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Life in the Parish

Truro , Cornwall - Mrs. Heard, Publisher
(Julia Mosman, OPC)



5 January 1838

Cornwall Quarter Sessions

William WATERS, 13, was charged with stealing 200 fumadoes and 100 pilchards [fish], the property of James Hodges, Robert Thomas, jun., and Mary Thomas, on the 11th of November last.

James Hodges examined;  I am a fisherman living at Mevagissey; attended Truro market in November last, had some fumadoes there; it was on a Saturday night; Mary Thomas was at Truro on that day; I was there on Tuesday following; I then saw a cask of fumadoes which were shown to me by Mr. Couch, the constable; it belonged to me and Thomas, and Mary Thomas.

Wm. Parsons lives at Truro, and looks after the market; things left undisposed of on one market-day are frequently left in my care; the prosecutors attend the market; I recollect on the 11th of November a cask of fumadoes being left in my charge; when Thomas gave it into my charge the heads of the cask were secured by two nails; the cask was placed in the corner of the fish market; I had another cask of fumadoes besides that.  It was given into my charge about seven o'clock .  I went down about a quarter before nine when the cask was safe.  At about nine I saw that the cask was thrown down and the fumadoes were out of it; the other cask was the same as when I left it.  I saw the prisoner creeping away from the cask.  When he came to the corner of the fish-market I caught hold of him.  I asked him what he had behind him; he said "he had nothing".  I found that he had a bundle behind him, which I afterwards found to contain fumadoes.  I took him to the William the Fourth, and Mary Thomas sent for Couch who took him into custody.

Cross-examined by Mr. Stokes: Many persons go through the fish-market at night; there was no name on the cask; there were some fumadoes on the ground. Wm. Couch stated that the fumadoes were given to him on the 11th of November in the presence of Mary Thomas.  The fish were produced.

Mr. Stokes contended that this was no case to go in the jury, because no proof had been given that the fumadoes belonged to Mary Thomas. The court, however, over-ruled the objection, and Mr. Stokes then addressed the jury, stating that the boy had picked up some pilchards from a cask that had fallen down. 

After some deliberation the jury found the prisoner Not Guilty.
. . .

John Michell VIVIAN, 12, was charged with stealing a metal barrel-cock and key, the property of Richard Wellington.

Joseph Rowett lives at St. Austell; saw the prisoner at my brother's house on the 15th of November; he had a key cock; my brother is a barber; the prisoner beat it with a hammer; I asked him what he was going to do with it; he said he was going to throw it away.  I said you might as well give it to me as throw it away.  He did give it to me about a quarter of an hour afterwards.  I took it home.  On the next day the prosecutor came to my brother's shop; the prisoner was there; when I was at dinner I was sent for to show Mr. Wellington the cock and key. I gave them to Mr. Wellington.  I heard the prisoner tell Roberts the constable what he had told me, that he found it.  Mr. Wellington took the cock and key away.

Richard Wellington stated that he was a blacksmith, went to Rowett's shop on the 16th of November; missed on that day a cock and key; saw it a week before in a drawer in his workshop; knew the prisoner, who came there oftener than I wished.  I took the cock and key from Rowett and gave it to the constable. 

The prisoner said he found it, and could bring a boy as a witness, who saw him pick it up.  He said the boy's name was James Gilbert. James Gilbert stated that he knew the prisoner; never saw him pick up the cock and key of a barrel.

Matthew R…., ….. of St. Austell, produced a cock and key which were given him by Mr. Wellington, by whom they were now identified as his property.  Not Guilty.
. . .

LOCAL NEWS (the page was badly wrinkled and torn)

Her Majesty's Clemency - Our readers will recollect that at the [Quarter} sessions held in this county, three brothers, named Roberts, were tried and found guilty of killing two horses, first maiming them, and then backing the poor animals into the shaft of a mine.  The men were sentenced to [twelve?] months' imprisonment, the last three months to be served in solitary confinement.  In consequence, however of Thomas Roberts being subject to an asthmatic affliction and his health being likely to be considerably im[xx] if the latter part of his sentence was carried into effect a representation of that circumstance was made to [the] Secretary of State, and on Monday last, Mr. Everest, governor of Bodmin gaol, received the Queen's warrant [authorizing] the relaxion of the last part of the sentence.

12 JANUARY 1837 , Friday

Fancy Ball - In accordance with the good old custom which prevails at this season of general hospitality, some of the Bachelors of Truro and the neighbourhood, including Lord Boscawen Rose, Messrs. J. E. Vivian, H.P. Andrew, L. C. Daubuz, William Daubuz, Francis Po..ingham, V. Vivian, Richard Davey, and Richard Taylor, and Capt. Wollaston and Lieut. Mansell, invited [persons from the area to] a fancy dress Quadrille party, at the Assembly-room on Friday, the 5th  instant. We are informed by a gentleman, who was one of the invited guests, that for brilliancy of dress and accuracy of costume in all the characters nothing could be better. The rooms were tastefully decorated with flags and evergreens; the entrance to the ballroom was through a bower of laurels and lan……s, and was screened off with the same plants, which had a very pretty effect. The choicest of refreshments were provided between the dances, and at one o'clock the company sat down to a supper, served in the card-room by Mr. Stevens, of the Red Lion Hotel, which, for taste in display, variety and excellence of viands and wines, could not possibly be excelled, or have given more general satisfaction. Toasts and several harmonious songs followed the supper, and the hilarity with which the evening commenced was continued to the following morning. The company were received by footmen at the street-door of the rooms, and announced in [due form]. The ladies were waited upon by two ladies-maids, elegantly dressed in the costume of the Canton of Berne. Our friend has furnished us with some of the groups of the evening. The ball was opened by the Queen of Hearts and her Knave, each (as must be said of all) in most admirable costume. Occasionally was observed the Greek paying his court to Catherine Seyton; the Spanish Grandee and the Earl of Leicester quadrilling with friend Rachel Placid and the Swiss Fortune Teller; the Deputy Lieutenant with the Maid of Athens; the Hindustanee Chief with Mary Queen of Scots. [many more such descriptions follow] The beauty of the full-dress of the F.B.H. was enhanced when contrasted with the elegant simplicity of the graceful Novitiate of St. Clair. The arrangements throughout reflected the greatest credit on the Bachelors, and nothing could exceed the attention paid by them to their delighted guests.

Falmouth Quarter Sessions:

The grand jury ignored a bill presented against a little boy, who was charged with stealing some peace.

The New Marriage Act - The public generally throughout the county appear to be beginning to avail themselves of the benefits and advantages confirmed by the New Act for Marriages; many Chapels are already licensed and the number appears to be rapidly on the increase. The Ebenezer Chapel, St. Austell, is about to be licensed forthwith; and on Saturday se'nnight the marriage ceremony was performed for the first time at the Registry Office, in that town, when the newly married pair appeared highly gratified at having escaped the customary extortions of the ringers, and the vulgar gaze and obscene jokes of the idlers, who on these occasions invariably congregate around the church entrance in every country town.


Melancholy Shipwrecks - The coast in the neighbourhood of Goran Haven, in this county, has been visited by heavy gales of wind from the SE which have continued for several days.  We regret to state that before daylight on Thursday morning the 25th ult., a vessel was discovered on shore by Lieut. Kiddle, R.N. chief officer, and a party of the Coast Guard at Mevagissey, under the Chapel Point between Goran Haven and Mevagissey.  The sea at the time was breaking over her, when, with great difficulty, and of much personal risk, one of the Coast Guard men, named Patten, succeeded in getting on board, and remained there an hour and half, and he with the assistance of Lieut. K. had the happiness to get the whole of the half-perished crew, sixteen in number, on shore, though not without many cuts and bruises from the sharpness of the rocks and the difficulty of getting from the vessel.  She proves to be a French vessel name "l'Indurance," of Havre, from St. Domingo, to Havre, laden with mahogany, rosewood, &c.  She remained on the spot where driven until half past six o'clock the same evening, when she went to pieces. A great part of her cargo, which is valuable, has been salved, and is warehoused at Mevagissey. The captain and crew have nearly recovered from their bruises. 

9 FEBRUARY 1838, Friday

Gorham - The Wrecks at Mevagissey - The correspondent who sent us the communication last week respecting the unfortunate wreck of two vessels on that coast, has also sent us another communication in which he states that on Monday last one of the bodies of the crew of the "Brandy Wine Packet"  which was wrecked on the Gwinges on the 26th ultimo, was picked up and brought into Mevagissey, and was interred after a coroner's inquest on Tuesday. James Gilchrist, the young man saved, recognized him the instant he saw him - his name was Metcalfe - the sight of the companion brought forth that which was not "a mockery of woe" - his grief on the occasion was great; how could it be otherwise, when he considered how narrow his own escape, for well might he say "I saw the misery and bore a part."  Gilchrist is shortly about to return to his native home, which he is very anxious to do.  He says "I have a hard task to perform - how am I to do it, to tell the friends of my boon companions the melancholy story - I dread it - it will be a second wreck to me."  

A story having got late circulation -(how, the author of mischief only can tell) that the master of the ill-fated vessel was an obstinate drunk man, on Gilchrist's hearing it, he said "that a better or more steady man could not be - particularly sober and listening to every representation that might be conducive to  the welfare or interest of those under him, or for the benefit of his employers."  One thing more respecting the [crew] a few words will tell - Although all single men, but the captain, an oath was rarely heard, and that they were religious.  There is some happiness in this [knowledge].  Gilchrist loved his master and there is such in his appearance.

Emigration to Australia - The following passages are extracts from a letter, dated Sydney , Sept. 9, 1837 , addressed to Mr. John Marshall.  "I have, at length, the pleasure of addressing you for the first time from this place, having arrived here on the 30th ult., 105 days from Plymouth .  I am happy to add, without a single loss of life on the voyage, and all in excellent health.  I am happy to say the Board have declared our emigrants to be the most valuable class yet imported.  The demeanour and general conduct of our whole party has been most praiseworthy both before and subsequent to our landing, which has evidently created a very different feeling from that which previous cargoes had given rise to in the colony. They were all employed within three or four days after landing, at good wages, and I believe if we had ten times the number they would, in a very short time, have been engaged with equal facility."  Shepherds, agriculturists, gardeners, &c have been engaged at wages varying from varying from £25 to varying from £50, and in some cases, for the superior class, so high as varying from £80 to varying from £100, per annum, with rations for themselves and family.  Carpenters, masons, sawyers, &c, obtain from varying from £2.2s to varying from £2.10s per week, in Sydney .  Their condition in life is obviously much benefited by the change, and  I have heard, amongst them, but one feeling of gratification at the prospects which this fine colony presents to them.  The services of those coming by the "Andromache" will be seized upon with equal avidity,  and as many more as you can send hither."  [quote marks as printed - jm]

Coroner's Inquests - On Friday last, the inquest was held before J. Carlyon, Esq., coroner, at the Ship Inn, kept by Mr. Morris at Megavissey, on the body of Henry Metcalfe, who was one of the eight unfortunate ones who were wrecked off Goran Haven, in the "Brandy Wine Packet" on Friday se'nnight.  The deceased belonged to Cumberland , and was 28 years of age.  Verdict accordingly.

23 FEBRUARY 1838, Friday

Another Child Burnt - Last week, a little girl named Elizabeth Yelland, about 11 years of age, of Trethosa, in the parish of St. Stephens in Branwell, was burnt to death under the following circumstances;- 


While holding a grandchild to an old blind man, named John Richards, in his house, a spark flew from the fire before which he was sitting into his eye.  He called on the girl to come and see what it was, and she, in doing so, had to stoop down with her back to the fire, which was a wood one on the hearth, when her clothes ignited, and she was so dreadfully burnt as to cause her death in a few hours.  A few days after, a man named Basset, about 21, belonging to the same village, was found dead in a clay-pit, where he had fallen while in a fit.

St. Austell - Last week, we experienced some very severe weather, which on Thursday reached to such a pitch as was never before witnessed by the oldest inhabitants. The snow, which had fallen, was drifted by the wind, so as to form bars in many places, which quite put and end to traveling.  Several shops were partially closed, and in those which were kept open, little business was done.  The vans, which usually ply between the neighbouring towns, did not venture to start; in fact, everything was impeded by the violence of the weather.  Several houses were partially injured, but no accident of any importance took place. 

The mail from Devonport, which was due at ten o'clock at night, did not reach until near seven on Friday morning, and the Falmouth mail, due at four o'clock in the morning, did not reach until nine, having been five hours and a half coming from Probus, a distance of little more than eight miles  We are also informed by a friend that several houses in the neighbourhood of Fowey were partially unroofed, and the church of St. Sampson's was so much injured that divine service could not be performed there on Sunday last. Upwards of 40 majestic trees were torn up by the roots at Menabilly, the seat of W. Rashleigh, Esq. 

During the gale, the schooner "Union" of Plymouth, Corbett, master, was approaching the harbour of Par, the wind blowing strong from the SSE, when the boat belonging to her was swamped, and on the following day washed into Porthpean, in a small cove, without being damaged. The captain, hearing she was safe, engaged two men belonging to the village to get her back to Par.  Their names were Bennetts and Bragg.  The captain meant to accompany them, but being detained in the village, getting some business relative to the salvage, he did not arrive on the beach until the boat was gone, the two men took as passengers two others, Captain Harvey, of the "Pheasant" and his grandson, named Frederick Chapman, a lad about 13 years of age.  The water was very smooth, and all went on well until they came near Par, where the surf was so great that Captain Harvey expressed some doubts as to their landing in safety, and endeavoured to persuade them to put into Polkerris, a little cove very near, which is sheltered by Gribbon Rock.   He rose to assist the men at the oars, when the boat, getting among the breakers, became unmanageable, and was thrown with her side towards the sea, and instantly upset. All four succeeded in getting on the bottom of the boat, but were again washed off.  It appeared to those who saw the accident that no assistance could  be rendered, but two men, named Scantlebury, mate of the "Spring", and Trembath, mate of the "Lavinia", whose conduct is above praise, succeeded, at the risk of their lives, in saving Bennetts, who was much exhausted, from the boat; but we regret to add, that the other three met a watery grave. On the following morning (Sunday), the bodies of Bragg and the boy, Chapman, were washed on shore, at East Polmear , and an inquest of "Found Drowned" was returned, in consequence of the weakness of Bennetts preventing him from giving evidence.  Should the body of Harvey be found, the same jury will sit, when it is to be hoped that Bennetts will be able to be present. The circumstances of the accident happening so near the shore, while the water was only about six feet deep, and three of the men good sailors, shows the violence of the storm.  We regret to add that Harvey has left a widow and four children, Bragg, a widow and five children, and the lad was the only hope of a widowed mother.  The remains of Bragg were interred in our burial-ground on Monday.

March 2, 1838


A considerable quantity of timber, consisting of parts of boats and vessels, some of which apparently belong to a large ship, but without a name on any part of it, has been washed ashore at Charlestown during the past few days. There is reason to fear that some unfortunate vessel has been dashed to pieces, and all her crew perished. The weather was more tremendous than the oldest person remembers, and great damage has been done to chimnies, slates, and windows in various parts of the town.


Notwithstanding the insinuations as to the stability of the Gates connected with this bason and the management, &c &c of an anonymous slanderer, who shelters himself under the cognomen of “John Thomas”, we feel great pleasure in being able to state, that throughout the tremendous gales that have visited this place, the GATES, WALLS, &c &c remain uninjured. Two schooners and a sloop were in the bason close to the gates during the gale of the 14 th and 15 th ultimo; and although the sea ran bodily over the top of the gates more than six feet high, neither the vessels nor gates sustained the least damage. Again, on the 24th and 25th ultimo, the same vessels being in the bason, the highest tides ever remembered here, with a tremendous ground sea which removed the sand of Pentuan beach a considerable distance, and carried rocks of above a ton weight more than 300 fathoms, the sea making fair breaches over the whole bason inundating the greater part of the houses, and at times breaking over the bridge on the road to Mevagissey, still the vessels and these “rotten and ill-managed gates” again escaped, and remain as well as ever, proving the falsehood of “John Thomas’s” vile statements. We deem further comment unnecessary, except stating that we are convinced that had the management of the port been in less efficient hands, more damage must have occurred, and a great loss of property. We think Mr. Bo-Peep will be more careful in the future, and not by endeavouring to injure others run his own ship into “troubled waters”. The gates have been repeatedly open since these gales, and one vessel came into the bason after the first gale.


Joseph Thomas Austen, Esq., of Place, High-Sheriff for this county, has taken the name of Treffey.


March 9, 1838

Serious Riot

A riot took place last week at Holmbush mine, in consequence of the miners not being paid their wages as usual. The London Adventurers had sent the money for the purpose of paying the men, on condition that Mr. Malachy gave up possession. This having caused a delay of a week, the men broke into the mine, and afterwards attempted an assault on Mr. Malachy. About forty of them are held to bail.


Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors


The matters of the petitions and Schedules of the Prisoners hereinafter named, are appointed to be heard at the Court-house of BODMIN, in the county of Cornwall , on the 31st day of March 1838, at the hour of ten o’clock in the morning.


Samuel BENNETT (sued as Samuel Bennet) formerly of the parish of Tywardreath, and late of the Borough of Fowey, both in the County of Cornwall , Farmer, Innkeeper, and Adventurer in Mines.


Nicholas TREVANION EVELEIGH (sued as Nicholas Trevannion Eveleigh, together with Edwin Eveleigh) formerly of the Parish of Lanteglos by Fowey, and late of the Parish of Tywardreath, both in the County of Cornwall, Gentleman, a Captain of the Royal Cornwall Militia, Farmer, Dealer in Laths, Tmber, and Coals, Lath Manufacturer and General Merchant.



March 23, 1838


To be LET by TENDER, with immediate possession, for a term of 7 or 14 years, all those desirable well-watered GRIST and FLOUR MILLS, with a Corn-machine, a very excellent Dwelling-house and Garden, Barn, Stables, and other convenient Outhouses, commonly called or known by the name of


In the parish of St. Stephens in Branwell, now in the occupation of Mr. George Truscott; together with about three quarters of an acre of very thriving Orchard, with about six acres of rich Arable Meadow Land, and an extensive Commons, Outlet or Moor.


For further particulars, apply (if by letter post-paid) to the said

Mr. GEORGE TRUSCOTT. Dated March 23, 1838



MARCH 30, 1838


CORNWALL SPRING ASSIZES (no ages given, with one exception)
Crown Court, Tuesday

Robert WALKER was indicted for having feloniously stolen a steel-yard, the property of Thomas TALLACK, of St. Austell, on the 21st instant. This case was a very clear one, and the prisoner was sentenced to two calendar month’s imprisonment and hard labour.

Henry THOMAS, out on bail, was indicted for killing and slaying. By the advice of the Learned Judge, the prisoner pleaded guilty, and his Lordshiup observed, that under all the circumstances of the case, which did not come before the court, it was the youth’s misfortune and not his crime. Sentence, three days’ imprisonment, which had already expired, reckoning from the commencing of the assizes, and the prisoner was set at liberty.

To April through June, .


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