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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

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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.

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Daphne du Maurier and her Cornish homes

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

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 mother and sisters. The family had taken several 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 across the harbour, 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 seen in her dreams. The family arrived at the bottom of Bodinnick hill and parked alongside the inn there. Gerald and Muriel du Maurier noticed a house to their left, which had previously been part of the old boatyard, was now for sale. Daphne and her sisters immediately trespassed, as was their habit.

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 upstairs and down, linked by narrow staircases and corridors. It was not until 1926 when the alterations were finally completed that the family could spend 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 alone at Ferryside while they travelled home 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 ‘brew’ 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, across the lane from Ferryside. 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 7 pm and returned to the care of Miss Roberts. There she chatted, read and went to bed early, listening to the comforting sound of the water.
Daphne  further researched the stories she had heard from Adams. She had written many notes on the history of the schooner, Jane Slade , Fowey and Bodinnick from information gathered during her sailing lessons. Now she was free to set about writing ‘The Loving Spirit.’ She wrote diligently and had only a couple of breaks from her work, travelling back to Cannon Hall in London to be with her family. She left her unfinished manuscript and dog Bingo in the safe care of Miss Roberts. It took only a few months for Daphne to complete her novel and The Loving Spirit was soon on the journey which would ultimately bring Daphne fame, fortune and a husband.
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 has 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 to her. Daphne and her sister had first seen the beautiful house on one of their 1926 walks when they had investigated several routes in order to find this 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’ ‘Rule Britannia and ‘Rebecca’, amongst others, were based there.
Careful reading of the first chapter of Rebecca reveal her memory narrative  of searching for Menabilly with her sister and the difficulty of traversing the overgrown pathways through the woods.
By 1958 as the lease was nearing its end and Daphne began 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 now living 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 in 1968 and began more 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 the lovely views and privacy 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. She 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 often 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 regular Monday visits to the Rashleighs at Menabilly.
As Daphne settled at Kilmarth, she began writing yet another novel, ‘The House on the Strand.’  It was based on her research of her new property and then merged with 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 dropped down to six stone. On the 16th April she asked her friend to drive her down to Pridmouth beach where Rebecca had died, followed by a visit to Menabilly and lastly, to her sister at Ferryside.
Daphne 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 the famous gates at Menabilly. The chapel was filled with her favourite camellias.
Her ashes were scattered on the beach below Kilmarth, where she had walked almost every day of her life there.

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Tywardreath Priory

Tywardreath Priory

There is no current visible trace of Tywardreath Priory.
There have been recent attempts by the local people of Tywardreath to find it again using modern means. But it has been so flattened and all top stones and other artefacts taken away over the centuries, that discovery is difficult.
A gentleman of the parish wrote the following article in an edition of the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1922,
‘The ancient priory of Tywardreath has long been so entirely levelled with the ground, that it is not very easy even to ascertain its site. Some time ago the present vicar obtained leave to dig the ground on its supposed site in search of stones for erecting a vicarage house. The place where he made an excavation for this purpose appears to have been the east end of the priory chapel; and as some measurements were taken at the time , and I have, with the permission of the landlord, opened the ground in several places, partly of throwing some light on its architecture, the following particulars may not be unacceptable.
The chapel appears, so far as could be ascertained by measurement, to have been eighty feet long, by fifty seven wide, with a semi-circular end towards the east; strengthened by four buttresses of wrought Pentewan stone, two feet wide, and ornamented by four pilasters; within the shafts are a single half-column, four inches in diameter. At each angle was a handsome piece of architecture, as it was described to me, of which pilasters, resembling those already described, formed a part, but with the base five inches wide, and the mouldings in proportion.
In the vicarage garden, adjoining the west end of the chapel, a fragment of a stone arch was found, with a fleur-de-lis elegantly carved in deep relief; the same devise appears on the church stile, and in a coat of arms in one of the windows of the church, and appears from tanner to have been part of the arms of the priory. The wall of the chapel is the south wall of the churchyard.
The chapel was paved with beach pebbles, and was built partly of common clay slate raised on the spot; the wrought stones were of compact hard porphyry, from Pentewan Quarry in the parish of St. Austell, and hornblende from the cliff between Duporth and Charlestown in the same parish. All the carved work is executed with much skill and taste.’
Although nothing now remains above ground, there is a story which abounds that the last stone was shipped back to France by the last Prior. There is no proof of this, although the story has been passed down by oral tradition.
The Priory stood at the water’s edge and ships would dock and leave from here. Much of Par and St Blazey was underwater and the sea fingered its way inland to Prideaux and further at high tide. The monks built a causeway from Tywardreath to St Blazey, but three men, one a monk, died one day when they failed to check the tides. A ferry was used at other times.
As the Priory expanded, so did the satellite houses, farms and alehouses which would normally surround such a place. The waterside was busy and sea travel and fishing occurred here in addition to Fowey.
It has often been reported since the fall of the Priory, that monks are seen to wander about the church and the area and their chants heard.
The seal of the convent was a saltire or St. Andrews cross. Sometimes the seal was displayed between four fleurs-de-lis.

It is stated in the Monasticon Anglicanum the following;
‘Tywardreit a cell to Angiers in France.
Robert de Cardinham gave divers Lands and Revenue in Cornwall to the church of St Sergius of Angiers and to the Church of St Andrew in Tywardrait and to the monks there all which was confirm’d by King Henry III.’

This entry gives the impression that Robert de Cardinham built the Priory at Tywardreath, however deeper investigation shows that the priory was already built and in use by the ‘black monks’ of France and that Cardinham made substantial financial contribution to the priory’s upkeep and extension.
Prior to 1066 the lands of Tywardreath were in the control of the Saxon Lord Cola before the Conqueror and then fell to Richard FitzTorold, the steward of Count Robert, the King’s brother.
Robert FitzWilliam who died sometime between 1169 and 1177, is recorded in 1166 Cartae Baronum as the holder of the lands which had been formerly been held by Richard FitzTurold. In 1169, he and his son Robert made a gift to Tywardreath Priory.
Following his death, his son Robert de Cardinham was forced to pay a large feudal relief in Devon in order to gain his inheritance. He owned at least 71 Knight’s fees in Cornwall, from the successor of the Count of Mortain. One of his holdings was a mill at Cardinham which serviced the Tywardreath Priory.
It was his son, Robert de Cardinham (died 1230) – heir of Robert FitzWilliam (de Cardinham) – who made gifts to the already established priory at Tywardreath, written of in the Monasticon Anglicanum.
Establishment of Tywardreath Priory.
A long term and well established trade route passed through the area from the Camel to Fowey. Goods were shipped from Ireland to Cornwall and then from Fowey to Britanny and the Mediterranean and back. This was a hugely influential area where monks and travellers came to make secret meetings and where smugglers and pirates abounded.
King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine had great connections to her ancestral inheritance in Angers and it may have been this connection to the house of SS Sergius and Bacchus which encouraged the French monks to arrive and establish a daughter house at Tywardreath. Sergius and Bacchus were two Romans violently executed and martyred when they refused to approve of their leaders murderous violence.
Henry and Eleanor wanted a spy satellite in this faraway edge of his kingdom.
According to the History of Glasney College (James Whetter); the foundation date for Tywardreath Priory is given as 1088, although the building was not completed until 1135. Osbert was the first prior who ruled by the favour of Lord Robert FitzTorold. Henry’s chief agent, the Bishop of Salisbury set in motion the beginning of the priory.
The Tywardreath connection is the first documented reference I have so far found to the Manor of Pridias (later Prideaux), although many connections are documented in retrospect.
Osbert, the Prior at Tywardreath granted to Baldwin de Pridias;
‘One knight’s fee in the manor of Pidias, to hold to him and his heirs, except an acre of land in Carnubelbanathel for which the monks of Tywardreath rendered annually to the said Baldwin 20d, for all customs, &c, as written in the charter of convention between Ordagar the Canon and Richard de Pidias Father of the said Baldwin.’
The charter was initially drawn up in 1120-1122 between Canon Ordagar and Richard de Pridias, the son of Paganus, but Richard died in 1122. This document remained unsigned until 1130 when Baldwin, the son of Richard, came of age and was rewritten.
The Benedictine priory initially housed about seven monks, the endowment being sufficient for that number. The priory, although poor, controlled the port of Fowey and had lands scattered over Cornwall. They rented some of the Pridias lands and I assume that this is what the charter was for.
The Crown began to mistrust the monks, an opinion which continued until its eventually downfall during the purges of Henry VIII. They were believed to be passing on gossip and finances to the French Abbott and assisting traitors. For this reason the Crown often took the monastery under its protection and confiscated money and goods, leaving the monks poor and reliant upon the goodwill of their neighbours. These neighbours were rather suspicious of the French monks, but used them for their skills with herbs and their ability to work in harmony with the more ‘natural’ practices of the first people of Cornwall.
There was an annual charge on the priory’s income, which was known as a corrody. This was to pay for the board and lodging of founders when they visited. Originally a voucher, later money, was used and this could then more easily be transferred to the Crown as a pension. In 1486 Henry VII recommended that his servant William Martyn be granted a corrody of 5 marks a year to be charged on the manors of Tywardreath and Trenant. A corrody was held in Tywardreath Priory in 1509 by Hugh Denys of Osterley Groom of the King’s Close Stool to Henry VII. On the death of Denys, Henry VIII transferred the corrody (“in the King’s gift by death of Hugh Denys”) to John Porth, another courtier.
All the French monks were expelled between 1400 and 1405 and in 1406 it became the home for English monks, who built up a thriving community until 1536 when it was supressed. In 1535 the Valor Ecclesisticus drawn for King Henry VIII, the priory had been valued at less than £200 annually,
Records show that there were 19 unsuccessful attempts to persuade Prior Thomas Colyns to retire gracefully from office shortly before the Dissolution, but he would not. It is not known whether the Priory documents went into the Arundell archive from the Prior or the King’s agent.
At the time of the Dissolution the Arundells were vying with the Grenvilles and Godolphins to obtain the lands of Tywardreath (see AL Rowse, Tudor Cornwall, pp. 209-10.). Thomas Arundell came into possession of the priory documentation. He was for a while in charge of the commission for dissolving the monasteries and would thus have been one of the few people in a position to remove the documents from the priory. Thomas could arrange to have the documents removed to Lanherne hoping that his family would acquire the priory lands. They didn’t succeed however. Grenville held them instead.
At Tywardreath Priory, newly writ documents were often smoked to make them look old and substantiate a claim.
Oliver’s Monasticon displays a document indicating that Grenville held the lands and then leased them to Sir John Arundell and Arundell sub-let the lands to Laurence Courtenay in 1542 (Oliver, Monasticon, p. 45, no. XXIV.). The documentation regarding the priory still remain in the Arundell Archive. John Grenville (CRO, CA/B44/1) eventually sold the lands to the Rashleigh family and the Earl of Hertford (Rowse, Tudor Cornwall, p. 205 and p. 210.).
List of Priors
1. Michael c.1250 – 1263
2. Galfridus 1263 – c. 1278
3. Philip c.1297 – 1324
4. William Bouges 1333 – 1371
5. William de la Hay 1371 – 1399
6. John Masselyn 1399 – 1406
7. John Roger 1406 – 1433
8. John Brentyngham 1433 – 1450
9. Walter Barnecot 1450 – 1496
10. Richard Martyn 1496 – 1506
11. Thomas Colyns 1507 – 1536

Tywardreath Priory lands were organised into eight manors for purposes of administration:
1. Manor of St Austell: seat of manor was in St Austell; tenements also in St Stephen in Branel.
2. Manor of Fentrigan: not an original manor but created as a means of administering the priory’s scattered lands in Altarnun, Davidstow, Lesnewth, Otterham, Treneglos, Warbstow, Week St Mary and Whitstone.
3. Manor of Fowey: seat of manor and all tenements were in Fowey. The borough of Fowey belonged to Tywardreath Priory. The court rolls here are for Fowey manor; it is not clear whether there was also a separate borough court.
4. Manor of Gready: not an original manor but formed from scattered lands in St Austell, Cardinham, Lanlivery, Lanivet and Luxilian.
5. Manor of Porthia: not an original manor but formed from scattered lands in St Anthony in Meneage, Gulval, St Ives, Lelant, Madron, Manaccan, Towednack, Zennor and possibly Ludgvan.
6. Manor of Trenant: seat of manor was in Fowey; tenements also in Tywardreath.
7. Manor of Trevennen: seat of manor was in Goran; tenements also in St Erme, Goran, St Michael Carhays and Probus.
8. Manor of Tywardreath Prior: seat of manor was in Tywardreath; tenements also in St Austell, St Endellion, St Enoder, St Sampson Golant, Lanlivery, St Martin by Looe and Menheniot.

The tenements of each manor,
• St Austell Manor
• St Austell town (Austoll, Austolle, Austolus) in St Austell parish
• Fentrigan Manor
• Carneglos in Altarnun parish [presumably]
• Fentrigan (Fentregan, Fentygan, Ventregan, Ventregan) in Warbstow parish
• Froxton (Forkeston) in Whitstone parish
• Helset in Lesnewth parish
• Penaton (Peneton) in Davidstow parish
• ‘Trehybyow’ [unidentified]
• Tredarrup (Tretharap) in Warbstow parish
• Witheven (Withefenne) in Warbstow parish
• Fowey Manor
• Fowey (Fawy) in Fowey parish
• Gready Manor
• Cardinham Mill (Cardinan, Cardynam) in Cardinham parish
• ‘Le Forthynglond’ [presumably] in Lanlivery parish
• Goom (Le Gomm) in Lanlivery parish
• Upper Gready (Gredyou superior) in Lanlivery parish
• Lanlivery (Lanlevery, Lanlyuery) in Lanlivery parish
• Layhays (Leslof?) in Cardinham parish
• ‘Lebiri’ [unidentified] in Cardinham parish
• Tretharrup (Trewartharape) in Luxilian parish
• Porthia Manor
• St Anthony in St Anthony in Meneage parish
• Bolenna (Bolaynow, Bolenowe) in Towednack parish
• Boscobben (Boscum) in Zennor parish
• ‘Boscomol 1′ [unidentified; possibly Boskennal in Ludgvan parish ?]
• Bosilliack (Boswolsekk) in Madron parish
• Bosoljack (Boswouleck) in Gulval parish
• Carn Bolenna (Carn Bolenow) in Towednack parish
• Carnelloe (Carnellow) in Zennor parish
• Chyangweal (Chyangwele) in Towednack parish
• Dennis (Dynese) in St Anthony in Meneage parish
• Hendra in Lelant parish
• St Ives (Ias) in St Ives parish
• Lelant (Lanant, Lananta, Lananth, Lannantha) in Lelant parish
• Malinnan (Melyn Manan,
• Myllenan) [lost] in St Anthony in Meneage parish’Melyncres’ (Myllyncrees) [unidentified]
• ‘Parkemane at Carnsu’ [unidentified]
• Pednolva (Penwolva) in St Ives parish
• Penbeagle (Penbygell) in St Ives parish
• ‘Placenor or Placetorten’ [probably in St Ives town and parish]
• Porthminster (Polmester) in St Ives parish
• Rosecaddon (Rescaden) in Manaccan parish
• Skyburrier (Scuburyowe) in St Anthony in Meneage parish
• ‘Torrm’ [?] [unidentified]
• Tregenna (Tregene) in St Ives parish
• Trewey (Trethewe) in Zennor parish
• Trevail (Treveel, Trevell) in Zennor parish
• Treveglos in Zennor parish
• ‘Treveylla’ [unidentified]
• Trenwith (Trevnwyth) in St Ives parish
• Trenant Manor
• Caffa Mills (Caghmylle, Caigthmyll, Caigthmylle) in Fowey parish
• Coombe (Comb, Combe, Legom?) in Fowey parish
• ‘Drenek’ [unidentified, presumably near to Trewalls in Fowey parish]
• Fowey in Fowey parish
• Lankelly (Nankilly) in Fowey parish
• Little Lawhyre (Lawhire Parua, Litellawhyra, Lityll Lawhere, Lytell Awhyr, Lytill Awhyre) in Fowey parish
• Lescrow (Lescrawe, Lescrowe, Loscrowe) in Fowey parish
• Long Stone (Langestone, Langiston) in Fowey parish
• Trenant Barton in Fowey parish
• Trewalls (Trewale) [lost] in Fowey parish [near Coombe]
• Trevennen Manor
• Godarricks (Godarek) in Goran parish
• Pengelly (Pengelly Pryour) in St Erme parish
• Trevaskus (Trevalscoys) in Goran parish
• Trevennen (Tremaignon, Tremanion, Tremanyon, Tremaynon, Trevanyon) in Goran parish
• Trewalla or Trewolla (Trewalaveour, Trewalavighan, Trewalemur) in Goran parish
• Tywardreath Prior Manor
• ‘Bowete’ [unidentified; possibly compare Bovewood in St Sampson Golant parish]
• Caruggatt (Carogat, Carregot, Carrogat, Carulgad, Corrogat) in Tywardreath parish
• Coldharbour (Trefory alias Coldeherber, Trevory) [lost] in Tywardreath parish
• Par (le Par) in Tywardreath parish
• Kilgogue (?Keligog, Kellygoke) in Tywardreath parish
• Lancrow moor (Lancrowemor) in Lanlivery parish [tin-works in, adjacent to Trevorry in Lanlivery parish]
• Trefingey (Trefrongye) in Tywardreath parish
• Treesmill (Treysmyll) in Tywardreath parish
• ‘Tressaveour’ (Tresaveour, Trusavor) [lost in the north part of St Austell parish]
• Tywardreath town in Tywardreath parish
• Tywardreath Manors by Parish
• Altarnun parish – Fentrigan Manor
• St Anthony in Meneage parish – Porthia Manor
• St Austell parish – St Austell Manor, Tywardreath Prior Manor
• Cardinham parish – Gready Manor
• Davidstow parish – Fentrigan Manor
• St Erme parish – Trevennen Manor
• Fowey parish – Fowey Manor, Trenant Manor
• Goran parish – Trevennen Manor
• Gulval parish – Porthia Manor
• St Ives parish – Porthia Manor
• Lanlivery parish – Gready Manor, Tywardreath Prior Manor
• Lelant parish – Porthia Manor
• Lesnewth parish – Fentrigan Manor
• Ludgvan parish – Porthia Manor
• Luxilian parish – Gready Manor
• Madron parish – Porthia Manor
• Manaccan parish – Porthia Manor
• St Sampson Golant parish – Tywardreath Prior Manor
• Towednack parish – Porthia Manor
• Tywardreath parish – Tywardreath Prior Manor
• Warbstow parish – Fentrigan Manor
• Whitstone parish – Fentrigan Manor
• Zennor parish – Porthia Manor

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Mulfra Vean New Mill Cornwall

In 1790 Robert Prowse was born in Paul, just outside Penzance. He married Grace who was born in 1800 and they had seven children. William, Grace, Robert. Margaret, Susanna, Jane and Elizabeth. They worked on the land. His brother William also had a family and settled in New Mill also just outside Penzance.
and they had William, John, James, Ann and Richard.
William [1841] worked as a tin miner at New Mill on Mulfra Hill. He married Ellen and they had William H, Eliza E, James T and John. Eventually by 1881 he managed to buy a 13 acre farm on Mulfra Hill and their family had increased by Edwin C, Eveline J, Grosvenor and Aromulous H.
William married and had a son William Robert on 2nd October 1906. He took over the farm at Mulfra and married Dorothy Violet, born 28th December 1902. [3 days after Granddad Clifford.]
He ran the place as a farm and also as a motor dealer and general dealer. He called the place Mulfra Vean Garage and was one of the first people to get a telephone in the tiny hamlet. It was prior to WW2 and his number was Penzance 581.
They carried on running the farm and garage and eventually in the late 50’s started taking in holidaymakers for BB and evening meal.
Mulfra Quoit was one of the ancient attractions and was within walking distance of the farm. Dad used to take us to Tintagel, Merry Maidens and other places along with St Ives and Lands End. Madron Workhouse was very near and has quite a history.
I remember the evening walks down the lane to the village  and Dad scaring us when he hid behind the hedges and jumped out.
I also remember how creepy the house was. There were many stuffed birds and animals about the place and I remember the musty smell. There was a stuffed Cornish Chough at the bottom of the stairs which Dad joked about for years. We ran from bed to loo in the middle of the night. Karen remembers clearly the ghost of a young girl in white standing by the bed and not going away.
Even so, I think back on the visits with fondness in spite of the really horrible paintings of dying dogs and drowning girls.
We eventually stopped visiting, I think because the meals became more boring. I do recall the last year that we had milk pudding every night. I have never touched semolina, tapioca etc since.
William died on April 1988 and Dorothy died May 1991.

Vean means small and Mul is the Cornish version of round topped hill (Welsh is moel and English is knoll) Mulfra Vean likely means farmstead on the small hill.

Pobo vean means little people or piskies.

quoit

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Prideaux Manor

Prideaux Manor

The Prideaux/Pridias family had a manor house at the base of the Prideaux hill fort since prior to the Norman invasion. The dwelling was knocked down and rebuilt in an improved style many times.

Lake states,

The ancient manor originally comprised Great and Little Prideaux, Lestoon, Levrean, Rosemullen, Trevanney, Trenince, and Ponts Mill in Luxulyan. Stenalees in St Austell, Grediow in Lanlivery, Biscovay in St Blazey, Carroget, Kilhalland, Rosegarth and Penpillick in Tywardreath. Gubbavean in St Issey, Nanscowe in St Breaock, and moieties in Golant, one of which was called Bakers.

During the time that the Herles became named owners of the property and lands due to the male Prideaux line here dying out, the house and land was known as Prideaux Herle. Wood, Drew and Reid are among many who have recorded that the Reverend Charles Herle Prideaux who matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford was born of honourable parents at Prideaux Herle, near Lystwithyel, Cornwall in 1598. (This branch of the family are to feature in my next Bishop John Prideaux book.)

I have a description of the manor house in some of my documents.

Of the ancient seat of the Herles, which within memory formed a complete quadrangle, the eastern side only remains. This portion was built early in the fourteenth century by Thomas Herle, who was one of the stannators of the stannary of Blackmore, 22 James 1. 1624 and 12 Charles 1, 1636. It comprised a large and handsome hall, with a carved roof and armorial bosses shewing the marriage connexiots of the family and one or two inferior apartments. Over the chimney of one of the upper rooms  the story of Perseus and Andromeda was represented in plaster, this with the stone stairs that led to the sleeping apartments have been removed. Over the chief entrance is a shield of twelve quarterings, surmounted with the crest of the Herles.

As the house originally stood intact, it was a venerable and interesting structure. Within the quadrangle was a well of excellent water and the only entrance which led direct to the north was from the north, which was so constructed as to appear to pass through a wall ten or twelve feet in thickness. The south and the west portions of the house were the most ancient, two of the upper rooms of which contained the arms of Prideaux, with quarterings and the family motto – In God is All.

 

From the Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall of 1820.

Luxulian, although wild and desolate in its general aspect, affords considerable matter for the entertainment of the tourist, namely its ancient church, two moveable stones called Logan Rocks, the venerable mansion, and decayed fortification called Prideaux Castle, and the singularly rocky valley, which opens and folds itself with astonishing grandeur through the country below.

The church is seated in moderate eminence, and with its tower, is built of wrought granite. The Gothic walls of the porch are embattled, and the ceiling very curiously ornamented. On the front over the arch, are the ancient arms of Prideaux……..

Prideaux Castle, the original seat of the Prideaux family, is supposed to have stood on an elevated spot, which has now the appearance of an ancient encampment. At a small distance on the northern side of these remains, is seated Prideaux House, which seems to have been built by the Herles, and their arms are still over the entrance. It is a rude quadrangular building, the apartments low and gloomy, and the stairs throughout are formed of moorstone. The hall, which is now used as a stable, is ornamented with shields of armorial bearings, cut in oak, and shew the marriage connexions of the Herles, during their residence at this place. The upper apartments exhibit some curious plasterwork, and on one of the chimney pieces is represented Perseus riding to the relief of Andromeda, who is represented chained to a rack, with a sea monster swimming towards her.

Medrose present house was built by the Kendalls. The hall is lined with oak, and has very curiously carved chimney piece, adorned with large human figures, and a variety of armorial bearings.

A little to the east of Prideaux Castle, stands the handsome modern mansion of John Coleman Rashleigh, esq. The best front has a southern prospect, and a coach road is carried through the grounds by an easy descent, into a small valley, which enters the great western road, at St. Blazey church town.

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A L Rowse. A Clever Boy.

It would be easy to list all the  achievements of Dr Rowse, but as his Bibliography is simple to find online along with his many honours, I don’t need to add to them. Instead, I shall add here, a few links and comments not readily available elsewhere.  I include a copy of the photograph and postcard I discovered in a book I bought,  along with a copy of a letter. In another blog about him on this site, I wrote that many of his peers had a problem with him and his attitude. But these personal notes show that he had many friends and admirers, who thought of A L Rowse as a clever boy and kind man.

A L Rowse

He sent a lovely photograph of himself on the Malpas Ferry and wrote on the reverse side

Malpas Ferry on the Fal, where, according to the medieval French chronicle . Tristram crossed over to Iseult on the bank, in the wood of Morois.  Moresk we call it today .ALR

On a postcard sent to Mrs. Richard Hatchwell of Chippenham on 27th March 1980, he wrote.

You are both sweet  to me. Delighted to have G’s book. I have most of his but this will make it complete. I have a  Corn Childhood  for you, but now when you come down will have some early Vols of  Poetry O.P. + unobtainable instead. You must go and see this place near Totnes. Nice old town too. Splendid! Medieval house and gardens. Love Leslie.

Rowse postcard

Richard and Mary Hatchwell were great friends of his and the interview and obituary below describe Mr. Hatchwell as the well known and respected antiquarian book seller that he was.

Richard Hatchwell Interview
Richard Hatchwell Obituary

The house he insisted they visit was Darlington Hall at Totnes. A L Rowse loved grand houses and the grand  families who lived in them and was friends and acquaintances with many in that circle. He was allowed access to many private libraries and family papers in order that he could complete the required research for his books. If anyone reading this wants to discover historical facts written in a flowing and easy to understand style, then read A L Rowse. He researched in great detail and his knowledge was second to none, especially with regard to Elizabethan,  Carolean and Jacobean history.

A letter he wrote to them from his home at Trenarren on 25th October 1994, shows their easy friendship.

Dearest Richard and Mary, Both,

Slow in sending you my horrible Regicides. But hope you approve my Shakespeare article in Daily Telegraph Week End Supplement, Oct 22.

When you come down again shall I sort out as last time – the mixture as before, some old rare books along with the moderns [though no fiction all good academically.]

All my friends are having ops, and Phyllis shingles – worried with re-decorating after dry rot! No worries of that sort when I lived in College. College life for me.

Wilts is not so damp as Cornwall – so hope you are spared re-decorating and shingles.

Much love Leslie.

Phyllis Candy was his housekeeper and looked after him for years. She was very protective of him, although Dr. Rowse was perfectly capable of looking after himself.

If you want to hear his voice, there are some lovely recordings on the BBC Archive website.

Desert Island Discs

Women of Mystery

and lately on You Tube.

He had such a wonderful speaking voice, which he honed himself at Oxford. He was never ashamed of his Cornish roots  or the thick accent, but he needed to be taken seriously.  He found himself mocked for having improved himself by some of his contemporaries, but he did not let it bother him unduly. Alan Bennett wrote a particularly cruel and unnecessary obituary about A L Rowse, soon after his death. alan bennett

Rowse does not appear to have had a great fondness for his mother, although he let her live with him in later years in spite of her nasty words and ingratitude. Their awkward relationship was discussed in Richard Ollard’s ‘A Man of Contradictions.’
Some of Rowse’s friends have also written books about him and all talk of him honestly and with great affection.

Tregonissey to Trenarren
Dr A L Rowse
A Man of Contradictions

Although a prolific and brilliant writer, his peers did not praise or revere him as they should have done. Dr Rowse certainly had a high opinion of himself and I feel the resentment he sometimes felt didn’t help his humour. A L suffered for years with stomach ulcers and in spite of  medication and operations,  at one time it was thought that he would die.  He seemed to live in a perpetual state of anxiety and perhaps a psychologist would point to the difficult relationship he experienced with his parents. We may decide, upon learning that a local butcher, Fred May , one day found it highly amusing to temporarily imprison the young boy inside a warm carcass, that here was another reason to create an underlying anxiety. There was also a strong rumour, not without foundation, that Fred May was, in fact, his real father. Sadly, in the end Rowse acknowledged that he was probably fathered by the butcher. He did visit some of the May descendants during one of his many USA lecture tours, but found little in common.
A L Rowse had no patience with some members of his family and neighbours in the small, tight community of Tregonissey. When he discovered that his eldest sister was born before his mother wed his father,  he romanced that he was really the son of  a St Aubyn. His mother had worked for them at St. Michael s Mount. The girl’s father was probably the daughter of a doctor where Rowse’smother had worked as a maid.
As he was writing one of his books  when living at Polmear Mine, his house overlooking Sr. Austell Bay, he noted that there was no one now left in Tregonissey from his childhood. That tight community had lived and worked and argued together for generations, but were now all gone. He experienced nostalgia as much as any of us do.
The personal reminiscences of his friends in the books detailed above confirm that his real friends and family genuinely loved and respected him. I am glad about that. I think he enjoyed his life and made sure that he got as much of of it as he could. Can everyone say that….
I am seriously thinking about starting a campaign to have Dr. Rowse properly recognised for his great works.
What do you think?

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A L Rowse 1903 -1997

rowseMy roots are Cornish and I have spent a good deal of time roaming and living in Cornwall during my life. Many of the greatest writers of our country were either born in the West Country  or lived there at some point. The land brings such inspiration to creative people and I am sure that  others feel the magic of the Universe when they stand on a misty moor or take a  walk through Luxulyan.

But, perhaps they don’t. The Cornwall I think of when I hear it’s name, are the narrow leafed lanes and the small communities who speak in guttural  tones. This I why I love reading A. L. Rowse. His ‘Cornish Childhood’ was a bestseller in its day and is still read now. In it, Rowse writes only about his young life before he leaves Cornwall for Oxford. But through his words, the reader soon understands the Cornish society, its people and its landscape.

Rowse came back to his Cornwall following his Oxford years and lived in the house by the sea at Trenarren, where he always thought he would.

He wrote many books in addition to his meticulous diaries, which were  historical non fiction and in my humble opinion, he  has never been given satisfactory recognition for his works. He had the rare skill of weaving facts  with expert story telling  and so as we read, we walk with him along the  streets and meet those he describes, as if they were in our lives right now. Then, as if by magic we discover that we have learned and understood some  interesting history.  If I had been given his books to read at my school, instead of listening to the constant droning of teachers who obviously understood little of what they taught me, I should have learnt a lot more, a lot sooner.

A L Rowse quickly dropped out of fashion  and out of the Oxford set in the 20’s and 30’s due to his forthright and often rude manner. He could be arrogant and suffered no one he considered a fool. I only recently met a man who knew him at University when they were both lecturers and he told me a tale of an unpleasant conversation they had had. I will not repeat it here, but have heard similar reports on different occasions.

When you read his early work it is possible to see what turned this rather clever boy from a relatively poor background, into the capricious and complicated man he became. I believe his attitude was the classic defence mechanism of a man who did not want to let anyone in.

He collected a great library of books, many first editions, which he bequeathed to the University of Exeter, The Royal Institution of Cornwall selected some and others were sold to dealers. I have quite a few of his books, many signed. It is rumoured that some wag said that in the latter years, a book not signed by A L Rowse would be worth more as it was rarer than a signed one. One of the books I bought from a dealer had a personal photograph of Rowse alongside a  letter written by him. Just an everyday letter, but I treasure it.

When I go to Cornwall, I visit his grave and place flowers. He has other friends living in the area still, who tend his grave and his memory and another book is being written about him now. It seems he is not forgotten.

Although so much of old home ground has been altered by new roads and  buildings,  if you read his work and that of his friends, such as Dr James Whetter,  it is possible to find the lanes and the fields he talked about. You can eat your lunch under the viaduct at Luxulyan as he did at Christmas with his good friend David Treffry . Or you could walk up the high lanes and sit and look at the spectacular view. I have done that. Rowse’s Cornwall is the Cornwall I think of, for it changed little from his younger day to my childhood. It has changed dramatically since then.

I don’t know how many times I have read ‘A Cornish Childhood’, but I do know that it’s not too many.