone by the time we came on shore; notwithstanding which we were thronged by the inhabitants. However, we were by his (Francois Lemarque's) father, self and brother, who all lived there, safely conducted to a tavern, where care was taken for my people, during our abode there; but Captain Dubois (Francois Lemarque), carried and kept me with him at his own house, every person being at liberty..... "The day after, being Wednesday the 29th October,1704 I gladly got, and was as gladly received, at Lanarth, in St. Keverne my own habitation, not knowing the want of money in all my travels. All which was the occasion of a very good sermon, soon after, preached by Mr. Robert Woodford, our present incumbent, on the l8th and part of the l9th verses of the 38th Chapter of Isaiah. The clerk; John Chefer, sung part of the second part (from the l8th verse) and the third part of the 107th Psalm." Footnote: Several years later, John Sandys recorded that he received information that his friend, Captain Dubois, otherwise known as Francois Lemarque, had been taken a prisoner-of war and was imprisoned in Plymouth. He rode straight away there, and soon obtained his friend's release. Journeys to Falmouth were made on foot by way of the Helford passage, or by sea. Not so lucky as Mr. Sandy and his companions were Henry Trewennack, Edward Hill and Henry Roberts. In the Church Register for 1770 we read, "These three were drowned coming back from Falmouth to Coverack in a boat, l5th of March, about 7 o'clock at night. Buried March l7th." Rev. Polwhele was at one time Vicar of neighbouring Manaccan. He was a Historian and wrote amongst other things a 'History of Cornwall.' He wrote about longevity in the St. Keverne area - the ages are even more impressive when you consider the life expectancy for a miner, at this time, was about 35 years! "In St. Martin's are now living several very old people, particularly a man of the name of Roberts, who was born in St. Keverne in the beginning of the year 1717. He was hither on the 10th June 1805, to lay a complaint before me as a Magistrate, and told me his tale so well, that on hearing his age, I was surprised and for a while incredulous. That St. Keverne is not more remarkable for the fruitfulness of the soil, than for the long lives of its cultivation." John Roberts - Roskilly Gate 107 John Cullen - Tregarn 101 John Nicholls - Trenance 97 Ann Warren - Namboll 97 At 94, she walked from Namboll to Rosenithon, 5 miles, one afternoon. She was hearty at the time of her death. Jacob Bryant - Roscorlath 94 Mary Jago - Churchtown 93 Relative of the Rev. Mr. Jago John Harris - Chinhall 82 Sampson Sandys - Lanarth 82 Late Rector of Landewednack and Ruan Major John Lobb - Tregarn 81 The following were living in St. Keverne, February lst 1805; Jane Harris - Trelan 95 Mary Huthnance - Traboe 91 Mary Milren - Churchtown 91 Elizabeth James - Cowisack 90 Eleanor Tripconey - Chiventon 90 Eleanor Hoskin - Churchtown 89 She was Aunt of Mrs. Gilbert of the Priory, Bodmin, a lady whose towering size of intellect has almost made me a convert to the Godwinean doctrine of the equality of the Sexes. Jane Jenkin - Porthoustock 89 In 1804, I had some conversation with this old lady, who was lively and alert and appeared not to have one complaint, I conversed with her respecting the year 1745, she said it was the most calamitous period Old England ever knew. Mary Wood - Churchtown 93 Thomas Odgers - Chywednack 93 James Kevern - Long Meadow Lane 92 Ann Hawke - Chivrane 92 Ann Williams - Tregarn 90 Thomas James - Trelan-vean 90 Richard Milren - Chivrane 89 Walter Nicholls - Poorhouse 88 Judath Nicholls - Church town 88 Daughter of the Rev. Jago and relative of Rev.Mr Walters,Maryston,Devon Wilmot George - Trevallack 87 Hannah Lawrence - Treskewes 86 Mary Hoskin - Churchtown 86 Aunt of Mrs. Gilben of the Priory, Bodmin Robert Richards - Rosenithon 85 Philip Williams - Tredenick 85 John Hocking - Tregaminion 84 Mary Roberts - Gilly 84 Joan Nicholls - Lesneague 84 John Nicholls - Trenithon 84 William Nicholls - Lesneage 83 Henry James - Cover 83 Elizabeth Incledon - Treloyan 87 Thomas Francis - Poor House 86 Francis Johns - Ladenvean 85 William Polter - Grougath 85 Aaron Manin - Porth vean 85 Mary Williams - Trenance 84 Elizabeth Pentecost - North Corner 84 William Maliken - Trevalsoe 84 Elizabeth Giles - Trelan vean 84 John Gilbert - Poor house 84 Constance Lobb - Halwyn 83 Elizabeth Jenkin - Porthoustock 82 Elizabeth Maliken - Poor house 82 William Pearce - Trenoweth 81 Margaret Rule - Arrowan 81 Ann Richards - Poor house 81 Mary Davies - Lanarth 80 Margaret Nicholls - Church town 80 Richard Cuttance - Porthoustock 80 and 44 more persons between 70 and 88 According to Canon Diggens' Notes there were: In 1801 440 inhabited houses and 31 un-inhabitated houses and by 1811 453 inhabited houses and 27 un-inhabitated houses. The population increased and declined in the l9th century as follows: 1801- 2,104 persons; 1811- 2 242 persons; 1821- 2,505 persons; 1831- 2,437 persons; 1841- 2,469 persons; 1851- 2,237 persons; 1861- 1,892 persons; 1871- 1,841 persons; 1881- 1,812 persons; 1891- 1,674 persons. In the first twenty years of the century the population increased by about 400 people, but then declined by 800. Extract of a letter by Mr William Lory of Treleague,St Keverne to Col Maberley Secretary, Post Office and dated 18 July 1842. It gives some idea of the population of the Meneage area at that time. "Meneage" is the first agricultural district of the county comp rising twelve parishes, producing by estimation a rental of forty thousand pounds per annum, containing nearly nine thousand inhabitants , thirty five shops, thirty public houses, extensive pilchard fishery carried on in nine coves and a considerable trade in timber and coal. There are also four coastguard stations, and a customs house, where I believe an additional man is employed to attend to the Post Of ice, or a sum allowed for that purpose. The inhabitants of this important district, experience the greatest inconvenience, injury and loss in consequence of there being no established mode for the conveyance of their correspondence either through the district, or to the Post Town, which is more than ten miles from some of the parishes. Letters are lost and delayed or returned to the Dead Letter office. We have not the advantage of reading the Daily Newspapers and suffer delay and loss in the receipt of weekly ones...... the only way we have of receiving or forwarding our letters, unless we send on purpose, is by the kindness of our neighbours happening to go to Helston or Falmouth on business." The letter then sets out various proposals for setting up a postal service and gives as follows, the distance of each Church on the Lizard from Helston together with the number of inhabitants. Mawgan 4 miles 1150 inhabitants St. Martin 6 miles 615 inhabitants Manaccan 9 miles 640 inhabitants St. Anthony 11 miles 370 inhabitants St. Keverne 11 miles 2620 inhabitants Ruan Major 8 1/2 miles 200 inhabitants Ruan Minor 10 miles 355 inhabitants Grade 10 miles 400 inhabitants Landewednack 10 1/2 miles 490 inhabitants Mullion 7 miles 1010 inhabitants Cury 6 miles 580 inhabitant Gunwalloe 4 miles 310 inhabitants On the 25th March,1844, Mr. Lory sent a copy of his letter to Colonel Maberley, together with another letter to Mr. Richard Pearce Merchant, of St. Keverne extracts read: "Since I wrote to you on this interesting subject, I have made further enquiry and it is advised to get a petition drawn up and signed by a few respectable inhabitants of each parish. If therefore you or Dr. Stevens, feel disposed to get it done, I will get an MP. to present it to the Post Master General and as his department is making improvements in various parts of the Kingdom, I have no doubt it will meet with success." In due course a postal delivery service was named elderly villager gave the following; In due course a postal delivery service was introduced to the village, and an un- named elderly villager gave the following account to Miss Diggens: "When the Post Office was first established, there were two men for to carry the post from here to Helston. One would leave here the middle of the day, and stop at Helston all night, and leave there the next morning for St. Keverne and arrive here the middle of the day - then he would be free till the middle of the next day. The first man, James Tripp, that started from here with the letters for Helston for the first time. The next time he came back without the bag or letters. Mr. Pearce asked him, "Where is the bag and letters?" He said, "I left them in Helston, for they are calling me Jacky Pickens and I won't carry it any more." Footnote: Jacky Pickens was an old man that used to come out here posting bills (W.A.D.) The Church spire was built about 1450 of granite ashlar, 21 feet square, of two stages 60 feet in height: battlemente and showing the bases of the four angle pinnacles of the original design. These four pinnacles were probably destroyed when the tower was struck by lightening in 1770. This led to the re-building of the well proportioned, octagonal ribbed spire, 38 feet high, which has been a landmark and a guide to ships for many generations. The Church spire was in the news again in 1850. This account was dictated to one of Canon Diggens' helpers, by Mr. John Matthew. The Vane on the top of the Church was first mentioned in 1724 and is as follows: Paid J. Curtis for ye Vane on ye Spire £1.14s.0d. Paid Richard Boulden for guilding ye vane on ye spire £1.9s.0d. "Mr. John Matthew said when he was a boy he had heard people say that three men had stood on top of the top stones of the steeple and that he had then thought it impossible. But after he had been to sea for a few years and returned home, it so happened that the spike of the vane rusted off and fell down. A mason named Jimmy Rule, undertook to put it up and when everything was ready for fixing asked the young sailor to assist him, as he could get no-one else. They went up the tower together, melted the lead, and Matthew climbed the ladder to the top stone and with a rope pulled up the spindle and put it in the hole prepared for it. He then pulled up the melted lead, poured it in and fixed the spike. He then mounted the top stone and pulled up the vane and with the assistance of Jimmy Rule, put it in its place. Then Rule and he drunk a bottle of ale and christened it. When they had finished, another young man joined them, and each turned round the vane. Jimmy Rule, Jacob Lawry and John Matthew,1850." Footnote: The Church spire remains an important landmark today and the Church Spire Appeal has received several donations from seamen who still use it. From a letter by Mr. Ralph Clayton, former headmaster St. Keverne school. St. Keverne's Ancient Cross, a link with the past. "At the southern end of the White Hart Inn, now known as Donegal House, the present residence of Miss Letty Plomer, restoration of the old cottage was going on for Mr. Nicholls, during, or before the year 1870. Mr. Nicholls, was surprised to find that the cravel or headstone of the fireplace, was an old Cornish Cross, of the wheel pattern and about five feet in height. This cross had been used as the cravel, above the kitchen range, ever since a previous restoration of the cottage, many years before 1870. St. Keverne was then, strongly non-Conformist. The Curate of St. Keverne parish was the Rev. H.C. Lambart, with strong High Church sympathies, and he spoke at one or more meetings held in the old Church schoolroom, still known as the lower school-room. Letters appeared in the "West Briton" about this time,1870, and a fierce controversy followed. The Curate in Charge was unpopular. The Cross was erected again in St. Keverne Square, somewhere, where there is now a stone trough, for animals to drink. After a short time, the Cross was removed to the yard behind the White Hart Inn. There it stood for a little while, leaning against the wall of the yard, and as, apparently it was not wanted by the majority of St. Keverne people, the Cross was sold for £ I to the Squire of Lanarth. Shortly afterwards, a farmer's wagon, with a quantity of straw laid on the wagon, the ancient cross was laid on the waggon and soon to be carried off to Penryn Railway station, and thence to be forwarded to Scorrier House, which was also owned by Mr. John Williams, who also owned Lanarth, St. Keverne, and several farms in the St. Keverne parish. Over 30 years after the removal of the Cross to Scorrier, now the residence of Mr. Percy Williams, the present Master of the Four-barrow Hounds, efforts were made, and a number of letters written to find out the then residence of the aforesaid, Rev. H.C. Lambart, but without success. The address of H.C. Lambart's sisters in North Wales was written to and at the time, the writer received a quantity of leaflets, warning the St. Keverne writer, to beware the great dangers he was incurring, by his action in trying to restore the St. Keverne Cross to St. Keverne. Apparently the Rev. H.C. Lambart had, finally been lost to Church circles, and was not heard of again. It would be an act of grace and remembered for all time, if the present owner of Scorrier House would help in any way he could to trace the present whereabouts. Mr. P. Williams of Scorrier House is a generous hearted man." Footnote: Other people in the village believed that although the Cross was removed by Mr. Williams, to Scorrier House, it was actually bought by the Curate and finally taken to Gwennap. The building of St. Peter's Church and Hall, at Coverack, from notes made by Mr. Frank Curnow: "In the 1880's, Mr. William Trevenen of Helston gave to the Vicars the Rev. John Meyrick Sutton, M.A. the Churchwardens and their successors of the Parish of St. Keverne, about half an acre of land, being pan of the tenement of Chymbloth Coverack, as a site for a Place of Worship and additional burial ground for the Parish. Under the guidance of the Rev. Sutton, and the perseverance of the parishioners, sufficient money was raised to commence building the Church early in 1885. It is of red brick in the Early English style, consisting of Chancel, Nave, Vestry and South Porch. There are stained glass windows in the east and west, the latter depicting St. Peter with the crossed keys and St. Keverne holding his staff'. Records tell us the initial building costs were £500, and there was seating for 175 persons. The Dedication and Consecration of the Church and Churchyard was on the 20th August that year, and it was licensed for the Solemnisation of Marriages on the 26th February 1886. Since that date many marriages have taken place in this beautiful little Church the first being on the 3lst March 1887, between Richard James Tripconey of Coverack and Mary Anna Rogers of Kestles. Amongst those buried in the Churchyard, is William Logan Hindmarsh, Third Officer of the S.S. Mohegan, and a previous Vicar, the Rev. Johnathan Edward Cowley. In 1955 the Bell turret became unsafe and was taken down. The Welsh slate on the roof had also deteriorated and this was replaced with Delabole slate at a cost of £900, After the Church had been built, the need for a Hall had long been felt at Coverack, as there was no place for Sunday School or Meetings other than the Church itself. So efforts were made to get sufficient money to build. Sewing meetings, sales of work, concerts, etc. together with donations from parishioners and other further afield all added their quota to the building fund. Canon Diggens - the Vicar at this time - did not think it advisable to build until the cost could be reasonably met. However, after several years of patient labour enough money was in hand. Monday May 8th,1911 was a happy day for Coverack, when the foundation stone of the hall was laid. The weather was ideal and the village looked its best. A long procession formed, extending from the Church to the Lych Gate and the Ceremony commenced at 4.00 p.m. with the singing of "The Church's One Foundation." First came the bearer of a Banner made for the occasion, with the "Crossed Keys" in the centre and "St. Peter's, Coverack " below. Behind this came the children of the Sunday School carrying spring flowers. They were followed by ladies and girls of St. Keverne and Coverack Church choirs, all with bouquets of Arum lilies; members of the Men and Ladies Building Committee, the surpliced Choir of the Parish Church (men and boys were the only ones robed in those days;) the Churchwardens, local Clergy and the Bishop of St. Germans. The procession walked down the hill and through a decorated archway to the building site. Mrs. P.D. Williams was handed a silver trowel and laid the Foundation Stone - "In the faith of Jesus Christ; the Father, the Son and the holy Ghost." The ladies of Coverack served tea in Mrs. Bowden's and Mrs. Conner's tea- rooms. During the next years many more wrecks occurred on the dreaded Manacle Reef We have some rough idea of how many boats have been lost over the last two centuries, but before that, how many Roman, Phoenician, Turkish, Spanish, French and British ships have ended their voyages abruptly on the Manacles? In 1620, Sir John Killigrew, speaking of the Manacles wrote: "neither is yet possible to get parfitt notice of the whence and what the ships are that yearly do suffer on and near the Lizard, for yet is seldom that any man escapes and the ship's split in small pieces. ' P P After the wreck of the John in 1855 followed the wrecks of the Envoy 1858, John & Rebecca 1867, Aura 1869, Cabinet I872, Puck 1874, Sultana Southdown 1876 Dunloe and Naiad, both in I879, Georgina 1881, Medina 1883, Lad Dalhousie 1884, and during this time, a lifeboat station was opened at Porthoustock in 1872. In seventy years of service, the lifeboatmen of Porthoustock saved over 130 people from the wild seas about the Manacles. However, in March 1891, the lifeboatmen, were powerless to help some of the folk who lost their lives in what would later be known as the 'Great Blizzard of'91. Unable to launch their lifeboat, they did their utmost to save whoever they could. Extract from 'The Lizard' by Jill Newtown. "The first light snow was falling of the Great Blizzard of '91, when the tiny wooden Topsham smack, the 'Dove' sprung a leak. On board were the Captain mate and his thirteen year old son. James Cliff alerted several other members of the lifeboat crew and as they watched her limping into shelter, her condition worsened and she began to sink, at the same time being thrown up against the rocks of the cove. Without hesitation, James Cliff tied a stout rope around his waist and, with his friends clinging on to the other end, he plunged into the foaming surf. Numb with cold from the biting, stinging seas, yet he reached the smack and returned with the lad to safety. With barely a pause for breath, he battled once again to the 'Dove' to rescue the mate. Again his fellow crew members hauled the rescuer and rescued through the icy waves. He braced himself to defy the sea yet a third time, and saved the Captain, as the 'Dove' broke to pieces on the rocks." "Within half an hour, men arrived from Rosenithon,just over the hill, with more news. Two ketches were jammed on a lee shore. There was no chance of launching the lifeboat. Armed with ropes the indefatigable Cliff and a dozen or so other men ran to Godrevy. It was now snowing steadily." Despite all the efforts made to reach the men the crews of both vessels were drowned. One ship was called the 'Edwin,' and the other the 'Aquilla.' A blizzard raged during that night, bringing the worst fall of snow the Lizard had known in centuries. In the early hours of l0th March, a farmer from Penare, between Porthallow and Gillan Creek, was out searching the fields for his animals. He came across a sight he was never to forget. Richard Larn and Clive Carter wrote in the book 'Cornish Shipwrecks' "daybreak revealed the 'Bay of Panama' hard and fast under the cliff, broadside on to the sea, her bowsprit less than fifty feet from the rocks. Her rigging and deck were in ruins, with a mass of cordage attached to the masts trailing alongside. A few pitiful figures still hung in the rigging, some alive, some dead; it was impossible to tell the difference from ashore." The West Briton reported details of the wreck as follows: "As a result of the storm, there were several wrecks in Falmouth Bay, one of them being attended by a serious loss of life. The 'Bay of Panama' of London 2,282 tons, a four masted steel ship, from Calcutta to Dundee with jute, went ashore, on Tuesday morning, at Penare Point, near the Helford River, and afterwards became a total wreck. The 'Panama' had experienced fearful weather during the past fortnight, and this accounts for her running ashore. The lifesaving rockets were brought into requisition, and by their aid,17 sailors were brought ashore, but the Captain, his wife and 18 seamen were drowned. Several of the bodies were washed ashore yesterday, including the Captain's wife. The survivors, on getting ashore, walked to Falmouth, a distance of about 10 miles (via Gweek), and were there cared for in the Sailor's Home. News of the wreck was first brought to Falmouth by a man named Joseph Hendy James, of the Old Vicarage, St. Keverne, butcher. He left St. Keverne about one o'clock Tuesday on a pony for Helston, intending to wire to Falmouth. At Helston he found the wires down and no communication. Finding it impossible to proceed on horseback he left his pony and made for Falmouth on foot. On the way he encountered enormous difficulties. For a mile and a half or two miles he had to crawl along on his hands and knees through the snow. His face became coated with ice and several times he had to break ice from his eyes, whilst icicles hung from his ears. More dead than alive he came across a cottage in the occupation of a mason, named Combellack. Here, he rested until daylight on Wednesday morning, when he pursued his journey and arrived at Falmouth about nine o'clock and gave notice of the disaster to Messrs. Broad and Sons." The Coverack Rocket apparatus was responsible for the rescue of the survivors from the wreck of the Anne Elizabeth, north of Lowland point in November 1895. This extract is from the 'West Briton'. "In the early hours of Tuesday morning a shipping disaster occurred at the Manacles, between the Lizard and Falmouth, which resulted in the loss of five lives. The ill-fated vessel was the three masted Norwegian barque, 'Anne Elizabeth ' 398 tons, bound from Cardiff to Christiania with 531 tons of coal. She left the Welsh Port with a total crew of eight, on the l9th and bid fair to make a successful voyage, until Sunday night. At that time she was off the Start Point, but an increasingly strong east wind prevented much headway being made, coming on to blow with hurricane force. The vessel commenced to drift and all day Monday was tossed about the Channel at the mercy of wind and waves. When daylight began to break on Tuesday morning the Manacles were discerned and additional sail was put on with a view to avoiding the land. But the velocity of the wind and the swirl of the tide prevented the barque from answering her helm, and just before seven she struck with a tremendous force against that portion of the Manacles to the east of Contrive bay, (today known as Godrevy), a small opening in the iron bound coast, between the Manacles and the Lowlands about five miles from Coverack. Entertaining fears for their safety, the steward, carpenter and four seamen embarked in a small boat, and together with the vessel were hurled towards the coast. Getting between the wreck and the surf beaten shore, the boat was swamped and lives of its occupants were drowned. A seaman named Hatman Hansen was rescued. By this time the Coverack Rocket apparatus in charge of Chief Officer Jeffers, was on the scene, and with commendable alacrity a line was thrown over the vessel and by means of a breeches buoy, the survivors, who were huddled together in the forecastle, were saved. So heavy was the sea that in each instance it was feared that the men would be washed out of the buoy. Soon after the rescue, one of the dead bodies was washed ashore. Attempts to restore animation by Dr. Leverton-Spry and others proved ineffective...... Too much praise cannot be given to the gallant coastguardsmen and members of the life- saving brigade. The alarm of the wreck was raised at Coverack at 7.20 a.m. The rocket brigade and coastguards were at once summoned, and the life-saving apparatus was placed on a waggon, drawn by three horses. The distance to be traversed was five miles over the roughest roads possible to imagine, steep, zigzag paths, strewn with huge boulders, having to be traversed at high speed. Despite these and other difficulties the party quickly arrived at the scene, and by twenty to nine al1 survivors had been rescued. Mr. Roskilly, at once rode to Coverack and prepared warm bedding food and clothing for the shipwrecked men, who spoke in thankful terms of his kindness and good nature." In 1898, the 'Mohegan' went down, resulting in the loss of 106 lives. The Porthoustock boat was launched twice and was responsible for the rescue of the survivors, but they were greatly hampered by the lack of light, because the whole system of electric light on the 'Mohegan' failed soon after she struck the Manacles. Canon Diggens wrote the following Ietter: To the Solicitor of the Board of Trade. Wreck of the S.S. Mohegan. I, William Alfred Diggens, Vicar of St. Keverne in the County of Cornwall, having made many voyages at sea, and having been most intimately acquainted with the events that occurred immediately subsequent to the wreck of the S.S. Mohegan, beg to make the following observations based on the experience thus acquired: l) That in all human probability if a light house had been in existence at the Manacles, the above valuable ship with more than a hundred still more valuable lives, would not have been lost. 2) That such a light would have prevented a very large number of the casualties that have unfortunately taken place in this locality. 3) That if such a light is not provided measures much more ample and efficient for the saving of life and property than those existing in this neighbourhood, should be adopted. For instance a) Since lifeboats from distance places cannot work safely and effectually in these (to them) strange and dangerous Waters, a second lifeboat should be placed at Coverack. The fishermen at this village are familiar with the Manacles and the boat could be launched in all weathers. b) There should be a life saving apparatus at St. Keverne from which an easy descent could be made to any part of the adjacent coast. If the Coverack Rocket carriage is employed on the shore near the Manacles, it has first to be brought (probably pushed) up a long, steep hill, a mile in length, before it can be conveyed to its ultimate destination. The delay thus occasioned has proved disastrous in at least one instance. c) The Coastguard station, instead of being established (as seems to be the intention) in Porthoustock Cove, should be established at or near the old Watch House on Manacle Point. Vessels approaching the dangerous rocks, might then perhaps be warned off in time to avert a disaster. 4) Lifeboats in search of wrecks and survivors should on dark nights car powerful lights. Possibly more lives might have been saved, if this had been done on the night of the Mohegan wreck. 5) There should be some system of signals by which people ashore Can Convey messages to lifeboats at sea. Such a system would have been of great value on the night of the wreck. 6) That the mast-head and tide lights on ships should be altogether independent of any general lighting system of illumination. 7) That a scheme for rendering each separate iron deck a horizontal watertight bulkhead, might prevent such losses as that of the Mohegan. 8) That practical tests of the boat lowering of vessels should be made at frequent intervals in the presence of Officers of the Board of Trade, and that weekly boat drills on ships should be made compulsory. I have only to add that I should like to have given evidence at the Board of Trade Enquiry, as I think that my evidence might have been of some value, especially in the matter of life-saving. W.A. Diggens November 2nd, 1898. During the time he spent at St. Keverne, Canon Diggens was Hon. Sec. to the Porthoustock lifeboat, and a local newspaper wrote of him: "Canon Diggens, is a splendid example of a brave man and a Christian, for recently under his active direction no fewer than forty-four lives were saved in a wreck by the Coverack lifeboat. By his cheery words to the 'lads' and his splendid example of practical Christianity, Canon Diggens has been the means of saving many precious lives; and he is the honourary secretary of the Porthoustock branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution." Footnote: As a result of Canon Diggens' campaigning, a lifeboat was placed at Coverack in 1901 and a life-saving rocket apparatus was also obtained for St. Keverne. This was housed in Commercial Road, in a shed which now forms part of Mr. Percy Moyle's house. ' From Canon Diggens' notes regarding the History of the St.Keverne Church bells. Several references are made in an old Church account book which show that the St. Keverne people were very busy preparing for the hanging of new bells, two centuries ago. In 1724, we find the following items; Paid for Ironwork about ye melting and hanging the greater bell £7.16s.05d Paid for men, horses and oxen carrying deals, earth and stones £O.lOs.06d Paid for Bell Mettle £ 15.l0s.07d Paid for having a Beame to hoist Bell £0.03s.06d Paid on Mr. Phillip's account for work about ye whels of ye Bells £02.03s.06d Paid for ye nayles and oyle £00.08s.08d Mr. Phillips evidently cast the Bell as his name frequently occurs in connection with items paid. In 1725, among the receipts, the entry: Received for Bell Mettle £09.16s.00d The Ringers for the King's coronation 1727 were paid £00.03s.00d Four years later judging from the following items of expense the work must have been completed. Mr. Pinnerton's wages and addition metal £ 46.l2s.O5d Paid for roaps for ye Bells £0l.l0s.00d Paid for roaping ye Bells £00.l0s.00d Paid for rectifying ye Bells per Wm. Exelby £02.00s.00d Paid for Barge for bringing ye timber £0l.00s.00d Paid for the lent of a warp and roap for hoisting the bells £00.06s.06d These bells were three in number and were doubtless the same as those which in 1906 attracted the attention of the parishioners. Two centuries of usage had left their traces on frame work and metal alike and rendered them unworthy of the noble building occupied. A public meeting was called by the Vicar, (Rev. W.A. Diggens) which was presided over by P.D. Williams Esq. of Lanarth and addressed by Mr. J.C. Daubuz of Killiow, to consider the advisability of procuring a new peal. The Squire, Mr. P.D. Williams, set the ball rolling by offering £25.0.0d. towards the cost of the iron frame work, a similar sum towards the recasting of the old bells, and a further sum towards the provision of additional bells (an offer which subsequently took the form of the provision of number four bell). Mr. Daubuz, after counselling the meeting to be content with nothing short of a peal of eight, offered to collect for the two treble bells, providing the Parish obtained the other six and so successful were his efforts that with the help of Mr. Sandys of Lanarth (St. Kew) £100 were quickly raised. The parish meanwhile gave liberally, and friends outside added their contributions. Four 'Mohegan' survivors sent £14.0.0d. accompanied by sympathetic letters and Mr. John Williams of Ealing (a former St. Keverne resident) promised £50 and collected other sums. His contribution was allocated to the re-casting of number six bell. Mr. Jevons of Rosuick promised £50.0.0d. a sum which he afterwards increased to between £63 and £64.0.0d. in order that he might give number three bell, outright. Mr. King of Cincinnati, U.S.A. offered another £50.0.0. for the fifth bell, which was to be partly made out of old metal. At this time it was found that the funds would not only be available to complete the scheme but that a heavier peal of bells could be provided by them. It was then suggested by Mr. James Hill, that in addition to the heavy peal, a clock should be procured and he offered the first guinea towards the clock. Mr. Daubuz followed with another and Mr. John Williams of Scorrier generously gave £10.0.0.dOther subscriptions came in and Messrs. John Taylor and Sons received an order for a peal of bells and Messrs. John Smith and Co. of Derby, the order for a clock with 5ft. dials. In the meantime largely through the intervention of Mr. George Lory, (Secretary of the Cornish Association), the Lord Mayor of London consented to visit St. Keverne on Ascension Day for the opening of the bells. On April 5th the peal arrived gaily decorated with flowers and escorted to the village by children waving flags and a band playing lively music. But the day to be remembered came five weeks later when the Lord Bishop of the Diocese Paid his first visit to the parish for the purpose of dedicating the Bells and Clock, and the Lord Mayor of London came with his sheriff, the High Sheriff of Cornwall and three County Mayors to proclaim the bells open for use in the service of God. Fortunately the weather was propitious and in every kind of conveyance people poured into St. Keverne. The Lord Mayor was received outside the village by the Parish and District Councillors, and was conducted beneath the triumphal arches to the Square where life-boat crews, representative parishioners, coastguardmen and children, awaited his coming, and where Mr. James Coad presented an address of welcome, illuminated by Miss Ethel Roskruge. At the service which followed the church was filled to overflowing. The Lord Mayor was called upon to pronounce the Bells open and the Bishop gave the address. The Luncheon which succeeded the religious ceremony was a worthy tribute from an agricultural and maritime population. Some idea of the labour and generosity of the givers may be gathered from the Menu which included 70 lobsters 20 crabs, 1851bs of beef, 12 quarters of lamb, 5 hams, 30 chickens, several tongues, pies innumerable and sweets, salads, etc. Mr. PD Williams provided the guests table entirely. After the luncheon, the usual toasts were given. The Bishop responded for the Church and Clergy. The Lord Mayor humourously answered the chairman's toast to himself by quoting the words of a speaker viz "that they had a live Lord Mayor amongst them." He very much feared that he would soon be a dead one if he stayed longer in Cornwall to be feted as he had been. In the afternoon the Porthoustock Lifeboat was launched for exercise. Tea was provided in the large marquee and altogether 1000 people were fed during the day. At the Ascentiontide service at 7.00 p.m. the Bishop again preached. The total taking from collections, and luncheon and tea tickets amounted to £130.0.0d. It may be noted that several dozen children presented as many purses each containing a pound for the clock fund to Sir W. Treloar and in return received from his hand an inscribed mug, the gift of Mr. Furnival, Stoke on Trent. Footnote: One of the speeches at the luncheon was given by James Henry Treloar Cliff, of Manacle View, St. Keverne, Coswain of the Porthoustock Lifeboat. His mother Harriet Treloar Cliff was cousin to the Lord Mayor, Sir William Treloar. From a note book kept by Mr. W. Mitchell of Porthoustock. Facts in it date from 1833 -1914, though the notebook is dated 1901. These extracts are in the order in which they appear in the book, the spelling is Mr. Mitchell's own! Our Queen Victoria Died 22nd January Half past Six O'clock in the Evening at Horsborn, Isle of White,1901. 1909 Top price of late potatoes was put in on the wean of the Moon. 1909 February. Mr. Rich Roberts has possession of that piece of Ground for his house by Paying 2 shillings per year and it is to be removed at any time that it is required. Draft for a letter. St. Keverne March 3,1909. Sir You very well know that the Road belong to me and no one have any right there but A James as you have begun work in such under halling way I give you Notice that you will not have any right of way in my right I have nothing to do with anything but you therefore I shall keep my right and you keep yours you have no right outside of the hedge and I shall not interfear with yours on the inside of the hedge neather shall I let you come to interfear with my right. I am. W. Mitchell. The Lectionnearing was on the 25 day of January 1910. Mr. Hay Morgan was Electred a Libral Candetate 611 Mejority. Reciepe for Reducing Fat People. Half Ounce of Marmola, once ounce of fluid extract of Glycycrrhiza B.P., one ounce of pure Glycerine B.P. and three and a half ounces of Peppermind Water, of this harmless Mixture take a dose of two teaspoons full after each meal and two teaspoonsful at bedtime. Prince Consort, Prince Albert breathed his last, Saturday December l4th,1861. The first Steam War Ship was built in 1833, was named Royal William. Cannon were first cast in England by Hugget at Uckfield in Sussex. King Edward Received General Botha, De Wet and Delary on board the Royal Yacht at Cowes, August l8th 1902. They wear the three Boer Generals that fought against England. The cost of the Old Age pension in the year 1911 is estimated at £ 12,415,000. The Steam Ship Titanic ran into an iceberg April l4th 1912. The lost of lives 1,535. The Number that was saved is 705. The ship was 882 ft. The Norwegian Barque Gunvor Came ashore at the Black Head 5 day of April 1912 with a Cargo of Nitrate, all of the men was saved. February 1913. The first two days 3rd, 4, 5, 6th was fine the 7, 8, 9 was very wet and wild on the 10 it got dry and Cold and on the 24 a shower. In February 1913 there was 23 days of very fine weather. I gave Cliff notice May 30th 1910 to Make up That Gap into My Right. August 15 1914. At the Time the War was thur was Horses brought here from St. Anthony, Manaccan, St. Martin, St. Keverne, for to be exemen by a Vet for the Army and Number that was brought here for 280 to choose from. William Mitchell, seems to have been a compulsive note-maker Miss Diggens copied down his notes on: "Houses Taken down or Fallen into Decay during my lifetime" dated 24 August 1909. On the Rock 2 Treloyan 1 Laddenvean 3 Trenance 1 Anthony's Hill 1 Ebywaters 1 Trevallack 4 Polkillis 1 Tremenhere Gate 3 Gilly ? 1 Dolly Tom's 2 Owls House 1 Lower Dolly's 1 Lower Tregaminion 1 Roskilly Gate 1 Higher Tregaminion 1 Grugath 1 Tregarne 1 Lanarth Gate 1 Tregarne Mill 1 Zoar 1 Halwin 1 Polcoverack Gate 1 Polquidnon 1 Miles Exelby's 2 Pollornow 1 Gilly 2 Tregowris 2 Boscarnon 1 Lesneage 1 Trevalso 2 Troon 1 Chywednack 1 Polkerth 1 Tregallast 1 Retallacks 1 Cheveran 1 Trythance 3 Total 65 Long Meadow 4 Leaving out Trabo, The Downs, Coverack, Rosenithon 4 (1 built) & Porthallow. In the village and Porthoustock 4 around the parish, the total is 94. In the Churchtown 1 house behind Will's Public House 'Three Tuns.' 3 houses (E. Rule's shop and two behind). 1 J. Curtis (end of Rule's draper's shop) 5 where W. James' house stands near "White Hart." (1 house built here). 1 where J.Pearce's Stores are. 2 where Wm.Plomer's private house and garden stand (1 built). 1 in behind Dr. E.J. Leverton-Spry's house is. 3 going along Trelyn Lane, also Smith's shop. 1 inside near Mr. W. Tripp's stable. 3 where T.J. Joyce's house stands (1 built here) 4 where Doctor's and Mitchell's houses are, (2 built here). 2 where Council School stands. 2 where F. Mitchell's Carpenter's shop and Miss Champion's house are. (1 built here). Total 29 demolished and six built. Wm. Mitchell added another note later, "The Three Tuns and four cottages that is taken down. The New Hotel built will leave four cottages less they added to the others that was taken before is 34 in the Churchtown." Extract from 'Cornwall and Its People' by A.K. Hamilton Jenkin We wonder if it refers to our compulsive note-maker, Mr. Michell, or one of his relatives? "Spirits, of course, were not the only form of contraband dealt in by the smugglers. One day, a man named George Michell drove up at the door of the Angel Hotel at Helston, in a spring cart, the back portion of which was closely covered with a sheet of tarpaulin. "What 'ave 'ee got in there?" inquired the landlady, coming to the door to meet him. "Silk, my dear," replied the man, "do 'ee want to buy some?" "Hush," replied the landlady, "I thoft as much, and what's more there's others know of it. There's a party of sarchers in the bar waiting for you now. They'll be out any minute. What are 'ee going to do?" Without a word the man jumped down from the cart, and throwing the reins to his son, bade him drive into the inn yard. Proceeding himself towards the bar, he greeted the excisemen with a friendly nod. "A cold day, gentlemen," he remarked, "what about a drink all round?" The excisemen, having their man in sight, willingly agreed. "I expect you found the wind pretty cold crossing Goonhilly Downs this morning," said the Officer with a knowing glance, "you come from St. Keverne, I believe. Do you know if there's been much smuggling out that way lately?" "Aw, ais, pretty fair, I believe," I replied the other, "and there would be plenty more if you chaps wasn't always so darned smart. No good for the poor smugglers to try and deceive you. You can see through their tricks every time. It beats me how you do knaw so much." Between drinking and chatting, the man contrived to spin out a considerable time. Suddenly, however, there was a rumble of cart wheels and the sound of horse-hoofs outside. One of the men, rushed to the window, in time to see an old fashioned box-hearse being driven out of the inn yard. "Only a pauper's funeral," he remarked, as he rejoined the others by the fire. They finished their glasses and then the officer rose and putting on an official air, turned to the other and said, "George Michell, for that I believe, is your name, I have a warrant here to search you and the cart in which you drove up just now. I must ask you to accompany me into the yard." Nothing loth, the other led the way. The tarpaulin was removed, only to disclose to the 'sarcher's' gaze the usual market produce, several baskets of eggs, a few fowls and some butter. "Is that all, friends?" inquired the owner, "because, if so, I must be going about my business - an you, I expect, have yours." The official records of the custom-houses, bear overwhelming testimony to the daring and success which attended the smugglers activities over a long period of time!" From Miss Esme Bulkeley's notes - she lived at Tregellast Barton just near Long Meadow Lane. "At the bottom of Meadow Lane, which runs from Tregellast Pool to Rosenithon, where it joins the St. Keverne to Rosenithon road, on the right hand side there are traces in the hedge of walling. The corner is known as Nancy Cox Corner, and for a long time I could not find out who was Nancy Cox, though tradition had it that she had a monkey. However before he died, old Mr. James Pengilly told me that she had a beer house, what the Cornish call a Kiddlywink or Tiddlywink. Why a beer house on a lane, hardly more than a track until comparatively recently, which led nowhere but to a very small hamlet. But taking into consideration the monkey, and the view over the Manacle Rocks, and the fact that so little is known about it, it seemed obviously the headquarters of a smuggling organisation. Gong back a few hundred years, pack ponies could go from there, up Meadow. Lane, and except for Tregellast farmhouse, whose owners were no doubt 'in it' they would pass no dwellings till they reached the thatched cottage at double lodges. (Trelowarren)." Mr. Austyn Pengelly, one of our senior villagers, added the following information in 1974, about the Long Meadow Gang.' "About 200 years ago, the Quoits, was a guide for smugglers who lived at Rosenithon, and up each side of Long Meadow Lane Nancy Cox, Ralph Arundel, Walter Davis, John Trerise, and Robert Roskilly, to mention a few of the men who all had a little meadow and a homestead with their horses and dray, and a cow for their house. Another old lady smuggler called Betsey Matthews had about 8 1/2 acres of land and lived over near Lowland Point. When the tide was right, she would light a fire in a furze bush on a rock in Betsey's Cliff. Nancy Cox, then kindled a fire on the Giant Quoit, giving the message that kegs were being landed at Godrevy Cove, to the Long Meadow Gang, who came along with horses and drays. The cargo was soon dispatched in a tunnel in Nancy Cox Field." An account of superstitions surviving in St. Keverne, written by Canon Diggens and his volunteer researchers C. 1900. Our own insular superstitions have come down to us from Druidical days. A century or two ago there was not a village in Britain without its ghost, a common without its fairy circle, or a grave yard without its disembodied spirit. Such beliefs naturally have ceased to exist in crowded cities, but in isolated spots they still partially linger though not to great extent. Superstition is not quite dead yet in St. Keverne. Fishermen carefully refrain from whistling when at sea. This doubtless originated from the ancient belief that the whistling will call up the spirits of the air. A hares foot thrown by anyone into a boat is said to bring ill-luck to those going in it. Years ago it was believed that a cure for the evil eye was to go to Holy Communion, and keep a piece of consecrated bread, carrying it about with you. When blackbirds hover over a house where illness is, they are said to be harbingers of death. When the wind is in the east on Candlemas Day, There it will stick till the second of May. When the wind is in the North, The skilful fisher goes not forth, When the wind is in the south, It blows the bait in the fishes mouth, When the wind is in the west, Then 'tis at its very best. If Christmas Day on a Sunday fall, A troublesome winter we shall have all. It is supposed in Cornwall that if club-moss is properly gathered it will be good against a11 diseases of the eyes. Sailors say "A north wind is a brook for the Channel." The power of ill-wishing is still believed by the St. Keverne people. An invalid in the parish was pointed out to the writer as being the victim of an ill-wish when she was nine years old, in consequence of which, it was said, that she never new any more. The origin of this superstition doubtless originated in patriarchal times. The office of ill-wishing generally formed part of the duties of the Druid. When two people entered into a contract the Druid was present to utter imprecations on him who should break the agreement. How Profoundly dreaded was the 'ill- wish' may be judged by the case recorded in the "Colloquy of the Ancients " where it is said that Airmalack, son of the King of Leinster died of sheer fright when threatened by the bard. A curse, once launched could not be recalled. If wrongfully pronounced then it rested and fell on the head of him who had pronounced it. We must not be too shocked at this cursing as practised by the Celtic Saints. It was a legal right accorded to them, hedged about with certain restrictions. It was a means provided by law, and custom to enable the weak who could not redress their wrongs by force of arms, to protect themselves against the mighty and to recover valuables taken from them by violence. A young and anxious wife was dreadfully alarmed at some infantile complaint, from which her first born seemed to be suffering. The nurse girl said that her mother could quickly cure it. The good woman who was hurriedly sent for pronounced the emphatic opinion that the child had been ill-wished. Forthwith she proceeded to divest the babe of its clothes, and then, solomnly with a muttered incantation, turned the little one three times head over heels. The child at once recovered and is alive and well to this day. The remedy was obviously simple. The woman just unscrewed the evil spell. An old man had been told that an old woman 'over to Mawgan' could charm away his complaint, and he had been over to consult her. She did not inform him of what her charm consisted but told him he must have faith. But he added dolefully, "Sometimes I can, and sometimes,I can't." Perhaps because of his insufficient command of the needful amount of faith the charm did not work. Mr. Edwin Rule's father had a field at Laddenvean, in which, he kept a cow. The cow was taken ill, and the farrier sent for (There were no regular vets at that time). This was a conscientious man who thoroughly believed in the evil eye. As he could not discern the cause of the cow's ailment, he suggested that it had been ill-wished, and that an old woman in Helston, who was noted as a wise woman, would help him. He - Mr. Rule - was somewhat incredulous, but nevertheless he went to the woman, who told him that his cow, on his return, would be found standing up, and quietly feeding (she had not been able to stand for days). Strange to say, he found the cow as the wise woman prophecied. The wise woman died about 1854, about the time of her death, there were torrential rains, which the ordinary conduits were quite insufficient to carry off. Valleys were flooded, and traffic suspended, which phenomena, were, of course, all attributed to the death of the wise woman. Austyn Pengilly gave additional evidence about the supposed 'ill-wishing', this is an extract from Jill Newton's book 'The Lizard'. "He told me there were two rival horse buses from St. Keverne. Both had their own customers, and it was more than the regular customers dared to do, to ride on the rival 'bus. One day Edwin Rule's father missed 'his' bus and had to ride with the opposition. As a result his cow was ill-wished and he had to make a special journey into Helston, to see a 'witch' to remove the spell. On. another occasion Eli James missed the bus to Helston and risked riding on the alternative transport. The following morning he found his cattle 'stanking' through his cornfield. It is said however that the other bus company did not resort to such forceful measures to keep their customers." Footnote: The wisewoman was Tamsin Bligh who died in October 1856. In Coverack School's Centenary book published in 1976, David Mason and Rita Pearce, wrote about Col. & Mrs. Bulkeley, who used to holiday in the village prior to the Great War, later they became permanent residents. "After a summer visit for their holidays, Willie Williams would send the Bulkeleys crabs and pilchards on request. They were very amused by his letters, and realising how hard times were, often paid twice for the same parcel. Willie would flatter the Colonel into this by up-ranking him to Major-General or even General, according to his poverty!" A typical example of his letters is as follows: Dated 3 November 1913 "Mrs. Bulkeley Lady and Major General we thank you for the Bird you sent us how kind it is of you to think of us most people we do have to come here when they do go away out of sight out of mind but it not with you Gentlemen i do belong working on your estate ridding for the foundation of the house it is Very hard to get out Now nothing but a bed of Rock it will be a Very dry house i should think for the Bottom it is built on you would think it was a big mine working over there I thought to stick on and do anything till i can get carpenting to do because wile the grass is growing the horse is starving so you see I am not a stuck up man I can do most anything in the working way hoping you are having good sport there is good many woodcocks down here around Williams estate so Mr. Bonfield told me I am not doing any fishing now owning to Bad weather to wrought to go to sea as for pilchards i ought to have been working on them when you was down here i got them Barked and dried ready for to shut when i see any fish hoping you will have some another year if any herrings do come in our Bay under your house i am going to try them as for the pilchard fishing it is a failure. Now two years following they are telling to sell and concern nets and Boats they are not paying so you can see what they are they cannot get no ones to take up shares of them to much drinking and not looking after their work believe me Sir yours Truly W. James Williams The Mill Coverack Cornwall." Footnote: Notice how Mr. Williams says "We do have" and "They do go" instead of "We have" and "They go". When Cornish folk had to accept English as their principle language some 300 years ago, they spoke it as 'foreigners', literally translating Cornish into English, and using the Cornish structure of their sentences. Hence 'We do have.' Even today villagers still use the old form of construction, "He do sing" or "She do cook" etc. They also put the most important part of a sentence first - an English man will ask "Are you going to town?" but a Cornishman says "Going town are ee?" Childhood memories of the late Mrs. Bessie Langdon (nee Tripp) "I was one of seven children. My father was a master carpenter. His hobby - gardening. To enjoy that hobby he would often get up on a summer morning at five o'clock to get in two hours in the garden, before going into the carpenter's shop at seven, at which time the journeymen and apprentices started work. When I say that my father was also a wheelwright, it will not convey much to the younger generation, who do not remember the wooden wheels, bound with iron, of farm wagons, carts, etc. The making of such wheels is a lost craft. The village carpenter was also builder, house decorator and undertaker. Will the reader try to imagine that if a death occurred in a neighbouring village or farm in the parish, no hearse was available -at least not nearer than Helston and the majority of people could not afford it. So this meant that the funeral procession was a walking one, perhaps for two or three miles, winding its way through the quiet country lanes. Mourners, friends and neighbours would turn out in good numbers, summer or winter. I believe on occasions, there would be a closed carriage for mourners. Landau is the correct name, but they were not often hired. Other work in the surrounding countryside meant a good walk, before starting work proper. In spite of what would seem a whole time job as a carpenter my father was a sidesman in our parish Church, Sunday School Super-intendant, a bell-ringer and a lifeboatman. My mother, being a good mother to her seven children, was on duty 24 hours out of 24. I wonder how this little preface concerning my father as a village carpenter compares with Our Lord's life when he worked with Joseph, before He started His Ministry? I like to think that they went out to work in the surrounding countryside, as did my father. My childhood, was spent in a village ten miles from the nearest town, Horse bus service, three days a week, connected us to civilisation. The sun, as I think back, was almost always shining. Country lanes and fields, the backgrounds of our days. Picnics in the summer, at one of the little coves near, where great fun was had by gathering sticks and building a fire on which to boil the kettle. I do not hear the cawing of rooks without going back in my mind to the lanes in the Spring, and particularly on Good Friday, when it was our custom to pick primroses to decorate our lovely old Church, for the Easter festival. When we were young, I remember going to meet the bus, my companions and I, and lying on the road with our ears to the ground, waiting to hear the distant rumble of the iron bound wheels on the rough country roads. What a thrill to be allowed to ride into the village on the back step of the bus. In the Winter, bowling hoops, wooden ones for the girls, iron ones for the boys. As children we used to make lanterns from turnips. I associate Winter on Sundays with singing in the Church; what seemed to me, the endless Benedicte: "O, ye works. of the Lord, bless ye the Lord." Feast Sunday in November was celebrated with cousins coming from neighbouring parishes for mid-day dinner, which was only second in importance to Christmas. After Feast, a start was made on the preparations for Christmas. We, as children, had to help by stoning the raisins and cutting up peel for puddings and mince-meat. How horribly sticky our fingers used to get. An aunt would often be there and would tell us stories as we worked. She was never allowed to stop. "Go on Auntie, another one." No radio all those years ago. And Christmas itself. What'simple pleasures. How'thrilling it all was. Through the night of Christmas Eve. Has Santa been yet? No go to sleep." But at 6 a.m. when the Church bells rang out, we knew he had been. Nuts and oranges, sugar mice and simple toys in our stockings. It did not require expensive gifts, the spirit of Christmas was there. The lives of school children seventy years ago was very simple. No electricity, no radio and very few mechanical toys. I well remember seein motor cars entering the village in clouds of dust. Motor veils worn by ladies and goggles by the men. How dusty the lanes became. In my childhood our homes were lit by oil lamps and candles. Candle lanterns were carried when visiting friends after dark, and also for the inevitable walk up the garden path. I can recall only a few occasions, thank God, the fear that used to strike through our hearts on a wild Winter's night, when the cry went out through the village, calling the lifeboatmen to action, "Wreck. Wreck on the Manacles." Most of our clothes were homemade. On weekdays we wore boots made by the village shoemaker; stockings hand knitted. Bread and cakes all made in our homes. I wonder if this picture conjures up in the minds of those who read it, a life mainly of peaceful days? No cars tearing through the country roads and not an aeroplane roaring overhead. Birds, beasts and flowers. I must mention one of the great events of our lives - the Sunday School outing, when we were conveyed by 'buses, each drawn by four horses, to such places as Mullion and Porthleven. On the way home at night, we had the feeling of almost flying across the Downs singing amongst other things, "Angels of Jesus, Angels of Light, Singing to welcome the pilgrims of the night." I remember two open chimneys. There were many, of course. One where an old neighbour used to sit, her clothes pulled up over her knees, by the fire, taking a frequent pinch of snuff The other at a farm, where the hams were hung in the chimney for smoking. This was our life as school children of more than seventy year ago. Undisturbed by wars and rumours of wars. Newspapers were weekly affairs. News of the Boer War conveyed little to us. My most clear memory of that was the singing of Goodbye Dolly Grey. We were secure in our family life and the activities of the village life were self sufficient. Memories of the late Mrs. Janie Hocking (nee Pentecost) of Laddenvean, St. Keverne. "On the magic carpet of time - in an instant - we are more years than perhaps we care to remember - into yesteryear. Yes, it is the same place alright - we've placed a War memorial there now, but in these days there were two cottages, two shoemaker's shops and a carthouse. (Not to intention the two privies in full view of every one!) All this remember in the Square - the vesy spot that was the focal point of our village life. There were then, of course, many thatched cottages in the village. The old Three Tuns and the White Hart held a greater mystery than perhaps now they do. These places were then the local parliament and gossip shop. Men congregated at Bellett's corner to exchange small talk with the 'touch of pipe' I can remember at least one local farmer still wearing a smock and his legs bound with thumb-binds. Folk from outlying farms and hamlets came into the village but rarely-just two or three times x year in order to pay annual bills or rent. Now I'm going to recount one or two personal memories: It'sjust after 8.15 on a Monday morning, I've been pulled very unwillingly from bed by my Mother - a quick wash and drink of tea and then as fast as my young girl's legs could carry me -up the hill from my home to Back Lane so as to help pull the bus round to the Square in order to await the passengers who would be travelling into Helston at 9 o'clock. Such a service would only run on alternate Mondays. Quite an event this. I would be very excited at the prospect of having a meal at Rosewarne's Eating House. To warn any passengers that the 'bus was about to depart, my father or brother would sound short blasts on a little brass bugle, and with a wave from here and there by anyone who happened to be in the village at the time, the clatter of the 'bus and clip-clop of the horses would disappear up Doctor's Hill. If the going was good, the journey to Helston might take two hours and we would take up several passengers en route. Before descending Rosevear Hill, the 'bus would be stopped and a shoe drug,1et down and placed under one of the rear wheels to act as an additional brake. This would of course, be removed again before any attempt was made to climb the other side of the hill. It was far too steep and long for the horses to be expected to pull both the 'bus and passengers up, so those who were youngest and fittest were expected to get off and walk. It was often great fun to see these walkers puffing and panting before they reached the top and were allowed on board again. The cattle market was held on alternative Mondays and it was then an opportunity to get into Town for a chat and "wind up of the Town Clock." The 'bus would be parked until the return journey, across the street, about half way down Coinagehall Street and the horses taken to the stable for feeding and rest. These journeys would be repeated again on Wednesdays and Saturdays. So this meant there were two journeys one week and three the next. On a beautiful summer day, there was nothing more pleasant than to ride on top. Two would sit by the driver, five in the seat behind and on special occasions an extra seat could be strapped on. This seat would be used on such occasions as Flora Days, Sunday School, Band of Hope and Choir outings. For the latter, we might have used a Jersey Car in addition to the bus. In addition, we had in our stables a landau, which was chiefly used for weddings and funerals. If the occasion was a wedding, as a special treat the lamps would be filled with flowers. The landau would be hired by distinguished people- folk who could afford to hire a carriage for their personal use. I can well remember Sir Henry Irving the great Shakespearean actor, travelling in this way during his holidays at Porthoustock. Porthoustock then was a very lovely cove - it had pretty thatched cottages with trim and neat gardens. It was a real retreat to such a busy person as Sir Henry must have been. We also had two waggonettes - one to carry eight persons inside and two could sit by the driver. The other to take four people inside and one sitting beside the driver. Waggonettes were usually used for taking parties out to the regattas around the district, or to transport parties to the many lovely beaches that we have around us. The last and smallest addition to our stables was the 'Dog Cart' - this could carry three passengers, one sitting by the driver, and two in the rear sitting back to the driver. The dog can was very light in construction and it could therefore travel quite fast and one of its main uses was to take the resident Methodist Minister, from the Manse in St. Keverne to the various chapels in, what was then, the St. Keverne Circuit. It quite often fell on me to drive the Minister on these occasions, and as this might entail being away for the whole day, I had to stable the horse. This led to making many friends around the various villagers, who were kind and helpful in allowing the horse to rest and shelter in their stables. On one of the journeys to the Lizard, I had brought the dog cart around to the Chapel so as to collect the Minister and return home. As the congregation left, the many feet, walking over the gravel must have set up a loud crunching noise, and it was this that frightened the horse - she reared and before I had time to think the dog cart turned over and I was trapped underneath. With so many folk around, willing hands soon righted the cart. I brushed myself down and amidst some embarrassment, I began to drive over the Downs. The horse in this incident was called 'Kitty'. She was a bay and a swift trotter that could reach Helston in an hour. At the time this was considered to be an excellent turn of speed. You will have gathered by now much of my early life was taken up with horses. One cannot spend so much time with these animals without building up a love and particular regard for these lovely creatures. I often went to the stable to care for them and brush them down, and even though I didn't hunt, I had a riding habit and whenever time allowed, I used to ride through the lanes in the side saddle"..... In 1977 St. Keverne School celebrated its centenary, and a small book of memories was published, called 'Schools Roundabout.' These are four extracts from former pupils of Porthallow School which opened in 1898, and merged with St. Keverne School in 1960. The late Mr. Grover Tripp. "I was born at Halwyn Farm in 1890. My school days began at Porthallow in a small room immediately below a shoemaker's shop. There were about twelve scholars, boys and girls, and we were taught the three 'R's' by Miss Bryant, for which my parents paid two pence a week. At the age of 8, I was one of the first pupils to attend the new school. I can remember seeing the 'Mohegan' on the Manacle Rocks with her funnel and four masts showing above the water. My father was a member of the Porthoustock Lifeboat crew that saved so many lives, from this unfortunate ship." Mrs. G.A. Hayden, "Great excitement in the village when a 'Hub-ba' was called for a shoal of pilchards. People would be running in all directions to get the men back from work. It took lots of men to launch the big seine boats, and the pilchard nets had to be loaded as quickly as possible. Then the f ish had to be salted and pressed in the Old Salt Cellar, which is now Mr. Skewes' garage. Barges. used to land on the beach with grain and sometimes coal. The farmers came with their horses and carts to bring their grain to be ground at the old Mill which was run by a water wheel. The old miller was Joshua Reynolds." Mr. Clifford Lugg. "The barges used to come in with coal - on the high tide and unload on the beach. The horses and cans would carry the coal away the horses in the water up to their bellies. The women would all come down and carry the surplus in their 'pinnies'. Mr. Frank Curnow. "In March 1920, the American steamship 'Rock Island Bridge' sank in a collision in fog, less than a mile from Porhallow Beach. Some of the crew, came into Porthallow in one of the ship's lifeboats. Several of us boys were allowed to row this boat around the cove to keep it from grounding on the beach, while the crew went into the 'Five Pilchards' for a drink. For this they gave us a parcel of chewing gum. This was our first introduction to this stuff and we tried to eat it, but somehow it got stuck to our teeth and wouldn't go down!" This letter dated l1th August 1991, was sent fromm Mr. Austyn Pengilly of Trebarveth, St. Keverne, to Mr. Joe Roskilly of Tregellast Barton. "I think I told you I would write something out about 'Crying the Neck', it was last done in this district about 1895, and generally in a high place; so as the surrounding farms could see how large a crowd of reapers there were. Some with reaping hooks, rolling hooks and scythes, the only means then of gathering the sheaves. Rosenithon people held it round the Quoits. Trythance area at Troan Stile and Trevalsoe village at the Randons Stile. The crowd collected at these places and having dressed up the large (1/2 sheaf) of last corn in the centre of the field with the yellow harvest flowers and red poppys from the hedges near bye, anyone who could say a piece of poetry, did so. Like this: We must not be mowers, And to gather the ripe gold ears, Unless we have first been sowers, And watered the farrow with tears, It is not just as we take it, This mystical world of ours, Life's field will yield as we make it, A harvest of thorns or flowers. Then there was a loud Hip, Hip, Hurrah (three times) and someone would shout three times, "What have you?" very often the oldest lady reaper. Then all shouted, "A Neck" (three times) and waved it about as high as possible. Another three cheers, and the proceedings ended with 'Croust and Cider'. On very big farms, a barn dance went on till late at night, sometimes there were near 50 men and women harvesters. This is as near as I can remember, Mr. William Lory's account of 'Crying the Neck'. He lived at Trevalso 80 years until 1921, and retired to Laddenvean Cottage, and passed away about 1932, aged 95 years. A very active and strong man, and very good company. When 'Crying the Neck' was re-enacted at Tregellast Barton on 27th August 1971, Austyn Pengilly recited the following poem, written by himself: Would you care to picture a scene, now rare, Gipsy and Darling, a wonderful pair, Pulling the plough, steady and sure, Turning the soil, for growth once more. Would that time had just stood still, As the setting sun dipped over the hill, And the ploughman turned his horses home, But the picture fades and now is shown, A tractor all painted orange and green, A quicker, mechanical throbbing machine, Gipsy and Darling, not needed now, For man has quickened his way to plough, But in my heart and memory stay, The picturesque, old fashioned way. Extracts from a letter from Mr. W. Rutherford, of Heworth, Yorks, reminiscing about his holidays in St. Keverne, the first of which was in 1927. "My first visit to St. Keverne was in April 1927 reaching there at 11.00 p.m. from Helston in a solid tyred bus to be met in the Square by a Mr. W.H. Cox of The Dene which is situated just beyond Trythance Farm and overlooking the Manacles off Dean Point - the address came from the Great Western Railway 'Holiday Haunts' - no longer published. Mr. Cox had a car with the steering wheel in the centre and my wife and I sat on either side of him! Mr. Cox was a retired postal official having served in the Lizard Signal Station and finally in the Isle of Wight, where he met his second wife, who was a widow. He was for many years Vicar's Warden' the Treasurer and Secretary of the Parochial Church Council. He also taught in the Sunday School. He died in 1942, aged 81 and is buried in the Churchyard. The Dene was a long bungalow and was originally a dormitory etc. for quarrymen, working in the quarries immediately below which had been closed in recent years. They were re-opened recently. As far as my memory goes the bungalow had not less than six bedrooms plus a large kitchen and long lounge. It was very comfortable but lacked indoor sanitation. Lighting was by oil lamps and I think the lounge had gas lamps fed from a calor gas cylinder. We were the first visitors and paid five shillings each per day for full board which we obtained until 1942. Laughable when a cup of coffee on British Rail trains today costs the equivalent of five shillings and two pence. On that initial visit the Coxes introduced us to a number of walks; over the fields and footpaths to Coverack' Porthoustock Porthallow and to Gillan through a lovely tree clad coombe on to the beach. There were very few cars about, but the buses ran a fair service which enabled us to visit the Lizard, Mullion, Porthleven, Penzance and even Falmouth by changing at Helston. We attended the Parish Church on Sundays and got to know the Vicars from the Rev Norris to the present one, Mr. Norris had a fine rood screen made and erected with panels bearing his name and those of his family. In recent years, this was re-erected at the back of the Church, minus panels, to screen the choir vestry. The Rev. Stephen Pulford,1940/1945 stood 6ft.4in. and he had a double cross bar bike which I once borrowed to go to and from Kynance. This involved climbing up a bank when getting on! The Church organist at that time I knew - Mrs. Bentley Tripp whose husband, a singer in the choir, was the son of George Tripp who lived at Rosenithon. He was a fisherman and kept his gear in a shed on the beach at Prou'stock. I well remember a remark he made to us, "E damme I'm dry" and immediately set up the valley path to the White Hart quite a step from the beach. Most mornings I went on foot via Trythance fields and Rosenithon to Prou'stock and accompanied Mr. Cox in his boat to pull his lobster pots. Mr. Cox had a two- stroke motor bike which got him to the beach after me! Re: shipwrecks. I saw both the Gap and the Ocklinge: With Mr Cox I went on board the Gap and unlike Mrs. Hocking with her trophy I only brought away the date slip off a French block calendar! With regard to the Mohegan: even in the thirties someone used to put flowers on the common grave in the churchyard. Mr. Cox used to aver that the dark blobs on the stone aisles in the Church were the result of the drowned passengers being laid out thereon! V.J. Day found us staying at 'Pendennis' when we were wakened by the quarry lorries, ex. Prou'stock, going round the Square, sounding their horns and the church bells ringing at daybreak. During the War years we saw evidences of bombing; Rosenithon had a string of incendiaries; Coverack lost a few houses off the road past the Coastguard cottages and some cottages where the toilets are situated. Re: the Manacle light buoy; once during a storm after dark, I told Mr. Cox that the light had gone out. He wouldn't believe me but nevertheless he listened in on his primitive radio set and eventually he heard a message being sent out to this effect, whether by morse or speech I know not. An event in the Church Calendar was the annual church fete held in a field just above the village on the road to Trythance. Two items stick in my mind(1)Mrs. Cox winning a piglet in the bowling event, and not knowing what to do with it when she got it home! The other, was a tug of war in which the visitors pulled against the locals and winning: I think a bit of cheating went on as we, the visitors, practically lay on the ground in our winning pull! The Church is always worth a visit as distinct from Sundays. There is, or was, an Elizabethan chest in it; there are relics from shipwrecks on the walls; the bench ends are very old. According to Mr. Cox a number disappeared over the years, hence there are comparatively new ones in their place, including one to the memory of my old friend, his initials W.H.C. being carved on it. He also told me that there was a sounding board above the pulpit: this too disappeared and is said to have been converted into a table for private use! Footnote: Mr. Rutherford is now 80 years old, and has holidayed in St. Keverne on more than 30 occasions. Place and Surnames found in the St. Keverne area, compiled by Jill Newton, translations from T.F.G. Dexter's "Cornish Names." Most Cornish names are made up from two, three or four parts. The first part is the noun, then follows one or two more adjectives. It follows therefore that the majority of the names begin in the following manner: Bos = Small house, hut or cottage. Chy, Ty = House or dwelling. Pen = Head, Hill. Pons = Bridge Pol = Pool. Tre = Homestead, settlement or farm. Other names begin with: Hal = Cliff. Lan = Holy place, sacred enclosure or monastery. Nans = Valley. Caer = Enclosure, fort. Many of these names date back centuries, to the days when people found their way about the countryside, unable to read and write, and, of course, unaided by maps and signposts. So house names had to be 'word pictures' of the land surrounding the property. Trebarveth, for instance, rolls easily off the tongue, but how much more interesting it becomes when we understand it is the settlement on top of a grave; or Pengarrick - the head of a rock. If we wanted to call a new house, exactly that, in Cornish, we would address it Chy-noweth (house new). Sometimes we have to be guided by the locality of the dwelling, as in the names Chynalls or Chynale, as it has three distinct meanings- Chy (house) on the moor (hal), estuary (hayle) or cliff (als). ANGOVE (The Smith, perhaps from our own Myghal Josef) BOSAHAN (John's Cottage); CHY AN MOR (house by the sea); COVERACK (a hidden place); CROUSA (CROWS AN WRA) (Witches cross); CARN DHU (Black Rock); CARKEEK (a lookout); CHYVENTON (house by a spring); CHYWOON (house on a moor); KESTLE MERRIS (Mary's Castle); KILTER (KELLY DOWR) (Grove by the water); GWENTER (GWYN DOWR) White Water; KELLY (Grove); LANNARTH (A clearing in a wood); LESNEAGE (Mossy Court) LESTOWDER (Court of Theodore); MORVA (place by the sea); MERES (MOR ROS) Heath by the sea); MILL MEHAL (Michael's Mill); NAMBOLL (Valley with pool); PONSONGATH (Cat's bridge); PENGILLY (Head of the grove); PENVENTON (Head of the spring); POLVENTON (Pool with a spring); PENMENNOR (Top of the great stone); POLKINGHORNE (Pool in the corner); PENTICOST (PEN TY COST) (End of the house by the wood); PORTHALLOW (Cove at the end of the moors); PORTHKERRIS (Cove of the cherry trees); ROSENITHON (Heath with the furze); RETALLACK (High heath); ROSKILLY (Heath with grove); ROSCROWGY (small cottage on the heath); ROSKRUGE (Heath with a barrow); TRELOAR (Settlement of the moon); TRESKEWES (Settlement by the elder bushes); TREVALSO (Settlement on a cliff); TREVALLACK (Walled settlement); TREGOWRIS (Settlement of the giantess); TREATH (Sandy shore, beach); TRELEASE (Grey settlement); TREMBRAZE (Meadow settlement); TREGENZA (Most. important settlement). A collection of dialect words, used in the St. Keverne area in the past 40 years. Compiled by Mrs. Barbara Coad. ANGLE DITCH (worm); BOUGHTEN (not home made, shop goods); BOX & HEATER (joint of beef)' BUSS CALF (suckling calf); BUSSA (large crock with lid); BRAMBLEFINCH (Brambling); BULLUM (wild plum); BAIL (call, as a calf calls)' BULLEY (round stones or marbles); BRAVE (big, fine, large); BELONG (is the correct or usual way of something); CLIDGEY (sticky); CLICKY (left-handed)' CLUNK (to swallow); COLLAR & HAMES (part of a harness)' COOSE (to chase)' CHERKS (ashes and cinders); CLOME (china); CUNDERD (drain); CUCKOO FLOWER (wild arum); COPPERFINCH (chaffnch); CHEIL (a girl baby)' CHACKS (cheeks); CHACKING (dry, thirsty); CROUST (elevenses)' CRIB (basket - food'for 'croust'); DURNS (sides of doors)' DOOR AND APSE (stable door- two parts); DRUG(brake for cart); EEVIL (fork for dung spreading)' FRAIL (basket); FLASKET (laundry basket); FRINGLE (cupboard beside the 'slab'); FLITTERS (small pieces, broken goods); FITTY (right or proper); FORKLE STICK (pronged stick); FURSE (gorse)' FORTHY (forward, pert); FIGS (raisins); FROUSTY (smelling musty); GRIZZLE (giggle); GAMBERN-MICKS (calf kneed); GOOK (sun bonnet); GEEK (look peep); GRAMMER SOW (wood louse); GRIDDLE (grid for cooking)' HALE (to pull); HOV (to heave or throw); HEDGYBOOR (hedgehog); HONEY BEE (wasp); HUNGRY (mean); LAUNDER (gutting for buildings)' MOTHER MARGOT (blue bottle); KEGGUS (kek or wild parsnip); MABYER (young fowl); MOW, KNEE MOW (shock of corn); MOW HAY (rick yard)' MEAT (beef); MAUN (wicker basket); MINCHING (truant from school); MOTHER (mould in vinegar); MAZED (annoyed, surprised)' NUDDICK (back of the head); NICEY (sweets); NUB (door handle)' NOT ZACKLY (not quite right); NYE BY (nearby); PLAT (flat area); PINDY(meat that is going off); PADGEY POW (tadpole); PLANCHON (floor); POPPIES (foxgloves); PLANKING (stepping out, especially if large feet); OVIS (overhang of roof); QUILKEN (toad); QUAM (a qualm); RAB (yellowish clay); SCAT IN JOWDS (broken in pieces); SHERDS (pieces of broken china)' STOOKS (shocks of corn); STANKING (tramping, walking); STAND BY THE BED (help make a bed); SCROW L (cook over an open fire); SLAB (cooker); SPAL TO (to hit)' SOUR SOBS (sorrel); SCRUMP (sitting or walking in a hunched position); SCRUFF (catch hold of); SPLATTY (unreliable); SHINER (sweet-heart); STRAKING (wander off-courting!) SLIGHT (not very well); SCRAYCH (cry, bawl); SKITTER (throw, as in 'ducks and drakes'); SKEET (spray over with water); TRAADE (rubbish); TOWSER (course sacking apron); TRAY, W ASHING TRAY (washing tub); TRUCKLFS (castors); TUT (footstool), TRIGG (cockles); TEEL (to till); UZZI.E (windpipe); URTS (whortleberries); VINNIED (mildewed); VOORS (ridges between potatoes, etc); WIDDEN (smallest pig in fitter); WANT (mole); WHISHT (sad or poorly looking); WINGERY (thin, lanky); WINOW THRUSH (mistle thrush); WITNIK (weasel); YAFFLE (woodpeckerr YAW (ewe). A little bit of St. Keverne dialect, as tole to us recently by A'ant Lucy. You do want a bit o' yarn do 'ee? Well, yer tes. It was like this 'ere, Fayther an' me 'ad a purty good day in market - even zold the widdin fer a good price! So, when us gawt back to the Squeer, I went in ter Mrs. Rute's - 'er 'ad some bravish bits an' pieces in theer in them days. Jist as I were going in, 'oo should come 'cross but Mrs....... pinny up an' a gook on 'er 'eed, stanked in afore me, she did, "Mrs. Rule dear, 'av 'ee gawt a taypot?" she said, "my maid nick ours agin the nub o' the door an' scat un!" She were in some sta'ate poor ole sawl, glazin like a chad and pantin' like a shape, she'd come 'bout a mile - (Cornish mile mind). One day I was out coosing they ole mabyers, 'ad me towser up, wasn't lookin' 'zackly an' coorse a passel o' furriners come by askin' if they could 'see the farm?' I zed, "Iss, if 'ee doan't mind stanking in the mud." In they came, then my 'andsum little buss calf got loose, she took wan geek at they ole strange folk and scat wan over. I 'ad to laugh, poor sawl! I zed, "Will 'ee come in for a dish of tay?" I gov them hewa cake, saffron cake, thunder and lightning splits. 'Adn't gawt no pasty, Fayther et en all to wance fer 'is croust. Oh well, they went off 'appy an' I 'ad a few shillun' to buy a bit o' nicey next time I went to market. I doan't knaw much 'bout 'istory, but Fayther zed as 'ow the 'Three Brothers of Grougath', up to Zoar, 'as summat to do with folks bein' buried, poor sawls, an' I were told Tremenhere is wan o' they there stones like they gawt up to Stonehenge (weird ole thing inna?) Ca'an't 'bide talking'bout shipwrecks - too sad all they poor drowneded sawls, and poor ole Michael Joseph, must o' 'ad sore feet, stanking' all the way to Lunnon? Well, I do 'ope as 'ow Passon'll git 'nuff to pay fer the Church repeers. 'T'would be some whisht if a gert lump of stone fell down an' scat som'thin' abroad, or one o' they 'andsum clome tlower bowls in jowds.
As can be seen, the basis of this book has been drawn from the research carried out by Cannon Diggens and his family, over eighty years ago. A man who served the parish well in the 17 years he spent here. Today, the parish is equally fortunate in having the Rev. Andrew Matthew, Mary his wife and their three sons living in our community. The tremendous sum already donated locally to the Church Spire Appeal must, in no little part, be the villagers own response to Andrew and Mary Matthew's dedicated, friendly and happy Ministry here. To have read these preceding pages can only deepen the sense of privilege one has in serving the Parish of St. Keverne in the present day. I am especially grateful to Jill Newton for the countless hours of research involved. The events and sagas related in this book centre round a me building and its never broken life of worship and service to the community. As we enter the Nineteen Eighties at the Parish Church it has been an experience of humble gratitude that within six months the parish has donated some £5,000 to the repair and restoration of the spire and tower. Such a response can only remind us of the joyful duty of sharing with the community the call of Jesus Christ to receive Him as Saviour and Lord. We live at a time in our village and our world when, as never before, such faith is vital and the presence and purpose of our Parish Church never more important. We ask you to pray with us for a revival of Christian Life and Worship in St. Keverne. Andrew Matthew, Vicar.