In 1860, Prince Lucien Bonaparte visited this locality in order to ascertain what yet remained of the Cornish language; while here, he, in conjunction with the vicar, inserted a small granite obelisk, surmounted with a Maltese cross, in the churchyard wall, inscribed as follows:—

Her lieth interred Dorothy Pentreath, who died in 1778, said to have been the last person who conversed in the ancient Cornish, the peculiar language of this county from the earliest records till it expired in the eighteenth century, in this parish of St. Paul. This stone is erected by the Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte, in union with the Rev. John Garrett, vicar of St, Paul. June, 1860.

Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Exod. xx., 12.

Gwra perthi de taz ha de mam: mal de Dythiow bethewz hyr war an tyr neb an arleth de dew ryes dees.

Exod. xx., 12.

‘Old Dolly Pentreath,’ as she was popularly known, retained her maiden name until her death, which occurred in her 102nd year; her husband’s name was Jeffery. She was buried in this churchyard, but no stone marks her grave, although there is a fabulous story of one, which embodies a supposed epitaph in the Cornish language. Her death is thus entered in the parish register under the year 1777:—“Dorothy Jeffery was buried December 27. This is the famous Dolly Pentreath (her maiden name) spoken of by Daines Barrington in the Archæologia.”

Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, gives a full account of the invasion of this parish by the Spaniards [Abstract], which is said to have occasioned the siege and capture of Cadiz by the English and Dutch fleets the following year.

The following entries are the first in the parish register under the date 1595:—

Jenkin Keigwyn, of Mousehole, being killed by the Spaniards, was buried the 24th of Julie.

Jacobus de Newlyn occisus fuit per inimicos, et sepultus est 26 die Julii; similiter Teek Cornall, et sepultus, the 26 of Julie.

The cannon shot which occasioned the death of Mr. Keigwin is still preserved; he was the chief inhabitant of Mousehole. A part of the ancient mansion of the Keigwins is now used as an inn, under the designation of the Keigwin Arms

Mousehole—more properly, Port-Ennis, the Island Port, so called from its proximity to S. Clement’s Island—is still of considerable importance as a fishing village, It formerly had a market on Thursdays, the charter for which, with a fair for three days at the festival of S. Barnabas, was granted to Henry, Lord Tyes, 21 Edward I., 1292. The market was confirmed 7 Edward II., 1313, to his sister, Alice de L’Isle, with a fair for seven days on the festival of S. Bartholomew. This market has been discontinued since the raid by the Spaniards. Mousehole was formerly a port of some importance; a new quay was built circa 1392, to which an addition was made about 30 years ago, and another in the present year, 1870. Circa 1395 there was a chapel-of-ease in the village dedicated to S. Mary; it measured 32 feet by 18. There are now a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, and a Wesleyan Association Chapel.

In the immediate vicinity of Mousehole a chapel anciently stood on the margin of the shore, and was eventually washed away by the waves. To re-build this chapel Bishop Stafford, in 1414, issued an appeal, in which he thus exhorted all persons within his diocese to assist:—“As the chapel of Mosal, formerly built in honour of the blessed Virgin, and situated near a port or creek of the sea, is now by the force of the sea entirely thrown down and demolished; which, while it stood was a mark to the seamen, and which, if re-built, might still be the means of the preservation of many sailing into this port or creek of the sea,—and as the revenues of the said chapel are by no means sufficient to repair, or more truly, to rebuild the same,” etc. The erection of the present parish church is supposed to have resulted from this appeal.

In 1435 an indulgence of forty days was offered to all who should contribute towards repairing and maintaining the quay at this place; and another “to all who should contribute towards the repairing and maintaining of a certain key or jetty at Newlyn, in the parish of Paul.”

During a storm, which happened at Mousehole in 1771, a pig’s stye with a stone trough were carried off into the sea by the force of the waves; in a tempest which occurred in 1817, the trough was again cast on shore, after being missing for about forty-six years.

The manor of Mousehole, or Mosehole, as it was called in the charter of 1292, was conveyed with the neighbouring manor of Alverton; latterly it was in the possession of George Veale,Esq., and James Hals, Esq., of S, Ives; more recently it was the property of the late Mr. Ley, and now of Edward Bolitho, Esq.

At the distance of a quarter of a mile from Mousehole quay, and acting as an effectual breakwater to the port, lies the island of S. Clements, popularly called Mousehole Island; it is about a furlong and a half in length by one in breadth, and was described by Leland in 1540 as “a lytle low island with a chapel yn yt. And this lytle islet bereth gresse.” Of the chapel there are no, remains; the island is also the property of Edward Bolitho, Esq., as parcel of his manor of Mousehole.

About 156 yards southward of Mousehole, at the foot of a hill, is a cavern in the cliff, commonly known as the mouse-hole. The entrance to the ‘hole’ is 50 feet high and 30 feet wide, and its depth ahout 150 feet; at about 100 feet the cavity becomes very small, but after passing this strait it again enlarges.

A little above the village of Mousehole the late John Price, Esq., erected a small stone pillar commemorative of the murder of an old woman, who was supposed to carry a sum of money about her. Attached to the pillar was a marble tablet inscribed,—“The Lord God hath said, ‘Thou shalt do no murder.’ ” The murderer was executed. This same gentleman erected a small granite pillar, 3 feet high, at Three Lanes End, near Trewarveneth, to commemorate the finding of his lady’s gold ring by an honest labourer. It bears the figure of a ring, the symbol of eternity, and the inscription IN HAC SPE VIVO, MAY 31, 1781.

It is recorded that at the time of the Spanish raid the energies of the inhabitants of Paul became paralysed through their faith in a prediction of the seer Merlin, preserved among them in the Cornish language thus,—

Aga syth tyer, war an meyne Merlyn,
Ara neb syth Leskey Paul, Penzance, hag Newlyn.

Thus Englished—There shall land on the stone of Merlyn,
Those who shall burn Paul, Penzance, and Newlyn.

A rock called Merlyn Car, or Merlin’s Rock, stands near the Pier,—a little to the westward, another named the Spaniard,—and near by, a projection in the cliff is known as Point Spaniard.

Newlyn, taking its suburb Street-an-Nowan, into account, is larger than Mousehole; like the last-named place, it is also a large fishing station, and has a pier capable of admitting shipping of a hundred tons burthen, but chiefly used as a place of safety for a large number of fishing boats. Standing at the head of Gwavas Lake, and protected from adverse winds, it is admirably adapted for this purpose.

A church, having a tower and bell, but without a cemetery, was built here in 1866; it is dedicated to S. Peter. The district, formed out of this parish and Madron, was gazetted March 3, 1848.

There are also a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, a Primitive Methodist Chapel, and an Independent Baptist Chapel in the village.

About midway between Newlyn and Mousehole is the platform of Gwavas Battery, with a furnace for making red-hot shot.

The manor of Kymyell anciently belonged to a family of the same name. Through the marriage of Geffry St. Aubyn, who was sheriff in 1398, with Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Peter Kymyell, the manor, with the manor of Butsava or Busava, and other lands, became the property of the St. Aubyn’s; the present proprietor is Sir Edward St. Aubyn, Bart., of S. Michael’s Mount. There are three places of the name of Kymyell, namely Kymyell-dre, the town; Kymyell-cries, the middle; and Kymyell-wartha, the higher—this last-named was the seat of the Kymyell family Kymyell-dre and Kymyell-cries were the seats of the Keigwins. Kymyell mill, a portion of the same property, has been held under the St. Aubyns by the same family, from the time they first acquired the estate to the present day; a unique instance of long connection between landlord and tenant.

Adjoining Kymyell-wartha is Lamorna Cove, noted for the fine quality of its granite, large quantities of which are wrought and sent to London and other places. In 1851 a mono1ith granite obelisk 22 feet in height, was sent to the Great Exhibition from this quarry; its weight was 21 tons.

The barton of Kerris is supposed to have once had manorial rights, as a manor of Keres supposed to be this, was granted in 1483 to John Duke of Norfolk. The barton was successively the seat of the Chivertons, Hexts, Pearces, and Blewetts, and is now the property of Mr. Pascoe and others; the old mansion is divided into three farm houses. Kerris Roundago is an elliptical structure; the greater diameter being about 52 paces, and the lesser 34; it had four rude pillars at its entrance, each 8 feet high. Little other than the site of this ancient building now remains. In 1723 an urn was found on this estate; it was in a vault 8 feet long and 6 feet high, the floor paved with stone and the roof arched with the same material[.] The urn, which was formed of the finest red clay, contained a few brass coins and a quantity of earth.

On the estate of Chy-an-hâl, about a quarter of mile from Kerris Roundago is an irregularly shaped, unhewn pillar of granite, about 9 feet in height and 8 feet in circumference near the base, and tapering wedge-like to the top. This is supposed to be a Mênheer or monumental stone.

The barton of Trewarveneth became the property of a younger branch of the Godolphins through marriage with the daughter and heiress of John Cowling, the previous owner. William Godolphin, commemorated in the church, was the last of this branch. The barton is now owned by D. P. Le Grice, Esq., and the ancient mansion is occupied by the farmer.

Treungle, formerly a seat of the Hutchens family, afterwards of the Badcocks through the Keigwins, is now the property of Messrs. Millett, Edwards, and others.

On a hill-top, on the estate of Castallack, is an ancient stone enclosure, also called a Roundago. At Tredavoe are the remains of a circular earthwork enclosing an eminence, called the Round. A short distance from this Round is an enormous mound of earth, about half a mile in length, constructed by Sir Rose Price, for the shelter of a mansion he intended to build, but which he abandoned on purchasing Trengwainton.

In the cliff near Garn Kymyell is a large hole or Cavern called the Giant’s Cave; it is about 40 feet in height at the mouth, and 100 feet in depth.

Holinshead, writing in the 16th century, states that tinners in working near Mousehole, found spear-heads, battle-axes, and copper swords, wrapped in linen, and very little damaged.

There is an ancient granite cross on Paul Down, and another in or near the churchyard wall.

A few years ago, Mr. Pearce, of Penzance, had in his possession two silver hurling balls, won by his ancestors early in the last century; one of them belonged to this parish; it was 2¾ inches in diameter, and bore the following inscription in the Cornish language,—Paul Tuz—whek Gware Tek heb ate buz, Henvis, 1704; which may be thus rendered,—“Paul men,—fair play, without hatred, is sweet play.” This ball is now in the possession of Mrs. Jago, Mr. Pearce’s daughter.

In 1783 a gold gorget; or lunette was found near one of the earthworks; it weighed 2 oz. 4 dwts. 6 grs., and was slightly engraved with a chevron ornamentation terminating in lozenges. For some time it was in the possession of Sir Rose Price ; it is now in the British Museum.

The principal landowners are D. P. Le Grice and E. Bolitho, Esquires, the representatives of the late Joseph Carne, Esq., and Messrs. Millett, Pascoe, Brocklesby, Coulson, and Rowe.

Besides the villages already named, there are Tredavoe and Sheffield.

A narrow belt of slate, belonging to the porphyritic series, bounds the eastern side of the parish to Mousehole; the other part is situated on granite. A remarkable inter-mixture of granite and slate maybe seen at the back of Mousehole pier,—the slate being traversed in all directions by veins of granite and quartz. S. Clements Island consists of a slaty felspar of a rich purple colour, and containing a little mica.


Pedigree of the family of KEIGWIN.

[[YES] Regrettably, I have had to insert this tree as an image as I can find no other way to format it. As a consequence it will not be viewable by a text or speech browser. If you need help, please contact me. The surnames included, other than Keigwin are Borlase, Godolphin, Penrose, Scawen, Noy, Code, Painter, Wollcock, Ince, Ragannis, Pawley, Jones, Badcock, Harris, Praed, Price, Musgrave, Toup, Busvargus, Penrose, Hoblyn, Richards]

Family tree of Keigwin

ARMS OF KEIGWIN,—Vert, a chevron between 3 greyhounds courant argent These arms, evidently derived from the name, as Ker gywn signifies in Cornish white dog have been used by the family for full two centuries; but a MS. in the Heralds’ office gives a lion rampant crowned as the arms of Keigwin of Penzance.

CREST,—A greyhound’s head erased argent. The Keigwins of Paul quarter Hoblyn

* This John [b. 1646 son of William] possessed a considerable knowledge of the Cornish language. His Mount Calvary and The creation of the World with Noah’s Flood, were published by Davies Gilbert, with translations on the opposite pages.

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