Dr. James Malcolm Maclaren 1873 – 1935

Dr. James Malcolm Maclaren 1873 – 1935

James Malcolm Maclaren (always known as Malcolm) was a world-renowned geologist and mileage millionaire. He was born in New Zealand and travelled the world as a consulting mining engineer. He was a specialist on the mining of gold, silver, lead, zinc, tin, mercury, copper, china clay, bauxite and phosphate. It was on his advice that many Cornish mines were closed during the early years of the 20th Century, most particularly the 1920’s. He married Harriett, the elder sister of C C Vyvyan, the travel writer. These ladies were of the Williams family of Caerhays and the Powys-Rogers of Stanage Park. Malcolm Maclaren died at the family home of Burncoose, Cornwall in 1935 and is buried at Gwennap Church.

James Malcolm Maclaren

His father – James Monteith Maclaren

His parents, James Monteith Maclaren and Janet MacNeil were both born in Scotland. James Monteith was born in Braes of Balquhidder in 1837, and his family moved from this desolate area to Edinburgh in his young years.  This move was a result of the notorious Highland Clearances, when many crofters were moved from their tenanted cottages by their landlords.

As he matured, James studied at Glasgow University and worked for an engineering firm in Glasgow for 5 years. But he was of such delicate health with weak lungs, that the family decided they should send him to relatives in New Zealand where he would fare better in the climate there. Many Scots had gone before them to take part in the Gold Rush. James parents, brothers and sisters remained in Edinburgh and never moved to New Zealand, so James journeyed alone to New Zealand in 1864 on the ship ‘Brechin Castle’, landing at Dunedin.

He soon began working for the Otago Provincial Government, which was involved in mining in Otago and the West Coast. By 1868, James had moved to Thames, the fastest growing town in New Zealand because of it’s mining activities and was appointed the Engineer in Charge of Thames District by the Auckland Provincial Government.

He married Janet Adam McNeil in 1872, when she was 18 and he 35. Janet’s family were from Glasgow and had emigrated to New Zealand in 1869. Janet’s parents, Daniel and Margaret (nee Inglis) McNeil, were confectioners and so it seems that James met their daughter at the store while he had finally begun to get a well-paid job and was ready to settle down. She was remembered by her granddaughter as being five feet nothing and plump but had the same electric blue eyes as her husband, so it is no surprise that these piercing eyes were passed on to their son, Malcolm. Interestingly, grey eyes featured in her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

So, it was in Thames, amongst many fellow Scots, where familiar accents and hotels such as the ‘City of Glasgow’ made it feel like the old country, that they raised their family.

Their first born was James Malcolm Maclaren on the 28th October 1873, although his father did not register him for six weeks. He became the famous and well travelled mining engineer. The Maclarens had six children in total, two of whom died quite young in July 1881 from scarlet fever, during a time when the Thames Schools were closed in a bid to rid the community from this dreadful outbreak. Their son Jack was also a mining engineer but became an invalid following a bout of blackwater fever while he was prospecting alone in the bush. Meg married Ned Wylie and Jessie remained unmarried and was also an invalid, although it appears that she many have been something of a hypochondriac.

The Provincial Government was abolished in 1876 and James rapidly found work in the Government Survey Department, mapping goldfields. By 1878, he had been appointed Inspector of Coal and Gold Mines in the North Island.

He was also an active Freemason at his Lodge in Thames.

Although well respected in this job, the career choice was to become very stressful for James Monteith Maclaren. He had many run-ins with the newly appointed Warden of the Te Aroha Mining District, Harry Kenrick.

Kenrick was causing great trouble with many areas of the District, such as hotels, taverns, law and the courts. James was not left out of the dramas, and when one gentleman was listing reasons Kenrick should be removed from his position, the first two items on the list were;

That he tried to deprive the Inspector of Mines of the Office of Inspector of Coal Mines.

That he tried to deprive the Inspector of Miners’ Rights of the office of Inspector of Miners’ Rights

Maclaren and Kenrick had many clashes which ultimately went higher than their pay grade and resulted in James’s suspension, with his pay being stopped at one point. This suspension would appear to be unfair, but it resulted in James becoming dangerously ill with piles, congested liver and acute bronchitis, which had flared up again. The main bone of contention appeared to be the registering of claims and the rights of miners.

The stress killed Kenrick, while James eventually had his three months pay returned and from 1888 he began working privately as a consultant mining engineer. In 1890 he was appointed Engineer in Charge to Thames, where he remained for 20 years until 1910.

Details of the problems can be found here, most particularly Page 87 onwards, although there are mentions elsewhere in the document.

Janet’s mother, Margaret Inglis MacNeil, lived with them both following her own husband’s death from senility and heart failure. It appeared that Margaret had been working in a domestic capacity for James and Janet.

James Monteith died at 86 on the 16th May 1924 after having suffered from senile decay and a bad heart for over 5 years.   Janet died on the 15th July 1936 aged 83 at a private hospital of heart failure. They had not seen their son Malcolm Maclaren for many years.

They are both buried at the Shortland Cemetery, Thames.

James Malcolm Maclaren

James Malcolm Maclaren was born in Thames on the 23rd October 1873. The family lived at Parawai in South Thames and the children were schooled in Thames.

Malcolm and his siblings attended initially the oldest school in Thames, the two roomed, Parawai Public School. At 14 years old, Malcolm went to Thames High School in June 1887 from where he matriculated in 1890, winning the Junior Scholarship Senior CCS with Honours. At the Thames School of Mining in 1892, he won The Presidents Medal and School of Mines Medal.  Here he studied under James Park, who later became the Professor of Mining at Otago University. James Park was the father of ACM Keith Park, who controlled the Battle of Britain during World War II.

During 1893, money was short in the family probably due to the problems his father was having with Warden Kenrick – ( see above) and on the 13th February, James Malcolm began working at the Bank of New Zealand in Thames. On the 10th March he was transferred to the Auckland branch of the Bank. He was transferred back to Thames on the 22nd August and resigned on 30th June 1894. While Malcolm was earning this extra money for the family, he was also taking evening classes at the School of Mines and obtained a University Scholarship from there. He was offered 10 weeks teaching at the School of Mining as he was respected so much.

Between 1895 and 1896 James took up his scholarship at the Otago School of Mines where there was renewed interest in mining as gold dredging was now booming.

Malcolm moved to Auckland in 1897 where he attended the University College obtaining BSc Hons Geology and a prize for a Senior Scholarship, the 1851 Exhibition Science Scholarship. He had studied here under Professor Thomas and they wrote letters to each other regularly. Examination papers were always marked in the UK and Malcolm’s manuscript was sent by ship. In the style of a novel, the ship was wrecked off Cape Horn and his papers would never arrive at their destination. The University of New Zealand decided that substitute exams held by constituent colleges would suffice. Latin was a compulsory subject and because Malcolm was weak in this subject he failed. Nil desperandum, Malcolm studied hard, passed Latin and achieved his Senior Scholarship in Geology.

He wrote;

As you are no doubt already aware, I was “ploughed” in Latin, much to my astonishment, I must confess, for Prof Tubbs appears to have adopted an unnecessarily high standard. I suppose he thought the honour of the University was at stake. Apart from the bitterness of failing I am glad to have another chance for the scholarship from an examiner and not a hole and corner way in which I would otherwise have held it.

He was one of a group of outstanding students who studied under Thomas and could stand shoulder to shoulder with them. He was proud of his degrees and prizes and he culminated his achievements in a DSc in Geology achieved in 1907, Auckland’s first.

Coromandel School of Mines

During these studies and exams, Malcolm became the first Director of the Coromandel School of Mines in 1898 before he resigned on the 1st July 1899. He had been offered a job as Mining and Geological Surveyor to the Hauraki Group of Mines before he did a six-month stint from January to June 1900 as the Assistant Geologist to the New Zealand Government. His father was very proud of him.

Malcolm’s Home at Coromandel School

London and beyond

In April 1901 Malcolm arrived in London ready to take up the 1851 Exhibition Science Scholarship, which he had won in Auckland. He was to study under Judd at the Royal School of Mines. There was a delay here when the School insisted that they had no record of Malcolm’s Scholarship entry and when the paperwork was eventually found, it was at the last minute and Malcolm was at the point of returning to New Zealand. Once he began his studies, he was not impressed with their treatment of him and decided that he would only study for one year and not the three for which the Scholarship was intended. He was also elected Fellow of the Geological Society in London in 1901, while he was at the Royal School of Mines.

Malcolm prophetically wrote;

…whatever opening the future may have for me, it will be something connected with gold.

It must be assumed that Malcolm was already becoming well known for his knowledge and achievements even at 28 years old. He was a good all-rounder and had a very high IQ. Although he was a short, stocky man, reports are of him being between 5’5” and 5’8”, with dark brown hair and a tremendous moustache, of which he was very proud; it was his bright, ice blue eyes which made him instantly memorable. His eyesight was not so brilliant, and it did worsen with age. It might also be deduced that Malcolm was a very lucky man, who was often in the right place at the right time.

Malcolm travelled widely during this time, including Scotland, Wales and Cornwall and almost the rest of the world.

In 1902, Alexander McKay, the New Zealand Government Geologist was declared medically unfit for field work. The New Zealand Government offered the position to Malcolm at a salary of £600 per annum. At the same time, he had been offered the job of Mining Specialist Geological Surveyor in India at a salary of £1000 per annum and sensibly Malcolm travelled to India to take up the position in September 1902.

The New Zealand Government were not ready to give up on Malcolm and sent further offers of salary with Malcolm haggling them upwards, but no agreement could be reached. On the 16th May 1904 Malcolm wrote,

Dear Mr McGowan,

I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 18th March containing details of position with regard to the vacant post of NZ Govt Geologist. In reply I, may state that I have decided not to make application at either £600 or £700. The latter figure means at the time of offer a sacrifice of at least £300 per year and more at the present time, but as I have pointed out before, I am under a deep sense of obligation to the N Z Govt. It seems to me, however, that the action of Govt. in calling for applications releases me from any obligation with respect to my last offer, and as £600 will only be half my prospective salary for the next year or so, I cannot reasonably be expected to apply at that figure.

While I am extremely gratified that you should have offered the appointment to me I yet think that calling for applications, and widely advertising the vacant position, is the best way of securing the best man.

So, it was that James Mackintosh Bell was appointed to the position of Government Geologist in New Zealand in November 1904.  There were 57 applicants for the £600 post. Bell’s title was changed to Director of the New Zealand Geological Survey as a sweetener for the lack of remuneration. To put the salary in perspective, the Minister offering the post was earning only £800 p.a. The Prime Minister only earned £1600 p.a.

While the negotiations had been going on, James Malcolm Maclaren had also had an offer from the Belgian Congo of £1500 p.a., which he did not accept.

Malcolm finally resigned from the Geological Survey of India in 1906, sure in his belief that he could earn in excess of £2500 p.a. as a private consultant. He spent the following two years travelling the world researching his book, Gold.

Gold

Gold, by James Malcolm Maclaren was first published in 1908 and is still available. Although, clearly some of the information has now been updated, it is still informative geologically and historically. It runs to 700 pages with 278 illustrations and one colour plate. The maps and diagrams drawn by James are not only good, but functional. The book was received well with excellent reviews from well-respected journals and organisations. The research helped James Malcolm Maclaren gain a DSc from the University of New Zealand for his work on the Coromandel Goldfields. Malcolm was clear that he had written up much of the research from the miners who were at each mine, Malcolm not having enough time to research each mine himself.

Charlotte Harriett Rogers

Charlotte Harriett (always known as Harriett) was born on the 26th August 1882 in Australia at the family cattle ranch, Stanage, Toorilla Plains, Queensland, to Charlotte (nee Williams of Caerhays Castle) and Edward Powys Rogers of Stanage Park. When she was young, the family moved back to Burncoose in Cornwall, while their father travelled back to Australia at various times, sometimes accompanied by the family and sometimes alone. As the family grew, the children would sail back and to between Australia and England, amongst their many other travelling adventures around the world. It was on one of these Australia sailings that Charlotte Harriett Rogers and James Malcolm Maclaren met and conducted an on-board romance.

The boat was going from England to Australia and Harriett and her sister Clara (C C Vyvyan) were travelling to stay with their father at the ranch for a few months.

Charlotte Maclaren

Malcolm managed to charm Harriett, even though he was more than 3 inches shorter than her and ten years older. Harriett, like her sister Clara was just over 5’10” and beautiful. Malcolm often went without his glasses and his bright blue eyes were attractive and hypnotic and the pair appeared to hit it off. Malcolm spoke seven languages, had considerable artistic ability and a high IQ. He had every intention of earning money and travelling the world and this interested Harriett, an intelligent and much travelled woman herself.

Her sister Clara was less than impressed with Malcolm.

Clara Vyvyan in her 20’s

Malcolm told Harriett of his book and his travels and adventures. He also told her about the money he sent back to New Zealand to his parents. It was 1909 and his father James Monteith was to retire from his government position within a year and his maternal grandmother was also living at home. Malcolm needed more time to set his family up before he could consider marriage. They did reach an understanding, however.

Harriett was an excellent musician, singer and artist and had already travelled widely herself. Her family, wealthy gentry who owned a castle and mansions, were involved in mining in Cornwall.

They complimented each other perfectly.

Harriet and Clara continued to the cattle station and James to his mine meetings. They corresponded regularly. Charlotte Rogers, Harriett’s mother did not approve of James Malcolm Maclaren, considering him common. Malcolm often visited the family at Burncoose in Cornwall, part of the Caerhays Estate and got on with his future father in law Edward Rogers and the Williams of Caerhays cousins. Malcolm was a good shot and often went shooting on the estates for snipe, pheasants etc. He and the menfolk could discuss mining and Malcolm advised the family on mine shares and investments. Charlotte (always a snob – but a kind one) was won over. The couple married on New Year’s Eve 1912 at Gwennap Parish Church and began their life travelling the world.

A marriage of interest to many folk in Kalgoorlie is thus described by the “Royal Cornwall Gazette” The marriage of Miss Charlotte Harriett Powys Rogers, eldest daughter of Mr. E. Powys Rogers, of Toorilla, Queensland residing at Burncoose, Perranwall. To Mr. J Malcolm Maclaren, younger son of Mr. J. M. Maclaren, of Thames (N.Z.), was solemnised at Gwennap Parish Church on Tuesday. Much local interest was manifested in the wedding, and the church was crowded some time, before the bridal party arrived. The bride, who looked very charming in her trousseau of deep ivory charmeuse and crepe chiffon. with a Court train, lined with silver throughout and trimmed with silver roses and Brussels lace,(the gift of Mrs Pocklington Coltman), was given away by her father. She carried a beautiful bouquet of carnations, white heather, and fern, tied with MacLaren tartan ribbon. The bridesmaids were Misses Clara and: Naomi Powys Rogers (sisters of the bride), Gwladys Rogers, May Williams and Mary Arnott (cousins), and Miss Davies Gilbert, who wore dresses of deep ivory satin and tinted lace, with waist belts of deep rose. chiffon, old gold plait and posy of small Banksia roses, with head-dress of small Banksia, roses and gold tinsel net. They also wore pendants of New Zealand green stone, Queensland pearl and Cornish diamonds, the gift of the bride groom. The charming group were provided, with bouquets of white chrysanthemums and fern tied with broad ribbon of the Maclaren tartan, Mr. Edward Loring, London, was groomsman. Mrs. Powys Rogers was attired in a charming. dress of violet chiffon velours and toque to match, and. carried a bouquet-of purple orchids. The service, which was choral, was conducted by the Bishop of St. Germans assisted by the Rev. J. L. Parker, MI.A., vicar of Gwennap. The church had been beautifully decorated and presented. a pleasing appearance with its adornments of plants and flowers, mostly chrysanthemum ferns and palms. An awning was erected from the entrance to the south porch, while a crimson carpet was laid to the altar steps. Mr. McLaggan, the organist played as voluntaries Wagner’s Bridal Chorus and Mendelssohn’s Wedding March and the hymns ‘The voice that breathed o’er Eden’ and ‘O Perfect Love,’ were sung. After signing the register Mr and Mrs. Maclaren returned by motor car for Burncoose, entering the ground ‘under a triumphal arch of evergreens intertwined with the national colours. A crowd of well wishers gave them a hearty send-off from the church. Mrs. MacLaren is very popular in the district by reason of her good works. among the sick and poor and she has also been great help at Gwennap Sunday School. The reception at Burncoose was largely attended. A splendid scheme of decorations had been carried out in the house and the conservatory was fitted up with fairy lamps which when lighted in the evening made a charming display. During the afternoon the happy couple left for honeymoon and will leave England for Burma about the middle of January. The bride’s travelling dress was a coat and skirt of dark red cloth with a black and white brocade hat.


Kalgoorlie Western Argus

Much information was left in the diaries which Harriett kept and some of the following stories has been gleaned from them.

On New Year’s Day, the couple began their honeymoon at Trevenith Cottage, Ruan Minor, Cornwall. They remained there until the 10th January when they returned to Burncoose. Three days later they were in London, staying at some Williams relatives until they left by train, boat and train to Paris. They sailed to the Mediterranean where Malcolm was feverish and ill, it took him several days to recover.

They were travelling with Sir William Conyngham Greene, who had just been appointed Ambassador to Japan, and Harriet notes the flying fish and whales that they all saw.

By mid-February they were visiting mines in Burma where they remained for three months. Harriett would always write out the reports for Malcolm, a habit she kept up until his death.

They went to Rangoon, Singapore and Bali. They endured rough seas in small ships, Harriett was unperturbed, and Malcolm would regularly feel sick. He was often tired and ill while at the mines, enough so that Harriett recorded the fact. She sometimes said he had a fever or cold or cough, they had only been married for a few months and Harriett was very healthy and pregnant.

Once they dined with the Faulkners from Shropshire and where shown the Stanage plate they possessed, Stanage being the ancestral home of the Rogers family.

They fished and watched the bird life, those they did not draw, they shot, using pistols and rifles. Harriet was often playing her piano. One day Harriet saw a waggon being drawn by 21 donkeys, while Malcolm was working in the mines. He would receive a telegram from London telling him where next to go. He had been working for Bewick, Moering and Co.   but was now employed by the Goldfields Group which had been founded by Cecil Rhodes.

By July 1913 they were at Kalgoorlie and Malcolm was ill again, cold, cough and bad headaches. Harriett complained not at all even with this first pregnancy.

In a relatively short time, the couple had travelled many miles and Harriett recorded much of it.

Children and The Great War

The couple hoped for and expected a son as their first born. Jean arrived in Australia on the 25th October 1913 and always felt as though she disappointed them. Harriett and Malcolm made it plain that they did not wish to have any daughters, only sons and Jean recorded later in her life,

It is difficult for me to write objectively about my father as I did not like him very much. No doubt I was an unattractive, tiresome child but I could do nothing in his eyes and he was always picking on me.

It wasn’t till long after I was grown up that I realised what must have been the cause of this animosity. Neither he nor my mother ever wanted a daughter and to have a girl as their first born must have been an unpleasant shock! Of course, nothing was known of psychology in those days and in any case, they quickly rectified their mistake by producing Edward (in Korea) only 20 months later! Incidentally, so anti girls was my mother that she got really acid with people while I was waiting to produce Richard, “Oh Mrs Maclaren, now you have 6 grandsons aren’t you just longing for Jean to have a sweet little girl?” “Certainly not!” was the reply.

Charlotte’s brother Michael met them and spent a good deal of time with the Maclarens, Harriett noticing how depressed he was about the cattle. Malcolm accompanied Michael on many shooting and fishing expeditions until Dr Voss allowed Jean and her mother to accompany them. Harriett was also in constant letter contact with her family back in Cornwall. It was not until 7th December that Harriett received 21 letters of congratulations on Jeans arrival.

They soon suffered the sad news that Harriet’s sister and Naomi and brother Harry had both died. Naomi from an asthma attack and Harry on a ship. Malcolm continued his work with the mines but was now given a special role as the Great War approached.

The British Government gave him the job of travelling the world and purchasing all the available Wolfram (Tungsten). He had to journey incognito as an American businessman in order to attract little attention. There are few records of his capers in this regard, for obvious reasons. Malcolm never talked much to his family about this part of his life, although he did mention that he was in Spain for a good part of that time. He also maintained his private work as a consultant mining engineer and he and Harriet kept up their travelling. Their son Edward was born in Korea on 24th June 1915 and it was here that Harriet had to milk a goat in order to supplement the boy’s food. The goat was not used to being milked, but Harriet would not be dissuaded. Malcolm continued to work for the British Government after the War. He advised on the mining problems that were occurring following the changing of national boundaries.

Their second son Colin Neil was born on the 25th October 1917. The family moved to Chyrose, Redruth from where Malcolm continued to travel the world.

By 1919, the family moved to Burncoose and this was their home for the remainder of Malcolm’s life. Harriett was carrying the twins Margaret and Peter who were born on the 19th April. Jean remembered while discussing Harriett’s fondness for boys,

Of course, they did have Margaret later on but that was a different matter. She brought a twin brother with her and she was a lovely pretty model child. I can just remember her the days the twins were born. Peter was quite bald, but Margaret had lovely dark curls.

Harriett’s father was ailing with his final illness (He died in February 1920) and her mother Charlotte now needed company.

Harriett could return to her roots of servants, hunting, shooting and socialising with her peers, the local gentry. They had always had servants while travelling, but now she had family servants. Malcolm had come into his own with the Williams relatives, attending shoots regularly and regaling them with tales of his large animal kills. Their daughter Jean remembers,

My father was said to be a fair shot in spite of his poor sight, but he had to have something special done to his gun before he could use it. When we were young there were 2 tiger skins taking up a lot of floor space in the drawing room at Burncoose. We hated it because it was a crime to step on them. He had shot them from a hide up a tree in Burma. They’d been menacing the neighbouring villagers. But he also did a lot of partridge ad snipe shooting in Cornwall. My snobbish Grandmother was upset at her Harriett marrying a colonial, but all the Williams men cousins liked him because of his shooting and also because of his mining knowledge. They still had many mining interests then. He was passionately interested in cricket – the only interest I had in common with him – but I doubt if he would have been much good at it – his sight was too poor.

There was also a story that Malcolm took no interest in his children, preferring his work and his hobbies and his wife. He once asked his son Peter to show him where his room was. Jean said,

…we perhaps are not taking into account the customs of the time when that incident occurred. No man living at this time in a house the size of Burncoose would have anything to do with domestic arrangements – in fact I doubt if he ever went to the back parts of the house. After all there were at least 4 servants in the house plus nannies and governesses. In any case, none of us kept the same bedroom all the time of our childhood.

He did take a great interest in the children but I’m sure Mother came first, second and third, as, of course, he did with her. Then obviously a lot of the time he wasn’t at home because most of his work was outside the UK.

The children always referred to their parents as Daddy and Mother.

Having produced 5 children in less than 7 years, Harriett and Malcolm decided their family was complete. Harriet was almost 40 and Malcolm almost 50.

Mileage Millionaire

While Malcolm was working with the UK government, he was also advising on the closure of Cornish tin mines. Jean again,

Although in his later years most of his work was in gold mines he never really gave up on other minerals. For instance, many of the last of the great Cornish tin mines were closed because of his reports and I think this must have been in the late twenties. These mines had to be closed because a) tin prices fell because of the cheaper production costs of tine from the streams in Malaya and b) because of the increasing cost of pumping as the mines got deeper.

In 1920 Malcolm prepared the report which finally closed the Dolcoath Mine when the mine was almost worked out and the tin price had collapsed.

During his working life Malcolm travelled the entire world with the exception of Russia. In each continent Malcolm visited many towns and many rural districts, that being where the mines were based. He visited most places more than once and often received telegrams from his office telling him where to go next. He regularly did not make it home for months on end. Harriett often recorded in her diary that Malcolm had just returned from somewhere looking tired and ill or that Malcolm must leave again.

In 1926 he visited Africa and managed to clock up 6000 miles while travelling by train and car. In the 28 months from August 1932 to December 1933, Malcolm spent only 2 months at home. It was by 1929 that he became a mileage millionaire, second only to J H Curle, the famous philatelist.

Jean;

During his working years he held the proud title of ‘second most travelled man in the world. My mother was very proud of this. It meant that (except for the No 1 traveller who was an American millionaire called J H Curle) he’d travelled more miles by land and sea than anyone else.

On one of their last trips to Africa, Harriet achieved the record for having been deeper in a mine than any woman. She went down 7522 ft in Witwatersrand mine, South Africa in 1929.

Final Days

During his last journey Malcolm became ill in Western Australia, but he remained professional, completing this contract and another one in Victoria. He spent some time at a hospital in Australia and then sailed home, hoping that the journey would cure him. He came back to Burncoose to recuperate after an operation in a London Clinic where he was diagnosed with a serious lung condition during January 1935. Sadly, he became worse and died on the 13th March and was buried at Gwennap Church, in a service conducted by the Rev J E Durch.

The service was attended by the following amongst others;

Harriett and her four surviving children – Neil had died in May 1932 at his school. Harriet’s brother Michael, who now lived at St Columb and her sister Lady Vyvyan, now at Trelowarren. The Williams cousins from Caerhays Castle and Scorrier House. Also, the Bolithos, the Beauchamps and many of Cornish society families. There were several members of the Burncoose servants present too.

Jean recalled,

Although he was not teetotal like my mother, I don’t think he was very keen on drink. I can remember Bass (for the men only on shooting parties or fishing trips) one decanter of whiskey and strangely Van Der Hum! But I imagine nothing was drunk unless there were visitors. Drinking to excess would have been quite out of character with his disciplined and strict nature. He did smoke quite a lot of cigars so they may have been the cause of the lung cancer from which he died. He took ill in West Australia and was in hospital with a kind of nursing nun but returned to England to die. He was in the London Clinic and then went home to Burncoose for his last week or two.

Jean also remembered,

It seems very obvious that Daddy had a very high IQ – I would guess in the genius bracket and was something of all-rounder. He must have had considerable artistic ability because his plans and maps and diagrams were really beautiful as well as functional. Then he was reputed to have spoke 7 languages and his use of English was accurate.

True he was tone deaf as were all five children. This must have been a trial to Mother who was keen on music and played the organ as well as the piano.

He was a very skilful carpenter and really professional at French polishing. Mother used to buy furniture at auctions and he renovated it beautifully.

He got quite a lot of publicity because he had a friend on the Daily Mail who was always ringing up. I got beaten once for telling that man not to be silly and hanging up on him. All his exploits were reported in the New Zealand papers – much to his mothers’ pride. In fact, he was considered one of New Zealand’s most famous sons.

He was also an ornithologist, a practising Christian and managed on 4 hours sleep each night. He studied Cornish genealogies and history and kept bees, was good with machinery and mechanics.

There were so many obituaries in all the well-respected journals and there is only room for a few extracts here.

“Maclaren was so adverse from publicity, that the fact of his recent serious illness was probably not widely known, anymore than the decisive part which he played in the destinies of many great mines, where his reports and advice were accepted as decisive by the big mining groups in whose service he passed most of his extraordinary active career.”

“To a world-wide circle of mining engineers Dr Maclaren was known as perhaps the most eminent and widely travelled of present day economic geologists.”

“Indefatigable as a worker, concise in his reports, outrageous in his convictions, his ripe judgement and integrity earned the unshaken confidence of large groups who esteemed themselves fortunate in counting on his advice.”

Following Malcolm’s death, Harriett moved to Lenowith, Feock, before she moved to Africa in 1948 after her own mother had died, to be with her daughter.  Her three sons had all died tragically and her two daughters were happy to have her. Harriett died in 1964 and is buried in the family graveyard there.

With great thanks to the surviving descendants of the Maclaren family, without whose help this article could not have been written.

Lady Clara Coltman Vyvyan

Lady Clara Vyvyan

Following my original article on Lady Clara, I came into further information which I shall detail here. I also have been given permission to share some memories from her surviving great nephews. Hopefully these new stories will help to illustrate Clara’s character and relationships with her family. You may care to read the original article  in order to obtain more background and dates, which I do not feel necessary to repeat here.
Incidentally, although the author of several books and writer of many articles, Clara rarely spoke to her family about her successes.
Clara recalled in a letter she wrote in 1972,

My mother on reading my first book Cornish Silhouettes in 1924 (forty-seven years ago) opened it and found the word ‘Damn!’ on the first page that she read and remarked drily, “Pray, is all the rest of the book like this? The other exception was my brother Michael; who said he liked best something that I wrote about foxgloves.’

Charlotte Rogers nee Williams           born 6th May 1854

Clara married Sir Courtenay Vyvyan after being friends with him and his wife for many years. They were near neighbours and social equals. Clara and the baronet had spent time working together at Rouen during WW1. They did not marry until 1929, 18 months after Sir Courtenay’s first wife died. Clara always referred to her short marriage, which only lasted 11 years until her husband’s death, as her happiest time. The couple were in love and shared a common passion for flora, fauna and Trelowarren. Clara lived at Trelowarren for almost fifty years.
And died there.

The Daily Standard Brisbane

Monday 23rd September 1929,

QUEENSLAND GIRL ENGAGED
TO CORNISH BARONET.

London, Sunday.
The engagement is announced of
Colonel Sir Courtenay Bourchier
Vyvyan to Miss Clara Coltman Rogers,
second daughter of the late Edward
Powys Rogers, of Toorilla Plains,
Queensland.
Colonel Sir Courtenay Bourchier
Vyvyan, 10th baronet, Is the eldest
son of the late Rev. Sir V. Vyvyan,
and was born on June 5th, 1858. He
took an active part in every war in
which Britain has been engaged since
he entered the army in 1878, and
frequently was mentioned in dispatches.

Almost immediately after her husband died, Trelowarren was requisitioned by the Army. They had been taking in evacuee children since the beginning of the war and it had then been used to house W.A.A.F.’s and then by 2,000 (sometimes destructive) troops. So, Clara went to do her ‘War Work’ in Bristol. She worked through the war years based in a dingy office next to a bombed-out house. She was responsible for the maintenance of clothes and household goods collected for the bombed and needy in the South West and the Cotswolds. From this office, she would walk down the concrete steps, across a flooded floor, which had once belonged to the kitchen of the shattered house and walk to her tiny rented flat. Clara said that she had never been so lonely as she was at that time. Homeless, widowed and alone. She remembered taking great delight in noticing one day in 1944, a tiny coltsfoot plant which had snuck under the dividing wall to brighten the grey, damp, drab yard outside her office.
Clara soon settled in however and expanded her ‘War Work’ to accompanying refugee children and bombed out elderly people from London to various destinations around Britain. Clara often visited new friends and helped some on their farms and continued to enjoy where possible, the country experience she was missing so dreadfully. She made every day count.

We should move sideways in Clara’s story and bring in her familial relationships in more detail. In these accounts, ‘Granny’ refers to Charlotte Harriet, elder sister of Clara. ‘Aunt Kay’ refers to Clara, it being a pet name of her nephews and nieces. No one quite remembers the origin of Clara becoming Aunt Kay and I have yet to discover anyone outside of the family who used that name.

Their father Edward Powys Rogers, who was the second son of Rev J Rogers of Stanage Park, Hertfordshire shipped out to Australia in 1873 and took over Toorilla Plains, Rockhampton, Queensland from his uncle, Frank Newbold (brother of Edward’s mother). Frank had taken up Toorilla Plains in 1859 and turned it into a huge and successful cattle station.  Edward travelled from England with his first cousin Edmund de Norbury Rogers who settled in central Queensland and eventually created a large fruit farm.

A nephew says,

It was a huge acreage I remember Granny saying.  Edward managed Toorilla until the end of the 1880’s, introducing Herefords successfully.  When he returned to England to live at Burncoose, he kept a close interest in Toorilla, visiting frequently.  It was eventually taken on by his second child, Charles Michael Rogers (born 1st March 1884) and who was still managing it when his father died in 1920. Aunt Kay eventually married Sir Courtenay Vyvyan of Trelowarren, Cornwall and was a well-known travel writer. Granny and Aunt Kay had a wonderful relationship.’

 Clara wrote in Roots and Stars,

many a time when we were children, we would persuade my father to repeat to us the tale of his Uncle Frank Newbold who was forced to eat his boots after being shipwrecked on his way to Australia and of Uncle Willie Newbold who met his violent death on the Queensland plain. My mother would never speak of those great uncles by marriage, she did not think they adorned the family pedigree but we children all felt it was a fine distinction to have such people amongst our ancestors.’ 

Willie had been killed by Aboriginal Australians. 

There was a great deal of travelling between the Cornish properties and the Queensland ranch. Ship passenger lists show regular travel for the entire family to Plymouth and back. The family always travelled First Class.  I don’t know why, but were listed as Irish on those sea crossings, perhaps Cornish was mis-transcribed.

Edward had a couple of dealings with the Rockhampton Police Court and the law while there.
In 1887 he was tried in his absence for non-payment of a fine to the Gogango Marsupial Board. At this point there were 10,500 head of cattle on the ranch and 100 horses. The Board stated that there were also sheep on the ranch. Edward did not attend the hearing and refused to pay the fine as the State had not pursued him until more than six months following the fine application date. The fine was £26.10 with a 10% penalty, plus costs. The original fine was dated 17th April 1886 and the case was heard on the 7th September 1887.  There was a possibility that they would remove his grazing rights. In the end, the case was adjourned for a fortnight. At the second hearing which Edward did not attend either pleading innocence, he was fined £20.10 plus 10% including costs. It didn’t affect his future however, as he was already a magistrate, a JP and soon became a member of the Gogango Marsupial Board, as did his son Charles Michael in turn.
In 1901 Edward inherited £14,100 following the death of his cousin George Frank Rogers, who had spent his life in London as a lawyer and his final years living at Toorilla.

Edward died in 1920 and the following was published locally,

The Capricornian Rockhampton

The seal of probate has
been granted of the will of Edward Powys
Rogers, formerly of Burncoose, Gwennap,
in the county of Cornwall, England,
but late of Tregye, Perranwell,
gentleman deceased to Robert Cecil Boland.
the lawfully appointed attorney of Charlotte Rogers,
of Tregye, Perranwell, the
sole executrix. Mr. P. T. Read Jones,
solicitor for the attorney, appeared in the
matter.

Edward left to his wife, Charlotte. £35,787.

The Capricornian Rockhampton, March 12th 1920.

Another old pioneer of our grazing
industry, Mr. Edward Powys Rogers, of
Toorilla Station has passed away. Mr.
Rogers was born in 1855. He was
educated at Wellington College, England, and,
at the age of seventeen years, in 1873,
on the death of his uncle, Mr. Frank
Newbold, of Toorilla, came out from England
to that station, where he gained his
colonial experience under the management of
the late Mr. J. C. Collins. In 1879 he took
full charge of the station, and in 1879 he
was married to Miss Charlotte Williams,
daughter of Mr. John Michael Williams,
of Caerhays Castle, Cornwall. About
1906 he returned to England, where,
except for occasional trips to Queensland,
he afterwards resided. For the last six
months his health had been failing. Mr.
Rogers was a keen sportsman both on land
and sea. He took special interest in
horse racing. He was a keen student of
stock matters. He was a great believer
in the Hereford breed of cattle, in fact,
the herd of Herefords that he founded on
Toorilla may claim to be one of the best in
Queensland. Mr. Rogers was for some
time a member of the Gogango Divisional
Board and the Gogango Marsupial Board.
He always took much interest in the
welfare of the country. There were five
children of the marriage — two sons and
three daughters — of whom one son, Mr.
C. M. Rogers, of Toorilla, and two
daughters, Mrs. MacLaren and Miss C. Rogers,
are living, the second son, Lieutenant H.
P. Rogers, R.N, being been lost in the
ill-fated Monmouth off the coast of Chile.
In the early days of the war Mr. C. M.
Rogers joined the British Army, the
Dorset Yeomanry, and obtained his discharge
in February 1919. Mr. Rogers is also
survived by Mrs. Rogers and five
grandchildren, for whom as well as the rest of
the bereaved family, deep sympathy
will be felt by a large circle of friends
and acquaintances both in Australia and
in England.

Clara was a very fit woman despite chain smoking Turkish cigarettes known as Balkan Sobranie and Egyptian Abdullas, She travelled the world, often alone and just as often with her friends or brother Michael (Michael suffered from depression) or sister Harriet.  Michael would travel to meet Clara either from the ranch in Queensland or from Burncoose. He would leave his wife and son (also Michael) and join his sister for another adventure. They both liked a drink too, although Michael liked it more than most.
The Queensland ranch was sold during the 1930’s and Michael remained in Cornwall with his family. He often visited Clara at Trelowarren and would take the largest box of market garden produce home, when offered. Clara said that he did it without thought. They went to Austria in 1938 to visit castles and stayed at a beautiful hotel there. Clara remembered the patron worrying about the letters he was receiving from the authorities, asking if he or his family had any Jewish blood.

Clara trained as a social worker in London. She graduated with distinction from the London School of Economics with a degree in Social Science in 1913. Then she worked in the London slums for the Charity Organization Society. Her sister Harriet was one of the founding members of St Loyes School in Exeter and regularly attended meetings there. The family had an affinity with those less fortunate than themselves. They were aware that they were privileged but felt no guilt for that fact. They simply liked to help others.

Kalgoorlie Western Argus

A marriage of interest to many
folk in Kalgoorlie is thus described
by the “Royal Cornwall Gazette”
The marriage of Miss Charlotte
Harriett Powys Rogers, eldest daughter
of Mr. E. Powys Rogers, of
Toorilla, Queensland residing at
Burncoose, Perranwall. To Mr. J
Malcolm Maclaren, younger son of
Mr. J. M. Maclaren, of Thames (N.Z.),
was solemnised at Gwennap Parish
Church on Tuesday.  Much local
interest was manifested in the
wedding, and the church was crowded
some time before the bridal party
arrived. The bride, who looked
very charming in her trousseau of
deep ivory charmeuse and crepe
chiffon. with a Court train, lined
with silver throughout and trimmed
with silver roses and Brussels lace,
(the gift of Mrs Pocklington
Coltman), was given away by her father.
She carried a beautiful bouquet of
carnations, white heather and fern,
tied with Maclaren tartan ribbon.
The bridesmaids were Misses Clara
and Naomi Powys Rogers (sisters of
the bride), Gwladys Rogers, May
Williams and Mary Arnott
(cousins), and Miss Davies Gilbert,
who wore dresses of deep ivory satin
and tinted lace, with waist belts of
deep rose. chiffon, old gold plait and
posy of small Banksia roses, with
head-dress of small Banksia, roses
and gold tinsel net. They also wore
pendants of New Zealand green
stone, Queensland pearl and
Cornish diamonds, the gift of the bride
groom. The charming group were
provided, with bouquets of white
chrysanthemums and fern tied with
broad ribbon of the. Maclaren tartan,
Mr. Edward Loring, London, was
groomsman. Mrs. Powys Rogers
was attired in a charming dress
of violet chiffon velours and toque
to match, and carried a bouquet of
purple orchids. The service, which
was choral, was conducted by the
Bishop of St. Germans assisted by
the Rev. J. L. Parker, MI.A., vicar
of Gwennap. The church had been
beautifully decorated and presented
a pleasing appearance with its
adornments of plants and flowers,
mostly chrysanthemum ferns and palms.
An awning was erected from the
entrance to the south porch, while a
crimson carpet was laid to the altar
steps. Mr. McLaggan, the organist
played as voluntaries Wagner’s
Bridal Chorus and Mendelssohn’s
Wedding March and the hymns
‘The voice that breathed o’er Eden’
and ‘O Perfect Love,’ were sung.
After signing the register
Mr and Mrs. Maclaren returned by
motor car for Burncoose, entering
the ground ‘under a triumphal arch
of evergreens intertwined with the
national colours.  A crowd of well
wishers gave them a hearty send-off
from the church. Mrs. Maclaren is
very popular in the district by reason
of her good works. among the sick
and poor and she has also been
great help at Gwennap Sunday
School. The reception at
Burncoose was largely attended. A
splendid scheme of decorations had
been carried out in the house and
the conservatory was fitted up with
fairy lamps which when lighted in
the evening made a charming display.
During the afternoon the happy couple left
for honeymoon and will leave England
for Burma about the middle of
January.  The bride’s travelling dress
was a coat and skirt of dark red
cloth with a black and white
brocade hat.

Harriet Maclaren in her 20’s

Harriet MacLaren later in                               her life

Clara’s sister Charlotte Harriet, was born on the 26th August 1882 at Rockhampton. Clara loved Harriet as she did all her siblings and the girls were as independent as each other. They looked very similar too and as they aged, the similarity did not alter much. Indeed, her great nephews have remembered from their visits to Trelowarren when they were children, that the pair looked so much alike, it was uncanny.

Clara in her 20’s

Clara later in her life

One told me,

‘Aunt Kay, as she was always known in our family, was an inspiring character and although I only knew her late in her life, I saw her quite often in the late 60’s and very early 70’s, while I was in the UK at University. We had a good relationship and enjoyed each other’s company. She was my maternal grandmother’s sister, Charlotte Harriet Maclaren. I had been very close to Granny and had only recently lost her when I first met Aunt Kay. Their similarities, both physically and in character, created a warm link, which Aunt Kay enjoyed knowing.’ 

And.

I was born and brought up in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia and Harriet lived with us from when I was born until her death in 1964. Harriet never travelled back to England in that time and thus the two sisters never saw each other in their later years. They did keep up a regular correspondence however, through weekly letters, so were obviously close. CCV was often talked about and all her books, published articles, etc., were proudly read.  CHM would talk about their early life on the station in Queensland.’

Charlotte Harriet died at the family farm, Muckleneuk, Zambia in August 1964. She was buried in the family graveyard beside members of her family including her son Peter, her daughter, Margaret (Peter’s twin) and Paddy, Margaret’s husband.
Peter was the father of three boys.

I was told,

‘Poor Granny Maclaren (Harriet) lost all three sons early, one at school of an appendix, one killed in WW2, by an English drunk driver, or perhaps in a tank accident (varies from story to story) in North Yorkshire and my father by crocodile in 1956. My father worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fish in what was then the colonial service in Nigeria and North and South Rhodesia.  He taught the locals how to make and use fishing nets (give a man a fish and you feed for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life).  I was just 4 when a crocodile got the better of him. ‘Uncle Michael, (son of Charles Michael, nephew of Clara and Harriet), felt so sorry for my widowed mum with 3 small boys, he set up a trust to pay for our schooling at Stowe where my father had gone.’

And another,

‘We would visit Aunt Kay a couple times a year either camping with my two brothers, or while staying at Burncoose with P M Williams.  My brother kept up writing to her until her death. Aunt Kay was a lovely lady, quite eccentric, wore old coats tied up with string, drank lemon verbena tea.  Oh, and made the most fantastic saffron cake.  That is the sort of thing a ten-year-old remembers.
My mum had the task of cataloguing Kay’s huge library and dispersing the books around – many first editions and signed copies.’

And later,

‘My grandmother, Clara’s sister, travelled with her husband by every form of transport there was, boat, train, bicycle, horse and camel.   She and Aunt Kay looked very alike and probably were made of the same stuff – i.e. no wimps.’

And,

‘I visited Clara (or Aunt Kay as we called her) several times in her Trelowarren house. Once she took me down a maze of corridors to visit Foy Quiller-Couch who lived at the far end of the mansion. There was something very strange, mystical, fairy-tale, about these two old ladies each living in a tiny section of this great mansion and seeing each other only a couple of times a month. I liked Kay a lot. She was a few generations ahead of her time in some ways but a few behind in others.’ 

Foy lived with Clara in her wing at Trelowarren for many years. The women had been friends for almost all their lives and spoke highly of each other. Clara found her company comforting when she felt particularly vulnerable as she gradually lost her hearing, sight and strength. Foy eventually became ill and moved from damp and cold Trelowarren in 1971 to a flat in Lanhydrock before her final rest at Bodmin. This was the same time that the heir John Vyvyan, was having Sir Courtenay and Lady Clara’s precious gardens, orchards and beech grove, where Sir Courtenay’s ashes had been spread in 1941, bulldozed to make way for caravan pitches.

Clara it seems was ruggedly independent and not the slightest interested in ideas of male superiority. She loved natural history and books as any reader of her work will testify.

A great nephew,

One thing I will say, when Aunt Kay died, we were all asked what we wanted from her estate. Her valuable book collection – full of signed first editions. She had left all her possessions to a relative and he didn’t invite her to his mother’s funeral because “it’s just for close family”. Kay was dressed and ready to go to the funeral when she was told this. Then she went out one day for a walk and arrived back to see a removal van in her yard. What are you doing? They were carting away some of her precious books without her knowledge, because she had already left them to her “nephew” in advance of her death, probably to escape death duties. Sad way to spend your last few years.’

 Another story,

‘When my wife and I were married, we asked Aunt Kay to the wedding, but she decided she’d rather not attend the event, preferring instead a quiet weekend with us both beforehand. Thus, about a month before the wedding in March 1970, I drove down to Trelowarren from Somerset and fetched her for the weekend. She had a lovely time with us and surprised us by producing for my fiancée’s wedding present a shabby recycled envelope from her artist’s smock pocket; this had an equally shabby jewel case in it and inside that was an exquisite Victorian diamond and pearl pendant on a silver chain. We were gobsmacked – it wasn’t paste as we first thought, but the real thing, mounted on platinum and worth then a small fortune. (Heaven alone knows what the piece is worth now.) My wife wore it at our wedding and it’s been one of our prize possessions ever since, as you might imagine. Kay gave me a cheque for £25 as my wedding present, in itself a very nice gift! ‘  

In, The Helford River, Clara told many tales of her adventures on the river and the banks bordering the Trelowarren lands. There were tales of picnics, boating and fishing. One of her great nephews remembers shrimping with her.

I was staying with Kay at Trelowarren, when she suggested going out to catch shrimp for our supper. We went down to her favourite spot on the Helford Estuary, armed with her trusty shrimping nets. It was a new venture for me but being 90% blind didn’t deter her showing her colonial nephew how to do it and we soon had our supper in the bag. I treasure a lovely memory of Kay, her long skirt tucked up into her voluminous pantaloons leading the way in what I thought were very chilly waters. She wore a set of yellowing, unmatched pearls in a long rope around her neck and when I enquired why she wore them out shrimping, she promptly told me that the blessed things needed airing she’d been told and she only wore them out shrimping, hoping the string might break so she could lose them!  They had been in the Vyvyan family for hundreds of years, given by one of the Kings Henry (I forget which) as a gift when he and his Queen had had to call off their planned visit due to some crisis in the Royal Court. The pearls were known, by Kay at any rate, as the Henrietta Pearls.
She always wore her favourite red artist’s smock, tied at the waist with binder twine, long skirts, sensible brogues and a bedraggled black beret. On leaving for a walk or ‘an excursion’ as she called them, she habitually patted her pockets, muttering her checklist of “knife, baccy and matches”. When I knew her, she was still smoking occasionally and always the oval Egyptian ‘Abdullas’, sent to her in neatly packaged boxes of 500 by Harrods.’

Another.

I am guessing she was anti-American (as most English people were of that age and class) because of the cultural and educational differences and resented the need to make Trelowarren available for the soldiers. Although of course she would have been greatly behind their invaluable contribution to the war effort. Two books cast light on her attitude to Americans, other than the works you mention. One was Kay’s insight from her visit to the States (Nothing Venture) I can also recall when she told me she was appalled by the way her American host treated his wife. Another was a book by Daphne du Maurier where she doesn’t mention Kay by name but is clearly referring to her and was based on the American “occupation” of Cornwall during the war, and Kay’s resistance to it. (Rule Britannia.)
Kay showed me the wooden strips that “the Americans” had nailed on her staircases to avoid damage by the hob-nailed boots of the soldiers. This did not strike me as “utter carnage” (although I don’t know what was happening outside the house). On the contrary, I was impressed that the troops had bothered to go to so much trouble.’

 Clara wrote about the carnage in the garden and grounds in her many articles and her book The Old Place.

Another memory.

‘I remember hearing that she had a car accident while driving just outside the gates of her home. She ran over and killed a pedestrian. She was so upset by this she never drove again, although I do remember going into “town” on a horse and trap with her. I thought that was fun, although I now realise it’s because we couldn’t go by car.’

 And,

‘One memory that casts some light on her attitudes. She had no time at all for my godfather, Peter Michael Williams (cousin PM) who lived at Burncoose. My father has been born there and I visited Burncoose quite a number of times. Presumably, Kay was a first cousin to PM, who was a bachelor and a businessman. PM was a millionaire. “Do you know what his ambition is?” Kay asked me once. “To double his money before he dies! Can you imagine that? What an awful man!” Or something like that. In other words, money was not a big part of Kay’s life and was not a motivator. I came to feel a bit sorry for her, because she was obviously a very capable person, with a good education but a career was not a possibility for a woman of her class and generation. She was allowed only to do good works, for free. So, she filled in her life by gardening, by travel and by writing. From my generation’s perspective, I think she would have got more out of life if circumstances had allowed her to make a more meaty contribution to her community. That is not to disparage her considerable writing talent.’

Clara had changing views about Peter Williams. They met constantly as cousins and often travelled together in Peter’s chauffeur driven  Rolls Royce. Several times Peter arranged for a joint birthday party with Clara, where there would be a cake each at opposite ends of the table – often from Fortnum and Mason – and they would each eat a slice and then Clara would be taken back to Trelowarren. Clara worried about him when he was ill later in his life. He suffered with his gall bladder but could not have an operation because of his weight and his weak heart. It killed him eventually. Following his death Clara noted that everyone she knew was either ill or dead. She wrote in a letter after she had attended Peter’s funeral,

‘Yes, I do agree with you about P.M.’s death. There is always so much humbug about death and people say only nice things about the victims and give them only appreciation which might have been welcome when they were living. As a matter of fact, the Cathedral service was rather moving and made me realise that he had done more good with his life than most of us. Cathedral was full, 22 relations and tribute from the Dean about his austere personality. There was also beautiful music. I felt like a ghost, too blind to recognise faces and too deaf to hear words. There was a strange scene, comic I thought, when P.M.’s sister May, guarded by the Mother Superior of the Epiphany, held court from the bath chair, to all the relations, one by one. She was enjoying her self enormously. “Yes, he was the loveliest man I ever knew, but what could you expect with that money and that spoiling?”’

And from a nephew,

‘My memory is very selective and is made up of snapshots but with often gaps in between.  My brother’s aged about 13 and 11, set off from Salisbury on bikes to ride to Trelowarren, Mum and I left a few days later in the Ford Escort van to meet them at Aunt Kay’s.  I can’t remember putting up the tent. I remember Mum had a terrible night as Aunt Kay had given her silk sheets and she kept on sliding off the bed! ‘

Clara first visited Ireland in 1907 and stayed at the same friend’s house that her sister Harriet had been staying in for several years at Kilkenny. Harriet would catch the ‘Pig-Boat’ from Falmouth and was always careful not to buy a ticket which included meals. At Kilkenny they drove to another friend’s house at Malahide and would visit Dublin. They were at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre to watch The Playboy of the Western World when they saw a tall, dark figure with a flowing bow tie. It was W.B. Yeats.

She next visited Ireland during the summer of 1929, while she decided on the proposal received from Sir Courtenay and whom she married later that year.  She referred often to ‘the troubles’ in that narrative.  Clara travelled to Ireland again in 1935 with several travelling companions, all of whom were lifelong friends, including Betty Bolitho.
Betty Bolitho was a cousin from her mother’s side of the family (Williams.)

They visited and stayed in the beautiful Aran Islands the year following the filming of the Gainsborough picture called the Man of Aran

She wrote about it in her book On Timeless Shores, which you must read if you want to discover more about the local people who appeared in the film and who became friends with Clara. She made friends wherever she travelled.
Clara found Ireland to be magical and heard many tales of the supernatural with myths and legends seemingly being lived out in the villages and settlements she visited
On Aran she had a meeting with a woman, who told Clara of her difficult life. The woman asked Clara about hers and I feel that the words are worth transcribing here.

‘Then she questioned me about myself.
What would I tell her? All the troubles of my broody, introspective nature through youth and middle age had paled into insignificance before the simplicity of this island woman. I had just shared a meal with her and Dara, potatoes, eaten with our fingers, straight from the cooking pot. I would not tell her that at home we were never hungry, that servants waited on us at our meals, that we never cooked our own food nor washed our own clothes. It was only with birth and death and loneliness and hunger that she was concerned; she would not understand the things that made up our everyday life in England. So I told her, at full length, how my younger brother went down fighting in HMS Monmouth, together with her sister ship, and whether they were drowned or burned alive we shall never know: we only know that of all those fifteen hundred souls not a single one was saved. Then I told her how he was the best of the family and how that same thing had happened to all our friends and relations; the one who was killed in the war would always be the best one in the family.’

The medals are now in the possession of his great-great nephews who wear them proudly on Anzac Day.

And,

‘On the day of the first man landing on the moon in 1969, My wife and I were staying with Kay at Trelowarren and we wanted to watch it on TV. Kay didn’t have a TV (…” not much use to a blind person!”), but her retired gardener who lived in a comfortable cottage by Trelowarren’s main entrance, had his TV and he welcomed us in to watch it there. Kay wasn’t going to miss this chance and we installed her close to the old B&W TV. She was deeply impressed. When we returned home late that evening, we had a cup of tea together and she then bid us goodnight, saying she was going to do some writing. We could her tap-tapping on her old portable typewriter until quite late – she’ll have known her typewriter keys well enough to use it fast and accurately, despite being so blind that she needed a magnifying glass to proof-read what she had typed. In the morning, she gave me a letter (in one of her recycled, brown envelopes) for posting. I noticed it was addressed to the Editor of ‘The Lady’ and a week later they published a full page of her thoughts about the changes she’d seen in her life, from motor cars, to steam ships, then air travel and now a man on the moon!’

That gardener was Ernest Rowe who had been with the family man and boy since 1911.

Another memory,

‘I spent about a week with Great Aunt Kay (Clara) I think it must have been 1964 when visiting the UK with my mother and brother, I was left with poor Aunt Kay, she must have been about 78 then, a big ask of Kay by my mother! My Mum and brother then went on a trip. I would have been ten at the time and poor Kay did a great job of looking after me, I have very fond memories of Trelowarren and of Kay picking flowers and cape gooseberries to be sent to Covent Garden in London and me exploring the house & grounds which I thought were far more jungly than the Africa I came from. In my mind I mix my grandmother and Aunt Kay up, I think they both looked very similar. Oh! and sleeping in an enormous bedroom overlooking the house chapel.  The old house creaked and acted like an old Cornish house should, but it must have accepted me as I wasn’t spooked at all.’

This chapel is now a luxury Christian retreat, assigned to them in 1973 when Lady Clara still lived at Trelowarren.

Trelowarren Chapel from Library 1951

Another great nephew.

‘My grandmother, Harriet Maclaren, looked very like Aunt Kay and I was brought up short when I first met Aunt Kay as she could have been a double. The description of shrewd, bird-like eyes comes to mind as echoed in your article. I do think she would have hated the word blog but would have embraced the communication technology of today with wonderment and delight.
Both Granny Maclaren (Our reference to Harriet) and Aunt Kay had a deep love of all things green and both were talented gardeners and landscapers with green fingers. Trelowarren and our garden here in Zambia testify to this long after their passing. I am surrounded by large stately Blue gums, Indigenous fig trees and a landscaped array of beds of colour. Aunt Kay never visited here but would have enjoyed it as she never tired of new ideas, places and thoughts. I made quite a few visits to Trelowarren and whenever I got there and later when my wife joined me in my visits to Cornwall, we would be put to work trimming Rhododendrons, Camellias and Azaleas that had grown out of bounds. Every cut we made with a bill-hook or saw was supervised by Aunt Kay with her walking stick. We would retire at midday leaving a burning bonfire and take her to her pub of choice for a ploughman’s lunch and wherever we went she seemed to be known and greeted with delighted smiles. Quite a few times the owners would not hear of her paying for a drink and meal.  In the afternoon we would cram into my Mini Countryman and she would direct us to out of the way scenes and views we would never have otherwise found. It delighted both of us to be with her as her enthusiasm was infectious.
I never met Daphne du Maurier, but I do know Aunt Kay held her in very high esteem. She was great friends with another lady called Betty Bolitho, whose brother was a well-known ballet critic. We took her there to tea twice that I recall.
I found the gardens at Trelowarren uplifting, even though they were over-grown and neglected which caused Aunt Kay grief. The house was in a state and there was little love lost between the Vyvyan who inherited and Aunt Kay. Basically, he wanted her out so he could save what was left. I gathered from Aunt Kay that she had left him the Estate some years earlier to get around an Inheritance Tax law. Provided she lived for five years after bequeathing it he would not be liable to this tax. All well and good but Aunt Kay lived much longer than expected! I met the relevant Vyvyan cousin once and remember little of him except a sense of aloofness and definite ill-feeling between them both.
Her last few years were lonely I think. She phoned a few times and I phoned her occasionally. Two of her phone calls were memorable. One was when man first landed on the moon and she was so excited by that accomplishment and the fact that she had lived long enough to experience that! She had been determined to live for that occasion and glued herself to the wireless for all the reports! Another call was to instruct me to listen to the BBC at a set time, as she had taught “that whipper-snapper of a reporter a lesson he needed to remember”! The man had made the grave mistake of asking, in opening, how old Aunt Kay was! This was very impolite in her view of the world! Gentlemen did not ask ladies their age. She noted that he only had a few questions listed so answered each one with a “yes” or “no” and the man was soon floundering with time to spare! She used that time to explain to him why she thought he was so bad mannered. Her fire in her well-lived in sitting room was always weak and the room was cold. The stairs up to her bedroom were very steep and small. After her death I did hear that the people attending had a real problem getting her down the steps. She would have laughed! She always wore a black beret and mittens that needed repairs and always spurned the new mittens we tried giving her! She always pressed apples on us and was very proud of their keeping ability, and even though small and wrinkled by the end of winter they were tasty.’

Betty Bolitho had never married and lived most of the time on Cornwall’s Hayle Estuary. She was part of the Bolitho banking family, who were I think taken over by Lloyd’s Bank.

Clara was an expert (she would not admit that she was) on plants and birds. Her friend Gwen Dorrien Smith, an excellent artist and companion on several of her world adventures and who had predeceased her, was also an expert on birds.  When they travelled through Canada to Alaska (An Arctic Adventure) and on her trips around the Scilly Isles (The Scilly Isles), staying at Gwen and her parent’s home, Clara would hungrily collect the names and pictures of the local bird and plant life. Gwen would paint the same and her pictures still fetch a decent price if they come up for auction – a very rare occurrence. Clara valued her friends but valued her solitude more and often said that the true meaning of life could be found in those moments of oneness with the natural world. I hope that in her latter years, with failing eyesight and inability to travel, she was able to retreat further into her own mind and find peace and contentment there.

A story of Clara’s passing.

Years after she died, we met the kind person who sat with her after her fateful fall out of bed, breaking her hip. She apparently refused to be moved out of her bedroom for hospital treatment and died peacefully in the presence of this kind person, John Simpson, then a R.N. Padre from Culdrose. He subsequently left the Navy and became the Vicar at Curry Rivel in Somerset, my wife’s home village, where we met. He became a family friend and related to me how proud he had been to conduct Kay’s funeral, something he did for both of my wife’s parents. Sadly, my wife and I were working in a remote corner of the Congo when Kay died and it was weeks after her death that we eventually heard that she had died. It was the passing of one of life’s leading characters and we were immensely heartened that we had had the privilege to have known and loved her.’ 

Clara wrote the following in closing her book Journey Up The Years.

‘To return, however, to the question of my own old age.
All through life I have longed for adventures, sought them and pursued them to the end. Now I am moving upward to the last adventure.
Fruit hangs upon the tree and ripens slowly in the open or it may hang against a wall and ripen quickly with comforting support and warmth, but in any case autumn’s mellow sunshine may be a token that life can sometimes hold a blessing to the end. As for the last adventure, perhaps it may prove to be the greatest one of all.
I watch the falling leaves of autumn and reflect that each one of us will be absorbed back into the earth; it is our common destiny that our bodies help to create new life. And my spirit? Perhaps it will linger on in the memory of those whom I have loved.’

In her book Coloured Pebbles, Clara talked about her own aunts and her reaction and relationship to them. She then compared her new role as an aunt and how she hoped her own nephews and nieces felt about her.

She wrote,

‘Nowadays as an aunt, I ride somewhat uneasily in the saddle and find that having aunts and being an aunt are widely different experiences. There is no question now of expecting subservience from the younger generation. In fact, the old must curry favour with the young to gain mere toleration.
Yet strangely enough, just as I credited my own aunts with a fixed personality, so my nephews and nieces relegate me, with certain parts of my life, to a permanent niche, after investing me with an unchanging and unchangeable personality. When they introduce me to their friends, they make a point of mentioning, as if to justify their aged aunt’s existence, journeys I have made and books I have written. Then the journeys and the books are put back into their niche and I am left to feel that my contemporary existence is that of a shadow. From my watchtower in old age, I look out on memories of their birth, infancy, adolescence and maturity, but they know nothing about my formative years, my dearest associations, my unfulfilled daydreams, that are still directive.’

I hope I have put that to rights – a little.

I could not have written this article without the unselfish and very kind assistance of her surviving great nephews. All have been wonderful in sharing their memories with me and subsequently with you – the reader.
Thank you.

Walter Hingston Prideaux (1806 – 1889)

Walter Hingston Prideaux (1806 – 1899)

I thought that I would write a short biography about Walter Prideaux who descended through the line of John and Sybell of Luson and the heir Hugh. It is because of an 1835 Mahogany Longcase Clock I own.  I descend from Hugh’s brother John. Walter’s line moved through the South Hams to Kingsbridge and eventually London and Sussex.

Walter Prideaux was born 15 April 1806, at Bearscombe near Kingsbridge, the eldest of 11 children.  His parents were Walter and Sarah Ball Hingston and his grandparents were the Quaker Kingsbridge solicitor George Prideaux and his wife Anna Debell Cookworthy, daughter of Philip Cookworthy. George and Anna had 10 children, Walter was the 4th child. George Prideaux and his wife Anna lived in a large property at Bearscombe.

Walter, (his father) married Sarah Ball Hingston in 1805. Sarah was the daughter of Joseph Hingston, a partner in The Devon and Cornwall Bank, along with Walter’s cousins, Walter Were Prideaux and his son, Walter Prideaux and John Square.

Abraham Hawkins (The Kingsbridge historian), wrote in 1819;

A Bank was established at Kingsbridge in the month of February 1806, by Messrs. Walter Prideaux, John Square, Joseph Hingston, and Walter Prideaux junior. It was first opened in a house on the West side of Fore street nearly opposite the late Buttermarket, and on the North side of Millman’s Lane which communicates with the West backlet. An excellent stone mansion however, with an appropriate room for this concern, having been erected by the junior partner on the East side of Fore Street Hill, facing the houses a little above the Quakers’ meeting, the business was removed thither in 1808; and, the second partner being dead, but replaced by his son of the same Christian name, and the third removed to Plymouth, where he carries on a similar establishment, the notes of the present firm bear the designation of “Prideaux, Square, and Prideaux,” whose Loudon correspondents are messieurs Masterman, Peters, Mildred, & Co. No, 2. White-Hart Court, Gracechurch Street”.

Therefore, there were two separate banks in existence, at Kingsbridge (Prideaux, Square, and Prideaux) and at Plymouth (Hingston & Prideaux).

On 31 October 1813 the banking partnership known as Prideaux, Square, Hingston and Prideaux of Kingsbridge in Devon was dissolved by mutual consent to allow for the retirement of Joseph Hingston. Joseph went to Plymouth to open another bank and the original partnership was renamed Prideaux, Square and Prideaux.

Joseph Hingston formed a partnership in the Plymouth bank with his son in law, Walter Hingston Prideaux, both men staunch Quakers associated with the Plymouth Brethren. Walter and Sarah had moved from Kingsbridge to Plymouth in 1812, following the sale of Bearscombe. The bank was known as the Hingston & Prideaux Bank.

Walter Hingston Prideaux, the eldest son of Walter and Sarah was born on the 15th April 1806 and was the first of 12 children. Walter became a lawyer as did several of his brothers, others became eminent surgeons and the girls all married well, except for Lucy who remained at home. Walter’s younger brother Joseph Hingston drowned at Plymouth on the 24th June 1840. One sister, Sarah Anna married her cousin Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, a well-known scholar and writer It was he who wrote the foreword to the book Poems. His brother Frederick wrote Prideauxs Precedents which is still in use today.

Walter Hingston’s father died on 24th June 1832 and his mother on 20th December 1866.

Walter Hingston moved to London to continue his studies and eventually become Solicitor and Clerk to the Goldsmiths Company (a role his second son Walter Sherburne also held) and he and his family lived at Warhurst in Sussex. Following are some of the many links which reference Walter Sr and Walter Jr in their dealings with the Goldsmith companies.

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/livery-companies-commission/vol1/pp312-322

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/livery-companies-commission/vol1/pp302-306

http://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/blogfwbh.php

https://aim25.com/cgi-bin/vcdf/detail?coll_id=18560&inst_id=118&nv1=search&nv2=

http://www.louisetsai.com/test02/

Walter was a partner in a firm of solicitors with his brother and his son and the firm is still in existence as Kennedy, Ponsonby and Prideaux, initially of 52 Bishopsgate and latterly at 5 Lincolns Fields.

Walter published a book called Poems of Chivalry, Faery and the Olden Time in 1840. Towards the end of his life he also published a small book called Poems in 1892 and with a foreword by Samuel Tregelles Prideaux, who was married to Walter’s sister Sarah Anna. This book has the following statement on Page 5,

‘Only 20 numbered Copies printed for Private Circulation.’

I own Copy No.1.

Walter Prideaux was very much involved in the notorious balloon journey undertaken by Charles Green, Thomas Monck Mason and Robert Hollond. Charles Green was an accomplished balloonist and he famously experimented using coal gas instead of hydrogen. These three travelled a record distance of 500 miles in 18 hours.  Walter Prideaux was included in a painting by the artist, John Hollins called,A Consultation prior to the Aerial Voyage to Weilburgh, 1836 ‘which recorded the event. This painting is available in the National Portrait Gallery.

Walter led an adventurous life and I decided to learn about him after I came into possession of a Mahogany Longcase clock which had been made for him to celebrate the year 1835.  It seems to have been commissioned by him or for him to celebrate and acknowledge his rise in the world. Unmarried, Walter displayed the clock either in his London office or his rooms. He was a sort after lawyer, a Solicitor and Clerk to the Goldsmiths Company and working closely with Charles Green et al on their balloon project. 1835 marked the grand total of 200 balloon ascents for the men to date.

The 37-year-old Walter married 19-year-old Elizabeth Williams of Catsfield Sussex on the 14th September 1843 and they had five children.  Elizabeth was the daughter of General Sherburne H Williams of Sussex.

His boys were educated at Eton and became successful bankers and lawyers. Two of the girls remained single and the third married a Captain, moved to India where she promptly died. One boy remained unmarried and the last boy Walter Sherburne Prideaux married Catherine Povah and they had five   children including Sherburne Povah Tregelles Prideaux who became a scholar and religious writer and analyst.

My clock came from this Sherburne branch of his family, his descendants selling it at one point. It still works very well.

Walter Hingston Prideaux died in 1889 following a heart attack.

Lady Clara Coltman Vyvyan 1885 – 1976 aka C C Rogers

It only took opening and beginning to read the first chapter of The Old Place by C C Vyvyan before I was hooked. I have read everything of hers that I can get my hands on – several times and never tire of her words.
Clara Vyvyan can take the reader into her circle and experience her life alongside her. One feels as though one knows her friends and associates and could enter into a conversation with them quite comfortably upon first meeting.
She was born into a family with great social standing and should, by rights have entered into an early marriage and produced children and good works. But she didn’t.
I have never seen her name and character bandied about as an example of female empowerment and it may be that Clara, like many similar women just got on with her adventures and challenges and travels.
She was a social worker in the East End of London, a writer, a market gardener and fearless explorer.
I have seen no detailed biography of Clara. A blog by a woman who chooses to embrace spinsterhood (nothing wrong with that) informs us of some of the travels of C C Rogers and how she never married. I took away from that article that she was possibly a lesbian. She was not and neither was Daphne du Maurier, Clara’s friend and often travelling companion, although popular reports still infer this.
Clara Coltman Rogers was born in 1885 at the family’s cattle ranch in Stanage, Queensland. Clara, her elder brother Michael and elder sister Harriet were also born there. The ranch is on a peninsula, which at the time was extremely remote, ranchers there going months without seeing another human. The nearest town was 120 miles away and the nearest ranch 100 miles away. They lived by the sea, overlooking the Great Barrier Reef. This ranch provided the family with their principal source of income and that was substantial.
Her mother Charlotte Williams was a member of the Williams family of Caerhays, Burncoose and Scorrier of Cornwall. Her father, John Michael Williams, had been High Sheriff of Cornwall. The family made a fortune from mining and were also famous for their gardens and horticultural expertise. Charlotte was very aware of and proud of her social roots. It was to Gwennap and in 1916 to Burncoose that the Rogers family moved after leaving the Australian ranch in the hands of managers and later to their eldest son, Michael. The family regularly travelled back to Queensland and Michael often came back to England.
Her father, Edward Powys Rogers was a member of the Coltman Rogers family of Stanage Park in Powys. Clara spent a great deal of her time with her relatives. She holidayed during several summers in the 1920’s exploring Wales, particularly from Stanage Park to Snowdon in a horse drawn caravan with her Coltman Rogers cousins. She described one night out on the lakeside at Bala, when they awoke, surrounded by cattle.
A great aunt and godmother, Mrs Pocklington Coltman owned Hagnaby Priory in Lincolnshire and Clara and her siblings went there as often as they could and loved every minute. Clara need only use the proverb, ‘the peace of Hagnaby’ and her family understood immediately. This was the phrase she used to let her brother Michael know exactly what Trelowarren meant to her.
Two further children, Harry Powys and Elizabeth Naomi arrived on the family’s return to Gwennap in 1887. Naomi was a weak child who suffered from debilitating asthma and was babied by the family. She was not taken on the family travels around Europe or on the six month stays at the ranch in Queensland.
The girls had governesses until they were sixteen and then Clara chose a  school in London. She loved learning and eventually studied for a Science Degree at the Women’s University Settlement in London and trained to be a social worker. She had a job working amongst the very poor and used her salary to help pay for her education and accommodation. Clara was enjoying her life of freedom and independence.
Then the news came that her sister Harriet was to marry James Malcolm MacLaren, a geologist. Charlotte didn’t really approve, thinking he was not the ‘right sort,’ but their marriage was happy and produced five children and seven grandchildren. This meant that Clara  must return home to Gwennap as Naomi was under 20 and considered too young to be the ‘Home Daughter’. Clara fought this and managed to remain fairly independent in London until 1914.
Then horror struck.
Naomi had been getting much better and was able to travel to Brittany with trusted friends who had stayed with her in the past on several of her ‘cures’ in Switzerland. They all returned happily to their Surrey home, where Naomi caught a cold, developed pneumonia, heart trouble and asthma. She was dead soon after on 8th May 1914 and was brought back to Gwennap by Clara and Harry. Her parents had managed to race to Surrey following an urgent message and Naomi died in their arms, but they returned alone to prepare for the funeral.
Clara left her work and studies in London following the funeral. The family then went on a European tour during which war broke out and they struggled to make it back to England safely. Harry, now a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, was killed in action on November 1st, 1914 at the battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile when his ship HMS Monmouth was sunk. Harry was 27 years old. Their parents had a memorial stone erected in the church to Harry and Naomi. Two children dead in under six months.
Clara travelled to Hagnaby Priory to find some peace.
There she pulled herself together and began war nursing as many women did at that time. She went to Rouen and here was introduced to the 56-year-old, (born 5th June 1858) Sir Courtenay Bourchier Vyvyan, 10th Baronet, whose stately home was Trelowarren, Cornwall where he lived with his wife. His son and heir Vyell, had died in 1898 and the property would eventually go to cousins. Clara and Sir Courtenay got on very well and remained friends.
After the end of the war, Clara began her adventures in earnest. She returned to be at home during her father’s final illness when he died following an operation on his cancer of the oesophagus. Clara had not approved of the operation, feeling that although his life was extended by a few weeks, it was a terrible life. The family had moved into Burncoose in 1916 and this was where Edward spent his final years before joining his daughter and the memorial stone to his drowned son in Gwennap Church.
Clara soon left home again and with her friend Gwen Dorrien Smith successfully travelled across Canada and back at great cost and with great bravery, details of which she wrote about in An Arctic Adventure later in her life.
She was now getting some articles published and making a name for herself with her writing.
On the 3rd January 1928, the wife of Sir Courtenay died, and the couple began to see a lot more of each other. Clara stopped travelling and bought a car so that she could visit him at Trelowarren often. They married on the 21st November 1929 despite dire warnings from all members of the families that this was bad match, due to the age difference.
They however, remained happily married and content until his death on 15th November 1941, prior to which Sir Courtenay had signed Trelowarren over o Clara.  His ashes were scattered at his request over the bluebells in the beech grove. Clara was adamant that the soldiers who stayed there during the war years and did so much damage to the house and grounds should leave this sacred spot alone.
Her friend Daphne du Maurier, wrote the foreword in Clara’s book, Letters from a Cornish Garden. It was in 1932, just before Daphne’s marriage when Daphne and Foy Quiller Couch, daugher of Arthur Quiller Couch, rode to the Lizard where they explored before spending time with the Vyvyans in their home. Daphne loved Trelowarren and never forgot her first journey there.
She wrote,

‘Foy’s friend Clara, and her husband Sir Courtenay, were standing waiting on the steps to greet us. My diary says nothing of their appearance, but memory tells me that he was smiling, silver-haired, leaning on two sticks and her eyes were penetrating, curious and interested, like those of a very perceptive bird. All that my diary says is this: “This evening we came to Trelowarren, the most beautiful place imaginable. I just can’t believe it is true. The strength, the peace, the kindliness of these people and this place.”’

Daphne talked of the library full of books and a housemaid and the striking of the stable clock. Clara cut flowers from the Lady’s garden as Sir Courtenay leaned on a stick as a robin flew on to his hand. Daphne felt moved by the place and thought that this place was the last of old England as she would ever know it.

She wrote in her diary,

‘I simply hated leaving Trelowarren. Few places have made such a profound impression on me.’

Daphne set her book Frenchmans Creek at Trelowarren and the surrounding lands.
She also wrote to Oriel Malet in 1953 that Sir Courtenay had said once, “If the line isn’t drawn somewhere, there would be no line at all!”
Trelowarren was requisitioned by the Army during World War 2 and Clara did her ‘war work’ in Bristol. She returned to Cornwall to supervise Trelowarren at various times, although a bailiff and her Head Gardener George Bryant were overseeing the property. She had one meeting with the Army where she let them know in a dignified way, the utter carnage they were doing to the property. She wrote about it movingly in ‘Requisition’ which featured in the periodical My Garden and her book The Old Place.
It was Theo Stephens and Malcolm Saville, editors of My Garden who printed many articles of Clara’s and along with other publications such as the Manchester Guardian and the Western Independent.

Clara was  summoned at the West Kerrier Petty Sessions on the 26th February 1940 for driving a motor car without a licence.
Following the war, Lady Clara needed money to maintain and run Trelowarren. Her inheritance was subsidised by her writing and the income they made from running a market garden, producing, fruit, vegetables and flowers. She writes about these times in Letters from a Cornish Garden and The Old Place, much better than I can paraphrase. I was particularly moved by the death of her great friend and employee George Bryant and the  tribute to him in the West Briton, a paper he used to read cover to cover.
She also returned to see her mother during her final days until her death on 17th April 1944 and see her buried at Gwennap alongside the rest of the family.
Clara still adventured around the world often alone and sometimes accompanied by friends such as Daphne du Maurier and Foy Quiller Couch. She would trudge around the lanes of Cornwall even in great age. Her brother Michael would come and visit when he was able.
Oriel Malet, another friend of Daphne du Maurier remembers one stormy afternoon when Clara hammered at the window of the Long Room at Menabilly.  Clara was clad all in black oilskins and soaking wet. Staying a few days at The Haven with Foy she had decided to tramp over to visit her old friend at Menabilly and go through maps and atlases to discuss her latest adventure.
Clara wrote over 20 books and many articles. Her books are still available.
Clara’s latter years were sad. She went blind and had made over Trelowarren to the next heir, a distant cousin of her late husband’s. She lived in a wing there and eventually had to confine herself to one room. She had few visitors, although her old friend Foy visited her very often. Then Foy became older and sicker and was unable to visit. Foy went into a home in 1982 and then to Bodmin Asylum where she died in March 1986 of senile dementia.
Daphne du Maurier died at home at Kilmarth of old age on the 19th April 1989 and her ashes were scattered on her favourite beach.
Another author friend of hers A L Rowse, lasted until 1997.

Lady Clara Vyvyan of Trelowarren died in her room on March 1st, 1976 aged 90, having lived a full life. Her funeral service was held in Trelowarren Chapel at 2.30pm on March 4th and she was cremated, and her ashes scattered at Trelowarren.
I found a cut out copy of her obituary from The Times hidden in a second-hand book I bought a few years ago and then another cut out copy of a death entry of a local Western paper in another second-hand book. That was when I decided to write this article. I would have submitted it to my friend Dr James Whetter  for An Baner Kernewek, but of course he has now left us.
One could become nostalgic if one thought about it all too much.

Dr. James Whetter 1935 – 2018

I learned recently of the death of my friend Dr. James Whetter following a short illness.
A clever man, James wrote many books and articles and was the Editor of An Baner Kernewek where several of my own articles have been printed over the years, including the last edition.

His website The Roseland Institute lists his works and achievements.  It is worth obtaining his books as I feel he has been a vastly underestimated author and collector of our precious Cornish history. He has helped me a good deal over the years with my research. He was a great friend of his neighbour A L Rowse and wrote a memoir about their friendship.

Reproduced by kind permission of Ute Sen

He was also a very nice man who will be missed by his family and friends.

The Travels of John Prideaux 1900. Southampton to New York to Portland

The Travels of John Prideaux. Southampton to New York to Portland.

July 7th.

We were up at 5.30 am and had breakfast seven o’clock. At 7.30 we took carriage for Waterloo Station (a lovely summer morning) and arrived 8 am. 8.30 we left by train and arrived at Southampton 10.30. We went on board Steam Ship St Pauls and left for New York at 12 o’clock noon. We did some changing of our money on the Dock before we left. We had dinner 2 pm after which Mamma and I went to our berths and had a nap. The country between London and Southampton is a lovely flat open farming district. From Southampton Dock, we sailed straight for Cherbourg, the chief seaport of France and took on passengers. From there the St Paul sailed down the English Channel and passed around Lands End point around midnight.

Sunday July 8th

Up 7 am breakfasted 8.30. The weather beautiful and ocean smooth as a mill pond until 4.30 pm when the white caps came in view. After dinner Arthur was called to receive a can of six pastries and 26 cookies.
At 10.30 am. The Episcopal Service was held in the Cabin Saloon. Mamma, Arthur and I attended, the congregation was good. In the afternoon, I read the first seven chapters of first Corinthians. (The can of pastries and cookies were sent to Arthur from Cousin John Prideaux daughters at Troon.) A man played some hymn tunes on his Cornucopia accompanied by piano. Arthur had a sleep and Mamma had a nice rest lying down. In the evening, the weather began to be a little rough and us three retired feeling dick and continued so until Tuesday night. Arthur and I were the worst. Mamma never missed a meal.

Wednesday July 11th

Up 7.30. I had the first breakfast since Sunday and felt better. Last night the Fog Whistle was blowing at intervals and continued till 10 am. Then the sun shone out and the day was lovely and the sea smooth. At 10 pm we had a cup of gruel with many others and retired.

July 12th

Up at 6 am took Mamma for a walk on deck. Breakfasted 8.30. A lovely clear and bright morning, every lady seems to be bright and happy. In the afternoon, the ocean was smooth like glass in appearance and the sun set was magnificent to behold.
At 9 pm we had our cup of gruel and retired to our berths or staterooms.

July 13th

Up at 7 am. Breakfasted at 8 o’clock A wet rainy morning but cleared away 9.30. Three of us sick all day.

July 14th

Up 6.30 a lovely morning breakfasted as usual. Took on Pilot 9 am and landed in New York at 12 o’clock noon. Passed through the Customs House one o’clock. We found a Ticket Agent on Dock who took us to Hotel of whom we got our tickets for Portland Oregon. On Ontario Western Railway.
We left International Hotel 5 pm and started to cross over to New Jersey 5.20 to take train for Chicago and got seated in our own car 6 pm and started on our way 6.15. The weather quite hot and sulphery. We stopped at Congors 7 pm.

July 15th

We stopped at Oswego 3.40 am. Next, we stopped at Buffalo 8.15 am and then crossed the Niagara River Suspension Railroad Bridge into Canada. Weather still hot and close. At 12 o’clock we stopped at St Thomas for lunch then started again for Detroit Michigan and left there 3.30 pm. Arrived at Chicago 10 pm and left 10.30 pm.

July 16th

We crossed the Mississippi River at 3 am Monday morning and stopped at Monticello 6 am and we had a good thunder shower. Arrived at Omaha 4 pm and crossed the Mississippi River after a stop of 35 minutes going towards Pendleton Oregon. The forenoon was showery but the afternoon was more pleasant and the sunset was lovely to behold. 7.30 pm we stopped at Columbus Neb. For five minutes.
The roughest piece of railroad we passed over was from Chicago Milwaukie and St Pauls.

July 18th

We were up at six and stopped at Pocatello from 6 am to 6.30 for breakfast quite a rush. We ate breakfast in our car and then took seat in Chair car.
(I omitted July 17th) (JPx wrote)

July 17th

We slept very well in our sleeper, had mush and cream for breakfast at 9.30. We stopped at Cheyenne and left 10.15. At one pm we stopped at Armies for five minutes. At one o’clock am (this morning) Arthur left us at Julesburg for Denver Colorado to spend a day. And then to Ogden and Salt Lake City for a day or two to see friends and then to meet us at Pendleton.
We now return to where I stopped on the 18th. It was a beautiful sun shine morning and we stopped at Shandon for five minutes 10.15 reached Kings Hill 11.15 and made a short stop at Mountain Home at 12.50 pm.
At two o’clock and 15 minutes we stopped at Nampa and changed some cars for Bois City. Arrived at Huntington 4.45 pm and left for Pendleton 5.15. Arrived at Pendleton 10.45 pm and in 15 minutes we were at the home of our daughter Mrs A J Owen and after some refreshments etc we retired at midnight glad to rest in a steady bed.
We enjoyed the visit with our daughter Mrs A J Owen and husband and their son Walter until Monday July 23rd.

On Sunday 22nd

We attended the Church Services and S. School with our daughter “who was organist” and her husband who was choir leader. The Minister Rev John Wren preached in the morning from the words,
He shall give his Angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy way.
The evening text was,
Chase you this day whom you will serve.
Very excellent discourse.
So ended July 22nd.
Arthur joined us at Pendleton. Saturday night 10.40 after a nice stop over at Salt Lake City.

Monday July 23rd

10 am we left Pendleton for Portland and arrived 5.45 pm. George met us at the Depot while Lillie and dau. had a nice roast of veal ready at their home for us when we came which we greatly enjoyed. After resting and talking of our journey we retired for the night.

The Travels of John Prideaux 1900. Cornwall to London.

The Travels of John Prideaux. 1900 London.

July 1st

Up at 7. Breakfast at 9, at 10.30 am we left for City Road Wesley Chapel.
We rode from Pancreas Church to opposite Wesley Chapel Gate. For half an hour, we walked about the grave yard visiting the tombs of prominent men and ministers. We took a good view of Wesley’s Tomb, a fine piece of granite work which enclosed several of the Wesleys and Dr. Adam Clarks by its side. We were then given a seat of our choice in the Gallery of the large Chapel. Service began a 11 am by singing the hymn, ‘Jesus we look to thee,’ and to tune, Dennis SM all sung heartily and then we went through most of the Episcopal Service except the Litany. This was sung a hymn to tune Platts Hymn. After which the chair sung the Te Deum Laudamus well and strong about 20 voices. The Gallery is horseshoe shape. The organ was divided in two parts one in each end of the Gallery. The organist sat and played from down in front of the Minister with the choir on either side. The Old Wesley Pulpit still in use.
The Rev R S Joice a delegate to the General Conference held at Chicago in May and from Australia preached a good sermon from John 15 – 8 verse. ‘Herein is my Father glorified that you bear much fruit.’
After the Service we made our acquaintance with the Minister and met a prominent Steward who led in the Service in reading the prayers. We got good friends very soon and he said that his niece was soon to be married to a Prideaux from Camborne. After signing our names in the visitor’s book in the vestry and looking at many things we reached Mrs Dynes at 1.30 pm had dinner at once and rested till 5 pm. We then had tea and at 5.45 left for New North Road Wesleyan Church. Arrived there when the first hymn was being sung. The Service began at 6.30. We heard this same Mr Joice preach that we heard in the morning at City Road. His text was Psalm 119 and 164 verses, ‘Great Peace have they that keep thy Law.’
The Church is about the size of City Road only more modern. The Gallery horseshoe shape and a recess for the organ in the Gallery with Choir chairs in front. The Pulpit is of platform patterns the back of which joins the chair left in front of the organ. The Sermon was good, the congregation fine and the choir excellent.
After the service we again spoke to the Minister Mr Joice and to the Pastor of the Church who greeted us heartily. (Rev Mr Wood.) who said he had been Minister there for the past nine years. We then walked to the Angle (1/2 mile) and took Bus. Arrived at Mrs Dynes 9 pm and had supper. Mamma soon retired while I sat up to write my diary. I retired 11 pm.

Monday July 2nd

We got up at 7 o’clock. Just then Arthur returned from his trip to Paris Exhibition and went to his room and slept till 10 am. (We had breakfast 9 am.) When we went to his room and woke him and had Paris news for half an hour. Then he had his breakfast.


At 11.15 three of us left for Madame Tussauds and entered at 12 noon. It was grand to behold we stayed till 2.45 pm when we left and entered Regent Park and went straight to the Zoological Gardens and saw all kinds of animals. Birds and fishes. The ostrich and children riding on elephant’s back. At 4pm we saw the wild animals fed in their cages. We left for Mrs Dynes 5.55 after seeing many wonderful sights, too many to remember and arrived there 6.35. We had dinner at 7 pm and returned to our rooms, all well tired out. It was a wet and disagreeable day.

July 3rd

Up at 8. Breakfast at 9. Wrote to John H Pearce. At 10 am we three left for the British Museum. Stayed till 1.05 pm and took Bus to Charing Cross and walked from there to The Strand where we had lunch. At 2 pm we took train for Greenwich. We crossed the River Thames and saw the Tower Bridge and a glimpse of a part of the City of London from the elevated Railway. We saw a train come out of a tunnel under the River Thames.


At 2.45 we arrived at Mrs Chapman’s at Greenwich. A cup of tea was quickly passed to us.
At 3.15 under the guidance of Mrs Chapman’s two daughters we visited the Art Gallery and the Model Gallery where saw all kinds of ship models from the time of Henry the Eighth down to the present. Then we visited the Museum of the Naval College. From there we took Bus at Nelson St. and rode to Blackwell St. from which we entered the Thames tunnel and continuing on through till we came out at the Town of Poplar and then transferred to another Bus and rode back to the place of beginning. We entered the tunnel 4.30 pm and it took us fifteen minutes to ride through with the horses on a boat. As we left the Bus at 5 o’clock we visited the St. Alfred Church nearby for about 20 minutes in which were the Royal Pews and an old time Pipe Organ and the Memorial window of General Woolf of the English Army. We were also in the Royal Pews. We entered the Royal Park 5.35 and came out at the East Gate 6.35 after an hours pleasant and profitable stay.  Right outside of the East Gate is Blackheath. The village was in plain view with its many buildings and tall Church spires. From here we turned toward Mrs Chapman’s and arrived 7.10 pm. At 8 o’clock we entered the Dining Room and for dinner we had cold roast beef, custard pudding, lettuce and watercress also strawberries and cream. When we returned to the Parlour one Miss Chapman played the piano and the other Miss Chapman played the violin to the delight of Mrs Chapman her eldest daughter (married) Mrs Prideaux, Arthur and myself. The two Miss Chapmans accompanied us all afternoon and it was because of their kindness that we enjoyed ourselves and saw so much.
We saw in the Royal Park an old oak tree hollowed out with age in which Queen Elizabeth sat and the grand old twenty-four-hour clock which regulated the time of the world. We were entertained royally by Mrs Chapman and daughters at Greenwich.


We got our tickets for Charing Cross Station in time for 9.12 pm train but had not time to get on so took 9.42 train and arrived there at 10.12 pm. Then took Bus at St. Martins Church for Euston Road and got there 10.30. In ten minutes, we were at Mrs Dynes. On our way to the museum we passed the George Whitfield Memorial Church between twelve and one o’clock pm. It was built of red brick and has two low towers. We passed it again on our return from Greenwich.


There was a hard shower of rain while we were at the British Museum with thunder and lightning.
After writing up my diary I retired at 11.40. So ended July 3rd after committing myself to my Heavenly Father in prayer as usual.

July 4th

We got up 7.30 am (a lovely morning), breakfasted at 9 am at 9.45 we three left Mrs Dynes for the Crystal Palace. We travelled by Bus and Street Car and reached the Snow Hill Station in time for the 10.40 train and reached the Crystal Palace 11.30 am.
After visiting several stores or stalls and buying some articles we had our lunch. At 2 pm The Great Organ was played by Mr Walter H Hedgecock when we listened to some numbers. At 3.15 Arthur and I rode to the top of the North Tower of the Crystal by an elevator while Mamma waited below, where we had a view of the City of London from a great height of 280 feet. 4.23 We took train for Snow Hill Station and arrived at 5.pm. At 5.15 we visited the YMCA for a short time. At 6 o’clock we took underground railroad at Aldergate Street Station for Gower Street Station and got to Mrs Dines 6.30. Got ready for dinner at 7 pm after which we closed up for the day very tired and retired at 9. But Arthur went again to the YMCA. We saw the American Flag flying.

July 5th

Up at 7 am and breakfast at 8 am. At 8.45 Arthur, Mamma and I started for St Pauls Cathedral and entered 9.45. At ten o’clock the regular Divine Service began by the big Pipe Organ playing a short Voluntary and many boys and men came walking into their seats each having on a white surplus while all in the building stood up and the Minister began reading with an intoned voice.
Sir George Martin was Organist. The big Pipe Organ was divided into three parts and connected by electric wire, the larger part being over the Minister’s head and the choir sung well throughout the service. The prayers and service was mainly in behalf of the War in Africa which was pending.


The scenery of the Cathedral was wonderfully grand with its massive pillars and carved work. We stopped through the Service then Arthur went inside to a lecture for an hour while Mamma and I went to D Nicholson’s Store and other places and came back and met Arthur at the Cathedral 11.45 am.

At twelve o’clock we all went and had our lunch at Cheapside after which Mrs Prideaux and I walked to the Royal Exchange and to the Bank of England which is a heavy solid looking building and back while Arthur went to call on Sir George Williams, founder of the YMCA in London.


We agreed to meet Arthur 1.30 pm at St Pauls Cathedral but Arthur did not return till 2.40 because he accepted by Sir George Williams an invitation to dine with him and Lady Williams, also the Rev. Mr Joice a Minister from Australia.
At 2.45 we took Bus for the Tower of London and after viewing it for a short time Mamma and I took Bus for Charing Cross, walked three blocks to St Martins Church (Arthur stayed to go in the Tower.) which took 30 minutes from the Tower. From there we took Bus for Euston Road which took 15 minutes. We then walked a few blocks and took Bus for the Angle and then took another Bus for the Garden Square and got to Mrs Dynes at 6 pm. Had dinner 6.45 and rested for the day both well tired out. After dinner Arthur went to Piccadilly for a ride and to see the place by gaslight. We retired 9 pm.

July 6th

We got up at 7.45 am and had breakfast 8.30. We left Mrs Dynes to visit and see the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. The Abbey is a wonderful building. It fills a person with wonder awe and amusement while we look at the magnificent arches, carvings and the many marble slabs and massive pillars that carry the roof. In this building is the Chapels and Tombs of the Royal Family. And the Great Statesmen such as Gladstone, Peel, Disraeli and a host of others have their graves here which are designated by marble slabs on the floor and many against the walls.
Divine Service is held here every day between the hours of 10 and 11 am and many visitors attend.
The service at this time was short not over half an hour. Mamma and I interested ourselves about the Abbey. At one pm after lunch we made a visit to the Parliament House. We went into its large Hall but were told it was not visitor’s day. We were shown the Abraham Lincoln Tower right across the Thames River. We walked around the beautiful grounds and noticed The Big Clock in the Tower of the Parliament House strike Two. “Big Ben.”
At 2.30 we took Bus for Hyde Park and after viewing the Lake and its surrounds and seeing Prince Alberts Memorial Tower at a distance and many other things. Mrs Prideaux and I took Bus for Euston Road and reached our Boarding Place. 4.15 pm Arthur went and I enjoyed himself seeing other sights.
At 7 pm Mr John H Pearce made us a call after which I wrote three letters and Mamma two. Then we did some of our packing and retired.

July 7th

We were up at 5.30 am and had breakfast seven o’clock. At 7.30 we took carriage for Waterloo Station (a lovely summer morning) and arrived 8 am. 8.30 we left by train and arrived at Southampton 10.30. We went on board Steam Ship St Pauls and left for New York at 12 o’clock noon. We did some changing of our money on the Dock before we left. We had dinner 2 pm after which Mamma and I went to our berths and had a nap. The country between London and Southampton is a lovely flat open farming district. From Southampton Dock, we sailed straight for Cherbourg, the chief seaport of France and took on passengers. From there the St Paul sailed down the English Channel and passed around Lands End point around midnight.

The Travels of John Prideaux 1900. Cornwall Summer.

The Travels of John Prideaux. Cornwall during the Summer of 1900.

May 15th

Arrived at Bristol 3.45 pm and left 4.10. The weather was good from Liverpool to Bristol and while in Liverpool. At 4pm we went through a long tunnel under the Severn River. At 6pm we arrived at Exeter and stopped at Elmfield Hotel.

May 16th.

7.40 am Mamma, Arthur and myself left in a carriage to Bideford and got there at 10.10 and visited the Old Church and churchyard of Mrs Prideaux’s childhood days and saw her father’s grave. Mrs P had some cut flowers at the Rector’s residence and then we went to see old Mr and Mrs Pike who knew both of Mrs P’s parents forty years before. Mr Pike showed us around and we left at 11.15 and arrived at Elmfield at 12.30 had dinner and left Exeter at 2.36 p.m. and arrived at Bodmin 5pm and at St Austell 5.30. We arrived at Scorrior Station 7.56 pm and Mrs N W Hensley’s, St Day at 8.30 pm. Met Mr and Mrs Hensley and family and after greetings awhile we had saffron cake for tea and retired at 10pm. Mrs Hensley was on the sick list.

May 17th.

Got up 6 am and had breakfast at 8.30 (Fresh Mackerel). I wrote two letters to my sisters at Pool and Camborne and took a walk to see the old established church and yard and the graves of Mrs Prideaux’s grandparents, uncles and aunt, with Mrs Prideaux and Arthur. Then we went to see St Day Methodist Church and attended the 7 o’clock Prayer Meeting in the evening.

18th.

Got up 7.30 and after breakfast took a walk and then read till noon and had roast beef for dinner. At 2.30 pm we all walked two miles to Redruth Market and enjoyed the scenery on the road. At 6 pm we all went to an eating house had tea cake and saffron buns, tea and walked back to St Day. Though tired we greatly enjoyed the day.

May 19th.

At 9.30 am We left Mr and Mrs Hensley’s, St Day in a carriage and arrived at my sisters (Mrs Pearce) near Tuckingmill at 10.30 am. Met sister at the door and had a cordial welcome. Arthur and I took a walk to see some of the old sights and Tuckingmill Chapel (Church) and then back to dinner had beef steak and potatoes etc.
At six o’clock pm. After tea, we went to Camborne (one mile) with my sister Pearce to see my sister Ann H Polmear. We returned at 10pm and retired.

Sunday May 20th


We went to Tuckingmill Church both morning and evening. Arthur and I visited Tuckingmill S. School at 2pm, about 400 scholars present. We visited my cousin Mary A Harris after this evening service for half an hour at her beautiful home. She was so pleased to see us and we were to spend a day later on which we did.

Monday 21st.

Got up at 8 o’clock had breakfast and wrote a note to George. After dinner Arthur and I walked up through Dolcarth Mine saw the tin works and then went to sister Polmear’s for an hour. On our way, we called to see Nellie Maynard and her present from Lillie which she sent by me from Portland at 6pm. We returned home with sister Pearce and after tea rested for the night.

Tuesday 22nd.

Mamma, Arthur and myself after breakfast took a long walk to Tehidy Park and through Park Bottom and by Chapel of Ease and home through Trevenson grounds to sister Pearce’s. After dinner both Mamma and I had a map. Arthur went to St Day to see the Hensley girls. Then Mamma and I wrote to Captain and Mrs Prideaux at Liverpool.

Wednesday 23rd

Up at 7am. After breakfast Mamma and I walked two miles to Pearce and gave the two handkerchiefs to Wm Endie’s sisters. At 11.15 visited the home of my birth. A Mrs Pryer lived there with husband and family. We knew Mrs Pryer when a girl and we stayed for two and a half hours, had a nice visit and all the bread and cream we could eat. We were given a nice bouquet from the old garden and then visited Betty Adit, a spring or well of lovely water.

From there we went down over Tellows Hill to the village of Brea and called to see Mrs Richard whom we knew when young. We then walked homeward through Cooks Kitchen Mine on the main road to my sister Pearce’s where we reached about 4.30 pm and glad to lay ourselves down to rest at 7 pm (after tea).


We went to Tuckingmill mid-week preaching service after which we went with Mr and Mrs Edwards to their home nearby for about an hour. Mrs Edward, we were acquainted with early in life and a Sunday morning class mate of ours for years. The class was well attended by old and young led by Capt. Roger Vivian and met from 8.00 to 9.15 am at a private home of a member. We retired about 10 pm and called it a day well spent.

May 24th

Up at 7 o’clock then read the Oregonian received from home. Mamma at her fancy work Arthur reading Oregonian and sister doing the dishes. I then wrote to Stephen. At 1.30 pm us three walked up to Troon to a Band of Hope Convention and got there at 3 o’clock and we were diverted to Cousin John Prideaux, his daughter Mary Laty open the door and said she knew me at first glance. We entered and met Annie her younger sister. Cousin John soon came downstairs and we were glad to greet each other after forty years. (His wife being in London.) We were soon at home and in a little while we went to the afternoon convention. Arthur went with Mary Laty and Annie and us two with Cousin John.
At 5.31 we attended a tea meeting in the Church vestry for the Band of Hope benefit. We then returned to cousin John’s (nearby) for half an hour to rest. 7pm we went to Church again and heard the Temperance address. 8.45 we left for Sister Pearce’s, a distance of three miles arriving at 9.35 had some lemon and retired.

May 25th

After breakfast, I wrote to George. 9.30 Arthur, Mamma and I walked to Carn Brea hill and around the castle. The view was magnificent for miles around. The sea coast of Portreath was plainly in view three and a half miles to the north while Falmouth was seeming many miles to south with Redruth one and a half miles east and Camborne two miles west, Hayle and St Ives six and eight further north west. The English Channel seems so near to Portreath we could see the white caps. On our way up Carn Brea Hill we saw and heard the Cuckoo sing and the little bird near his side.
We came back home 12.30 had dinner and rested. In the evening, we called to see Mr and Mrs Tregonning, Mr and Mrs Pengilly and Mrs Kendall at Tuckingmill.

May 26th

Changed our clothing and rested all day. In the evening, we then went to Saturday night Prayer Meeting.

Sunday 27th

Arthur and I visited Thomas Crase’s Class Meeting 8 am. 10.30 am three of us went to Pool Methodist Church. On our way home, we met Mr Thomas Willoughby. Leaving him we met Mr John Mayne and wife who we knew forty years before. After dinner 2.30pm, we went to Mr. Joseph Wren’s at Illogan Downs to tea, had lots of English cream and returned home to my sister’s at 9.15pm.

May 28th

After breakfast at 9 am we three left for Portreath three miles on the north coast. At the top of Portreath Hill we turned to the left and visited my cousin Mrs Paul at Tray Farm where we rested of an hour and had some lunch.
Then we walked to the cliff a mile away and from to Portreath another mile and a half. After walking on the beach and through archways to the water and we turned homeward through the town of Portreath where we arrived at 3.30 pm. Very tired for our walk.
We met Mrs Kendallon our return and after resting had tea at 6pm.
In the evening we were visited by Mrs Nellie Maynard (my niece) and her mother in law Mrs Maynard. We spent a pleasant evening and after supper, we retired at 10.30pm.

May 29th.

After breakfast at 9.30 Mamma took bus for St Day to her brother’s. Arthur went to Troon for the day and I went to East Pool Mine to see Joe. Wren and gave him picture of Mr Sharts and a doily from Mrs P to Mrs Wren.
After dinner I visited Holman Bros. Boiler Works. My nephew Wm Pearce the foreman showed me through. I then went to sister Polmear’s stopped to tea and returned home to Sister Pearce’s at 9 pm and retired soon after.

May 30th

Arthur and I got up at 6.20 and left for Redruth at 8 o’clock and got there in 45 minutes and left for Falmouth at 9clock on a bus. Arthur and I rode outside on top, lovely scenery all the way. Reached Falmouth 11.15 and called to see Miss Bessie Andrews at 11.40 for 15 minutes then took a walk and had dinner at a Restaurant.
At 12.50 we went again to Miss Andrews and sat with them while they took their main meal and we had a cup of tea. We met Mr Andrews and his father (very old). We then visited Old Curiosity Shop and bought a plate of old English lustre for sixpence. At 3pm we took the Fal Boat Victoria for Truro by way of the Fal River. The scenery was lovely.
Landed at Truro five minutes to four o’clock and went to the Cathedral where Divine Service was being held after which we looked the Cathedral.
At 6pm we left by rail for Redruth where we met Mamma and the Hensley girls from St Day. After wishing them goodbye we three walked to Pool to my sisters and after refreshments retired for the night.

May 31st

After breakfast Arthur and I went to see Joe Wren who showed us the big engines etc at East Pool Mine and came back at noon for lunch.
2.30 pm Arthur and I went to Carnartheu to take a view of the house of my birth and also a view of my grandfather house at Brea. We went up by way of Tilemins Hill and came home by Betty Adit Road and the arch at Brea to Nellie Maynard’s and from there to Mr T Tregonning’s where we met Mamma at 5.35.
After we had all had tea, Arthur with the Tregonning boy went to Tehidy Park.
At 8pm Mamma and I left Mrs Tregonnings and made a short call on Mrs Gilbert from there to Mr Charles Bartles and then to see his bro. William who was organist at Tuckingmill (Chapel) Church. We met Mr James Tregonning on our way to my sisters at Pool Carn Brea.

Friday June 1st.

Very tired and wrote Mr Gawanlack in the morning.

June 2nd.

Moved to Sister Polmear’s at Camborne at 11am had roast beef for dinner at 1pm. Mamma, Arthur, Fred Prideaux and I left in a Gingle for Gwithian and returned at 6pm. After tea, I went to Camborne market with Mamma and Sister Polmear Came home at 10pm and retired.

Sunday June 3rd.

Attended Centenary Church in morning. (Mamma and I) Then we visited the grave yard and Mamma’s two brothers’ graves. After dinner, I went with Mamma and Annie Polmear to Wesley Church Union S. School gathering and afterward visited the Episcopal Church Yard and saw my father’s and mother’s graves.
We had tea at 5pm then Annie left with me again to Wesley Church to 6 o’clock service. Got home at 8oclock then went for a walk with Ada and Hettie. Mamma stayed home evening with Sister Polmear.

June 4th.

Was Whit Monday. We had breakfast at 8.30. The I went to David Endie’s and delivered the handkerchief for Mrs J Endey. After dinner Mamma, Annie and I went to see Centenary S. School Processions on Telowarren Street. Then to Roskin Churchyard and saw the graves of grandfather Holman, his daughter Mary’s and the grave of his youngest son James. They were both unmarried. James was 65 when he died. The graves were fenced around the vault. We also looked at my brother William’s grave to the grave of Thomas Pearce my sister’s husband. Tuckingmill S. School after their line of March passed into Roskin field where we follow and had tea with the teachers about 6 pm. We (Mamma and I) met a few whom we knew about thirty years before.
After a pleasant time we returned to my sister Polmear’s 8 pm. Arthur, Fred, Ada and Hettie were off together for the day. The weather has been lovely for the past two weeks.

June 5th.

After breakfast Mamma and I went to Cemetery graveyard to see the Sexton about Mamma’s brother’s grave and again in the afternoon. In the evening, us two called to see Mrs J Burge and Capt. George Nancarrow and renewed our memories of days gone by.

June 6th

 
Got up at 6 o’clock. At 8 am Mamma, Hettie and I left for Pendennis one mile and half away just before nine we entered the grounds on the east and rambled. We nearly got lost when we heard a man’s voice and made towards it. I asked the man dressed in white if visitors were allowed and told him our business. He said a certain class were and pointed out the way to Pendennis House and continued to walk and talk till we got there. He then showed us some of the grounds the lovely gardens and Hot Houses etc.
Then to the basement of the House and through the Laundry and other rooms till he brought us to the Housekeeper who with himself showed us to numberless magnificent rooms elegantly furnished, bedrooms, Drawing room, dining room, Library, the billiard room, the Justice Court room and many others. The house contained (70) seventy rooms. We were then led to the outside or I don’t know when we would have gotten there.
The same man then showed us some other gardens, and after a tip we thanked him goodbye. We arrived home to Sister Polmear’s 11.30 tired out and took a nap. (both)
At 3.30 we took a walk to Camborne town and called to see Mrs Richards and had a nice time. I played on her organ. Then we called to see Mrs Jewell a few minutes and from there to Mr J Vivian’s Drapery Store, made a purchase, called two other places and got back to sister’s six o’clock.
After tea Mamma and I went and made a call to see Capt. Rablin. “Not at home.” Then we called to see my niece Mary J Harvey for a short time. From there after tea, we went to Tuckingmill (1/2 Mile) to see Mrs Maynard, we stayed awhile but she was not at home.
We returned to my sister’s 8.45 pm.

June 7th.

After breakfast Mamma and I went to Centenary graveyard again to see her brothers’ graves. John H and James P Hensley. We then came back and wrote George and Mrs Harper, and stayed about the house all day.
Had a nice Chicken Pie for dinner, had tea at 6 o’clock and then Mrs Prideaux, Sister Polmear and I went to Sister Pearce’s 1 ½ miles away.
They spent an hour together while I went to Trevenson Park close by to a Political gathering. I met one or two Old Timers but was too late for the speeches which were on the Conservative side. I heard the Band play God Save the Queen and one or two others and soon returned to Sister Pearce’s.
Arthur was around with my nieces having a good time. We returned to Sister Polmear’s at 10 pm and after refreshments, retired.

June 8th.

After breakfast, I took a walk to Camborne Town and returned 11.30 am. Mamma and Arthur went to Redruth in a Buss at 10 am (John Prideaux struck through in Journal) to see Mamma’s nephew Fred Hensley off for Africa. Cousin John Prideaux took Mamma and Arthur with his married daughter to Redruth in his Gingle and Pony. Mamma and Arthur returned 12.30 and we all had dinner together.
After dinner Arthur and Fred Prideaux went to Troon on the Wheels.
Mamma and I went and settled with the Sexton at Centenary and then went bought Mamma’s fur and my gloves. Came home to tea and made a tea and made another trip to see Capt. Rablin. After a pleasant talk, we got home 9pm and retired 11.30.

June 9th.

After breakfast wrote to George answer a draft received day before. At 11 am Arthur and I went to see Ticket Agent and returned at one o’clock and had dinner. Arthur and my Mamma went off for the afternoon. At 4 pm Mamma, Sister Polmear and I went to Cousin Mary A Harris. Had tea and spent a pleasant evening and left at 9 o’clock. Sister went to Mrs Maynard’s while Mamma and I called to see Mr and Mrs Thomas Crase and Mrs C Richards.

Sunday June 10th

10.30 am Mamma, Annie and I went to the Episcopal Church. Heard a good Sermon on Barnabus. After dinner, Bessie Andrews came and made a long call. At 6 pm Annie and I went to the Methodist Association Church and after coming home we took a walk round Beacon Hill and of Camborne town. A delightful walk and scenery returned at 9pm good light. Retired at 10.

June 11th

After breakfast, I went to David Endie’s again with a present from Cousin Jamie Endie and from there to Daleoarth Mine. saw and spoke to Capt. Josiah Thomas. I then called to see my niece Nellie Maynard. Then called to see Mrs Jackson for Janie. Then called on Mr John Jenkin and from there to see Mr Maynard.
At 12.30 Arthur and I went and took lunch with Messrs Holman Bros. My cousins in the dining room over their works at Camborne and after being shown through the different departments of the Works we returned to Sister Polmear’s.
At 5 pm Mamma, Arthur and I went to Cousin John H. Holman’s to dinner and spend the evening at his lovely home at Tregenna Camborne. We walked there together and at our arrival he began showing us the many beautiful painting and pictures in the different rooms and one of our Grandfather Holman. Mrs Holman his wife then arrived from Penzance and we soon had dinner together waited on at table by their Butler. After we were shown their acres of gardens and greenhouses for an hour. We were given a lovely bouquet. At 8pm we had supper and spent a pleasant evening in song and game while Mamma and Mrs Holman chatted.
At 10.30 we returned to Sister Polmears.

June 12th

Mamma, Arthur and I took a train at Camborne Station 8.35 am for Penzance where we arrived 9.15. We first called on Cousin Fred Holman at his home and took Carriage for Lands End 9.50 and got there 12.15. After walking on the rocks out to ocean and seeing points of interest we left 1.30 pm for St. Just and arrived there 3pm. I saw Cousin John Holman at his Foundry Office, made myself known and we were soon at his home with his wife and family. We spent a delightful hour and a half with a roomful of relations who gathered in a few minutes with Cousin John and his wife.
We left for Penzance 4.30 in a mist of rain which continued all the way. We got back to Cousin Fred Holman’s at 6pm, had dinner as invited and after a very pleasant visit he went with us to the Depot and we left 8.10 pm for Camborne arriving at 8.55 pm and walked to Sister Polmear’s in fast rain. We slept well and got up at 6.30 am.

June 13th.

After breakfast Arthur and I went to Mr Vines the Ticket Agent and secured our births on the Steam Ship St. Paul to sail from Southampton to New York.
After dinner I called on Mr C V Thomas at his Office and at Bank to cash check. Then wrote Kate from Sister Polmear’s.
Nellie Maynard called 10 am and Mr A Harris in the evening and left a souvenir.

June 14th

Breakfasted at 7. At 9 am Sister Polmear, her four daughters, Mamma, Arthur and me (8 in all) left in a Wagonette for Porthawan 8 miles from Camborne where we arrived 10.30. Showery Day. At 12 we all had our lunch in a cottage “by the sea.” On a long table, full of good things. Returned home at 4 pm and after tea retired at 9.30 pm.

June 15th

At 11 am. I went to see my cousin Mrs John Vivian of Trove Camborne from there I called to see Lawyer C V Thomas again and got home at one for dinner, rested the afternoon when Cousin John Prideaux called. Mamma rested all day at home.

June 16th

After breakfast, Arthur and I went and got our tickets for N. York at Agent E Vine. J.H. Holman gave me a view of their Works. After dinner, we rested and left 4pm in a cab for a four day visit to Cousin John P. at Troon. We spent a pleasant evening together, Arthur, Mamma and I slept at Mr Jenkins his son in law across the street.

Sunday 17th

8.30 Arthur and I went with cousin John to his class meeting. (Cousin John went to preach at his appointment.)
10.30 We all went to Church Service. Dinner at 1 pm. 2pm Arthur and I attended S. School with Cousin John, he the Superintendent. “We had Prayer after noon dinner.” The attendance of S School average 180. At 6pm we all went again to Troon Methodist Church. Then we visited Cousin John’s son Arthur at his home for half an hour and returned to Cousin John’s spent as pleasant evening and retired.
A fine day.

Monday June 18th.

Breakfasted at Mrs Jenkins. After dinner Mamma and I rode with Cousin John and his wife at Miss Rules near Sister Polmear’s to spend the afternoon while he went top Preacher’s Meeting. We had tea 6.30 pm, us four rode to Crowan town and met Cousin John’s Bro. Gilbert on his way to Camborne. After greeting we left for his home nearby and met his wife and two sisters. Aunt Ann was too sick to be seen. After a stay of fifteen minutes we rode to Black Rock in Cousin John’s Gingle. We had a beautiful view of Camborne town of about fifteen thousand inhabitants and the surrounding country and then Mrs Risevoier’s, we rode back to Troon another way marking a complete circle and arrived 8.30 pm. Good light. 10.30 We retired at Mrs Jenkin’s.

June 19th.

A wet day. After breakfast, I looked around Mr Jenkin’s Carpenter Shop then wrote up my Diary, “which I did every day.” Around house all day. Wrote to George and Bro. Stephen. In the evening, it cleared so we four took a nice walk, Mamma, Cousin John and wife and I. After a pleasant evening together, we retired.
“Arthur, Annie and Mary Laty, enjoyed trips together daily.”

June 20th

After breakfast, I took a walk to Sister Polmear’s. Stopped for dinner and met Grace Varnan my niece.
2.30 pm I walked up to Troon and got there 3.15.
6 o’clock we had dinner at Cousin John’s with Mr and Mrs Willoughby and Miss Willoughby his sister after which Mr Willoughby, Cousin John and I took a walk together.
At 9pm Mamma and I said goodbye to all (which ended our visit) and walked to Sister Polmear’s and retired 11.30 pm.

June 21st

After breakfast, we began to get together to pack. Eleven o’clock Cousin John came with our valises in his Pony and Gingle.
11.30 I went to Camborne town for the last time. Got home 12.45 and had chicken dinner with sister Polmear, her four daughters and my wife. After dinner Mrs Simmons and her sister Caroline called to see us. 4pm Sister, my wife and I went to Nellie Maynard for tea and enjoyed ourselves very much. Then Mamma went to say goodbye to Mrs Tregonning and I walked to sister Pearce’s with sister Polmear. Mamma came and we spent a pleasant hour together and drank our last cup of tea there. Returned home 8.30 with Sister Polmear. Said good bye to several on the way.
Nellie Maynard walked up with us from Tuckingmill. We said goodbye to Nellie and retired 10pm.

June 22nd (Friday)

At 11.15 am I left sister Polmear’s for St Day. I went so far as Redruth and returned to Sister Polmear’s for my overcoat I had left behind had some tea and cake and left 1.15 and walked to sister Pearce’s, who an hour before fell and hurt her kneecap. She was in bed. I kissed her goodbye and had to walk to Illogan a mile and met a chance to ride with two boys to Redruth. I met Arthur and went with him to see my cousin Mrs. Simmons and took with us my cousin Mrs Paul to meet Mamma. We all had a nice cup of tea together and rested at Mrs Simmons.
We started to go and met cousin John, His wife and daughter at the street. Mamma, Arthur and I wished all goodbye and went straight to Mr Charles Bowden’s Office, Mamma’s first cousin at Redruth, after a short visit at his Office with him and his son he took me to his home at Ingleside on Clinton Road. A very nice house beautifully furnished. Then he walked with us to Redruth Market and left. We soon met Miss Hensley and Hettie and began to walk towards St Day. We were overtaken by a Buss so Mamma and the two Miss Hensleys rode. Arthur and I walked and got there soon after at 7pm had tea and retired at 10pm.

June 23rd

At St Day. Got up at 7.30. After breakfast, I took a short walk then wrote up Diary and wrote letter to Janie while Mamma rested. I hire a Wagonette and at 1.30 pm Arthur and the Hensley family went on a trip to Padstow and returned 5.30. After tea Mamma and I took a walk about St Day. The Market House etc. Met Dr Mitchell who told us of days gone by. We then returned to Mr N W Hensley’s, Mrs Prideaux’s brother and retired 10pm.

Sunday June 24th


Breakfasted at 9 o’clock. 10.30 We went to Wesley Church heard a grand sermon, after which we went to Episcopal Churchyard to see the grave of Mr A Bowden and the grave of Miss G Bowden, Mamma’s uncle and aunt. Had dinner at 1.30 at 3pm Arthur, Miss Mary Hensley and I visited the S. School of 300 scholars where I made my maiden address.
We had tea at 5.15 and at 6 o’clock we went again to St Day Wesley Church after service we met Mr and Mrs Fletcher and then took a walk to Scorrier Station by way of Tregulla and back and retired 9pm.

June 25th.

Up at 7 am had breakfast at 9 o’clock. 10.40 Mamma and I left by Buss for Chasewater and arrived 11.10 am. We walked from there to Blackwater to see Mrs E. J Floyd. We got there about noon and had a nice lunch of Saffron Cake, English Cream etc. After a nice visit, we left for St Day by way of Tregulla accompanied by Mrs Lloyd to Scorrier Station where she returned and we walked back to Mr Hensley’s at 4 pm well pleased with our trip. We saw St Day Fair on our way home, bought oranges, cherries and strawberries. After tea Mamma and I took another walk to see St Day Fair. We retired 11.30 pm Arthur and his cousins not yet retired from Troon.

June 26th

Beautiful sunshine morning up at 7.30 and breakfast at 9 o’clock. After a short walk, we rested till noon. At 1pm Mamma and left for Redruth to spend the afternoon with Mr Charles Bowen and family. “Mamma’s cousin.” We reached Redruth 2.30 I called on Mr Bowden at his Office. He chased my check and we went for a ten-minute walk and he returned to his Office. I met Mamma as agreed and after visiting several stores to get what we want and then went to Mr Bowden’s home. 4.30 pm we had tea served to us by Miss Bowden. At 6 o’clock Mr C Bowden came home and we enjoyed a fine dinner 6.30. With Mr Bowden his two daughters, two sons and one daughter’s husband Mr Wickette. Soon Mr Bowden left to meet some engagement. We stayed till 8 pm. When Mamma and I left for her bros at St Day and got there 8.45. We then called to see Mamma’s cousin Mr J Bowden. Arthur spent the time with his cousins the Misses Hensleys. We retired 10 pm well tired out for the long walk.

June 27th.

Up at 7.30. I went and hired a Gingle to take Arthur to Redruth to take the 11.10 am Train for London. Hettie and I rode in to see him off. Mamma helped him pack his valise. We had breakfast and left at 9 o’clock. The train left on time and we watched him out of sight. At 11.45 I took Buss for Camborne to see Sister Polmear for the last time. Arrived there 12.30 and had a nice Turnip Pasty.

For dinner with Sister and her five daughters. 3pm I wished my nieces goodbye and Sister walked with me to see my niece Nellie Maynard and say goodbye. We then walked to Pool to visit my Sister Pearce who was in bed from a fall she received some days before and bruised her kneecap. I stayed and chatted with both sisters till 4.30. Wished them good bye and gave the farewell kiss. I was here given some of Sister Pearce’s son’s wedding cake. Who was married the day before. “June 26”. I then left for Redruth again and called to say goodbye Mrs Hosking and at Pool Mr E Church. I saw cousin John Prideaux and said goodbye to him.
From there I walked two miles to Redruth and called to see my cousin Mrs E Simmons and enjoyed a cup of nice tea with her and her sister Mrs Jervell with whom I sang in the chair in our younger days.
At 7 o’clock I said goodbye to them and left for St Day. I soon saw two bays in a carriage and got a ride to St Day.  When I arrived Mamma and Miss N W Hensley were out for a summer evening walk. I then walked with Mrs Hensley and her little boy Jim to feed their cows and chickens then returned home only about 6 blocks away. We retired 9.30 pm.

June 28th

Got up at 7am had breakfast 9 o’clock then mailed a paper to George for Arthur and a letter to Grace H Varman from Mamma. I then wrote up my Diary. Dinner at 2pm then read and napped till 5. We had tea at 6.30. I was at the house all day, talking with Mr Hensley “who was on the sick list” of days past and present etc and then Mamma there too. At 7.30 pm I visited with Miss Nanny Hensley his grandmother Mrs Morley and I gave Miss Hensley his first lesson in music on the Piano. The Nanny and I walk back to her home and took Mamma out for a walk for ½ an hour, retired 9.30 pm.

June 29th.

Up at 7 and breakfast at 9 am. Then wrote to Kate, Lillie and George. Then rested till 4.30pm. When Nanny and I went to her grandmother’s for a lesson on the piano. We then walked back to tea after which we packed our valises for London next day. We spent the evening with Mr N W Hensley and family (He was no better) and retired at 10 pm.

June 30th

Up 7 o’clock and breakfast 8.30. Wrote a letter to Kate at 10 am. We wished Mr Hensley and family goodbye and took hired Cab for Redruth Depot accompanied by Miss N Hensley who saw Mamma and I leave for London on the 11.10 am train. Mr C Bowden his two sons, his daughter and husband (Mr and Mrs Wicket) were there also to see us off.
Our first stop was at St Austell 12.15 noon, at Bodmin 12.40 at Liskeard (rain) 1pm at Devonport 1.30 At Plymouth 1.40 and stopped 8 minutes.
Arrived at Exeter 3 pm and stopped 8 minutes. At Bristol 4.35 and left 4.45. No more stops till we got to London. We had a cup of tea at Bristol. We passed Bath 5.10pm then passed through a long tunnel which took three or four minutes. From Redruth to Bristol we passed through 15 short tunnels.
The weather throughout the day was showery. We passed Swindon Junction at 5.40 and soon after began to pass through a beautiful level flat and green farming country dotted with cattle, sheep and horses which continued for an hour or more. Many trains passed us through the day and the railroad track was double most of the way.
We had a young red jacket soldier in our car from Plymouth to London whose destination was China. We arrived at Paddington Station 7pm (dry weather) and took cab for Mrs Dynes, 22 Garden Street, Garden Square WC three miles from Paddington depot.7.45 we got ourselves ready and had supper 8.15 pm after which I wrote two Postal Cards to my sister’s at Pool and Camborne and retired well tired out.

The Travels of John Prideaux 1900. Liverpool to Cornwall

The Travels of John Prideaux 1900. Liverpool to Cornwall.

May 12th

We got up at 4.30 am had breakfast 5.30 and arrived at Liverpool 7 o’clock am. We saw Captain John Prideaux waiting on the wharf to receive us.
At 8.30 we went ashore and quickly passed the Custom Officer by the assistance of Capt. Prideaux and about 9.30 arrived at Capt. Prideaux’s home and received a kind reception from Mrs Prideaux and her daughter Lillie. We were soon refreshed with a cup of tea after which Capt. Prideaux took Arthur and I to see Stanley Park. It was one of beauty in which was the Gladstone Conservatory of flowers, palms and plants and were beautiful to behold. (It was heated with hot water.) The walks, the bridges, the ponds, the swans, the birds and scenery was simply grand. We turned homeward at noon.
2.30pm After lunch we three again went again to see more of the City while the two Mrs Prideaux spent the afternoon at home together. We visited first the Art Gallery where we saw Christ before Pilate in oil painting life size. There were seventy figures in all. How vivid? How life like they appeared to me. It is impossible to express my feelings at that time as I stood and looked at those enemies and friends of Jesus.
We spent one hour in the Art Gallery. I then bought me a silk hat and we returned to Capt. Prideaux. After Tea, we sat around and told of our journey and of the years gone by.

Sunday May 13th

Capt. Prideaux and his daughter, Mamma, Arthur and I went to the Presbyterian Church at 11 am and came home through Stanley Park. After a roast beef dinner, we took Car for Sefton Park at the extreme south of Liverpool with Capt. and Mrs Prideaux. It had a beautiful Palm House made of iron and glass inside of which was a gallery reached by winding stairs.

14th

Capt. Prideaux, Arthur and I at 10 am took Car to Haymarket and to the YMCA and called at Miss Prideaux’s Store and from there to the overhead Electric Car from the Dingle to the Seaforth line of Docks said to be nine miles. Then back to James Street and to Central Station where we meet the two Miss Prideaux’s as agreed and went to the Kirkland Restaurant and had luncheon together at one pm. From there we all went and boarded Ferry Boat to New Brighton on the Mersey Waters, a 15-minute ride. At Brighton, we visited Capt. Prideaux’s sister in law Mrs Robinson where we had tea together about 5 pm. We left there at 6.35 after a pleasant visit and took Ferry for the same wharf we started from.
The two Mrs Prideaux’s took Car for Capt. Prideaux. Arthur went to the Mersey Tunnel and I with Capt. Prideaux went to Ticket Office to see about tickets to Cornwall and then went to Captain Prideaux to rest for the night. During the day, we saw many beautiful and wonderful sights.
New Brighton Tower built of iron and steel was a grand sight from two to three hundred feet high.
The House and furniture at Mrs Robinson’s were elegant and Mrs Robinson a very pleasant lady. Capt. and Mrs Prideaux entertained us royally from Saturday 7 am till Tuesday 15th May when we left at 10.30 am for Cornwall. The two Miss Prideauxs, Bertha and Lillie did their best to make us at home. Sunday evening May 13th Lillie played the piano and Bertha sang before we retired. (I had a cold.) Capt. Prideaux and his daughter Lillie saw us leave on the train on the 15th for Cornwall.

May 15th

Arrived at Bristol 3.45 pm and left 4.10. The weather was good from Liverpool to Bristol and while in Liverpool. At 4pm we went through a long tunnel under the Severn River. At 6pm we arrived at Exeter and stopped at Elmfield Hotel.

The Travels of John Prideaux 1900. New York to Liverpool aboard S S Lucania.

New York to Liverpool aboard Steam Ship Lucania

May 5th

Breakfasted at 7.15 am. Took car at 8.15 for Steam Ship Lucania and went onboard 8.45 for Liverpool
Our State rooms were opposite each other and very comfortable. We sat first table all the way across the Atlantic. Had roast mutton and vegetables first day for dinner. The food was good. Passed three steamers that first day.

May 6th Sunday

Got up at 5 am and took Mamma for a promenade up and down the deck before breakfast then Mamma went to lie down, it was quite breezy. (Breakfast hour was 7 am.)  Arthur was sitting at Mamma’s feet while she lay down and I was sitting at her head and we were talking with Mrs Black, a passenger.
At 10.30 we all went in the Cabin Saloon and heard the Episcopal Service read by the Purser. The first hymn was “All people that on earth do dwell.”
Dinner at 12 noon, Arthur missed his and lay down most of the day. Mamma rested after dinner by lying down on her bed.  I had a short nap then Mamma and I ate apple together and then went on deck for a walk. Soon after I felt sick and missed my supper.

May 7th

Monday morning went to table took a sip of coffee and no more for the day and sick all night. Mamma has kept up, rather the better of us three.

Tuesday May 8th

I felt a little better, had a light breakfast and dinner. I sat in Ladies Cabin most of the morning with Mamma. Arthur is well after two days of sickness. I missed my five o’clock meal but had much at 8.30 pm. And soon retired for the night but the Lucania rocked so we scarcely sleep.

May 9th

Got up 6 o’clock had a light breakfast and spent most of the morning in Ladies Cabin with Mamma. Arthur was moving around the Ship.  The sea was a little rough with showers of rain and sunshine. At 11 am we sighted a ship. Our noon meal was soup and roast mutton and vegetables and fruits after which we promenaded the deck. 2.10 pm the ship still rocks and the waves came on the Steerage Deck and some passengers got wet feet. A spray came over the ship this afternoon and lots of men and ladies got a good sprinkling. We were not in it but the ladies’ hats and feathers. I was visiting in our State Room.
6 pm Saw the masts of a ship about 40 miles to the north east and at 6.30 saw a short rainbow to the south. I took three meals for the first time. Mamma has not missed a thing.
7.15 pm passed a steam ship heading for New York At 7.35 saw a sailing vessel going towards N York.

Thursday May 10th

Up at 5.30 am and took Mamma for a walk on deck before breakfast and after Mrs Black. We just passed one steamer and three sailing vessels. 9 am Now going to write my daughter at Pendleton, Oregon and to George my son at Portland, Oregon.
Thursday evening many of us joined in singing Gospel songs while Dr Fry, a Scotch man plays on the piano.

Friday 11th

Saw the first land. 10 am Arrived at Queenstown. 3pm left off passengers and mail and left 4pm.

May 12th

We got up at 4.30 am had breakfast 5.30 and arrived at Liverpool 7 o’clock am. We saw Captain John Prideaux waiting on the wharf to receive us.
At 8.30 we went ashore and quickly passed the Custom Officer by the assistance of Capt. Prideaux and about 9.30 arrived at Capt. Prideaux’s home and received a kind reception from Mrs Prideaux and her daughter Lillie. We were soon refreshed with a cup of tea after which Capt. Prideaux took Arthur and I to see Stanley Park. It was one of beauty in which was the Gladstone Conservatory of flowers, palms and plants and were beautiful to behold. (It was heated with hot water.) The walks, the bridges, the ponds, the swans, the birds and scenery was simply grand. We turned homeward at noon.

The Travels of John Prideaux in 1900. Portland to New York.

The Travels of John Prideaux, his wife Jane and son Arthur John in 1900. Portland to New York.

April 28th

Left Portland, Oregon on 9.15 train a.m. by way of Pendleton. Arrive opposite Lyle Wash at 12.15 am. Colored waiter just passed through car calling out first call for lunch. We have just had our luncheon. 12.30 Now at The Dalles. Stopped two minutes, then moved on two blocks and stopped for the Portland Train to pass. Then backed up and got on the main line. Stopped again and Arthur has gone to the other end of the car. Mamma is trying to sleep leaning against the window on my duster. I am by her side. Left The Dalles ten to one pm. Stopped at a sandy place called Briggs 1.30 and 1.35 we stopped at a little sandy place called Bealock. Arrived at Arlington 2.32 pm. A nice little village with one good street and shade trees. Stopped at Heppner Junction 2.50. Then as we passed a lovely strip of flat rock and sandy country. Mamma and I had a half sleep. Arthur would read, sleep and amuse himself fine, stepping off the train and nearly every stopping place. In sight of the Columbia River since we left Heppner. Arrived at Umatilla at seven minutes to 4 and left at 4pm. Stepped off the cars and looked around, lovely sunshine all day. As we passed Umatilla the last sight of the Columbia River on our left on account of the great hills covered with sage brush. On our right hand there was a large creek for a short distance and scattered houses for many miles.
We stopped at Echo at 4.35 a growing village halfway between Umatilla and Pendleton.
We arrived at Pendleton at 5.30 pm and found my son in-law Mr A J Owen, my daughter Kate B and Walter their son waiting to welcome us at their house. At 6 pm we all got down and enjoyed a nice roast for dinner and spent a very pleasant evening and sent a Postal Card to George my son.

Sunday April 29th

Got up at 6.30 and took a walk with Mamma before breakfast and mailed a Postal Card to my daughter Lillie H Batcheller and walked over the bridge that crossed the Umatilla River from there to the hills by the School House and came into breakfast at 8.30 o’clock. After playing a while on my daughter’s organ we all went to the Methodist Episcopal Church and heard an excellent sermon preached by Rev. John Uben from Jeremiah 6 and16 verse. We enjoyed a short visit with Rev Uben after service. We having known each other from our boyhood days.
At 1.30 we had a nice chicken dinner at our daughter’s Mrs A JK Owens. At 4pm Rev My Uben and other friends of my daughter Mrs Owen called to see me. We greatly enjoyed Mr J Ubens visit he and I being acquainted in our youthful days.
5.40 Us three left Pendleton by train for N York. We were escorted to the station by my son in law, his wife and two sons Clyde and Walter who waited to see us off and also Rev Mr Uben the Methodist Minister at Pendleton. We greatly enjoyed our short stay at our daughter’s and son in laws and I had a nice time at the organ.
We stopped 5.45 for two minutes at Bingham Springs following the Umatilla River all the way. At 7.35 we stopped 5 minutes and started with two engines 6 miles west of Meehem and in a valley between the Blue Mountains. We engaged sleeper from Pendleton to Chicago send slept poorly Sunday night.
Got up at 5am Monday morning April 30 and made a short stop at Glens Ferry at that time, their followed along Snake River for a short distance (it being on our right) as we travelled south through a barren waste country and then gradually turned to the east.
We next stopped at Wapi and from there mailed a card to our daughter at Pendleton. At Wapi we passed a train on its way to Portland.

April 30th

At 7 am, Mrs Prideaux, Arthur and myself enjoyed our first breakfast on the train. Cold chicken and ham sandwich and hot tea. At 10.30 we left Pocatella from whence we mailed a Postal Card to George. We are all well, Mamma is just gone to lie down in the sleeper and Arthur seems to enjoy the ride watching the scenery on both sides.
3pm. We were at Mount Pialia and passed Cogvill at 4pm and stopped at Nugged 4.30. About 5pm we passed through a long dark tunnel and at 5.30 stopped at a place called Crimmer. Then after five minutes run we stopped at a mining town called Disucomulvill and at 6.30 we arrived at Granger where we made a 5 minutes stop. We are only six in this sleeper tonight, four less than last night.
We have spent a very pleasant day and had our supper six o’clock. We have had plenty of room, not been crowded.

Tuesday morning May 1st

Got up at 6 o’clock. Snow all around us. Mamma faint and sick. Reached Cheyanne at 7.05 am and left 7.55. 8.15 Arthur, Mamma, and I had our breakfast, then Mamma went and lay down again and got better. At 10.30 am we arrived at Potter Neb and stopped at Sidney at 11 o’clock for 3 minutes and arrived a Julesbury 11.30. Stopped 5 minutes, a good stock raising country town. At 3pm we arrived at North Platte with a broken car wheel which delayed us 1 ½ hours at which place we moved our watches forth one hour. We did the same at Huntington. I sent a Postal Card to Mr J Forth from North Platte. Train passed us at North Platte for Portland. It was a lovely day and the sun shone quite bright while we waited to have our broken car put off and another put on. I wrote letter to George and Arthur wrote to Lillian. Arrived at Kerney 6.30 pm and had our supper at that time. 7.30 We stopped at Grand Island Nebraska.

May 2nd

Got up at 6 o’clock at which time we passed Tama. At 7 am we stopped at Cedar Rapids and took on Dining Car. At 8 o’clock we ate our breakfast and are all well. The number of our Sleeper is 1006. We were running very fast all last night and this morning at the rate of 60 miles an hour to make up lost time. It is a lovely flat country. (Our sleep was broken last night.) We crossed the Miss. River at 9.15 and entered Illinois.
Arrived at Chicago 12.30 pm May 2nd 1990. We took car to Saratoga Hotel had dinner 1.30 and stopped there last night. After dinner, we went through to YMCA Buildings then we went to the Auditorium and saw it. Mamma waited while Arthur and I rode to the top of the high tower and took a look at Chicago but it rained so fast we saw but little. We then took Mrs Prideaux to see the Auditorium Hotel and through the underground tunnel across the street to the other part of the Hotel. After supper, we all went again to the Auditorium to the opening service of the Methodist Episcopal Church General Conference and while waiting for the doors to be opened there were several Gospel songs sung in which we joined. The Conference opened by the organist playing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus on a large Pipes Organ hid from view. Then was sung from a tenor voice Peace, peace, wonderful peace etc. The programme was short after which Bishop Merrill addressed the Conference at length. After which Arthur wrote George and sent him a Programme of Conference and also wrote Rev H B Atchison. I sent a paper and Programme to my daughter at Pendleton. We greatly enjoyed ourselves in Chicago.

May 3rd

Got up at 6 am and us three had breakfast at the Thompson Restaurant on State Street. (“Dr and Mrs Rasmus called to see us on May 2nd at the Saratoga Hotel at 3 pm and we were glad to see them.”) Then from Hotel we took Street Car on Adams Street for Steam depot and left Chicago at 10.30 am. Reached Tougue Point Indiana at 1.45 pm. Passed Bunker Hill at 2.20. Passed Union City at 4.50 pm. Arrived a Columbus Ohio at 8 pm and stopped 20 minutes.

May 4th

Arrived at Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 1.40 am and stopped under an iron building for 15 minutes. Reached Johnstown at 4 am. May 4th at 5.15 am We rode along by Junadau River and crossed the Susquehanna River at 9.30 and stopped at Harrisburg 9.35 am for 15 minutes. Arthur and I got off and walked the Platform. We arrived at Broad Street Philadelphia 12.05 noon and made a short stop. At 2.35 pm. We arrived at New York and went to St Denis Hotel on 11 and Broadway and had dinner then went and changed some money for English. Then Mrs P, Arthur J and myself went to see the YMCA with its many rooms, swimming tanks, Gymnasium and many other things. Then we took Fourth Ave Car for Brooklyn Bridge and saw the big crowds coming from every section of the Bridge. We then walked half way across and returned, it was so windy and rainy. We were glad to get back 6.30 pm. We took Car for St Denis Hotel, straightened up the day’s business and retired early.

May 5th

Breakfasted at 7.15 am. Took car at 8.15 for Steam Ship Lucania and went onboard 8.45 for Liverpool

The Travels of John Prideaux through the U.S. and the U.K. in 1900

The journal is the property of Pamela Prideaux of Portland, Oregon and her family.  I have permission to copy it here and allow some fascinating insights into the means of travel in the year 1900. Pamela is the granddaughter of George Prideaux who stayed behind in Portland while his parents, John and Jane (Mamma) and their eldest son Arthur John (later to become a lauded School Principal) went to the UK by train and ship and used so many forms of transport on their trip that they are worth mentioning.
Train.
Street Car.
Ship.
Coach.
Gingle.
Bus.
Wagonette.
Ferry boat.
Pony and trap.
Legs.

The family grew up in Milwaukie, Oregon and had a wonderful childhood. There was also a sister to Arthur and George called Katherine, who married a cattle rancher in Terrebonne, Oregon.Their children Stewart and John and family still run the ranch as a B&B and wedding venue and dude ranch. It is apparently a wonderful place to stay.
John and his family take us from Portland to New York and then to Liverpool. Soon we arrive in Devon and from there to Cornwall and spend several weeks visiting their friends and family and learn fascinating insights in the way people lived, worked and socialised during the last couple of years of the reign of Queen Victoria.
I have only altered spellings where I felt necessary and kept the rest. Some names (people and place) may be incorrect, but I was trying to decipher work written 117 years ago. If you see that a name is incorrect, then please let me know.

The journals will now follow as a series.
I am more than grateful that this particular branch of the Prideaux family has given us all the chance to follow their travels and learn about what it was like in America and Cornwall during the year 1900.

An Baner Kernewek February 2017

Featured in this month’s An Baner Kernewek /Cornish Banner

The Cornish Banner / An Baner Kernewek is Cornwall’s foremost cultural magazine. Now in its 41st year and having reached No. 167 it is the land’s longest running serious quarterly.
As well as providing up-to-date commentary on the current world scene the magazine deals with contemporary events in Cornwall and has articles on its history, culture and the arts by leading writers. An interesting feature looks at the history of islands and regions in other parts, putting the Cornish experience in perspective. Having completed in past issues a series on Cornish people in the 20th century, which has recently been published as a book in two volumes, the editor now has articles on Cornish personalities in the Georgian period, including Sir Francis Basset/Lord de Dunstanville, Charles Rashleigh and Christopher Wallis, a Helston attorney. Dygemysker’s “Cornish Notes”, consisting of extracts from the previous three months issues of the daily Western Morning News, provide local readers and those overseas with an invaluable record of their native land. “Cornish Gleanings” by Tom Tucker, contributions by talented poets, book reviews and shorter pieces complete the pages of Cornwall’s most distinguished journal which is well supported by local advertisers

Annual post subscription – inland £15.00, Continent £20.00, airmail £25.00.

Daphne du Maurier and her Cornish properties

Daphne du Maurier (1907 – 1989) and her Cornish properties.

Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning, DBE, first saw Fowey in 1923 while descending Bodinnick Hill during a search for a holiday home with her parents. The family had taken many holidays in Cornwall and Daphne had always enjoyed them but secretly hoped that if a holiday home were to be bought, it would be in France.
Upon seeing the town of Fowey seemingly painted against a backdrop of woods and with the business of a working port in the foreground, Daphne knew that this was the place she had often dreamt of. Seconds later the family arrived at the bottom of the hill and parked alongside the inn. Gerald and Muriel du Maurier noticed a house to their left which had previously been part of the old boatyard was now for sale.

Ferryside, Bodinnick

The small property occupied a delicious spot overlooking the estuary where the water rushed past the wall. The tiny lawn was often under water and only a few lilac bushes managed to straggle by the edge of the property.
The house emerged from the side of the hill and was built using old timbers.  It had been designed with small rooms up and downstairs which were linked by narrow staircases and corridors. It was not until 1926 when the alterations were completed that the family spent more time at Ferryside. Nineteen year old Daphne would walk her dog Bingo to Lanteglos Church and the other-worldly quiet valley in which it sits. She did not know then that she would marry at that church. On other days she would catch the ferry from outside Ferryside to Fowey from where she trudged to Readymoney Cove and Polridmouth past Gribben, Polkerris and Par. On these adventures she walked in her future footsteps, passing her homes and final resting place.
Daphne was 20 on the 12th May 1927 and celebrated the event with her mother Muriel and sisters, Jeanne and Angela at Ferryside. The following day the family left Daphne at Ferryside while they travelled to London. During her short solitary stay, Daphne learnt to sail with a local man called Adams and listened to tales of his family and the schooner Jane Slade and she began to mentally evolve her first successful novel,The Loving Spirit. 

The Nook, Bodinnick

On 3rd October 1929, Daphne was given permission to stay at Ferryside for the winter and write. She was however to lodge with Miss Roberts at The Nook opposite their home. This tiny cottage had no bathroom and the ‘lav’ sat at the bottom of the small garden. Miss Roberts cooked for Daphne and washed her clothes and trotted upstairs with her washing water. Miss Roberts gossiped and comforted Daphne while allowing her freedom. Daphne slept and ate her meals at The Nook and then wrote at Ferryside and later walked or sailed before she locked up Ferryside at 7pm and returned to the care of Miss Roberts. There she chatted, read and went to bed early, listening to the sound of the water.
Daphne had further researched the stories she had heard from Adams. She had written notes on the history of the schooner and Fowey and Bodinnick during the years since her sailing lessons and now she was free to set about writing ‘The Loving Spirit.’ She wrote diligently and had only a couple of breaks back to London after leaving her unfinished manuscript and Bingo in the safe care of Miss Roberts. A few months later, Daphne completed the novel.
The artist Frances Hodgkins enjoyed similar hospitality with Miss Roberts during 1931 when she painted ‘Wings over Water,’ which imitated the view from The Nook across the river and featured Miss Roberts’s large red parrot with which Daphne had enjoyed many conversations.
Daphne kept in touch with Miss Roberts in the following years and visited her in hospital in the autumn of 1938 where she lay stricken with cancer of the bowel. Miss Roberts still chattered and gossiped and told Daphne not to worry about the possibility of an upcoming war, bringing Daphne to shame for her own fears.

The Haven, Fowey

The Haven had been owned by Sir Arthur Quiller Couch since 1892 and occupied by him for half of every year when he was not at Cambridge where he held the chair in English. J M Barrie had introduced him to the du Mauriers when he discovered that they were to live at Ferryside. Daphne greatly admired Q and his work and reputation and it was his influence in her writing which helped her to mature and hone her craft.
During Daphne’s winter of 1929, she would take supper with the Quiller Couches every Sunday.
Q’s daughter, Foy Quiller Couch became great friends with Daphne and they spent a good deal of their time in each other’s company. They walked and rode together, one of their rides being across Bodmin Moor where Daphne was introduced to Jamaica Inn, sowing seeds of an idea for one of her future bestsellers.
The Haven is a Grade II listed building, making the list on the 11th March 1974,

C19 house of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. Stucco and brick with slate hipped roof. Front to harbour has 2-storey bay flanked by 2 sash windows, without glazing bars, on each side. Quoins. Facade to road has verandah on left.

Listing NGR: SX1233251462

Q died in 1944 and in the following years, Foy persuaded Daphne to complete his final work, ‘Castle Dor’, which she did eventually publish in 1962. Daphne, such an admirer of Q’s, was terrified that she had not done his work justice, but reviews and sales proved the contrary.

8 Readymoney Cove (Readymoney Cottage)

In late 1942, Daphne now married to Tommy (Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Arthur Montague “Boy” Browning, GCVO, KBE, CB, DSO) for ten years and the mother of three children, left the Puxleys at Langley End and moved to Fowey. Tommy was living his war and Daphne being unable to move to the family home at Ferryside which had been requisitioned by the Navy, instead rented 8 Readymoney Cove.
The property had originally been the old stables and coach house for Point Neptune House, which had been built for the Rashleighs of Menabilly. It was a nice house, albeit small but with a garden leading directly to the beach.
She was writing ‘Hungry Hill’ based heavily on the life story of Christopher Puxley’s family. He and Daphne had had a dalliance at Langley End and writing this new novel meant that he must visit her at Fowey. He stayed at The Fowey Hotel where Daphne would meet him surreptitiously.

The Watch House

This stone and slate twelve foot square building sits above Watch House Cove between Polruan and Polperro and during the war was in a restricted zone. It had been a coastguard’s hut from where stone steps led to the beach. Daphne rented it for £5 per year and she and Puxley would go there for their trysts aka information-gathering meetings for the new novel.
They felt safe from nosy neighbours and gossips and believed their visits to be secret, although anyone who had lived in a small community knows that it was highly unlikely that they were not seen.

Menabilly

As the lease for Readymoney Cove was nearing its end, Daphne heard that Dr. Rashleigh may consider leasing Menabilly. Daphne and her sister had first seen the beautiful house on their 1926 walks when they had investigated several routes in order to find the mystical place. Daphne fell in love with the unoccupied house immediately upon seeing it and would ‘trespass’ many times during the following years, imagining that she lived there. Latterly Dr Rashleigh had allowed her to walk through the woods anytime she wanted to.
Dr Rashleigh was 71 and had no heir, so the estate was to go to his cousin. He decided that he would sell the contents of Menabilly and lease it at a very low rent until his own death. The tenant would however be responsible for the upkeep and repair of Menabilly. The first job would be a new roof, a huge outlay of £30,000 as it turned out.
In 1943, Daphne agreed to a 20 year lease in spite of advice to the contrary. She intended to plug the financial gap by writing more books and this she did. Several of her best sellers such as, ‘The Kings General, ‘My Cousin Rachel’, ‘The Birds’ and ‘Rebecca’, amongst others, were based there.
By 1958 as the lease was nearing its end and she was trying to persuade Dr. Rashleigh to give her another lease. His cousin’s son Philip was now the heir and he intended to live at Menabilly as soon as he inherited. They negotiated for two more years until in 1960 Dr Rashleigh agreed a further 23 year lease so long as Daphne took responsibility for the care of all the woodlands on the estate. She readily accepted and looked forward to the future again. She also began negotiations for the lease of Kilmarth, the Menabilly dower house further along the coastline towards Par.
Dr Rashleigh died shortly afterwards and Daphne learned that her highly paid lawyer had omitted to have the agreed lease signed and her 23 year future at Menabilly was vanishing before her eyes.
However, further negotiation with Philip Rashleigh gave her a seven year extension to the 1943 twenty year lease and Daphne felt safe enough to write another novel.
It also meant that she was also able to entertain The Queen and Prince Philip there in July 1962.
Tommy died in 1965 and Daphne was left alone at Menabilly when Philip Rashleigh began pushing for her early departure. She had four years left on the Menabilly lease and had been negotiating for a further fifteen years, although she had also paid a deposit on the Kilmarth property. The two parties negotiated quite keenly, even having a serious talk at Menabilly where Philip Rashleigh told her he may extend the lease for seven years if she paid for the demolition of a decaying wing at the property.
Daphne was always willing to fight for her dreams but was still feeling fragile from her so recent widowhood.
Eventually Rashleigh decided that he would not renew Menabilly when the current lease expired and he intended to move there with his family. He would however allow her to have Kilmarth for her lifetime.

Kilmarth

Daphne signed the lease for Kilmarth and began renovations and repairs there which she complained were draining her finances. She had spent so much of her own money on Menabilly that it is of no surprise that she complained. But the house was beautiful and had lovely views and privacy, a state she craved. She could walk down to the beach and along the coast path with her West Highland Terrier Moray at least once a day.
She had the builders convert a small basement room into a chapel and kept in the orchard what was left of Ygdrasil, the boat in which Tommy had first chugged past Ferryside all those years ago under the eyes of Daphne and her sisters and in which they had honeymooned at Helford.
Daphne soon realised that Kilmarth had a wonderful atmosphere and the epic views from the house of St Austell Bay she wished Tommy could have seen.
She finally moved to Kilmarth in June 1969 and began her new routine. She initially walked over to Menabilly but soon stopped because it distressed her so much. Instead she took her walks around the fields at Kilmarth and down to the beach there. It was several years before she began her Monday visits to the Rashleighs at Menabilly.
As she settled at Kilmarth, she began writing yet another novel, ‘The House on the Strand,’ based on her research of her new property and mixed by her own incredible imagination.
In 1989 Daphne was 81. Most of her friends were dead and she had decided she wanted to die too. She stopped eating and got down to six stone. On the 16th April she asked her friend to drive her down to Pridmouth beach where Rebecca died and then she visited Menabilly and lastly, her sister at Ferryside.
She went to bed on the 18th April and died in her sleep.
Her funeral was on the 26th April with a thanksgiving service at Tregaminion chapel by Menabilly gates. The chapel was filled with her favourite camellias.
Her ashes were scattered at Kilmarth.