On the 15th of June, 1397, Edmund Stafford, bishop of Exeter, licensed S. Mary’s chapel, Penzance, in which Sir Henry Tyes, Knt., Lord of the manor of Alverton, subsequently founded a chantry with a salary of £4 per annum; and owing to the increasing population of the town, Bishop Lacy licensed another chapel in honour of Saints Gabriel and Raphael, on the 12th of August, 1429. Very little is known of this chapel; the remains of an ecclesiastical building, with the image of its patron saint cut in granite, may be found near the end of Barbican Lane. This, said to have been a chapel dedicated to S. Anthony, was probably the last named. Another chapel, dedicated to S. Clare, is said to have stood near the top of S. Clare-street, on the Madron road.

The former chapel of S. Mary, which was demolished in 1832 preparatory to the erection of the present imposing edifice, consisted of a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, etc., with a slender, white-washed spire at the west end. Although it had been built many years previously it was not consecrated before 1680, prior to which it was endowed by John Tremenheere, Esq., with lands then valued at £5 per annum, but which let for £15 per annum in 1862. The steeple contained one bell, which cost in 1667-8 £12 18s. 6d., including expenses. On a plan of the chapel made in 1674, it was shown that the men and women at that time sat apart.

In 1730-1, the corporation purchased the advowson of Madron with Penzance and Morvah of Robert Coster, Esq., for £487 10s. 0d.; which they re-sold in 1744-5 to John Borlase, Esq., for £800.

The Proprietary Chapel of S. Paul, in Clarence-street, was built at the expense of the Rev. Henry Batten; it is in the Early English style, and cost £5000. This handsome edifice, which was opened April 18, 1843, consists of a chancel, nave, north and south transepts, and a vestry. The chancel window, said to have cost the donor £400, is of richly painted glass, the chief figures being the Saviour, S. Peter, S. Paul, and the four Evangelists. At the north and south sides of the chancel are sedilia; brasses attached to two of them are inscribed,—

Seruet hoc oes memoriam Infantis nostri Henrici Francisci Batten qui parentibus Relictis Paradisum intravit die Mant: VIII, MDCCCXLVI, menses VII natus.

Diu multumque deflendus Plymouthioe martuus est D. A. Howard, Presbr. die Mant: II, Anna Salut. MDCCCXLVII; aetat xxix. In hac urbe diaconatum perfecerat.

The chancel rail is formed of two blocks of granite tastefully wrought into an arcade; the pulpit was hewn out of a single block of granite which measured ten tons.

A south window of the nave marked “Henry Batten,” represents the Stoning of Stephen and the Conversion of Paul; attached to it is a brass inscribed,—

To the Glory of God, and in memory of the Revd. Henry Batten, the founder of this Church, and for eleven years Incumbent of Penzance; he died Xth of March, 1880.

The western window represents Moses, Aaron, the four greater Prophets, and John the Baptist.

The font is of Bath stone; and the roofs, which are of deal are groined into each other. There is a west entrance, over which there is a bell turret with one bell; and a vestry door.

A marble tablet bears the following inscription :—

Sacred to the memory of John Myers Montgomery, Esq., Captain 49th Regiment, who died at Templemore. 14th December, 1849; aged 44 years.

He served with the 49th Regiment twenty years, and was severely wounded in action at Segoan in China.

This tablet was erected by his brother officers in testimony of their sincere regard.

The present and first vicar of S. Paul’s Church is the Rev. Alfred Rudall, who was licensed Oct. 31, 1866; the patronage is in Mrs. H. Batten, and the stipend £100.

The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, schools, and minister’s residence are situated in Chapel-street. The chapel was erected in 1814, and has since undergone several alterations and improvements, and is now one of the largest, and most commodious in the county. With other handsome fittings it has a pulpit of polished mahogany, and three stained glass windows; the first and third represents the evangelists, the second the Saviour and John; the first is inscribed—“James Rosewall, died at Penzance 18th Septr. 1843;” the third is inscribed—“Nicholas Berryman, died at Penzance 14th April, 1857 .” Good marble tablets bear the following inscriptions:—

William Carne. Born 13th December, 1754; died 4th July, 1836.

This tablet was erected by the trustees of this Chapel and the society of the Wesleyan Methodists in Penzance, as a memorial of veneration and love.

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Richard Treffry, Jun., who was born at Camelford November 30, 1804; and died at Penzance January 20,1838.

As a Christian he was richly adorned with graces of the Holy Spirit, which were matured in the course of a long and sanctified affliction, and which in the several relations of son, husband, father, and friend shone with distinguished lustre.

As a Christian Minister he was clear, comprehensive, eloquent, and faithful; and was honoured by his Great Master during the short period of his active services, with most encouraging success.

As a Christian author he discovered a compass of knowledge and accuracy, and patience of research, and a stedfast adherence to the pure truth of revelation, which entitle him to an honourable rank among the ablest advocates of the “Faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

“He being dead yet speaketh.”

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Samuel Symons, Wesleyan missionary. A native of London; but resident several years in this town.

His sincere and ardent piety and his unaffected meekness and humility made him generally beloved and esteemed.

After spending some years as an acceptable and useful local preacher in this circuit, his zeal for the salvation of the heathen constrained him (regardless of personal danger) to become a missionary to Western Africa, where, at McCarthy’s Island, in the river Gambia, be laboured for two years as a devoted servant of his heavenly Master; and then after a short but severe illness, he triumphantly exchanged mortality for life. He died at Lindoe Institution on the 20th of January, 1844; aged 29 years.

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. John Reynolds, Wesleyan minister, who commenced his itinerancy in this Circuit 1799, and died at Penzance 1854; in the 80th year of his age and the 55th of his ministry.

“He that winneth souls is wise.”

Joseph Carne, son of William Carne, died Oct. 12, 1858; aged 76. For nearly 50 years a member of the Wesleyan society.

“The generation of the upright shall be blessed.”

Over the side entrance to the schoolroom is placed an inscribed stone preserved from an old house which occupied the site of the present building, said to have once been the property of the family of Sir H. Davy; it bears the initials and date,—” R. D., 1602.”

The Baptist Chapel in Clarence-street was built in 1836; the ornamentation throughout is of Norman character, and the structure exhibits a fair specimen of the peculiar style of architecture generally adopted by that respected religious body. Marble tablets bear the following inscriptions;—

Sacred to the memory of the Revd. Charles New, eleven years pastor of this church, who was suddenly called to rest from his labours Lord's day Jany. 7th, 1855; aged 39 years.

This tablet is erected as a tribute of affection by the church and congregation.

Sacred to the memory of Robert Matthews, for nearly 40 years a teacher and superintendent of the Baptist Sunday school, and a Valuable member of the church, who died 4th day May, 1834; aged 54 Years.

This tab1et is erected by the school and church as a tribute of affectionate remembrance.

The Roman Catholic chapel of S. Mary, in Rosevean Row, has been partially bui1t for many years. Its chief feature is a massive Gothic front of granite ashlar, heavily buttressed, and finished with a bell turret, containing one bell. In the centre of the front, over the chief entrance, is a canopied niche intended for a statue of the virgin Mary.

In addition to the places of worship already named, there is a substantial chapel for the Congregationalists in Market Jew-street; a commodious Bible Christian chapel with school near S. Clare-street; a neat chapel for the Primitive Methodists, with library and Sunday school-room attached, in Mount-street; a well-built chapel for the Wesleyan Methodist Free Church in Parade-street; a neat Meeting House for the Friends in Causeway-head; and a Jews’ Synagogue in New-street. The greater part of those places of worship, including the Roman Catholic chapel, are licensed for marriages.

Beside the charities already named the interest of £300 personality, at £5 per cent., called Dennis’s Charity, is distributed in money to the deserving poor. Stone’s charity, consisting of £15 rent charge, is distributed in like manner.

The first mention of the harbour of Penzance is in a grant from Henry VIII., dated March 16, 1512, in which is granted to our ten’nts of the said town of Penzans, etc., the profits arising from the ankerrage, kylage, and busselage of all ships, as long as they do well and competentlye repayr and maynteyn the said kaye and bulwarks.

Leland writing circa 1540, says Pensants,— stonding fast in the shore of Mount-bay, ys the westest market towne of al Cornwayle, and no socur for botes or shyppes, but a forced pere or key. Ther is but a chapel yn the sayd towne as ys yn Newlyn. For theyr paroche chyrches be more than a myle off.”

The first entry in the corporation account books relative to the Quay was made in 1656, when it was let for £25 per annum. In 1745 the re-building of the pier was completed, and the corporation to defray the expense sold the advowson of Madron with Penzance and Morvah.

In 1747 the quay was let for £126 10s.; in 1782, the pier having been enlarged, Was let for £262; in 1801 the quay was let for £367; in 1812 for £700; in 1822 for £952; in 1831 for £1280; in 1841 for £2101; and in 1851 at £2251. The foundation stone of the northern arm of the quay was laid July 7, 1845; and on Dec. 31, 1851, it was constituted a legal place for shipping and unshipping goods; its length is 1300 feet. The old pier extended to 1127 feet, terminates with an iron lighthouse. In 1861 the quay let for £3128, and the next year it made 2½ per cent. beyond that amount.

In the reign of Edward III., Alice de L’Isle, sister of Henry, Lord Tyes, who had married Warine de L‘Isle, obtained permission from the crown, in 1332, to hold a weekly market in the manor of Alverton on Wednesdays, and a fair of seven days continuance at the festival of S. Peter. The manor of Alverton had been conferred upon her, or rather confirmed to her, by grants of Edward II.

In 1404, the right of holding a market in this town was again granted to Thomas, Lord Berkeley, who at that time was in possession of the manor of Alverton through marriage with the heiress of the De L’Isle family. In lieu of a fair of seven days continuance, three of two days each were allowed.

The charter of James I. is dated May 9, 1614; by it the grant of Henry VIII. was confirmed, and in addition thereto the profits arising from all markets and fairs were vested in the corporation on the payment of five marks annually.

By this charter the corporation were empowered to hold lands and other property; and one of their first acts was to purchase from the Lord of the manor of Alverton whatever right he had over the tolls of the pier and market, and also a plot of ground on which to build a market-house. This plot of ground was “three cornered,” and was traditionally said to be the same on which the market was held before it came into the possession of the corporation. The assignment, dated January 11, 1615 conveyed from Richard Daniel of Truroe, Lord of the Manor of Alwreaton and Penzance, one the corner plott of waste land lyinge in the said towne and village of Penzance, and bounded on every part thereof with the King’s hiye waye, and also all fayres and markets, and tolle stallage, etc., for the consideration of £34, and a rental of £l.

This purchase, with the grant of James I., put the corporation in possession of an important property, and they immediately erected a large market house on it. The three persons who were mainly instrumental in procuring the charter built shops, etc., On the three sides of this piece of ground, One of these was John Clies, whose monument, as well as that of John Maddern, the first mayor, are in Madron church.

The fee farm rent of five marks descended to Sir Christopher Hawkins, from whose representative it was purchased by the corporation in 1832, for £72.

The present market house stands on the site of the old one, and the old coinage hall; it is a semi-classical structure of granite ashlar, and is surmounted by a lofty dome. Over the front is a pediment supported by massive granite columns, and the tympanum displays an illuminated clock. Below the colonnade is the post office; on the front of which is the date “Anno Domini MDCCCXXXVII.” Against the western wall of the market house is preserved an ancient granite cross. Opposite the north side of the market house is the Pork market; and there is a separate building in Prince’s-street for the sale of butter, eggs, poultry and fish. The market days are Thursdays and Saturdays; and fairs are held in March, May, and November.

Charles II., by a charter dated August 18, 1683, conferred on Penzance the privilege of a coinage town. A convenient coinage hall was built in the market place, near the old market-house, and was used as such until 1816, when, for the improvement of that part of the town it was removed to a proper situation near the quay. The town enjoyed the coinage privilege, with but a short interruption until the abolition of the tin duties in 1838 when a compensation was made to the Duchy of Cornwall in the form of an annuity from the consolidated fund, in lieu of the coinage dues, in accordance with 1 and 2 Victoria, chap, 120.

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