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Title: Cornish Worthies, Volume 1 (of 2) - Sketches of Some Eminemt Cornish Men and Women
Author: Tregellas, Walter H.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cornish Worthies, Volume 1 (of 2) - Sketches of Some Eminemt Cornish Men and Women" ***

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  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.
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  This book was published in two volumes, of which this is the first.

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            'Cornubia fulsit
  Tot fœcunda viris.'
          JOSEPH OF EXETER (XIIIth century).


  I Dedicate





  [Illustration: (vignette at start of Table of Contents.)]



  PRELUDES                                               vii

  INTRODUCTION                                            xi

  PHILANTHROPIST                                           1

  JOHN ANSTIS; THE HERALD                                 27


  THE BASSETS OF TEHIDY                                  107

  ADMIRAL WILLIAM BLIGH, F.R.S.                          137

  PERCIVAL), LADY MAYORESS OF LONDON                     149

  HENRY BONE, R.A.; THE ENAMELIST                        159


  THE BOSCAWENS                                          189

  DAVY; THE MAN OF SCIENCE                               245

  ADMIRAL VISCOUNT EXMOUTH                               289

  SAMUEL FOOTE; WIT AND DRAMATIST                        309

  JURISTS, AND DIVINES                                   337

[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]


  'For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to
  the search of their fathers: (for we are but of yesterday, and know
  nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:) shall not they
  teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?'--_Job_
  viii. 8-10.

  'Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. The
  Lord hath wrought great glory by them through His great power from
  the beginning. Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned
  for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring
  prophecies: leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their
  knowledge of learning meet for the people: wise and eloquent in their
  instructions: such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in
  writing: rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their
  habitations: all these were honoured in their generations, and were
  the glory of their times. There be of them, that have left a name
  behind them, that their praises might be reported. And some there be,
  which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never
  been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their
  children after them. But these were merciful men, whose righteousness
  hath not been forgotten.'--_Ecclesiasticus_ xliv. 1-10.

    'Hic manus, ob patriam pugnando vulnera passi:
    Quique sacerdotes casti, dum vita manebat:
    Quique pii vates et Phœbo digna locuti:
    Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artes:
    Quique sui memores alios fecere merendo:
    Omnibus his nivea cinguntur tempora vitta.'

                                                _Æneid_, vi.

    'Patriots who perished for their country's right,
    Or nobly triumphed in the field of fight:
    There holy priests and sacred poets stood,
    Who sung with all the raptures of a god:
    Worthies, who life by useful arts refined,
    With those who leave a deathless name behind,
    Friends of the world, and fathers of mankind.'

                                       PITT'S _Translation_.

  '* * yf I have sayed a misse, I am content that any man amende it, or
  if I have sayd to lytle, any man that wyl to adde what hym pleaseth
  to it. My mind is, in profitynge and pleasynge every man, to hurte or
  displease no man.'

            _Introduction to_ ROGER ASCHAM'S '_Toxophilus_.'

  ''Tis opportune to look back upon old times, and contemplate our
  forefathers. Great examples grow thin, and to be fetched from the
  passed world.'

          _in the Epistle Dedicatory to the 'Hydriotaphia_.'

  'It is a reverend thing to see an ancient castle or building not in
  decay; or to see a fair timber-tree sound and perfect;--how much more
  to behold an ancient noble family, which hath stood against the waves
  and weathers of time?'



       *       *       *       *       *

  'I do much admire that these times have so little esteemed the
  vertues of the times, as that the writing of _Lives_ should be no
  more frequent. For although there be not many soveraign princes,
  or absolute commanders, and that states are most collected into
  monarchies; yet are there many worthy personages that deserve better
  than dispersed report, or barren elogies; for herein the invention
  of one of the late poets is proper, and doth well inrich the ancient
  fiction. For he faineth, that at the end of the thread or web of every
  man's life, there was a little medal containing the person's name; and
  that _Time_ waiteth upon the _Sheers_, and as soon as the thread was
  cut, caught the medals, and carried them to the river _Lethe_; and
  about the bank there were many birds flying up and down, and would get
  the medals, and carry them in their beak a little while, and then let
  them fall into the river. Onely there were a few _Swans_, which if
  they got a name, would carry it to a temple where it was consecrate.'

                       _In_ LLOYD'S _State Worthies_, vol. i.

  'It is a melancholy reflection to look back on so many great families
  as have formerly adorned the county of Cornwall, and are now no more:
  the Grenvilles, the Arundells, Carminows, Champernons, Bodrugans,
  Mohuns, Killegrews, Bevilles, Trevarions, which had great sway and
  possessions in these parts. The most lasting families have only their
  seasons, more or less, of a certain constitutional strength. They
  have their spring and summer sunshine glare, their wane, decline,
  and death: they flourish and shine perhaps for ages;--at last they
  sicken; their light grows pale, and, at a crisis when the off-sets are
  withered and the old stock is blasted, the whole tribe disappears, and
  leave the world as they have done Cornwall. There are limits ordained
  to everything under the sun: _man will not abide in honour_.'

      DR. BORLASE (_as quoted by_ LYSONS _in 'Magna Britannia,'_
      vol. iii.--_Cornwall_, p. clxxiv.).

  'Every man in the degree in which he has wit and culture finds his
  curiosity inflamed concerning the modes of living and thinking of
  other men.'

                                EMERSON'S '_Essay on Intellect_.'

  '"The biographical part of literature," said Dr. Johnson, "is what I
  love the best"; and his remark is echoed daily in the hearts, if not
  in the words, of hundreds of readers: * * * and though for the last
  half-century pure fiction has been in the ascendant, the popularity of
  biography, if not relatively, yet absolutely, seems to be continually

                    _Quarterly Review_, No. 313, _January, 1884_.

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]

[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]


The question has often been asked, 'Why is there for Cornwall no
companion-book to Prince's "Worthies of Devon"?' Fuller, it is true,
in his 'Worthies,' allots a section to Cornwall; but the notices,
though pregnant with shrewd humour, are slight and incomplete; and
Fuller, of course, is now out of date: indeed, most of the Cornishmen
whose names will be found in the following pages lived since his
time. The Rev. R. Polwhele, of Polwhele, one of the historians of
his native county, has certainly left us some amusing notices in his
'Biographical Sketches;' but out of the sixty names that he enumerates,
'all-eating Time hath left us but a little morsel (for manners) of
their memories;' and some half-dozen only seem to be sufficiently
distinguished to require any further perpetuation of their fame than
has been already conferred upon them by Polwhele's now scarce little
work. Besides which, Polwhele, of course, had not access to the great
Libraries and Collections which are now available in London, nor to the
Transactions of many metropolitan and local Archæological Societies;
he was, moreover, apt to be dazzled by the nearness of the effulgence
of some of his characters:--and he, too, is now sixty or seventy
years behind the time. Lastly, neither Fuller nor Polwhele had the
advantage of the labours of those indefatigable pioneers in Cornish
literature--the authors of the 'Bibliotheca Cornubiensis.'[1] Another
recent work, invaluable to the would-be biographer of Cornwall's
Worthies is the admirable history of Exeter College, Oxford, contained
in the Register of the Rectors, Fellows, etc., by my old schoolfellow,
the Rev. C. W. Boase, Fellow and Tutor of that College (Oxford, 1879).
If it should be said that copious and complete biographies of one or
two of my characters have already been written, I would venture to
observe in reply, that these are _monograph_ accounts only; in some
cases consisting of two or three volumes, and now either out of print,
or, from their bulk and cost, not generally accessible. May I allege
another and a chief reason for writing this work? It is, that I thought
those persons were right who considered the celebrities of my native
county had not received the notice which they deserved. And yet, 'class
for class,' says a writer in the _Times_, 28th March, 1882, 'they will
beat all England.' Indeed (and I confess it with no little shame) some
of those whose lives I have endeavoured to describe in the following
pages, I did not myself, at one time, know to have been Cornishmen! And
this although, as a Cornishman, I ought not to be altogether without
the _genius loci_ of our southernmost and westernmost county: yet--

  'Semper honos, nomenque horum, laudesque manebunt.'

As regards the principle on which the lives have been selected of those
who, amongst others, have been worthiest 'in arms, in arts, in song,' I
may say that I have endeavoured to find such names as would be, in the
first place, of sufficient importance to warrant their claims to notice
being brought before the public; secondly, to make the selection as
varied in character as possible; and, thirdly, to choose such as were
likely to prove interesting to the general reader: for even biography
itself--said by Librarians to be one of the most popular branches of
the _belles lettres_--must prove uninteresting if dull subjects are
dully treated. I earnestly trust that I have not fallen into this fatal

It might have been interesting to have said something of many mighty
names of the past; even though numbers of them are scarcely more
than legendary. Amongst others, of St. Ursula in the fourth century,
'daughter of the Cornish King Dionutus,' and Directress of the
celebrated expedition of the 'eleven thousand virgins' to Cologne; of
King Arthur himself; of Walter de Constantiis, Chancellor of England,
and Chief Justice, in the twelfth century; of Thomas, and St. George,
and Richard, and Godfrey, of Cornwall; of Odo de Tregarrick in Roche;
of Simon de Thurway; of John de Trevisa,[2] the fourteenth-century
scholar and divine, who was supposed to have translated part of the
Bible into English; ('a daring work,' as Fuller says, 'for a private
person in that age without particular command from Pope or Public
Council'); and of that Syr Roger Wallyoborow, of Buryan, who, in the
time of Henry VIII., 'miraculously brought home from the Holy Land a
piece of the true Cross.' There are, besides, many others of later
date, whose names I should have liked, but for the reasons already
given, to include; such as the Bonythons;[3] the Carews; Sir John
Eliot, the Patriot; Dean Miller; the Molesworths; the Edgcumbes of
Mount Edgcumbe; Noy, Charles I.'s Attorney-General; Dean Prideaux;
the Rashleighs; the Robarteses; the Trelawnys; the Tremaynes; and the
Trevanions;--beside those whose loss to Cornwall Dr. Borlase lamented;
and many others.

But there were few reliable materials for the first-named group:
authentic accounts of the deeds of the legendary ancients have faded
away into the 'dark backward and abysm of time;' and mere legends it
was hardly worth while to perpetuate. Nor did it seem desirable to
include a bare list of names, or repetitions of lives of a generally
similar character; in which case the actors' names would often have
been the chief variations in what was intended to be a readable,
fireside book. In short, I have aimed at making my list representative
rather than exhaustive.

With the object of not wearying the general reader, I have refrained
from clouding my pages with minute references to authorities,--except
when some special reason seemed to occur for doing so. I trust this
will not be considered a defect, when I state that, for some of
the lives which follow, the lists of authorities consulted would
have occupied nearly one fourth of the space allotted to the lives
themselves. As an instance, the number of entries given in the
'Bibliotheca Cornubiensis' for the Killigrews is 450; and one of these
entries alone comprises nearly fifty items.

A most pleasing task remains to be discharged; namely, to record my
heartfelt obligations to my friends, the Rev. F. C. Hingeston-Randolph,
M.A., and Mr. H. Michell Whitley, C.E., for their very valuable
assistance in seeing the following pages through the press.

I will only add, in the words of that delightful biographer, Izaak
Walton, in his 'Life of George Herbert':

'I have used very great diligence to inform myself, that I might inform
my reader of the truth of what follows; and, though I cannot adorn it
with eloquence, yet I will do it with sincerity.'

            W. H. T.

      LONDON, S. W.

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]


[1] Let me say here, once for all, that had that monument of accurate
research, and labour of love, the work of Mr. W. P. Courtney and Mr.
G. C. Boase, not appeared, the following essays could never have been
attempted by me, in the midst of many other and harassing occupations;
the 'Bibliotheca,' however, not only rendered such a task comparatively
easy, but positively invited the pen, even of one who is no ready
scribe. In fact I feel, as Oliver Wendell Holmes well puts it, 'that I
have ascended the stream whilst others have tugged at the oar.'

[2] His works are among the earliest printed books in the British
Museum: one of them (his translation of 'Bartholomeus de Proprietatibus
Rerum') is believed to be the first book printed on paper of English

[3] I am informed by Mr. J. Langdon Bonython, of Adelaide, South
Australia, that Longfellow, the American poet, was descended from a
member of this family--Captain Richard Bonython.



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



    'Let humble[4] Allen, with an awkward shame,
    Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.'

                  POPE: _Epilogue to the Satires of Horace_.

St. Blazey Highway has a clear title to being the birthplace of Ralph
Allen; but his parentage is doubtful, owing to his name not appearing
in the baptismal register, and to the obscurity caused by the two
following entries in the Register of Marriages:


  William All----, and Grace ----, was mar---- 24th August (entry


  John Allen, of parish of St. Blazey, and Mary Elliott,[5] of the
  parish of St. Austell, were married the 10th of February.

Ralph was born about 1694. His father kept a small inn called 'The Duke
William'--sometimes 'The Old Duke'--(the site of which is now occupied
by three or four dwelling-houses), and he seems to have been a man
of good common-sense and sturdy disposition, judging from one or two
slight anecdotes of him which have come down to us: doubtless he gave
his boy Ralph good advice, if not much literary instruction. But the
youngster primarily owed most of his remarkable success in life to the
fact of his happening to be staying with his grandmother, who kept the
St. Columb Post-office, when the Government Inspector came his rounds.
This officer seems to have at once recognised the shrewdness and
neat-handedness of the lad; and an appointment in the Post-office at
Bath, to which place young Ralph was brought under the care of Sir John
Trevelyan, was, before long, offered to him. Here he soon distinguished
himself by detecting a plot to introduce into Bath illegally, in
connexion with the Jacobite rising of 1715, a quantity of arms. This
discovery he forthwith communicated to General Wade, who thereupon
became his friend and patron, and whose natural daughter--so Pierce
Egan tells us--a Miss Earl, became Allen's first wife. His first wife,
but not his first love: her he magnanimously portioned, and yielded up
to another man, with whom he thought she might be happier; and hence,
probably, the reason why the basso-relievo of Scipio's resignation of
his captive was selected as one of the principal decorations of the
Hall at Prior Park. Farington thus refers to Allen's discovery of the
Jacobite plot: 'When the rebellion burst out, a numerous junto in
Bath took most active measures to aid the insurrection in the West of
England; and Mr. Carte, the minister of the Abbey Church, _when Allen
detected the plot_, was glad to escape from the constables by leaping
from a window in full canonicals.'

On his becoming Deputy Postmaster at Bath, the anomalies and
inconveniences attendant upon the postal system, as it was then worked,
engaged Allen's serious attention. It will scarcely be believed that in
those days a letter from Cheltenham or Bath to Worcester or Birmingham
was actually sent first to London! To remedy this state of things Allen
by degrees perfected that scheme of cross-posts throughout England and
Wales with which his name will always be associated, and for which he
was himself the contractor for many years; viz. from 1720 to 1764.[6]
Accounts differ as to the profits which accrued to him under this
contract, which was from time to time renewed; but there is no reason
to doubt the story that ultimately he cleared by it no less a sum than
half a million sterling.

In 1644, by a Resolution of the House of Commons, Edmund Prideaux, a
Member of the House, was constituted Master of the Post Messengers
and Carriers, and in 1649 he established a weekly conveyance to every
part of the kingdom, in lieu of the former practice under which letters
were sent by special messengers whose duty it was to supply relays of
horses at a certain mileage. In 1658 Cromwell made Prideaux one of his
Baronets; and he acquired great wealth. It is said that his emoluments
in connexion with the Post Office were not less than £15,000 a year.
(Maclean's Trigg Minor, vol. ii. pp. 210-11.) Thus, whilst to one
West-countryman, who, if not indeed a Cornishman by birth (for the
Prideauxes were lords of Prideaux, close to Allen's birth-place), was
at least of Cornish extraction--Postmaster-General Edmund Prideaux,
Attorney-General--we owe in a great measure the regular efficient
establishment of the Post Office and its first becoming a source of
revenue--to another Cornishman, the subject of these remarks, we are
indebted for the important improvements referred to above.

In the Home Office Papers, 1761 (2nd and 5th December, Post Office Pl.
5, 385--'By-way and Cross-road Posts'), will be found 'a narrative of
Mr. Allen's transactions with the Government for the better management
of the by-way and cross-road posts from the year 1720 to the year
1762, whereby it will be seen how much he has been the instrument of
increasing the revenue and encouraging the commerce of this kingdom
during the whole of that long interval. Dated 2nd December, 1761.'
The narrative shows that in 1710 the country postmasters collected
quantities of 'by or way letters,' and clandestinely conveyed them.
Correspondence was perpetually interrupted. 'The by and way letters
were thrown promiscuously together into one large bag, which was to
be opened at every stage by the deputy, or any inferior servant of
the house, to pick out of the whole heap what might belong to his own
delivery, and the rest put back again into this large bag with such
by-letters as he should have to send to distant places from his own
stage.' Traders resorted to clandestine conveyance for speed. Surveyors
were, however, appointed to make reports on the Post Office at the
beginning of the reign of George I., but their reports did not touch
these by-letters. Mr. Allen, having contrived checks which detected
considerable frauds, next formed the plan for the conveyance of these
letters in 1710. His offer to advance the revenue of the Post Office
from £4,000 to £6,000 a year was accepted; but false and malicious
representations were made against his proposal. On an inquiry as to the
revenue from these letters, it was found that for seven years it had
sunk £900 a year. He then made another proposal to farm the postage
for seven years at the sum which they then yielded, taking any such
surplus as he could make them produce, and an 'explanatory contract'
was then agreed to. On an examination into the account of the country
letters, it had increased £7,835 2s. 7d., which Mr. Allen would have
been entitled to if the 'explanatory contract' had only been executed.
The country letters increased to £17,464 4s. 11d. per annum at the end
of fourteen years. He now appointed surveyors, and stated his plans
for suppressing irregularities. Lord Lovell and Mr. Carteret having
expressed their approval of these plans, etc., he agreed to another
contract for seven years, and proposed an extension and quickening of
the correspondence in 1741 by an 'every-day post' to several places;
this contract was renewed in 1748, 1755, and 1760. It details the
communications by cross-roads, etc.; and it was found that the revenue,
by computation, had increased one and a half millions.

Some fine quarries on Combe Down, from which most of the best houses
in Bath were built, having become his property, Allen invented an
ingenious contrivance for conveying the huge blocks of stone from the
quarries on the hill down to the canal which runs by the city. In
his capacity of quarry-owner he amassed still more wealth, became a
large employer of labour, and a man of such influence in Bath, that
although he was mayor once only (in 1742), he practically guided
the affairs of that city as it pleased him best, a circumstance
which gave rise to a caricature, long popular at Bath, entitled 'The
One-headed Corporation.' It need hardly be added whose head that was.
A bust of him in the Drawing-room or Council Chamber of the Guildhall
commemorates the year of his mayoralty, and there is also a portrait of
him in the Mayor's Room.

Probably his energies as a man of business were exerted in many other
directions, which it would now be difficult to trace. But, be this as
it may, he now determined on leaving his old residence in the city,
situated between York Street and Liliput Alley, and which, I believe,
still stands, though obscured by surrounding buildings. The site he
chose for his long-planned new residence is one of the finest in the
kingdom. It is three or four miles out of Bath, on the south-east
side, and stands near the Combe Down quarries, 400 feet above the sea,
commanding fine views over many a mile around. Here at Prior Park,
originally the seat of an old monastic establishment, which, Leland
says, 'belonged to the prior of Bathe,'[7] Ralph Allen determined
on building a large and stately mansion, which should enable him to
exercise a princely hospitality towards almost every stranger of
rank, learning, or distinction who visited 'The Bath.' Hither came,
for instance, Thomson and Swift and Gay, Arbuthnot and Pope, Sterne
and Smollett, Garrick and Quin; Graves, the author of the 'Spiritual
Quixote'; and Charles Yorke, afterwards Solicitor-General--all
probably known to Allen through meeting him in the literary circles
of London, which Allen frequented when he went to town. Nor was he
unvisited by royalty: the Princess Amelia stayed there in 1752, and
the Duke of York, 'on his own motion,' as Allen is careful to say,
on 26th December, 1761. Here, too, might often be found reckless,
delightful, generous Henry Fielding, who avowedly not only drew one
phase of his munificent friend's portrait as the somewhat too feeble
Squire Allworthy in 'Tom Jones,' and described the mansion at Prior
Park in the same novel, but also dedicated to him that other story
which Dr. Johnson read with such avidity--'Amelia.' No doubt, too, it
is to Allen that Fielding refers in the well-known passage in 'Joseph
Andrews,' comparing him to the 'Man of Ross:' 'One Al--Al---- I forget
his name.' And Allen's generosity towards Fielding did not end with
cheery welcomes to Prior Park and timely loans--should we not rather
say gifts?--to the jolly novelist when he was in need of them, for
Lawrence tells us that he sent Fielding a present of 200 guineas, in
admiration of his genius, before they were personally acquainted; and
on Fielding's death Allen took charge of his family, provided for their
education, and left £100 a year between them.

Pope,[8] whose acquaintance with Allen dated from 1736, brought
Warburton. Sitting one day at dinner, at Prior Park, the poet had a
letter handed to him, which he read apparently with some disappointment
on finding that he should probably miss an opportunity of meeting his
friend. Allen, however, on hearing the cause of Pope's trouble, with
characteristic native politeness begged him to ask Warburton to the
house--a pleasant task which Pope, who used to say that his host's
friendship was 'one of the chief satisfactions of his life,'performed
in the following letter, which I insert as giving us a peep at the
sort of life led in those days by Allen and his friends, and also as
affording us a glimpse of the house itself:

  'My third motive of now troubling you is my own proper interest and
  pleasure. I am here in more leisure than I can possibly enjoy, even
  in my own house, _vacare Literis_. It is at this place that your
  exhortations may be most effectual to make me resume the studies I
  had almost laid aside by perpetual avocations and dissipations. If it
  were practicable for you to pass a month or six weeks from home, it
  is here I could wish to be with you; and if you would attend to the
  continuation of your own noble work, or unbend to the idle amusement
  of commenting upon a poet, who has no other merit than that of aiming,
  by his moral strokes, to merit some regard from such men as advance
  truth and virtue in a more effectual way; in either case this place
  and this house would be an inviolable asylum to you from all you would
  desire to avoid in so public a scene as Bath. The worthy man who is
  the master of it invites you in the strongest terms, and is one who
  would treat you with love and veneration, rather than with what the
  world calls civility and regard. He is sincerer and plainer than
  almost any man now in this world, _antiquis moribus_. If the waters
  of the Bath may be serviceable to your complaints (as I believe from
  what you have told me of them), no opportunity can ever be better.
  It is just the best season. We are told the Bishop of Salisbury (Dr.
  Sherlock) is expected here daily, who, I know, is your friend--at
  least, though a bishop, is too much a man of learning to be your
  enemy. You see, I omit nothing to add weight in the balance, in which,
  however, I will not think _myself_ light, since I have known your
  partiality. You will want no servant here. Your room will be next to
  mine, and one man will serve us. Here is a library, and a gallery
  ninety feet long to walk in, and a coach whenever you would take the
  air with me. Mr. Allen tells me you might, on horseback, be here in
  three days. It is less than 100 miles from Newark, the road through
  Leicester, Stowe-in-the-Wolds, Gloucestershire, and Cirencester, by
  Lord Bathurst's. I could engage to carry you to London from hence, and
  I would accommodate my time and journey to your conveniency.'

The long gallery referred to above was a very favourite part of the
house with Pope, and here he used to walk up and down in 'a morning
dishabille consisting of a dark grey waistcoat, a green dressing-gown,
and a blue cap,' as he is represented in the well-known portrait by

A pleasant glance at the friendly terms on which the trio used to
live at Prior Park is afforded to us in Kilvert's 'Selections from
Warburton,' which has for its frontispiece a lithograph from a picture,
formerly at Prior Park, of Pope, Allen, and Warburton ('Wit, Worth,
and Wisdom'), in a room together. Allen is seated in the centre of the
group; on his left is Warburton, bringing into the room a ponderous
folio; and, seated at a table at the opposite side of the picture,
the little poet is seen writing; in the background, through a window,
is disclosed a view of Bath. It is difficult to understand how Pope,
after all this friendly intimacy, could quarrel with Allen, and call
Warburton 'a sneaking parson.'

Hurd also, successively Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and of
Worcester, was a frequent visitor to Prior Park, and after his friendly
host's decease commemorated his worth by an inscription (now effaced)
on a look-out tower in the park:

    'Memoriæ optimi viri, RADULPHI ALLEN, positum,
    Qui virtutem veram simplicemque colis, venerare hoc saxum.'

I do not know whether General Wade was ever entertained here by Allen;
but that the latter did not forget his early patron he showed by
erecting the General's statue in front of the house. Pitt, who sat
for Bath, certainly came here, and each held the other in the highest
regard. Allen left him £1,000 by his will, as 'the best of friends as
well as the most upright and ablest of Ministers that has adorned our
country.' Nor did 'the heaven-born Minister' fail to appreciate the
Cornishman's virtues, or to extend to others, for his sake, friendly
offices; for to Pitt, Warburton (who had married Allen's favourite
niece, Gertrude Tucker, a lady to whom he left Prior Park for life)
was indebted for his bishopric. At one time, indeed, there was a
slight coolness between Pitt and Allen, owing to the introduction of
the word 'adequate' into an address from the men of Bath in a memorial
to the King, referring to the Peace of 1763. Pitt thought the Peace
extremely '_in_adequate,' and so much resented the use of the word that
he refused to join his colleague, Sir John Seabright, in presenting
the memorial; and whilst he vowed he would never again stand for
Bath, Allen from that time avowed his intention of withdrawing from
all public affairs. In the correspondence which ensued, Ralph Allen
magnanimously took upon himself the entire responsibility for the
insertion of the obnoxious word; and he adds in a letter to Pitt, which
will be found in the _Royal Magazine_ for 1763, that the communication
of Pitt's unalterable decision in the matter to the Corporation of Bath
was 'the most painful commission he ever received.' That this event,
however, did not affect the high regard in which the two held each
other is evinced, on the one hand, by the manner in which (as we have
seen) Allen expressed himself regarding Pitt, in his will; and on the
other by a letter which Pitt wrote during the unfortunate controversy,
in which he says:

  'I cannot conclude my letter without expressing my sensible concern
  at Mr. Allen's uneasiness. No incident can make the least change in
  the honour and love I bear him, or in the justice my heart does to his
  humane and benevolent virtues.'

And Pitt wrote in a similar strain to Mrs. Allen[9] on her husband's
death, saying, 'I fear not all the example of his virtues will have
power to raise up to the world his like again.'

That Pitt had good reason thus to write of his deceased friend is
abundantly clear from the following letter, preserved amongst the
Egerton MSS. in the British Museum:

                         'St. James's Square, Dec. 16, 1760.


  'The very affecting token of esteem and affection which you put into
  my hands last night at parting, has left impressions on my heart which
  I can neither express nor conceal. If the approbation of the good
  and wise be our wish, how must I feel the sanction of applause and
  friendship accompany'd with such an endearing act of kindness from
  the best of men? True Gratitude is ever the justest of Sentiments,
  and Pride too, which I indulge on this occasion, may, I trust, not
  be disclaim'd by Virtue. May the gracious Heaven long continue to
  _lend_ you to mankind, and particularly to the happiness of him who is
  unceasingly, with the warmest gratitude, respect, and affection,

     'My dear Sir,
       'Your most faithfull Friend and
           most obliged humble Servant,
                                   'W. PITT.'

Very different from this noble passage in the lives of these two
illustrious men was that which, for a while at least, disturbed the
friendly feelings of Allen towards Pope. The equivocal relations which
existed between the poet and Martha Blount are well known;--'the fiend,
a woman fiend, God help me! with whom I have spent three or four hours
a day these fifteen years.' She seems, nevertheless, to have been
tolerated at Allen's house at Bathampton hard by; but when she demanded
the use of Mr. Allen's chariot to attend a Roman Catholic Chapel at
Bath, Allen being a staunch Protestant and Hanoverian,[10] the line
was drawn, and a coolness, if not a quarrel, ensued. Pope used to deny
the whole story. At any rate the breach was patched up, and intimacy
between him and Allen was resumed; but the waspish little man never,
in my opinion, either forgot or forgave what happened, and to this the
following extract from his will,--a will, as Johnson said, 'polluted
with female resentment,'--suave though the passage reads at first, I
think bears witness:

  'I give and advise my library of printed books to Ralph Allen, of
  Widcombe, Esq., and to the Reverend Mr. William Warburton, or to
  the survivor of them (when those belonging to Lord Bolingbroke are
  taken out, and when Mrs. Martha Blount has chosen threescore out of
  the number). I also give and bequeath to the said Mr. Warburton the
  property of all such of my works already printed, as he hath written,
  or shall write, commentaries or notes upon, and which I have not
  otherwise disposed of, or alienated; and all the profits which shall
  arise after my death from such editions as he shall publish without
  future alterations.

  'Item.--In case Ralph Allen, Esq., abovesaid, shall survive me,
  I order my executors to pay him the sum of one hundred and fifty
  pounds, being, to the best of my calculation, the account of what I
  have received from him; _partly for my own, and partly for charitable
  uses_. If he refuses to take this himself, I desire him to employ
  it in a way, I am persuaded, he will not dislike, to the benefit of
  the Bath Hospital.'--Extract from the Will of Pope (p. clxi., Pope's
  Works, vol. i., Bell and Daldy's Aldine edition).

When the passage was read to Ralph Allen, he, of course, ordered that
the money should be handed over to the hospital (an institution in
which it may be observed he always took a deep interest, providing the
stone, and giving £1,000 besides: a ward is named after him, where
his portrait[11] is preserved, and also a bust by William Hoare of
Bath, dated 1757); but he drily added, in allusion to the extent of
the obligations which Pope had received from him, 'He forgot to add
the other 0 to the £150,'--a quiet, but perhaps as keen a stab as Pope
himself had ever dealt with his own malevolent stiletto. And Allen
was a man who could afford to say so much, for he used to spend about
£1,000 a year in private charities alone.

Many of the letters of Pope to be found among the Egerton MSS. have
endorsements by Allen in his own handwriting. On one of them is written
'The last;' and Pope concludes it--evidently, from the change in the
handwriting, in great pain--thus: 'I must just set my hand to my
heart.' It is dated 'Chelsea College, 7th May, 1741.' The letters also
comprise some correspondence from Gertrude Warburton (_née_ Tucker),
Allen's favourite niece; from Warburton himself; and from many other
distinguished persons.

Besides Prior Park, Allen had a house in London; and another at
Weymouth--a place where he often resided for three months annually, and
whose decaying fortunes he took a chief share in reviving, about the
year 1763[12]--and I rather think he had another house at Maidenhead,
near the west end of the bridge, to which house he added a room with a
bow-window, and another room over it.

He certainly had a pleasant little retreat at Bathampton; for in a
characteristic letter from Pope to Arbuthnot (the roughly humorous
physician, strong Tory, and High Churchman), dated 23rd July, 1793,
Pope explains how Allen would not let the two friends stay at his villa
at Bathampton, but insisted upon having them both up at Prior Park;
because, Pope observes, 'I suspect that he has an apprehension in his
head that if he lends that house to us, others hereabouts may try to
borrow it, which would be disagreeable to him, he making it a kind of
villa to change to, and pass now and then a day at it, in private.'

But Prior Park was Ralph Allen's historic abode; and one object which
he had in view in building it was to demonstrate the excellent quality
of the stone[13] in his Combe Down Quarries. The whole building,
which is in the Corinthian style, with its wings and arcades and fine
hexastyle portico has a frontage of 1,250 feet; the house itself being
150 feet. We have seen from Pope's letter to Warburton what spacious
corridors it contained, admirably adapted for literary disquisitions
on a wet day. The mansion also comprised its chapel, in which was kept
the Bible given to Pope by Atterbury when the Bishop went into exile.
Everything was built in the most solid style. Even the pigeon-houses
were of stone throughout; and, strange as it may seem, roofs were
composed of the same material. The house was commenced in 1736 and
finished in 1743; nor did Allen forget to add to the charms of the
demesne by judiciously arranged plantations.

Building, indeed, seems to have been, naturally enough with such
magnificent quarries at his disposal, a favourite occupation of
Allen's. He even crowned the hill which looks down upon the city
of Bath from the south-east with a large and somewhat picturesque
structure,--a mere shell, now known as 'Sham Castle;' but which,
especially when lit up by the setting sun, is a not unwelcome
addition to the panoramic view of the hills as seen from the east
end of Pulteney Street. A short time ago, whilst walking along this
street, I asked a man, lounging there, who built the castle on the
hill? and (alas! such is fame!) he told me that it was 'a Mr. Nash,
a gentleman that had done a power of good to the city.' And here it
may conveniently be observed that Beau Nash, to whom Dr. Oliver says
Ralph Allen was 'very generous' (as he was, indeed, to everyone who
had the slightest claim upon his notice), generally superintended the
amusements _within_ the walls of Prior Park. On the occasion of one of
these entertainments--a masked ball--the solemn Warburton, who thought
it beneath the dignity of his cloth to wear a mask, was nevertheless
dressed up in a military uniform by his sprightly wife, and was
introduced to the company as 'Brigadier-General Moses!' in allusion, I
suppose, to Warburton's authorship of the 'Divine Legation.'

The following local tradition respecting the building of Prior Park
was communicated to Mr. Kilvert by the late Mr. H. V. Lansdown, of
Bath, the well-known artist, a gentleman who had accumulated a large
collection of reminiscences of Bath, and its Worthies of the olden time:

  'When Mr. Allen had determined to build the present mansion at Prior
  Park, he sent for John Wood, the architect,[14] who waited upon him
  at the old post-office in Liliput Alley, where Allen then resided.

  '"I want you," said Allen, "to build me a country house on the Prior's
  estate at Widcombe."

  'Allen then described the sort of place he wished erected; but when
  he entered into the details, and talked about a private chapel, with
  a tribune for the family; a portico of gigantic dimensions; a grand
  entrance-hall, and wings of offices for coach-houses, stables, etc.,
  the astonished architect began to think the postmaster had taken leave
  of his senses.

  '"Have you, sir, sat down and counted the cost of building such a

  '"I have," replied Allen; "and for some time past have been laying by
  money for the purpose."

  '"But," said Wood, "the place you are talking about would be a palace,
  and not a house; you have not the least idea of the money 'twould take
  to complete it."

  '"Well," rejoined Allen, "come this way."

  'He then took Wood into the next room, and, opening a closet-door,
  showed him a strong box.

  '"That box is full of guineas!"

  'The architect shook his head. Allen opened another closet, and
  pointed to a second and a third. Wood still hesitated.

  '"Well," said Allen, "come into this room." 'A fourth and fifth are
  discovered. The architect now began to open his eyes with wonder.

  '"If we have not money enough--here, come into this bedroom."

  'A sixth, a seventh, and lo! an eighth appears. John Wood might well
  have exclaimed:

                                   '"I'll see no more.
     For perhaps, like Banquo's ghosts, you'll show a score."

  'Chuckling in his turn at the astonishment of the architect, Allen now
  inquired if the house _could_ be built.

  '"I'll begin the plans immediately," replied Wood. "I see there is
  money enough to erect even a palace, and I'll build you a palace that
  shall be the admiration of all beholders."'

But we must hasten to a close; a close to which the next allusion
to the building propensities of the generous subject of this memoir
naturally leads us. In 1754, Ralph Allen rebuilt the south aisle of
Bathampton Church, and 'beautified the whole structure.' Appropriately
enough, in that aisle has been placed an oval mural tablet, of white
and Sienna marble, to his memory; and his son Philip, who became
Comptroller of the 'Bye-letter' department in the London Post Office,
was, I believe, actually buried there.

But the remains of Ralph Allen were interred in the neighbouring
quiet and lovely little churchyard at Claverton. He was on his way to
London, but feeling ill, probably from asthma, a complaint which often
troubled him, halted at Maidenhead, and was induced to return thence to
Bath, where he expired at a good old age, which the pyramidal monument
erected at Claverton to his memory thus records:

  'Beneath this monument lieth entombed the body of Ralph Allen, Esq.,
  of Prior Park, who departed this life the 29th day of June, 1764, in
  the 71st year of his age; in full hopes of everlasting happiness in
  another state, through the infinite merit and mediation of our blessed
  Redeemer, Jesus Christ.'

Derrick has thus described Allen's personal appearance shortly before
his death: 'He is a very grave, well-looking man, plain in his dress,
resembling that of a Quaker, and courteous in his behaviour. I suppose
he cannot be much under seventy. His wife is low, with grey hair, and
of a very pleasing address.' Kilvert says that he was rather above
the middle size, and stoutly built; and that he was not altogether
averse to a little state, as he often used to drive into Bath in a
coach-and-four. His handwriting was very curious; he evidently wrote
quickly and fluently, but it is so overloaded with curls and flourishes
as to be sometimes scarcely legible.

The lack of all show about his garb seems to have somewhat annoyed
Philip Thicknesse, the well-known author of one of the Bath Guides;
for he speaks of Allen's 'plain linen shirt-sleeves, with only a
chitterling up the slit.' Ralph Allen's claims to a niche in our
Cornish Valhalla do not, however, depend upon costume, but upon his
talents and his philanthropy.

Writing to Dr. Doddridge on 14th February, 1742-43, Warburton thus
refers to his genial host:

  'I got home a little before Christmas, after a charming philosophical
  retirement in a palace with Mr. Pope and Mr. Allen for two or three
  months. The gentleman I last mentioned is, I verily believe, the
  greatest private character in any age of the world. You see his
  munificence to the Bath Hospital. This is but a small part of his
  charities, and charity but a small part of his virtues. I have studied
  his character even maliciously, to find where his weakness lies, but
  have studied in vain. When I know it, the world shall know it too, for
  the consolation of the envious; especially as I suspect it will prove
  to be only a partiality he has entertained for me. In a word, I firmly
  believe him to have been sent by Providence into the world to teach
  men what blessings they might expect from heaven, would they study to
  deserve them.'

In Bishop Hurd's 'Life of Warburton,' the following passage occurs, and
upon this 'the Man of Bath's' fame might securely rest:

  'Mr. Allen was of that generous composition, that his mind enlarged
  with his fortune; and the wealth he so honourably acquired he spent in
  a splendid hospitality and the most extensive charities. His house,
  in so public a scene as that of Bath, was open to all men of rank and
  worth, and especially to men of distinguished parts and learning,
  whom he honoured and encouraged, and whose respective merits he was
  enabled to appreciate by a natural discernment and superior good sense
  rather than by any acquired use and knowledge of letters. His domestic
  virtues were beyond all praise; and with these qualities he drew to
  himself an universal respect.'

It would be easy, if necessary, to multiply passages of this sort,
but one more shall suffice, as illustrating the almost universal
recognition of what Mr. Leslie Stephen has well termed Allen's
'princely benevolence and sterling worth.' Mrs. Delany (iii. 608),
writing from Bath, 2nd November, 1760, mentions that the house on the
South Parade where she was then lodging had been bought by Ralph Allen,
furniture and all, in order that he might settle it on Mrs. Davis, a
poor clergyman's widow. 'How well does _that man_,' she adds, 'deserve
the prosperous fortune he has met with!' And behind all this there
doubtless remained, in the case of our modest hero:

        'That best portion of a good man's life,
    His little, _nameless_, _unremembered_ acts
    Of kindness and of love.'

A notice of this remarkable man would be incomplete without some
reference to two of his connexions, whose names are still honoured
and remembered in the West country: Thomas Daniell, who married Ralph
Allen's niece, Elizabeth Elliott; and Ralph Allen Daniell, Thomas's
son. Of the last-named, it may be shortly stated that he inherited a
full share of his grand-uncle's and namesake's good qualities; was
a prosperous merchant; and that he became, in 1800, the possessor of
Trelissick estate, and the builder of the exquisitely situated mansion
of that name, which overlooks the placid waters of Falmouth Haven. Here
Davies Gilbert, P.R.S., resided; and it is now the country seat of his
son's widow, the Honourable Mrs. Gilbert.

The Thomas Daniell mentioned above appears to have started in life as a
clerk to Mr. Lemon, who then lived at the Quay, Truro, in the house now
known as the Britannia Inn. Here, too, once lived Dr. Wolcot, better
known as 'Peter Pindar;' and, in the middle of the present century,
the writer's father, John Tabois Tregellas, well-known throughout the
county as a writer on the Cornish dialect. Mr. Daniell succeeded to
Mr. Lemon's business as a merchant, and to his residence. He was also
associated with the well-known old Cornish family of Michell,[15] in
the Calenick Smelting Works, near Truro, which are still in active
operation. Thomas Daniell was a great and successful adventurer in
mines, and was at one time M.P. for Looe. He left his mark upon the
little Cornish metropolis by building, as already mentioned, in
Prince's Street, the handsomest mansion which the city contains, the
front of which is an excellent specimen of the famous Bath stone.[16]


[4] This word originally stood as 'low-born;' but Pope (himself a
linendraper's son, it will be remembered) altered it, as it is said, at
Allen's request. Pope had previously asked Allen's leave to insert some
such passage (28th April, 1738).

[5] Allen's sister married a Mr. Philip Elliott.

[6] For particulars, see 'Parliamentary Papers,' 1807, 1812, and 1813.
The following extract from the _London Gazette_ of 16th April, 1720,
fixes the date of the commencement of the scheme: 'General Post Office,
London, April 12, 1720. The announcement recites that the Post Office
authorities, having granted to Ralph Allen, of Bath, gentleman, a farm
of all the by-way or cross-road letters throughout England and Wales,
and being determined to improve postal communication, give notice that
"the postage of no by-way or cross-road letters is anywhere to be
demanded at the places they are sent from (upon any pretence whatever)
unless they are directed on board of a ship,"' etc., etc.

[7] Curiously enough, after the lapse of many years, it has again
reverted, after a chequered history, to similar uses. It was used as a
Roman Catholic seminary in 1820, but did not at first succeed; and much
of the internal part was destroyed by fire in 1836.

[8] Their friendship seems to have arisen from Allen's great admiration
of Pope's letters (notwithstanding their artificiality) and of his
poems, of which Allen is said to have offered to print a volume at his
own expense. Mr. Leslie Stephen says, 'Pope first attracted Allen's
notice by his adroit but dishonest manipulation of the controversy
touching the Curil correspondence.'

[9] This lady, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Holden, was Mr. Allen's
second wife.

[10] In the Rebellion of 1745 he raised and equipped at his own expense
a corps of 100 volunteers.

[11] Engraved by Meyer for Polwhele's 'Cornwall.'

[12] The local guide-books to Weymouth state that Allen, whilst here,
invented an ingenious form of bathing-machine for his own use.

[13] Amongst other buildings, he cased the exterior of St.
Bartholomew's Hospital, in London, with Bath stone, provided at his
own expense; and furnished the same material for his nephew's, Thomas
Daniell's house in Prince's Street, Truro.

[14] Wood was author of three architectural treatises: one of them
descriptive of Bath; and another entitled 'The Origin of Building;
or, the Plagiarism of the Heathens Detected, 1741.' The former work
contains an elaborate, illustrated account of the mansion at Prior Park.

[15] A member of this family--a Truro man, it is believed--accompanied
Sir Francis Drake in his famous voyage round the world.

[16] It may not be out of place to remark that an article on Ralph
Allen in the _Family Economist_, and another (apparently by the same
writer) in _Chambers's Journal_, entitled 'The Bath Post Boy,' are mere
romances, with only a slight sprinkling of facts.



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



    'But coronets we owe to crowns,
      And favour to a court's affection;
    By nature we are Adam's sons,
      And sons of Anstis by election.'


There were three Cornishmen in succession, more or less known,
who bore the above name. The grandfather, of whom little more is
now ascertainable than that he was Registrar of the Archdeacon of
Cornwall's Court (then held at St. Neot's),[17] that his wife's name
was Mary Smith, and that he died in 1692; his son, the subject of this
notice; and his grandson, who, like the second John Anstis, was also
Garter King of Arms, and who died a bachelor at a comparatively early
age. In Montagu Burrows' 'Worthies of All Souls,' it is stated that
the second Anstis was of founder's kin; yet he failed to secure his
election, notwithstanding a lawsuit instituted for that purpose.

Of the first and the third John Anstis little need be added, but the
second merits a longer notice; for 'in him,' it is said, 'were joined
the learning of Camden and the industry, without the inaccuracy, of
Dugdale.' Born at Luna, on 28th September, 1669, in the parish of St.
Neot's, near Liskeard, about one mile south-west of its interesting
church, he became a member of Exeter College, Oxford, in 1685; and,
having entered at the Middle Temple in 1688, and been appointed
Deputy-General to the Auditors of the Imprest in 1703, and a Principal
Commissioner of Prizes in 1704, was elected, when about thirty years of
age, a member of the first Parliament of Queen Anne, for St. Germans,
and was one of those who opposed the Occasional Conformity Bill; then,
in 1711, member for St. Mawes; and finally member for Launceston in
the first Parliament of George I. (1714-22). His first printed work on
Heraldry seems to have been his (privately printed) 'Curia Militaris,'
or 'Treatise of the Court of Chivalry,' which was published in 1702,
and dedicated to Sir Jonathan Trelawny, the well-known non-juring
Bishop of Exeter. In 1718 John Anstis was created Garter King of
Arms, and six years afterwards he published his 'Annotated Register
of the Most Noble Order of the Garter:' the copy which belonged to
Dean Milles, who was born at Duloe, of which parish he was rector for
forty-two years, is in the London Library.[18] Able and indefatigable
both in and out of office, a voluminous correspondence with Sidney
Godolphin, Sir Hans Sloane, Thomas Hearne the antiquary, and other
distinguished men of the period, as well as similar treatises to
the foregoing, followed from his pen, including his 'Aspilogia,' or
'A Discourse on Seals in England,' and fragments of a 'History of
Cornwall,' etc., as to which copious information is afforded in the
'Bibliotheca Cornubiensis.'

Many of his MSS. are preserved in the Additional, Lansdowne, Harleian,
Sloane, Birch, and Hargrave Collections at the British Museum; his
proposals for publishing a history of the Order of the Garter are
preserved in the Bodleian, whilst others of his numerous writings are
in the libraries of All Souls' and Worcester Colleges, Oxford. He also
wrote a MS. 'History of Launceston,' which, as well as others of his
works, is now believed to be lost; and it may be added that he was
intimately connected with the production of Rymer's 'Fœdera.'

Perhaps the most stirring event of his life was his imprisonment on
the suspicion of a design to restore the Stuart dynasty, the story of
which is as follows. He was a member of the High Church party, and, as
such, opposed what was called the Whig interest, voting, as mentioned
above, against the Occasional Conformity Bill; but, on the information
of one Colonel Paul, he, as well as five or six other members of
Parliament, fell under the suspicion of the Government, and Anstis was
actually in prison at the very time that the office of Garter (which
had been promised to him by Queen Anne) fell vacant. It was with the
utmost difficulty that he cleared himself of these suspicions, and not
until three years afterwards did he obtain the appointment, which had
meanwhile been held by Sir John Vanbrugh, 'Clarenceux.' One of his
fellow-suspects, Edward Harvey, Esq., stabbed himself with his garden
pruning-knife, on a certain paper in his own handwriting being shown to
him. John Anstis is described in the scarce tract which narrates this
affair as being 'Hereditary High Steward of the Tinners of Cornwall,'
and it is probable that in this capacity he may have been suspected
of being concerned in some supposed insurrection in the county. But
imprisonment in those days for like causes was sometimes, if the truth
were told, somewhat of the nature of a political manœuvre.

John Anstis, F.S.A., the subject of this notice, died at his seat
at Mortlake, Surrey, on 4th March, 1744, at a good old age, and his
remains were laid in the family vault at Duloe, near Looe, some three
weeks afterwards. His son at once succeeded (by a reversionary patent)
to his father's post in the Heralds' College; and his remains followed
his father's to their last resting-place in the same quiet churchyard
on the 30th December, 1754. There is a portrait of the more celebrated
Herald in the picture gallery at Oxford, and another at the College of
Arms; and an engraved likeness is prefixed to the Rev. Mark Noble's
history of that institution. There is another engraved portrait of
him, in his tabard, in Nichols' 'Literary Illustrations,' vol. iv. p.
139. He married Elizabeth, the heiress of Richard Cudlipp, Esq., of
Tavistock, and left three sons and three daughters. I believe that,
as in the case of many another distinguished Cornishman, there is
no monument to the memory of even the most celebrated member of the
family. Yet, as a Christian name, the name of Anstis still lingers in
the neighbourhood, and is borne by members of the family of Bewes, the
present representatives through the female line.

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]


[17] The Anstis family removed from St. Neot's to Duloe, in which
parish they acquired their residence of Tremoderet (the ancient seat of
the Colshills, Sheriffs of Cornwall), and Westnorth, purchased from Sir
William Bastard, Kt.; the latter place was their principal seat.

[18] The learned Dr. Jeremiah Milles, Dean of Exeter, an accomplished
antiquary, was buried in the church of St. Edmund, the King and Martyr,
Lombard Street, where his 'elegant monument, by Bacon,' was placed.



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



    'The princely Arundells of yore.'

                         H. S. STOKES.

On the north-west coast of Cornwall, famous for its magnificent cliff
scenery and fine stretches of golden sand, are four lovely valleys

  'Looking towards the western wave,'

lying close together, and each watered by a little trout-stream; but,
as is the case with Cornish landscape generally, with one exception
scantily timbered. Each of these is more or less directly connected
with the celebrated family of Arundell. I refer, first, to a valley
through which a small stream murmurs, which rose on the northern slope
of Denzell Downs, and flows near St. Ervan Church, having for its
little tributaries two rivulets which water the foot of the sloping
ground on which still stands a farm-place, called Trembleath, and
entering the sea at Portcothan Bay; secondly, to the Vale of Lanherne,
which extends from St. Columb Major to Mawgan Porth, and includes two
churches, so named; next, to the valley with a nameless brook, which
flows past Rialton--formerly the residence of the haughty Thomas
Vivian, one of the latest Priors of Bodmin, and afterwards a seat of
the Godolphins--then by the base of a hill crowned by the lofty tower
of St. Columb Minor; and lastly, to the vale of the Gannel, near whose
embouchure are the remains of the ancient collegiate establishment of
Crantock, now represented by the highly interesting church, which,
though nearly complete, is in a very unsatisfactory state of repair.

Each of these valleys has its porth (or port), a circumstance to which
they were all probably indebted for the churches which they still
possess; for in the days of small shipping, these little ports--smaller
now than they formerly were--sufficiently accommodated the tiny craft
which brought holy men from Ireland, or from South Wales, and, indeed,
at that time probably afforded the chief means of communication with
the outer world.

It is the second of these four valleys that we have chiefly to consider
now, closely identified as it is with the names of the Arundells--'the
great Arundells,' as they were called (on account, says Camden, of
their vast riches), and as they called themselves, too; for on one of
their tombs in the church of St. Columb Major was inscribed, 'Magnorum
sepulchra Arundeliorum.' Parts of the vale are beautifully wooded,
and the churches of St. Columb and Mawgan, which retain many features
of interest, are both identified with the famous family whose story we
are about to consider.[19] And here it should be premised that, besides
the Arundells of Lanherne, Trerice, Tolverne, and Wardour, there were
the Arundells of Menadarva, who afterwards settled at Trengwainton,
near Penzance, descended from a Camborne stock, founded by a 'natural'
son of an Arundell of Trerice, who intermarried with Pendarves and St.
Aubyn. And again, the Arundells of Trevithick, in St. Columb Major,
were a younger branch of the Lanherne family. They settled there
_circa_ Edward VI., and became extinct in 1740.

Of the first three branches I propose to treat under the heads of
Lanherne, Trerice, and Tolverne; and to conclude my observations with a
short reference to one or two minor branches of the family.

There can be no doubt, although Hals, with his usual ingenuity (and it
might also be said, I fear, with his usual inaccuracy), has endeavoured
to find a Cornish etymology for the name, that the name of Arundell is
of French origin. At any rate, such was the belief in the early part
of the thirteenth century; for they bore swallows in their escutcheon
at least as early as the days of Henry II.; and in the 'Philippeis,'
a work composed by Philip le Breton in 1230, there are the following
verses descriptive of an encounter between an Arundell and one William
de Barr:

    'Vidit Hirundelâ velocior alite quæ dat
    Hoc Agnomen ei, fert cujus in ægide signum
    Se rapit agminibus mediis clypeoque nitenti
    Quem sibi Guillelmus lævâ prætenderat ulnâ
    Immergit validam præacutæ cuspidis hastam.'

                     (See p. 207, Camden's 'Remains,' 1637.)

But it is perhaps right to add that Davies Gilbert, P.R.S., a Cornish
gentleman, who settled in Sussex, thought the name might have been
derived from Arun Dale.

According to Mr. G. Freeth (_R. I. C. Journal_, September, 1876, pp.
285-93), Trembleth (a name still retained), in the adjoining parish of
St. Ervan, was the chief seat of the Arundells before their marriage
with the heiress of Lanherne. At any rate, Trembleth (situated in the
northernmost of the four valleys mentioned above) was a residence of
some of the subsequent members of the family. Hals gives the following
interesting account of the place:

  'Trembleigh, Trembleth, _alias_ Trembleeth, _alias_ Tremblot (see
  Tremblethick, in St. Mabyn), synonymous terms, signifies the "wolf's

  'From this place was denominated an ancient family of gentlemen,
  surnamed De Trembleth, who, suitable to their name, gave the wolf for
  their arms; whose sole inheritrix, about Henry II.'s time, was married
  to John de Arundel, ancestor of the Arundels of Lanherne; who, out of
  respect and grateful remembrance of the great benefit they had by this
  match, ever since gave the wolf for their crest, the proper arms of

  'In this town they had their domestic chapel and burying-place, now
  totally gone to decay, since those Arundels removed from hence to
  Lanherne. This manor was anciently held of the manor of Payton, by the
  tenure of knight's service. And here John de Arundel held a knight's
  fee (Morton, 3rd Henry IV.), as I am informed.'

The assumption of their French origin is further borne out by the
fact that the early Arundells--especially one, Roger--obtained
from the Conqueror considerable grants of land in Dorsetshire and
Staffordshire. I have, however, been unable to obtain any clear traces
of their connexion with Cornwall earlier than towards the middle of
the thirteenth century, when they presented to the churches of St.
Columb Major and of Mawgan. Again, a Sir Ralph Arundell was Sheriff of
Cornwall in 1260; and, indeed, Hals observes that the Arundells filled
the same office twenty times, of which there was no like instance
in England. Some member of the family was generally knighted at the
accession of a new sovereign to the throne, and one of the early
Arundells was Marshal of England.

Amongst the monuments in the church of St. Columb Major is one to a
John Arundell, once 'senescallus Dñi Regis et verus patronus hujus
ecclesiæ, qui hanc capellam fieri fecit.' He died in the year 1400,
and stained glass in the windows also commemorated at this date the
family. There are also Arundell brasses at Antony East, Mawgan, and
Stratton, and a monument at Newlyn East.

They held Lanherne of the Bishop of Exeter by military service, as
appears from folio 102 of Bishop Stapledon's Register: it is therein
called 'La Herne,' but it was also known formerly as Lanhadron.

Amongst other indications of their early settlement in the county, and
of their importance from the very first, it may be mentioned that:

  'Rad., son of Oliver de Arundell, of Lanherne,
  had £20 a year or more, in land, in 1297;
  and so had John Arundell, of Efford.

  'Rad. D'Arundle held a "parv. feo." in Trekinnen.

  'Johannes D'Arundle held military feus in
  Treawset and in Trenbeith, in 3rd Hen. IV.
  (1402). Also a "parv. feod." in Trekinnen.'

From the Records preserved at Exeter, the following further
information, which bears upon the early connexion of the Arundells with
the far West, has been gathered; and it is scarcely to be doubted that
still earlier traces of their settlement in Cornwall might at one time
have been forthcoming:

  'Willus de Arundell, canonicus obiit vi. Kal. Maii, MCCXLVI.'

                         (_Exeter Cathedral Martyrologium._)

But most of their monumental remains which still exist, are of later
date, and are met with at various places in Cornwall, chiefly in the
eastern parishes.

A Roger Arundell lived opposite the portico of St. Stephen's Church, in
the High Street, Exeter, about the middle of the thirteenth century,
and a Ralph Arundell, who was rector of St. Columb Major, resigned
his benefice in 1353, whereupon the bishop (Grandison) granted him a
pension of £20 a year, in consideration of his near relationship to Sir
James Arundell, patron of the benefice.

Amongst the documents preserved in Bishop Lacy's Register is the will
of Sir John Arundell, dated 18th April, 1433; he was probably that Sir
John who is said to have had (temp. Ric. II.) no less than fifty-two
complete suits of cloth of gold. This will refers to so much that is of
interest, that I have been tempted to set down a few passages from it:--

Sir John leaves his soul to Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and
all the saints; and his body to be buried in the new chapel near the
chancel of the church of St. Columb Major. He gives £20 towards the
bells of that church, 60 shillings towards the restoration of St. Erme
Church, and 20 shillings to the rector of the same. A like sum for the
restoration of the church of Maugan de Lanherne, and 20 shillings for
the maintenance of divers lights therein, and £10 for the bell-tower,
provided the requisite work is done within the following six years.

The rectors of St. Ewe, St. Mawgan juxta Carminow, and St. Wynwole
(Gunwalloe) also receive bequests. He gives 13s. 4d. to the light
of St. Michael's in the Mount,[20] and the same sum towards the
construction of the chancel there. St. Perran Zabuloe also comes
in for his bounty, and £13 are to be spent in 3,000 masses, to be
celebrated for the benefit of his soul as quickly as possible after
his death. To his blood-relation, Isabelle Bevylle, he leaves 4
marks; to John Tresithny, 10; to John Michell, 5;[21] and to others
named, similar sums. But perhaps the most singular bequest of all is
the following, viz., 'Item, lego ad usum parochie S' ci Pyerani in
Zabulo ad claudendum capud S. Pierani honorificè et meliori modo quo
sciunt xls.'[22] One is curious to know why the testator took such
special interest in this singular relic. Certainly the Arundells were
interested in the parish, and, as we shall presently see, one of them
married the heiress of its chief manor. He finally leaves sundry
vessels of precious metal to his son, 'Renfrido,' etc., and names as
his executors, Bishop Lacy, his sons, Thomas (miles) and Renfr--, Otho
Tregoney, and others.

It would be a fruitless task to endeavour to give details of
the genealogy of the earlier Arundells, for it is enveloped in
considerable uncertainty; and even so patient and skilled an
investigator as Colonel J. L. Vivian, in his 'Annotated Heralds'
Visitations of Cornwall,' has discovered such serious discrepancies in
the various statements concerning it, that he gives up some portions of
it in despair. We have seen that Roger was the Christian name of the
Arundell at the time of the Conquest; in 1216, his grandson, William,
forfeited his lands by rebellion (a tendency to which offence was, as
we shall see, rather characteristic of the family), but the estates
were restored to the rebellious William's nephew, Humphry. By the
latter's marriage with Joan de Umfraville, he had a son, Sir Renfry de
Arundell of Treffry, and by Renfry's marriage with Alice de Lanherne,
in the time of Henry III., the name of Arundell became for many a long
year associated with that of Lanherne. One of their sons, Sir Ralph,
was, as we have seen, Sheriff of Cornwall in the same reign (1260),
and from his marriage with a lady who bore the euphonious name of Eva
de Rupe, or de la Roche, of Tremodret,[23] in Duloe parish, the main
stem of the family seems to have shot forth its boughs and branches.
Their younger son, Ralph, was that rector of St. Columb Major, who, as
we have seen, resigned his living in 1353, or, according to some other
authorities, in 1309. But their eldest son, Sir John of Trembleth, in
the time of Edward I., married Joan le Soor, of Tolverne, and thus
appears to have originated the connection which so long subsisted
between the two branches of the family. Their children, Margaret and
Sir John, married, the former with a Beville, and the latter with a
Carminow; and now, for the first time, the name of Trerice also appears
in the family tree, for this Sir John is said to have had a cousin,
Ralph Arundell of that place. I cannot trace his descent, and can only
suggest that he _may_ have been a brother instead of a cousin. If I
have correctly interpreted the pedigree, the last-named Sir John was a
man of mark, and of him we have the following accounts:--

  'In the year 1379, an expedition was fitted out by King Richard II.,
  in the second year of his reign, in aid of the Duke of Bretagne, under
  the command of "Dominus Johannes Arundell," as old Thomas Walsingham,
  a learned monk of St. Albans, calls him.[24] On their way, after
  repulsing the French fleet off the coast of Cornwall, and whilst
  waiting for a favourable wind to cross the Channel, the commander
  of the expedition besought the hospitality of a certain convent of
  nuns (according to one account, at Netley), the lady superintendent
  of which very properly refused it to so rough and ready a band
  of military as composed Arundell's following. She besought most
  earnestly, "prostrata," and "conjunctis manibus," that he would find
  quarters for his men elsewhere, but all in vain. Scenes of a most
  disgraceful and violent character ensued, as might have been expected;
  and, not content with doing foul dishonour to the nuns, the soldiery
  were permitted to spoil the neighbourhood. They even went so far as
  to carry off from the convent the sacred vessels of its church, and
  several of the sisterhood as well ("vi vel sponte"), whereupon they
  were most righteously excommunicated by the priest. A violent tempest
  pursued them for their misdoings, a diabolical spectre appearing in
  Arundell's ship, threatening the dire disasters which followed. The
  unhappy women were flung overboard to lighten the ships, which at
  length made the coast of Ireland, upon which event Arundell made a
  speech concluding thus, according to the chronicler:

  '"Minus grave est hoc quam in mare totiens ante mortem mori, et tandem
  mortem dedecorosam evadere nullo modo posse. Aut si inimici sunt qui
  in hac terra sunt, citius eligo per manus hostiles interfici (forsitan
  cadaveri sepulturam indulgebunt) quam more pecoris marinis mergi
  fluctibus, et fieri pelagi monstris cibus."'

But the swashbuckler was doomed not to escape as he had hoped, though
finally he was to receive the sort of burial which he so evidently
desired. His ship was driven on the rocks, and her ship-master and Sir
John Arundell of Treleigh were drowned, together with his esquires
and other men of high birth. Many were rescued by the Irish, but
twenty-five ships in all were lost, and large numbers of their crews.
Three days afterwards many of the bodies were recovered, amongst them
those of Arundell, and were buried in a certain abbey in Ireland.[25]

As Froissart's account differs from the foregoing in some particulars,
I have appended a translation of it for the convenience of those who
may desire to compare the two: it will be noticed that Froissart
entirely omits the story of the desecration of the convent.

  'The time had now arrived for sending off the promised succour to
  the Duke of Brittany. Sir John Arundel was appointed to command the
  expedition, and there accompanied him Sir Hugh Calverley, Sir Thomas
  Banaster, Sir Thomas Trivet, Sir Walter Pole, Sir John Bourchier,
  and the Lords Ferrers and Basset. These knights, with their forces,
  assembled at Southampton,[26] whence they set sail. The first day they
  were at sea the weather was favourable, but towards evening the wind
  veered about and became quite the contrary; so strong and tempestuous
  was it, that it drove them on the coast of Cornwall that night, and
  as they were afraid to cast anchor, they were forced the next day
  into the Irish Sea; here three of their ships sank, on board of which
  were Sir John Arundel, Sir Thomas Banaster, and Sir Hugh Calverley;
  the two former, with upwards of eighty men, perished, but Sir Hugh
  fortunately clung to the mast of his vessel and was blown ashore.
  The rest of the ships, when the storm had abated, returned as well
  as they could to Southampton. Through this misfortune the expedition
  was put an end to, and the Duke of Brittany, though sadly oppressed
  by the French, received all that season no assistance from the
  English.'--(_Froissart's Chronicles_, p. 154.)

The unlucky knight's grandson was that Sir John Arundell of Lanherne,
who was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King Henry IV.
in 1399, and who married a lady, who, if she were as lovely as her
lovely name--Annora or Eleanora Lambourne, of Perranzabuloe--must
indeed have been 'beautiful exceedingly.' But, indeed, the Arundells
seem to have been fond of sweet-sounding Christian names for their
womankind. Such names as Sibilla and Emmota occur very early in the
family-tree. This Sir John must have been a personage of some valour
and consideration; for we find that he was retained by an indenture of
King Henry V. to serve at sea with 3 knights, 364 men-at-arms, and 776
archers, in certain vessels which were specified. He was four times
Sheriff of Cornwall, and was member for the county in 1422-23, together
with another John Arundell, apparently.

The next Arundells who claim our attention will require a little more
space to be devoted to the consideration of their exploits. They were
grandsons of the last-named Sir John; and one of them, also a Sir John,
became Admiral and Sheriff of Cornwall, and a General for King Henry
VI., in France; the other, his cousin, also named John, became Bishop
of Exeter. To the former of these two, as the senior, let us first turn.

He was born, or at least baptized, in 1421; and, his father dying some
two years afterwards, he became a ward of the King, and at length (in
the 29th year of the reign of Henry VI.) was the largest free tenant in
Cornwall, his estates being of the value of £2,000 per annum.

John, the Bishop, was the son of Sir Rainfred (or Reinfry) Arundell,
knight (by Joan Coleshull, his wife, sister and heir of Sir John
Coleshull of Tremodret, knight), who was the third son of Sir John
Arundel of Lanherne (and not, observes Tonkin, 'Talvern, as Anthony
Wood saith'). He is said to have been educated in the neighbouring
College of Augustine Monks at St. Columb, to which one of his ancestors
is alleged to have been a munificent benefactor,[27] as he also was to
the church at that place, building a chapel thereto for himself and
family, at the east end of the south aisle; and here he was buried
in the year 1400.[28] Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, he became
successively a Canon of Windsor, Prebendary of York and Salisbury, Dean
of Exeter, and Chancellor of Hereford, and having been consecrated
Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, Nov. 6, 1496, was for his piety
and learning translated, by Henry VII., to Exeter, June 29, 1502. He
died, March 15, 1503, at the house belonging to the Bishop of Exeter
(Exeter House), in the parish of St. Clement's Danes, London, in which
church he was buried on the south side of the high altar. His will
is preserved at Somerset House. Weever gives a copy of a 'maimed'
inscription on his tomb. To his Register is prefixed a 'Prologus,'
written by his secretary. It recites his noble descent, his sound
doctrine, and his great virtues, his constant attendance at divine
service, and his bountiful hospitality. By his will he left £20 towards
the finishing of St. Mary's Church, Oxford. His portrait is at Wardour

Hals, in his account of St. Columb Major, writes thus of the Bishop
(but see note, p. 51):

  'Contiguous with this churchyard was formerly extant a college of
  Black Monks or Canons Augustine, consisting of three fellows, for
  instructing youth in the liberal arts and sciences; which college,
  when or by whom erected and endowed, I know not. However, I take it
  to be one of those three colleges in this province, named in Speed
  and Dugdale's Monasticon, whose revenues they do not express (nor the
  place where they were extant), but tell us that they were dedicated to
  the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Lady of Angels, and were black monks of
  the Augustines.

  'In this college, temp. Henry VI., was bred up John Arundell, a
  younger son of Renfry Arundell, of Lanherne, Esquire, sheriff of
  Cornwall, 3rd Edward IV., where he had the first taste of the liberal
  arts and sciences, and was afterwards placed at Exon College in
  Oxford, where he stayed till he took his degree of Master of Arts, and
  then was presented by his father to John Booth, Bishop of Exeter, to
  be consecrated priest, and to have collation, institution, and induct,
  into his rectory of St. Colomb. Which being accordingly performed, and
  he resided upon, this rectory glebe lands for some time, which gave
  him opportunity to build the old parsonage house still extant thereon,
  and moat the same round with rivers and fish-ponds, as Sir John
  Arundell, Knight, informed me afterwards.'

If we are to accept the authority of Dallaway in his 'History of the
See of Chichester,' of the Rev. Prebendary W. R. Stephens in his
'Memorials' of that See, and of M. A. Lower in his 'Sussex Worthies,'
there was another member of this branch of the family, also named John
Arundell, who attained to the dignity of the episcopal throne; but his
place in the pedigree is not easily to be identified, and as the Rev.
C. W. Boase truly remarks, it is very difficult to distinguish between
the John Arundells of this time. He was one of the Physicians, as well
as Confessor and Domestic Chaplain, to Henry VI. He was also Fellow of
Exeter College, Oxon, Proctor of University, and held many preferments
without cure of souls; and he was sometime Canon of Windsor, Prebendary
of Sarum, York and St. Paul's, and Dean of Exeter. The King asked Pope
Calixtus III. to make him Bishop of Durham, but he was, instead, made
Bishop of Chichester, May, 1458. He died in 1478, and bequeathed lands
for the celebration of his anniversary and of a nightly mass throughout
the year. Near the entrance into the choir of Chichester Cathedral he
erected a large altar tomb of Petworth marble, ornamented with brasses
(probably since stolen), and at one time concealed by pews. But a
tablet was affixed to a pier near the tomb, which gave some account of
him, recording that he left 'Benefield's lands' to found a chantry.
Lower also credits him with the erection of the oratory between the
nave and choir, and with the 'Arundell' screen in 1477, which was
removed during the restorations in 1860.

The warrant for the appointment of himself and colleagues to be the
King's Physicians is in the Cotton. MSS. (Vespasian G xiv. p. 415).
In it the medicines and other means of cure which the professors of
the healing art were (with the concurrence of the Council) to employ
are duly specified: they included 'potiones, syrupi, confectiones,
clysteria, suppositoria, caputpurgea, gargarismata, balnea, capitis
rasura,' etc., etc., and the document affords a curious glimpse of the
state of the medical skill and knowledge of the time. It is referred
to by Johnson in his 'Life of Linacre.' Unfortunately this Bishop's
Register is lost, but his career would seem to have been uneventful.

To resume the story of the descent of the family. The records which
I have been able to consult throw little or no light of importance
upon most of the immediate descendants of Richard II.'s Admiral; his
daughters married men of rank and title, such as the Lords Marney and
Daubeny, Sir Henry Strangways, Sir William Capell, and Sir William
Courtenay; and one of them, Ellen, secured the affections of Ralph,
'The great Copplestone.' One son only, Thomas, he had (or he may
perchance have been a grandson); he, like so many others of his race,
was knighted at a coronation, on this occasion the coronation of King
Richard III. John, his son, won his knighthood too; but in a different
fashion, for he was made knight-banneret for his valour in the field,
at the sieges of 'Toronne' (Therouenne, 7 miles south of St. Omer) and
Tournay, wherein so many ostentatious deeds of valour were performed on
both sides. He died in 1545, and was buried in the church of St. Columb
Major, where there is a brass to his memory.

By his second wife, Katharine, daughter of Sir Thomas Grenville, of
Stow, Sir John had an erudite daughter, Mary, whose fame is enshrined
in the pages of Ballard's 'Celebrated British Ladies.' She is chiefly
known by her translations, especially of the 'Sayings and Doings
of the Emperor Severus,' which she dedicated to her father, 'pater
honoratissimus;' and some of her manuscripts are, I believe, preserved
in the Royal Library. She married, first, Robert Radcliff, Earl
of Sussex; and secondly, Henry, 17th Earl of Arundell. One of the
successors of the learned lady, named Margaret, who died in 1691, was
buried in the Trerice Arundell vault in Newlyn Church, at the east end
of the south aisle; and according to Davies Gilbert, it was through
her that the Trerice estates passed into the hands of their present
proprietor, Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, Bart.

Sir John's grandson, of the same name, next claims a short notice.
Dodd, in his 'Church History,' says of him:

  'Sir John being an "occasional conformist," his conversation with Mr.
  Cornelius had given him (Cornelius) early impressions in favour of the
  Catholic religion, which grew stronger in the University, where he
  met with many of the same dispositions. At length, being weary of a
  conformity against his conscience, he left Oxford.'

This was that Father Cornelius who, so Foley informs us, was born at
Bodmin, of Irish parents, and early attracted Sir John's attention by
his studious disposition. Sir John took him by the hand, and always
stood his friend. But Cornelius became a Jesuit and a recusant, and was
hung, drawn, and quartered at Dorchester, in 1594. He was chaplain to
Lady Arundell after her husband's decease, and she having recovered the
body, gave it honourable interment.

The favour in which Cornelius and other priests about this time were
held by our Sir John Arundell, cost him his liberty. He was summoned to
London in 1581, and for nine years was kept a prisoner in Ely Palace,
Holborn, only leaving it to go down to Isleworth and die. His body was
conveyed to St. Columb with great pomp, and there is a monument there
to his memory.

His daughters, Dorothy and Gertrude, entered the Convent of Benedictine
nuns at Brussels, in the year 1600, and the former wrote an account of
the last days of Father Cornelius, which part of his life she appears
to have spent with him.

From the knight-banneret of Tournay and Therouenne descended the
Arundells of Wardour; who, on obtaining that estate and castle (whose
gallant defence by Lady Blanche Arundell, during the Civil War, is
familiar to the reader of romance as well as to the historical student)
by intermarriage with the heiress of John, Lord Dinham and ceasing
to reside in Cornwall, the story of whose Worthies I am endeavouring
to tell, are not strictly speaking included in my scheme; but they
evidently remembered with affection their Cornish origin, for on the
east front of old Wardour Castle is a Latin inscription, of which the
following is an uncouth translation, believed to be by Henry, the
eighth Lord Arundell:--

    'Here, branch of Arundell Lanhernian race,
    Thomas first sat, and he deserved the place:
    He sat, and fell: Merit the fatal crime,
    And Heav'n, to mark him faultless, bless'd his line.
    Matthew his offspring, as the Father, Great,
    And happier in his Prince, regain'd the seat.
    Confirm'd, enlarg'd; long may its fortune stand!
    HIS care who gave, resum'd, restor'd the land.'

The above Matthew had a brother Charles, who left England in 1583, on
account of his attachment to the Roman Catholic creed, visited Rome and
Spain, and finally died in Paris 9th December, 1587.

And here it may be well to add, that by the marriage of Mary Arundell
in 1739 to Henry, seventh Baron Arundell of Wardour, the Lanherne
and Wardour branches of the family were, after a separation of more
than two centuries, re-united. At Wardour are preserved numerous
MSS. relating to the Arundell family; a most interesting as well as
extensive series. It includes the Tywardreath Charter with the Laocoön
seal, various inventories of furniture, household books, travelling
expenses, tailor's bills, etc., etc., to say nothing of court rolls,
rentals, surveys, etc., from the reign of Richard II. to that of Henry

Sir Thomas, a grandson of the friend of Father Cornelius, 'when but a
young man, signalized himself so much by his valour against the Turks,
in Hungary, that the Emperor Rodolph II. raised him to the dignity of a
Count of the Empire in 1595: granting that his children, of both sexes,
and their descendants, should for ever enjoy that rank; have a vote in
all the diets of the Empire, purchase lands within the dominion of the
Empire, raise volunteers, and not be put to any trial, except in the
Imperial Chamber. In forcing the water-tower, near Gran (a formerly
rich town of Hungary), he took from the Turks their banner, with his
own hand; which banner, taken by Sir Thomas, of Wardour, was preserved,
as a trophy, in the Vatican at Rome; where it remained till the French
revolution. This brave young knight was recommended to the Emperor by
Queen Elizabeth, in a Latin letter, written by her own hand, which
is still kept at Wardour Castle.' King James I. made him first Baron
Arundell of Wardour in 1605. He died at Wardour in 1639, æt. 79.

Another Sir John married his relative, an Arundell of Trerice, namely
Anna, the widow of John Trevanyon. It is noteworthy that on this Sir
John's tomb in St. Columb churchyard he is styled baronet, but there
is no reason to believe that he reached a higher dignity than that of

The name was at length assumed by Richard Beling, who married into a
family more illustrious than his own. But I believe this branch of the
family has now, too, become extinct; and it is said that the last of
the Lanherne Arundells died in Cornwall in 1766--a collector of the
customs at Falmouth.

We now come to a very interesting phase of the family history: I mean
the results which followed upon the attachment of this branch of the
Arundells to 'the old religion,' as the Roman Catholic faith was
called. It was exemplified by two episodes which deserve attention:
one was the tragic story of Cuthbert Mayne, a recusant priest who was
harboured at Golden near Probus, in the residence of the old Cornish
family of Tregian, one of whom married Catherine, daughter of a Sir
John Arundell and his wife, Elizabeth Dannet, and whose son Francis
was imprisoned for recusancy in the time of Elizabeth. The story of
Cuthbert Mayne is fully given in Morris's 'Troubles of our Catholic
Forefathers,' Dr. Oliver's 'History of the Catholic Religion in the
West of England,'and by Challoner in his 'Memoirs of Missionary
Priests,' etc.

The second episode to which I have alluded is the story of Humphry
Arundell, the 'leader of the Cornish rebellion'--a rising which was
undertaken for a like cause--the defence of 'the old religion.' We are
indebted to Mr. Froude for much valuable information on this subject,
given in the fifth vol. of his 'History of England, from the fall of
Wolsey to the Death of Queen Elizabeth.'

In the summer of 1548 one of Henry VIII.'s Commissioners, a Mr.
Body, was murdered by a priest at Helston in Cornwall, whilst the
Commissioner was carrying out the King's command in removing certain
superstitious objects from the church. Some executions followed, but
the Cornishmen were neither conciliated nor terrified thereby, and a
rebellion was concocted, Sir Humphry Arundell, of the Mount, and Henry
Boyer, Mayor of Bodmin, being the leaders.

The rebellion was inaugurated at Sampford Courtney, on Dartmoor, when
the people compelled the priests to say mass, notwithstanding that
the English liturgy was commanded to be used, for the first time, on
Whitsunday, 1549.

Lord Russell thereupon sends down Sir Peter and Sir Gawen Carew to
quell the insurrection, but in June, 1549, 10,000 Cornishmen were in
full march on Exeter. England was, in fact, rising in all directions,
and the Commons of Devon and Cornwall insisted on the restoration of
the mass, and that images should be set up again; the English Bibles
were also to be called in, 'for we be informed that otherwise the
clergy shall not of long time confound the heretics,' etc., etc.; and
they added a petition that Humphrey Arundell and Henry Boyer should
have safe access to the King to represent their grievances. Froude sets
out the document in full. The Protector insisted upon Bonner's (Bishop
of London) preaching a sermon condemning the rebellion, especially so
far as Cornwall and Devon were concerned, and recanting his views as to
the mass, etc.; and Bonner's imprisonment was the well-known result.
Order was at length partially restored; but Exeter, where there was a
strong 'Catholic' party, was, in July, actually besieged by the rebels,
and they even talked of going on to London with their army, now 20,000
strong; but Exeter held out for six weeks. Whilst Humphry Arundell was
advancing upon it, Carew brought the welcome tidings to Lord Russell
(at Honiton, the rallying-point) of the advance of Lord Grey. Meanwhile
a body of Cornishmen had arrived at Fennington Bridge, three miles from
Exeter, where Sir Peter Carew attacked them; and here Sir Gawen, who
was with him, was shot through the arm. The Cornishmen were scattered
after a severe struggle, leaving 300 dead on the field, and their
assailants at least as many; and Grey now came to the rescue of Exeter.
At the battle of St Mary's Clyst the King's troops, though at first
defeated, ultimately succeeded, and killed 1,000 rebels, besides taking
many prisoners, who were afterwards put to the sword. The fight was
renewed on the following day, and Grey, who had seen service, exclaimed
that 'such was the valour and the stoutness of the men, that he never,
in all the wars he had been in, did know the like.' But, as we have
said, the rebels were massacred; the siege of Exeter was raised; and on
the 6th of August the banner of the red dragon was flying from the city

Yet the Cornish rallied on Dartmoor, at Sampford Courtney, under
Humphry Arundell, Pomeroy, Underhill, and others; and here at length,
where the fire was first kindled it was at last extinguished on
Sunday, 17th August, 1549. The town had been fortified, and when the
insurgents were driven back to it, to use Lord Russell's own words:
'While I was yet behind with the residue of the army conducting the
carriage, Humphry Arundel with his whole power came on the back of our
forewards,' and 'against Arundel was nothing for one hour but shooting
of ordnance to and fro.' At length 'the rebels' stomachs so fell from
them as without any blow they fled,' and multitudes of the unfortunate
wretches were slain. Humphrey Arundel fled to Launceston, when he
'immediately began to practise with the townsmen and the keepers of
Greenfield and other gentlemen for the murder of them that night. The
keepers so much abhorred this cruelty as they immediately set the
gentlemen at large, and gave them their aid, with the help of the town
for the apprehension of Arundel, whom, with four or five ringleaders,
they have imprisoned.'

The insurgents lost over 4,000 men during this fatal month. Martial law
was proclaimed throughout Devon and Cornwall; and Arundell, with three
others (Holmes, Winslow, and Berry), was hung at Tyburn. Holmes says
that Boyer, the Mayor of Bodmin, was hung at his own door, after the
Provost Marshal had dined with him.

Hals's account of the rising is so full and interesting, that it seems
worth giving, even at the risk of incurring some little repetition. He

  'This Priory or Abbey (of St. Michael's Mount) being dissolved by
  Act of Parliament, and given to the King, 33rd Henry VIII., 1542, he
  gave the revenues and government of the place to Humphry Arundell,
  Esq., of the Lanherne family, who enjoyed the same till the first year
  of King Edward VI., 1549; at which time that King set forth several
  injunctions about religion; amongst others, this was one, viz.: That
  all images found in churches, for divine worship or otherwise, should
  be pulled down and cast forth out of those churches; and that all
  preachers should perswade the people from praying to saints, or for
  the dead, and from the use of beads, ashes, processions, masses,
  dirges, and praying to God publicly in an unknown tongue; and, least
  there should be a defect of preachers as to these points, homilies
  were made and ordered to be read in all churches. Pursuant to this
  injunction, one Mr. Body, a commissioner for pulling down images in
  the churches of Cornwall, going to do his duty in Helston Church, a
  priest, in company with Kiltor of Kevorne, and others, at unawares
  stabbed him in the body with a knife; of which wound he instantly
  fell dead in that place. And though the murderer was taken, and sent
  up to London, tried, found guilty of murder in Westminster Hall,
  and executed in Smithfield, yet the Cornish people flocked together
  in a tumultuous and rebellious manner, by the instigation of their
  priests in diverse parts of the shire or county, and committed many
  barbarities and outrages in the same; and though the justices of
  the peace apprehended several of them, and sent them to jail, yet
  they could not, with all their power, suppress the growth of their
  insurrection; for soon after Humphry Arundell, aforesaid, governor
  of this Mount, sided with those mutineers, and broke out into actual
  rebellion against his and their prince. The mutineers chose him for
  the General of their army, and for inferior officers as Captains,
  Majors, and Colonels, John Rosogan, James Rosogan, Will. Winslade of
  Tregarrick or St. Agnes at Mithian, John Payne of St. Ives, Robert
  Bochym of Bochym, and his brother, Thomas Underhill, John Salmon,
  William Segar, together with several priests, rectors, vicars, and
  curates of churches, as John Thompson, Roger Barret, John Woolcock,
  William Asa, James Mourton, John Barrow, Richard Bennet, and others,
  who mustered their soldiers according to the rules of the military
  discipline at Bodmin, where the general rendezvous was appointed.
  But no sooner was the General Arundell departed from St. Michael's
  Mount to exert his power in the camp and field aforesaid, but diverse
  gentlemen, with their wives and families, in his absence possessed
  themselves thereof; whereupon he dispatched a party of horse and foot
  to reduce his old garrison, which quickly they effected, by reason the
  besieged wanted provision and ammunition, and were distracted with
  the women and children's fears and cries; and so they yielded the
  possession to their enemies on condition of free liberty of departing
  forthwith from thence with life, though not without being plundered.

  'The retaking of St. Michael's Mount by the General Arundell proved
  much to the content and satisfaction of his army at Bodmin,
  consisting of about 6,000 men, which they looked upon as a good omen
  of their future success, and the firstfruits of the valour and conduct
  of their General. Whereupon the confederates daily increased his army
  with great numbers of men from all parts, who listed themselves under
  his banner, which was not only pourtrayed, but by a cart brought into
  the field for their encouragement, viz., a pyx under its canopy;
  that is to say, the vessel containing the Roman host, or sacramental
  sacrifice, or body of Christ, together with crosses, banners,
  candlesticks, holy bread and water, to defend them from devils and
  the adverse power (see "Fox's Martyrology," p. 669), which was
  carried whersoever the camp removed, which camp grew so tremendously
  formidable at Bodmin, that Job Militon Esq., then Sheriff of Cornwall,
  with all the power of his bailiwick, durst not encounter with it
  during the time of the General's stay in that place, which gave him
  and his rebels opportunity to consult together for the good of their
  public interest, and to make out a declaration, or manifesto, of the
  justice of their cause and grounds of taking up arms; but the army, in
  general consisting of a mixed multitude of men of diverse professions,
  trades, and employments, could not easily agree upon the subject
  matter, and form thereof. Some would have no justice of the peace; for
  that generally they were ignorant of the laws, and could not construe
  or English a Latin bill of indictment without the clerk of the peace's
  assistance, who imposed upon them, with other attorneys, for gain,
  wrong sense, and judgment--besides, in themselves, they were corrupt
  and partial in determining cases; others would have no lawyers nor
  attorneys, for that the one cheated the people in wrong advice or
  counsel, and the other of their money by extravagant bills of costs;
  others would have no court leets, or court-barons, for that the cost
  and expense in prosecuting an action at law therein was many times
  greater than the debt or profit. But generally it was agreed upon
  amongst them that no inclosure should be left standing, but that all
  lands should be held in common; yet what expedients should be found
  out and placed in the room of those several orders and degrees of men
  and officers none could prescribe.

  'However, the priests, rectors, vicars, and curates, the priors and
  monks, friars and other dissolved collegiates, hammered out seven
  articles of address for the King's Majesty, upon grant of which they
  declared their bodies, arms, and goods should all be at his disposal,

  'No. 1. That curates should administer baptism at all times of need,
  as well week days as holy days.

  '2. That their children might be confirmed by the Bishop.

  '3. That mass might be celebrated, no man communicating with the

  '4. That they might have reservation of the Lord's body in churches.

  '5. That they might have holy bread and water in remembrance of
  Christ's body and blood.

  '6. That priests might not be married.

  '7. That the six articles set forth by King Henry VIII. might be
  continued at least till the King came of age.

  'Now these six articles were invented by Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of
  Winchester (who was the bastard son of Lionel Woodvill, Bishop of
  Salisbury, by his concubine, Elizabeth Gardiner; the which Lionel
  was fifth son of Richard Woodvill, Earl Rivers, 1470), and therefore
  called his creed, viz.:

  '1. That the body of Christ is really present in the sacrament after

  '2. That the sacrament cannot truly be administered under both kinds.

  '3. That priests entered into holy orders might not marry.

  '4. That vows of chastity entered into upon mature deliberation, were
  to be kept.

  '5. That private masses were not to be omitted.

  '6. That auricular confession was necessary in the Church of God.

  'To these demands of the Cornish rebels the King so far condescended
  as to send an answer in writing to every article, and also a general
  pardon to every one of them, if they would lay down arms. (See Fox's
  "Acts and Monuments," Book IX. p. 668). But, alas! those overtures
  of the King were not only rejected by the rebels, but made them
  the more bold and desperate; especially finding themselves unable
  longer to subsist upon their own estates and money, or the bounty of
  the country, which hitherto they had done. The General therefore
  resolved, as the fox who seldom chucks at home, to prey upon other
  men's goods and estates farther off for his army's better subsistence.
  Whereupon he dislodged from Bodmin, and marched with his soldiers
  into Devon, where Sir Peter Carew, Knight, was ready to obstruct
  their passage with his posse comitatus. But when they saw the order
  and discipline of the rebels, and that their army consisted of above
  6,000 fighting-men, desperate, well armed, and prepared for battle,
  the Sheriff and his troops permitted them quietly to pass through
  the heart of that country to Exeter, where the citizens, upon notice
  of their approaches (as formerly done), shut the gates, and put
  themselves in a posture of defence.

  'Things being in this posture, the General, Arundell, summoned the
  citizens to deliver their town and castle to his dominion; but they
  sent him a flat denial. Whereupon, forthwith he ordered his men to
  fire the gates of the city, which accordingly they did; but the
  citizens on the inside supplied those fires with such quantities of
  combustible matter, so long till they had cast up a half-moon on
  the inside thereof, upon which, when the rebels attempted to enter,
  they were shot to death or cut to pieces. Their entrance being thus
  obstructed at the gates, they put in practice other expedients,
  viz., either to undermine the walls or blow them up with barrels of
  gunpowder, which they had placed in the same; but the citizens also
  prevented this their design, by countermining their mines and casting
  so much water on the places where their powder-barrels were lodged,
  that the powder would not take fire. Thus stratagems of war were daily
  practised between the besieged and besiegers to the great hurt and
  damage of each other.

  'King Edward being informed by his council of this siege, and that
  there was little or no dependance upon the valour and conduct of
  the Sheriff of Devon and his bailiwick to suppress this rebellion
  or raise the siege of Exeter, granted his commission to John Lord
  Russell, created Baron Russell of Tavistock by King Henry, and Lord
  High Admiral and Lord Privy Seal, an old experienced soldier who had
  lost an eye at the Siege of Montreuil in France, to be his General
  for raising soldiers to fight those rebels; who forthwith, pursuant
  thereto, raised a considerable army and marched them to Honiton; but
  when he came there he was informed that the enemy consisted of 10,000
  able fighting-men armed; which occasioned his halting there longer
  than he intended, expecting greater supplies of men, that were coming
  to his aid under conduct of the Lord Grey; which at length arrived
  and joined his forces, whereupon he dislodged from thence and marched
  towards Exeter; where, on the way, he had several sharp conflicts with
  the rebels with various success, sometimes the better and sometimes
  the worse; though at length after much fatigue of war, maugre all
  opposition and resistance of the rebels, he forced them to raise their
  siege, and entered the city of Exeter with relief, 6th August, 1549,
  after thirty-two days' siege, wherein the inhabitants had valiantly
  defended themselves, though in that extremity they were necessitated
  by famine to eat horses, moulded cloth, and bread made of bran; in
  reward of whose loyalty King Edward gave to the city for ever the
  Manor of Evyland, since sold by the city for making the river Exe

  'After raising the siege, as aforesaid, the General, Arundell, rallied
  his routed forces of rebels, and gave battle to the Lord Russell
  and the King's army with that inveterate courage, animosity, and
  resolution, that the greatest part of his men were slain upon the
  spot, others threw down their arms on mercy, the remainder fled,
  and were afterwards many of them taken and executed. Sir Anthony
  Kingston, Knight, a Gloucestershire man, after this rebellion, was
  made Provost-Marshal for executing such western rebels as could be
  taken, or were made prisoners in Cornwall and Devon, together with
  all such who had been aiders or assisters of them in that rebellion;
  upon whom, according to his power and office, he executed martial
  law with sport and justice (as Mr. Carew and other historians tell
  us); and the principal persons that have come to my knowledge, over
  whose misery he triumphed, was Boyer, the Mayor of Bodmin; Mayow of
  Clevyan, in St. Colomb Major, whom he hanged at the tavern sign-post
  in that town, of whom tradition saith his crime was not capital; and,
  therefore, his wife was advised by her friends to hasten to the town
  after the Marshal and his men, who had him in custody, and beg his
  life. Which, accordingly, she prepared to do, and to render herself
  the more amiable petitioner before the Marshal's eyes, this dame spent
  so much time in attiring herself and putting on her French hood, then
  in fashion, that her husband was put to death before her arrival. In
  like manner the Marshal hanged one John Payne, the Mayor, or Portreeve
  of St. Ives, on a gallows erected in the middle of that town, whose
  arms are still to be seen in one of the foreseats in that church, viz.
  in a plain field three pine-apples. Besides those he executed many
  more in other places in Cornwall, that had been actors, assisters,
  or promoters of this rebellion. Lastly, it is further memorable of
  this Sir Anthony Kingston, that in Sir John Heywood's chronicle he
  is taxed of extreme cruelty in doing his Marshal's office aforesaid.
  Of whom Fuller, in Gloucestershire, gives us this further account of
  him; that afterwards, in the reign of Queen Mary, being detected, with
  several others, of a design to rob her exchequer, though he made his
  escape and fled into his own country, yet there he was apprehended
  and taken into custody by a messenger, who was bringing him up to
  London in order to have justice done upon him for his crime; but he
  being conscious of his guilt, and despairing of pardon, so effectually
  poisoned himself that he died on the way, without having the due
  reward of his desert.

  'After the death of Humphrey Arundell, Governor of St. Michael's
  Mount, executed for treason as aforesaid, King Edward VI. sold or gave
  the government and revenues thereof to Job Militon, Esq., aforesaid,
  then Sheriff of Cornwall, during his life; but his son, dying without
  issue male, the government, by what title I know not, devolved upon
  the Bassets of Tihidy, from some of whom, as I am informed, it came by
  purchase to Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart., now in possession thereof.'

A contemporary account of Humphrey Arundell's execution in Mr. Richard
Howlett's 'Monumenta Franciscana,' vol. ii., 27th January, 1550,
states: 'Was drawne from the Tower of London vnto Tyborne iiii persons
(Humfre Avrnedelle, Bere Vynch, Chyffe, Homes), and there hangyd and
qwarterd, and their qwarteres sette abowte London on euery gatte; thes
was of them that dyd ryse in the West cuntre.'

It has already been observed that an attachment to the Roman Catholic
faith led many of the Arundells into trouble: as exemplifying this, I
have culled a few other instances from the pages of a writer belonging
to that Communion.

  'The next successor to the property' (a son of John Arundell, the
  friend of Father Cornelius), 'was indeed a great sufferer for
  conscience' sake. In a letter before me of F. Richard Blount, dated
  7th Nov., 1606, he says that Mr. Arundell, amongst others, had been
  forced to compound for the possession of his property by paying heavy
  fines to the Crown. He had been convicted of recusancy, but King James
  directed by his letters patent (20 Feb., 4 Jac. I., 1607) that none
  of Mr. Arundell's lands were to be seized so long as he paid £240 a
  year for not frequenting church,' etc.

  'George Arundell was another recusant (20 June, 34 Eliz., 1591), and
  paid a similar fine.

  'From a letter in the State Paper Office, dated 21 Oct., 1642, by a
  Parliamentarian, I make the following extract:

  '"Mr. Arundell hath the greatest forces here, and is able to raise
  more than half the gentlemen in Cornwall, and he alone was the first
  that began the rebellion there. There hath lately been landed at some
  creek in that county ten or more seminary priests, which are newly
  come out of Flanders, and harboured in Mr. Arundell's house.[29]
  They are merciless creatures, and there is a great way laid for the
  apprehension of them."

  'This gentleman had to suffer the sequestration of his estates for many
  years, and it cost him nearly £3,000 to get off at last.'

And the continued attachment of the Arundells to their ancient faith is
exemplified in an interesting manner, as we shall see further on, by
the conventual establishment still existing at Lanherne.

A few words will perhaps be expected as to the church, and the adjacent
former residence of the Arundells of Lanherne. The sylvan beauty of
the situation and its surroundings has already been adverted to, and
the church and churchyard, at least, are still worthy of their site;
but little remains of the once noble old mansion, of which Carew wrote:
'This said house of Lanherne is apportioned with a large scope of land,
which, while the owners there lived, was employed to frank hospitality.'

At MAWGAN CHURCH the fragments of the screen which separates the
nave and south aisle are carved with the arms of Arundell quartering
Carminow, and on the south side of the chancel are brass shields on
which the same arms are quartered with Archdekne, Arches, Carminow,
Denham, Durnford, Grenville, etc. At the east end of the aisle on
the screen are seven brass plates, 'chiefly inscribed with English
and Latin verses, admonitory to the reader and eulogistic of the
Arundells,' _e.g._:

    'What favour FORTUNE him affords, his landes and livings tell;
    Of brethren five, though youngst he were, to lyve yet had he well.
    His worthie house him worshipp gave, so famous ys that race;
    The familie of ARUNDELLS, well knowne in every place.
    And GRACE that woulde not be o'ercome gave him a godlye ende;
    A gyft wherebi his soule ys sure to glory to ascende.
    Where unto GRACE & GOD he yealds the price and prayse for aye;
    What FORTUNE or dame NATURE gave, DEATH having tane away.'

The transept, or Arundell chapel, was once used as a burial-place for
the nuns of the adjoining nunnery; it has a hagioscopic communication
with the chancel.

The following inscription on a brass, the chief portion of which is now
missing, has also been preserved:

  'Here under lyeth buryed Mary Arundell, the daughter of Syr John
  Arundell, Knight, with the body of Elizabeth, his wyfe, who decessed
  the 23 day of April, A.D. 1578; and in the fourty-nyne yere of her
  age. On whose soul God have mercye.

    'This virgin wyse, whose lampe with oyle repleat
      The bridegroom's call with burninge light attended;
    By following him hath won a worthye seate,
      And lyves for aye, though death this lyfe hath ended.'
        Etc.,              etc.,             etc.

Nearly the whole of the older Arundell brasses, which bore the names,
dates of death, and ages of the members of that family are not now
to be found in the church; one, a sort of palimpsest brass, bore
on one side an acrostic to the memory of Jane Arundell, and on the
other a representation of the Deity, and two other figures, probably
symbolical. This brass is said to have been removed to the nunnery at
the beginning of the present century.

LANHERNE HOUSE, formerly the manor-house of the Arundells, a
picturesque but gloomy structure, is now a Roman Catholic Carmelite
nunnery, 'by time unstricken, yet with ages hoar.' The south part of
the house is the most ancient part; it has stone-mullioned windows, and
a good doorway of Catacleuse stone.[30] The vane which still surmounts
the dome represents a wolf--the crest of the Trembleath Arundells.
About eighty years ago the building was assigned to sixteen nuns who
fled from the siege of Antwerp by the French during the revolutionary
wars; and their successors, now over twenty in number, continue to
occupy the buildings.


As the crow flies, Trerice, anciently Treres, as Carew informs us,
is about five miles south of Lanherne and about the same distance
from the mouth of the Gannel, one of whose tributary streamlets runs
round the slope on whose southern side still stands great part of the
handsome and extensive mansion of this branch of the family. It is
not the original building, dating as it does only from the year 1573;
but its charming and sheltered situation, 'its costly and commodious
dwellings,' the rich colours of the time-stained masonry, its huge
mullioned windows, and the magnificent proportions of its large and
lofty hall, stamp it as one of the few remaining mansions of the
Cornish gentry that speak of the wealth and power and hospitality of
the 'good old times.'

The county histories are almost silent as to the early seat of this
branch of the family; but there is no reason to doubt that its _site_
remains the same; and that Trerice was inhabited by an Arundell at
least so far back as the reign of Edward III.--one Ralph being here,
whilst his cousin (or perhaps his brother), Sir John, who married
Elizabeth Carminow, held sway at Lanherne.[32] Apropos of this marriage
into the powerful and wealthy family of Carminow, it is interesting to
note that in the Register of Walter de Stapeldon, Bishop of Exeter,
and founder of Exeter College, Oxon, we find that, in the year 1316,
'on the Monday before Michaelmas, our lord' (the Bishop) 'offered his
niece, Joan Kaignes, as wife to John de Arundell, son and heir of John
de Arundell defunct, who refused for the present; William Walle was
present.' Were John's affections already pledged to the fair Elizabeth?
The incident shows at least that the Bishop was desirous of forming an
alliance between one of his own relatives and a house so important as
that of Arundell.

Hals says that the Arundells of Trerice bore, at one time, the arms
of Lansladron, viz., sable, three chevrons argent; but that at length
they adopted the well-known coat of the family: sable, six swallows
argent--three, two, and one.

Leland, writing of the Arundells of Trerice, observes: 'This Arundale
giveth no part of the arms of the great Arundale of Lanheron, by St.
Columbe. But he told me that he thought he cam of the Arundales in
base Normandy, that were lordes of _Culy Castelle_;[33] that now is
descended to one Monseir de la Fontaine, a Frenchman, by heir generale.
This Arundale is caulid Arundale of Trerise, by a difference from
Arundale of Lanheron. Trerise is a lordship of his, a three or four
miles from Alein chirch.'

  'What Leland means,' observes Tonkin, 'by his first words I cannot
  imagine. The then owner of Trerise was _Sir John Arundell_, who could
  not tell him that his arms were different from Arundells of Lanhearn,
  since it is most certain that they constantly gave the same, viz.,
  the six swallows, and that without any difference or distinction, as
  not being well agreed on which was the elder family of the two; only,
  as it is before observed, Arundell of Trerice, the better to declare
  of what house he was, did always quarter the arms of Trerice with
  his own. Nay, further; as appeareth by a very fair pedigree of this
  family, drawn up by Mr. Camden himself, which was lately in the Lord
  Arundell's library, where I had the favour to peruse it, the ancestor
  of the Lanhearn family, which came over with William the Conqueror,
  left a widow, afterwards married to the ancestor of Arundell of
  Trerice, that came over at the same time; so that both these families
  are descended from that same woman. But as she was first married to
  the ancestor of Arundell of Lanhearne, it is supposed from thence
  that he was descended from the elder brother, and the other from the
  younger, as being both of the same stock; which is further confirmed,
  for that Arundell of Lanhearn had always the greater estate, and made
  the greater figure in their country, whence they were called the
  _Great Arundells_, though this of Trerice was likewise very eminent.'

Carew, who married into the family of the Tolverne Arundells, and who
may therefore be assumed to be of some authority in the matter, does
not go so far back as this for the rise of the Arundells of Trerice. He
says, 'In Edward III.'s reign, Ralph Arundel matched with the heir of
this land and name; since which time his issue hath there continued,
and increased their livelihood by sundry like inheritors as St. John,
Jew, Durant, Thurlebear,' etc. He adds, 'Precisely to rip up the whole
pedigree were more tedious than behooveful; and therefore I will only
(as by the way) touch some few points which may serve, in part, to show
what place and regard they have borne in the commonwealth.'

I venture to think that, so far as modern readers are concerned, it
will be well to adopt Carew's view; and that the more especially on
account of the many difficulties which beset the case, as already
mentioned at the commencement of this chapter. I do not therefore
propose to advert to the Sir Oliver de Arundell of Carhayes of the time
of Henry III., who married a lady of the same patronymic as himself,
and who indeed was probably the true founder of the Trerice branch;
but will at once mention, as the first historical representative of
this part of the family, a Sir John Arundell of Trerice, Sheriff of
Cornwall, who, early in the fifteenth century, viz. in the seventh year
of Henry V., accompanied the Earl of Devon on a sea voyage 'in defence
of the realm;' no doubt the same knight who was in the following reign
addressed by the Earl of Huntingdon--Lieutenant-General to John, Duke
of Bedford, Constable and Admiral of England--as 'Vice-Admiral of
Cornwall.' I do not, however, feel certain whether it was he or his
son (but more probably the latter) whose curious story has been thus
narrated by Hals and by Carew.

  Hals says, 'As soon as King Edward IV. heard of the surprise of
  St. Michael's Mount by the Earl of Oxford, he issued forth his
  proclamation, proclaiming him, and all his adherents, traitors, and
  then consulted how to regain both to his obedience; and in order
  thereto, he forthwith sent Sir John Arundell of Trerice, Knight, then
  Sheriff of Cornwall, to reduce and besiege the same by his posse
  comitatus; which gentleman, pursuant to his orders and by virtue of
  his office, soon rose a considerable army of men and soldiers within
  his bailiwick, and marched with them towards St. Michael's Mount,
  where, being arrived, he sent a trumpeter to the Earl with a summons
  of surrender of that garrison to him for King Edward, upon mercy;
  especially for that in so doing, in all probability he would prevent
  the effusion of much Christian blood. To this summons of the trumpeter
  the Earl sent a flat denial; saying further that, rather than he would
  yield the fort on those terms, himself and those with him were all
  resolved to lose their lives in defence thereof. Whereupon the Sheriff
  commanded his soldiers, being very numerous on all parts, to storm
  the Mount and reduce it by force; but alas, maugre all their attempts
  (of this kind), the besieged so well defended every part of this
  rocky mountain, that in all places the Sheriff's men were repulsed
  with some loss; and the besieged issued forth from the outer gate and
  pursued them with such violence that the said Sir John Arundell and
  some others were slain upon the sands at the foot of the Mount, to the
  great discouragement of the new-raised soldiers, who quickly departed
  thence, having lost their leader, leaving the besieged in better
  heart than they found them, as much elevated at their good success as
  themselves were dismayed at their bad fortune.'

  'Sir John Arundell,' as Mr. Carew, in his 'Survey of Cornwall,' tells
  us, p. 119, 'had long before been told, by some fortune-teller, that
  he would be slain on the sands; wherefore, to avoid that destiny, he
  removed from Efford, near Stratton, on the sands, where he dwelt, to
  Trerice, far off from the sea-sands; yet by this misfortune fulfilled
  the prediction in another place.'

The connexion of this family with Stratton and Bude is further
indicated by the churchwardens' accounts of Stratton Church, where
knells were rung in 1526 for the _Arundells_; they are also recorded as
having presented vestments to this church.

That the Arundells of Trerice long continued in Royal favour is evident
from the fact that one of the family--a Sir John, a name to which all
branches of the Arundells seem to have been extremely partial--received
an autograph letter from the Queen of Henry VII., dated 12th October,
1488, wherein her Majesty informs the knight that she has been safely
delivered of a prince.

We now arrive at some Arundells who make a greater figure in history
than any of those who preceded them; and who, like their forefathers,
seem to have stood well at Court. For in 1520, we find King Henry VIII.
writing to Sir John Arundell of Trerice, his Esquire of the body--'Jack
of Tilbury'--that he should give his attendance at Canterbury about the
entertainment of the Emperor, whose landing on the English coast was
then shortly expected.

Three years afterwards the same knight took prisoner Duncan Campbell,
a notorious Scottish pirate, in a fight at sea, 'as our chronicle
mentioneth;'[34] concerning which, 'I thought it not amiss,' says
Carew, 'to insert a letter sent him from Thomas, Duke of Norfolk (to
whom he then belonged), that you may see the style of those days.


  '"Right wellbeloued, in our hearty wise we commend us unto you,
  letting you wit, that by your seruant, this bearer, we haue receyued
  your letters, dated at Truru the 5 day of this moneth of April, by
  which we perceyue the goodly, valiant and ieopardous enterprise, it
  hath pleased God of late to send you, by the taking of Duncane Camel,
  and other Scots, on the sea; of which enterprise we haue made relation
  vnto the King's Highnesse, who is not a little ioyous and glad, to
  heare of the same, and hath required vs instantly in his name, to giue
  you thanks for your said valiant courage, and bolde enterprise in
  the premises: and by these our letters, for the same your so doing,
  we doe not onely thanke you in our most effectual wise, but also
  promise you, that during our life, we will be glad to aduance you to
  any preferment we can. And ouer this, you shall understand, our said
  Soueraigne Lord's pleasure is that you shall come and repaire to his
  Highnes, with diligence in your owne person, bringing with you the
  said Captiue, and the master of the Scottish ship; at which time,
  you shall not onely be sure of his especiall thanks by mouth, and to
  know his further pleasure therein, but also of us to further any your
  reasonable pursuits vnto his Highnes, or any other, during our life,
  to the best of our power, accordingly. Written at Lambeth, the 11th
  day of Aprill aforesaid

     '"Superscribed To our right wellbeloved Servant

It is singular that (so far as I am aware) there is so little recorded
in history of an action to which so much importance was evidently
attributed at the time of its performance.

  'And in 35th Henry VIII.,' continues Carew, 'the King wrote to Sir
  John Arundell of Trerice, touching his discharge from the Admiralty
  of the fleet, lately committed unto him, and that he should deliver
  the ship which he sailed in, to Sir Nicholas Poynts. The same year the
  King wrote to him again, that he should attend him in his wars against
  the French King, with his servants, tenants, and others, within his
  rooms and offices, especially horsemen. Other letters from the King
  there are, whose date is not expressed, neither can I by any means
  hunt it out. One to his servant, John Arundell of Trerice, Esquire,
  willing him not to repair with his men, and to wait in the rearward of
  his army, as he had commanded him, but to keep them in a readiness for
  some other service. Another to Sir John Arundell of Trerice, praying
  and desiring him to the Court, the Quindene of St. Hillary next,
  wheresoever the King shall then be within the realm.

  'There are also letters, directed to Sir John Arundell of Trerice,
  from the King's Counsel; by some of which it appeareth, that (temp.
  Edward VI.) he was Vice-Admiral of the King's ships in the west seas;
  and by others that he had the goods and lands of certain rebels given
  him, for his good service against them.

  'Again the Queen, 1st of Mary (1553), wrote to Sir John Arundell
  of Trerice, praying and requiring him that he, with his friends
  and neighbours, should see the Prince of Spain most honourably
  entertained, if he fortuned to land in Cornwall. She also wrote to
  him (being then Sheriff of Cornwall, 2nd Mary) touching the election
  of the Knights of the Shire, and the burgesses for the Parliament.
  She likewise once more wrote to him (2nd and 3rd Philip and Mary)
  that (notwithstanding the instructions to the justices) he should
  muster, and furnish with servants, tenants, and others, under his rule
  and offices, with his friends, for the defence and quieting of the
  country, withstanding of enemies, and any other employment; as also to
  certify what force of horse and foot he could arm.

  'These few notes,' Carew says, 'I have culled out of many others.
  Sir John Arundell, last mentioned, by his first wife, the co-heir
  of Bevill, had issue Roger, who died in his father's lifetime; and
  Katherine, married to Prideaux. Roger, by his wife Trendenham, left
  behind him a son called John. Sir John's second wife was daughter
  to Erisy, and widow to Gourlyn, who bare him John, his succeeder
  in Trerice, and much other fair revenues, whose due commendation,
  because another might better deliver than myself, who touch him as
  nearly as Tacitus did Agricola, I will, therefore, bound the same
  within his desert, and only say this, which all who knew him, shall
  testify with me; that, of his enemies, he would take no wrong, nor
  on them any revenge; and being once reconciled, embraced them,
  without scruple or remnant of gall. Over his kindred, he held a wary
  and charey care, which bountifully was expressed, when occasion so
  required: reputing himself not only principal of the family, but a
  general father to them all. Private respects ever, with him, gave
  place to the common good: as for frank, well-ordered, and continual
  hospitality, he outwent all show of competence: spare, but discreet of
  speech, better conceiving than delivering; equally stout, and kind,
  not upon lightness of humour, but soundness of judgment; inclined to
  commiseration, ready to relieve. Briefly, so accomplished in virtue,
  that those, who for many years together waited in nearest place about
  him, and, by his example, learned to hate untruth, have often deeply
  protested, how no curious observation of theirs could ever descry in
  him any one notorious vice. By his first foreremembered wife he had
  four daughters, married to Carew (the writer himself), Summaster,
  Cosowarth, and Denham: by his latter, the daughter of Sir Robert
  Denis, two sons and two daughters; the elder, even from his young
  years, began where his father left, and with so temperate a course,
  treadeth just in his footsteps, that he inheriteth, as well his love
  as his living. The younger brother followeth the Netherland wars, with
  so well-liked a carriage, that he outgoeth his age and time of service
  in preferment. Their mother equalleth her husband's former children,
  and generally all his kindred, in kind usage, with her own, and is by
  them all, again, so acknowledged and respected.'

But here we are anticipating a little, and must return to the hero
of the engagement with the Scotch pirate. The victor was at length
himself vanquished by the all-conquering one; and Sir John's monument
is still to be seen in Stratton Church, in which place he was buried,
probably either from his connexion with the Grenvilles[35]--great
patrons of that church as well as of all the other churches in the
neighbourhood--or else, perhaps on account of his family having resided
at Ebbingford (Efford) near Bude Haven, hard by. Indeed, one Raynulfe
Arundell was lord of Albaminster and Stratton so early as the days of
Henry III.

On Sir John Arundell's tomb in Stratton Church he is represented in
brass, lying between his two wives--Mary Beville, of Talland, and
Juliana Erisey, of Erisey. Below the feet of his first wife stand
the sons, Richard, John, and Roger; under the second are ranged the
daughters, 'Margereta, Marie, Jane, Phelipe, Grace, Margeri, and
Annes.' The inscription is:

  'Here lyeth buryed Sir John Arundell, Treryse, Knyght, who, praysed be
  God, dyed in the Lorde the xxv daye of November in the yeare of oure
  Lorde God a MCCCCCLXI., and in the III^{xx} and VII yeare of his age,
  whose soule now resteth with the faythfull Chrystians in our Lorde.'

Carew has told us something of 'Jack of Tilbury's' son John, but only
makes a short reference to a Sir Thomas Arundell, who I cannot help
thinking must have been one of the Trerice family, although some
authorities refer him to the Lanherne branch. He was, together with Sir
John Tregonwell and others, appointed, in 1535, to be a Commissioner
for the suppression of all religious houses 'of the sume of ccc marks
and under;' and the rough reception which they met with at the Priory
of St. Nicholas, Exeter, may be read in Dr. Oliver's 'Monasticon
Diocesis Exoniensis,' p. 116.

He had been one of Wolsey's Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, was made
Knight of the Bath at Anne Boleyn's coronation, and was appointed
Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall, 1549.

He and his elder brother, John, were committed to the Tower (1549-50)
for implication in the Humphry Arundell rebellion in January, but
were released October, 1551. He was, however, re-committed to the
Tower in the same month, accused of being concerned in the Duke of
Somerset's conspiracy, wherein, Bishop Pouet says, 'Arundell conspired
with that ambitious and subtil Alcibiades, the Earl of Warwick, after
Duke of Northumberland, to pull down the good Duke of Somerset, King
Edward's uncle and protector.' But, as Mr. Doyne Bell points out, in
his 'History of the Church of St. Peter ad Vincula, in the Tower,' if
this be correct, it is singular that he should have been afterwards
re-arrested for conspiring with Somerset against Northumberland.

He was brought to trial with Sir Ralf Vane, and tried on the following
day, viz., 29th January, 1551-52, when Machyn records that 'the quest
qwytt ym of tresun, and cast hym of felonye, to be hanged.' Mr. Perne
(probably the Prior of the Black Friars) 'was allowed to resort to Sir
Thomas to instruct hym to dye well.'

We read in Mr. Richard Howlett's 'Monumenta Franciscana,' that, in the
'Chronicon ab anno 1189 ad 1556, ex registro Fratrum Minorum Londoniæ,'
under date 26th February, 1552, is recorded that on that day, 'the
wyche was Fryday, was hongyd at Towre-hylle sir Myllys Partryge,
knyghte, the wyche playd with Kynge Henry the viii^{te} at dysse for
the grett belfery that stode in Powlles churche-yerde; the wyche was
callyd the gret belfery; and Sir Raffe Vane, theys too ware hongyd.
Also sir Myhylle Stonnappe and sir Thomas Arndelle, theys too ware
be-heddyd at that same tyme. And theis iiii. Knyghtes confessyd that
the war neuer gylte for soche thynges as was layd vn-to their charge,
and dyde in that same oppinioun.' He was buried in the chapel of St.
Peter ad Vincula, in the Tower.

The Commission for seizing on the possessions in Cornwall and Devon
of Sir Thomas Arundell, 'rebel and traitor,' is preserved amongst
the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum (433, art. 1557); and an
interesting catalogue of his plate, together with a list of that
portion which was returned to his wife, Margaret, on 11th June, 1557,
will be found in the Add. MSS. 5751.

I think, but am by no means clear on the point, that this is the
Arundell to whom Henry VIII. granted, on 6th June, 1545, Scilly, and
the monastery of Tavistock, and to whom, in the same year, the King
wrote a remarkable letter concerning the Papists in Cornwall, which is
preserved amongst the MSS. at Westminster.

Carew thus refers to his fate: 'Sir Thomas Arundel, a younger brother
of Lanhearn House, married the sister to Queen Katharine Howard, and in
Edward VI.'s time was made a Privy Counsellor; but cleaving to the Duke
of Somerset, he lost his head with him.' But Carew does not mention, to
the credit of his elder brother John, how (as we read in T. Wright's
'Queen Elizabeth and Her Times,' i. 507-8) the Earl of Bedford, writing
to Lord Burghley from Truro, on 3rd August, 1574, reports that, the
Spanish navy being now ready for sea, Sir John Arundell and others
met him eight miles from Plymouth, and accompanied him throughout his
visit to Cornwall; the object of which seems to have been an inspection
of the defences. The Earl reports that he found Sir John 'ready and
serviceable in all things.'

Perhaps the most interesting member of the family is the man who now
appears upon the scene, the grandson of 'Jack of Tilbury,' and son of
the foregoing Sir John. I mean 'John for the King,' the valiant hero
who held Pendennis Castle so stoutly for Charles I. He was the son
of John Arundell of Trerice, by his second wife, Gertrude Dennys, of
Holcombe; and Richard Carew, the historian of Cornwall, married his
half-sister, Julian.

Unless I am much mistaken, he was present--or if not he, it must have
been his son Richard, who was also at Edgehill and at Lansdowne--with
most of the Cornish gentry, including Sir Bevil Grenville, Trevanion,
and others, at the victory obtained by the King's forces over the army
of the Parliament, in 1623, on Braddock Downs--a fight which I have
endeavoured to describe in the chapter on the Grenvilles.

At any rate, twenty years later, Colonel John Arundell, of Trerice, in
Newlyn,[36] was appointed Governor of Pendennis Castle, in succession
to Sir Nicholas Slanning, who fell at the siege of Bristol. According
to some accounts he was then sixty-seven years of age, according to
others eighty-seven; but the former is no doubt correct. Here, in the
following year, he harboured for a night or two the unfortunate Queen
Henrietta Maria, on her flight into France from Exeter (where she had
just been confined of a prince) before the army of the Earl of Essex.
The then Sheriff of Cornwall thus writes to his wife, Lady Francis
Basset,[37] on the occasion:

                                  'This thyrd of July, 1644.


  'Here is the woefullest spectacle my eyes yet ever look'd on; the
  most worne and weak pitifull creature in ye world, the poore Queene
  shifting for one hour's liffe longer.'

And here John Arundell also received the Prince, afterwards Charles
II., in February, 1646. A room in the castle still retains the name of
the King's Room.

The story of the siege has been admirably detailed by Captain Oliver,
R.A., in his 'Pendennis and St. Mawes: an Historical Sketch of Two
Cornish Castles.' On the 17th March, 1646, Fairfax took up his quarters
at Arwenack House, the ancient seat of the Killigrews, as we shall see
in the account of that family; the Killigrews themselves were within
the castle walls. To Fairfax's summons to deliver up Pendennis, the
gallant old Arundell gave, as might have been expected, 'a peremptory
denyall,' saying (according to a contemporary, and not a friendly,
account) that 'hee was 70 yeares old, and could not have many days to
live, and therefore would not in his old yeares blemish his honour in
surrendering thereof, and would rather be found buried in the ruines
thereof, than commit so vilde a treason.' And so, with his brave
garrison, 'all desperate persons and good soldiers ... many very
considerable men ... and the violentest enemies that the Parliament
hathe in this kingdom,' Arundell prepared to withstand the siege.
Fairfax's haughty summons demanded a reply within _two hours_, and
this was the answer he got--(it is preserved among the Clarendon State

  '_Colonel John Arundell to Sir Thomas Fairfax._


  'The Castle was committed to my Government by his Majesty, who by
  our Laws hath the command of the Castles and Forts of this Kingdom;
  and my age of seventy summons me hence shortly. Yet I shall desire
  no other testimony to follow my departure than my conscience to God
  and loyalty to his Majesty, whereto I am bound by all the obligations
  of nature, duty, and oath. I wonder you demand the Castle without
  authority from his Majesty; which, if I should render, I brand myself
  and my posterity with the indelible character of treason. And, having
  taken less than _two minutes_ resolution, I resolve that I will here
  bury myself before I deliver up this Castle to such as fight against
  his Majesty, and that nothing you can threaten is formidable to me in
  respect of the loss of loyalty and conscience.

     'Your Servant,
           'of Trerise.

  '18 March, 1646.'

The story of the five months' siege, and how Pendennis was the last
fortress but one (Raglan) to surrender to the Parliament, are matters
of history; the besieged felt that the eyes of England were upon them,
and did not flinch from the terrible privations which they were about
to suffer. Two other summonses to surrender were made in the following
month, with the same result as before. But at length, after many of the
horses had been killed 'for beefe,' the garrison was reduced to the
last extremity, and honourable articles of surrender were at length
agreed to on the 16th August, 1646. Then the brave little band marched
out 'with their Horses, compleat Arms, and other Equipages, according
to their present or past Commands or Qualities, with flying Colours,
Trumpets sounding, Drums beating, Matches lighted at both ends, Bullets
in their Mouths,' and so on;--every man of them, starved and ragged as
they all were, like their veteran leader, 'game to the toes.'[38]

Clarendon too (book x., par. 73) tells how they 'refused all summons,
nor admitted any treaty till all their provisions were so near consumed
that they had not victual left for four and twenty hours; and then they
treated, and carried themselves in the treaty with that resolution and
unconcernedness that the enemy concluded they were in no straits, and
so gave them the conditions they proposed, which were as good as any
garrison in England had accepted. This castle,' the historian goes
on to say, 'was defended by the Governor thereof, John Arundel, of
Trerice, in Cornwall, an old gentleman of near four score years of age,
and one of the best estates and interest in that country, who, with the
assistance of his son Richard Arundel (who was then a colonel in the
army, and a stout and diligent officer, and was by the King, after his
return, made a baron,[39] Lord Arundel of Trerice, in memory of his
father's services, and his own eminent behaviour throughout the war),
maintained and defended the same to the last extremity.' The estates of
Richard Arundell, which had been confiscated, were restored to him on
his being created a baron.

A letter from the King, in the possession of Mr. Rashleigh, of
Menabilly (quoted by Captain Oliver), still further illustrates the
high place which the Arundells held in the esteem of the first Charles.
Writing to Sir William Killigrew, who had solicited the King that the
reversion of the Government of Pendennis Castle should be promised to
the above-mentioned Richard Arundell, Charles says:


  'Your suite unto me that I would conferre upon Mr. Arundell of
  Trerise Eldest sonne the reversion after his father of the government
  of Pendennis Castle which I had formerly bestowed upon you,[40] is
  so great a testimonye of your affection to my service, and of your
  preferring the good of that before any Interest of your Owne that I
  have thought fitt to lette you knowe in this particular way, how well
  I take it, and that my conferring that place according to your desire
  shall bee an earnest unto you of my intentions to recompence and
  reward you in a better (kind?).

       'Your assured friend,
           'CHARLES R.'

  'Oxford the 12th
    'Jan. 1643.'

And accordingly in 1662 Richard Arundell, who was present at the siege
of Pendennis, and whom, by the way, Clarendon used to address as his
'dear Dick,' succeeded Sir Peter Killigrew in the governorship of the
Castle, doubtless discharging the office with ability; but I do not
find anything noteworthy during his tenure of the office, except,
perhaps, that when the oath of supremacy was administered in 1666
(after the great fire of London) to Pendennis, as well as to many other
garrisons, one man alone in that castle, and he, one of Lord Arundell's
own servants, and a Roman Catholic, refused to take it.

Some authorities have stated that Richard Lord Arundell was succeeded
in the governorship by his son, Lord John; but this is, to say the
least, doubtful.

Pity, as it now seems to us, that gallant old John Arundell did not
live long enough to see the King 'enjoy his own again,' and to receive
the honours which, however, as we have seen, were ultimately conferred
upon his son and successor. The capture of Pendennis and the final
loss of the King's cause nearly ruined old John Arundell also; and it
is said that he was even reduced to crave assistance from Cromwell
himself, urging that the Trerice Arundells 'had once the honour to
stand in some friendship, or even kinship, with your noble family.'
The old hero was buried at Duloe, where, until lately, his monument
might have been seen. Well would he have deserved a promised barony
or any honours that might have been bestowed upon him, for he and his
family served their King to the utmost of their means, four of his sons
took up arms in the royal cause, and the two elder were King's men in
the House of Commons. The eldest was killed at the head of his troop,
whilst charging and driving back a sally at Plymouth in 1643; and
Richard, the second son, the first Baron Arundell of Trerice, probably
was at Edgehill and at Lansdowne, as well as at Pendennis.

The Arundells of Trerice became an extinct family by the death of
the fourth baron, John, who died in 1768, when the estates passed to
William Wentworth, his wife's nephew, who re-settled them, and they
eventually became the property of their present possessor, Sir Thomas
Dyke Acland, Bart., M.P.

A writer in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1829 (xcix. pt. 2, p.
215) observed that at that time the legal representatives of the
Lords Arundell of Trerice were Mr. I. T. P. Bettesworth Trevanion,
of Carhayes in Cornwall, and the Honble. Ada Byron, daughter of the
poet--'Ada! sole daughter of my house and heart'--they being the
descendants of the body of Anne, or Agnes, the only sister of Richard,
the first Baron Arundell, that left issue. Yet it should perhaps also
be recorded how another Arundell, descended from the Trerice stock,
served his country in a useful, if not in so distinguished a capacity
as did some of his ancestors; for the Honble. Richard Arundell, an
uncle of the last baron, was M.P. for Knaresborough, was Clerk of
the Pipe, Surveyor of Works, and Master and Warden of the Mint, and
a Commissioner of the Treasury. He married the Lady Frances Manners,
a daughter of the Duke of Rutland, and died, _sine prole_, in 1759.
Walpole tells how Lady Arundell, during the earthquake panic of 1750,
was one of those ladies who fled out of town (to avoid it) some ten
miles off, where they were to play brag till five in the morning,
and then came back to town, 'I suppose' (says Walpole) 'to look
for the bones of their husbands and families under the rubbish.'
'Earthquake-gowns' were worn by ladies during this panic--_i.e._,
gowns made of some warm materials in which they could sit up all night
out of doors.


Whilst I write the following lines, there lies before me an extremely
rare, if not unique, MS. chart of Falmouth Haven and its tributary
waters. It was made by one Baptista Boazio in 1597, and on it is
marked, 'Tolverne Place, Mr. John Arondell.' The chart is of peculiar
interest, inasmuch as, in addition to the ordinary information
contained in documents of this nature, it gives the names of the
occupants of the principal houses at the time. Thus we find a
'Buscowen' at Tregothnan (then called Buscowen House), a 'Carminow'
at Vintangollan, a 'Bonithon' at Cariklew (Carclew), a 'Trefusis' at
Trefusis, and so on. King Harry's (or rather Henry's) Passage (so
named on the chart) and the Tolverne Ferry are also shown on this map;
far more important passages of course in those days, when one of the
main thoroughfares from the eastern to the western parts of Cornwall,
through Tregony, Ruan-lani-horne and Philleigh, crossed the Fal at this

Tolverne is shown on the map as a place of some importance, as it
doubtless was in those days; for here (if anywhere in Cornwall) Henry
VIII. had, more than fifty years before the date of the map, probably
stayed on his visit of inspection to the two castles of Pendennis and
St. Mawes at the mouth of the haven, hard by, which that monarch (as
Leland's inscriptions on the masonry record) was deeply interested in
making secure against a foreign enemy.

Tolverne is now merely a substantial farmhouse. We are indebted to
Carew for the following picture of the place, contemporary with the
map, as it stood in his time nearly three hundred years ago: 'Amongst
all of the houses upon that side the river, _Talverne_, for pleasant
prospect, large scope, and other housekeeping commodities, challengeth
the pre-eminence. It was given to a younger brother of Lanhearne, for
some six or seven descents past, and hath bred gentlemen of good worth
and calling; amongst whom I may not forget the late kind and valiant
Sir John Arundell, who matched with Godolphin, nor John, his vertuous
and hopeful succeeding son, who married with Carew.' It will be
remembered also that Richard Carew himself married an Arundell.

Philleigh was their church, as Mawgan was that of the Lanherne
Arundells, and Newlyn East that of the Arundells of Trerice; and
the transept of Philleigh is still called the Tolverne or Falmouth
Aisle; but no traces of Arundell monuments are now to be found
there;--although C. S. Gilbert, in his history of Cornwall, states
that in one of the windows there was a shield bearing the arms of the
family. Yet, so early as 1383, the connexion of the family with Church
affairs in the parish is shown by the fact that, in that year, Ralph
Soor, or Le Sore, obtained a license from the Bishop of Exeter for
saying mass in his chapel in his manor-house of Tolferne; and that a
Sir John Arundell of Trembleth[41] married Joane le Soore of Tolverne,
in the reign of Edward I., two or three generations before this.[42]

The Arundells do not, however, seem to have regularly established
themselves at Tolverne until a son of Sir John of Lanherne and his wife
Annora Lambourne--Sir Thomas Arundell of Tolverne--settled here with
his wife, Margery Lerchdekne. They had no children, and, on the lady's
death, Sir Thomas took unto himself a second wife, Elizabeth Paulton,
from whom the Tolverne Arundells may be said to have descended. Sir
Thomas himself died in 1443; but I do not know where he was buried;
probably at Philleigh.

Of the lives of the Tolverne Arundells, whose current seems to
have been as tranquil as that of the sylvan Fal, which ebbed and
flowed round their domain, I find little to record, except that they
intermarried with many of the old Cornish families--with the Courtneys
of Boconnoc, with Reskymer, Trelawny, Carminow, St. Aubyn, their
neighbour Trefusis, Chamond, Godolphin, and, as we have seen, Carew.
We have traces of the will of _Thomas Arundell, Esq._, of Talverne,
dated 22nd May, 1552, which shows that he possessed tenements in Truro
borough and elsewhere, also the passage and passage-boat of Talverne.
The inventory of his property was sworn at £224 5s. 9d. There is also
extant the will of John Arundell, 7th February, 1598, but it contains
little of interest, except that he bequeaths to his mother his 'little
guilt sack-cup with a cover,' and that his executors were Richard Carew
of Antony, and Richard Trevanion of St. Gerrans.

One of the sons of the latter Arundell, namely Thomas, who was knighted
by James I., sold Tolverne; having seriously impaired his fortune, it
is said, by endeavouring to discover an imaginary island in America,
called 'Old Brazil;' he afterwards lived at Truthall in the parish of
Sithney. One of the Truthall Arundells, John, was Colonel of Horse
for Charles II., and a Deputy-Governor of Pendennis Castle under his
relative Richard, Lord Arundell of Trerice. He was buried at Sithney
on 25th May, 1671; but I have hitherto been unable to trace anything
further of interest of his history, or of that of his descendants. One
of the latest members of this branch married William Jago, of Wendron,
whose children took the name and arms of Arundell in 1815; and it may
be added that Hals the historian descended from the Arundells by the
female line.


The story of the Arundells of Cornwall is nearly told. There were, as
I intimated at the commencement of this chapter, some minor branches,
who perhaps deserve a passing notice: the most noteworthy of whom
appears to be the branch that settled at the manor[43] and barton of
Menadarva (== the hill by the water), in the parish of Illogan, near
the sea-coast, and about three miles north-west of Camborne. This
branch seems to have been founded by Robert, a natural son of that Sir
John Arundell of Trerice, Vice-Admiral of Cornwall, 'Jack of Tilbury,'
who died in the third year of Elizabeth's reign. Robert took to wife
Elizabeth Clapton, and they had numerous descendants.

I must once more be indebted to Hals, for the following bit of gossip
about the Arundells of Menadarva: 'The last gentleman of this family
dying without issue male, his sisters married to Tresahar and others,
became for a time, possessed of this lordship; but it happened that
a brother of theirs also, who was a merchant-factor in Spain, who
married an innkeeper's widow there, in Malaga or Seville, of English
extraction, was said to be dead without issue; but it seems, before his
death, had issue by her an infant son, who was bred up in Spain till he
came of age, without knowledge of his relations aforesaid; who being
brought into England with his mother, temp. William III., delivered
ejectments upon the barton and manor of Menadarva and the occupants
thereof, as heir-at-law to Arundell, and brought down a trial upon the
same at Lanceston, in this county, where, upon the issue, it appeared,
upon the oaths of Mr. Delliff, and other Spanish merchants of London,
that the said heir was the legitimate son of Mr. Arundell, aforesaid,
of Spain, and born under coverture or marriage. He obtained a verdict
and judgment thereon for the same, and is now in possession thereof.
He married Tremanheer of Penzance, and hath issue. The arms of this
family are the same as those of the Arundells of Trerice, with due

An offshoot, as I take him to be, of the Menadarva Arundells, one
Francis, who was born about the year 1620, is said to have settled at
Trengwainton, near Penzance, where they lived for some generations; and
one of them, Francis Arundell, served with some distinction on the side
of the Parliament during the Civil War, ranking as captain. I fancy
it must be his son who mourned in Latin verse, after the fashion of
the time, the deaths of two Queens of England, while, as a Commoner of
Trinity College, Cambridge, he was under the tuition of Isaac Barrow.

Yet another minor branch of the Arundells remains to be noticed, viz.
a younger branch of the Arundells of Lanherne, descended from that Sir
John Arundell who married Elizabeth Danet, of Danet's Hall. They had
their seat at Trevithick, some two miles west of the town of St. Columb
Major, and not much farther from Lanherne itself. The representative
of the family who was alive at the time of the Herald's Visitation in
1620, was named Thomas, who married Rachel, the daughter of Sir Giles
Montpesson, Knight, and who, Hals tell us, died 'without issue, but not
without wasting a great part of his estate.'

Now, to adopt a metaphor of Sir Humphry Davy's, at length the great
stream of the Arundells of Cornwall, like some mighty river losing
itself among the sands as it approaches the ocean shore, becomes so
divided that we can no longer easily trace its course. After the names
and dates to which we have been referring, no Arundell of distinction
seems to have arisen in Cornwall; and their places soon 'knew them no
more.' They became scattered throughout the county,[44] and by the
help of the Bishop of Exeter's transcripts, and the Parish Registers
of Camborne, St. Erme, St. Ewe, Falmouth, Fowey, Gulval, Mawnan,
Menheniot, Mevagissey, Sheviock, and Sithney, we find that down to
the year 1725 there were still indeed Arundells in Cornwall being
christened, dying, marrying,--but no longer 'great Arundells' as of
yore: in fact, the entry in the year 1725, in the St. Erme Register,
merely records the baptism of Charles, the son of Richard Arundell, 'a
day labourer.'

Yet, by a strange freak of fortune, not only did the female line
continue, but one of the Arundells--William by name--married nearly
two and a quarter centuries ago, Dorothy, a daughter of that Theodore
Palæologus[45] who was buried in Landulph Church in 1636. She is
described in the Parish Register as being 'ex stirpe Imperatorum.'
So that there probably flows in the veins of many a rustic of the
neighbourhood of Callington and Saltash the mingled blood of those
Arundells who came over to England with the Conqueror, and that of the
Byzantine Emperors of the East.

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]


[19] Mr. H. S. Stokes has written a pleasant descriptive poem on 'The
Vale of Lanherne,' illustrated by numerous excellent lithographic views
after one of our best Cornish landscape-painters, J. G. Philp.

[20] Little thinking, perhaps, that in the next reign its rays would
shine upon the grave of one of his descendants, who was destined to
fall in arms at the foot of the self-same mount.

[21] There was a John Michell, Dean of Crantock, in 1455: he may have
been the man.

[22] The story runs that when the remains of St. Piran were discovered
under the altar of his little chapel in the Sands, they were found to
be headless.

[23] Tremodret, or Tremodart, formerly belonged to the Hewis family,
then to the Coleshills, one of whom married Sir Renfry Arundell. On the
death of Sir Renfry's grandson, Sir Edmund Arundell, the Arundells sold
it, in 1711, to Sir John Anstis, Garter King of Arms. The Arundells
seem, however, to have long kept up their connection with Tremodret,
as we find from the pages of gossip-loving Hals, who tells us how 'One
Forbes, or Forbhas, was presented rector of this parish in the latter
end of Cromwell's usurpation, and lived here on this fat benefice,
without spending or lending any money, many years, always pretending
want thereof; at length he died suddenly intestate, about the year
1681, having neither wife nor legitimate child, nor any relation of
his blood in this kingdom; upon news of whose death Mr. Arundell, his
patron, opened his trunks, and found about £3,000 in gold and silver,
and carried it thence to his own house. The fame and envy of which
fact flew suddenly abroad, so that Mr. Buller, of Morval, had notice
thereof, who claimed a part or share in this treasure upon pretence
of a nuncupative will, wherein Forbes, some days before his death,
had made him his executor, and the same was concerted into writing,
whereupon he demanded the £3,000 of Mr. Arundell. But he refusing to
deliver the same, Mr. Buller filed a bill in Chancery against him, the
said Mr. Arundell, praying relief in the premise, and that the said
money might be brought or deposited in the said Court, which at length
was accordingly done; where, after long discussing this matter between
the lawyers and clerks in that Court, in fine, as I was informed, the
Court, the plaintiff, and the defendant shared the money amongst them,
without the least thanks to or remembrance of the deceased wretch,
Forbes, for the same; abundantly verifying that saying in the Sacred
Writings, "Man layeth up riches, but knows not who shall gather them."'

[24] Mr. Froude appears to thoroughly credit Walsingham's narration,
but there is to my mind an air of improbability in parts of it, as of
course is often the case in chronicles of the period.

[25] According to some writers near Scariff, according to others off
Cape Clear.

[26] A Sir John Arundell rescued the inhabitants of Southampton after
they had been surprised by a French fleet under Pierre Bahuchet, temp.
Edward III. Sir John slew 500 of the enemy on the spot, amongst them a
son of the King of Sicily, who had been promised by King Philip all the
lands he could conquer in England. Can this story refer to the same Sir
John Arundell?--Saunders' 'Voyage on the Solent.'

[27] Dr. Oliver has thrown grave doubts on the existence of this
College; and may, in fact, be said to have disposed of it altogether.

[28] Hals says that the Arundells endowed St. Columb Church, and that
there was a brass there inscribed to this effect, 'Here lieth the body
of Renfry Arundell, a patron of this Church and founder of this Chapel,
who departed this life the ---- Anno Dom. 1340.'

[29] There is an hereditary tradition at Lanherne that the Mass has
always been celebrated there ever since the Reformation.

[30] A sort of green-stone, so called from its being found at Cataclew
Point, near Trevose Head, Padstow.

[31] Tonkin says: 'Trerice in this parish (St. Allen) belonged to a
younger branch of the Arundells of Trerice in Newlyn; from whom it is
said to have been wrested, not very fairly, by an attorney, Mr. John
Coke. The estate now belongs to Lord Falmouth.' There are four or five
places in Cornwall called Trerice, which signifies 'the place on the
fleeting ground;' but _the_ Trerice is in the parish of Newlyn.'

[32] In _Notes and Queries_, 5th S., vii. 389 (1877), Fredk. Hancock
says the Arundells of Trerice frequently resided on their estate at
Allerford, in West Somerset, and that they were probably connected by
marriage with the Wentworths--one of whom was Governor of Jamaica,
circa 1690.

[33] Possibly Cuillé, in the Department of Mayenne, Canton of
Cossé-le-Vivier, twenty-five miles N.W. of Chateau-Goutier. From this
spot, therefore, or from a place of like name near St. Amand des Boix,
twelve miles N. of Angoulême, perhaps all our Cornish Arundells first
came. It is interesting to notice how many names in this part of
Normandy are familiar to Cornish ears, either as names of persons or of

[34] In the year 1523, 'Duncan Campbell, a Scottish rouer, after long
fight, was taken on the sea by John Arundell, an esquier of Cornwall,
who presented him to the King.'--_Holinshed._

[35] The Grenvilles and the Arundells intermarried frequently about
this period.

[36] He was M.P. for Cornwall, Bodmin, Tregony, and Michell. The small
and now disfranchised borough of Michell was, as might be expected
from its proximity to Trerice, a place in which the Arundells took
much interest. They were Lords of the Manor of Medeshole (Michell), at
least as early as the time of Edward I. Indeed, Browne Willis, in his
'Notitia Parliamentaria,' observes: 'The Manor of Michell (not Michael)
is still (1726) in possession of the ancient family of Arundel of
Lanhern, whose ancestor, Ralph de Arundel, purchased the same, temp.
Hen. III., by whose interest, I presume, with Richard Earl of Cornwall,
King of the Almains (for whom he executed the Sheriff's office for
the County of Cornwall, anno 44 Henry III.), this town obtained its

[37] See the account of the Basset family, _post_.

[38] The original 'Articles of Surrender,' are in the British Museum,
Egerton MSS., 1048, fo. 86.

[39] 16 Car. II., 23 March, 1664.

[40] Sir Wm. Killigrew resigned the Government in 1635.

[41] A grandson of Sir Renfry de Arundell, of Treffry, who in the days
of Henry III. obtained Lanherne by his marriage with Alice, the heiress
of that house.

[42] Osbertus le Sor was at Tolverne in 1297, and was one of those who
had £20 a year in land at that date. John le Soor, or Sore, was at
Tolverne in 1324, and a John Soor was Dean of Canterbury at the end of
the fourteenth or the beginning of the fifteenth century.

[43] It is probably incorrectly described as a 'manor;' and I believe
the Bassets bought the property from the Arundells in 1755.

[44] Polwhele says that Norden (temp. Jas. I.) catalogues several
Arundells west of Tamar, viz., at Clifton, Carminow, Trythall,
Gwarnick, Lanhadron, Tolvern, Lanherne, Trevissic (? Trevithick),
Trebejew, Trerice, Efford and Thirlebec.

[45] For an account of the Palæologi, see _Notes and Queries_, 4th
Series, vols. iii. and iv.


[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]


  'Pro Rege et Populo.'
                    (_The Family Motto._)

Anyone who examines the one-inch ordnance map of that part of Cornwall
which lies between Redruth and Camborne, cannot fail to be struck with
the strange lines and markings that appear upon it. Long-dotted lines,
and straight markings, showing the directions of the metallic lodes,
of the 'faults,' and the 'cross-courses;' and arrow-heads, indicating
the ever-varying dip of the strata, intermingled with those cabalistic
symbols which are usually employed to denote the planets, (but in this
case to explain the metals for which the innumerable mines are worked),
crowd the surface of the map to such an extent as to make it almost
illegible. These markings indicate the existence, in abundance, in this
part of the county of that mineral wealth for which Cornwall has so
long been famous, and which, until lately, has contributed no less to
the general welfare of her inhabitants than to the enrichment of some
of her more illustrious families--in a remarkable degree to that whose
story we are about to consider. Nor should we omit to notice here that
the lords of the soil--notably the houses of Basset and Pendarves--have
in their turn striven to ameliorate the condition of the miner by their
endeavouring, by the use of machinery and by many other means to lessen
his arduous and perilous labour, and to promote his social, domestic,
and moral welfare. We shall also see that the Bassets have been no
less distinguished in old times for their attachment to the Crown--an
attachment which at one period cost them the loss of nearly all their
estates--and that they have therefore fully justified the adoption of
their family motto, which I have used as the motto for this chapter.

The actual surface of the ground between Camborne and Redruth, in the
district referred to above, is even more disfigured than the appearance
of the map suggests. The earth seems to have been turned inside out:
grass is scarcely anywhere to be seen, but instead of it vast heaps of
'attle,' or refuse, from the subterranean excavations; the streams are
discoloured by the red mine-rubbish, and look like rivers of blood;
whilst the air is filled with discordant shrieks of the ill-greased,
out-of-door machinery, and the booming thuds of steam pumping-engines.
But, close to the northern confines of this scene of haggard ugliness,
and between it and the Bristol Channel, there lies a fair large park
of a thousand acres, beautifully timbered, and evidencing the care
and attention which have been bestowed upon it for centuries by the
ancient family[46] who have so long been its owners--the Bassets of

That they were not originally of Cornish extraction their name
sufficiently proclaims. Like the Grenvilles and the St. Aubyns, they
'came over with the Conqueror;' as likewise did the De Dunstanvilles,
who were also seated here at a very early date.[47]

According to Lysons (who during the present century enjoyed peculiar
advantages for learning the story of the family, from being the
personal friend of Sir Francis Basset, Lord de Dunstanville), the
Bassets of Cornwall and Devon--for the members of this family seem to
have very early settled not only in the two westernmost counties, but
also in other parts of England--are descended from Osmund Basset, a
younger son of Sir Ralph Basset, the Justiciary of King Henry I.

I am aware that Hals says that one of the family held a military post
in this part of Cornwall, under Robert, Earl of Morton; and that
another writer (in Lake's 'Parochial History of Cornwall') states that
they are descended from one Thurstan Basset, who held six hides of land
in Drayton, Staffordshire, and who was probably a son of that Osmund
Basset who came over from his native France with William I.:--we
shall, however, probably be safer in following Lysons.[48]

The earliest mention of the _name_ that I have been able to discover is
that of Osmund Basset--probably the before named Norman Knight--who was
a witness in 1050 to an agreement respecting the Abbey of St. Ebrulf,
at Utica.

But, to come to the connection of the Bassets with _Tehidy_, or rather
in the first place to its possession by the De Dunstanvilles: it seems
that Alan, of the latter patronymic, was lord of the manor of Tehidy
in the year 1100; and here seems to be a fitting place to mention the
nature of the connexion between the two names which appears in the
titles of the Sir Francis Basset mentioned above. It arose thus: Thomas
Basset, a descendant--probably a great grandson--of King Henry I.'s
Justiciary, and himself holding a like post in the days of Henry III.,
married one Alice de Dunstanville,[49] and most of their descendants
seem to have settled mainly in Oxfordshire and the midland counties.

There was, however, according to Lysons, another Basset named
William, of Ipsden, also an Oxfordshire man, who, in the days of
Richard I.--probably about the close of his reign--married Cecilia,
the daughter of Alan de Dunstanville, and had with her 'Menalida'
in Cornwall, which property, Playfair says, 'her father acquired by
marriage with a daughter of Reginald Fitz-Henry;' Menalida--so our
author thinks--being an ancient name of Tehidy.[50]

The marriage of this William Basset with Cecilia de Dunstanville
probably began, or at least confirmed, the connexion which still
subsists between the Bassets and Tehidy. Here they settled; and, as
the centuries rolled on, their blood has intermingled with the old
Cornish stocks by marriages with the families of Rashleigh, Carveth,
Godolphin, Prideaux, Courtenay, Grenville, Trenouth, Trengove, Trelawny
of Trelawny, Marrys of Marrys (near Bude), and Enys of Enys. And their
bones lie in Cornish soil; for the most part in the adjacent parish
church of Illogan.

Amongst other early fragmentary notices of them that I have found, are
the following:

In the list of knights summoned from Cornwall, A.D. 1277, to attend
King Edward I. at Worcester, on service against Llewellyn ap Griffith,
the name of Ralph Basset occurs.

In 1324, William Basset's name occurs amongst the 'nomina hominum ad
Arma in com. Cornubiæ.' In the reign of Edward III., he obtained a
patent from that King for two markets weekly, and two fairs every year
for Redruth. There was another William Basset who held a military feu
at Tehidy and Trevalga, in 3rd Henry IV.

They were Sheriffs of the County during the reigns of three
Henries--the 6th, the 7th, and the 8th; and also in some subsequent
reigns: and one of the family[51] occupied, in the reign of Edward
IV., that Castle of Carnbrea which stands on the granite hill of that
name, within the manor of Tehidy, commanding a view of both the English
and St. George's Channels, and down whose slopes groves of old oaks
in those days flourished all the way from the summit of the hill to
Portreath, or Basset's Cove. Most of these were cut down in the time
of the Civil Wars--probably in order to raise money for the King--the
remainder (if Hals is to be trusted) by the old Lady Basset, 'who had
the estate in jointure.' Well might Leland say that theirs was 'a right
goodly lordship,' extending as it did over large portions of the three
parishes of Illogan, Redruth, and Camborne, the advowsons of which
belong to the manor of Tehidy. In illustration of the latter statement,
and further, as showing the early connexion of the Bassets with this
neighbourhood, a writer in Lake's 'Parochial History of Cornwall'
says, that '11 March, 1277, Sir Lawrence Basset, Knight, presented
one Michael to the Church of St. Euinus, Redruth; and William Basset,
Knight, presented Thomas Cotteford to Illogan in 1382; Alexander
Trembras by J. Basset, of Tehidy, 1435,'--and so on. Sometimes a member
of the Basset family held one or other of the three livings.

Of the early members of the family I know of little further that seems
worthy of record; but perhaps we should not pass altogether unnoticed,
the fact that the William Basset who obtained the patent for the
Redruth markets, obtained a license to embattle his manor-house of
Tehidy, in the year 1330-31 (Rot. Pat. 4th Edward III., Memb. 10);
and that at this time the Bassets also had seats at Umberleigh, White
Chappel, and Heanton Court, in Devon. This William appears to be he
who was Knight of the Shire for Cornwall, 6th Edward II., and again
in 6th and 8th Edward III.; a position which probably assisted in
procuring for him the above-mentioned permission to fortify his house.

No representation of the original house at Tehidy, so far as I know,
exists. We may be quite sure that it was a very different structure
from that which now occupies its place, and which was built for John
Pendarves Basset[52] by Thomas Edwards, about the year 1734. Dr.
Borlase figures it in his 'Natural History.' Edwards was a London
architect, and, as I was informed by the late Mr. Thomas Ferris of
Rosewyn, Truro, was employed in the erection of some of the best
modern Cornish mansions--as Nanswhydden, destroyed by fire early in
this century; and the handsome house of Mr. William Lemon, in Prince's
Street, Truro. Mr. Edwards was also the architect of the steeple and
west front of St. Mary's Church, Truro, recently removed to give
place to the new cathedral. The present mansion of Tehidy has been
much enlarged, and contains some excellent pictures by Vandyck, Lely,
Kneller, Rubens, and Reynolds; and the Print-Room of the British Museum
contains interesting engravings of portraits of some members of the

Not even any remains exist of the ancient structure; yet portions at
least must have been standing in comparatively modern times; for Leland
speaks of a castelet or pile (of Basset's), and a park wall, both of
which Tonkin says were to be seen in _his_ time: and he died about the
year 1750.

For more than a century after the date of the Basset who fortified
Tehidy, the family appears to have made little mark in history, unless
we may mention one John Basset (then Sheriff, as so many of his race
were before and after him) whose _posse comitatus_ was so weak that he
dared not encounter the Cornish insurgents at the Flammock (or Flamank)
rebellion; and thus allowed the rebels, whose object was to depose King
Henry VII., on account of his exactions for the expenses of the Scotch
war, to march on to Bodmin and Launceston; and so into Devon. But,
despite their daring, the bills and bows of the Cornish, though their
arrows were (says Lord Bacon) 'the length of a tailor's yard--so strong
and mighty a bow were they said to draw'--were no match for the King's
artillery, which completed their defeat at Blackheath, in 1496.

About the middle of the sixteenth century, the family appears to have
divided into two branches. The Devonshire branch, descended from
John, the elder son of John Basset of Umberleigh and his wife Honora
Grenville, became extinct in 1796, by the death of Francis Basset; the
Cornish branch was continued by George, the younger son of the above
Sir John and the Lady Honora. Of this George there is little further
to say, except that his wife bore the odd name of Jaquet Coffin, and
that he himself was member of Parliament for Launceston, in which
neighbourhood the Bassets formerly held a considerable amount of land,
which they disposed of a few years ago. The children of George and
Jaquet do not seem to have distinguished themselves: the two girls
married, respectively, a Cary and a Newman; the son and heir, who has a
brass at Illogan recording that he died in 1603, aged 43, married Jane,
a daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin.

Possibly the intermixture of the blood of the more warlike Godolphins
may have contributed to the result, but this at least is certain--that
their eldest son Francis, whom we shall have to notice more fully, was
one of the most distinguished members of the family.

The Bassets, like most of the Cornish gentry, as we shall see, were,
with perhaps one exception, of whom more hereafter, stout Royalists;
and at the outbreak of the Civil War, Francis, then head of the family,
was Sheriff and Vice-Admiral of Cornwall (a command subsequently
divided into two--north and south)--and Governor of St. Michael's
Mount,[53] which was his own inheritance. He was 'a staunch friend to
Church and King; and--a devoted lover of game-cocks,' says a writer
who was not much disposed to magnify Francis Basset's good points.
I hardly know whether or not it is worth recording, as showing the
Vice-Admiral's love of sport; but Hals tells the story how he 'let fly
his goshawk or tassel to a heath-polt, or heath-cock,' and both were
lost to sight; but were both sent back to Tehidy the next day by the
Mayor of Camelford, the heath-cock killed by the hawk, but the latter
alive and well. By a comparison of time it was shown that in half an
hour the birds had flown thirty-two miles. Sir Francis was, moreover,
Recorder of St. Ives, represented that borough in Parliament, procured
its first Charter, and presented the burgesses with a loving-cup,
bearing this genial, though uncouth, inscription:

    'If any discord 'twixt my friends arise
    Within the borough of belov'd St. Ives,
    It is desirèd this my cup of loue
    To euerie one a peace-maker may proue.
    Then am I blest to have giuen a legacie,
    So like my harte, unto posterite.'

                                  FRANCIS BASSET, A^o. 1640.

In 1640 he also contested the Cornish borough of Michael, or Michell,
for which, however, he did not sit, owing to a double return.

Francis Basset took to wife Ann, daughter of Sir Jonathan Trelawny.
They were married at Pelynt in 1620; and, that time had not dulled
their affection, the two following letters, written nearly a quarter of
a century after the wedding-day, will show.

But it should be premised, that whilst Sir Bevil Grenville, aided by
Major-General Thomas Basset, was defeating the forces of the Parliament
at Stamford Hill, near Stratton in North Cornwall, Francis Basset
in the West was busily engaged in raising money for the King, and in
bringing together and drilling what forces he could in his own part
of the county. It was also his function, in co-operation with Lord
Goring, to intercept the supplies furnished from West Cornwall to the
Earl of Essex, and thus to precipitate the engagements which ended so
disastrously for the cause of the Parliamentary troops in the West of

The good news from Stamford Hill seems to have reached the Sheriff at
Truro, whereupon he writes, with an overflowing heart, this letter:

_Francis Basset to his Wife, after the News of the Victory of Stratton._

                            'Truro, this 18th May, 1643.
                                  6 o'clock, ready to march.


  'Oh, deare Soule, prayse God everlastingly. Reade this enclosed, ring
  out the bells, rayse bonfyres, publish these joyfull tydings. Believe
  these truths, excuse my writing larger,[54] I have no tyme; wee march
  on to meete our victorious friends, and to seaze all the rebells left,
  if wee can finde such livinge. Your dutyous prayers God hass heard.
  Bless us accordingly, pray everlastingly, and Jane, and Betty, and all
  you owne. Thy owne

                                              'FRS. BASSET.'

  'Pray let my cousin Harry know these joyful blessings. Send word to
  the ports south and north, to searche narrowly for all strangers
  travellinge for passage, and cause the keepinge them close and safe.

  'To my dearest, dearest friend Mrs. Basset att the Mount. Speede this,
  haste, haste.'

The foregoing letter appears to me to be interesting, not only as
showing the loving terms on which the wife and husband were, but also
as indicating the tension of feeling which existed in Cornwall at this
critical period in Charles's affairs. We may be sure that Francis
Basset and his men pushed forward rapidly on the receipt of this good
news, and that he determined not to lose the chance of being present
at the next engagement when the banners of King and Parliament were
again to float in defiance against each other. Accordingly we find him
on the field of Braddock soon after,[55] and again, after the fight,
chronicling another victory in the following impassioned terms to his
wife. Notice that he was now knighted, and the change of style in which
he addresses 'my lady' at '_her_ Tehidy:'

                     'Thanks to our Jesus.


  'L---- is the happy messenger to the West of Cornwall. Peace, and
  I hope perpetual. Sadd houses I have seen many, but a joyfuller
  pleasanter day never than this. Sende the money, as much and as soon
  as you can. Sende to all our ffriends at home, especially, this good
  news. I write this on my saddle. Every friend will pardon the illness
  of it, and you chiefly, my perfect joy.

                                                  'F. BASSET.

  'The Kinge and army march presently for Plymouth. Jesus give the Kinge
  it and all.

  'The King, in the hearing of thousands, as soon as he saw me in the
  morning, cryed to mee "Deare Mr. Sheriffe, I leave Cornwall to you
  safe and sound."

  'To my lady Basset, at her Tehidy, joyfull.'

But Sir Francis, though he did not live to see the days of the
Commonwealth (for he died 19th September, 1645), lived long enough to
see the reverse of such joyful pictures as the foregoing.

Upon his son and heir, John, fell the full vengeance of Cromwell's
government. He was imprisoned for his father's 'delinquency'--though
he had never himself been in arms--was compelled to compound for his
estates, and, saddest blow of all, in 1660 to sell St. Michael's Mount,
which from that date has been held continuously by the family of St.
Aubyn. Other hardships too he suffered, which, the county historians
tell us, reduced his estate and the family very low. Up to this date
the Bassets had undoubtedly vindicated their claim to the first half of
the family motto--'Pro Rege.'

But three good matches brought more money into the impoverished Tehidy
coffers; and great profits from tin again restored the Bassets to
wealth and prosperity.

The Vice-Admiral had a second son--Francis--also a Colonel in the
army. But in later life he became a Baptist, and resided at Taunton;
one of that class who, imbued with stern and self-denying views of
religion, caused Erasmus to ejaculate, 'O, sit anima mea cum Puritanis

The Colonel was accused in 1661 of a conspiracy against Charles II.,
and there is a Star Chamber complaint to this effect; but ultimately
the letter pretending to have been written by Francis Basset was
demonstrated to be a forgery. Indeed the whole family seems to have
been so thoroughly attached to the Stuarts, that, on the accession of
the house of Hanover in 1714, one is not very much surprised to find
that Mr. Basset of Tehidy would have been arrested by Mr. Boscawen
(then Sheriff of Cornwall) as a Jacobite, had not Mr. Basset made a
timely flight from his house. Unless I am mistaken, this was the same
Francis Basset who was himself Sheriff of Cornwall in 1708.

The connexion between the families of Basset and Pendarves is amusingly
illustrated by the record of a marriage which took place at St.
Stephen's in Branwell, on 12th April, 1737, the scribe who entered the
event in the Parish Register describing the bridegroom as 'a Squar,'
that being the nearest approach which the parish clerk's acquaintance
with orthography enabled him to make towards writing the happy man down
an Esquire.

We now come to what I cannot help considering a very interesting period
in the family history--interesting not so much from the importance of
the incidents chronicled (though they give us a curious peep into the
interior of a Cornish gentleman's household early in the last century),
as from their having been recorded by the pen of the beautiful and
accomplished Mary Grenville, a descendant of the old Cornish family of
Stow, better known to us nowadays as the Mrs. Delany to whom Ballard
dedicated his 'Celebrated British Ladies,' and whose autobiography,
edited by one of her descendants, Lady Llanover, is, notwithstanding
its portentous length, one of the most entertaining books of modern

When only sixteen or seventeen years of age, Mary Grenville married
her first husband, Alexander Pendarves, of Roscrow near Penryn, he
being then sixty years old. She describes with much vivacity her first
acquaintance with her Cornish home, and her grumpy old husband whom
she styles in her diary 'Gromio.' The old man had quarrelled with
Francis Basset for marrying, as his second wife, Gromio's niece, Mary,
daughter and heiress of his younger brother, the Rev. John Pendarves of
Drewsteignton, and for refusing his offer to settle upon Francis Basset
his whole estate if he would take the name of Pendarves after his,
Alexander's, death. This, Basset, justly proud of his own family name,
declined to do; and hence no doubt the reason of Alexander's marriage
with the young Mary Grenville. Their marriage life lasted only about
seven years, and was not a particularly happy one. Soon after her
husband's death Mrs. Pendarves married Dr. Delany, Dean of Down, to
whom she seems to have been fondly attached; though he too was much her

To this charming and talented lady we are indebted for the following
glance at the interior of Tehidy nearly 150 years ago, and for a
portrait of the Basset of the period--Francis, grandfather of the first
Lord de Dunstanville:

  'About a month after we had been at home (_i.e._, at Roscrow), and had
  received the compliments of the chief of our neighbourhood, Gromio
  proposed that we should make a visit to Bassanio (Mr. F. Basset), who
  had married his niece. I made no objection, but was rather pleased
  to leave my own house for some time. Bassanio had been in his youth
  a man of gallantry; his figure despicable enough, but his wit and
  cheerfulness made amends, though at this time both were a good deal
  impaired by an ill state of health and a very dull wife, who, with a
  very inferior understanding to his, was the chief agent. He seemed
  only to act with her permission, which was most astonishing. We were
  received at first, I thought, very coolly. Gromio's marrying was
  a great disappointment to Bassanio and Fulvia (Mrs. Basset). They
  expected his estate, and were both avaricious. Bassanio liked to take
  wine, but not to excess. When his spirits were a little raised, he was
  very gay and entertaining; and till then I had not laughed, or shown
  the least sign of mirth. After having spent a fortnight at this place,
  Gromio grew thoughtful, and would often retire to his chamber, and at
  supper and dinner sat gloomy and discontented. When I was alone with
  him, he would sigh and groan as if his heart would break. I thought
  him ill, and asked him several times if he was not, to which he always
  answered with great sullenness "he was well enough." I began then to
  examine my own behaviour to him; I was sure he could resent nothing
  in that more than he had reason for before, and that I was not so
  grave, but (in appearance) happier than at first. After enduring great
  anxiety of mind for a week, I could not forbear taking notice to him
  of the change I found in his temper; for though he never made himself
  agreeable to me, it had not been for want of kindness and civility in
  his behaviour; but now he had laid aside both, and I own I was greatly
  perplexed to find out the cause. 'Tis certain that fondness from a
  person distasteful to one is tormenting, and what can so much hurt a
  generous heart that can make no return for it? On the other hand, it
  is very disagreeable to be treated with gloomy looks which show an
  inward discontent, and not to be able to account for it.

  'At last the mighty distress broke out in these words: "Oh, Aspasia!"'
  (Mrs. Delany's assumed name), '"take care of Bassanio; he is a
  cunning, treacherous man, and has been the ruin of one woman already,
  who was wife to his bosom friend!" and then he burst into tears. I was
  so struck with this caution, and his behaviour, that I could not for
  some time speak; at last I said, "I am miserable indeed, if you can be
  jealous of this ugly man. What am I for the future to expect?" I was
  so much surprised and vexed, that it threw me into an agony of tears.
  He assured me all the time that he had nothing to charge me with; that
  my behaviour was just what he wished it to be, but he could not help
  seeing how much Bassanio was charmed with everything I said or did,
  and he knew him to be a man not to be trusted. By this time I was a
  little recovered, and entreated him to return to Averno (Roscrow); but
  he said, "No; to convince me he had no doubt of my conduct, he would
  not go before the time he had first proposed."'

And so it seems the party did not break up for a week or ten days;
Gromio grumbling; Bassanio vainly trying to make himself extremely
agreeable during their walks and drives in that 'very romantic part
of the country,' as Mrs. Delany well calls it; Fulvia as dull as
ever; and Aspasia untouched by the flattery and gallantries of her
would-be lover. At length she had to write 'that Bassanio was too
quick-sighted not to perceive Gromio's suspicions and my great dislike
of his behaviour; and, as it was his interest to keep in favour with
his uncle, he was upon his guard, and never gave either of us reason
to be offended with him any more. Soon after (in 1721) he was seized
with terrible fits, that ended his life a year and half after I

There is yet another entry in Mrs. Delany's diary which refers to the
Tehidy family. In June, 1756, she writes: 'I am going into mourning for
my great-great-nephew Basset, who died last week. I pity his unhappy
mother extremely. She has gone through much care and anxiety on his

John Basset, the son of the Rev. John Basset, rector of Illogan and
Camborne, now claims a passing notice before we come to the last and
perhaps most illustrious member of this family. He was born on 17th
November, 1791, and was elected member of Parliament for Helston in
1840, failing, however, to retain his seat at the election in the
following year; but he chiefly distinguished himself by the zealous
interest which he took in the welfare of Cornish mining and the Cornish
miner. In 1836 he published some treatises on the 'Mining Courts of the
Duchy of Cornwall,' and, in the same year, 'Thoughts on the' (then)
'New Stannary Bill.' Three years afterwards appeared the 'Origin and
History of the Bounding Act;' and, after another similar interval,
in 1842--the year before his death at Boppart, on the Rhine--his
'Observations on Cornish Mining.'

But perhaps his most valuable contribution to Cornish literature
was a treatise published in 1840, having for its humane object
the amelioration of the physical condition of the miner--viz.,
'Observations on the Machinery used for Raising Miners in the Hartz.'
There can be little doubt that this work tended in no small degree to
direct public attention to the great and avoidable exhaustion caused to
the miner by his having to ascend many fathoms of ladders after long
and laborious work in the heated and vitiated atmosphere of many of
our deep mines. The result was the invention of an ingenious machine
known as the steam man-engine, by means of which two huge vertical
poles, with foot-rests at intervals, are set in motion side by side
the whole depth of the mine-shaft. As one pole ascends, the other
descends, and thus, by changing from one to the other by help of the
foot-rests, the miner is enabled to ascend from his work, or descend to
it, with the minimum expenditure of his own strength. If he who makes
an oak grow where none grew before is to be considered a benefactor to
his race, surely anyone who contributes in greater or less degree to
so benevolent and beneficial an object as this steam man-engine has
proved to be, has a good claim to be ranked among the philanthropic
benefactors of his race. There is, of course, some little risk in
performing this feat in the dark, damp and slippery mine-shafts, lit,
perhaps, by a solitary candle stuck into a lump of clay and attached
to the front of the miner's hat; and it is scarcely necessary to add
that the use of the man-engine is most strictly forbidden to all except
those by whom it is really required. Is it necessary to say that the
man-engine, therefore, became a great attraction to all schoolboys who
chanced to be within easy distance of one?--at any rate the writer,
then a schoolboy, used to spend parts of many a half-holiday in
practically investigating the merits of the machine, by descending by
its means into the depths of the earth, until the utter darkness made
the descent too dangerous even for a schoolboy.

John Basset's eldest son, John Francis Basset, of Stratton, brother of
the present owner of the estates (Gustavus Lambert Basset, who served
in the Crimea as lieutenant in the 72nd Highlanders), was a barrister,
and was Sheriff of Cornwall in 1861. He succeeded to the Tehidy
property on the death of his aunt, Frances, Baroness Basset, in 1855,
and died at the family mansion in 1869. His chief mining interests
(which were immense) were in the Bassets, South Frances, and Dolcoath
mines. His landed property lay chiefly in Illogan, Camborne, Redruth,
and St. Agnes, besides other estates which he owned in Meneage,
Gluvias, Falmouth, Tywardreath, etc.

But we must now speak of one whom Davies Gilbert, P.R.S., described
as, in every sense, the first man in the county--I mean that Francis
Basset, D.C.L., Baron de Dunstanville of Tehidy, and Baron Basset of
Stratton,[57] whose monument forms so conspicuous an object on the
summit of the historic hill of Carn Brea, and which was erected to
his memory by the county of Cornwall in 1836.[58] He was the grandson
of Mrs. Delany's Francis Basset, and son of the Francis Basset who
represented Penryn in Parliament from 1766 to 1769. His mother was
Margaret St. Aubyn.[59] Born at Walcot, in Oxfordshire, on 9th August,
1757, he was educated at Harrow, Eton, and lastly at King's College,
Cambridge, where he took his degree of M.A. when twenty-nine years of
age. When Lord de Dunstanville's father died, the boy wrote to Dr.
Bathurst--afterwards Bishop of Norwich--this characteristic little note:


  'Knowing the regard my papa had for you, I wish you would be my tutor.

                                'FRANK BASSET.'

A tour on the Continent in company with the Rev. William Sandys,
the son of a former steward of the family, a gentleman who had been
specially trained to perform the pleasant but arduous duties of
cicerone, completed his education, and thus he started in life with
every advantage that a youth of talents and position could desire; nor
did he fail to employ them.

On his return home he at once threw himself into the arena of public
life; and from time to time published sundry political and agricultural
treatises. Amongst the former may be mentioned, 'Thoughts on Equal
Representation' (1783), 'Observations on a Treaty of Commerce between
England and France' (1787), 'The Theory and Practice of the French
Constitution' (1794), 'The Crimes of Democracy' (1798), and a speech
which he delivered at a county meeting at Bodmin in 1809.

That he considered the foregoing productions not unworthy of his genius
may be judged from the fact that he had them handsomely bound together,
and presented them to his 'dearest friend, Miss (Harriet) Lemon,' the
daughter of Sir William Lemon, of Carclew, Bart., M.P., a lady who
ultimately became his second wife: the volume is preserved in the
Royal Institution of Cornwall. His agricultural tracts--'Experiments
in Agriculture' (1794), 'A Fat Ox' (1799), 'Crops and Prices' (1800),
'Crops in Cornwall' (1801), 'Mildew' (1805)--mostly appeared in Young's
'Annals of Agriculture;' and, like his political treatises, evince much
acumen and practical common sense.

He was chosen Recorder for Penryn, and represented that borough in
Parliament in 1780. On his entrance into political life he joined
Lord North's party, and was hurried into the fatal coalition; though
the outbreak of the French Revolution considerably modified his
political views, which ultimately became what we should now call
Conservative.[60] As illustrative of his electioneering activity, the
following will be interesting, at least to my Cornish readers:

_Extracts from Letters from the Hon. Mrs. Boscawen to Mrs. Delany._

                                                'June, 1784.

  '... Your turbulent nephew Sir Francis Basset has failed in his
  first petition, and our friend Mr. Christopher Hawkins of Trewithan
  is declar'd duly elected for Mitchell, in preference to Mr. Roger
  Wilbraham, one of Sir Francis's _moveable candidates_, for he set
  him up at Truro too, and has presented a petition _there too_, and
  _another_ at Tregony, where our friends had a majority of 21! I hope
  Sir Francis will continue to have the same success as he had in this
  first attempt, which was decided in Parliament last night....'

                                              '18 Oct., 1784.

  '... My son (George Evelyn, 3rd Viscount Falmouth) and his sposa are
  very cheerfull in Cornwall, giving balls to their neighbours; while
  _your nephew Basset_ is waging most _inveterate war_ and _hostilities_
  at Truro. My son has _all the lore_ (they say), but then he (S^r F.)
  has _all the money_--la partie n'est pas égale!'

Possibly personal pique had something to do with Sir Francis's
desertion of his original political allies; for I find amongst the
Additional MSS. in the British Museum, a letter in his hand to the Duke
of Portland, on the 20th November, 1783, relinquishing all connexion
with that nobleman's Government, on account of their having superseded
Sir Francis's nephew, Mr. Morice, as Warden of the Stannaries.
'Ill-usage to myself' (wrote he) 'I could better have brooked than to
my friends.'

In the year 1779, it will be remembered, Plymouth was threatened by the
combined French and Spanish fleet, and Francis Basset distinguished
himself on the occasion by marching to that town a large body of the
miners' militia, who, under his directions, rapidly threw up such
additional earthworks as were deemed necessary for the security of
that port. This prompt action on his part gained for him his first
title--his baronetcy. Indeed, he seems to have had quite a talent
for fortification, for to him also are due the works of defence of
which traces are still to be seen at Basset's Cove, now better known
as Portreath, and which formerly consisted of one battery of four
12-pounders, and another of two 6-pounders.

Sir Francis evidently took great interest in the affairs of Rodney,
and on 7th June, 1783, moved an address to the King that a 'lasting
provision' might be made for the gallant Admiral; but, on the
Government's undertaking to see after it, he withdrew his motion.

He opposed the Peace, and argued 'with energy' against it; but, as
the report from which I quote merely 'preserves the substance of the
argument without the _declamation_,' we are unfortunately deprived of
this specimen of the Baronet's eloquence. In November of the same year
he seconded the Address in reply to the King's speech, declaring his
confidence in the Administration, his desire to alleviate the burdens
of the people, his abhorrence of smuggling, as to which he said he
spoke with some authority, living as he did in a maritime county; and,
having spoken with tenderness of the natives of India, whose grievances
the Government had promised to redress, he concluded with a warm eulogy
of the unparalleled successes of Lord Rodney.

Nor did he neglect the arts of peace; deriving as he did an almost
princely income from the mines which lay within sight of his mansion,
he was ever on the watch for opportunities for developing mining
prosperity, and promoting the moral and social welfare of the miner. He
was deeply interested, too, in improving the means of locomotion in the
county, and in 1809 laid the first rail of the iron tramway designed to
connect Portreath on the northern shore of Cornwall with the Gwennap

Moreover, he was a liberal patron of the fine arts,[61] and his edition
of Carew's 'Survey of Cornwall,' enriched with Tonkin's notes, and
published in 1811, is one amongst many instances of his public spirit,
and his interest in the affairs of his county.

He lived to the good old age of seventy-seven, but the end came at
last; and on his way to London, to attend in his place in the House
of Peers, he was seized with paralysis at Exeter. He managed to reach
town, but died at his residence, Stratheden House, South Place,
Knightsbridge, nearly opposite the Hyde Park Cavalry Barracks, on the
5th February, 1835.

These were the days before railways, and the tale is still told in the
west country of the magnificent procession, with its 'outriders and ten
pages on horseback,' which wended its way at a walking-pace from London
to Tehidy, a distance of 300 odd miles, accomplished in twelve days.

His monument, adorned with a portrait by Westmacott, stands in Illogan
Church; and an epitaph that does not flatter records that 'his open
heart, his generosity, and universal benevolence, won him the esteem
of all classes, and the affection of those who intimately knew him.
A sincere Christian, an elegant scholar, the patron of merit, and
a munificent contributor to charitable institutions throughout the
Empire, he proved himself the friend of his country and of mankind.
But, with a laudable partiality, he especially devoted the chief
energies of his mind, and directed the influence of rank and talents to
advance the moral welfare and to promote the prosperity of Cornwall,
his native county.'

The entailed estates devolved, upon his death, on his nephew, the
before-named John Francis Basset, from whom they have passed to their
present owner, Gustavus Lambert Basset, Esq., of Tehidy.

The first Baron de Dunstanville left only one daughter, Frances, who,
on her father's decease became Baroness Basset of Stratton. Noted for
her diligence in charity and all good works, she died at Tehidy, on
22nd January, 1855, in her seventy-fourth year, last of her race in the
direct line; and in her the revived, but short-lived, peerage became


[46] Major Glynn (who stammered), at one of the county meetings at
which Lord de Dunstanville had spoken with laudable pride of his
ancestors having come over with the Conqueror, is reported to have
said, 'We-ell-ell-ell, and, and wha-at of that, my lord? M-m-mine were
here c-c-c-centuries before the C-c-c-conqueror was born.'

[47] They quarter the arms of Plantagenet (or at least formerly did
so); and Davies Gilbert calls De Dunstanville 'a nominal barony of
Plantagenet blood.'

[48] Playfair says that the first of this family of De Dunstanville,
one Thurston Basset, whom we find on the Roll of Battle Abbey, came
over with the Conqueror. From him sprang _many_ families favoured by
our kings, most of them now extinct. There is a grant of lands from
King John to Wm. Bassett, and Cecilia his wife. In the 'History of the
Manor of Castle Combe, in Wilts, with Memoirs of the Dunstanvilles,'
etc., by Geo. P. Scrope, M.P. (_privately printed_ by J. B. Nichols
and Sons, in 1852), it is stated that Reginald de Dunstanville, Earl
of Cornwall, was first Baron of Castle Combe. There appear to have
been more than one of that name living in the twelfth century; one of
them, perhaps the earliest, was also sometimes named Reginald Fitz-Roy,
who was the son of Henry I. by Adeliza de Insulâ. Reginald, according
to Mr. Scrope's pedigree of the De Dunstanvilles, married Havisia (or
Beatrix), daughter of Caudor, the second Earl of Cornwall, 'ex Regio
sanguine Britannorum.' Adeliza, the sister of Cecilia de Dunstanville,
married another Basset, viz. Thomas, Baron Basset of Hedendon, 10th
Henry II. This work contains much minute information about the early De

[49] One of their sons, Gilbert, founded Bicester Abbey, in Oxfordshire.

[50] The name was also written Tydy, Tihidi, Tyhudy, Tehedie, etc. It
is perhaps right to add here (although this is a sketch of the Basset
family, rather than of the De Dunstanvilles) the following notes, which
I have gathered from Carew: 'Walter de Dunstanvil appears to have
had to furnish one knight in respect of his Cornish possessions. See
"Evidentiæ Extractæ de Rubro Libro de Scaccario," 143.--_Cornub._ And
Alan de Dunstanvill's name occurs in the "Nomina Baron: et militum et
rotulis de feodis militum, vel de scutagio solutis regi Richardo Primo:
in libro rubro scaccarii."--_Cornubia_ (A.D. 1189 to 1199). There was,
moreover, a Reginald de Dunstanville, a baron of the realm, temp. Hen.
I., who is mentioned in the Testa de Nevill.

[51] William of Worcester writes in 1478: 'Turris Castelli Karnbree,
Sir John Basset, chevalier stat.' Hals says (but I cannot conceive upon
what authority) that this castle was built by the Brays, who came over
with the Conqueror (and who certainly intermarried with the Bassets),
and hence the name. But Carn Brea is the appropriate Cornish form of
'rock-crowned hill.' Parker attributes the Castle to Robert Fitz Hugh
de Dunstanville--temp. Will. I.

[52] There is a monument to this Basset, amongst others, in the church
at Illogan; on it is recorded that he died '19 Sept., 1739, æt. 25,
descended from a Race of Virtuous, Loyal, and well-Allied ancestors,
who for more than four hundred years have lived at their Manor of
Tyhydy, in this Parish, in great honour and esteem.'

[53] In this latter post his brother, Sir Arthur, succeeded him. Sir
Thomas, another brother, was General of the Ordnance to Prince Maurice;
a major-general for the King; and commanded a division at the battle of
Stratton; he was knighted in 1644.

[54] At greater length.

[55] If not on the field of battle itself, he was certainly on the way
to it at Lostwithiel--hard by.

[56] The Pendarves property ultimately passed to F. Basset's relict, as
old Alexander died without signing his will.

[57] He was created a baronet, 24th Nov. 1779; Baron de Dunstanville,
by Pitt, 17th June, 1796; and Baron Basset, 30th Oct., 1797.

[58] A fine portrait of him, seated, is preserved in the Museum of the
Royal Institution of Cornwall, at Truro. Sir John St. Aubyn has another
portrait of him at the age of nineteen, in a 'Vandyck' dress, painted
by Opie, after Sir Joshua Reynolds.

[59] His first wife was Frances Susannah Coxe, to whom Penwarne
dedicated his volume of Cornish poems.

[60] It is perhaps worth while to notice here that a Private Act was
passed (47 Geo. III. sess. 1, c. 3, 1807), to relieve him from certain
pains and penalties for taking his seat in the House of Peers before
making the oaths and declarations, etc., required by law.

[61] Forty-one of his surplus pictures were offered for sale at
Christie's on 8th May, 1824, when six of them were bought in, and
the remainder sold for £703 13s. He was an early friend of Opie, and
attended the great Cornish artist's funeral in 1807; and it may be
added that he placed in a chapel, which he built at his own expense,
in Cornwall, an altar-piece by that eccentric artist, Lane, which was
exhibited in the Royal Academy, 1808.


[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]


    'His name is added to the glorious roll
    Of those who search the storm-surrounded Pole.'


The name of Admiral Bligh will always be associated with that painful
episode in the history of the British Navy--the Mutiny of the
_Bounty_--and the settlement of the mutineers on Pitcairn and other
of the South Sea Islands; whence we still occasionally obtain news
of their happy and flourishing descendants--happier far than their
progenitors.[62] He is another example of a Cornish circumnavigator of
the globe; the first being a Michell of Truro, who went round the world
with Sir Francis Drake. Captain Samuel Wallis, R.N., of Lanteglos juxta
Camelford, also sailed round the world in the _Dolphin_ in 1766-68.

The Admiral was born, in all probability (though there has been some
uncertainty on the subject) on the Duchy Manor of Tinten,[63] in the
parish of St. Tudy, about half a mile south of the 'Church Town,' about
the year 1753,--the son of Charles and Margaret Bligh; although I am
aware that, according to another account, he is said to have been the
son of John Bligh, of Tretawne, in the adjoining parish of St. Kew. The
earliest connexion which I have been able to trace between this family
and the parish of St. Tudy is, that they acquired some property here
of the Westlakes, in 1680-81; but there was a John Bligh, or Blygh,
at Bodmin, who acted as an assistant to the Commissioners for the
Suppression of Monasteries, temp. Henry VIII. To this ancient town a
branch of the Bligh family contributed four mayors between the years
1505 and 1588--indeed, the Cornish Blighs may be traced back as early
as the reign of Henry IV. I am not sure whether or not Admiral Sir
Richard Rodney Bligh, G.C.B, (who died in 1821), was a member of this
family; but he was a Cornishman, as were some other naval officers of
the same name.

Young Bligh--often called 'Bread-fruit Bligh,' from his having
accompanied Captain Cook,[64] as sailing-master in the _Resolution_,
on his second voyage round the world, in 1772-74, (in the course of
which the fruit associated with his name was first discovered at
Otaheite)--became a lieutenant in the Royal Navy; and, having obtained
a high reputation as a skilful navigator, was appointed by George
III. to command the _Bounty_, of 250 tons, on a voyage to Otaheite,
in December 1787. After one or two ineffectual attempts to round Cape
Horn, she arrived at her destination ten months after leaving England,
and remained there for five or six months, the crew revelling in the
natural beauty of the place, and enjoying an intercourse (which appears
unfortunately to have been totally unrestricted) with the soft savages,
its interesting inhabitants. On the homeward voyage, however, laden
with plants and specimens of the bread-fruit, which it had been the
object of the voyage to secure, with a view to its acclimatization in
the British West India Islands, Bligh--who had made himself, by his
irascible and overbearing disposition, obnoxious to many of those who
sailed with him--was secured and bound by the majority of his crew;
and, together with eighteen luckless sailors, was cast adrift on the
28th April, 1789, in an open boat only twenty-three feet long, and
deeply laden within 'eight inches of the water's edge,' in which small,
frail craft they sailed 3,618 miles. They had on board 32 lbs. of pork,
150 lbs. of bread, some wine, some spirits, and some water--but NO

    'The tender nautilus, who steers his prow,
    The sea-born sailor of his shell canoe,
    The ocean Mab, the fairy of the sea,
    Seemed far less fragile, and, alas! more free.'

Not until nearly twelve months afterwards, did they reach England;
after having touched at one or two islands, where they got a few
shell-fish and some fruit, and at the Dutch settlement of Timor, to the
east of Java, which they reached on 14th June, 1789, and where they
obtained a schooner. Bligh arrived home on the 14th March, 1790, with
twelve of his companions; the remainder having died on their weary,
miserable passage.[65] To Bligh's skill, resource, and courage, were
due the lives of all who were saved.

So astounding a voyage was, of course, the theme of conversation
throughout the country; Bligh was immediately promoted to the rank of
Commander, and soon afterwards to that of Post-Captain; shortly after
which he got appointed, in 1791, to the command of another ship, the
_Providence_, which was sent on a similar expedition to the Society
Islands. On this occasion fortune was more favourable to the brave; he
did not linger so long amongst the luxurious islets of the Pacific; and
having entirely succeeded in the object which he had in view, on his
safe return to England received the gold medal of the Society of Arts
in 1794. The practical result of this voyage was, however, a failure;
the quick-growing plantain being preferred by the West Indians to the
somewhat insipid bread-fruit. As regards the mutineers, the _Pandora_
was sent out to punish the ringleaders, some of whom her captain
brought back to Portsmouth (notwithstanding having lost his ship on the
return voyage near the north point of Australia); and at Portsmouth
three of them were executed. Many of the mutineers, however, hid in
the islands, whose charms, in the beauty of its scenery, climate,
and 'gushing fruits,' and in the hospitable offers of its chiefs, and
still more in the winning ways of the fairer sex, 'Nature and Nature's
goddess--woman,' had proved too attractive to insure their allegiance
to their duty. Byron's poem of 'The Island' is based partly upon the
sailors' adventures, and partly on 'Mariner's Account of the Tonga

Bligh also displayed great courage at the mutiny at the Nore, in 1797;
on which occasion he was deputed to negotiate with the rebellious
seamen, and is said to have performed that dangerous duty with singular
intrepidity and address.

He was present at the memorable battle off the Dogger Bank, 5th August,
1781; fought under Lord Howe at Gibraltar in 1782; commanded off Ushant
in 1794, the _Warrior_, of 74 guns; at Camperdown, 1797, when he was
captain of the 64-gun ship _Director_; and also at Copenhagen, on 21st
May, 1801, when he commanded the _Glatton_, of 54 guns (a ship's name
still perpetuated in the British navy)--

    'When to battle fierce came forth
    All the might of Denmark's crown.'

At the close of this fight Nelson sent for our Cornish hero, and
personally thanked him for the gallant part which he had taken in
that glorious engagement. In the same year, in consideration of his
distinguished services in navigation, botany, etc., he was elected a
Fellow of the Royal Society.

In 1805 he was appointed Captain-General and Governor of New South
Wales, and took up office in the following year; but his very
arbitrary disposition and harsh notions of discipline, imbibed on the
quarter-deck, and which, indeed, distinguished his character throughout
life, were strongly resented by many of his subordinate officials,
both civil and military; and, notwithstanding that his efforts (which
were approved by Lord Castlereagh) seem to have been mainly directed
towards preventing the unlimited importation of ardent spirits into the
colony, on the 26th January, 1808, Bligh was deposed from his authority
by Major George Johnston, of the 102nd Regiment, and those who served
under him, and was imprisoned by them until March, 1810.[66] In that
year he returned to England in H.M.S. _Porpoise_, as to the command of
which he had a painful squabble with her captain--Kent. He obtained
on 31st July, 1811, his flag as Rear-Admiral of the Blue; proceeding
by the usual steps of promotion until he became Vice-Admiral of the
Blue, in June, 1814. This dignity, however, he did not long enjoy at
his quiet rural retreat at Farningham, in Kent, as he died in Bond
Street, London, on the 7th December, 1817, and was buried (by the side
of his wife--a Miss Elizabeth Betham, of the Isle of Man) at Lambeth,
in the east part of the ground enclosing the church, and abutting on
the Tradescant tomb. Mrs. Bligh was a woman of superior attainments;
and her father is described as being the son of the Principal of some
(unnamed) university, and himself a literary man, the friend of Hume,
Black, Adam Smith, and Robertson. Bligh left six daughters and three
sons, William, Henry, and Richard (the latter a barrister-at-law and
author of several legal works) who sold the Tinten property, and thus
terminated the connexion of this family with the county of Cornwall.

Admiral Bligh's epitaph records that 'he was that celebrated navigator
who first transplanted the bread-fruit tree from Otaheite to the West
Indies; bravely fought the battles of his country; and died beloved,
respected, and lamented.'

He seems to have been a lenient and benevolent despot in his dealings
towards the poor, of which many instances are recorded by J. D. Lang,
Jas. Bonwick, R. Therry, and other colonial writers; and--a good
sign--he was very fond of little children.

Dr. Alfred Gatty, tells us how, when he went as a boy to Farningham,
Admiral Bligh used to take him on his knee, and let him play with a
bullet that hung on a blue ribbon round his neck--the same bullet which
he used as a weight for doling out the daily portion of bread to his
crew and to himself during their long boat-voyage of nearly 4,000 miles.

The Admiral's hasty temper, his room full of books, and his sea
curiosities, of course attracted the boy's attention, and more
especially a scar on his cheek, about which the old gentleman told him
the following story. When George III. at a levée asked him in what
action he had been wounded, Bligh was obliged to acknowledge, with some
confusion, that it was not a battle-wound; but that his father, in
throwing a hatchet to turn a horse which they were both trying to catch
in an orchard, accidentally struck him on the cheek.

As regards his family, the following additional remarks may prove not

Lady O'Connell, one of Bligh's daughters, seems to have inherited some
of her father's spirit, for she is said to have defended him on one
occasion with a pistol 'against rebels,' in Van Diemen's Land. Frances
and Jane were twins. Ann was a beauty, but mentally afflicted. On one
occasion the young ladies were followed home from Farningham Church
by a stranger, who was the subject of a little hoax played upon him
by the Misses Bligh. He had advertised for a wife, and they replied
to the advertisement by requesting him to appear, blowing his nose
demonstratively, in the aisle of the church; by which process he was to
be recognised. But so were also Frances and Jane Bligh; for they found
it impossible to conceal their laughter at the would-be Benedict's
performance, and their dupe accordingly followed them home after the
service. Here, however, he was received by the Admiral himself with
such emphatic broadsides that the wooer very quickly 'hauled off.'

Bligh's House at Farningham was, and is still known as the Manor
House; and having heard that it still contained a picture of one of
the Admiral's sea-fights, I asked my obliging correspondent, Mr. H. G.
Hewlett (then living at Mount Pleasant, Farningham), to ascertain the
facts for me, with the following result:

  'I sent over to the Manor House yesterday to obtain a report upon the
  picture; but, unfortunately, it is hung in the chamber of a maiden
  lady, who demurred to admitting visitors. They could only learn that
  it is a naval battle-piece, in which several men-of-war take part;
  that the scene is off the coast, and that several figures are wading
  to shore. Its size is about 3 ft. by 2 ft.; the carving round the
  picture, which is let into the wall, is said to be fine. The room is
  called Admiral Bligh's, and is supposed to be haunted by his ghost,
  which stumps about on a wooden leg! Miss K----, however, is not
  superstitious, it appears, and has not heard or seen the ghost!'

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]


[62] When some Pitcairn Islanders came on board the _Clio_, during a
violent storm, in an open boat, in 1874, they declined all offers of
food, medicine, or anything of that sort; but they added, 'There is one
thing we should like--have you a copy of "Lothair"?'

[63] Tynten or Tinten was the seat of an ancient Cornish family of that
name, dating from at least the time of Edward I. It afterwards passed
by marriage to the Carminows and the Courtenays.

[64] At the United Service Institution Museum, in Whitehall, are
relics of Captain Cook, including his chronometer, taken out again by
Captain Bligh, in 1787, and carried by the mutineers of the _Bounty_ to
Pitcairn Island.

[65] An account of this voyage was published in London, in 1792, and
contains Bligh's portrait. The details are also well given in David
Herbert's 'Great Historical Mutinies.' It appears from the minutes of
the court-martial that the rising of the crew against Bligh was not the
result of any long-hatched conspiracy, but that it was both planned and
executed between four and eight in the morning of the 28th April.

[66] See Wentworth's 'New South Wales,' p. 200; and Bonwick's 'Curious
Facts of Old Colonial Days.'



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



    'A violet by a mossy stone,
      Half-hidden from the eye.'


In the Churchwardens' Accounts for the parish of St. Mary Woolnoth, in
the City of London, are the following entries, the first of which (and
one of the earliest in the book) makes mention of a Sir John Percyvall,
who had a chantry in that church. He was Sheriff in 1486, and Lord
Mayor in 1498; received the honour of knighthood from Henry VII., and
died circa 1504.

The second, dated 1539, runs as follows: 'It'm receyved of the Maister
and Wardens of the Merchynt Taillors for the beme light of this Churche
according to the devise of Dame Thomasyn Percyvall, widow, late wyf of
Sir John Percyvall, knight, decessed, xxvj^s viii^d.'

A third runs: 'It'm receyved more of the Maister and Wardens of the
Merchant-taillours for ij tapers, th'oon of xv lb. and the other of v
lb. to burne about the sepulchure in this Chirch at Ester Sunday, and
for the Churchwardens labor of this Churche to gyve attendance at the
obit of S^r John Percyvall and of his wyfe according to the devyse of
the said Dame Thomasyn Percyvall his wyf iiij^l, vi^s iiij^d.'

And the last: 'It'm receyved of the said Maister and Wardenns of
Merchant-taillours for the reparacions of the ornaments of this Chirche
according to the will of the said S^r John Percyvall vj^s.'

Herbert, in his 'History of the Livery Companies of London,' gives the
following particulars of the estates out of the proceeds of which the
above funds were paid, viz.: 'So far as S^r John was concerned, the
annual sum of 16s. 4d. and £13 6s. 8d., issuing from certain messuages
of the Company; and (as regards Dame Thomazine) the sums of 53s. 4d.,
21s. 4d., and 13s. 10d., and 20s. yearly, all of the premises being
situate in the parishes of St. Mary Wolnoth, St. Michael Cornhill, St.
Martin Vintry, and St. Dionysius (or Denis) Back-Church, in Fenchurch
Street.' He also gives an account of the manner in which the said funds
were disposed of: as, good round sums to priests 'for singing for Sir
John;' to priests and clerks for ringing of bells at the obits; for wax
to burn on those occasions; sundry sums for the poor, etc.; for the
'conduct for keeping the anthem;' and, amongst other disbursements, ten
shillings 'for a potation to the neighbours at the said obit.'

The charities left by this benevolent couple are also set out at p. 502
of the same work.

And lastly, the Stratton Churchwardens' Accounts for 1513, show that on
the day on which 'my _lady parcyvale's_ meneday' came round (_i.e._ the
day on which her death was to be _had in mind_), prayer was to be made
for the repose of her soul, and two shillings and twopence paid to two
priests, and for bread and ale.

This, I believe, is nearly all that exists in the shape of documentary
evidence to bear record of the existence of the Cornish girl who forms
the subject of this notice. There are, however, still to be seen in
the remote and quiet little village of Week St. Mary, some five or
six miles south of Bude, in the northern corner of Cornwall, the
substantial remains of the good Thomasine's College and Chantry, which
she founded for the instruction of the youth of her native place.

The buildings lie about a hundred yards east of the church (from the
summit of whose grotesquely ornamented tower six-and-twenty parish
churches may be discerned); and, built into the modern wall of a
cottage which stands inside the battlemented enclosure, is a large,
carved granite stone (evidently one of two which once formed the
tympanum of a doorway) on which the letter =T= stands out in bold
relief. Probably it is the initial of the Christian name of our
Thomasine; at any rate it is pleasant to think it may be such.

The traditions, however, concerning her are not only still numerous
in the neighbourhood, but are as implicitly believed as if they were
recorded by the most unimpeachable of chroniclers. They have been
embodied, not without considerable imaginative embellishment, by the
late Rev. R. S. Hawker of Morwenstow, in a pleasant chapter in his
charming 'Footprints of Men of Former Times in Cornwall,' and they are
somewhat as follows:

Thomasine Bonaventura was a poor shepherd maiden, and tended her
sheep--'the long-forgotten Cornish knott'[67]--on the wild moorlands
of North Cornwall, in days when more attention was paid than in later
times to the produce of the flocks, and less was devoted, at least in
this part of the county, to the mineral resources which lie hid in
its bosom. Even the wealthy merchants of London came down so far into
the west country to buy wool; and it was probably about the middle
of the fifteenth century when one 'Richard Bunsby,' a citizen of the
metropolis, made his appearance on the scene, which opens on the banks
of one of the many little moorland streams that run down from Greena
Moor in Week St. Mary, sweeping round Marham Church Hill, and so into
Bude Haven. Struck with the shepherdess's bright looks and intelligent
remarks, he proposed that she should return to London with him, and
become a domestic servant in his house; and Thomasine's parents having
given their consent to so brilliant a proposal, as it seemed to them,
to London she went, and received on her arrival a hearty welcome from
her new mistress. In course of time she became a great favourite with
all in the house, the manager of its concerns, and, on the death
of Dame Bunsby, the old merchant married his Cornish housekeeper,
in compliance with the express wish of his late wife. Three years
afterwards, Richard Bunsby, too, died, leaving all his property to
Thomasine; and thus she became a wealthy widow. Yet did she not forget
her husband's memory, to which she caused to be erected (so it is said)
a substantial bridge; a structure (or perhaps I should say its modern
representative), which may still be seen, as it was by myself in the
autumn of 1880, at Week Ford.

One so 'sweet and serviceable,' and withal so rich, was not long, we
may be sure, without suitors; and so, after a while, we find Thomasine
again married; this time to 'that worshipful merchant adventurer,
Master John Gall, of St. Lawrence, Milk Street.' He, too, was wealthy
and uxorious; and enabled his wife to confer many benefits on the poor
of her native place, for which she seems to have always entertained a
lingering fondness--a trait as characteristic of the Cornish as of the
Swiss themselves. After the lapse, however, of five years, Thomasine
found herself once more alone in the world; and again her husband had
left her all his property.

She had not to wait long before many fresh lovers were at the feet
of the 'Golden Widow;' and on this occasion, in the year 1497, she
bestowed her hand upon Sir John Percyvall, who was, the year after
their marriage, elected to the honourable post of Lord Mayor of London.
In memory of this event, she is reported to have constructed a good new
road down to the coast, which I am bound to say I have not succeeded in
identifying,--though it may be that which runs from Week St. Mary, over
Week Ford and through Poundstock, to either Wansum or Melhuc Mouth.

She long survived even her third husband; and retiring, as it is
believed, to Week St. Mary, by her will, made in 1510, left goodly sums
of money to the home of her childhood. She directed that the 'chauntry
with cloisters' (to which reference has already been made) should be
built there; and that a school should be founded for the children of
the poor.[68]

If Mr. Hawker's testimony is to be accepted, she also left, by a
codicil to her will, and in memory of an early love affair, to the
priest of the church, where she knew her cousin John Dineham would
serve and sing, 'the silver chalice gilt, which good Master Maskelyne
had devised for her behoof, with a little blue flower which they do
call a "forget-me-not," wrought in Turkess at the bottom of the bowl.'
But Mr. Hawker's mind was always full of graceful fancies; and he has
in this case undoubtedly drawn upon his imagination for his facts.

Carew is a more reliable if less poetic authority. He says: 'And to
show that virtue as well bare a part in the desert, as fortune in the
means of her preferment, she employed the whole residue of her life
and last widowhood to works no less bountiful than charitable; namely,
repairing of highways, building of bridges, endowing of maidens,
relieving of prisoners, feeding and apparelling the poor, etc. Among
the rest, at this St. Mary Wike she founded a chantry and free-school,
together with fair lodgings for the schoolmasters, scholars, and
officers, and added £20 of yearly revenue for supporting the incident
charges: wherein, as the bent of her desire was holy, so God blessed
the same with all wished success; for divers of the best gentlemen's
sons of Devon and Cornwall were there virtuously trained up, in both
kinds of divine and human learning, under one Cholwel, an honest and
religious teacher, which caused the neighbours so much the rather, and
the more to rue, that a petty smack only of popery opened the gap to
the oppression of the whole, by the statute made in Edward VI.'s reign,
touching the suppression of chanteries.'


[67] According to Dr. Borlase, 'the sheep in Cornwall in ancient times
were remarkably small, and their fleeces so coarse that their wool
bare no better title than that of _Cornish hair_, and under that name
the cloth made of that wool was allowed to be exported without being
subject to the customary duty paid for woollen cloth. When cultivation
began to take place, and the cattle to improve in size and goodness,
the Cornish had the same privilege confirmed to them by grant from
Edward the Black Prince (first Duke of Cornwall after the Norman
Conquest), in consideration of their paying four shillings for every
hundredweight of white tin coined. The same privilege of exporting
cloth of Cornish manufacture, duty-free, was confirmed to them by the
twenty-first of Elizabeth.'

[68] Dame Thomasine Percival's chantry and college at Week St. Mary
were, according to the Church Commissioners, in 1545, a great comfort
to all the county, from children being sent there to board and to be
taught; but two years after the schoolhouse was in ruins, owing (so it
was stated) to its being in a desolate place; and removal to Launceston
was suggested.



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



Amongst the worthies of Truro who have left 'footprints on the sands
of time,' there are few more deserving of remembrance than Henry Bone,
the only Royal Academician that his native place ever produced. He was
born on February the 6th, 1755, and was the son of a cabinet-maker
and carver, who is said to have been a clever workman, and to have
carved the old pulpit of St. Mary's Church, Truro. One of the same
name, and perhaps of the same family, a Walter Bone, was Mayor of Truro
in 1708. In 1767 the family removed to Plymouth, and in 1771 Bone,
showing artistic tastes, was apprenticed to the ingenious William
Cookworthy, a druggist there, who discovered the secret of making
hard-paste porcelain, in England, out of Cornish granite and clay, and
who thereupon established the Plymouth China Works. In 1772 Bone's
master removed to Bristol, where, in conjunction with the Champions,
to whom he had become related by marriage, Cookworthy established the
equally celebrated Bristol Porcelain Works. Bone accompanied him; and
here he remained until 1778, working from six in the morning to six in
the evening in the factory, and after that improving himself in the art
of drawing. It is considered that the best painting executed at the
Bristol Works was by Bone, and he is believed to have used the figure
1 in addition to the factory-mark +. Bristol pieces so marked are now
very rare.

On the failure in business of his new master, Champion, in 1778, Bone,
in the following year, came to London, with one guinea of his own
in his pocket, and £5 lent to him by his friend, Morris, a cooper.
At first he found employment in enameling watches, etc.; but this
work failing him, owing to a change of the fashion, he commenced
miniature-painting in water-colours on ivory, and also in enamel. Here
it may be noted that he was employed first on enamel-painting, etc.,
by Randle and Co., Paternoster Row; and also on painting fans for
Crowder and Co., Foster Lane. His distinguishing excellence is said to
have been that he used enamel paints just as other colours, instead
of, according to the feeble practice of the day, first mixing _on the
palette_ every colour to be used. His predecessor in this art was
Horace Hone; but the latter's work was, in many respects, very inferior
to that of the Cornish artist.

Dr. Wolcot (Peter Pindar) early recognised his merit, as he also did
that of Opie, and recommended Bone to make annual painting tours
into Cornwall; but increasing work in town compelled him at length
to give up these congenial trips. On the 24th January, 1780, he
married Elizabeth Vandermeulen, a descendant of Philip Vandermeulen,
battle-painter to William III.; and Bone's first picture, exhibited
at the Royal Academy in the same year, was an enamel painting of his
newly-married wife. This enamel was of the then unusual size of two and
a half inches in height, and Bone's complete success on this occasion
led him now to determine on setting up on his own account instead of
working for others. In 1782 his own portrait followed. These works
brought him into prominent notice, and numerous patrons came to his
studio. Giving his entire attention now to enamel-painting,--which has
been well called 'painting for eternity,'--he completed, in 1789, 'A
Muse and Cupid,' from his own design, of a greater size than had ever
before been executed by this process.[69]

In 1794 we find him exhibiting 'The Sleeping Girl,' after Sir Joshua
Reynolds; and in 1797 a portrait of Lord Eglinton, which attracted
the attention of the Prince of Wales, who appointed him, in 1800,
his enamel-painter, and became a generous patron to him afterwards.
In the following year he was elected Associate of the Royal Academy,
and enamel-painter to George III.; and he occupied the same post
under George IV. and William IV. He subsequently executed several
fine enamels, mostly after Sir Joshua Reynolds, and also a fine piece
after Leonardo da Vinci. On 15th April, 1811, he was elected Royal
Academician, and shortly after produced the largest enamel which had
ever been painted up to that time, viz., a copy of the 'Bacchus and
Ariadne' in the National Gallery, after Titian, eighteen by sixteen
inches. This picture was considered so marvellous a production that
more than 4,000 persons went to inspect it at Bone's house; and it was
at length sold to Mr. G. Bowles, of Cavendish Square and Wanstead, for
2,200 guineas. The story goes, on the authority of Mr. George Bone, of
Blackheath, that this sum was paid in the form of a cheque drawn on
Fauntleroy's Bank. Bone cashed it on his way home, in order to have the
pleasure of showing to his wife so huge a sum in coin. The following
day the notorious forgeries and frauds were discovered, and the firm
was bankrupt. But according to a writer in the 'Annual Biography' for
1836, who seems to have been well acquainted with Bone, the amount was
paid partly in cash and partly by a draft.

Bone next undertook, in addition to enamel portraits and copies from
the ancient masters, a series of historical portraits, mostly of
the time of Elizabeth. They were of great merit, but unsuccessful
financially. These were exhibited at his house, 15 Berners Street, near
that of his friend Opie, No. 8, who painted Bone's portrait.[70] There
were also portraits of the Cavaliers distinguished in the Civil War,
painted for J. P. Old; as well as portraits of the Russell family, from
the reign of Henry VII., for the Duke of Bedford. A catalogue of the
last-named was privately printed in 1825, and there is a copy of it in
the South Kensington Museum.

In 1831 failing eyesight compelled him to retire to Somers Town, and
reluctantly to receive the Academy pension; but owing to the expensive
professions adopted by his sons, there was no alternative. Here he
died of paralysis on December 17th, 1834. Some time before his death
Bone offered his works, which were valued at £10,000, to the nation
for £4,000. This offer was declined, and some time afterwards, viz.,
22nd April, 1836, they were sold by auction at Christie and Manson's,
realizing about 2,000 guineas, and so were scattered far and wide.
Other important sales of Bone's enamels took place on the following
dates, viz.: 1st May, 1846; 25th April, 1850; 10th May, 1854; and 13th
and 14th March, 1856.

Bone had a large family--twelve, it is believed; of whom ten survived.
His eldest son, Henry Pierce Bone, born November 6th, 1779, first
exhibited at the Academy in 1799. He commenced enamel-painting in 1833,
was appointed enamel-painter to Queen Adelaide, and afterwards to her
present Majesty and the Prince Consort; and in the course of fifty-six
years he exhibited 210 miniatures and enamels. He died in London,
October 21st, 1855. Bone's grandsons (W. Bone and C. K. Bone) are also

Robert Trewick Bone, the third son, born September 24th, 1790, was a
subject-painter of some ability. He died from the effects of a hurt,
May 5th, 1840. One son, Thomas, a midshipman, was wrecked and drowned,
in the _Racehorse_, sloop, off the Isle of Man. Another, Peter, a
lieutenant in the 36th Regiment, was wounded at the battle of Toulouse,
and died soon after his return to England; and another of Bone's sons
was called to the bar.

Of Henry Bone's private character, it was truly said, by one who
knew him well, that 'unaffected modesty, generosity, friendship, and
undeviating integrity adorned his private life;' and as to his artistic
merits, it is no exaggeration to say that he was 'unequalled in Europe
for the perfect truth and enduring brilliancy of his productions.'

A voluminous list, prepared by the late Mr. J. Jope Rogers, of the
works of art produced by the various members of the Bone family, will
be found in the 'Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall,' No.
XXII., for March, 1880. It shows a total of 1,063 recorded works by
this gifted family, nearly half of which were painted by the principal
subject of this brief memoir.

Chantrey executed a fine bust of Henry Bone, which has been well
engraved by Thomson; and there is another portrait of him, as an
elderly man, which was painted by Harlow, and engraved by F. C. Lewis
in 1824.


[69] His 'H. B.' signature was similar to Doyle's ('H. B.') and most of
his works are, fortunately for collectors, so signed.

[70] Bone's various residences in London were as follows, in
chronological order: Spa Fields; 195, High Holborn; Little Russell
Street; Hanover Street, Hanover Square; and in 1801, Berners Street;
thence he moved to Clarendon Square, Somers Town.



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



  'In the shade, but shining.'

                      POPE _to Borlase_.

The little parish of Ludgvan[71] (or as it is sometimes called,
Ludgvan-Lees), on the north shore of the Mount's Bay, can boast of
having contributed at least its share to the list of illustrious
Cornishmen. Small, remote, and obscure as it is, Ludgvan is one of
the places mentioned as the birthplace of Sir Humphry Davy; it was
for more than half a century the residence of the subject of this
article; and here, too, at Tremenheere, was born one of the most
illustrious professors of the healing art that the county has ever
produced--himself the friend and medical attendant of Borlase and of
Pope--I refer to Dr. William Oliver, of Bath.

That the pursuits of a keen inquirer, endowed with no ordinary powers
of observation and considerable artistic talent, should, in such
an out-of-the-way corner of England as Ludgvan still is, have been
directed towards natural history, and to the megalithic remains of
antiquity with which the neighbourhood once abounded, and of which
there are still numerous examples, is not to be wondered at. And it
cannot be denied that the study of those sciences, both in Cornwall
and elsewhere, was materially benefited by the numerous and careful
drawings and descriptions of the stone monuments of a mysterious and
almost unknown race of men, which it was one of the main objects of
Dr. Borlase's learned leisure to investigate and record. Many of these
ancient remains have altogether disappeared since his time, and many
others have been mutilated or altered; but in the Doctor's volumes such
minute descriptions of them have been preserved that the loss of the
monuments themselves has been rendered of much less serious importance
than would have been the case but for his careful and elaborate
records. Of the deductions and suggestions which are appended to those
descriptions something will be said hereafter.

But, in accordance with the method adopted in the case of the other
Worthies of Cornwall, it is well first to say something of the stock
from which Dr. Borlase sprang. A Norman origin is claimed for the
family--they are said to have descended from one Taillefer: presumably
some connexion of him who is reported to have struck the first blow at
the Battle of Hastings. Coming into Cornwall, as, by the way, very few
other followers of the Norman Conqueror did, the Borlases seem to have
adopted a custom which has always more or less prevailed in the county
of merging their own name into that of their place of residence; and
here it may be observed that the name of Borlase, supposed by some to
mean 'the high green summit,' is still attached to two or three little
homesteads in the parish of St. Wenn, three or four miles north-east of
St. Columb Major.[72] The direct male line became extinct in the time
of Elizabeth, when the coheiresses married a Tonkin and a Bray; and
the family does not appear to have risen to any distinction until they
moved farther westward, and about the middle of the seventeenth century
took up their abode (which is still in the possession of a member of
the family) at Pendeen, in the parish of St. Just.

The early Pendeen Borlases seem to have been staunch Royalists, for it
seems that one of them assisted his cousin, Colonel Nicholas Borlase,
in raising a troop of horse for the King. Of this troop a writer in the
_Quarterly Review_ for 1875, quotes the following story:

  'Being on one occasion much pressed by the Puritan forces, and making
  a running fight, he set fire to a large brake of furze in the night,
  which the enemy taking for the fires made on the approach of the
  King's army, immediately fled with great precipitation, and left him
  both bag and baggage, which he seized the next morning.'

By way of comment on these proceedings, Fairfax quartered some of his
troopers at Pendeen,--doubtless to the intense annoyance of the owner
thereof; and as regards Colonel Nicholas, a letter from Cromwell to
Lenthall tells all that I have been able to gather as to that hero's
career. It is dated Edinburgh, 13th June, 1651, and asks the Speaker
to hasten the hearing of Borlase's case, which seems to have been
involved in the conditions of the hurried treaty of Truro, when Hopton
surrendered to Fairfax, and terminated the supremacy of the Royal cause
in the West country.

The Borlases were not, however, without some sort of barren reward for
their faithfulness to the Stuart cause; for Humphry, who was Sheriff
of Cornwall during the last two years of the reign of James II., was
created a peer by that monarch _after his abdication_. Under these
circumstances he, of course, never enjoyed the title. He sometimes
resided at Truthan, in the parish of St. Erme, near Truro, and left his
estates to the Borlases of Pendeen.

Dr. Borlase was born at Pendeen, on 2nd February, 1695, the second
son of his father, 'John of Pendeen, twice Member of Parliament for
St. Ives in Cornwall in the reign of Queen Anne, and Lydia Harris, of
Hayne, county Devon, his wife,' a lady descended, so the writer in the
_Quarterly Review_ informs us, through the Nevilles and Bouchiers, from
Edward III. But the Borlases had also plenty of good Cornish blood
in their veins; and amongst other old families of the soil with whom
they intermarried may be named their not very distant neighbours, the

With a member of the last-named family John Borlase seems to have had
an altercation one day in church, the particulars of which are set
forth in his victim's petition to Parliament as follows, viz.:


  'Life, the precious tenet of mankind, forceth me to inform your
  honours that Sunday, the 26th February, 1709, in full view of most
  of the congregation of Maddern, John Borlase, one of Her Majesty's
  Justices of the Peace, did wilfully break the peace by striking me
  almost to the ground with his staff, and if not timely prevented
  by one Paul Tonkin, he would have been striking me again. He did
  at the same time highly threaten me, with Chrit^{r}. Harris, Esq.,
  Jane his wife, and John his son. Mr. Harris ordered his servant to
  beat me. Of the truth of the above information I am ready to give
  my corroboration. Humbly craving the Honble. Speaker and House of
  Commons not to skreene such daring offenders, but to give me leave to
  prosecute them as the law directs, is the humble prayer of, Hond.

         'Your in all humility and duty,

                     'FFRANCES GODOLPHIN.'

What this poor gentleman had done to deserve the 'Justice's justice'
thus summarily inflicted on him, observes the writer in the _Quarterly
Review_, from whom I quote this letter, there and then, in the midst
as it seems of divine service, and by the occupant of the next pew, we
are left to conjecture.

Pendeen[73] is a house of unusual interest in this part of
Cornwall, where, indeed, primæval remains abound, but where are few
examples--save small and (with one or two exceptions) not particularly
interesting churches--of mediæval and later architecture. It is
now occupied as a farmhouse, but was formerly a place of much more
importance. Substantially built of native granite, the structure was
evidently designed for the occupation of some prosperous man; and
its ground-plot indicates that it was so traced as to be capable of
some sort of defence against marauders. In one of the bedrooms--most
probably that in which William Borlase first saw the light--are some
curious figures on the wall, of which a sketch is preserved by the

But it is not so much to the house itself as to its surroundings that
we must look for what were probably the determining circumstances
of Borlase's career. He was in the very heart of the cromlehs, the
cliff-castles, the weird stone-circles, and the huge monoliths of
a forgotten race; and, close to the house, there was a long and
mysterious double cave--a vau or ogou--which, we can but believe,
must have excited an inquiring child's awe-struck interest. We are
indebted chiefly to himself for the little that we know of his early
days; and this information is derived from a modest autobiographical
sketch which he drew up in 1772, when seventy-seven years old, for his
friend Huddesford, the Curator of the Ashmolean Museum, at Oxford,
an institution to which Borlase contributed nearly the whole of his
collections of natural history and antiquities.

His first school seems to have been at the nearest town, Penzance;
and of him his master said what so many a master has said of many
another apt but dreamy and indolent scholar, who was nevertheless
destined afterwards to distinguish himself, that 'he could learn, but
would not.' Thence he went, in 1709, under the tuition of the Rev.
Mr. Bedford, at Plymouth, where he seems to have profited more by the
instruction which he received. It has also been supposed that he was
educated partly at Tiverton School. In March, 1712-13 he was entered,
Cornish fashion, at Exeter College, Oxford, and here he took his B.A.
and M.A. degrees in due course; was in 1719 ordained deacon; and in
1720, priest.

Dr. Borlase gives the following picture of the Oxford of his days:

  'When I was at Oxford in the year 1715, we--I mean pupils, tutors,
  barbers, shoe-cleaners, and bed-makers--minded nothing but Politics;
  the Muse stood neglected; nay meat and drink, balls and ladies,
  had all reason to complain in their turns that we minded Scotland
  and Preston more than the humane, softer, and more delicate
  entertainments of Genius and Philosophy. This was a most unhappy
  time, and I have often lamented it.' And he concludes with the strong
  Conservative opinion: 'If I can see anything in our English history,
  'tis that the poor nation is always the worse for alterations, tho'
  particular persons may be the better, that is, the richer or more

His amusing description of a journey home from the University with Sir
John St. Aubyn, in 1722, is given hereafter in the chapter on that

Two years after he was ordained priest, and (his father having bought
for him the next presentation) he was presented to the living of
Ludgvan, by Charles, first Duke of Bolton, through the influence, as
Nichols inaccurately tells us, of Sir William Morice, of Werrington--a
family with whom the St. Aubyns intermarried. This living he held for
fifty-two years.[74]

When Borlase settled in his Rectory, the retired situation of the
place did not altogether prevent his indulging in the mild social
dissipations of the neighbourhood; notably there was a bowling-green
club, formed in 1719, which proved an agreeable means of meeting with
his friends, and afforded Mr. Gwavas--one of the latest writers in the
old Cornish language, and a member of the party--an opportunity of
composing a set of verses in Cornish in honour of the foundation of the

There can be little doubt, from what we know of his surroundings and
proclivities, that Borlase was already making notes of the neighbouring
antiquities, and dipping into his favourite authorities--the best
of the day--for information, which he was afterwards to apply in a
somewhat too speculative manner, to his pet subject--the Druids. He
seems to have relied mainly for this purpose upon several passages in
Julius Cæsar, Pliny, Elias Schedius de Diis Germanis, Smith's 'Syntagma
de Druidis;' a collection of the French and German writers in Frickius
de Druidis, Sheringham, Sammes, Montfaucon, Mons. Martin's 'Religion of
the Ancient Gauls,' Toland's 'History of the Druids,' Rowland's 'Mona
Illustrata,' Dr. Stukeley in his 'Stonehenge and Abury,' and Keysler in
his 'Antiquities.'[75]

His method was to examine, and especially to survey and to _draw_
carefully the old weather-beaten stone structures of Cornwall; being
convinced, as he says, 'of the necessity of copying the original
monuments,' and 'offering something to the public which their
_undeniable_ properties suggested.' We shall, however, I think,
presently see that, in endeavouring to carry out this method, the
worthy antiquary was rather prone to do that which so many other
investigators have done--namely, to see that which he _wished_ to see.

Fortunately for him, and for the records of the 'Cornish Antiquities,'
when he married (as he did in 1724) Anne Smith, the daughter of the
then Rector of Camborne and Illogan--'peramatæ, amanti, amabili,' as
he wrote for her epitaph--he found a partner who (again to use his own
words) took 'more than her part of the domestic cares,' in order that
he might the better prosecute his antiquarian researches. The marriage
ceremony was performed by his elder brother the Rev. Walter Borlase,
LL.D., of Castle Horneck (the seat of the family on their removing from
Pendeen, about a century and a half ago), afterwards Vice-Warden of the
Stannaries from 1761 to 1776.

Although he lived to a very ripe old age, his health seems to have
somewhat failed him for a time in 1730; and he accordingly repaired to
Bath, as the waters were then in high repute for maladies such as his,
in order to be under the care of his friend Dr. Oliver, who happily
cured him, and gave him 'a new lease of life.' There can be little
doubt that this excursion was also of great importance in another
way; for it was here, and at this time, that he made the acquaintance
of Pope,[76] of Ralph Allen, and of many other well-known characters
in the literary and scientific world, who afterwards became his
correspondents. His clever pencil was also employed during his sojourn
at Bath in designing the obelisk in Orange Grove--so named after the
Prince of Orange--another of those persons who credited the renowned
Bath waters with the power of renewing their youth.

In 1732 Dr. Borlase's elder brother, Walter, died; and thereupon the
subject of this memoir had the Vicarage of St. Just added to his
previous preferment. This second living he held for the long period of
forty years. The two places were not so far apart (only about twelve
miles) as to preclude his giving attention to both cures; and indeed
those biographers who have written of Borlase (notably Chalmers), state
that his performance of his clerical duties was highly praiseworthy,
being marked with 'the most rigid punctuality and exemplary dignity.'
At St. Just, a populous mining parish, his congregation often consisted
of 1,000 persons on a Sunday morning, and 500 in the afternoon. This,
too, it must be remembered, was at a time when Churchmanship generally
was at a very low ebb in Cornwall, and needed Wesley's trumpet-call to
arouse it.[77]

Notwithstanding his increased responsibilities, Borlase did not neglect
his antiquarian and scientific studies, nor his out-of-door pursuits
of gardening and planting, for which the mild air of Ludgvan was
highly favourable. In fact, at this period he seems to have 'entered
upon the study of Druid learning' with renewed fervour. His chief
companions were Sir John St. Aubyn of St. Michael's Mount hard by,
and the Rev. Edward Collins of St. Erth, the latter of whom appears
to have joined in nearly all his rambles, and not to have failed to
administer occasionally 'the salutary censure of a friend;' for, as
Borlase himself tells us, he found Mr. Collins a useful 'check in some

Thus tranquilly passed away some fifteen years of this quiet and
uneventful, but busy life,[78] until circumstances again brought
him into contact with that outer world of larger and more learned
minds which 'do mostly congregate in cities.' In 1748 he went to
Exeter, to be present at the ordination of his eldest son. Here he
was introduced to the Dean of Exeter, the Rev. Dr. Charles Lyttelton,
afterwards Bishop of Carlisle, and the first President of the Society
of Antiquaries. And it is not a little curious to note, by the way,
that Dr. Lyttelton's successor as Dean of Exeter, Jeremiah Milles,
of Duloe in Cornwall, also succeeded his predecessor in the Deanery
in the distinguished post of President of the Antiquaries. It can
readily be believed that new sources of intellectual enjoyment opened
up with an acquaintance with such men as these. They forthwith became
correspondents; and to their names were added, either about this time
or at other periods of Borlase's life, those of Linnæus, Gronov of
Leyden, Stukeley, Atterbury (Bishop of Rochester), Browne Willis,
Pococke (Bishop of Ossory), Thomas Pennant, and Ellis, the author of
the 'Corallines.' The library at Castle Horneck contains upwards of
forty volumes in MS. of Borlase's Correspondence and Notes.

One of the fruits of Borlase's visit to Exeter was the production of
his first essay (or 'Exercise' as it was termed) for the 'Philosophical
Transactions.' This appeared in 1749. It was the first scientific
account of any of the Cornish minerals; and was entitled 'Spar, and
Sparry Productions, called Cornish Diamonds.' This was considered of
sufficient merit to secure his election as Fellow of the Royal Society,
an honour which was conferred upon him on his visit to London in the
following year. Many other contributions followed, nineteen in all;
chiefly on subjects connected with meteorology and natural phenomena,
and one paper of an antiquarian character. They are catalogued in the
'Biographia Britannica,' vol. ii., p. 425.

But the time had now arrived when Borlase felt himself strong enough
to invite the attention of the world to more considerable works from
his pen and pencil. And first he turned his attention to grouping and
arranging the results of his archæological researches, the publication
of which, by subscription, he set about accomplishing. It was not,
however, until 1753 that he saw his way clear to taking the MSS. of
his 'Cornish Antiquities' with him to Oxford--preferring that city to
London for two reasons, the first of which we can easily understand,
viz., its greater retirement; but the second is one which sounds
strange to modern ears, because of the '_more ready access to books_.'
So great was his diligence, and that of his engravers, that the work,
in folio, with its numerous illustrations, was published at Oxford in
February of the following year, 1754;[79] and the indefatigable author
at once returned to Cornwall in order to arrange the materials for his
next great work, the 'Natural History' of his native county. Meanwhile,
in 1756, appeared his account of the Scilly Islands, an enlargement of
one of his papers in the 'Philosophical Transactions,' and a work of
which Dr. Johnson wrote in the _Literary Review_ that 'This is one of
the most pleasing and elegant pieces of local inquiry that our country
has produced.'

On this occasion, too, he seems to have proceeded with his usual
despatch; for in October, 1757, we find him once more at Oxford, for
the purpose of printing the last-named work. And again, by the spring
of the following year, 1758, this too was ready for the public eye.

Having now secured in print the results of so many years' labours, the
happy idea occurred to him of presenting to his beloved University
the collections of antiquities, natural history, etc., upon which his
works were based, and he accordingly deposited them forthwith in the
Ashmolean Museum, continuing to send thither from time to time any
similar rarities which he discovered. It is scarcely necessary to add
that for this generous gift he received the thanks of the University;
which, in token of the high appreciation in which they held his talents
and his liberality, on the 23rd March, 1766, conferred on him, by
diploma, the degree of Doctor of Laws, the highest academical honour
which it was in the power of the University to bestow.

But Borlase was now getting an old man, being over seventy years of
age. The friends of his youth were dying off; and he was unable to
undertake the long antiquarian rambles which had been the delight of
his stalwart days. His outdoor amusements began to be restricted to
the superintendence (which he seems to have thoroughly enjoyed) of the
improvement of the numerous roads which ran through his parish; one
of which, it may be mentioned, was the highroad to Penzance, until
that which now skirts the shore of the Mount's Bay was substituted
for it. His literary labours consisted partly in writing his 'Sacræ
Exercitationes,' which were chiefly paraphrases of Ecclesiastes, the
Canticles of Solomon, and the Lamentations of Jeremiah--rather for
his own pleasure than with any view to publication; and his home
recreations were the 'Belles Lettres' and drawing and painting. He did
not, however, neglect entirely his old pursuits; for he prepared for
the press the new and enlarged edition of his 'Antiquities,' which, as
we have seen, was published in 1769; and he busily engaged himself in
a similar office for his 'Natural History,' which he did not live to
complete. The emendations, however (or rather the principal of them),
appeared in the Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall for 1875.
And during this latter part of his life, as well as during the previous
years, he was occupied in collecting materials for a Parochial History
of the County, which never saw the light.

His last literary labour was a treatise on the 'Creation and the
Deluge,' which contains some ingenious speculations on the nature of
earthquakes and submarine upheavals. The beginning of this little work
he had actually sent to the press; but a sudden and violent illness in
1771 warned him that he was overtaxing his strength, and he resolved
not to go on with the publication. Within two or three months of his
death he drew up a short memoir of his life, written in the third
person, for his friend Huddesford, which closes in the following happy

  'Being now in his seventy-seventh year, very little more can be hoped
  for by himself or expected by others.

  'Having been long accustomed to the confinement of his study,
  retirement and old age incessantly call upon him with the less
  terrour; and resignation to his increasing infirmities becomes every
  day easier and less irksome, till at last he now accounts it among
  the blessings of long life that it has quieted and extinguished
  every spark of ambition, and that it enables him to withdraw more
  and more with some decency from the world; precluding the perhaps
  well-intended, though rather too frequent visits of civility, in which
  there is generally more dissipation at all stages of life than real
  compensation for the waste of time, especially in the days of age.

  'In hopes, however, of being not entirely useless as yet, whilst it
  pleases God to grant him life, most of his present time (as not the
  least of his pleasures) he allots to the instruction of a dutiful and
  apprehensive youth, the present companion of his retirement.'

So lived, and so, on the 31st August, 1772, peacefully died, at
Ludgvan, Cornwall's 'Nourice of Antiquity,' Dr. William Borlase. He was
buried by the side of his wife, near the east end of his own church,
on the north side of the altar; and his executor inscribed on his
unpretending monument the words:

      'Perurbani, perhumani, perquam pii,
        hujusce parochiæ per annos LII.
            rectoris desideratissimi,
    in republica necnon literaria versatissimi.
              Loquuntur scripta,
              testantur posteri.'

He had six sons, only two of whom survived him, the Rev. John Borlase
and the Rev. George Borlase, Casuistical Professor and Registrar of the
University of Cambridge. His son Christopher, a sailor, died of a fever
on the coast of Guinea in 1749, and appears to have inherited some of
his father's artistic skill.

As an illustration of Borlase's 'method,' and of his perfervid
imagination when he got amongst his native granite rocks, I have
thought it would be interesting to cull the following few notes from
his 'Scilly Isles':

'On a Carn adjoining the Giant's Castle,' he observes, 'the floor,
consisting only of one Rock, must convince us that this _Circle_
was intended for a place of Worship, for it could not serve for a
_Sepulchre_; but why the _Quoits_ were hollowed out into _Basons_ (as
they are placed in a _Religious Circle_) must have been in some sort
or other subservient to the purposes of the _Druid Superstition_.' As
regards the 'Rock Basons,' he goes on to say, 'My opinion concerning
the use of them you do not want to be informed of; I have always
thought that they were designed to receive in their utmost purity the
waters of the Heavens for holy uses; but in such doubtful cases let
every man think for himself.' A little further on, however, the worthy
Doctor's theory as to the extreme purity of the water is somewhat
disturbed by his finding some of them inconveniently near the sea; but
he is equal to the occasion. 'Though,' he says, 'the spray of the sea
so near them on every hand might well be supposed to fill these Basons
with salt water, yet I found the water in them to be quite fresh.' Some
of these were actually under the sea-level!

In another place, writing of tolmens, the Doctor observes that, though
their Cornish name, appropriately enough, signifies a holed stone, yet
that was not 'the true Druid name ... for the Druids _probably_ call'd
it by the name of one of their Deities as soon as it was ritually
consecrated, and most likely by that of _Saturn_.'

He is in doubt whether the furrows which he noticed on certain rocks
were channels on the sites of the holy fires of the Druids, made in
order to enable the priests the better to collect the sacred embers,
or whether they were designed to collect the blood of sacrificed
victims for the purposes of divination. But he admits ''tis all mere

And again--a 'canopy rock' with a row of rude stone pillars before it
is a 'Druid Seat of Judgment';--in fact, on Borlase's theory, the whole
of the Scilly Isles must have been thickly peopled with Druids.

But as the writer in the _Quarterly_ truly observes, 'The Druids have
of late years been somewhat rudely dismissed from the shade of their
accustomed oaks, and the rock-basons have been proved to be simply the
result of the weathering of the granite.'

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]


[71] At Rospeith, in this parish, according to Davies Gilbert, P.R.S.,
the last native wolf in England was seen.

[72] The Manor of Borlase-Burgess, formerly the seat of the Borlase
family in St. Wenn, 'is said to have been given by William Rufus to
a certain Norman who was Lord of Talfer in that country, and whose
posterity assumed the name of Borlase.'--(Borlase's MSS.)

[73] At Pendeen lived, in the time of Henry VII., one Richard Pendyne,
'one of the rebels who, under Lord Audley, Flammock, and Joseph,'
dismantled Tehidy, the residence of John Basset, then Sheriff of the
County, and did much other mischief in the West--an offence which he
expiated by losing his estates.

[74] According to Kippis, it was the St. Just living which was
subsequently procured through this interest.

[75] Second book of the 'Antiquities of Cornwall.'

[76] Borlase was a bounteous contributor of minerals for the adornment
of Pope's grotto, in which the poet fixed his Cornish friend's name
in capital letters, formed of crystals; gracefully saying that he had
placed them where they would remind him of the donor--'in the shade,
but shining.'

[77] The Doctor was one of the old-fashioned Churchmen who dreaded
_trop de zèle_, and, probably without much reluctance, issued in his
magisterial capacity a warrant to 'apprehend all such able-bodied men
as had no lawful calling or sufficient maintenance;' in fact, he was
afraid of riots amongst his excitable parishioners. The squabble is
recorded in the great Revivalist's journals for the summers of 1784 and
1785. But the end of the affair was that Wesley, having on the first
occasion appeared before the Bench at St. Michael's Mount, and on the
second having called upon Dr. Borlase himself, at St. Just, in response
to the warrant, on the latter occasion found that the Doctor had gone
to church--and so the matter ended.

[78] It was his habit to rise at five, and go to bed at nine.

[79] A second edition was published in London in 1769.


[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]


A novel feature presents itself in this case to the would-be historian
which does not appear, at least to so great an extent, in the cases
of certain other distinguished Cornish families. The Killigrews, the
Arundells, the Godolphins, and the Grenvilles, for instance, all
yielded more than one man of mark deserving of special notice; but this
can hardly be said of the family of Boscawen: the interest centres in
Admiral the Honourable Edward Boscawen, almost to the exclusion of
all his ancestors, and of all his descendants. And he affords another
instance, like Opie, of being doubly secure of a niche in the temple
of Fame, from his own distinguished career, as well as through the wit
and distinguished social qualities of his wife; who, the writer regrets
to add, was not--as the majority of her husband's ancestresses, and as
those of most distinguished Cornishmen were--a Cornish-woman.

It would probably be of little use now to speculate upon the causes
why the Boscawens, for at least five centuries, continued to hold a
well-recognised position in the county, acquiring by their judicious
marriages into wealthy families vast landed interests in various parts
of Cornwall, but chiefly in the vicinities of Buryan and Tregothnan
and in the north-western part of the county, doubtless holding their
own amongst their fellows, and doing what the world would call their
'duty;' and yet contributing, so far as I can ascertain, scarcely
one person whose name is to be found in the usual records of English
history until we reach the eighteenth century.

Yet it must be noted that the Boscawens are of very old standing in
Cornwall. Hals indeed tells us that the first Boscawen who settled in
Cornwall was an Irish gentleman;--and Hals may be right; for he had
peculiar facilities for learning the early traditions of the family
from the neighbourhood of Fentongollan (the seat of the Halses) to
Tregothnan, the seat of the Boscawens; and also from the fact that
one member of the family 'Hugh Boscawen, Gent., Master of Arts,' as a
labour of love, taught young Hals, and many other youngsters, all that
they knew of Latin and Greek in an old school-house in St. Michael
Penkivel Church.[80] Nor was the Master of Arts the only member of
the family who dispensed information free of charge; for Hals tells us
of a Charles Boscawen of Nansavallan who was a barrister-at-law, 'and
who made noe further use thereof in his elder years then to councill
and assist his friends in all their lawe concerns gratis.' He died in
London, without issue; and was Member of Parliament for Truro,--an
ancient borough, with which, as we shall see, the Boscawens were
intimately connected.

At Boscawen Rose, in the parish of St. Buryan, within a few miles of
the Land's End, where the name is still found attached to places in
the parish, the first Boscawen is said to have exchanged his Irish
patronymic for that of the place where he took up his abode, and which
was probably well enough described by its Cornish name, which signifies
the Valley of Elder-trees. It is interesting to notice how many of
these trees (much esteemed by the old Cornish folk), and almost these
alone, still are to be found near the wind-whipped shores of the Land's

I find no record of the marriages of the first two or three
generations; but in the reign of Edward I. (about 1292), Henry de
Boscawen married Hawise Trewoof; and some half century later (1335)
John de Boscawen married an heiress, Joan de Tregothnan,[82] thus
establishing a connexion between those two names, which has ever since
been maintained; for Tregothnan, 'the place of well-wooded valleys,'
is still the family seat: it is now the Cornish residence of Evelyn
Boscawen, sixth Viscount Falmouth. The present house, a handsome
structure, was built by the architect, W. Wilkins, jun., about the year
1815, replacing a more picturesque but smaller and less commodious

Intimate relations with the exquisitely wooded banks of the Fal were
still further established by the marriage of the son of the aforesaid
John Boscawen of Tregothnan with another heiress, named Joan, like
his mother, who brought her husband the wealth of the family of
Albalanda or Blanchland, in the parish of Kea, on the opposite side
of the river to Tregothnan; a place where, according to Lysons,
copper was first successfully worked in Cornwall. And, while on this
subject, it seems not unworthy of remark that the alliances of the
Boscawens and the Albalandas with the families who resided on the Fal
and its tributaries were numerous. Rose Albalanda married a William
Dangrous of Carclew, in the fifth year of Edward III.; and the heiress
of Trenowith, who married Hugh Boscawen, a great grandson of the
first-named John, was herself the descendant of ancestors called after
Tolverne, Trewarthenick and Tregarrick--names which still belong to
places on the shores of the river, or hard by. Nor did the Boscawens
neglect to cultivate acquaintance and to intermarry with other Cornish
families who made more noise in the world than those to whom we have
been referring; for they and the Albalandas also married with Arundell,
Bassett, St. Aubyn, Lower, Godolphin, Carminow, and Trevanion.

He who married Elizabeth St. Aubyn for his first wife was one Richard
Boscawen, who paid a fine of five pounds rather than undergo the
expensive ceremony of being made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation
of Henry VII., possibly because he was an old man, and dreaded a long
journey to the metropolis, for he died four years afterwards, in 1489.
His grandson, Hugh, who by the way married Phelip, a daughter of the
fine old Cornish family of Carminow, now extinct, paid a similar
fine of four marks at the coronation of Queen Mary; for what reason
I know not. In the 'Bayliff of Blackmore' there is a long story of
his being outwitted by a family in Truro; but the course pursued by
these Boscawens, as narrated in that curious MS., was not unusual in
those days. With the great-grandson of the last-named Hugh, himself
bearing the same Christian name, commences, so far as I am aware,
a more particular connexion of the family with the ancient borough,
now the city, of Truro, where the principal street (formerly two
streets, then bearing other names, but now thrown into one) is still
called after them, 'Boscawen.' He was chosen Knight of the Shire for
Cornwall in 1626; and Edward, his fifth son, who represented Tregony
in Parliament, was one of the leading members of the House of Commons,
temp. Charles II. This Hugh, who was 'Chief of the Coat Armour' at the
Heralds' Visitation of Cornwall in 1620, was likewise in that year
Recorder of the Borough. He had three sons: Hugh,[83] of whom nothing
seems to be known except that he married a Clinton; Edward, a rich
Turkey merchant, who was a Member of Parliament, temp. Charles II., and
died at Trefusis, a lovely place overlooking the waters of Falmouth
Harbour; and Nicholas, who joined the Parliamentary army (a rare thing,
by the way, for a Cornish gentleman to do) with a troop raised from
among his own tenantry. But the military career of Nicholas Boscawen
(how terminated I have not been able to ascertain) must have been a
short one; for, when only twenty-two years of age and unmarried, he
was buried in Westminster Abbey, whence his remains were removed some
fifteen years afterwards, at the Restoration, to be flung into a common
pit in St. Margaret's churchyard.

We now approach that part of the family history when the individual
members cannot be quite so rapidly dismissed from notice.

The only son of Edward Boscawen (the Turkey merchant) and Jael
Godolphin was another Hugh; who, like his father and uncles, seems to
have been no friend to the Stuarts, and to have assisted in bringing
to England William III. This no doubt explains his being made Captain
of St. Mawes Castle, Warden of the Stannaries, Steward of the Duchy
of Cornwall in the room of Francis Godolphin, Viscount Rialton;
Comptroller of the Household; a Privy Councillor; and finally, in 1720,
his being ennobled by the titles of Baron Boscawen Rose and Viscount
Falmouth. He was also Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, a post which he
resigned the year of his death. He several times, before gaining his
title, sat for Cornwall in Parliament; but gave up all his appointments
except that of Warden of the Stannaries, on the defeat of the Excise

Hugh Boscawen seems to have been quite carried away by his political
zeal, for he was foremost in arresting, or trying to arrest, any, even
of his old friends, who were suspected of holding high monarchical
principles; amongst whom may be named Sir Richard Vyvyan, of
Trelowarren, and, as we have already seen,[84] Mr. Basset, of Tehidy.
He died of an apoplexy, at Trefusis, in 1734, having married, in 1700,
Charlotte Godfrey, a niece of the great Duke of Marlborough, by whom he
had eighteen children, eight sons and ten daughters.

The second Viscount of the same name seems, though of a kind and
gentle disposition, not to have possessed a very brilliant intellect.
Davies Gilbert tells the story of him that he is said to have mistaken
the phrase, 'Optat ephippia _Bos_,' for the Latin of his own name; and
that he always confounded Horace Walpole with the Roman poet whose name
is so familiar to us. Probably a somewhat unattractive sort of man, for
his wife often threatened, so Mrs. Delany says, that she 'wou'd part
with my lord.'

Yet he was not without shrewdness, and had some political influence.
Votes which overthrew Sir Robert Walpole were carried against the
Minister by his losing the majority of the Scotch and Cornish boroughs;
the latter of which were managed by Lord Falmouth and Thomas Pitt.
Indeed, the second Viscount Falmouth, like so many others of his
contemporaries, was a great dealer in boroughs. It is of him that
Dodington tells the story, that he went to the Minister to ask him a
favour, which the latter seemed unwilling to grant; upon which Lord
Falmouth said, 'Remember, sir, _we_ are _seven_!' And Dover says that
Lord Cowper resigned the Bedchamber on the 'Beefeaters' being given to
Lord Falmouth:--'The latter, who is powerful in elections, insisted on
having it; the other had nothing but a promise from the King, which the
Ministry had already twice forced him to break.'

He was also Yeoman of the Guard to George II., and in 1745, according
to Chauncey, raised a regiment at his own expense to serve against
the Scotch rebels; and he had such influence in Cornwall that 6,387
persons joined an association, the members of which bound themselves
to appear armed in the best manner they could, under his command, to
defend the King and the Government. Mrs. Thomson, in her 'Memoirs of
Viscountess Sandon,' tells us how the second Viscount's wife, H. C. M.
Russell, _née_ Smith, was in desperate straits to get herself appointed
a Lady of the Bedchamber, and wrote the most pressing letters to Mrs.
Clayton on the subject. In one she says that she could not sleep a wink
all night for thinking of it!

His brother Nicholas went to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, took
holy orders, and on the Duke of Newcastle's visit to the University,
as Chancellor, was created a D.D. He was appointed a King's Chaplain,
and 'Dean' of Buryan in 1756, Rector of St. Mabyn and of St. Michael
Penkivel in 1774, and a Prebendary of Westminster in 1777. The only
remarkable thing about him seems to have been his appointment as 'Dean'
of Buryan, the exact significance of which dignity it is difficult to
discover, though it is said that this 'Deanery' had jurisdiction over
three parishes, and the probate of wills therein, and that there were
three prebends attached to it; it is not uninteresting to note this
tendency in a member of the Boscawen family to 'hark back to their
early St. Buryan haunts.[85] His wife, Mrs. Hatton, was, I believe, the
widow of a linendraper in Newgate Street.

There was another brother, John--a Major-General in the army;--and
the 4th son of the second Viscount, the Hon. George Boscawen, was
another military member of the family; he was present at the battles of
Dettingen and Fontenoy, and represented Truro in Parliament from 1761
to 1764. His daughter, Mary, maid-of-honour to the Princess Charlotte,
wrote a memoir of the Princess.

William Boscawen, younger son of the above General George Boscawen, was
educated at Eton, where he became a great favourite of Dr. Barnard.
He became a Gentleman Commoner of Exeter College, and on settling in
London studied law under a Cornish lawyer, Mr. Justice Buller, about
1770, and went the Western Circuit. William Boscawen does not appear
to have taken his degree at Oxford; but Wordsworth, in his 'Scholæ
Academicæ,' points out that it was not unusual during the last century,
and at the commencement of the present, for gentlemen intending for the
law to leave the University without taking a degree. He published two
or three law treatises, was a Commissioner in Bankruptcy, and in 1785
he was made a Commissioner of the Victualling Office. By his marriage
with Charlotte Ibbetson he had five daughters. He was much attached
to literary pursuits, and translated, first the 'Odes,' 'Epodes,'
and 'Carmen Seculare' of Horace, then the 'Satires,' 'Epistles,' and
'Art of Poetry;'--and in many respects his translation was considered
superior to Francis's. He was much indebted for his 'notes' to Dr.
Foster, of Eton College. In 1801, he published some original poems and
other works. A friend who met him in the Strand a few days before his
death noticed that he was looking very ill; and on the 8th May, 1811,
he died of asthma, at Little Chelsea. He was of an affectionate and
benevolent disposition; and the Literary Fund he considered almost as
his own child, writing the annual verses for it till within five years
of his death.

A contemporary critic says of his literary productions, that if
in them 'he does not take a lead among his contemporaries, he at
least discovers an elegant taste, a poetical mind, and a correct
versification.' 'Could his character be truly drawn, it would exhibit a
consummate picture of everything that is amiable and estimable in human
nature.' 'Incapable of _being_ an enemy, it was never known that he had
one; and his friends were as numerous as his virtues.'

As a specimen of his powers as a translator, his rendering of the
well-known fifth ode of the 1st Book of Horace, will, I venture to
think, compare, not altogether unfavourably, with the productions of
his mightier predecessors in the task--Milton and Cowley.

    'What youth bedew'd with moist perfume
      Courts thee, O Pyrrha! graceful maid,
      With neat simplicity array'd
    In the sweet bower where roses bloom?

    'For whom dost thou in ringlets form
      Thy golden locks?--Oft shall he wail
      Thy truth, swift changing as the gale,
    View the wild waves, and shudder at the storm.

    'Who now, all credulous and gay,
      Enjoys thy smile? on whose vain pride
      Thy fickle favour shines untry'd,
    And soft, deceitful breezes play?

    'My fate the pictur'd wreck displays;
      The dripping garments that remain
      In mighty Neptune's sacred fane
    Record my glad escape, my grateful praise.'

But a third brother of the second Viscount--Edward, the Admiral--was
destined to live in the pages of history; and of him I propose to treat
more at length at the conclusion of this brief sketch of the family
generally, which now draws rapidly to a close.

George Evelyn, the Admiral's youngest son, was the third Viscount,
issue having failed through his two uncles, and George Evelyn's
brothers having died before the death of their uncle, the second
Viscount. Of these brothers it may be observed, that Edward Hugh,[86]
the eldest, who was M.P. for Truro, died abroad in 1774; and that
William Glanville, a youth of great promise, and an officer in the
navy, was drowned when eighteen years of age, in 1769, whilst bathing
at Port Royal, Jamaica. In him, said Mrs. Delany, 'his father's (the
Admiral's) merit revived,' and he was 'the delight and glory of the
lives of his mother and sisters.' I hardly know whether the following
lines on his death are from Mrs. Delany's pen, or from his mother's:

    'Ah, William! till thy hapless hour
      Shall fade on mem'ry's pensive eye
    The muse on Fate shall curses shower,
      That doomed a youth like thee to die.

    'Though lost, alas! thy lovely name
      With incense shall the skies perfume;
    And ev'ry flower of fairest fame
      Shall wish where William sleeps, to bloom.

    'Till Virtue seek her native sphere,
      Till honour cease below to shine,
    For thee shall Virtue drop the tear,
      And Honour's envied praise be thine.'

There can, however, be little doubt that it was a mother's pen which
described him, on his cenotaph, as that 'most lovely, most beloved

But to return to the surviving and youngest brother, George Evelyn, who
was destined to perpetuate the title. He is said to have been very like
his mother, who describes herself as 'a little personage;' and he must
have inherited the talents of both his parents, for he did remarkably
well at Winchester, and very early showed a determination to follow in
his illustrious father's footsteps by fighting against the enemies of
his country, notwithstanding the wishes of his family to the contrary.
For the sum of £400 his mother at last unwillingly procured for her
'poor little soldier,' as she termed him, an ensigncy in the 4th or
King's Own Regiment of Foot; and he, proceeding forthwith to America,
was soon after present at the battle of Lexington. When Prince William
Henry, afterwards William IV., came into Falmouth harbour in the _Hebe_
in 1785, he was entertained at Tregothnan, and thence, under Viscount
Falmouth's guidance, visited all the Cornish 'lions.' On 25th October,
1787, Mrs. Boscawen writes thus to Mrs. Delany: 'My son has been a
peacemaker in Cornwall, and was happy enough to pacify near a thousand
angry miners, who were marching into Truro to pull their houses about
their ears;' and here it may be noted that one of his ancestors
had performed a similar valuable public service when the Hon. Hugh
Boscawen, Lord Warden of the Stannaries of Cornwall and Devon, presided
over the Convocation of the twenty-four Stannators, 20th February to
20th April, 1710, held in the Coinage Hall, Truro; on which occasion,
by a judicious speech, he dispersed a mob of some 5,000 or 6,000 men,
tinners and others, led by one Charles Tregea, who had assembled to
intimidate the Convocation, and 'force them to a farm.' The object of
this Convocation was 'to keep up the price of tin, and to confirm the
laws, customs, and constitutions of the Stannaries;' but it led to no
satisfactory result.

The third Viscount's two sisters married well--one, Frances, gained for
her husband the Hon. John Leveson Gower, Secretary to the Admiralty;
and the other, Elizabeth, secured Henry, fifth Duke of Beaufort--an
affair which does not seem to have altogether satisfied that family.
Her mother writes to Mrs. Delany, that the Beauforts were not
particularly well pleased with the match;--'And yet, my dear madam,'
says the sprightly Admiral's widow, 'does not Admiral Boscawen's
daughter, with £10,000 now, and at least 5 (_i.e._ £5,000) more
by-and-by, with many excellent wife-like qualities, and no faults that
ever they heard of, deserve some gentler welcome, _especially as nobody
asks anything of them_?' The Duke seems to have made the Cornish lassie
a most devoted and affectionate husband.

George Evelyn Boscawen was succeeded in the title by his son, Edward,
fourth Viscount and first Earl of Falmouth. He was an officer in the
Coldstream Guards, and, like so many other members of his family,
Recorder of Truro--the last who filled that office. He was the second
of Lord Winchelsea in his famous duel with the Duke of Wellington,
fought on Wimbledon Common in March, 1829, when the Duke fired and
missed, and Lord Winchelsea then fired in the air and apologized.
This nobleman rebuilt Tregothnan House, near the site of an older and
picturesque mansion, in which might have been seen many carved stones
from the old tower and chapel at Fentongollan; and he made the famous
drive to it from Tresilian Bridge, an undertaking the result of which
he is said to have always contemplated with much satisfaction. His son,
George Henry, fifth Viscount, and second and last Earl, died unmarried
in 1852, fourteen years after his father. He was a man of considerable
ability, taking, in 1832, a first-class at Oxford; and he was one of
the best amateur violinists of his day. As we have said, with him the
earldom lapsed. His cousin Evelyn succeeded him as sixth Viscount, and
has been one of the most distinguished patrons of the turf, as well
as a most fortunate owner of race-horses, having, as I am informed,
won the Derby, the St. Leger, and the Two Thousand Guineas twice, and
the Oaks and the One Thousand Guineas four times each; besides other
important races.


    'My lov'd Boscawen dead! 'tis all a lye--
    Fame's trumpet sounds "He cannot, shall not die--
    At Lagos still triumphant he survives,
    And still at Louisbourg immortal lives."'

                  _Gentleman's Magazine_, Jan., 1761.

       'A great Admiral.'


The foregoing sketch of the history of the Boscawens seemed desirable
in order to give the reader some idea of the sources from which
Pitt's 'great Admiral' sprang, and to serve as a background to the
family picture in which his figure is the most prominent. We have
seen that the Boscawens were an ancient, wealthy, and not altogether
undistinguished group of Cornishmen; and have noted that their seat
had for ages been on the banks of that sylvan river which empties its
waters into the once renowned Falmouth Haven. Here Edward Boscawen,
third son of the first Viscount, was born on the 19th August, 1711;
and, notwithstanding the absence (so far as I am aware) of any
published details concerning the childhood and youth of the illustrious
sailor, except the fact of his quaint humour in imitating the gestures
of an old servant till he himself contracted a constant habit of
carrying his head slightly on one side[87]--there can be little doubt,
I think, that a good deal of the young sea-dog's leisure was spent on,
or in, the Fal, which washes the shores of his ancestral woods and
glades. We know, indeed, that he entered the navy whilst _very young_
(when only twelve years old, so Campbell says), and this suggests
the idea that the future 'old Dreadnought' may have found the limits
of the sequestered Tregothnan estate and the quiet life led there
incompatible with the high spirits which a lad of his quality must
undoubtedly have possessed. In other words, we can but believe that
he was a born sailor, and that he merited, from the first, another
of his sobriquets,--derived from the heroic contempt of danger which
he manifested throughout his life--'the brave Boscawen.' He no doubt
expected that, in accordance with the practice of a century and a
half ago, through family interest he would very shortly obtain his
lieutenancy, when an order was suddenly and unexpectedly issued,
subjecting all midshipmen to at least six years' service. 'To this
order,' Boscawen used to say, 'I owe all my knowledge of seamanship.'
At any rate, the new regulation did not change his views, nor prevent
many other Cornish youngsters from entering the navy and serving
under an officer who was as fond of having them about him as they
were of sailing under his command. Amongst such may be named the Hon.
George Edgcumbe,[88] afterwards Admiral of the White, who commanded
the _Lancaster_ of seventy guns at the famous siege of Louisbourg (of
which we shall hear more by-and-by); and Admiral Sir Richard Spry, who
commanded a similar ship, the _Oxford_, on that occasion.

And here it should be remembered how different in many respects is the
position of the modern British sailor--true Briton as he still is,
and is proving himself to be at Alexandria even whilst I write these
lines--from the traditional sailor of Boscawen's days. Now, most of
the sailors' work in our steam iron-clads is done on deck or below;
but, at the period of which we are about to consider some episodes,
the larger proportion--certainly the more difficult--was performed
aloft. In weather of all sorts 'there were dead-eyes to turn in, there
were chafing gear to look after, reef-points to knot, masts to stay,
studding-sail gear to reeve, and the like.' Then the wild excitement
of going aloft to shorten sail in stormy weather! The old songs at
the reef-tackles, the flapping of the canvas, the springing into the
shrouds, and the helter-skelter race for the weather-earing--unless,
indeed, the iron-hard pressure of the gale pinned you against the
shrouds as if you had been a spread-eagle. In work of this sort the
English tars were always pre-eminent, and one can easily believe that
the Admiral accordingly had a thoroughly hearty contempt for the
unsailor-like character of the French crews. Of one he said he 'never
saw so bad a crew on salt water before; there were not twenty men on
board who could go aloft.'[89] Those, too, were days not only of rough
work, but also of rough-and-ready fighting; and Boscawen's motto, like
that of Hawke,[90] his illustrious contemporary and rival, was always,
'Strike.' One night Boscawen's lieutenant came to him, and awoke him,
saying that they had fallen in with three ships of the enemy. 'What
shall we do?' 'Why, fight 'em, to be sure!' said Boscawen; and, dashing
up on deck in his night shirt, he soon compelled the enemy to sheer
off. It was from this action that he is said to have acquired the name
of Old Dreadnought. On another occasion he took off his wig, and with
it stopped a leak in his boat, which was rapidly sinking.

As we have seen, he was the third son of the first Viscount Falmouth,
and was called Edward after his grandfather. His grandmother, Jael,
was of the fine old Cornish stock of Godolphin, and his mother was
Charlotte Godfrey, a niece of the great Duke of Marlborough, not a
natural daughter (as Hals says) of James II., by Arabella Churchill,
but her eldest daughter, by Colonel Charles Godfrey, Master of the
Jewel Office, whom she had subsequently married;--so that he seems
to have had royal as well as good fighting blood in his veins, some
of which he was destined to shed for his country. I do not know at
what date he received his lieutenant's commission; probably it was on
being appointed to the _Hector_ in 1732; but on the 12th March, 1737,
when not quite twenty-six years old, he was appointed captain of the
_Leopard_, a fourth-rate of fifty guns. On the outbreak of the war
with Spain, he was transferred to the _Shoreham_ of twenty guns, and
was sent to cruise off Jamaica. Unfortunately, when Admiral Vernon
determined, in November, 1740, on attacking Porto Bello (a place
which Columbus had discovered and named in 1562, and which had once
before succumbed to a British Admiral, Sir Francis Drake, in 1596),
the _Shoreham_ was found to be unfit for action; but Boscawen would
not be deprived of this chance of seeing some active service, so he
sailed as a volunteer, and so far distinguished himself at the easy
capture of the place--for the garrison was on a peace footing, and the
British lost only seven men--that he was entrusted with the duty of
superintending the demolition of the fortifications.

Rejoining the _Shoreham_, which had now been thoroughly overhauled, we
next hear of him, in March, 1740-41, at the siege of Carthagena, the
chief port in New Granada, again under Admiral Vernon, who is described
as a man of fair abilities, but of harsh overbearing temper;--one of
those naval heroes of whom Byron sourly says in his 'Don Juan:'

  'They filled their sign-posts then like Wellesley now.'

Here again he gathered laurels, and attracted considerable notice by
what Campbell describes as his 'quick-sighted judgment and intrepid
valour,' commanding a detachment of 300 sailors and 200 soldiers, and
storming a fascine battery on Boca Chica, which had much galled General
Wentworth, and held our forces in check.

Campbell thus describes Boscawen's part in the affair, which reminds us
of the recent gallant rush on Tel-el-Kebir:[91]

  'Pushing forward with a strength equal to their animation, they soon
  climbed the entrenchments, and entering the embrasures in the face of
  a continued fire, and on the very muzzles of the guns, they drove the
  enemy from the works with considerable slaughter; and after spiking
  the cannon and burning the platforms, together with the gun-carriages,
  guard-house, and magazine, Boscawen led off his detachment in order,
  and returned to the fleet with six wounded prisoners. The Spaniards,
  fully sensible of the support which this battery had afforded them,
  were indefatigable in their endeavours to repair it; and having in
  a few days so far succeeded as to be able to bring six guns to bear
  upon the English fleet, Boscawen was again ordered to reduce it, but
  in a manner which exposed him less to personal danger than in the
  service in which it was before deemed expedient to employ him. He
  was directed to proceed with his own ship, the _Shoreham_, together
  with the _Princess Amelia_ and the _Lichfield_, as close inshore as
  the depth of the water would admit them (a dangerous enterprise in
  consequence of the difficulties of the navigation here), to anchor
  abreast of the battery, and to bring the ships' broadsides to bear
  upon it; whilst, on the other hand, a detachment of seamen, under the
  command of Captains Watson, Cotes, and Dennis, were at the same time
  to storm it. These measures, taken with so much skill and prudence,
  would in all probability have ensured the success of the attack;
  but the Spaniards, intimidated by the formidable appearance of the
  assailants, _abandoned the battery without firing a shot_.'

But the place was too strongly fortified; and the siege of Carthagena
was soon after raised (a circumstance which, by the way, tended to
hasten the fall of Walpole). Yet before Boscawen left he was again
employed, as at Porto Bello, to rase the different forts which the
English had taken on the neighbouring coast; and, whilst engaged on
this service, was appointed to the _Prince Frederick_, of 70 guns, on
the death of Lord Aubrey Beauclerk, who gallantly fell at Boca Chica.

Clinton observes that the siege lasted from January to 24th April,
1741; and that as the surf prevented a bombardment from the sea, it was
determined to make a lodging on Boca Chica, in order to reduce the fort
there. The long-standing jealousy between the navy and the army was,
he thinks, the cause of the failure of the siege. However that may be,
three thousand men were lost by assaults and sickness; and the fleet
returned to Jamaica.

On the 14th May, 1742, Boscawen reached home, or rather St. Helen's,
Isle of Wight, bringing advices of Admiral Vernon's having sailed on
a fresh expedition, which unfortunately proved abortive. But this
year was memorable in his life for other than warlike exploits; for
its close witnessed his marriage with the graceful, sprightly, and
accomplished Frances Evelyn Glanville, of St. Clere, Kent; a lady
sufficiently distinguished in her day to claim, as a Cornishman's wife,
the notice which I have ventured to append to this sketch of the
Admiral, her husband,--whose epitaph, glowing with eloquence, she was
destined to write.

In the year that he married he was elected Member for Truro. And
here it may be observed that the gallant naval officer was always
extremely popular in his native county. One account states that he
was 'positively adored' by the people, and that they insisted on
sending him to Parliament as their representative, notwithstanding
his reluctance to serve, on account of one member of his family being
already there--namely, his father--in the House of Peers. Again, in
1747 he was elected for both Saltash (another old Cornish borough) and
Truro; but he decided on maintaining his political connexion with the

The next few months of his life would seem to have passed without any
events of public interest occurring; but, early in 1744, war, arising
out of the assistance given by the French to the Young Pretender's
ill-starred descent upon England, broke out with France; and Boscawen
was made Captain of the _Dreadnought_, of 60 guns. With her he very
soon after captured the _Medea_, a French frigate of 26 guns and 240
men, commanded by a M. Hocquart--whom in the course of our history
we shall twice meet again as Boscawen's prisoner. This was the first
prize taken in the war. For some time he continued doing what may be
called home duty--cruising in the Channel, sitting on courts-martial,
and acting as Commodore on board the _Royal Sovereign_, at the Nore.
Whilst acting in the latter capacity it fell within his province to
send out several of the newly-pressed men as they were brought to him
in company with some experienced seamen, in frigates and small vessels,
to guard the mouths of many of the minor creeks and rivers along the
shores of Kent and Sussex.

In January, 1746, he was appointed to the _Namur_, formerly of 90 guns,
but afterwards reduced to a third-rate; and in November of that year,
being in command of a small squadron at the mouth of the Channel, he
captured two prizes--one a large privateer from St. Malo, the other
a despatch-boat from M. De Jonquiere (the commander of the French
fleet on the American station), with advices of the death of the Duc
D'Anville, and of the consequent failure of the expedition under that
officer's command.

We now approach the time when he was to receive his first wound of
consequence, and to perform one of the most gallant and self-denying
exploits of his brave career--a deed so daring and so brilliantly
successful as to excite the jealousy of Anson, his superior officer,
and thus to lay the foundation of an ill-feeling between those two
gallant seamen which, it is to be feared, can be traced throughout
their lives.

In 1747, whilst commanding a line-of-battle ship in the fleet intended
for America, under Admirals Anson and Vernon, he was present at the
gallant action of the 3rd May, off Cape Finisterre. 'Here,' says
Campbell, 'Boscawen signalized himself equally by his heroism and
his judgment. The French fleet, having got the weather-gage, kept up
a constant and well-directed fire on the English ships as they turned
to windward to form the line abreast of the enemy. But Boscawen,
perceiving that our ships would thereby be disabled before their guns
could be brought to bear upon the French line, and his ship being
a very superior sailer to any of the rest, and being, besides, the
leading ship of the van, pressed forward with a crowd of sail, received
himself the greatest part of the enemy's fire, and singly maintained
the conflict until the remainder of the fleet came up to his support;
by which daring but judicious manœuvre _he principally contributed_ to
the success with which on that day the British arms were crowned.[92]
On this occasion he was severely wounded in the shoulder by a
musket-ball. His country, however, was not long deprived of his
services by this misfortune, from the effects of which he recovered in
a few weeks.' At Finisterre all the French ships, ten in number, were
taken, including the _Diamant_, of 56 tons, commanded by M. Hocquart,
who thus became, for the second time, Boscawen's prisoner.

Shortly after being made Rear-Admiral of the Blue, he was invested with
a command which shows the remarkable estimation in which he was held by
the Government, receiving, as he did, a commission from the King as
Admiral and Commandant of a squadron of six ships of the line and five
frigates, with 2,000 soldiers on board, ordered for the East Indies;
and also as General and Commander-in-Chief of the land forces employed
in the expedition--'the only instance, except that of the Earl of
Peterborough, of any officer having received such a command since the
reign of Charles II.' Yet, such were his tact and personal character,
that no ill-feeling arose on the part of the troops thus placed under
his command--in fact, as an officer, quoted by Campbell, quaintly says,
'the Admiral, by his genteel behaviour, gained the love of the land
officers, and never was greater harmony among all degrees of men than
in this expedition;' notwithstanding which it failed in effecting the
main objects which it had in view, viz. the capture of Pondicherry,
and the attack on Port Louis, Mauritius, _en route_ thither. He sailed
from St. Helen's on the 4th November, 1747; but owing to bad weather
and contrary winds, did not reach the Cape of Good Hope till the 29th
March, 1748; and here he remained a short time to refresh his jaded

The difficulties of the landing at Port Louis, and the strength of
the batteries by which it was defended, were such as to triumph over
even the genius and courage of Boscawen; and after vain though most
strenuous search for a practicable landing-place, the Admiral called
a council of war, at which it was determined that a small boat-party
should land during the night with a view to capturing (if possible)
at least one man of the enemy, from whom they might obtain information
as to the numbers and situation of the French forces. This ingenious
attempt, however, failed; and at a second council of war it was
agreed that the attack on Port Louis, even if it succeeded (which
was doubtful), would necessitate the leaving behind so large a force
to occupy the place, that it would imperil the chances of capturing
Pondicherry, the principal object of the expedition; and to this it may
be added that Boscawen had lost many of his men from their eating a
poisonous fish called the vieille, at the island of Roderique.

They accordingly sailed at once for Fort St. David, near Pondicherry,
which place they reached on the 29th July; and here Boscawen took over
the command, from Admiral Griffin, of what had now become the largest
'marine force belonging to any one European nation that had ever been
seen in the Indian seas.' Boscawen marched forward with his army on the
8th of August, and opened the trenches on the 27th. But his men rapidly
grew sick in that unwholesome climate; his chief engineer was killed;
the monsoons were shortly expected. It was found that the garrison far
outnumbered the besiegers, and, 'everything having been done which
gallantry and perseverance could perform,' writes Walpole, on the 6th
October it was finally determined to raise the siege.[93] And a gale,
on 14th April, 1749, arose, which seems to have been the main cause
of the unsuccessful termination of the whole expedition--the Admiral's
flag-ship, the _Namur_, foundered; the _Pembroke_ and the _Apollo_
(hospital ship) were also lost, together with a very large proportion
of their crews. Providentially, our Admiral and General was on shore at
the time.

Not long afterwards peace was declared at Aix-la-Chapelle, and Boscawen
had, at least, the gratification of having Madras delivered up to him.

In April, 1750, he returned to England in the _Exeter_, to find that
during his absence he had been appointed Rear-Admiral of the White;
and additional honours soon after fell to his lot. In 1751 he was made
a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, and at the Board's meetings
found many opportunities of falling foul of his old foe, Anson, whom
he always suspected, perhaps without sufficient cause, of having sent
him on what the former knew from the beginning would be the fruitless
expedition to Pondicherry. This suspicion, however, would seem to be
confirmed by a letter from Walpole to Mann, dated 31st January, 1750,
in which the writer says that Boscawen was unfortunate during the
whole expedition (East Indies), and that Anson sent him upon it 'on
purpose to ruin him ... upon slight intelligence, and upon improbable
views.' A jealousy, as we have seen, had previously arisen between the
two Admirals over the Cape Finisterre affair, when Boscawen complained
loudly of Anson's behaviour. In July, 1751, he was made an Elder
Brother of the Trinity House; and in May, 1754, he was, for the third
time, chosen to represent in the House of Commons his old borough of
Truro, between which and himself there had existed so long and friendly
a connexion;--and now, 'for want of something better to do,' as one of
his biographers insinuates, he became a zealous politician.

In 1755 he was made Vice-Admiral of the Blue; and, the French beginning
to display ambitious projects in America, Boscawen was despatched
from Spithead on 19th April, with a strong fleet, to frustrate
their designs. The French Admiral was M. Bois de la Motte, and he
had a large and powerful armament of twenty-five ships of the line,
and other vessels, together with a train of artillery, etc., etc.
Boscawen's force consisted of eleven sail and a frigate, together with
two regiments of infantry. He was, however, afterwards reinforced
by six ships of the line and another frigate under the command of
Rear-Admiral Holbourne. The English ships waited for the Frenchmen off
Cape Ray, Newfoundland; but in a fog the French Admiral eluded his
antagonists, and contrived to get his ships (with two exceptions) into
harbour. These two ships Boscawen captured on the 10th June, after a
gallant engagement of five hours. They contained £80,000 in specie,
a large number of French officers, and altogether 1,500 prisoners.
The two French ships were the _Alcide_ and _Lys_ (each of 64 guns),
which were taken by the _Defiance_ and the _Dunkirk_. Again Boscawen
took the first French ships during the war; and again found his old
acquaintance, M. Hocquart, on board one of them, who thus for the third
time became the British Admiral's prisoner of war. The story of the
action is thus graphically told by Lord Mahon:

  'Only the day before King George III. embarked at Harwich (for his
  usual summer residence at his beloved Hanover, notwithstanding the
  strong feeling which existed against his leaving the kingdom at so
  critical a time) Admiral Boscawen, with eleven ships of the line and
  two regiments on board, set sail from Portsmouth. His orders were to
  follow a large French armament which had recently been equipped at
  Brest, and to attack it if designed for the Bay of St. Lawrence. A
  thick fog off Newfoundland concealed the rival fleets from each other;
  but two English ships, the first commanded by Captain (afterwards
  Lord) Howe, came within speech of two French ships. The foreign
  commandant inquired if it was war or peace. Howe replied that he must
  wait for his Admiral's signal, but that he advised the Frenchman to
  prepare for war. Ere long appeared Boscawen's signal for engaging;
  Howe attacked, and after an engagement, in which he displayed equal
  skill and intrepidity, succeeded in taking the two French ships--the
  _Alcide_ and the _Lys_. The rest of the French armament--eight or nine
  ships of the line--got safe into the harbour of Louisbourg; and their
  safety caused as great disappointment in England as the capture of
  their consorts irritation in France. The French Ambassador in London,
  M. de Mirepoix, was recalled at these tidings, yet still there was not
  on either side a formal declaration of war.'

On the 15th November, Boscawen returned to England with his prizes and
his prisoners, and anchored at Spithead.

In the following year, 1756, he commanded the squadron in the Bay of
Quiberon, stationed there for the purpose of watching the French fleet;
but, so far as I am aware, was engaged in no important active service
on that occasion. His leisure, however, gave him an opportunity of
showing the interest he took in the welfare of his men, as well as his
resource in alleviating the tedium of their unoccupied time, by setting
them to work to cultivate a barren island, and converting it into a
fruitful garden, whose produce was an extremely welcome adjunct to the
invariable salt junk and biscuit of those days. Promotions, however,
came, and he was made, at short intervals, successively Vice-Admiral of
the White and of the Red.

But the year 1758 proved more eventful for our hero; and is perhaps the
most memorable in his annals, for it witnessed his gallant attack and
capture of Louisbourg--'once mistress of the seas,' and 'the key to
French America,' but now consisting of a few fishermen's huts and some
moss-covered ruins. This event directly led to the conquest of Canada.

On the 28th of May, being now full Admiral, he sailed from his old
starting-point, St. Helen's. And here it may be well, in order to
understand the importance of the service on which Boscawen was now
engaged, to take a rapid glance at the general position of affairs.

In 1758 there was war in each of the four quarters of the globe.
England was triumphing over the Gallic power in India, and over
its settlements on the western shores of Africa. And Pitt, having
decided on dealing a blow at the French in North America, planned an
expedition for the conquest of Cape Breton and St. John's. Disregarding
the old principles of selecting for the command officers whose
chief recommendation was their family connexions or their political
influence, he selected General (afterwards Lord) Amherst to command
the army, and Boscawen to be the head of the fleet. The armament
(says Lord Mahon) assembled at Halifax, and consisted of 150 sail and
12,000 soldiers. On 2nd June it came to anchor within seven miles of
Louisbourg, the capital of Cape Breton. The land-defences of this place
had been carefully strengthened by the French, in expectation of the
attack; five ships of the line were drawn up in the harbour, and the
garrison, soldiers and marines together, exceeded 6,000 men. It was
with much difficulty, and after stout resistance, that the English
effected their landing. Wolfe (who had attracted Pitt's notice by his
behaviour before Rochefort) was the first to spring from the boats
into the raging surf, and cheer on his soldiers to the charge. During
the whole siege his ardour and activity were equally conspicuous.[94]
The conduct of General Amherst also deserves high praise; and the
most cordial co-operation--another proof how judiciously the chiefs
had been chosen--prevailed between himself and Admiral Boscawen. For
the besieged, they kept up their fire with much spirit, and attempted
several sallies; but before the close of July, many of their cannon
being dismounted, and divers practicable breaches made in the walls,
they were compelled to capitulate. The garrison became prisoners of
war, and were transported to England. Besides the ships captured in
the harbour, a large amount of stores and ammunition was found in
the place. Wolfe was on this occasion second in command to Amherst;
and Clinton, too, notes that 'for almost the first time in a mixed
expedition there was perfect accord between all ranks of both services:
Boscawen, Amherst, and Wolfe concerted all measures without jealousy,
and an eye-witness records that "the soldiers worked like horses,
making the roads, and drawing up the cannon, while the sailors went
and lent a hand to build up the batteries."' The whole island of Cape
Breton submitted, on the fall of its capital; and the island of St.
John's followed the fate of Cape Breton, being occupied by Colonel Lord
Rollo with a detachment of troops. Eleven pairs of French colours taken
during the siege were, by his Majesty's command, carried in procession,
with kettle-drums and trumpets sounding, from Kensington Palace to St.
Paul's Cathedral, and deposited there amidst a salute of cannon and
other public demonstrations of triumph. They were received by the Dean
and Chapter, and put up near the west door of the Cathedral, whilst the
guns of the Tower and St. James's Park thundered out their victorious
salutes. Sir Henry Ellis, in his edition (1818) of Dugdale's 'St.
Paul's,' says that, of the flags and banners hung inside the nave and
round the dome, the oldest were those taken at Louisbourg. Nor were
the rejoicings confined to London; a great number of other towns and
corporations lighted bonfires in the streets, and sent addresses of
congratulation to the King; and a form of prayer and thanksgiving for
the victory was read in all the churches in England.

Among the many brilliant exploits of the British navy during the
year 1758--during which period we captured or destroyed 16 French
men-of-war, 49 privateers, and 104 merchant ships, besides 176 neutral
ships seized as laden with French colonial produce or military
stores--Boscawen's share was as we have seen, conspicuous.

It was not until the 1st of November that our Admiral returned, with
four of his ships, to St. Helen's, having, on the way home, fallen in
with six French ships off the Scilly Islands, of which, however, he was
unable to give his usual good account, as they sailed much faster than
his. He nevertheless managed to disable one of them, the _Belliqueux_,
and drove her up the Bristol Channel, where she was secured by the

The following 6th of December was a proud day for the victorious naval
hero; for, in his place in Parliament, he received the thanks of the
House of Commons. In the course of Speaker Onslow's address conveying
the thanks of the House, he declared himself 'unable to enumerate and
set forth the great and extensive advantages accruing to this nation
from the conquest of Louisbourg, with the islands of Cape Breton and
St. John,' and described the vote of thanks as 'a national honour from
a free people, ever cautiously conferred, in order to be the more
esteemed, and the greater reward; a reward which ought to be reserved
for the most signal services to the State, as well as for the most
approved merit in it.' Boscawen's reply was characteristically short,
modest, and sailor-like. He said, from his place, 'Mr. Speaker, I am
happy in having been able to do my duty; but have not words to express
my sense of the distinguished reward that has been conferred upon me by
this House; nor can I enough thank you, sir, for the polite and elegant
manner in which you have been pleased to convey to me the Resolution.'

The _Gentleman's Magazine_ for August, 1758, gives a long and (to
military men at least) an interesting journal of this important siege,
of which the following is a _résumé_[95]:

Owing to the violence of the surf, great difficulties appear to have
existed in landing the troops and _matériel_ for the operations; and,
on the 23rd June, Boscawen had to inform his colleague that no less
than 100 boats had, up to that time, been lost in the various attempts
which had been made. Nor was this the only way in which the naval
commander endeavoured to contribute to the success of the undertaking,
for on the 26th June, with 200 marines, the Admiral took the French
post of Kennington Cove, which proved, as General Amherst said, 'a
great ease to the army.' To add to the difficulties of the undertaking
small-pox broke out, and proved fatal in a great many cases--2,000
men dying from this and other causes during the expedition; whilst
dense fogs and stormy weather also frequently hindered the progress
of their operations; yet, in spite of a host of similar discouraging
circumstances, the work was pushed on with truly British vigour and
tenacity. On the 25th of July, Boscawen sent in boats with 600 men into
the harbour, and took two French ships--the _Prudent_, of 74 guns,
and the _Bienfaisant_, of 64 guns--whose fire had terribly galled the
besiegers. The former vessel was burnt, as she was aground; but the
_Bienfaisant_ was captured and towed into the north-east harbour.
Boscawen, in his letter to Pitt of 28th July, 1758, refers to this as
'a particular gallant action' on the part of his captains. A similar
operation was to have been attempted on the following day, but the
French had by this time had enough of it; an offer of capitulation
was made by the Governor, and articles were agreed upon, including
the surrender of the garrison--over 3,000 men--as prisoners of war,
together with sailors and naval officers to the number of 2,606. A vast
number of mortars and cannon, etc., were also taken. Thus the strong
fortress of Louisbourg fell, the islands of Cape Breton and St. John
thereupon surrendered, and a deadly blow was inflicted on the French
arms.[96] The insurance on vessels to America at once fell from 25 or
30 to 12 per cent., and on the 26th August the Lord Mayor of London,
with many of the principal citizens, waited on the King to congratulate
him upon the victory. In the course of their address occurs the
following passage, which I quote as illustrative of the importance
which the City attached to the event, and of the strong anti-Gallic
feeling which prevailed at that time:

  'May these valuable acquisitions, so gloriously obtained, ever
  continue a part of the British Empire, as an effectual check to
  the perfidy and ambition of a nation whose repeated insults and
  usurpations obliged your Majesty to enter into this just and necessary
  war. And may these instances of the wisdom of your Majesty's
  councils, of the conduct and resolution of your commanders, and of
  the intrepidity of your fleets and armies, convince the world of the
  innate strength and resources of your kingdoms, and dispose your
  Majesty's enemies to yield to a safe and honourable peace.'

Exeter, Cambridge, and other important places followed suit.

Boscawen had surely now received

                            'Praise enough
    To fill the ambition of a private man;'

but his career was not to close without his having at least one more
opportunity of distinguishing himself. In the following year, on the
14th April, 1759, he was again afloat; on this occasion appointed to
the command in the Mediterranean, with a view to overmastering the
French fleet. Having vainly endeavoured to entice the enemy out of
their harbour at Toulon, the British Admiral withdrew to Gibraltar to
refit; and whilst here, having ascertained that the French ships under
M. De la Clue had somehow contrived to pass the Straits without his
being able to prevent them, he came to the conclusion that their object
was to effect a junction with the Brest fleet--a consummation which of
course Boscawen was bound to prevent. At once he gave the order for
pursuit, and slipping his war-hounds from the leash, he came up with
the enemy in Lagos Bay, some 150 sea miles north-west of Gibraltar
Straits. He had pursued the Frenchmen all night, and came up with
them at 2 p.m. on the following day, when, after a furious engagement
which lasted some hours, he captured or destroyed nearly half the
enemy's ships, and thus 'effectually defeated the magnificent scheme
of invading England, with which the French Minister had for some time
amused the military ardour and romantic spirit of his countrymen.'
It is worth while to give Boscawen's account to the Admiralty of the
memorable action in his own words:

  'I acquainted you in my last of my return to Gibraltar to refit.
  As soon as the ships were near ready, I ordered the _Lyme_ and
  _Gibraltar_, the only frigates ready, the first to cruise off Malaga,
  the last from Estepona to Ceuta Point, to look out, and give me timely
  notice of the enemy's approach.

  'On the 17th, at eight in the evening, the _Gibraltar_ made the signal
  of their appearance, fourteen sail, on the Barbary shore, to the
  eastward of Ceuta. I got under sail as fast as possible, and was out
  of the bay before ten, with fourteen sail of the line, the _Shannon_
  frigate, and _Ætna_ fireship. At daylight I saw the _Gibraltar_, and
  soon after seven large ships lying to; but on our not answering their
  signals, they made sail from us. We had a fresh gale that brought us
  up with them fast till about noon, when it fell little wind. About
  half an hour past two, some of the headmost ships began to engage, but
  I could not get up to the _Ocean_ till near four. In about half an
  hour the _Namur's_ mizzen-mast and both topsail-yards were shot away.
  The enemy then made all the sail they could. I shifted my flag to the
  _Newark_, and soon after the _Centaur_, of 74 guns, struck.[97]

  'I pursued all night, and in the morning of the 19th saw only four
  sail standing in for the land, two of the best sailers having altered
  their course in the night; we were not above three miles from them,
  and not above five leagues from the shore, with very little wind.
  About nine the _Ocean_ ran among the breakers, and the three others
  anchored. I sent the _Intrepid_ and the _America_ to destroy the
  _Ocean_. Captain Pratten having anchored, could not get in; but
  Captain Kirke performed that service alone. On his first firing at
  the _Ocean_ she struck, and Captain Kirke sent his officers on board.
  M. De la Clue, having one leg broke and the other wounded, had been
  landed about half an hour; but they found the captain, M. le Compte de
  Carnes, and several officers and men, on board. Captain Kirke, after
  taking them out, finding it impossible to bring the ship off, set
  her on fire. Captain Bently, of the _Warspight_, was ordered against
  the _Temeraire_, of 74 guns, and brought her off with little damage,
  the officers and men all on board. At the same time, Vice-Admiral
  Broderick, with his division, burnt the _Redoubtable_, her officers
  and men having quitted her, being bulged; they brought the _Modeste_,
  of 64 guns, off, very little damaged.

  'I have the pleasure to acquaint their lordships, that most of his
  Majesty's ships under my command sailed better than those of the enemy.

  'Enclosed I send you a list of the French squadron, found on board the

  'Herewith you will also receive the number of the killed and wounded
  on board his Majesty's ships (56 killed and 196 wounded), referring
  their lordships for further particulars to Captain Buckle.'

Well might even the gentle poet Cowper say of so brilliant and
important an exploit as this was: 'When poor Bob White brought in the
news of Boscawen's success off the Coast of Portugal, how did I leap
for joy!'

As part of the results of his victory Boscawen took three large ships
and burnt two; and on the 15th of September reached Spithead with
his prizes and 2,000 prisoners. Unfortunately the victory involved
us in a protracted negotiation with the Portuguese, who complained,
not without reason, that the neutrality of their coasts had been
violated. It was on this occasion that Pitt, in giving, in his letter
to Mr. Hay, then British Minister at Lisbon, his directions for the
conduct of the negotiations, loftily writes on the 12th September,
1759: 'You will be particularly attentive not to employ any favourable
circumstances to justify what the Law of Nations condemns!' Yet the
great Minister was careful to add in his P.S. that 'any personal
mark on a great Admiral who has done so essential a service to his
country, or on anyone under his command, _is totally inadmissible_; as
well as the idea of restoring the ships of war taken.' The delicate
political considerations involved in this transaction may perhaps
account for Boscawen's not again receiving the thanks of the House;
but that the enormous value of the service which he had rendered was
not unperceived, may be seen from the fact that the City of Edinburgh
embraced this opportunity of presenting the Admiral with its 'freedom.'
After a while, however, more substantial rewards followed. He was made
a Privy Councillor; and, on 8th December, 1760, a General of Marines,
with a salary of £3,000 a year. It may be a matter of surprise with
some that no title was conferred upon Boscawen; but, as a public
writer has recently observed: 'Naval services have been by no means so
frequently rewarded by peerages as military services, especially of
late years; as may be gathered from the fact that while the Queen has
already created thirteen military peers, she has created only two naval
peers--namely, the late Sir Edmund Lyons, made Baron Lyons after the
Crimean War in 1856, and Lord Alcester. Before that the latest naval
peerage was the Barony of De Saumerez conferred on Sir James Saumerez
in 1831 by William IV.; and before that, again, the Viscounty of
Exmouth, conferred on the Cornish Admiral Sir Edward Pellew in 1816 by
the Prince Regent. And, even from the age of the great French War of
the end of last and the beginning of the current century, the titles
remaining in the peerage are far from numerous: Nelson, Bridport,
Camperdown, Gardner, Graves, Hood, Howe, Rodney, and St. Vincent,
nearly or quite exhausting the list.' In the present instance there
was probably the further consideration that our Admiral's brother was
already a Viscount, whilst his own son was heir apparent to that title.

We now come to Boscawen's last service--once more in the Bay of
Quiberon--where he was posted with a view to his following up Conflans
after his defeat by Hawke. In this command he was relieved on the 26th
August; and little remains to be told except the final record that, on
the 10th January, 1761, this thoroughbred seaman and gentleman died of
a bilious fever, when only fifty years of age, at his seat, Hatchlands
Park, near Guildford, Surrey. But his body was laid amongst those of
his ancestors in the remote and quiet little church of St. Michael
Penkivel--'grata quies patriæ'--where no more warlike cannonade was
destined to disturb his repose than the sunset and sunrise gun from
Pendennis or St. Mawes Castles, or from the guard-ship stationed in the
adjacent harbour of Falmouth.[99]

His monument, of white marble, is an imposing piece of statuary, the
most prominent part of which is a bust designed by Adam, and executed
by Rysbrack, which well displays the bluff, portly, and determined
features of one of England's bravest and ablest sons. But, to my mind,
the best and loveliest part of that trophied memorial is the following
inscription from the pen of the well-beloved partner of all his joys
and sorrows:

  '_Satis Gloriæ sed haud satis Reipublicæ_:

  'Here lies the Right Honourable Edward Boscawen, Admiral of the Blue,
  General of Marines, Lord of the Admiralty and one of his Majesty's
  Most Honourable Privy Council. His birth tho' noble, his titles tho'
  illustrious, were but incidental additions to his greatness.

  'History, in more expressive and more indelible characters, will
  inform latest posterity with what ardent zeal, with what successful
  valour, he served his country, and taught her enemies to dread her
  naval power.

  'In command he was equal to every emergency--superior to ev'ry
  difficulty. In his high departments masterly and upright. His example
  form'd while his patronage rewarded merit.

  'With the highest exertions of Military greatness he united the
  gentlest offices of humanity.

  'His concern for the interest and unwearied attention to the health of
  all under his command softened the necessary exactions of duty and the
  rigors of discipline by the care of a guardian and the tenderness of a

  'Thus belov'd and rever'd, amiable in private life as illustrious in
  public, this gallant and profitable servant of his country, when he
  was beginning to reap the harvest of his toils and dangers, in the
  full meridian of years and glory, after having been providentially
  preserved from every peril incident to his profession, died of a
  fever on the 10th of Jany. in the year 1761, the 50th of his age, at
  Hatchlands Park in Surrey, a seat he had just finished at the expense
  of the enemies of his country, and (amidst the groans and tears of his
  beloved Cornishmen) was here deposited.

  'His once happy wife inscribes this marble--an unequal testimony of
  his worth, and of her affection.'

Here perhaps it may conveniently be added that his name is still
honourably remembered in the Navy, for the _Boscawen_, of 101 guns, was
one of the Baltic fleet in 1854; and there is a ship of that name, now
stationed at Weymouth, used as a naval training-ship for boys.

The career of Admiral Boscawen depicts his character. It was that of a
brave, blunt, determined sailor of the old school. He could not look
at a French ship without desiring to fight her; and his determination,
according to his enemies, amounted to obstinacy. Walpole tells us how
the Admiral in 1757 is said to have been recalled from his then station
to serve under Hawke, which he declined to do, 'and his Boscawenhood
is now much more Boscawened; that is surly in the deepest shade;' and
the same writer says, in another place, that he was 'the most obstinate
man of an obstinate family.' Yet even Walpole is compelled to pay this
somewhat unwilling tribute to the Admiral's worth during the perilous
time when he served his country so well: 'Never did the bravery of
the English and the want of spirit in the French appear in greater
opposition; the former making their attacks on spots which the French
deemed impregnable, threw them into utter dismay; and dictated a very
quick and unjustifiable submission--Boscawen's rough courage was fully
known before.' And a recent critic, who has already been quoted more
than once (himself a naval officer), thus sums up our hero's character:
'He was virtuous like Anson and Hawke, and as brave and eager for
employment and distinction as Nelson himself.'

But the prize which the Cornish hero must have valued most must have
been the eulogium which Chatham, when Prime Minister, addressed to
him--words with which I may not inaptly close this imperfect sketch of
his life and actions:

'When I apply to other officers respecting any expedition I may
chance to project, they always raise difficulties; _you_ always find


It is not too much to say of the Admiral's wife that she was worthy
of him, and that she was duly proud of his name and reputation. We
have seen how she thought her daughter Elizabeth was no unfit match
for a duke, remarking that she was '_Admiral Boscawen's_ daughter;'
and she was dearly fond of the sea, 'delighting in it (as she used to
say) beyond all sights and all objects whatever,' until the mournful
day came when he for whose sake she had loved it so dearly had ended
his connexion with it for ever; and then she spoke of it as that sea
whose memories 'had cost her so many tears.' She was the only daughter
of William Evelyn Glanville, Esq., of St. Clere near Ightham, Kent,
and was of the family of the celebrated John Evelyn, whom she was
fond of calling her 'good, old uncle;' and she took immense interest
accordingly in the production of Dr. Hunter's new edition of the

When twenty-four years of age she was married, in December, 1742, to
Admiral Boscawen, seven years her senior, and they seem to have been a
well-suited, happy couple. Her character is perhaps best seen in the
interesting gossiping letters which she and Mrs. Delany (a Grenville
of Stow) interchanged. She was also a correspondent of Hannah More and
Mrs. Chapone.

Hannah More, in her 'Sensibility,' writes thus of her:

    'Accept, Boscawen! these unpolish'd lays,
    Nor blame too much the verse you cannot praise.
    For you far other bards have wak'd the string;
    Far other bards for you were wont to sing.
       *       *       *       *       *
    You heard the lyres of Lyttelton and Young;
    And this a Grace, and that a Seraph strung.'

And in another place she adds:

    'On you, Boscawen, when you fondly melt
    In raptures none but mothers ever felt,
    And view, enamour'd, in your beauteous race,
    All Leveson's sweetness, and all Beaufort's grace!
    Yet think _what dangers_ each lov'd child may share,
    The youth _if valiant_, and the maid _if fair_?'

The reason for dedicating this poem of '_Sensibility_' to Mrs. Boscawen
is glanced at in the following couplet:

    ''Tis _this_, whose charms the soul resistless seize,
    And gives Boscawen half her pow'r to please.'

On the death of her husband, Dr. Young thus addressed her, in a
postscript to his poem 'Resignation',

    'Why mourn the dead? You wrong the grave,
      From storms that safe resort;
    We still are tossing out at sea--
      Our _Admiral's_ in port.'

As another illustration of her intimacy with literary people, and of
her fondness for their pursuits, it may be mentioned that Mrs. Boscawen
was one of the society of 'eminent friends, both ladies and gentlemen,'
who used to meet at Mrs. Montagu's, where she made herself welcome,
says Dr. Doran, by 'the strength of her understanding, the poignancy of
her humour, and the brilliancy of her wit.' A Mr. Stillingfleet, one
of the coterie, was rather slovenly in his costume, and, amongst other
delinquencies, wore _grey_ stockings, which caused Admiral Boscawen
humorously to affix to the whole party a name which has now become a
household word--'The Blue Stockings.'

After they had been dining together on the 29th April, 1778, at Allan
Ramsay's--when Dr. Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds had been of the
party--Boswell wrote of Mrs. Boscawen, 'If it be not presumptuous in
me to praise her, let me say that her manners were the most agreeable,
and her conversation the best of any lady of our party with whom I had
the happiness of being acquainted.' Tenderhearted and sprightly she
undoubtedly was; and, as an instance of her vivacity, I may perhaps be
excused for quoting a passage in one of her letters to Mrs. Delany
which Lady Llanover has given in those well-known 'Memoirs' of her
ancestress, to which I have already more than once referred. 'The first
time,' writes Mrs. Boscawen, 'I experienced the pains of child-bearing,
I concluded that no woman had ever endured the like upon the like
occasion, and that I could not possibly recover it; whereas I danced a
minuet about my room in ten days, to insult my nurse-keeper and set her
a scolding for my diversion!'

But she was something more than a vivacious letter-writer and a
dilettante, for she dabbled too in political affairs, especially in
the Cornish elections, giving her interest to 'the old members' rather
than to Sir William Lemon in 1774. She took, of course, great interest
in the warlike views of the day; and on returning to her inn one
evening whilst she was travelling through the country, on hearing of
the retaking of Long Island, 'made a most agreeable supper and drank
health to the noble brothers'--the two Howes. When her son-in-law,
Mr. Leveson, had the command of the _Valiant_, man-of-war, conferred
upon him in November, 1776, she set to work for him 'with great
alacrity,' as she says, to raise a crew of fishermen in Cornwall. In
fact, throughout her life her correspondence shows that she took the
keenest possible interest in the doings of our army and navy. As an
illustration of the warlike spirit which at this time pervaded even
the bosoms of the gentler sex, Walpole thus writes in May, 1778: 'The
Parliament is only to have short adjournments; and our senators,
instead of retiring to horse-races (_their_ plough), are all turned
soldiers, and disciplining militia. Camps everywhere, and the ladies in
the uniforms of their husbands.' 'It is said,' writes Mrs. Boscawen to
Mrs. Delany, 'that the Duchess of Devonshire marched through Islington
at the head of the Derbyshire Militia, dressed in the uniform of that

Her residence when in London seems to have been generally in Audley
Street; but she also had a pretty place at Enfield, and a small house
at Colney Hatch which she used to call her 'nut-shell.'

When about eighty years of age she was living at Rosedale, a place
near the entrance to Richmond from Kew, which was formerly occupied by
the poet Thomson, whose table, cane, and chair were long preserved in
the house; and whilst residing here a little poetical correspondence
took place which may be worth recording, not only as an illustration
of the courtly politeness of the time, and of the respect in which
the good old lady was evidently held by her contemporaries, but also
because Mrs. Boscawen's letter, written in a firm, almost manly hand,
notwithstanding her advanced age, is still preserved in the British
Museum, where it will be found in the Additional MSS. Pye, the Poet
Laureate, had written a sonnet on Rosedale, which he communicated to
the Rev. W. Butler, who sent it on to Mrs. Boscawen. The lines, by no
means remarkable for vigour or originality, conclude thus:

    'Still Fancy's Train your verdant Paths shall Trace,
      Tho' clos'd her fav'rite Votary's dulcet lay;
    Each wonted Haunt their footsteps still shall grace,
      Still Genius thro' your green Retreats shall stray:
    For, from the Scene BOSCAWEN loves to grace,
      Th' Attendant Muse shall ne'er be long away.'

The lady graciously acknowledged the compliment conveyed to her in the
last two lines, and thus replied on the 26th June, 1797:


  'I am sure I ought to return you my gratefull acknowledgm^{ts} for
  the obliging Present you have made me of some sweet Stanzas on this
  spot,--and my two Predecessors. Mr. Ross was certainly an Admirer of
  His, & paid that Respect to his Memory as to retain the little Parlour
  where Mr. Thomson liv'd, tho' he rebuilt every other Part of the
  House, extending it very much.

  'The little Rustick Seat w^{ch} inspir'd your poetick Dialogue I
  found in such a State of decay that I was oblig'd to take it down,
  _but, reserving all the Materials_, I have replac'd it in a retir'd
  part of the Garden much enlarg'd and hung round with votive Tablets
  or Inscriptions in Honour of your admir'd Poet. His Bust is on the
  Pedament of the Seat, and in front is written

                        '"Here Thomson sung
                          The Seasons & their Change."

  In the Alcove is a little old Table, w^h I am assur'd belonged to Him,
  but Sir, if ever you sh^d have leisure to pay another Visit to your
  _matchless Favourite_, You will I hope find Him honour'd by

                     'Your most humble Serv^t,

                                        'F. BOSCAWEN.'

After surviving her husband for forty-four years, and never marrying
again, the Honourable Frances Evelyn Boscawen closed her long and
amiable life at her house in Audley Street, in March, 1805, at the
venerable age of eighty-six; and was buried in the same vault with her
husband at St. Michael Penkivel, where a monument designed by her son,
George Evelyn, third Viscount Falmouth, and executed by Nollekens, was
erected to her memory. An epitaph does her no more than justice.

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]


[80] It is somewhat singular that, notwithstanding the early and close
connexion of the Boscawen family with this church, which is one of
unusual interest--containing an oratory with a stone altar in the
tower--though the Boscawen monuments here are numerous, yet there is no
earlier example than one to Hugh, who married a lady of the Carminow
family, and who died in 1559.

[81] Dr. Borlase mentions the high esteem in which the elder-tree was
held by the Cornu-Britons, and states, with reference to the height to
which it will reach under favourable circumstances, that Mr. Tonkin was
informed that one of these trees, nearly fifty feet high, was blown
down in Carhayes Park during a gale, about the year 1720.

[82] According to Hals, the Buryan Boscawens also transplanted their
dwelling-places to Tregameer in St. Columb Major, and Trevallock
in Creed, or St. Stephen's, and from thence, by marriage with the
daughter and heir of Tregothnan, by Lawrence Boscawen, gentleman,
attorney-at-law, temp. Henry VII., who died 1567, and lies buried in
the north transept of St. Michael Penkivel Church, as is testified by a
brass inscription on his gravestone, there lately extant, upon which,
on a lead escutcheon, was engraved his paternal coat armour. He it was
who built the towers of old Tregothnan House.

[83] He must have been a wealthy man, for Davies Gilbert says that on
Hugh Boscawen's daughter Bridget's marriage with Hugh Fortescue he gave
her £100,000.

[84] Sub. _Basset_.

[85] According to Lysons, the Deanery of the royal chapel of St. Burian
was a dignity held immediately under the Crown, and in a Cartulary,
20th Edw. I., the incumbent is called Dean of the King's Free Chapel
of St. Burian. He used to exercise an independent jurisdiction in
all ecclesiastical matters within the parish and its immediate
dependencies. The three prebends belonging to the church of St. Burian
were Prebenda Parva, Prebenda de Respermel and Prebenda de Tirthney;
though there may have possibly been a fourth, called Trethyn, a place
in this parish where there was once a chapel. The first-named Prebend
was in the gift of the Bishop; the two others were annexed to the
Deanery of St. Burian. The 'Deanery' has, however, ceased to be; the
three parishes are separated, and there are now simply Rectors of
St. Buryan, St. Levan, and St. Sennen. (Cf. a paper on 'The Cornish
Chantries' by Mr. H. Michell Whitley, in the Truro Diocesan Kalendar
for 1882.)

[86] His medallion portrait on his monument at St. Michael Penkivel,
was designed by his mother, and was sculptured by Nollekens.

[87] He is so depicted in his portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds in our
National Portrait Gallery. There are numerous engraved portraits of him
in the Print Room of the British Museum.

[88] Edgcumbe took home the Admiral's despatches in the _Shannon_.

[89] Yet the French _ships_ were in many respects better than the
English; Professor Montagu Burrows (Captain R.N.) considers that
an English 70-gun ship of the line was then not more than equal to
a French 52. Many of the vessels were absolutely rotten, and the
provisioning was grossly mismanaged. The officers too, it is said,
were often found combining prudence with valour in somewhat un-English

[90] 'Hawke's grandfather (says Professor Burrows), a London merchant,
had, like his ancestors for many generations, been settled at Treriven
or Treraven (? Raven on the one-inch ordnance map, near the interesting
old house of Trebasil), in the parish of St. Cleather, in Cornwall,
about half-way between Launceston and Tintagel Head. Cornwall thus
has the honour of having produced the two greatest admirals of the
period, Hawke and Boscawen.' I did not myself venture to claim Hawke
as a Cornishman, inasmuch as his father, a barrister of Lincoln's Inn,
settled at Bocking in Norfolk.

[91] It is extremely gratifying to record that on that glorious morning
scions of distinguished Cornish families were present--a Boscawen and a
St. Aubyn--viz., the eldest son of the present Viscount Falmouth, and
the second son of the present Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart.

[92] Walpole has pointed out, in his 'Memoirs of the last Ten Years of
George II.,' how the reserved and proud Anson, 'who had been round the
world, but never in it,' had carried off all the glory of the victory
at Cape Finisterre, though Boscawen had done the service. In this view
Professor Burrows concurs.

[93] Pondicherry (or Puducheri) as it is called by the natives,
seems to have had a somewhat chequered history. It was purchased by
the French, from the King of Benjapore, in 1672; it was taken from
them by the Dutch in 1693, who considerably enlarged the town and
fortifications. At the Treaty of Ryswick it was restored to France; in
1748 it was, as we have seen, unsuccessfully besieged by Boscawen; but
in 1761, after a long, tedious blockade, it was captured by Coote. At
the Peace of 1763 it was again restored to France; in 1778 it was once
more surrendered to England, and finally it was delivered up to France
in 1783, to become the capital of the French Settlements in India.

[94] Here, too, Cook, the circumnavigator, won his first laurels.

[95] A still more complete and detailed account, illustrated by a map,
will be found in R. Brown's 'History of Cape Breton.'

[96] The year after Boscawen expelled the French from Cape Breton,
Wolfe and Saunders drove them out of Canada.

[97] His tactics were to get to windward of his opponents,
notwithstanding the advantage that gave their gunnery at first, whilst
waiting to leeward for the attack; but the British crews were not
given to flinching under fire, and when once Boscawen got within half
musket-shot of the enemy he 'hammered away into his antagonists' hulls,
and it was soon all over with them.'

[98] The French Admiral's ship, the _Ocean_, carried 80 guns; besides
her, the fleet comprised five ships of 74 guns, three of 64 guns, two
of 50 guns, one of 26 guns, and two of 24 guns. Admiral Ekins could
never sufficiently admire Admiral Boscawen's action in shifting his
flag to the _Newark, during_ the fight with De la Clue, observing that
we have had but one example since Boscawen's time of this being done;
viz., by Commodore Nelson on 14th February. Ekins gives a capital
account of this engagement, by a midshipman who was present.

[99] There is a local tradition that the Admiral caused the tower of
this church to be lowered, lest it should serve as a landmark to the

[100] Luttrell (v. 594) says that (Sept., 1705) John Evelyn, Esq., was
married to Mrs. Boscawen, niece to the Lord Treasurer (? Godolphin).



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



    'Igne constricto, vita secura.'

                               _Davy's Motto._

The pretty little homestead--or as it is called in Cornwall, the
'town-place'--of Varfel, (or Barfell as it was sometimes spelt) in
Ludgvan, lies on a southern slope, about two and a half miles N.E. of
Penzance, and is a somewhat less distance from St. Michael's Mount, a
view of which, as well as of the famous Mount's Bay and of the Lizard
district, it commands. Varfel seems to have belonged from an early
period to the Davy family, some of whose monuments in Ludgvan Church
are nearly 300 years old. Either here, on the 'paternal acres,' or in
the town of Penzance, on 17th December, 1778, at 5 a.m., was born to
'Carver' Robert Davy (so called from his proficiency in his trade as
a wood-carver and gilder) and his wife Grace Millett, their eldest
son,[101] who was destined to emerge from this remote and obscure
corner of England, and become President of the Royal Society--a man
of science so distinguished that Brande, in his celebrated 'History
of Chemistry,' spoke of Davy's death as nothing less than 'a serious
national calamity.'

The district of Penwith, with its wild furze-clad granite moors, its
rugged cliffs, and emerald bays, proved

  'Fit nurse for a poetic child;'

and the imaginative faculties of the future illustrious chemist were
not nursed in vain. Like Pope, he 'lisped in numbers,' reciting,
when only five years old, his own rhymes at some Christmas gambols;
and his poetic vein never left him, even in the laboratory or in the
lecture-room, compelling the aristocratic idlers of London to love
Science, because, as they were constrained to confess, under his magic
guidance, Science was made beautiful, and was attired by the Graces. It
was said by Coleridge that had Davy not devoted himself to Science, he
would have shone with the highest lustre as a poet; and the following
youthful lines, full of true local colour, certainly show, as indeed
did his whole life, that he had drunk of 'the fount of Helicon:'


                                'On the Sea
    The sunbeams tremble; and the purple light
    Illumes the dark Bolerium, seat of Storms!
    Drear are his granite wilds, his schistine rocks
    Encircled by the wave, where to the gale
    The haggard cormorant shrieks; and, far beyond,
    Where the great ocean mingles with the sky,
    Behold the cloud-like islands[102] grey in mist.'

It was this poetic temperament, derived (as his brother, Dr. Davy,
thinks) from their grandmother, which induced the gifted Dr. Henry,
F.R.S., thus to refer to the subject of this memoir:

  'Bold, ardent, enthusiastic, Davy soared to greatest heights; he
  commanded a wide horizon, and his keen vision penetrated to its
  utmost boundaries. His imagination, in the highest degree fertile and
  inventive, took a rapid and extensive range in pursuit of conjectural
  analogies, which he submitted to close and patient comparison with
  known facts, and tried by an appeal to ingenious and conclusive
  experiments. He was imbued with the spirit and was master in the
  practice of inductive logic; and he has left us some of the noblest
  examples of the efficacy of that great instrument of human reason in
  the discovery of truth. He applied it, not only to connect classes
  of facts of more limited extent and importance, but to develop great
  and comprehensive laws, which embrace phenomena that are almost
  universal to the natural world. In explaining those laws he cast upon
  them the illumination of his own clear and vivid conceptions; he felt
  an intense admiration of the beauty, order, and harmony which are
  conspicuous in the perfect _Chemistry of Nature;_ and he expressed
  those feelings with a force and eloquence which could issue only from
  a mind of the highest powers and of the finest sensibilities.'

Davy's first school was at Penzance, his first schoolmaster a Mr.
Bushell; his next, the Rev. Mr. Coryton, seems to have been one of the
old rough sort, determined that his pupils should not lack correction,
even if they did not profit by his instruction. He used to address the
little boy in the following doggrel, whenever he thought he saw an
opportunity of administering castigation:

    'Now, Master Davy,
    Now, sir! I have 'ee!
    No one shall save 'ee--
    Good Master Davy!'

But neither Mr. Coryton, nor Dr. Cardew, the excellent master of the
Truro Grammar School, to which place Davy was for a short period
removed, when fourteen years old, seems to have perceived any
remarkable genius in the scholar--except that the latter discerned
at least his taste and skill in poetry, and in his translations from
the classics into English verse. One of the efforts of his muse was
an epic poem, 'The Tydidiad,' written when he was twelve years old.
In truth Davy, when a schoolboy, was generally composing either
ballads or valentines (in Latin or English) for his school-fellows,
in making fireworks, or in fishing or shooting, thus proving--what
has been so often proved before--that 'the boy is father to the
man.' His oratorical displays--sometimes addressed to a crowd of
juveniles assembled in front of the Star Inn at Penzance, sometimes
to a row of empty chairs in his own bedroom--and his turnip-lantern
exhibitions (which afterwards developed into the wonderful mimic
volcanoes with which he astonished and delighted his audience at the
Royal Institution) were highly popular; the price of admission to the
turnip-lantern shows is said to have been paid in an extremely low
currency--pins. It would moreover appear from an entry of his in the
blank page of his Schrevelius that Harlequin was his favourite part in
a pantomime. Of his youth, which all accounts agree in representing
as genial and amiable, little more remains to be said, but that he
was very awkward with his hands (often blotting out an error in his
MS. by dipping his fingers into the ink-bottle)--could never get out
of the 'awkward squad' in the Volunteer Corps which he joined--that
he was round-shouldered and clumsy--had no taste or ear for music,
and possessed a singularly inharmonious voice. Clearly, the outward
gifts of our hero were not such as were likely to help him forward
on his way through life. To judge what a change the fire of genius,
years of study, and the advantages of moving amongst cultured and
refined society can accomplish, his portrait, when he was about
thirty-three years old, by Lawrence,[103] prefixed to Dr. Paris's
'Life'--or perhaps rather that by Phillips, R.A., which will be found
in Polwhele's now rare little volumes the 'Biographical Sketches,' and
in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for 1829, should be examined.

As he grew up he is described as being of about the middle height, of
remarkably active frame, and with a mobile countenance, which, though
the features were not regular, was full of expression and vivacity.
He had bright, wavy, brown hair, and eyes 'tremulous with light;' and
his voice so improved by cultivation and experience that it became
remarkably melodious. When to this are added his wonderful talents,
his grand discoveries, and his eloquence, his sanguine temperament,
his purpose firm, his spirits singularly cheerful and elastic, and his
disposition ever philanthropic, it will easily be believed that his
society was sought by all classes; and it is not to be wondered at if
the attractions which such opportunities presented laid him open to
the charge (from some quarters) of cultivating too much the wealthy
and the powerful.[104] Davy, however, was too wise not to perceive the
advantage of interesting such persons in the pursuits to which he was
himself through life devoted. But he was really fond of intelligence
in all classes, whenever and wherever he met with it; and there is an
amusing story told of one of his street acquaintances, who showed the
moon through a telescope, and who always refused to take Davy's penny,
because, as the man said, of their being 'brother philosophers.'

But, to return to his youthful days. Davy's schooling probably did not
cost his parents much, for in Dr. Cardew's time the charges were only
£18 a year for board, and £4 for teaching, and perhaps some of these
were paid by a very kind friend of the family, Mr. John Tonkin of
Penzance. He 'put on harness' in 1793, when little more than fourteen
years old (the year before his father died), by being articled on 16th
February, to Dr. J. B. Borlase of Penzance, a gentleman who seems to
have taken a kind and appreciative interest in the welfare of the lad.

Davy seems to have bestowed a fair amount of attention upon the studies
pertaining to his profession, and is said to have been particularly
kind and attentive to his master's patients, especially those of the
poorer classes; but 'nourishing a youth sublime' on the preparation of
pills and potions was out of the question; and we gladly find that, ere
long, a more intellectual banquet was to be laid before him. He was
at this time passionately fond of fishing and shooting, the former of
which pursuits he dearly loved to the last: casting longing looks, even
within a few days of his death, on the waters of Lake Leman on which
he had often in earlier days thrown a fly. His charming book 'Salmonia'
(_pace_ the shade of Christopher North) shows what a deep interest he
always took in fishing, and, indeed, in Natural History generally. It
is amusing to note here, that in later years his costume, hat included,
when he went fishing, was, for purposes of concealment, _green_; when,
however, he went shooting he adopted scarlet garments for distinction,
having a great dread of being shot. Declamations by the shores of
Mount's Bay were also a source of great pleasure to him, when a boy,
and many a time did he harangue the waves, when he could not secure a
human auditory.

We may be sure that chemistry was not omitted; and, in the attic of a
house belonging to that worthy friend of the family--Mr. Tonkin--such
apparatus as Davy could muster might have been found: phials,
wine-glasses, teacups, and tobacco-pipes, and a few acids and alkalies
were amongst the principal items, and--most treasured of all--an old
clyster-pipe, washed ashore from a wreck, out of which he had contrived
to manufacture an air-pump!

The crisis of Davy's life at length arrived. Mr. Davies Gilbert (then
named Giddy) a Cornish gentleman eminent for his attainments, had
his attention called to the youngster's scientific knowledge, and
became his friend and patron--little thinking at the time that he was
hereafter to become Treasurer of the Royal Society under Davy, and
at length to succeed his _protégé_ as a President. It is noteworthy
here--that Trelissick House, on the Fal, built by Davy's grandfather,
for Mr. Daniell, became afterwards the property of Mr. Gilbert, and is
now one of the seats of his grandson, Carew Davies Gilbert, Esq. Davies
Gilbert also brought into public notice the Rev. Malachi Hitchins, once
a miner, afterwards the principal calculator of the Nautical Almanac,
and (conjointly with Samuel Drew) an historian of Cornwall; also the
Rev. John Hellins, many years assistant to Dr. Maskelyne. He was
moreover an early friend and adviser of Richard Trevithick (_q.v._).

It is said that when the boy Davy first saw Mr. Davies Gilbert's
laboratory his tumultuous delight knew no bounds. Other appreciative
friends now came forward; amongst them Dr. Edwards of Hayle Copper
House, and Professor Hailstone, and Dr. Beddoes, representatives of
the rival geological schools of Neptunists and Plutonists, as they
were then called, to both of whom Davy was able to render valuable
information; though he himself, with his usual sagacity, sided with the
Plutonists. Gregory Watt, the youngest son of the renowned James Watt,
was another of Davy's early acquaintances at Penzance; and from Watt
the youth derived much valuable information and advice.

One result was the offer of an appointment, when he was about nineteen
years old, as assistant in Dr. Beddoes's Pneumatic Hospital, at Dowry
Square, Clifton,[105]--an establishment founded for the purpose of
investigating the nature of the gases, with especial reference to their
remedial influences.

This was an appointment after the young chemist's own heart. The salary
was sufficient for his modest wants, and he forthwith renounced all
claims to his share of the small family property, in favour of his
mother and sisters. He threw himself at once with ardour into his
work, and originated those celebrated but highly dangerous experiments
on the effects of nitrous oxide, which indeed nearly cost him his
own life, but which in their result have alleviated the sufferings
of tens of thousands of his fellow-creatures. The description of
one of the 'séances,' when experiments were tried on many different
persons--including Southey, then Poet Laureate--were described by Davy
in an amusing little poem.

The friendship with Southey was not only on a scientific basis;--the
Poet recognised his brother-poet's faculty: and accordingly Southey
submitted to Davy the proofs of his mystic poem 'Thalaba,' for
criticism; whilst the younger bard contributed to the 'Anthology' of
the elder. And while on this subject it may be added that Coleridge
(another of his Clifton acquaintances), who often referred to Davy's
enchanting manners, used to say, so Barrow tells us, that he was in
the habit of attending Davy's lectures at the Royal Institution,
'in order to increase his stock of metaphors.' On another occasion
Coleridge remarked: 'There is an energy and elasticity in Davy's mind
which enables him to seize on and analyze all questions, pushing them
to their legitimate consequences. Every subject in Davy's mind has
the principle of vitality--living thoughts spring up, like the turf
under his feet.' And Davy, of course, could not fail to admire the
genius of Coleridge--it was he who persuaded the dreamy poet to give
his well-known series of eighteen lectures on Shakespeare at the Royal
Institution in 1808. Horne Tooke was another of Davy's admirers, and
was so enchanted with him early in his career that he engaged Chantry
to make a bust of the Cornish philosopher.

It is further evident that Southey had the highest possible opinion of
Davy's talents, for he wrote thus to Taylor:

  'Davy is proceeding in his chemical career with the same giant strides
  as at his outset. His book upon the nitrous oxyd will form an epoch
  in the science. I never witnessed such indefatigable activity in any
  other man, nor ardour so regulated by cool judgment.'

In fact our poet-chemist must have been altogether a most fascinating
man. An old personal acquaintance of his writes in the 'Gentleman's
Magazine,' 1845, that 'when Davy is at ease, and excited in
conversation, his splendid eyes irradiate his whole countenance, and he
looks almost inspired.' But perhaps the best analysis of Davy's powers
is that given in _Good Words_ for 1879, by Professor Ferguson, who has
also written by far the most generally interesting account of the great
chemist's discoveries:

  'Davy's mind,' he says, 'presents so many characteristics, that one
  cannot help thinking of it when perusing the narrative of his life
  and discoveries. It is that of the highest type of experimentalists.
  There is never any straining after either facts or laws. If there was
  a practical problem to solve, there was an instinctive perception
  required of the means to be employed. He asked his questions; Nature
  replied gently, kindly. How could she keep silent when the being
  she had made to learn from her inquired? There was never anything
  superfluous, for he always saw the aim of the replies no less than of
  the questions, and knew what to do next.

  'Was it a question in science? the same instinct guided him to the
  means. The intensest perception of real analogies led either to
  the discovery of new bodies, and to the unravelling of obscure and
  perplexed phenomena, or to the enunciation of views of general action,
  which are only now adopted in all their extent and recognised as true.
  It was thus that he declared against the oxygen theory of acids--that
  he was never a devoted convert to Dalton's atomic views--and that he
  was so thoroughly a dynamician in a science which is still almost
  entirely statical. The laboratory, rather than the study, was the
  scene of his triumphs; it was there where his strength lay. No
  phenomenon was too minute to escape him; no consequence too improbable
  not to be brought into connection with the premises; no law too wide
  to be grasped in its known entirety. In all his work, in all his
  thinking, there is a magnificence, an ever-burning light which makes
  us lift up the head and gaze with purified vision upon the world, and
  a wild freshness, a provocative thought which, while we recur to it
  again and again, and are never sent away empty, are no less proofs of
  this man's vivid and enduring individuality.'

Davy's note-books now became rapidly filled with the Results of his
studies, with Reflexions, with Resolutions, and with the most ambitious
prospectuses of his future labours. Dr. Davy gives, in his 'Life' of
his brother, an interesting specimen, written in 1799, when Davy had
taken a house in Dowry Square, Clifton. Two hours before breakfast
were to be devoted to his 'Lover of Nature,' or the 'Feelings of
Eldon'--the five hours from nine to two to experiments--the time from
four to six was to be spent in reading, and from seven to ten p.m. in
the study of metaphysics. So passed the time away at Clifton, amidst
the most congenial pursuits, thoroughly sympathetic friends, and in the
enjoyment of an income which, modest as it was, enabled him to assist
his mother in the education of his younger brother. But for one thing
he bargained--John was _not_ to be placed under Mr. Coryton.

Clifton, however, ere long became too small a sphere for Davy; and in
1801 an appointment as Assistant Editor of the Journals, Director of
the Laboratory, and Assistant Lecturer (with a view to his ultimately
becoming the Professor of Chemistry) to the then newly-founded Royal
Institution, in London, was joyfully accepted; his salary being fixed
at 100 guineas a year, with a room, and coals, and candles. The Duchess
of Gordon, amongst other leaders of fashion, attracted by his youth
and simplicity, as well as by his enthusiasm and eloquence, took him
by the hand; and his success became assured. Compliments, invitations,
and presents, Dr. Paris tells us, were showered upon him from all
quarters; his society was courted by everybody, and all were proud
of his acquaintance. In 1802 he commenced a long series of lectures
before the Board of Agriculture, on the connexion of Chemistry with
Vegetable Physiology, which have been translated into almost every
European language: in fact, Sir Humphry has been well named the father
of Agricultural Chemistry.[106] In 1803 he obtained the enviable
distinction of being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and two
years afterwards, having become a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, he
found himself a correspondent of all the chief scientific men of the

Davy's _début_ as a lecturer at the Royal Institution appears to have
been highly successful; 'the sparkling intelligence of his eye,[107]
his animated manner,' according to one critic, and 'his youth, his
natural eloquence, his chemical knowledge, his happy illustrations, and
well-conducted experiments, excited universal attention and unbounded
applause.' It has been well said that 'under his touch the coldest
realities blossomed into poetry.' But the real secret of his success
was this--that he was master of his subject; and that his whole heart
was in his work. His mode of life, his brother tells us, was at this
time extremely simple, his fare frugal, his rooms slightly furnished,
and the only 'thing of beauty' which they contained was an exquisite
little porcelain Venus, the gift of his early friend Wedgwood, with
whom he was associated in some of the very first attempts made in this
country in the art of photography.

In 1806 and 1807 he was selected to deliver the Bakerian Lecture (the
subject chosen being the 'Chemical Agencies of Electricity')--an
honourable distinction--leading, as it probably did, to his promotion
in the latter year to the posts of Secretary to the Royal Society, and
Member of the Council. Of this paper Dr. Whewell said, 'It was a great
event--perhaps the most important event of the epoch under review,' and
as such 'it was recognised at once all over Europe.' Probably no man's
life was happier than Davy's at this period; his income was ample, his
work was his pleasure, and his disposition was happy and sanguine.
Whilst holding constant and friendly intercourse with his brother
philosophers at home and abroad,[108] he had also plenty of time for
relaxation; and made several pleasant excursions to Scotland[109] and
Ireland; everywhere sketching, making notes, fishing, or pursuing his
inquiries amongst the natives with a vivid pertinacity and good-nature
which at once astonished and delighted them. His brother (who used
occasionally to occupy an adjoining bedroom at the Royal Institution)
tells how Humphry might frequently have been heard during the night
addressing in fervid tones some imaginary audience, or humming aloud an
angler's song. Indeed, it might almost be said that during this period
one cloud only darkened his horizon. He was seized with typhus fever,
caught during an inspection of Newgate Prison, which he visited with a
view to arranging for its disinfection; but, as Dr. Dibdin remarked in
his introductory lecture to the Institution:

              '---- Death his dart
    Shook, but delayed to strike.'

During Davy's visits to Ireland in 1810 and 1811 he lectured before the
Dublin Society, and whilst in the Irish metropolis had conferred upon
him by Trinity College the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. During
the first week 550 tickets for his lectures were sold at 2 guineas
each, and the price ultimately rose to from 10 to 20 guineas. His
own pecuniary remuneration was also handsome; in the former year he
received 500 guineas, and in the latter £750.

The result of his researches during the eleven years whilst he
was officially connected with the Royal Institution may, Dr. Davy
thinks, be conveniently divided into two portions, viz., the _earlier
one_, terminating with his great discovery of the decomposition and
recomposition of the fixed alkalies, by the aid of an enormously
powerful voltaic pile which he had specially constructed for him, and
the cost of which was defrayed by subscription--the reward of his
triumphant and all-important electro-chemical researches; and the
_later period_, which re-established the simple nature of chlorine. His
views on these subjects were adopted by all the leading chemists of
the age; and, with few exceptions, were after a short time promulgated
in the schools. To the theory of tanning he also gave much attention,
experimentally wearing for some time one shoe tanned with oak bark, and
the other with catechu. He published the results of his inquiries in
the 'Philosophical Transactions' for 1803.

It is not uninteresting here to note that Davy, on becoming connected
with the Royal Society, did not entirely relinquish his intentions of
prosecuting--what might probably have been a more lucrative career--his
original profession of medicine. But not even such a prospect--nor even
that of an illustrious career in the Church--(to which it is said the
Bishop of Durham and others, charmed by his eloquence as a lecturer,
urged him)--could draw away his affection from science. And he was not
without his reward; for he had the satisfaction of reading in Cuvier's
address to the French Institute, whose members were of course rival
scientists, that--'Davy, not yet thirty-two, in the opinion of all who
could judge of his labours, held the first rank among the chemists of
this or of any other age.'

The month of April, 1812, was an eventful one in Davy's life. It saw
his retirement from the post of Secretary to the Royal Society; it
saw him receive the honour of Knighthood, then rarely bestowed upon
men of science;[110] and last, but not least, it saw him married to
Mrs. Apreece, whose maiden name was Jane Kerr (of Kelso), a wealthy,
amiable, and intellectual widow, to whom he appears to have been
devotedly attached: he described her, in a letter to his mother,
announcing the intended marriage, as 'a woman equally distinguished
for virtues, talents, and accomplishments;' and to his brother as
'the most amiable and intellectual woman I have ever known.' To this
tribute to her worth it may be added that, when Scott went on his tour
to the Hebrides, his 'dear friend and distant relation,' Mrs. Apreece
(afterwards Lady Davy), went with the family party: she had been,
Scott says in one of his letters, 'a lioness of the first magnitude
in Edinburgh' during the preceding winter. And when writing to Byron,
inviting him to Abbotsford, Sir Walter mentions as one of the visitors
who made his home attractive: 'The fair, or shall I say the sage,
Apreece that was, Lady Davy that is, who is soon to show us how much
science she leads captive in Sir Humphry.'

But there are 'cabinet' portraits of the lady and her husband in 'The
Life of George Ticknor' (p. 57, vol. i.) which may be introduced here.

  '_1815, June 13._--I breakfasted this morning with Sir H. Davy, of
  whom we have heard so much in America. He is now about thirty-three,
  but with all the freshness and bloom of twenty-five, and one of
  the handsomest men I have seen in England. He has a great deal of
  vivacity--talks rapidly, though with great precision--and is so much
  interested in conversation that his excitement amounts to nervous
  impatience, and keeps him in constant motion. He has just returned
  from Italy, and delights to talk of it; thinks it, next to England,
  the finest country in the world, and the society of Rome surpassed
  only by that of London, and says he should not die contented without
  going there again.

  'It seemed singular that his taste in this should be so acute, when
  his professional eminence is in a province so different and remote;
  but I was much more surprised when I found that the first chemist
  of his time was a professed angler; and that he thinks, if he were
  obliged to renounce either fishing or philosophy, that he should find
  the struggle of his choice pretty severe.

  '_15 June._--As her husband had invited me to do, I called this
  morning on Lady Davy. I found her in her parlour, working on a dress,
  the contents of her basket strewed about the table, and looking more
  like home than anything since I left it. She is small, with black eyes
  and hair and a very pleasant face, an uncommonly sweet smile; and
  when she speaks, has much spirit and expression in her countenance.
  Her conversation is agreeable, particularly in the choice and variety
  of her phraseology, and has more the air of eloquence than I have
  ever heard before from a lady. But, then, it has something of the
  appearance of formality and display, which injures conversation. Her
  manner is gracious and elegant; and though I should not think of
  comparing her to Corinne, yet I think she has uncommon powers.'

The honeymoon, the greater part of which was spent in Scotland, was
scarcely over, before, in the month of June, he dedicated to his wife
his 'Elements of Chemical Philosophy,' as a pledge of his continued
ardour for science, as well as of his love for her; and Davy returned
to his scientific pursuits. In the following November he nearly lost
his eyesight, whilst performing the dangerous experiment of effecting
the combination of azote, as nitrogen was then called, and chlorine.
He soon, however, completely recovered the use of his eyes, and took
a trip into his native county; fishing and geologizing on the way.
It was about this time also that Davy made the first experiments in
electric lighting, by producing the voltaic arc by the use of carbon;
the discovery was improved by Foucault, who substituted retort-carbon
for wood-charcoal. (Comte du Moncel's 'L'Eclairage Electrique,' Paris,

With reference to this, now highly important, subject, a writer in
the _Times_ for 22nd October, 1881, points out that 'Sir Humphry Davy
showed that when a powerful current passes across the point of contact
of two carbon rods, their points become heated; and on separating them
to a short distance, an arc of light shoots between them, and the
carbons are raised to a white heat.' The writer adds, that 'all lamps
(until lately) had this point chiefly in view; namely, to introduce an
arrangement which should keep the carbon-points at the fixed distance
found to be the most advantageous.' Surely here was the germ of that
discovery which is now becoming so rapidly developed.

In the autumn he went with Lady Davy for a long tour on the Continent,
accompanied by the illustrious Faraday, who was a bookseller's
apprentice when Davy first knew him, as his assistant and secretary;
and equipped (as on previous similar occasions) with a portable
chemical apparatus. He passed (with a special passport from Napoleon)
through Paris--fêted by all the Parisian savants, including Laplace,
Gay-Lussac, Thénard, etc., but treating them, it is said, somewhat
haughtily--thence through France and Switzerland into Italy, by way
of Nice to Genoa, where he rested a few days in order to make some
ineffectual experiments on the torpedo; and so on to Florence, visiting
_en route_ all the most remarkable extinct volcanoes in the south of
France. This year he was elected a Corresponding Member of the 1st
class of the French Institute, who had previously awarded to him their
prize of 3,000 livres for his treatise on 'Chemical Affinities.' In
the spring of 1814 he reached Rome, where he spent a month; and thence
visited Naples; all the while filling his note-books with interesting
entries, personal, scientific, and poetic. On his return homeward he
made the acquaintance of Volta, then seventy years old, at Milan, and
he records his pleasure at conferring with the ingenious and amiable
old man.

Midsummer found him at his beloved Geneva; and here he spent three
delicious months in a villa whose garden sloped down to the cool blue
waters of the lake. He wintered at Rome, busily occupied with his
scientific pursuits, with shooting wild-fowl in the Campagna, and in
the enjoyment of the intellectual society of the Eternal City;--not
omitting to transmit the results of his studies for publication in
the 'Philosophical Transactions.' It was about this time that the
Geological Society of Penzance was started; and it need scarcely
be said that it had from the first the best wishes of Davy, who
contributed specimens to its cabinets, and subscribed a handsome sum
towards its expenses.

This was not the only institution of a scientific nature of which
Davy was an early patron, if not indeed an originator. Sir Roderick
Murchison, in his 'Biography' by Geikie, mentions that Davy, Croker,
and Reginald Heber were the real founders and earliest trustees of the
Athenæum Club. And Sir John Rennie, in his 'Autobiography,' says as

  'Sir Humphry Davy, in the year 1825, originated the Zoological
  Society, and asked me to join, which I did most willingly; and perhaps
  it has been the most popular and successful of any modern society
  of that kind. It commenced operations by purchasing the well-known
  Cross collection of Exeter 'Change, in which, in my early days, I
  took an especial delight; for, considering all things, it was a very
  wonderful collection, and it is difficult to understand how, in such
  a confined and unhealthy spot, it could have been maintained in such
  good condition. The only other exhibition of the kind in London was at
  the Tower; the collection of animals there consisted of presents from
  the sovereigns of different countries. These were afterwards lent to
  the Zoological Society, who established their museum in the Regent's
  Park; and taking it altogether, it is probably the finest and best
  maintained in the world.'

In the spring of 1815 he returned to England, _viâ_ Mayence and
Brussels, and bought for his residence a house in Lower Grosvenor
Street, No. 28.

There is perhaps no subject connected with the career of Davy with
which his name is more inseparably and more honourably associated
than that now to be mentioned,--and it was a subject which even the
genius of a Humboldt had failed to master--namely, the brilliant and
philanthropical discovery of the Safety Lamp (the original lamp in its
first and simplest form is preserved in the Royal Institution), which
has often been described in detail. His brother goes fully into the
train of reasoning and of experiments which led to its construction.
It is, as he says, a cage of wire-gauze which actually makes prisoner
the flame of the deadly fire-damp, and in its prison consumes it.
This grand invention--and it is not the less grand because it is so
simple--by which in all probability more lives have been saved than
by any other invention of similar character,--Davy nobly refused to
patent, lest the sphere of its usefulness should be restricted: indeed,
throughout his life he was indifferent to mere money; he was constantly
giving away things for which he had no immediate use, and never kept
a book after he had once read it. He received for the invention of
the Safety Lamp unbounded praise and heartiest thanks from the great
body of coal-owners and coal-workers of the Tyne and Wear especially;
and was presented by them, on 11th October, 1817, with a magnificent
service of plate worth £2,500,[111] at a public dinner at the Queen's
Head Hotel, Newcastle, when the Earl of Durham (then Mr. Lambton) said
in the course of his speech: 'If your fame had needed anything to make
it immortal, this discovery alone would have carried it down to future
ages, and connected it with benefits and blessings.'

Of this lamp (which the miners call 'a Davy,') the inventor, with his
usual philanthropic spirit, often said, 'I value it more than ANYTHING
I EVER DID.' The Emperor of Russia sent him a magnificent silver-gilt
vase, the cover of which was surmounted by a figure of the God of Fire
weeping over his extinguished torch, and the present was accompanied
by an autograph letter. Early in the following year, his services to
Science and to Humanity were recognised, somewhat tardily, by his
having a baronetcy conferred upon him by the English Sovereign.[112]

In the summer of 1818 he contemplated a second visit, with Lady Davy,
to the Continent. The programme included Flanders, Austria, Rome, and
Naples,[113] to the two last of which places he went commissioned by
the Prince Regent to investigate at Pompeii the bases of the colours
employed by the ancients in their frescoes; and to discover, if
possible, some chemical process of unrolling the papyric MSS. affected
by the fire at Herculaneum: in this, however, he was unsuccessful; and
his want of success--a thing so unusual with him--afforded him infinite
chagrin. Most of the summer and part of the autumn of 1819 were spent
in luxurious repose at the baths of Lucca; but the winter found him
again at Rome, all the while making notes and storing up thoughts for
his delightful book, 'The Consolations of Travel.'

In the summer of 1820 he returned, by way of the south of France,
to his house in Grosvenor Street, and deeply interested himself in
an inquiry into the 'Connexion between Magnetism and Electricity,'
the result of which he communicated to the Royal Society on the 12th

Again he visited Scotland; and Lockhart gives a graphic account of the
party at Abbotsford, in the autumn of this year, as they started on a
sporting expedition, in which, after sketching the portraits of some
members of it, Scott's biographer goes on to say:

  'But the most picturesque figure was the illustrious inventor of the
  safety-lamp. He had come for his favourite sport of angling, and had
  been practising it successfully with Rose, his travelling companion,
  for two or three days preceding this; but he had not prepared for
  coursing fields, or had left Charlie Purdie's troop for Sir Walter's
  on a sudden thought; and his fisherman's costume--a brown hat with
  flexible brim, surrounded with line upon line, and innumerable
  fly-hooks; jack-boots worthy of a Dutch smuggler, and a fustian
  surtout dabbled with the blood of salmon--made a fine contrast with
  the smart jackets, white cord breeches, and well-polished jockey-boots
  of the less distinguished cavaliers about him.'

After a merry lunch at Newark Castle they all moved on towards
Blackandro, and, Lockhart continues:

  'Davy, next to whom I chanced to be riding, laid his whip about
  the fern like an experienced hand, but cracked many a joke, too,
  upon his own jack-boots; and, surveying the long eager battalion of
  bush-rangers, exclaimed: "Good Heavens, is it thus that I visit the
  scenery of the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel'!" He then kept muttering
  to himself as his glowing eye (the finest and brightest that I ever
  saw) ran over the landscape, some of those beautiful lines from the
  conclusion of the 'Lay':

                                "But still
    When summer smiled on sweet Bowhill,
    And July's eve with balmy breath
    Waved the blue bells on Newark heath,
    When throstles sang on Hareheadshaw,
    And corn was green in Catterhaugh,
    And flourished, broad, Blackandro's oak,
    The aged harper's soul awoke," etc., etc.

  'Mackenzie ("The Man of Feeling"), spectacled though he was, saw
  the first sitting hare, gave the word to slip the dogs, and spurred
  after them like a boy. All the seniors, indeed, did well as long
  as the course was upwards; but when puss took down the declivity,
  they halted, and breathed themselves upon the knoll, cheering gaily,
  however, the young people who dashed past and below them. Coursing on
  such a mountain is not like the same sport over a set of fine English
  pastures. There were gulfs to be avoided, and bogs enough to be
  threaded; many a stiff nag stuck fast, many a bold rider measured his
  length among the peat-hags; and another stranger to the ground besides
  Davy plunged neck-deep into a treacherous well-head, which, till they
  were floundering in it, had borne all the appearance of a piece of
  delicate green turf. When Sir Humphry emerged from his involuntary
  bath, his habiliments garnished with mud, slime, and mangled
  water-cresses, Sir Walter received him with a triumphant "_Encore!_"
  But the philosopher had his revenge; for, joining soon after in a
  brisk gallop, Scott put Sibyl Grey to a leap beyond her prowess, and
  lay humbled in the ditch, while Davy, who was better mounted, cleared
  it and him at a bound. Happily there was little damage done, but no
  one was sorry that the "sociable" had been detained at the foot of the

  'I have seen Sir Humphry in many places, and in company of many
  descriptions; but never to such advantage as at Abbotsford. His host
  and he delighted in each other, and the modesty of their mutual
  admiration was a memorable spectacle. Davy was, by nature, a poet;
  and Scott, though anything but a philosopher in the modern sense of
  that term, might, I think it very likely, have pursued the study of
  physical science with zeal and success, had he chanced to fall in
  with such an instructor as Sir Humphry would have been to him, in
  his early life. Each strove to make the other talk, and they did
  so in turn more charmingly than I ever heard either on any other
  occasion whatsoever. Scott, in his romantic narratives, touched upon
  a deeper chord of feeling than usual, when he had such a listener as
  Davy; and Davy, when induced to open his views upon any subject of
  scientific interest in Scott's presence, did so with a degree of clear
  energetic eloquence, and with a flow of imagery and illustration,
  of which neither his habitual tone of table-talk (least of all in
  London) nor any of his prose writings (except, indeed, the posthumous
  "Consolations of Travel") could suggest an adequate notion. I say his
  prose writings, for who that has read his sublime quatrains on the
  "Doctrine of Spinoza" can doubt that he might have united, if he had
  pleased, in some great didactic form, the vigorous ratiocination of
  Dryden and the moral majesty of Wordsworth? I remember William Laidlaw
  whispering to me one night, when their "rapt talk" had kept the circle
  round the fire until long after the usual bed-time of Abbotsford:
  "Gude preserve us! this is a very superior occasion! Eh, sirs!" he
  added, cocking his eye like a bird. "I wonder if Shakespeare and Bacon
  ever met to screw ilk other up!"'

I am also indebted to Lockhart for the following story:

  'When Sir Walter Scott was debating in his mind the Prince Regent's
  offer of a baronetcy, he wrote to his friend Morritt: "After all, if
  one must speak for themselves, I have my quarters and emblazonments
  free of all stain but Border theft and high treason, which I hope are
  gentlemanlike crimes; and I hope 'Sir Walter Scott' will not sound
  worse than 'Sir Humphry Davy,' though my merits are as much under his,
  in point of utility, as can well be imagined. But a name is something,
  and mine is the better of the two."' When Mrs. Davy, Dr. Davy's wife,
  told Sir Walter Scott, at Malta, that her husband was writing his
  brother's life, Sir Walter said, 'I am glad of it; I hope his mother
  lived to see his greatness.' And it is pleasant to be able to record
  such was the case.

  Not only Sir Walter Scott, but even the cold and reserved Poet of the
  Lakes, was deeply impressed with Davy's genius. Lockhart tells us
  that when Sir Walter and Wordsworth ascended Helvellyn, 'they were
  accompanied by an illustrious philosopher, who was also a true poet,
  and might have been one of the greatest of poets had he chosen; and I
  have heard Mr. Wordsworth say that it would be difficult to express
  the feelings with which he, who so often had climbed Helvellyn alone,
  found himself standing on its summit with two such men as _Scott_ and

The crowning honour of Davy's life now awaited him. His friend Sir
Joseph Banks--himself the successor of such men as Sir Christopher
Wren, Sir Hans Sloane, and Sir Isaac Newton--who had held the post of
President of the Royal Society for forty-two years, died on 19th June,
1820, and Sir Humphry was, almost unanimously, elected on the 30th
of the following November. He continued to fill the post for seven
successive years, and his annual addresses are very characteristic
specimens of his eloquence and suavity. He retained the old practice
of delivering his speeches in full court dress,[114] and with the
Society's mace (Oliver Cromwell's celebrated 'bauble') laid before him.
He also continued his predecessor's practice of having weekly evening
gatherings of the most distinguished men of science of the day, so long
as he remained in Lower Grosvenor Street; but they were discontinued on
his moving, in 1825, to 26, Park Street, Grosvenor Square.

Davy now began to find that

  'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.'

He was worried by the numerous small duties which pertained to his
prominent position, and was sadly disappointed at not being able
to prevail upon the Government of the day to take up his somewhat
magnificent views as to the development of the Royal Society, and the
subordination of certain other great public establishments to it. He
used to complain that the Government were only too glad to get anything
they could out of the Society, but were loth to give back anything
in return. I gather too, from what Dr. Davy says, that symptoms of
failing health began, even thus early, to show themselves. He somewhat
relaxed the severity of his labours--made trips to Ireland, Wales, and
Scotland (dining at Edinburgh with Sir Walter Scott), chiefly with a
view to enjoying the fine scenery, and the fishing and shooting; but,
as regards Wales, also with the object of devising means for remedying
the results produced by the noxious copper effluvia from the Smelting
Works at Swansea.

In the autumn of 1821 he paid a visit to Penzance; always fond--as
indeed most Cornishmen seem to be--of embracing an opportunity of
revisiting his native place. On this occasion he was entertained at a
public dinner; and he left his old home, doubtless expecting to see it
again and again: but this was destined to be his last visit.

From 1823 to 1826 may be described as the last period of his scientific
labours; and it was in a great measure devoted to investigations,
undertaken at the request of the Government, into the best mode of
preventing the destruction of the copper-sheathing of vessels by the
action of the sea. This Davy to some extent accomplished by coating
the copper with tin; but, unfortunately, the tin did not prevent (as
the copper did) the fouling of the metal by accretions of seaweeds and
shells; and the practical result was nil.

He was much disappointed at this, having taken great pains in the
matter, and having even made a voyage to the North Sea for the purpose
of conducting his experiments. Of this excursion, which included visits
to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, he has left copious records--though, as
a general rule, he had now discontinued his diary--and these include
his reflexions not only on the scenery, etc., through which he passed,
but, according to his custom, his impressions of the distinguished men
of science and others with whom he came in contact. Those circumstances
which impressed Davy most deeply he often recorded, as was his practice
throughout his life, in verse. A specimen may be given here in the
following fragment written at Ullswater, which he visited in August,

    'Ye lovely hills that rise in majesty
    Amidst the ruddy light of setting suns,
    Your tops are bright with radiance, while below
    The wave is dark and gloomy, and the vale
    Hid in obscurest mist. Such is the life
    Of Man: this vale of earth and waters dark
    And gloomy--but the mountains range above!
    The sky--the heavens are bright!----'

But he could not succeed in shaking off the illness of which he had
had more than one warning; and even his elastic spirits began to flag
under its depressing influence. The spring of 1826 found him worse;
he complained much of rheumatism, and of slight numbness in his limbs;
and the death of his mother in the autumn still further affected his
health. With great pain and effort he delivered what proved to be his
last address to the Royal Society--a body whose mission was so like
his own, 'ad inquisitionem et inventionem naturæ veræ et interioris
rerum omnium'--on St. Andrew's Day, 1826; and shortly after he
suffered a slight attack of paralysis, which, however, did not prevent
his revising his discourses, nor even deter him from projecting new
scientific treatises. During his recovery he liked nothing better than
having novels and romances read to him,--partly I should think to
divert his mind from the small worries which were inevitable to one
occupying the post which he filled, but which at this juncture pressed
upon him with increasing force, and indeed probably conduced to his
determining upon another visit to the Continent in January, 1827,
accompanied on this occasion only by his brother, Dr. John Davy, an
army surgeon.

The winter journey was rough and dreary. Paris was avoided, on account
of the too great excitement which it was feared its society might
induce; and the roads along which the travellers drove, bad at the
best, were now in their very worst condition from the snow. The scenes
through which they passed were uninteresting, the occasional roadside
churches being the only noteworthy objects; and these they rarely
failed to enter, the sick philosopher generally dropping on his knees
for a silent prayer.

So they passed on, notwithstanding the severe cold and the snow,
over the Mont Cenis, into Italy, reaching Ravenna on the 27th
February--Davy, strange to say, rather the better than the worse for
his cold and cheerless expedition. Here he rested for some time,
occupying himself chiefly in shooting, fishing, and reading Byron,
whose acquaintance (with that of the accomplished Countess Guiccioli)
he had previously made at this place. His note-book was kept up, and
was filled with numerous acute observations on subjects connected with
natural history and chemistry, interspersed with expressions of pious
humility and of gratitude to 'the Great Cause of all being.' His health
improved; and in March, 1827, Dr. Davy returned to Corfu, whilst Sir
Humphry shortly afterwards started on a solitary expedition through
the Eastern Alps and down the Rhine. But his health now declined;
he frequently had to apply leeches and blisters, and he lived so
abstemiously as to considerably reduce his strength and spirits. 'Valde
miserabilis!' he often exclaimed in his note-book; and once he wrote,
'Dubito fortissime restaurationem meam.' It was no doubt whilst in this
mood that he wrote to Mr. Davies Gilbert from Salzburg, on 30th June,
1827, announcing his retirement from the office of President of the
Royal Society.[115] Whilst on one of his numerous fishing expeditions,
a pursuit[116] which, as we have seen, he passionately followed all
his life long, he wrote about this time, the following pensive lines,
_more suo_, on contemplating a rapid river:

    'E'en as I look upon thy mighty flood,
    Absorb'd in thought, it seems that I become
    A part of thee, and in thy thundering waves
    My thoughts are lost, and pass to future time,
    Seeking the infinite, and rolling on
    Towards the eternal and unbounded sea
    Of the All-Powerful, Omnipresent Mind.'

This was a favourite thought of his. He amplified it in a letter which
he addressed from Rome in the following year to his friend Poole:

  'I have this conviction full on my mind,' he wrote, 'that intellectual
  beings spring from the same breath of Infinite Intelligence, and
  return to it again, but by different courses. Like rivers born amid
  the clouds of heaven, and lost in the deep and eternal ocean--some in
  youth, rapid and short-lived torrents; some in manhood, powerful and
  copious rivers; and some in age, by a slow and winding course, half
  lost in their career, and making their exit by many sandy and shallow

The current of his own life now carried him back in one of its eddies
to London, which he reached on 6th October.

The winter was passed in town, but the state of his health prevented
any great exertion, and did not permit his seeing much society; yet
the world can scarcely be said to have been the loser; for in his
retirement he composed (being now nearly fifty years of age), that
delightful book, dear to every angler, 'Salmonia.'[117] Returning
spring revived his desire to revisit what he considered the finest
scenery in the world, namely, the Alpine valleys of Illyria and Styria;
and at the end of March he left England, accompanied by a young medical
gentleman (his godson), Mr. Tobin, the son of a much-valued old friend.
His pursuits were much as usual, and, living somewhat more generously,
he more than once entertained some faint hopes of his ultimate
recovery; 'attaching,' as he himself put it, 'a loose fringe, of hope
to his tattered garments.' His mind was fully active during this
summer, as may be judged from his having now planned his well-known
work, 'Consolations of Travel,' which he used to say 'contained the
essence of his philosophical opinions;' and from his having sketched
out a slight plan for his own memoirs. Stress of weather detained him
a short time at Wurzen, and here he occupied the time of his detention
by writing his little Irish romance, 'The Last of the O'Donoghues.'
He also now sent to press the second edition of his 'Salmonia,' which
he thought 'twice as good, as well as twice as big' as the first.
At Trieste he resumed his experiments on the electric eel, and at
length satisfied himself that under no conditions did the shock affect
the magnet. This formed the subject of a paper--the last of a series
which continued almost uninterruptedly for a period of twenty-eight
years--published by the Royal Society. It was about this time that he
made the noble and touching entry in his diary:

  'Si moro, spero che ho fatto il mio dovere; e che mia vita non e stato
  vano ed inutile.'[118]

The curtain rises on the last act, at Rome, where he passed the winter.
Here--where he describes himself, in a letter dated 6th February, 1829,
to his friend Poole, as 'a ruin among ruins'--he received, a fortnight
after that date, his last and fatal shock of paralysis. It was quite
unexpected by him, and he was barely able to write one or two hurried
letters to his brother, begging him to come quickly. He now quite made
up his mind that he was about to die; but his mind continued calm and
clear, and he urged Dr. Davy, when he at length arrived, not to give
way to any vain regrets, but to regard the matter philosophically.
Even in this extremity, the consideration of the strange powers of the
torpedo exercised a fascinating influence over him; and he directed
experiments and dissections of the fish from the bed upon which he not
only believed himself to be dying, but upon which he thought, more than
once, that he had actually died. Only with great difficulty was he
persuaded by his wife and surrounding friends that he had not as yet
passed the dark portals of the grave.

It will hardly be believed that from such a state as this he rallied.
Yet such was the case! Lady Davy had brought with her from England an
early copy of the second edition of his 'Salmonia;' and he read it with
avidity. Indeed reading--or rather being read to--was now almost his
only pursuit. Moore's 'Epicurean,' Shakespeare, 'The Arabian Nights,'
and 'Humphrey Clinker,' by turns engaged his attention; and at length
he not only thought recovery possible, but by April was actually able
to take drives about Rome and its neighbourhood, entering fully, with
his companions, into all the enjoyment of the charms of a brilliant
Italian spring.

At length, leaving Rome, 'by slow and easy stages,' they came to
Geneva, which place they reached on the 28th May, by the Mont Cenis
route. Here the little party took up their residence at La Couronne
hotel, which overlooks the lake; and Davy expressed an earnest desire
once more to throw a fly on it. He was very deeply affected on hearing
of the death of his old friend Dr. Thomas Young; but dined heartily
with the others at five o'clock. After dinner he was heard joking with
the waiter as to the cooking of the fish, and desiring that he might be
furnished with a specimen of every variety which the lake contained;
and, after being read to as usual, he went to bed at nine. In rising,
however, from his chair at the dinner table, for this purpose, he
gave his elbow a rather violent blow, the sensations resulting from
which frightened him very much, and probably accelerated his decease.
At half-past two in the morning the servant aroused Dr. Davy with the
information that his illustrious brother was much worse. The doctor
flew to the chamber, but only in time to see Sir Humphry expire, just
as the morning of the 29th of May, 1829, began to dawn.

His will was proved under £30,000, and Lady Davy was appointed sole
executrix. Paris says that he left £100 to the Penzance Grammar School,
the interest to be devoted to a prize for the best scholar, provided
the school kept holiday on the anniversary of his birthday; but I do
not find this in the will. I believe that the interest on the money is
still paid, but that the holiday is omitted.

A public funeral was decreed him by the authorities and literati of
Geneva, including his friends Decandolle and Sismondi, who highly
appreciated him; and his mortal remains were deposited in the cemetery
at Plain-Palais, close to those of Professor Pictet.[119] It was Davy's
wish, as expressed in his will, to be buried wherever he might die:
'Natura curat suas reliquias,' he wrote; and on his monument will be
found the reason of this lofty reliance--namely, because he was

  'Summus arcanorum Naturæ indigator.'[120]

Thus died, without issue, and within a few months of his great friends
Wollaston and Young, Sir Humphry Davy, poet and philosopher, before
he had completed his fifty-first year--a man (to use the words of Dr.
Paris) 'whose splendid discoveries illumined the age in which he lived,
adorned the country which gave him birth, and obtained from foreign and
hostile nations the homage of admiration and the meed of gratitude.'

His genius it would be presumptuous in me to endeavour to analyze
or describe. I have attempted a biographical sketch rather than an
essay on Davy's proper place in the ranks of science;[121] but he was
undoubtedly one of the master-spirits of his age; and I gladly select,
from among many other similar accounts, the peroration of the _éloge_
pronounced upon him by Baron Cuvier before the Institute of France:

  'Ainsi a fini à cinquante ans, sur une terre étrangère, un génie dont
  le nom brillera avec éclat parmi cette foule s'éclatante de noms dont
  s'enarguillit la Grande Bretagne. Mais, que dis je, pour un tel homme
  aucune terre n'est étrangère; Genève surtout ne pouvait pas l'être,
  où, depuis vingt ans, il comptait des amis intimes, des admirateurs
  sans cesse occupés de répandre ses decouvertes sur le Continent;
  aussi, le deuil n'eût pas été plus grand ni les obsèques plus
  honorables pour un de leur concitoyens les plus respectés.'

The talented and indefatigable editors of the 'Bibliotheca
Cornubiensis' have observed that, since the formation of the Royal
Society, fifty-eight persons, either born in Cornwall or long
resident within its borders, have become, through their eminence in
mineralogical and other pursuits, Fellows of that body. A full list of
their names is printed in the index to Messrs. Boase and Courtney's
work; and in it they rightly say that Cornishmen may be pardoned for
believing that no such record of distinction in scientific knowledge
could be drawn up from any English county of corresponding size and
population. I will only add my opinion that, amongst the foremost in
that bright roll of honour, stands forth the name of HUMPHRY DAVY.

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]


[101] He was one of five children, two of whom were boys and three

[102] The Scilly Isles.

[103] Presented to the Royal Society by Lady Davy, after her husband's
decease. This picture had a narrow escape from being lost; it was,
however, discovered by Mr. Davies Gilbert in the garret of a man named
Newton, who was to have engraved it, and was rescued at the cost of
£10, paid to the landlady, who was unable to get her rent from her
impecunious lodger. There are other portraits of him by Lonsdale, as
P.R.S.; by Howard (when Davy was twenty-three); by Jackson (when he was
forty-five); a bust; and the statue erected in December, 1878 (after
the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, in front of the Market-house,
Penzance, near Davy's old house in Market Jew Street, (now rebuilt,)
and about half-way between it and the Star Inn.) He also appears in the
print of the Woburn Sheep-shearing, published by Garrard in 1811.

[104] More than enough has been made by Davy's critics of his
admiration for the aristocracy; but 'it is not true' (as George Eliot
observed) 'that a man's intellectual power is, like the strength of a
timber beam, to be measured by its weakest point.'

[105] The house was in the corner which formed the north angle of the

[106] Just as another Cornishman--Richard Trevithick--was the first who
applied steam to agriculture.

[107] Becker tells us how the ladies so admired his handsome eyes that
they vowed they were 'made for something besides poring over crucibles.'

[108] Amongst the former of whom may be mentioned De Quincey, Godwin,
and Coleridge, who used frequently to meet at the miserable rooms of
the latter, then at the office of the _Courier_ newspaper, in the

[109] It was on one of these occasions that Davy, when out shooting
partridges one day at Rokeby, persuaded Roderick Murchison to come up
to town, and '_set to_ at science.'

[110] On 20th October, 1818, he was made a Baronet.

[111] By his will Davy provided that, in certain contingencies, this
service should be melted down in order to provide a fund for the reward
of original, meritorious discoveries in Science, either 'in Europe or

[112] Byron's lines in the first canto of 'Don Juan' will doubtless
recur to many of my readers:

    'This is the patent age of new inventions
      For killing bodies and for saving souls,
    All propagated with the best intentions;
      Sir Humphry Davy's lantern by which coals
    Are safely mined for in the mode he mentions.'

Jackson's account of Timbuctoo; the narrative of Robert Adams, a
sailor; Dr. Leyden's 'Discoveries in Africa,' and other works, are then
hinted at; and the poet goes on, sardonically, to say that _all these_

    'Are ways to benefit mankind, as true
    Perhaps, as shooting them at Waterloo.'

[113] Whilst at Naples he made the acquaintance of one of the guides
up Vesuvius, whom Davy commissioned to inform him from time to time
of the state of the volcano; the man used occasionally to communicate
with him, and the letters reached Sir Humphry, notwithstanding their
phonetic address:


[114] As a rule he is said to have been careless about his costume;
it was with the greatest difficulty that he was persuaded to don a
quasi-court dress in order to be presented to the Empress Josephine,
and his negligent appearance and manners often surprised his
Continental acquaintances. About one thing, however, he was rather
particular; and that was to wear a wide-brimmed hat whenever he could.

[115] The Davy medal of the Royal Society was, in 1882, presented, in
duplicate, to D. Mendelejeff and Lothar Meyer for their discovery of
the periodic relations of the atomic weights.

[116] He would often go two or three hundred miles for a day's fishing,
and has more than once patiently fished all day long without a rise;
he was, however, generally a successful as well as an enthusiastic
fisherman, but seems to have been thought somewhat clumsy in his

[117] The first edition was genially reviewed by Sir Walter Scott in
the _Quarterly Review_, xxxviii. 503. Sir Walter used to say of Davy,
in allusion to his well-known preference for his _old_ associates and
acquaintances, that 'he never forgot a friend.'

[118] It should, perhaps, be remarked here that Davy was an excellent

[119] The centenary of his birth was celebrated at Penzance in
February, 1879.

[120] There is also a tablet to his memory in the north transept of
Westminster Abbey.

[121] Dr. Paris, F.R.S., has appended to his 'Life of Davy' an
historical sketch of the revolutions in chemical science produced
by his discoveries, and also a list of his chief works, which may
conveniently be consulted by those who desire more detailed information
as to Davy's scientific triumphs.


[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]


    'Hearts of oak! our captain cried--
    When each gun
    From its adamantine lips
    Spread a death-shade round the ships,
    Like the hurricane eclipse
    Of the sun.'


The life of this gallant sailor and good man was told so admirably
in 1835, by my late valued friend, Edward Osler, F.L.S.--for many
years editor of the _Royal Cornwall Gazette_, and himself one of our
Cornish Athenæ--that his memoir must necessarily form the backbone of
any account of Lord Exmouth's career. To Mr. Osier's well-known work
I would therefore refer those who desire a more detailed account than
space allows me to give to the subject of this chapter. I should,
however, add that I have been fortunate enough to gather some facts to
which even Mr. Osier does not refer in his elaborate memoir.

Lord Exmouth's career was both eventful and distinguished; but,
notwithstanding its brilliancy, his chief glory was his unswerving
devotion to his country, irrespective of all party feeling (and he was
a strong Tory)--his generosity in recognising to the fullest extent
the merits of his subordinates--his combined strictness and kindness
to his men--and his constant recognition of the Divine Hand in all his
victories. No vessel under the orders of Pellew was ever taken by the

Like many another Cornish worthy, Edward Pellew was a man of
comparatively small beginnings. Originally, it is said, of Norman
extraction, the Pellews were an old-established West Cornwall family,
whose tombs may still be found at Breage. Humphry Pellew, his
grandfather, an American merchant, the builder of part of the little
town of Flushing in Falmouth harbour, took for his wife, in 1692,
Judith Sparnon of Sparnon and Pengelly in Breage, by whom he had six
children; but the children of Samuel, the youngest son (who was only
eight years old when his father died in 1721), were at length the
only male survivors of the family. This Samuel Pellew, Lord Exmouth's
father, a man of determined character, commanded a post-office packet
on the Dover station. He married in 1752 Constance, daughter of
Edward Langford, Esq., of a Herefordshire family, settled at or near
Penzance--a woman, Mr. Osier says, 'of extraordinary spirit,' and
fitted, as indeed her husband also was, to be a parent of heroes.

In 1765 Samuel Pellew died, leaving a widow and six children; of whom
Edward, the second, was born at Dover, 19th April, 1757. In 1765 he
removed with his mother to Penzance; and here, when quite a child,
gave an early instance of his love of the 'pomp and circumstance of
glorious war,' by walking all the way from Penzance to Helston, in
order to follow a troop of soldiers; and of his indomitable courage,
when somewhat older, by removing from a burning house a quantity of
gunpowder which had been stored there. He frequently played truant
from school in order to get into a boat at the quay; and was a great
favourite with the loafers there, who taught him to box. Bottrell says
that Mrs. Pellew and her family lived in a thatched cottage 'near the
Alverton entrance to Fox's gardens;' the house still stands, on the
left-hand side of the road as the traveller leaves Penzance for the
Land's End.

The Truro Grammar School, where the Rev. R. Polwhele was one of his
schoolfellows, as appears from his 'Reminiscences,'[122] was the next
scene of his combative energy; and here he thrashed so many of his
schoolfellows, that, in order to escape a still severer thrashing with
which the head-master (then Mr. Conon) threatened him, he ran away,
and--against his grandfather's consent, but luckily for English glory,
and for his own fame--went to sea. Whilst at Truro, hastening through
the courtyard of the Red Lion Hotel to assist in putting out a fire,
Pellew found the high back gate shut; but he sprang over it, and I
remember the spot being pointed out to me in evidence of his strength
and agility. His freaks on the water in after-life were of the most
daring kind, and he often set the example on board ship, when no sailor
could be found bold and active enough to perform some dangerous act of

In the year 1770, being then about thirteen or fourteen years of age,
Edward Pellew entered the Navy in the _Juno_, and went his first voyage
to the Falkland Islands. Thence, under the same captain (Stott), he
sailed in the _Alarm_ to the Mediterranean, where, at Marseilles--a
place which he was destined afterwards to save from destruction by
its own inhabitants--he left the ship, in consequence of a gross and
uncalled-for insult inflicted by the Captain on one of Pellew's brother
midshipmen, named Cole.

He next joined the _Blonde_, under Captain Pownoll--who had been
trained in the school of another Cornish naval hero, Admiral
Boscawen--and with whom he soon became a prime favourite. It was on
board the _Blonde_ that he so alarmed and amused General Burgoyne, by
standing on his head on the yard-arm when the General came on board to
make his ill-starred expedition to America; and from the fore-yard of
the same ship Pellew sprang to rescue a man who had fallen overboard.
His magnificent physique and perfect courage enabled him to perform
similar services on more than one occasion.

A smart engagement with a superior American force on Lake Champlain
was his next exploit, in which, though unsuccessful, he found another
opportunity of showing his coolness and bravery; and his services
on this occasion gained him his lieutenant's commission. Shortly
afterwards he very nearly captured, single-handed, the American
Commander-in-Chief Arnold. The stock and buckle, which General Arnold
left behind him in his flight, were long (and perhaps still are)
preserved by the Pellew family.

Joining Burgoyne's unlucky army, and sharing in all the dangers and
hardships which it underwent, Pellew, though only twenty years old,
was summoned to the council of war at Saratoga, at which (against his
own advice) it was resolved, in October, 1777, to capitulate to an
American force of double the strength of the English. On his way home
to England, in a transport, he fought an American privateer, and beat
her off with his usual pluck and skill.

On receiving his commission to a guard-ship, he threatened to throw
it up rather than remain at so inactive a post; and it was not until
he declared his intention to command a privateer that he obtained his
appointment to the _Licorne_, in which he sailed for Newfoundland in
the spring of 1779. He returned, however, to England in the following
winter, and joined the _Apollo_, under his old friend--his 'only one on
earth,' as he said--Captain Pownoll, taking part in an engagement with
the French frigate _Stanislaus_, on which occasion the Captain left to
Pellew the honour of completing her capture.

The old sloop _Hazard_, of which he was promoted to be commander,
was his next ship, and the East Coast of Scotland his station in the
summer of 1780. Then followed the _Pelican_, a French prize, whilst
commanding which he drove ashore some French privateers near the Isle
of Bass, an exploit for which he was made a post-captain on board the
_Suffolk_:--thus obtaining every step in his profession as a reward
for some successful action. When it is added that, whilst in temporary
command of the _Artois_, he captured on 1st July, 1782, the French
frigate _Prince of Robego_, we may conclude this part of his career by
observing that this was his last service before the Peace, which left
him without any employment in His Majesty's service for four years.

The year 1783 saw him a denizen of Truro,[123] and married to Susan,
daughter of J. Frowde, Esq., of Knowle, in Wiltshire. Doubtless, in his
wooing, he told her--

    'Of all the wonders of the mighty deep,
    Tales that would make a maiden love to weep,
    Of perils manifold and strange, and storms,
    Battle, and wreck, and thousand feller forms,
    Which Death, careering on the terrible sea,
    Puts on to prove the true knight's constancy.'

It was probably about this time, also, that he became, according to
Polwhele, a member of the Truro Corporation. He soon, however, removed
to Flushing, near Falmouth, a curious little village, which had for
Pellew, as we have seen, family associations, and where his elder
brother, Samuel Humphry, formerly a surgeon of Marines, was collector
of the Customs.

In 1786 we find him on board the _Winchelsea_, and once more on the
Newfoundland station, into every harbour of which he squeezed his ship
with the utmost intrepidity, often exhibiting remarkable feats of
personal strength and activity.

The _Winchelsea_ was paid off in 1789, and till 1791 Captain Pellew
served in the _Salisbury_, of 50 guns, again on the Newfoundland
station; and this time with his younger brother, Israel, as first
lieutenant. He afterwards became Admiral Sir Israel Pellew, K.C.B.--an
officer whose distinguished career was scarcely less illustrious than
that of his more celebrated brother. He was born at Flushing in 1761,
and died at Plymouth in 1832. His ship, the _Amphion_, of 32 guns, blew
up in the Hamoaze, Plymouth, on 22nd September, 1796, and only her
commander and a few others escaped with their lives.

Once again the distasteful 'piping times of peace' came round; and
Pellew, for want of something to do, turned farmer. His experiments in
this capacity were made on the little family estate of Treverry, near
Falmouth; but they were a failure; and the declaration of war against
France, in February, 1793, promised him a most agreeable relief after
his enforced idleness. He was appointed to the _Nymphe_ (formerly a
French frigate) of 36 guns; and, to Cornishmen at least, his connexion
with this ship--manned as she was for the most part by Cornish miners,
eighty of whom joined her at Spithead--is one of the most interesting
parts of his career. On the evening of 19th June, 1793, the _Nymphe_
came up with the French frigate _Cleopatra_,[124] of 40 guns, and after
a furious cannonade of three-quarters of an hour, the Cornish crew,
most of whom had certainly smelt powder before (underground), though
none had ever before heard a cannon fired, had the proud delight of
seeing the enemy's pennant hauled down, and of capturing the first
frigate in the war,--thus illustrating Drayton's lines in his 'Barons'

    'For courage no whit second to the best,
    The Cornishmen, most active, bold, and light.'

For this action Pellew was knighted ten days afterwards. The Portsmouth
correspondent of the _Gentleman's Magazine_, writing in July, 1793, of
this engagement, says that 'the commencement of the action between the
_Nymphe_ and _Cleopatra_ was the most notable and awful that the naval
history of the world ever recorded. The French captain ordered his ship
to be manned, and, coming forward on the gangway, pulled off his hat,
and called out, "Vive la nation!" when the ship's company gave three
cheers. Captain Pellew, in like manner, ordered his men from quarters
to the shrouds, and gave three cheers to "Long live King George the
Third!" and his putting on his hat again was the signal for action, one
of the most desperate ever fought.' The captain of the _Cleopatra_,
Citoyen Mullon, was buried in Portsmouth churchyard.

In January, 1794, he joined the _Arethusa_, which formed one of the
cruising frigates of the Western Squadron, a branch of the service
which our hero may be said to have originated. In the engagement
between the small French and English squadrons on 23rd April, 1794, off
the Isle of Bass, he captured the _Pomone_, a larger vessel than his
own, and carried her into Portsmouth harbour, on which occasion Pellew
received the warmest thanks of the First Lord of the Admiralty, and
of Earl Howe. Another French squadron was, in the following August,
driven ashore near Brest, by Pellew and his brave companions in arms;
and the Channel was thus practically cleared of the enemy's cruisers
for a while. But the following October saw the Frenchmen once more on
the move; and it was not until after a smart engagement off Ushant
between the _Artois_ and the large French frigate _Révolutionnaire_, on
which occasion Pellew commanded the squadron, that the French navy was
completely cowed.

On the 2nd January, 1795, private intelligence having reached Sir
Edward that the enemy's fleet, consisting of thirty-five sail of the
line, thirteen frigates, and sixteen smaller vessels, had put to sea
from Brest, he set forth from Falmouth with his little squadron of five
ships to reconnoitre; but no engagement resulted from this expedition.

He now joined the _Indefatigable_, which he successfully insisted
upon having cut down and rigged after his own method. She sailed from
Falmouth on 2nd March; and shortly after, the squadron of which she
formed part captured fifteen out of a convoy of twenty-five vessels
near the Penmarcks rocks.

The scene now shifts to Plymouth Sound, where he performed, on 26th
January, 1796, one of the most heroic acts that it has ever fallen to
the lot of man to accomplish. He was in evening dress, and on his way
to a dinner-party, when he heard that a large ship, an East Indiaman,
the _Dutton_, was on the rocks under the citadel, and that no one was
able to go to her assistance; but, with his usual hardihood, he swam
out to her through the surf, and thus became the means of saving the
lives of between 500 and 600 of his fellow-creatures. This service he
performed at the imminent risk of his own life, and when, as we have
seen, no other witness of the wild scene had the courage to make the
attempt. For his gallant conduct on this memorable occasion he was
created a baronet, as Sir Edward Pellew, of Treverry. The Corporation
of Plymouth voted him the freedom of their town, and the merchants
of Liverpool presented him with a service of plate. The civic wreath
and the stranded ship which appear as honourable augmentations on his
coat-of-arms were derived from this event.

On the 20th April following, our sailor was again at sea, and the
action was fought between the _Indefatigable_ and the _Virginie_, which
ended--as usual with Pellew--in victory. 'He takes _everything_!' said
the brave French Captain Bergeret, weeping bitterly as he surrendered
his sword to his opponent.

November, 1798, witnessed the well-known futile descent of the French
upon Ireland. In the ineffectual steps taken by the British fleet to
prevent it, Pellew had no share beyond watching Brest, and reporting
progress. But in January, 1799, he fell in with the _Droits de
l'Homme_, and, in the midst of a furious gale, and after an engagement
of eleven hours (during the latter part of which the _Indefatigable_
was assisted by the _Amazon_, Captain Reynolds),[125] the French ship
was driven on shore in the Bay of Audierne. The _Amazon_ was also
wrecked, and the _Indefatigable_ herself had a narrow escape.

The capture of a few privateers is all we now have to chronicle until
we hear of Sir Edward making the daring proposal of attacking with a
few frigates the whole of the French fleet then in harbour at Brest;
but, whether from timidity on the part of the Admiralty, or, as was
suggested, from the jealousy of Pellew's superior officer, Lord
Bridport, the offer was declined.

The _Impetueux_, one of his captures from the French, was his next
ship; and in her, at Bantry Bay, he promptly quelled a mutiny, which,
but for his courage and sagacity, would probably have extended to
other ships, whose disaffected crews, demoralized by the reports of
the mutinies at Spithead and the Nore, were, it is said, only waiting
a successful result of the rising on board Sir Edward's ship. The
_Impetueux_ soon after joined Earl St. Vincent in the Mediterranean,
and formed part of the force which pursued the combined fleets from the
Mediterranean to Brest.

In the siege of Ferrol, August, 1800, the _Impetueux_ played an
important part; but, Pellew's advice (which seemed to Sir J. B. Warren
too dangerous to follow) not being taken, the place was not captured;
though it was afterwards discovered that Pellew's advice should have
been followed, and that the garrison were quite prepared to lay down
their arms.

A short period of retirement which he spent in the bosom of his family
at Trefusis, on the shores of Falmouth harbour, followed.

The year 1801 saw him nearly at the head of the list of post-captains,
and appointed a Colonel of Marines. In the following year he was
elected Member for Barnstaple; but inactive posts did not suit him,
and at the very first moment possible he returned to his beloved
profession, being appointed to the _Tonnant_, of 80 guns, one of the
Channel fleet. Detached from the squadron, together with the _Mars_
and the _Spartiate_ and five other sail of the line, which were placed
under his orders, he blockaded the French at Corunna and at Ferrol.
But he was recalled by the Ministry in order to support the Government
against an attack made upon their Naval Administration by Pitt, and
on Pellew's excellent speech on this occasion the vindication of the
Ministry is said to have in a great measure depended.

On 23rd April, 1804, he was promoted to be Rear-Admiral of the White,
and was appointed Commander-in-Chief in India, hoisting his flag in the
_Culloden_. Whilst on this station he was ever on the alert for French
and Dutch privateers, of most of which the Admiral himself or his
captains never failed to give a good account, to the great advantage
of British commerce. The destruction of the enemy's fleet at Batavia,
on 2nd November, 1805, was an expedition on a larger scale. In this
Sir Edward's son, Captain Fleetwood Pellew,[126] in the _Terpsichore_,
took a prominent part; and a successful attack upon Sourabaya, in Java,
soon followed. This sums up his Oriental experiences; and in February,
1809, he sailed from India with a fleet of Indiamen under his convoy,
and safely arrived once more in England, after a narrow escape during
a severe gale. The spring of the following year, 1810, saw him, on
board the _Christian VII._, and Commander-in-Chief in the North Sea,
effectively blockading the Dutch fleet in the Scheldt.

In 1811, in the _Caledonia_, he succeeded Sir Charles Cotton as
Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean fleet, jealously watching the
coast from the Ionian Islands to Gibraltar, and striving, with the
utmost energy and success, to promote the efficiency and welfare of all
who served under him. He was present at the capitulation of Genoa in
February, 1814; and shortly afterwards saw the termination of the war,
and the confinement of Napoleon as a prisoner in the island of Elba.

Of this happy event advantage was taken by the Government to confer
on our hero the dignity of a baron--an unexpected honour to him--and
he chose 'Exmouth of Canonteign' as his title, that being an estate
which he had purchased as a family property. He also obtained the
pension usually granted for services so distinguished as his had been
(it amounted to £2,000 a year), and the next year he received the
additional honour of being made a G.C.B.

He went to the Mediterranean again in 1815, on the return of Napoleon
from Elba, hoisting his flag in the _Boyne_, with his brother, Sir
Israel Pellew, as Captain of the Fleet. Naples he rescued from anarchy
on the flight of Murat before the Austrian army, and for this service
King Ferdinand gave him the Order of St. Ferdinand and Merit. Next he
saved Marseilles from the rebel Marshal Brune; and finally spent the
winter of this year in Leghorn roads.

The commencement of 1816 found him preparing for what is perhaps his
most celebrated exploit, viz., the siege of Algiers; the objects of
which, it will be remembered, were to obtain the release of all the
Ionian slaves, who, by recent political arrangements, had become
_British_ subjects; and to repress the piratical excursions of the
Barbary States.

The preliminary reconnoitre was admirably performed by Captain Warde,
and the squadron, shortly afterwards, set sail for Algiers, where the
demand for the release of the Christian slaves was forthwith promised.
Tunis and Tripoli followed suit; and Lord Exmouth returned to Algiers
in order to press upon the Dey the abolition of Christian slavery. Only
evasive answers could, however, be procured; and, having secured from
the Dey a promise at least to treat, the British Admiral returned for a
short space to England for further instructions.

It need scarcely be said that Mr. Osler's description of the siege of
Algiers, the guilty 'pirate city,' is given with all that perspicacity
and fullness of detail which characterized all his literary work; and
to his account the technical reader may confidently be referred. The
formidable sea defences alone consisted of 500 guns; and these Exmouth
proposed to attack with only five sail of the line! Nelson is said to
have named (under incorrect information, it is true) twenty-five as the
proper force; but, at any rate, the attack of such fortifications as
these by a few ships was quite a novelty in the annals of war.

Joined by five frigates, four bomb-vessels, and five gun-brigs, the
fleet sailed from Portsmouth on the 25th July, 1816, practising
regularly with their guns on the voyage, and arriving before Algiers on
the 26th August.

Very early on the following morning, after waiting long and anxiously
for the sea-breeze, which came at last, the _Queen Charlotte_, with
Lord Exmouth (now sixty-five years of age) on board, led the attack
amidst three ringing cheers from his men;--and in a few minutes her
broadsides destroyed the defences of the Mole. It was reported that
500 Moors were killed by the first discharge of the English guns. The
Algerines then attempted, in their gunboats, to board the British
ships; but, as soon as they were discovered through the smoke, the
heavy guns of the _Leander_ and other ships sent 33 out of the 37
which composed the flotilla to the bottom. The enemy's ships at anchor
were then fired; and by ten at night, after a cannonade of nearly
nine hours, the town and fortifications of Algiers were in ruins.
128 men only were killed and 690 wounded in the British ships, and
13 killed and 52 wounded in the Dutch squadron--losses by no means
excessive under the circumstances; the enemy's loss, which must have
been fearful, is not known. Lord Exmouth was struck (but only very
slightly wounded) in three places; yet his coat was slit and torn by
musket-balls as if it had been slashed by a madman's scissors.[127]

British sailors had never fought more bravely and determinedly, or in
grimmer silence. When wadding failed, they cut up their clothes as a
substitute for it; and even the women on board handed the shot and
shell to their husbands. The _Impregnable_ and the _Leander_ suffered
most from the enemy's fire; the former was hulled by 263 shot, 209 of
which were between wind and water, and she herself discharged 6,730
round shot.

The next morning, the 28th of July, the Dey, Omar Pasha, a brutal and
ferocious ex-Aga of Janissaries, whilst Algiers was in flames, and her
sea-batteries pounded into ruins, sent in his complete submission;
peace was signed under a salute of 21 guns for England, and the same
for Holland; and 3,003 slaves, of whom 1,083 were Christians, and some
of whom were English, were liberated, and returned to their respective

Honours now fell thick and fast upon Lord Exmouth. He was created a
Viscount by George III.; the Kings of Holland, Spain, and Sardinia
conferred knighthood upon him; the City of London voted him its
freedom; Oxford conferred upon him the degree of D.C.L.; and he
received the thanks of Parliament; the letter from the Speaker, dated
3rd February, 1817, conveying them, being as follows:

  'In transmitting to your Lordship this honourable testimony of the
  gratitude of your country, I cannot withhold the expression of my
  own personal satisfaction that this age of military exploits has not
  closed without so splendid an increase of our naval glory; and that
  the great work, of which all Christian States had so long and justly
  desired to see the accomplishment, has been performed with a display
  of skill and valour which have enrolled your Lordship's name upon
  the annals of the nation in the most distinguished rank of her naval

Pellew had now attained the summit of his ambition; and, in 1817,
having been appointed to the naval command at Plymouth,[128] was
instrumental in saving from destruction the historic fortress of
Pendennis Castle, which, from motives of economy, the Government of the
day had proposed to destroy.

He passed the close of his life quietly near Teignmouth, the only
additional honour which was bestowed upon him being that of his
appointment, in 1832, as Vice-Admiral of England, a post which,
however, he only filled for a few months; for, on the 23rd of January,
1833, in the seventy-sixth year of his age, the old sea lion calmly
passed away, in pious confidence, to his rest. A brother officer who
was often with him during his last hours, said, 'I have seen him great
in battle, but never _so_ great as on his death-bed.'

He was buried at Christow, the parish in which are the family mansion
and estate of Canonteign; and in the church there an elaborate marble
monument records his faith and piety, his honours and his virtues.

There are three or four good portraits of Pellew, of which the
three-quarter length by Northcote in the National Portrait Gallery is
perhaps the best. It gives the unmistakably Cornish physiognomy of the
original, and does full justice to the determined look of the lower
part of his face. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy Exhibition
at Somerset House in 1819, when Pellew was sixty-two years of age.
Another fine portrait is by Sir Wm. Beechy (engraved by C. Turner), a
full-length, representing the hero on the deck of the _Queen Charlotte_
at the siege of Algiers, giving orders for furling her mainsail, when
she was in imminent danger of being set on fire by an Algerine vessel,
which was in flames close by.


[122] Polwhele says that he stood in great awe of Ned Pellew, who, _he
believes_, 'once thrashed him.'

[123] Polwhele says that Pellew lived in the house where his own mother
and grandmother had resided.

[124] The _Cleopatra's_ crew numbered 320, the _Nymphe's_ only 240.

[125] Admiral Reynolds was afterwards drowned in the Baltic, in the
_St. George_, on Christmas Day, 1811. One of the writer's uncles,
William Hawken, a Truro boy, and an excellent swimmer, who was a
midshipman on board, was also, with many others, drowned.--W. H. T.

[126] Pellew had four sons and two daughters.

[127] He had a jaguar on board at the bombardment of Algiers. He
gave the animal, on his return to England, to the Marchioness of
Londonderry, who presented it to the Tower menagerie.

[128] Whilst holding this appointment he received Queen Caroline on
her arrival in Plymouth Sound, and was one of the witnesses at her
celebrated trial. The mob were so exasperated at his evidence that,
on the night of June 8th, 1820, they broke his windows, whereupon he
issued from the house with sword and pistol, and dispersed them.--_The
Greville Memoirs._



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



  'He was a fine fellow in his way, and the world is really impoverished
  by his sinking glories. I would have his life written with
  diligence.'[130]--DR. JOHNSON.

It is not a little remarkable that the fame of Samuel Foote, great
as it was during his lifetime, and for some time after his death,
has so rapidly dimmed; for he was not only a capital mimic, a boon
companion, a most generous master to his subordinates, a ready wit,
and an accomplished actor, but he was also a fair scholar, a bitter
though an avowed satirist, and a prolific, as well as skilled, dramatic
writer and critic. He wrote about thirty pieces for the stage (which
were translated into the German in 1796), and the list of his works in
their various editions occupies about thirty pages in the MS. British
Museum catalogue. His slightest sayings were carefully preserved; and
the very slightness of some of them is, perhaps, one of the strongest
evidences of the fame which he enjoyed.

Foster says of him, in the _Quarterly Review_ for 1854, that his
writings are 'not unworthy of a very high place in literature;' and
that his name 'was once both a terrible and a delightful reality.'
And yet, notwithstanding the amusing picture which they present of
the manners and conversation of London a hundred years ago, they have
not sufficed to preserve his fame. Who of the rising generation has
ever read anything of Foote's besides his ever-ready and often quoted
_bon-mots_; or knows anything more of his plays than has been learnt
from an occasional representation of 'The Liar' on the stage? It is
hardly necessary to inquire into the cause of this, for the joker's
reputation is proverbially fleeting. Moreover, Foote's pieces are
somewhat too slightly constructed, depending not so much upon the
plot or the _dénouement_ as upon such a delineation of the various
characters as seems hardly to come within the scope of our modern
actors; but, nevertheless, it certainly does cause one to reflect
how soon a man, not without strong claims to be remembered, may be
forgotten. Yet, while he lived, his name was in every man's mouth,
and in a vast number of contemporaneous books. 'No man,' says Baker,
'was more courted when in the zenith of his fame: for instance,
when the Duke of York returned from the Continent, he went first to
his mother's, then to His Majesty's, and directly from them to Mr.
Foote's.' And yet it should be well understood that he was, withal,
no toady. To the Scotch nobleman, boasting of his old wine, which he
doled out in very small _glasses_--'It is very _little_, of its age,'
said Foote, handling his glass. He congratulated the Duke of Cumberland
on his digestion, when the Duke said he had come for the purpose
of swallowing all Foote's good things--'for,' said the coarse wit,
'you never bring any of them up again.' And when the Duke of Norfolk
consulted him as to going to a masquerade in a _new character_--'Go
_sober_,' was Foote's instant reply.

It will be the object of the following memoir not only to sketch
the life of the Truro wit, and to enumerate most of his plays in
chronological order, but also to give one or two short specimens of
his powers as a writer: the difficulty on the latter point being to
make a selection from the very numerous examples left to us. But it
should always be remembered that the parts played by Foote are, as
written, but a very faint reflexion of what he actually uttered, often

Samuel Foote was the older of two sons of Samuel and Eleanor Foote,
of Truro. His younger brother Edward, a clergyman, was all but an
imbecile, and in his later years depended almost entirely upon his
elder brother for support. Samuel was born, not as is generally
stated, at the Red Lion Inn, in Boscawen Street, which was at one time
the residence of Henry Foote--a distant relation; but 'at Johnson
Vivian's[131] house, near the Coinage Hall' (now removed). So far as
I can ascertain, this house must have stood nearly opposite to the
Red Lion, on the site of the old King's Head inn, where, Lysons says,
a nunnery of Poor Clares once stood, and close to the spot where
Lemon Street and Boscawen Street now join. Polwhele suggests that
the inscription 'I. F., 1671,' still to be seen over the door of the
Red Lion, refers to John Foote, the dramatist's grandfather.[132]
His father was M.P. for Tiverton, Mayor and Alderman of Truro, a
Commissioner of the Prize Office, and Receiver of Fines for the Duchy
of Cornwall; and had his summer residence at Pencalenick, about a mile
east of the new city. And here it may be said that Foote was to the
last very proud of his genealogy. His father died at 'Pednkallinick,'
as his epitaph records, on 12th March, 1754, in the seventy-sixth
year of his age, and was buried at St. Clement's, near Truro: his
grave-stone is on the east wall of the little north transept. But
the Footes had another residence in the same parish, namely, at
Lambesso, where, according to Lysons, they were seated in the days of
Charles II. His mother was a daughter of Sir Edward Goodere, Bart. (a
descendant of the Earl of Portland), M.P. for Herefordshire; she was
a lady of considerable vivacity, from whom Foote is supposed to have
derived what Carlyle calls the 'aroma' of his character, rather than
from his father. She was eighty-four years of age when she died, and
'Hesiod' Cooke (who wrote Foote's life) says, she was as sprightly at
seventy-nine as most women are at forty. She was as thriftless as her
celebrated son himself, and he had ultimately to grant her an annual
allowance. The following letters once passed between them:

    'I am in prison for debt: come and assist
         'Your loving mother,
                        'E. FOOTE.'

    'So am I; which prevents his duty being
    paid to his loving mother by
         'Her affectionate son,
                        'SAM FOOTE.'

However, he added, by way of postscript:

  'I have sent my attorney to assist you; in the meantime let us hope
  for better days.'

Samuel Foote, the subject of our sketch, was christened on 17th
January, 1720, at St. Mary's Church (on the site of the Cathedral now
in progress), and was educated first at the Truro Grammar School,
under Mr. Conon, where he was particularly fond of his Terence, and
afterwards under Dr. Miles, at Worcester. Notwithstanding his strong
propensity for jokes and tricks, he was a favourite with his master,
and made fair progress with his studies; and he never failed, when
visiting Truro, to call at the old school, and, in mock-heroic style,
to beg a holiday for the boys.

In 1737, he was entered at Worcester College, Oxford, which had been
in 1714 founded anew by a connexion of the Foote family,[133] and
worked tolerably hard, acquiring considerable proficiency in the
lighter classical authors; but his chief delight lay in caricaturing
the Provost, Dr. Gower, and in playing tricks upon him and the verger
of the College Chapel. One of these tricks consisted in tying a wisp
of hay to the bell-rope which hung outside the chapel, in a lane down
which certain cows went to grass. The cows naturally snatched at the
tempting morsel, and rung the bell in a most weird manner, to the alarm
of the authorities, who determined on sitting up to watch the rope one
night in order to discover the author of the trick played upon them.
Another of Foote's Oxford freaks is recorded by Murphy, who says that
whilst at Oxford the future player and dramatist acted in the part of

Shortly after he came of age, which was in 1741, he was entered at
the Inner Temple, where he distinguished himself chiefly by the
magnificence of his chambers, and by the smartness of his oral
criticisms on the actors of the day, when discussing their merits and
their faults with other sparks and critics at the Grecian, in Devereux
Court, or at the Bedford Coffee-house in Covent Garden. The dry study
of the law had little or no attraction for our volatile hero; and
Dr. Barrowby (the friend and adviser of Macklin in his controversy
with Foote's chief rival, Garrick[134]) has thus sketched the Truro
youngster for us at this period of his life. One evening, says he, I
saw a young man extravagantly dressed out in a frock-suit of green and
silver lace, bag-wig, sword, bouquet, and point ruffles, enter the
room,[135] and immediately join the circle at the upper end. Nobody
recognised him; but such was the ease of his bearing, and the point and
humour of remark with which he at once took part in the conversation,
that his presence seemed to disconcert no one, and a sort of pleased
buzz of '_Who is he?_' was still going round the room unanswered, when
a handsome carriage stopped at the door, and the servants announced
that his name was Foote, that he was a young gentleman of family and
fortune, a student of the Inner Temple, and that the carriage had
called for him on its way to the assembly of a lady of fashion. Vanity
was indeed to the last one of Foote's besetting sins, and he could not
shake it off, even on the stage; for he was very greedy of applause,
and often sacrificed his fellow-actors performances to his own ends.
'Fine feathers, however, do not make fine birds;' and Foote must have
relied a great deal on the skill of his tailor; for he was in person
rather short and stout--exactly like his mother--and his features were
plain and coarse. Yet, his arch smile and merry eye, preserved to us
in his likeness, when fifty years old, by Colson (engraved by Caroline
Watson), redeemed his otherwise commonplace visage, and made him, on
the whole, not an unattractive-looking person. Zoffani also painted
two admirable portraits of him, in character; but the best is that by
Sir Joshua, now at the Garrick Club, painted about the year 1760, when
Foote was forty years of age.

Two of Foote's 'three fortunes' came chiefly through his mother, who
succeeded to the Goodere family property, said to have been worth
about £5,000 a year, in a most strange and tragic manner; but he also
inherited some property left by his father. Mrs. Foote's elder brother
Sir John, a man of weak intellect, was entrapped on board his brother
Samuel's ship, the _Ruby_, in Bristol Roads, and was then and there
strangled by him--a crime for which the younger Goodere was deservedly
hanged.[136] Foote, at that time in terrible pecuniary straits--in
fact, literally a stockingless Foote, as he himself would perhaps
have said--wrote, for £20, a pamphlet, describing the murder, and
endeavouring, but vainly, to exculpate his uncle and namesake. It was
published anonymously in April, 1741.

With so much wealth and popularity as he had even thus early acquired,
it is wonderful that Foote continued his legal studies for so long a
period as three years; but, in fact, he can hardly be said to have done
this, for he had already begun to earn money by his pen (chiefly by
writing a few pamphlets), having contrived in a couple of years, like
the prodigal of old, to 'waste all his substance in riotous living,'
and to fall into sad straits.

Accordingly, his connexion with the stage, to which he seems to have
been introduced by some excellent amateur actors, his valued friends
the Delaines, now commenced, in 1743, by his taking a share with
his friend Macklin in the wooden theatre in the Haymarket, known as
'The Little' or 'Summer Theatre,' and 'The Hay'--the laudable and
distinguishing feature of the performances being a _natural_ mode of
elocution and gesture, as contra-distinguished from the stilted and
drawling sing-song style then in vogue (from which Foote used to think
Garrick himself was not entirely free), and at least an attempt to
dress the characters in something like correct costume. And here it may
be convenient to observe that the title of the 'English Aristophanes,'
by which Foote came to be generally known, is not altogether
applicable to him. Foote could lay small claim to Aristophanes' genius
as a poet; whilst, on the other hand, he never libelled his country or
his gods, as did the illustrious Greek.

With that strange infatuation which induces so many born comic actors
to fancy themselves tragedians, he made his _début_ as a paid actor at
the above theatre on 6th February, 1744, as Othello; the performance
was, as might have been expected, an utter failure, as were likewise
his attempts at Shylock[137] and Pierre on other occasions. The same
may be said of his essay at genteel comedy as Lord Foppington, in
'The Relapse.' But in the following winter he found his true line,
and appeared at Drury Lane in the characters of Sir Paul Pliant,
Fondlewife, and Bayes; in all of which (especially in the latter) he
succeeded admirably, and his success determined his career as that of a
comic player and writer.

His first piece, 'The Diversions of a Morning,' in which he himself
played the part of Puzzle (intended for Macklin[138]), was brought out
at the Haymarket in the spring of 1747; but the satire was so keenly
felt by many of the persons represented, mostly prominent actors of the
day, that, at their instance, the magistrates withdrew Foote's license,
and he adopted an expedient which it is said had also been employed
by Garrick at the Goodman's Fields Theatre, of evading the interdict
of the justices by inviting his friends to 'drink tea' with him 'at
_playhouse prices_,' and entertaining his audience with 'The Diversions
of a Morning' _whilst tea was getting ready_,--a 'tea' which never

This venture had what was then considered the long run of forty
representations; in fact, 'to drink a dish of tea with Mr. Foote'
became the rage of the season. It was succeeded by a somewhat similar
performance entitled 'An Auction of Pictures,'[139] in which Foote
'knocked down' sundry worthless persons of the day at ruinous prices,
contriving that the stage company of purchasers should make satirical
observations on the subjects of the pictures. Peter Aretine, 'the
Scourge of Princes,' says Davies, was not more dreaded than Foote had
now become; and in this piece the satire was again so biting that Foote
made many enemies, for there was somewhat of a vindictive character
in his vein. Yet, notwithstanding, perhaps partly in consequence of,
the coarse and furious lampoons with which he was assailed, and of
which notable specimens will be found in Churchill's 'Rosciad,' and in
Chetwood's 'General History of the Stage,' the town continued to run
after and applaud him. And here it may be added that Polwhele records
how Foote's address and politeness had a similar soothing effect upon
two gentlemen who called to cudgel him for caricaturing them, to that
which Incledon's singing had on a somewhat similar occasion.

The same season saw the production of 'The Knights,' in which Foote
introduces the character of Timothy, who speaks in the Cornish dialect;
the performance of this part by a Mr. Castallo was warmly applauded.
Foster says of this piece that 'it is the first sprightly running of
a wit which to the last retained its sparkle and clearness; that its
flow of dialogue is exquisitely neat, natural, and easy; and that its
expression is always terse and characteristic.'

About this time, 1748, he got another windfall of money from the
Goodere estates; and, not warned by the misery and poverty to which
his previous recklessness and extravagance had reduced him, again went
on in his old way, now setting up his carriage with the motto 'Iterum,
iterum, iterumque,' on its panels, in allusion to his having been
left a third fortune. The story goes that the only attempt that Foote
ever made to regulate his money matters was to keep one paying and
one receiving pocket. Four years of fast living in France dissipated
nearly all his money, and the year 1752 witnessed his return to London,
confuting by his arrival all sorts of rumours which had been circulated
as to his death by many who had felt the sting of his whip, and who
doubtless were believing, because they hoped, the rumours true. To
these Foote alludes in the prologue (said to have been written by
Garrick) to 'The Englishman at Paris'--his next production.

       *       *       *       *       *
    'Sir Peter Primrose, smirking o'er his tea,
    Sinks from himself and politics, to _me_.
    "Paper, boy!" "Here, sir, I am!" "What news to-day?"
    "Foote, sir, is advertised--" "What! run away?"
    "No, sir, he acts this week at Drury Lane."
    "How's that," cries feeble Grub; "Foote come again?
    I thought that fool had done his devil's dance:
    Was he not hanged some months ago, in France?"'

Foote once again took the Haymarket Theatre in 1754; and, for a
few nights, ridiculed Macklin's celebrated School of Oratory, in
the 'Inquisition.'[140] But he soon returned to Drury Lane, as an
actor chiefly in his own pieces, and at the same time was occupied
in preparing for publication his amusing farce of 'The Knights.'
'The Author,' which was successful, but which was suppressed by the
Lord Chamberlain in consequence of the severity of its satire on Mr.
Ap Reece (Cadwallader), appeared in 1757; and, probably owing to
complications arising out of the matter, early in 1758 Foote went to
Dublin with Tate Wilkinson the mimic (who imitated Foote himself so
well, as more than once to deceive a shrewd audience). With the same
companion Foote visited Edinburgh during the following season, where
they reaped a good harvest. It was whilst on this occasion in Ireland
that he exclaimed of the Irish peasantry: 'I never knew before what
the English beggars did with their cast-off clothes.' In the winter,
however, the two returned to Dublin, and here on 28th January, 1760,
that clever comedy, 'The Minor,' made its first appearance, but with
indifferent success, so that Foote lost a considerable sum of money.
During his first visit to Dublin, in January, 1758, having hung a
room at his lodgings in black, and provided himself with a dark
lanthorn, Foote disseminated hand-bills to the effect that 'there was
a man to be met with at such a place who wrote down people's fortunes
without asking them any questions.' He is said to have carried on the
deception with great success for many days, sometimes clearing as
much as £30 a day, it is said, from his dupes. He soon after returned
to London, and, having enlarged and improved 'The Minor,' brought it
again before the public, and this time with the most satisfactory
results, the theatre closing, after the piece had run thirty-eight
nights, 'with a full treasury.' Foster thinks its three acts are worth
almost any five that he knew. The object of the play was to ridicule
religious _cant_, and especially Whitefield, then in the height of his
popularity.[141] The story runs that Foote submitted the MS. to the
Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Secker, with a request that his Grace
would strike out anything that, from a religious point of view, might
appear objectionable. But the Archbishop--knowing the sort of character
he had to deal with--returned the MS. untouched, observing that if he
erased or corrected anything, Foote would probably have advertised
the piece as 'corrected and prepared for the press by the Archbishop
of Canterbury.' 'The Minor' elicited many sharp pamphlets and letters
against Foote, but he readily disposed of them all in a reply which he
published, replete with learning, wit, and satire; and which contains
an admirable vindication of the Comic Muse. It has been said that if
all his other works had perished, this one letter would have sufficed
to establish his wit, scholarship, and sense as of the rarest order;
every line tells. His defence of the course which he adopted in
ridiculing Whitefield contains the following spirited passage:

  'Why should I not ridicule what is done in a church if it deserves
  ridicule? Is not the crime greater if you pick a pocket at church? and
  is the additional reason why a man should _not_ have done it, to be
  the only argument why he should not be punished for doing it? You call
  profaneness an offence; you will not have ignorant men idly invoke the
  name or attributes of the Supreme; and may not I ridicule a fanatic
  whom I think mischievous because he is for ever polluting that name
  with blasphemous associations--mixing it with the highest, the meanest
  and most trivial things; degrading Providence to every low and vulgar
  occasion of life; crying out that he is buffeted by Satan, if only
  bit by fleas, and, when able to catch them, triumphing with texts of
  Scripture over the blessing specially vouchsafed?'

Foote seems at this time to have lodged in Suffolk Street, and to
have got into several petty quarrels with his fellow-actors, whose
manners and defects he imitated only too closely, and whose antecedents
he used to make fun of: for instance, alluding to Garrick's having
failed in his first start in life as a wine-merchant, Foote used to
say: 'I remember Davy when he used to live in Durham Yard, and all
his stock-in-trade was three quarts of vinegar in what he called
his wine-cellar.' But such were his tact and jolly manner, that the
estrangements were rarely of long endurance; and most, if not all
of the offended parties were, sooner or later, glad to shake hands
with the reckless mimic. He was always, however, implacably hostile
to newspaper critics--then, by the way, a new institution--and very
coarse in his remarks upon them, although the critics generally
wrote of him with respect and praise; but it should be added that at
one time managers were almost invariably their own critics, and the
innovation was to them most unwelcome. Nor did he think much of the
reliability of the judgment of the public. In Foote's 'Treatise on the
Passions,' he says: 'There are 12,000 playgoers in London; but not the
four-and-twentieth part of them can judge correctly of the merits of
plays or players.'

In January, 1762, 'The Liar,' the plot of which was taken from the
Spanish, was produced at Covent Garden, and those who, like the
writer of these pages, have had the good fortune to see the late
Charles Mathews in the piece, will readily believe that it was highly
successful. 'The Orators' shortly followed; it is said that it was
in this piece that he intended to introduce Dr. Samuel Johnson, and
that he was only deterred from doing so by the sturdy Doctor's threat
that, if Foote did, he would get on the stage and soundly thrash the
mimic with an oaken cudgel. But Johnson had a real regard for Foote
and his abilities. Resolved _not_ to be pleased with him, the Doctor
was compelled to give in, and to laugh with the rest of the company
that Foote was entertaining. 'Sir,' said Johnson, 'the dog was so very
comical that he was irresistible.' Charles James Fox thought even more
highly still of Foote's conversational powers. In fact he generally got
the better of his opponents in all verbal encounters:--but the tables
were once turned against him. He leased the Edinburgh Theatre for 500
guineas a year--a lawsuit arose, and Foote was defeated. The Scotch
lawyer called upon him for his bill of costs; and on Foote's paying
him the money and observing to the lawyer that he would no doubt, like
most of his countrymen, return in the cheapest way possible, was drily
answered: 'Yes, I shall travel _on foot_.'

'The Mayor of Garrat;'[142] 'The Patron' (in which he ridiculed
the 'Enthusiasm of Antiquaries,' drawing his friend and host, Lord
Melcombe, in the character of Sir Thomas Lofty, which Foote played
himself); and 'The Commissary' (in which the Duke of Newcastle figured
as Matthew Mug), followed 'The Orators' at the Haymarket in rapid
succession, bringing Foote considerable profit, and his worldly success
now seemed assured. But early in 1766, a sad accident whilst hunting
(when he broke his leg) marred his prospects, and embittered the close
of his career. Amputation above the knee was pronounced necessary,
and, though this was, of course, before the days of chloroform, he
bore the terrible operation with remarkable fortitude, and could not,
even then, resist the temptation to joke, begging the surgeons to deal
gently with him, as it was his 'first appearance in the character of
a patientee'--an allusion which will presently be made apparent. From
this time he always wore, and played in, a cork leg. It was pitiable,
O'Keefe remarks, to see Foote leaning sorrowfully against the wall of
his stage dressing-room while his servant dressed this sham leg to suit
the character in which his master was to appear; but in an instant
resuming all his high comic humour and mirth, he hobbled forward,
entered the scene, and gave the audience what they expected, their fill
of laughter and delight.

The Duke of York, with whom Foote seems to have been a favourite, now
procured for him a Royal Patent for a summer theatre, thus enabling
him to keep it open between the 14th May and the 14th September; and
in May, 1767, the old theatre having been pulled down, and a new one
erected in its stead, Foote appeared, as _Himself_, in 'An Occasional
Prelude,' concluding with the following not ungraceful allusion to his
Royal Highness's timely succour in the hour of misfortune:

'Consult,' he says, referring to the audience on the opening night:

    'Consult with care each countenance around,
    Not one malignant aspect can be found
    To check the Royal hand that raised me from the ground.'

The 'Devil on Two Sticks,' an excellent little piece, which appeared
in 1768, and which ran for a whole season, is said to have brought
Foote some three or four thousand pounds! This play is a satire on
medical quackery. Amongst others caricatured was Sir William Browne,
'whose wig, coat, and contracted eye firmly holding an eye-glass, and
his remarkably upright figure were all there; but the caricaturist had
forgotten Sir William's special characteristic--his muff, which the
good-tempered doctor sent to Foote, to make the figure complete!'

But, 'lightly come, lightly go;' Foote could not keep money as easily
as he could earn it; and, on his way once more to Ireland, he fell in
with some blacklegs at Bath, to whom he lost all his money; so that he
was 'ruined once more,' and actually had to borrow £100 in order to
complete his journey. The 'Devil on Two Sticks,' however, took as well
in Dublin as it had done in London; Foote was again rehabilitated, and
was received with great favour at the Castle.

His play 'The Lame Lover,' produced in London in 1770, did not prove a
success; it was followed, in 1771, by the 'Maid of Bath;' and by the
'Nabob' in 1772. But the 'Primitive Puppet-show,' or rather 'Piety in
Pattens,' in which the 'Puppet-show' was introduced, brought crowded
houses to the Haymarket in 1773; it was performed by wooden puppets
nearly as large as life. In the prologue, spoken by Foote _in propriâ
personâ_, and in a scarlet livery, as was the practice with the
theatrical managers of the time, he says: 'All _our_ actors are the
produce of England ... to their various families you are, none of you,
strangers. We have modern patriots made from the box--it is a wood
that carries an imposing _gloss_ and is easily _turned_; for constant
lovers we have the encircling ivy; crab-stocks for old maids; and
weeping-willows for Methodist preachers; for modish wives we have the
brittle poplar; their husbands we shall give you in hornbeam;' and so
on. In this piece he ridiculed 'Sentimental Comedy;' it was not one of
his most successful productions; but the 'Exordium' was very clever,
and is given entire in the _Town and Country Magazine_, vol. v., p.

'The Cozeners' appeared in 1774, with a prologue written by Garrick, to
whom Foote was again reconciled, after a quarrel caused by Garrick's
refusing to lend his successful but impecunious friend the sum of
£500. 'The Cozeners' fairly enough caricatured Mrs. Grieve as Mrs.
Fleecem--a woman who extorted money from her victims by promising
to procure for them Government appointments. Now, Foote himself was
generally thought to have obtained an annuity from Sir Francis Delaval,
by bringing about a marriage between him and Lady Nassau Powlett, with
whom Foote had been very intimate. It was, however, too bad of Foote
to caricature, under the name of Mrs. Simony, the widow of the Rev.
Dr. Dodd, then only recently hanged. But Foote's aims were really not
lofty; he sought, as Dr. Doran says, less to reform vice and folly than
to produce amusement (sometimes unscrupulously enough), by holding them
up to ridicule. And here it must be observed that, although he was
thin-skinned, and not over-courageous, yet Davies wrote of him: 'There
is hardly a public man in England who has not entered Mr. Foote's
theatre with an aching heart, under the apprehension of seeing himself
laughed at.'

The following year saw Foote involved in one of the most disastrous
and disagreeable events of his life--namely, his prosecution at the
instance of the profligate Duchess of Kingston, whom Foote had
prepared to lampoon in a little piece called 'A Trip to Calais,' in
respect of her then approaching trial for bigamy, when she was found
guilty by the House of Peers. The Duchess's influence, however,
prevailed to prevent the appearance of the piece, and the Lord
Chamberlain's license was withheld; and correspondence of a most
virulent nature between Foote and the Duchess ensued. It was on this
occasion that Foote penned the following defence of his writings:
'During my continuance in the service of the public I never profited
by flattering their passions, or falling in with their humours. In
exposing follies I never lost my credit with the public, because
they knew I proceeded _upon principle_.' The Duchess tried to _buy_
off her persecutor, but in vain; attacks on each side, of the
grossest and most virulent nature, now appeared in the papers; and an
expensive prosecution of Foote on a foul but imaginary charge, by one
Jackson,[143] was instituted; but Lord Mansfield summed up in Foote's
favour, and the result was his immediate and honourable acquittal (the
jury not even turning round in the box to consider their verdict). The
worry and anxiety attendant upon so abominable a persecution shattered
Foote's health and spirits, and unfitted him for awhile for appearing
again on the stage. He accordingly sold his patent, including the
theatrical wardrobe and leave to perform any of Foote's unpublished
plays, to George Coleman, for £1,600 a year; and he only went on the
stage thrice afterwards.

During the quarrel with the Duchess of Kingston Foote had bitterly
satirized some of her worthless creatures in a piece called 'The
Capucin'--the last that he ever wrote except 'The Slanderer,' which,
however, he left unfinished at his death.

In May, 1777, he made another attempt to appear on the stage; but
illness and anxiety had made fearful havoc with his looks and his
gaiety; and a paralytic stroke whilst acting in his own piece, 'The
Devil on Two Sticks,' put an end for ever to his stage performances.
He retired to Bath, and there his health and sprightliness somewhat
recovered; but it was only a flickering of the expiring candle in its
socket. The doctors advised him to try Paris, and thither, from his
house in Suffolk Street, Pall Mall, he proceeded, by way of Dover,
in the following October, with a presentiment that he should never
return to Town alive. It was here, whilst waiting at the Ship Inn for
a favourable passage, the conversation occurred with the cook-maid,
and probably Foote's very last jokes, without which no account of him
seems to be considered complete. The woman was boasting that _she_ had
never left _her_ native place, when Foote retorted by saying that he
had heard upstairs that she had been 'several times all over Greece,'
and that he himself had seen her at 'Spithead.' On the following day,
the 21st October, 1777, he had another paralytic seizure, and was no
more. On the 3rd November he was buried by torch-light in the west
cloister of Westminster Abbey.[144] No stone marks his resting-place;
but there is an epitaph to his memory at St. Mary's, Dover, of which
the following is a copy:

                    Sacred to the memory of
                      SAMUEL FOOTE, ESQ.,
                    Who had a Tear for a Friend,
                  And a Hand and Heart ever ready
                    To Relieve the Distressed.
    He departed this life Oct. 21st, 1777 (on his journey to France),
                      at the Ship Inn, Dover,
                          aged 55 years.
      This inscription was placed here by his affectionate Friend,
                        Mr. Wm. Jewell.[145]

He left, besides portraits and small legacies to sundry of his friends,
the bulk of the property remaining to him to his two natural children,
Francis and George; and I may here observe that, notwithstanding
Cooke's positive statement that Foote married a Worcestershire lady,
and that shortly after the wedding he took her to his father's house
at Truro; and Polwhele's dictum that he married Miss Polly Hicks, of
Prince's Street, Truro--(she is said to have been sixteen and Foote
eighteen when they married, but she died early of consumption)--I
have been unable to discover with certainty whether or not he was
ever really married. Certainly, no Mrs. Foote ever appeared upon the
scene when he lived at 'The Hermitage,' North End, between Fulham
and Hammersmith (to which place he had moved from Parson's Green,
where Theodore Hooke afterwards lived). Here he used to be very fond
of entertaining his friends, amongst whom were many members of the
nobility, and occasionally even royal personages, with his usual
wasteful extravagance. There is a story of his having been 'reconciled'
to his wife whilst he was living at Blackheath; and another story of
his old fellow-collegian Dr. Nash, the historian of Worcestershire,
having called to see him when confined for debt in the Fleet Prison,
and finding a supposed Mrs. Foote hiding somewhere in the room; but
there are, I believe, no proofs positive of the reckless, dissipated
subject of this memoir having ever submitted to the marriage tie.

The _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1777 says of him that 'As no man ever
contributed more to the entertainment of the public, so no man oftener
made the minds of his companions expand with mirth and good-humour; and
in the company of men of high rank and superior fortune, who courted
his acquaintance, he always preserved a noble independency. That he had
his foibles and caprices no one will pretend to deny; but they were
amply counterbalanced by his merit and abilities, which will transmit
his name to posterity with distinguished reputation.'

We commenced this article by considering how fleeting this reputation
was; yet still it is strange that in this case it has died from amongst
us so soon. Garrick said of Foote that he was a man of wonderful
abilities, and the most entertaining man he had ever known; and this
was a tribute from a rival manager and actor, be it remembered. Fox,
eminent conversationalist as he was, said that whatever was the subject
of conversation, 'Foote instantly took the lead, and delighted us all.'
Davies, Tate Wilkinson, and Horace Walpole joined in the chorus of his
praise; and even Dr. Samuel Johnson, who perhaps feared Foote as much
as he disliked him, admitted that he was a scholar, that his humour
was irresistible, and that he could drive any of his rivals out of the
room by the sheer force of his wit. The remarks of Sir Walter Scott and
Lord Macaulay fall flat after such tributes as the above; and they are
probably to be explained by the fact that they never came within the
range of the personal influence of the man--without having done which
they can hardly be considered competent judges of so amusing an actor,
and such an invariably ready, courageous wit and satirist as was Samuel

[Illustration: (end of chapter vignette.)]


[129] It may be well to note that there was another Samuel Foote,
perhaps a family connexion of our hero's, who held the Plymouth Theatre
from 1780 to 1784.

[130] According to Taylor, the author of 'Monsieur Tonson,' the grave
Murphy intended to write Foote's life; it was afterwards written by

[131] Mr. Vivian was Mayor of Truro in 1741 and again in 1754.

[132] There was a John Foote, an eminent attorney, who lived at
Lambesso, was town-clerk of Truro in 1676, and Mayor in 1678 and 1696.

[133] A case, with pedigree and opinion, signed Henry Brooke, Oxon,
Jan. 21, 1737, states that Mr. Foote was a 'cognatus and consanguineus'
of the founder of Worcester College, Sir Thomas Cooke of Bentley,
Worcestershire, and was therefore entitled to a fellowship.--MSS.
Worcester College.

[134] Garrick and Foote did not get on well together--they were 'two
of a trade,' with the usual result; and, whenever they met, our hero,
who, as Davies says, 'ran a-tilt at everybody, and was at the same time
caressed and feared, admired and hated by all,' never failed to launch
the shafts of his satire against Garrick, who was obliged to sit dumb
in his presence. It has been said that while the wit of the one shone
like a star, that of the other blazed like a meteor: yet the two often
dined with each other.

[135] Foote was such a dandy, when a young man, that he was often
mistaken for a foreigner.

[136] Cooke, with what, I suppose, he intended as a witticism,
introduced Foote to his club at Covent Garden as 'Mr. Foote, the nephew
of the gentleman who was lately hung in chains for murdering his

[137] He played Shylock, in 1758 (with Kitty Clive as Portia!), for his
benefit at Drury Lane. On another occasion he was advertised to play
Polonius, but seems to have thought better of it.

[138] Foote is said to have realized £500 in five nights by his
caricatures of Macklin in his burlesque lectures.

[139] Afterwards enlarged and produced, unsuccessfully, as 'Taste,'
a comedy, at Drury Lane, in 1752. Foote _presented_ this comedy to
Garrick, as the profits were to be given to a poor actor, named

[140] And this reminds us of the frequent squabbles, almost immediately
forgotten by both parties, which used to take place between Foote and
Macklin. Thus, on one occasion, in order to test Macklin's boast as to
his retentive memory, Foote ran off the well-known nonsense story: 'So
she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie,'
etc. Macklin broke down in his attempt to remember them, but the lines
themselves have since formed, on more than one occasion, the test of
a scholar's power in turning them into Latin or Greek verse; witness
the following attempt, which I have found in _Notes and Queries_, 5th
series, vol. ix. p. 11:

    'Protenus illa foras sese projecit in hortum
    Pluribus e caulis foliis resecaret ut unum,
    Dulcia conficeret coctis quo crustula pomis;
    Quum subito attonitam vadens impune per urbem,
    Monstrum horrendum ursæ visum est per claustra tabernæ.
    Inseruisse caput patulisq: adstare fenestris--
    "Usque adeo ne omnis saponis copia defit?"'

and so on.

[141] It must be remembered that Whitefield said of him, 'However much
you all admire Mr. Foote, the devil will one day make a _foot_-ball of

[142] This play was so successful that Foote launched out into all
sorts of extravagances, including the purchase of a magnificent service
of plate, at a cost of £1,200.

[143] It is noteworthy that the same miscreant attempted, likewise in
vain, to set up a similar charge against Garrick.

[144] I am indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Wright, the Clerk of the
Works at Westminster Abbey, for the information that Foote's grave must
be somewhere near the middle, perhaps a little north of the middle, of
this cloister, though its exact site cannot now be ascertained.

[145] The treasurer of Foote's theatre.



[Illustration: (beginning of chapter vignette.)]



  'A Godolphin was never known to want wit; a Trelawny, courage; or a
  Grenville, loyalty.'--_Old Cornish Saying._

  'Certes,' says Hals, 'from the time that this family was seised of
  Godolphin, such a race of famous, flourishing, learned, valiant,
  prudent men have served their prince and country, in the several
  capacities of members of parliament, justices of the peace,
  deputy-lieutenants, sheriffs,[146] colonels, captains, majors, and
  other officers, both military and civil, as scarce any other family
  this country hath afforded; which I do not mention (for that my
  great-grandmother on the one side, the wife of Sir John Arundell,
  of Tolverne, knight, was daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin, knight,
  sheriff of Cornwall, 21st Elizabeth), but as their just character and
  merit; and I challenge the envious justly to detract from the same.'

Without stopping to inquire whether or not Hals's great-grandmother
was not Ann the _sister_ of Sir Francis Godolphin (instead of his
daughter), that gossiping historian's claim on behalf of his ancestry
may at once be conceded; indeed, it is very singular that he did not
specify one of the family who lived much nearer his own time, and
whose illustrious name makes those of the other Godolphins 'pale their
(comparatively) ineffectual fires.' We shall, however, come to treat in
his proper place of Sidney Godolphin, the friend of Marlborough, the
trusted Prime Minister (for so he might be called) of James II., of
William III. and of Anne, and for many years the moving though almost
silent spirit of English politics.

It will be convenient to commence our remarks by a description of the
family seat where they had settled for so long a period that Colonel
Vivian, in his genealogical table, has been obliged to commence the
pedigree with John, Lord of Godolphin, 'sans date;' but probably he
flourished about the time of Henry III. or Edward I.

Godolphin, which gives its name to a high hill about half-a-mile to the
south-west of the house, is situated in the parish now called Breage;
and in the parish church, so named after the Irish St. Breaca, as well
as in numerous other churches and churchyards of western Cornwall,[147]
lie the bones of many a Godolphin, while their helmets--one of them
surmounted by the 'canting' crest of a _dolphin_--hang rusting 'in
monumental mockery' over some of the tombs. The remains of the mansion
(now occupied as a spacious and comfortable farmhouse), the many
roads of approach to it, the antique gardens, and the broad, terraced
hedges, still testify to its ancient importance. For a place of much
consideration it evidently was, even down to the time of Sidney
Godolphin, and later. Those were days when the only newspaper which
came to so remote a corner of England--and which was procured weekly,
together with his despatches (whilst he was in Cornwall), by the Lord
Treasurer's own special messenger to Exeter--lay on the table in the
hall at Godolphin, now called the King's Room, for the benefit of
the neighbouring clergy and gentry. Dr. Borlase gives a more or less
conjectural view of the house in its glory, surrounded by its park and
groves; and what is supposed to have been a view of it was found on a
panel in Pengerswick Castle; but its glories have long departed. Yet,
although Godolphin has not vanished from off the face of the earth,
like Killigrew, the early abode of the Killigrews in St. Erme, and the
two Stows, the residence of the Grenvilles of Kilkhampton, sufficient
remains to indicate to the passerby that here may once have lived a
family as distinguished as that to whom Hals so proudly refers. The
surface of the surrounding landscape is now scarred by mines and
clay-works; and the little stream, crossed just below the house by
Godolphin Bridge, is discoloured by mine-refuse, disfiguring instead
of beautifying the scene.

'No greater Tynne Workes yn al Cornwal then be on Sir Wylliam
Godolcan's ground,' wrote Leland, and his statement long held true.
It was remarked by the late W. J. Henwood in 1843, that in eighteen
years Wheal Vor, an adjacent mine, had raised tin to the value of a
million and a quarter sterling, of which £100,000 was profit to the
adventurers. To be a steward of the Godolphins was held to be a sure
method of attaining wealth and influence; indeed, there is a humorous
story told of one of the Godolphin ladies' excusing her late appearance
at the dinner-table one day by saying that she had been down to the
smelting-house 'to see the cat eat the dolphin;' the allusion being to
the respective marks on the Godolphin tin and that smelted at the same
time by Coke, the steward, who bore _cats_ on his coat-of-arms. The
Godolphin of the period thereupon introduced some much-needed reforms
in the management of his tin business.

About a mile to the south of the house, and rising nearly 600 feet
high--a considerable elevation in western Cornwall--rises Tregoning
(or more properly, Treconan) Hill--the dwelling of Conan--from whose
summit, looking to the south-west, the eye commands a vast stretch of
waters, over which the sailor might pass to the West Indies without
seeing land, unless he chose to touch at the Azores. Nearer at hand,
and seeming almost under our feet, lie the noble curves of the Mount's
Bay, with, for a central feature, the rocky islet--'both land and
island twice a day,' as Carew says--on which stand the Castle and Chair
of St. Michael--'Kader Mighel'--still looking

  'Tow'rd Namancos and Bayonas' hold.'

Turning our gaze towards the north-west, we see sapphire waves roll on
the golden sands which fringe the shores of St. Ives Bay; and, towards
the west, the Land's End district so melts into the grey haze of the
Atlantic, that it would be as hard to say where the land ended and the
sea began, as it would be now to gather the whole truth as to the lost
land of Lyonesse, traditionally reported to have been submerged between
Bolerium and the Isles of Scilly.

Such were the surroundings of Godolphin. The building itself,
originally a castle or fortified residence of some sort, was in ruins
in the days of Edward IV. William of Worcester, in 1478, says of it:

'Castellum Godollon dirutum in villa Lodollon'; and Leland, in the days
of Henry VIII., describes it in the following words:

  'Carne Godolcan on the Top of an Hille, wher is a Diche, and there
  was a Pile and principal Habitation of the Godolcans. The Diche yet
  apperith, and many Stones of late Time hath beene fetchid thens. It is
  a 3 Miles from S. Michael's Mont by Est North Est.'

Rebuilt as Godolphin Hall in the days of Elizabeth, it appeared as a
quadrangular mansion, with a fine portico of white granite along the
north front, constructed by Francis, the second Earl; but this was
the last flickering of its lamp. The rooms over the portico were, it
is said, never fitted up, and the mansion of the Godolphins is now
occupied by Mr. Rosewarne, a zealous guardian of its crumbling walls.

Concerning the etymology of the name there has been much dispute.
Some have claimed for it a Phœnician origin, and said that the word
signifies 'a land of tin'--certainly a not inappropriate derivation.
Hals is not very dogmatic (as he often is) as to the meaning. He thinks
it may mean 'God's Downs,' an 'altogether wooded down or place of
springs,' and utterly repudiates Carew's suggestion that it means 'a
white eagle.' Others have suggested 'Goon Dolgan'--Dolgan's Down. This,
at least, is clear, that the name, as applied to persons, has had more
than one narrow escape of becoming extinct. Once, towards the close of
the fourteenth century, or early in the fifteenth century, when Ellinor
Godolphin married John Rencie; but her husband assumed the patronymic
of his wife. Up to that time, and, indeed, for many generations
afterwards, we constantly find the Godolphins intermarrying with good
old Cornish families, many of whom are now extinct. I find in their
family tree such names as Trevanger, Trewledick, Antrewan, Prideaux,
Tremrow, Carminowe, Erisey, Bevill, Killigrew, Trenouth, Cararthyn,
Carankan, Tredeneck, Pendarves, Carew, Grenville, Arundell, St. Aubyn,
Boscawen, Hoblyn, Molesworth, etc. In short, there are very few Cornish
families of any distinction in whose veins the blood of the Godolphins
of Godolphin did not mingle.

The first Godolphin of note (although, according to Lipscombe, they
came in with the Conqueror) would seem to have been one who also bore
the ill-omened name of Knava; and who, in 1504, was, as Hals tells us,
'struck Sheriff' of Cornwall. King Henry VII., Hals goes on to say,
'declared his great liking of that gentleman in all circumstances for
the said office, but discovered as much dislike of his name after the
English,--not understanding the import thereof in Cornish,--and so
further said, that as he was _pater patriæ_, he would trans-nominate
him to Godolphin, whereof he was lord; and accordingly caused or
ordered that in his letters-patent under the broad seal of England, for
being Sheriff of Cornwall, he should be styled or named John Godolphin
of Godolphin, Esq^{re}, and by that name he accounted at the year's end
with that King for his office in the exchequer, and had his acquittance
from thence, as appears from the record in the Pipe office there.'
Another Cornish gentleman who bore the name of Erisey was, it will be
remembered (see the story of the Killigrews), also considered, by James
I., to be unfortunate in his patronymic; but in his case the family
name remained unchanged until it became extinct.

Sheriff John's son, Sir William, Vice-Warden of the Stannaries, was
also sheriff of the county in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI.,
and Elizabeth. He was a warrior of note, and a favourite of bluff King
Hal, 'who,' Polwhele says, 'for his services conferred on him the honor
of knighthood, and constituted Sir William warden and chief steward
of the Stannaries. He lived to a great age, and was several times
chosen one of the Knights of the Shire for Cornwall in the Parliaments
of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. He likewise acquired much fame by his
conduct and intrepidity in several military commands, particularly at
the siege of Bologne.' Carew ranks Sir William among the Worthies of
Cornwall, saying: 'He demeaned himself very valiantly beyond the seas;
as appeared by the scars he brought home; no less to the beautifying
of his fame, than the disfiguring of his face.' Thomas Godolphin, his
brother, was also present at the above-named siege, 'and on Thursday,
the 14th August, 1544, he, Mr. Harper, and Mr. Culpepper were hurt with
one shot from the town.'

Whether it was this Sir William, or his son (who bore the same name and
title), who distinguished himself by his 'valiant carriage' against
the Irish rebels towards the close of Elizabeth's reign, is not quite
clear; but I am inclined to think it must have been the latter, as the
first Sir William was gathered to his fathers in the year 1570, and was
buried at Breage.

It was the former Sir William's brother Thomas who took for his first
wife a Grenville, and from them descended, for three generations, those
Godolphins who probably led happy lives--for (so far as I am aware)
they have 'no history'--and whose Christian name at least would imply
their peaceful careers,--for there were three Gentle Godolphins in
succession. But from Thomas's second union, with Katherine Bonython,
sprang the more famous members of the family. One of these was Sir
Francis,[148] Vice-Warden of the Stannaries, who was knighted in 1580:
he was with his father and uncle at Boulogne, and was the contemporary
and friend of Richard Carew, whom he helped in writing the 'Survey of

Carew thus refers to his colleague:

  'This Hill (Godolphin) hath, for divers descents, supplied those
  gentlemen's bountiful minds with large means accruing from their
  tin-works, and is now possessed by _Sir Francis Godolphin_, knight,
  whose zeal in religion, uprightness in justice, providence in
  government, and plentiful house-keeping, have won him a great and
  reverent reputation in his country; and these virtues, together with
  his services to Her Majesty, are so sufficiently known to those of
  highest place, as my testimony can add little light thereunto: but
  by his labours and _inventions_[149] in tin matters, not only the
  whole country hath felt a general benefit, so as the several owners
  have thereby gotten very great profit out of such refuse works, as
  they before had given over for unprofitable; but Her Majesty hath
  also received increase of her customs by the same, at least to the
  value of £10,000. Moreover, in those works which are of his own
  particular inheritance, he continually keepeth at work 300 persons,
  or thereabouts; and the yearly benefit, that out of those his works
  accrueth to Her Majesty, amounteth, communibus annis, to £1000 at
  least, and sometimes to much more.'

And there is one other little episode of Cornish history with which the
name of Sir Francis Godolphin will always be associated: the repulse of
the Spaniards from Penzance in 1595.

There was an old Cornish prophecy which ran thus:

    'Ewra teyre a war meane Merlyn
    Ara Lesky Pawle Pensanz ha Newlyn,'

signifying that there should land upon the rock of Merlyn (at
Mousehole), those that would burn Paul Church, Penzance, and Newlyn.
And so it fell out that, during a fog, at dawn on the 23rd July, four
Spanish galleys landed 200 men, armed with pike and shot, who burnt
all the houses at Mousehole as they passed, and at length set fire to
Paul Church itself. The peaceable inhabitants, being then only about
100 in number, and 'meanly weaponed,' as Carew says, 'fled on the
approach of the buccaneers, but were rallied by Sir Francis Godolphin
on Penzance Western Green, and proceeded to attack the enemy, who,
however, managed to regain their boats, in which they now anchored off
another little fishing-village--Newlyn. Here they landed 400 pike and
shot, and marched upon Penzance, Sir Francis endeavouring to intercept
them. But the flanking fire from the galleys was too galling for the
poor Cornish folk, and (though none were seriously hurt) they gave way,
dispersing in various directions, and some of them flying into the
town of Penzance. At the market-place, which is in about the centre
of the town, Sir Francis ordered them to make their stand--'himself
staying hindmost, to observe the enemy's order, and which way they
would make their approach:'--but only about a dozen men could be got
together, and Sir Francis had to take to flight, the Spaniards setting
fire to Penzance also, and then again returning to their galleys.
Meanwhile, the story of the attack got wind, and increased numbers of
Cornishmen assembled on the open spaces near Marazion, when they drove
the Spanish galleys from the shore. Succours from Plymouth arrived on
the 25th July; and the English ships, having also heard of what had
happened, were on the look-out; but a favourable breeze from the N.W.
set in, and the enemy were unluckily enabled to make good their retreat.

Like his father, Sir Francis married twice: his second wife was
Margaret Killigrew, and thus he became identified more closely than
ever with Royalist interests. The Godolphins had obtained from
Elizabeth a lease of the Scilly Isles, and more than one member of the
family had acted as a sort of little viceroy there; 'Dolphin Town, as
it is now called, on the island of Trescaw, still bears witness to
their former sway. Here, at Elizabeth Castle, on St. Mary's Island,
Charles II. found shelter when he sorely needed it; and from the Scilly
Isles the Godolphins and the Grenvilles conducted many a bold exploit
during the Civil War; until at length the fleet of the Commonwealth
compelled the desperate Knights to surrender,--as we shall see further
in the history of the Grenvilles.

The next few years saw a great number of deaths in the Godolphin
family. Sir Francis, the Penzance hero, died, and was buried at Breage
in 1608--his son, Sir William, following him four years afterwards. In
1619 John, who succeeded his father as Captain of Scilly, died too; and
in 1640 the last of the brothers, the second Sir Francis, Recorder of
Helston, a borough with which the Godolphins kept up a parliamentary
connexion, of the old style, for many years.

The story of the Godolphins now conveniently divides itself into two
parts, viz.: first, the history of the descendants of the above-named
John; and secondly, that of the more celebrated line which descended
from his brother Sir William.

John, 'Captain of Scilly,' had married a lady bearing the singular name
of Judith Amerideth, and had by her three sons, and I think as many
daughters. Of their offspring, Sir William and John alone claim our
attention; and the former, solely on account of his being the father of
another Sir William who was Ambassador at Madrid. The Ambassador was
one of John Locke's most intimate friends when they were schoolboys
together at Westminster, but was 'no great scholar;' he went to Oxford,
and only got his M.A. degree by nomination of the Crown, for, truth
to tell, he was too busy about politics to attend to his studies. In
politics, however, he seems to have achieved some distinction, for
he was Lord Arlington's secretary and right-hand man, and was always
a staunch adherent of the Stuarts. He went to Madrid with the Earl
of Sandwich, as his 'assistant;' and Locke joined the Embassy as
secretary, through Godolphin's interest, in March, 1666.

He died without issue, and it was suspected that his religious views
had been tampered with in his latter days,[150] and that he had left
his property to 'superstitious uses;' whereupon the Act 10 William
III. was passed for 'confirming and establishing the administration of
the goods and chattels of Sir William Godolphin, Knight, deceased.' It
recites, that he lived at Madrid 'surrounded by Fryers, Priests, and
Jesuits, as he lay Bedrid,' and that on the 30th March, 1696, he made a
will appointing four of such persons his 'Testamentoros,' and leaving
them legacies. The Act declares this document to be null and void; and
refuses to recognise the clause in which Sir William declares his soul
to be 'his Universal Heir.' But the four testamentoros were to get
their legacies, and the property was then duly allotted amongst those
to whom Sir William had intended it should be left, before he departed
from England, viz., to his brother Francis, of Coulston, and his nephew
Charles. To the poor of Camelford he left £20, and £10 each to the poor
of Liskeard, and of St. Mabyn. The Godolphin school at Salisbury was
founded out of the proceeds of Sir William's estate. The whole of the
details of this transaction may be read in the 'Extractum ex extractu
pacis,' preserved in the British Museum ((514, _k._ 25)/2).

During two or three succeeding generations, this branch of the family
continued to give Governors and Deputy-Governors to the Isles of
Scilly,[151] until at length the male line died out, and the Godolphin
blood became perpetuated by intermarriages with, amongst others,
the eleventh Earl of Huntingdon, and (within the last few years)
by the marriage of the Vicar of Sydenham, in Kent, the Rev. H. W.
Yeatman, with Lady Barbara Caroline Legge, daughter of the fourth
Earl of Dartmouth. At Acton Church, near Ealing, were the tombs of
Sir John Godolphin (1679), and of his daughter and heir Elizabeth,
maid-of-honour to Queen Katharine of Braganza.

One is tempted to linger somewhat longer over John 'of Doctors'
Commons, Doctor of Laws,' the third son of John and Judith Amerideth.
He was born at Godolphin, in Scilly, on 29th November, 1617, and
entered at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, in 1632, taking his Bachelor's
degree in 1636, and that of Doctor in 1642-43. I believe that if
he did not at any time reside at St. Kew, in Cornwall, at least he
must have had some thoughts of doing so, for he held, for some time,
Tretawne,[152] an old Jacobean seat of the Molesworths in this parish;
and he married Honor, a lady of that old Cornish family. A granite
stone, about twelve inches square, let into the wall of the back
kitchen, and inscribed

                 |  PHIL^A MOLESWORTH  |
                 |                     |
                 |         1620        |

commemorates the connexion of the Molesworths with their quondam
residence of Tretawne.

Polwhele says that Dr. John 'was at first puritanically inclined, but
afterwards took the engagement,' and in conjunction with Dr. William
Clarke and C. G. Cock, Esq., was, in 1653, constituted a Judge of the
Admiralty. He seems to have always had a leaning in the direction of
polemics, notwithstanding his being a member of the legal faculty, and
his having been made one of the King's 'Advocates' at the Restoration;
certainly his works on Divinity are more numerous than those on Law.
His 'Orphan's Legacy, or Testamentary Abridgment,' which is in three
parts--the first treating of Last Wills and Testaments, the second,
of Executors and Administrators, and the third of Legacies and
Devises--was, no doubt, a useful hand-book of the period; and his
'Repertorium Canonicum' (1687)--'an abridgment of the Ecclesiastical
Laws of this Realm consistent with the Temporal: wherein the most
material points relating to such persons and things as come within the
cognizance thereof are succinctly treated'--is a laborious attempt to
exhibit in their legal bearings the relations of Church and State,
especially asserting the King's Supremacy.

But probably he will be better remembered by his 'Holy Limbeck,
or a Semi-Century of Spiritual Extractions,' and by his 'Holy
Arbour' than by either of the foregoing works, or by his 'Συνηγορος
Θαλασσιος [Greek: Synêgoros Thalassios], or a view of the Admiral's
Jurisdiction.' The title of the 'Holy Arbour' runs as follows, in the
fantastical, metaphorical style of the time:

  'The Holy Arbour--contayning y^e whole Body of Divinity, or A Cluster
  of Spirituall Grapes, gathered from the Vines of certaine Moderne and
  Orthodox Laborers in the Lord's Viniard; Pressd For the Spirituall
  delight and benefit of all such as thirst after Righteousness.'

And the Dedication, in similar vein, commences thus:

  'To the Truly Honorable, the Poor in Spirit.

  'Right Humble,

  'The mighty Nazarite's Riddle, Out of the Eater came Meat, and out
  of the Strong came Sweetness (Judg. xiv. 14) was the second course
  served in at his Marriage Feast; which by way of Allusion may not
  unaptly be applied to you. Came not the Spirit of God upon you at
  the Conquest of that devouring Lyon, in the fierce Assults of his
  ingenious Temptations? At your return from which Spiritual Combat,
  began you not to feed on the Peace of Good Consciences, when the Word
  of the Lord became as Honey in your mouthes? Is not this a Riddle to
  the Uncircumcised of the World?

  'In congratulation of which no common Victory, is this Address no less
  properly then humbly prostrated to you onely, as the most faithful
  Guardians of this Holy Arbor; whose unfenced Ambulage, when spiced
  at your approach by the fragrancy of your Innocency, craves the
  Subterfuge of your Prayers.'

Our author died in 1678, in or near Fleet Street, and was buried in
the north aisle of St. James's Church, Clerkenwell, leaving one son,
Francis, who died in 1695, and who was buried with his wife, Grace,
at St. Columb Major: down to within the last hundred years their
descendants have hovered round the neighbourhood, and found like
resting-place for their remains.

We must now revert to that branch of the family which comprises, as I
have said, its more distinguished members, and which sprang from the
union of Sir William Godolphin (who died and was buried at Breage
in 1613) with Thomasine Sidney, of Wrighton in Norfolk, a lady who
bequeathed her maiden surname to many of her descendants down to the
present day.

One of their sons, Sidney, uncle of a yet more illustrious namesake,
was killed in a skirmish during the Civil War, on Dartmoor, in
February, 1643.[153] The Parliamentary forces had been defeated at
Boconnoc, and Hopton thereupon 'flew with a party volant' towards
Plymouth. His army, however, received a temporary check at Chagford;
but Sir John Berkeley at length drove out the Parliamentary forces
who quartered in that little village; and here the brave young Sidney
Godolphin was slain.

He was, says Clarendon, 'a young gentleman of incomparable parts, who,
being of a constitution and education more delicate, and unacquainted
with contentions, upon his observation of the wickedness of those men
in the House of Commons, of which he was a member, out of the pure
indignation of his soul against them, and conscience to his country,
had, with the first, engaged himself with that party in the west; and
though he thought not fit to take a command in a profession he had not
willingly chosen, yet, as his advice was of great authority with all
the commanders, being always one in the council of war, and whose
notable abilities they had still use of in their civil transactions,
so he exposed himself to all action, travel, and hazard; and by too
forward engaging himself in this last, received a mortal shot by a
musket, a little above the knee, of which he died in the instant,
leaving the misfortune of his death upon a place which could never
otherwise have had a mention to the world.' And Clarendon gives yet
another and more elaborate portrait of him ('Life of Edward, Earl of
Clarendon,' vol. i. p. 51):

  'Sidney Godolphin was a younger brother of Godolphin, but by the
  provision left by his father, and by the death of a younger brother,
  liberally supplied for a very good education, and for a cheerful
  subsistence, in any course of life he proposed to himself. There
  was never so great a mind and spirit contained in so little room;
  so large an understanding and so unrestrained a fancy in so very
  small a body; so that the Lord Falkland used to say merrily, that
  he thought it was a great ingredient into his friendship for Mr.
  Godolphin, that he was pleased to be man; and it may be, the very
  remarkableness of his little person made the sharpness of his wit,
  and the composed quickness of his judgment and understanding the more
  notable. He had spent some years in France, and in the Low Countries;
  and accompanied the Earl of Leicester in his ambassage into Denmark,
  before he resolved to be quiet, and attend some promotion in the
  Court, where his excellent disposition and manners, and extraordinary
  qualifications, made him very acceptable. Though everybody loved his
  company very well, yet he loved very much to be alone, being in his
  constitution inclined somewhat to melancholy, and to retire amongst
  his books; and was so far from being active, that he was contented to
  be reproached by his friends with laziness; and was of so nice and
  tender a composition, that a little rain or wind would disorder him,
  and divert him from any short journey he had most willingly proposed
  to himself; insomuch as, when he rid abroad with those in whose
  company he most delighted, if the wind chanced to be in his face, he
  would (after a little pleasant murmuring) suddenly turn his horse
  and go home. Yet the civil war no sooner began (the first approaches
  toward which he discovered as soon as any man, by the proceedings in
  Parliament, where he was a member, and opposed with great indignation)
  than he put himself into the first troops which were raised in the
  west for the King; and bore the uneasiness and fatigue of winter
  marches, with an exemplar courage and alacrity; until by too brave a
  pursuit of the enemy, into an obscure village in Devonshire, he was
  shot with a musket; with which (without saying any word more than, Oh,
  God! I am hurt) he fell dead from his horse; to the excessive grief of
  his friends, who were all that knew him; and the irreparable damage
  of the public.' In fact the first Sidney Godolphin would seem to have
  been a universal favourite.

In the 'Select Funeral Memorials,' pp. 10, 11, by Sir K. J. Egerton
Brydges, Bart., occurs the following passage concerning him:

  'He was a person of excellent parts, of an incomparable wit and
  exact judgment, did love Hobbes of Malmesbury, in some respects
  and exhibited to him, and was entirely beloved by him, who not
  undeservedly gave him this character[154] after he had unexpectedly
  received a legacy from him of £200: "There is not any virtue that
  disposeth a man either to the service of God or to the service of
  his country, to civil society or to private friendship, that did not
  manifestly appear in his conversation, not as acquired by necessity,
  or affected upon occasion, but inherent and shining in a generous
  constitution of his nature." In another place also' (p. 390, in his
  'Review and Conclusion of the Leviathan') 'Hobbes speaks thus of him:
  "I have known clearness of judgment, and largeness of fancy, strength
  of reason, and graceful education; a courage for the war, and a fear
  for the laws, and all eminently in one man; and that was my most noble
  and honoured friend, Mr. Sidney Godolphin, who, hating no man, nor
  hated of any, was unfortunately slain in the beginning of the late
  civil war, in a public quarrel, by an undiscerned and undiscerning
  hand, etc."' And to the foregoing we may add that his elegy was
  written by Dr. Donne.

The following lines may serve as an example of his ingenuity whilst, in
1623, a student at Oxford--and it may be added that he also translated
from Virgil 'The Passion of Dido for Æneas,' which Waller published:

        'Carolvs Redvx'
    'Chronagramme {haVD Ita te a MIsso LVget HIspania,
                  {Vt I repossesso pLa gestIt AngLIa.
        Insolita Angligenas admittere gaudia mentes.
        Hesperiam mæstos cogis inire modos.

                               'SIDNEY GODOLPHIN,
                          _Equitis aurati filius è Coll. Exon._'

The gallant young Sidney had a brother named William, who was colonel
of a regiment for Charles I., and who died in 1636, aged twenty-four;
and another brother, Francis, who was knighted at the Coronation
of Charles II., in recognition, no doubt, of the 'many acceptable
remittances' which Le Neve tells us he had made to the King when in
exile, as well as of the loyal spirit which his family had always
shown. His loyalty even displayed itself whilst he was yet a student at
Exeter College, Oxford; as is evinced by the following copy of verses
which I find in the same volume as the above:

    'Nullum adeò ingenium sterile est, vel barbara Musa,
    Cui non materiem gaudia tanta darent.
    Hesperiam, _Princeps_, alienumq; æthera, tardo,
    Ast fortunato, CAROLVS exit equo.
    Et postquam mores multorum vidit, & vrbes,
    Spe maior, famâ clarior, en redijt.
    Quiq; comes fecum fidissimus exijt, & dux,
    Maximus, ae moritò. Dux redit ille Comes.
    Hæc inter tantam cecinit mea Musa catervam,
    Quâ doctæ magis, haud lætior vna, canunt.

                             'FRA. GODOLPHIN,
                    _Equit. Aur. fil. nat. max. è Coll. Exon._'

Sir Francis (to whom Hobbes dedicated his 'Leviathan') was Member for
the little Cornish Borough of St. Ives in 1640. He married Dorothy
Berkeley, and had seven children, most of whom (and _their_ children
likewise) were buried in Westminster Abbey. Three only of Sir Francis's
offspring are, however, known to fame--Sir William, created by Charles
II. 552nd baronet of England, who died unmarried in 1710, leaving
£5,000 a year to his more illustrious younger brother, the celebrated
SIDNEY; and Henry, who became Dean of St. Paul's and Provost of Eton,
dying at Windsor in 1733. We shall get glimpses of the three brothers
in the pages of Evelyn and of Pepys. The Dean and Sidney each married a
Margaret. Dr. Henry's spouse was his cousin, the only daughter of the
first Sidney Godolphin who fell at Chagford; while the great Minister
of State was blessed with the hand of that sweet Margaret Blagge whose
saintly fame has been perpetuated in the pious Evelyn's 'Life of
Margaret Godolphin.'

Before, however, proceeding to sketch the career of the more prominent
SIDNEY, let us look at the memorials preserved of the good Dean. He
was the fourth son of Sir Francis, and was educated first at Eton,
and then at Wadham, and All Souls' Colleges, Oxford. Of the latter
College he became a Fellow, and he took his degree of D.D. in 1685.
Ten years after, having been for some time Vice-Provost, he was made
Provost of Eton, of which he was, according to Maxwell Lyte, 'a kind
ruler;' and on the 23rd of April, 1696, we find Evelyn visiting him
there, and dining with him. A few years before, Evelyn had been to St.
Albans with the two brothers, William and Henry, to see the library of
the Archdeacon, Dr. Cartwrite: 'a very good collection,'--especially
in divinity--as might have been expected. The party visited the
Abbey--which Evelyn calls 'the greate church,' and which, he adds, was
'now newly repair'd by a public contribution.' Nor had the pleasant
diarist omitted to attend on the sacred ministrations of his friend,
for we find it duly recorded that, on March 15th, 1684, 'At Whitehall
preached Mr. Henry Godolphin, a prebend of St. Paules, and brother
to my deare friend Sydnie, on Isaiah lv. 7.' On the 18th July, 1707,
Dr. Godolphin was installed Dean of St. Paul's; and he lived long to
enjoy his dignities, for he reached the good old age of ninety--or,
according to other accounts, eighty-four. He was a most pious and
charitable man, and gave £4,000 to Queen Anne's Bounty--a charity
in which the Godolphins seem to have, from the first, taken much
interest. He was moreover, and so were some others of his family,[155]
munificent benefactors and restorers of Eton College;--the Provost's
Monument, which is on the south side of the chapel, has a long and
highly eulogistic Latin inscription recounting his munificence and his

Ecton, in his account of Queen Anne's Bounty ('Thesaurus Eccles.,'
4to., Lond., 1742), mentions that Dean Godolphin gave, in conjunction
with others, 'the sum of £3,910 for the augmentation of small livings
upon the plan of that bounty.' ... 'He gave a £1,000 towards the
alterations of the chapel as it is at present, the which alteration
(made about the year 1700) is widely different from the original plan
given by the Founder, An^{o.} Regni 26^{o.} With this money the organ,
it is said, was purchased, as being charg'd at about that sum. He
adorn'd the outer court with a statue of the Royal Founder, cast in
copper; placed on a marble Pedestal, and fenc'd in with Iron Palisades.
Further, he bequeathed by his last Testament the sum of £200 for the
buying books to the use of the College Library. He built the Alms
Houses for 10 poor women.'--(Huggett's MSS., Sloane, No. 4843, f. 102,
103.) He also built, or rather rebuilt, in 1695, the extensive brick
mansion of Baylis, or Baillis, near Stoke Pogis.

It was reported at the time, according to Luttrell, that on the death
of Dr. New, in 1706, Dean Godolphin was to have succeeded him as Bishop
of Exeter, but this promotion he never received.

The Provost of Eton left two sons and one daughter. Francis, one of
his descendants, and third baron, succeeded to the title of Baron
Godolphin, of Helston, in 1766, on the death of the second earl, when
the earldom became extinct; and as Francis Baron Godolphin died
without issue in 1785, the barony also failed.

But statelier figures are about to appear upon the scene: the solemn,
silent Minister, in whose breast were locked the State secrets and
intricate policies of a succession of English monarchs, and his devout
and spotless wife, who, 'a saint at Court,' verily walked in the flames
of 'the fiery furnace, and felt no hurt, neither did the smell of fire
pass upon her.' Of Margaret, John Evelyn's exquisite 'Life' is familiar
to many; but for her husband's career we have to search the annals of
the Courts of Charles II., of his brother, James, of William and Mary,
and of Anne: favoured and trusted by them all; until at length his
sturdy resistance to the growing tendency of the last of the Stuarts
to accept the counsel of irresponsible advisers instead of that of the
Ministers of her Crown, caused the final rupture between the Queen and
her Lord High Treasurer.

Born about the year 1630, of great natural abilities, educated at
Oxford, and sprung from a family who were loyal to the backbone,
Sidney Godolphin, when only about fifteen years old, was made, on
the Restoration, first Page, then Groom of the Bedchamber. 'Never
in the way, and never out of the way,' as the witty King said of
him. In the following year, and during every Parliament of Charles's
reign, he sat in the House of Commons as Member for Helston, an old
coinage-town, and then the nearest place of importance to the family
seat in Cornwall. In Parliament, though rarely opening his mouth, he
was soon looked upon as a great authority, not only on all questions of
trade and finance, but in matters of high policy as well. In 1668, he
accompanied his brother William on a mission to Spain. Twice, in 1678,
was he an envoy to Holland on the question of the 'separate' peace
proposed by France; and his services on that occasion, when he received
the valuable assistance of Sir William Temple, were rewarded in the
following year by an appointment to the post of Fourth Commissioner of
the Treasury, in the room of the Earl of Derby. It was about this time
that Pepys first became acquainted with him; and Pepys thus records his

  'February 5th, 1667-8.--Moore tells me what a character my Lord
  Sandwich hath sent over of Mr. Godolphin, as the worthiest man, and
  such a friend to him as he may be trusted in any thing relating to him
  in the world; as one whom, he says, he hath infallible assurances that
  he will remain his friend: which is very high, but indeed they say the
  gentleman is a fine man.

  '10th Feb^{y}, 1667-8.--Made a visit to Mr. Godolphin at his chamber;
  and I do find him a very pretty and able person, a man of very fine
  parts, and of infinite zeal to my Lord Sandwich; and one that says, he
  is (he believes) as wise and able a person as any prince in the world.'

Indeed, Pepys seems to have been on intimate terms with the
Godolphins; witness the following charming account of a dinner-party
which he gave them:

  'January 23rd, 1668-9.--To the office till noon, when word brought
  me that my Lord Sandwich was come; so I presently rose, and there I
  found my Lords Sandwich, Peterborough, and Sir Charles Harbord; and
  presently after them comes my Lord Hitchingbroke, _Mr. Sidney_ and
  _Sir William Godolphin_. And after greeting them and some time spent
  in talk, dinner was brought up, one dish after another, but a dish at
  a time; but all so good, but, above all things, the variety of wines
  and excellent of their kind I had for them, and all in so good order,
  that they were mightily pleased, and myself full of content at it: and
  indeed it was, of a dinner of about six or eight dishes, as noble as
  any man need to have, I think; at least, all was done in the noblest
  manner that ever I had any, and I have rarely seen in my life better
  anywhere else, even at the Court. After dinner my Lords to cards, and
  the rest of us sitting about them and talking, and looking on my books
  and pictures, and my wife's drawings, which were commended mightily:
  and mighty merry all day long with exceeding great content, and so
  till seven at night, and so took their leaves, it being dark and foul
  weather. Thus was this entertainment over, the best of its kind and
  the fullest of honour and content to me that ever I had in my life;
  and I shall not easily have so good again.'

Shortly after his appointment to the Treasury, Godolphin was made
a Privy Councillor; and, with the Earl of Sunderland and Mr. Hyde,
formed that triumvirate which was so greatly in the confidence of the
King:--indeed he may be said to have already become one of the moving
spirits of the age. Charles was particularly anxious that Sidney
Godolphin should convey to the House of Commons his determination never
to consent to the exclusion of the Duke of York from the succession;
but there was an old, wise head upon Sidney's young shoulders, and,
adroitly evading the task, Sir William Temple became his cat's-paw
on that occasion. For a few months, in April, 1684, he succeeded Sir
Lionel Jenkins, now grown very old and infirm, as a Secretary of State;
and in the August of that year, on the retirement of the Earl of Radnor
(whom the Earl of Rochester succeeded as President of the Council) our
Sidney became First Commissioner of the Treasury. On the 8th of the
following month, he was raised to the peerage, with the title of Baron
Godolphin of Rialton, in Cornwall.

Rialton is an old manor-house on the banks of the little stream which
finds its way into the sea at St. Columb Porth. It formerly belonged
to the Priory of Bodmin, was for a long time in the possession of the
family of Munday, and was granted to Sir Francis Godolphin in 1663.
A great part of it was destroyed by fire towards the close of the
last century, and the remains of it are now occupied as a farm-house.
It was built by the haughty Thomas Vivian, last Prior of Bodmin,
whose initials and arms may still be traced on various parts of the
picturesque remains: C. S. Gilbert, in his 'History of Cornwall' (vol.
ii. p. 673), gives a view of the S.E. entrance.

On the accession of James II., the well-known means by which that
King essayed to bring over to his own creed those by whom he was
surrounded were employed upon Lord Rochester, amongst others. He was
made First Commissioner, in the place of Lord Godolphin, to whom was
confided, in lieu, the post of Chamberlain to the Queen. But James's
tactics failed; and it was not long before the skilled financier was
again at the Treasury--this time as Second Commissioner, with, for
his colleagues, two Roman Catholic noblemen, Lord Bellasis and Lord
Dover--a conjunction which the High Church party could not, for a long
time, forgive their Protestant colleague. What would they have said had
they known that, on the approach of the Prince of Orange, Godolphin was
the man whom James selected to carry on his affairs during the King's
temporary absence in the west; and that to this trusted Minister,
together with the Marquis of Halifax and the Earl of Nottingham, were
confided the proposals for an 'accommodation' which James sent to
William, at Hungerford, on December 8th, 1688? That these proposals
failed in their object is matter of history; but it is, perhaps, not
so generally known that the exiled King, pressed for money whilst at
Rochester, was obliged to have recourse to his Minister for a gift
of a hundred guineas! He is said to have accompanied James to the
coast, and to have kept up a correspondence with that monarch until his
death. Sidney Godolphin was no man of 'mere abstract ideas.' He moved
entirely in the sphere of practical politics; and, notwithstanding his
intimacy with the Stuarts, and his having been one of those who, in
the Convention Parliament, had been in favour of a Regency--perhaps,
indeed, partly because of all this--he soon found favour with the new
King of England.

Can it be believed that throughout a career so rapid and so brilliant,
the powerful Minister was sighing for repose, and retirement to the old
home in Cornwall? Evelyn[156] assures us that such was the case with
his 'deare friend,' at any rate, during the brief years of his happy
married life. But Margaret--his well-beloved Margaret--had died in
giving birth to Francis, their only son.

And now that we have seen her illustrious husband reach the pinnacle
of his ambition, we may turn for a while to the story of his wife.
She was descended from a good family out of Norfolk,[157] and her
father was a Colonel Blagge, Groom of the Bedchamber to Charles I.
and II. She was born on 2nd August, 1652, and reluctantly came to the
court of the then Duchess of York--Anne Hyde--when only about fifteen
years of age, leaving it for that of the Queen on the death of the
Duchess in 1671. She was always of a pious and retiring--not to say
melancholy--disposition, and would have infinitely preferred the quiet
innocence of a country house to the tumult and dissipation of such
a Court as that to which she was now introduced. As an instance of
the almost morbid tendency of her mind, Evelyn's description of her
attitude in the portrait which she gave him may be cited:

  'She would be drawne in a lugubrous posture, sitting upon a Tomb stone
  adorned with a Sepulcher Urne.'

An engraving of this picture is prefixed to the edition of Evelyn to
which I have just referred. It quite embodies the spirit of Tennyson's
lines to another Margaret:

    'O sweet pale Margaret,
    O rare pale Margaret,
    What lit your eyes with tearful power,
    Like moonlight on a falling shower?
    Who lent you, love, your mortal dower
      Of pensive thought and aspect pale,
      Your melancholy sweet and frail
    As perfume of the cuckoo flower?
    From the westward-winding flood,
    From the evening-lighted wood,
      From all things outward you have won
    _A tearful grace_, as tho' you stood
      Between the rainbow and the sun.
    The very smile before you speak
    That dimples your transparent cheek,
      Encircles all the heart, and feedeth
    The senses with a still delight
      Of dainty sorrow without sound,
      Like the tender amber round
    Which the moon about her spreadeth,
      Moving through a fleecy night.'

It may be easily imagined that with such a temperament she bent her
mind with extreme difficulty to what she considered her duty--namely,
to be in the Court, and yet not of the Court--faithfully discharging
all the duties allotted to her, and preserving a cheerful face, though
her heart was aching at the recklessness and sensuality with which
she was surrounded. And yet, says Evelyn, 'Arethusa pass'd thro' all
those turbulent waters without soe much as the least staine or tincture
in her christall; with her Piety grew up her Witt, which was soe
sparkling, accompanyed with a Judgment and Eloquence soe exterordnary,
a Beauty and Ayre soe charmeing and lovely, in a word, an Address soe
universally takeing, that after few years, the Court never saw or had
seen such a Constellation of perfections amongst all their splendid

But her release from her uncongenial duties was at length, with
difficulty, obtained; and she retired to her friends, Lord and Lady
Berkeley (relatives of her future husband), at Berkeley House.[158]
Evelyn, writing in his usual rapturous way whenever he had anything to
say of his exquisite Margaret, gives the following pretty picture of
her flight from the Court:

  'You will easyly figure to your selfe how buissy the young Saint was
  the next morning in makeing upp her little carriage to quitt her
  prison; and when you have fancied the conflagration of a certain Citty
  the Scripture speaks of, imagine this Lady trussing upp her little
  fardle like the two daughters whom the angell hast'ned and conducted;
  butt the similitude goes no futher, for this holy Virgin went to Zoar,
  they to the cave of Folly and Intemperence; there was no danger of
  _her_ lookeing back and becomeing a statue for sorrow of what she left
  behind. All her household stuffe, besides a Bible and a bundle of
  Prayerbookes, was packed upp in a very little compass, for she lived
  soe farr from superfluitye, that she carryed all that was vallueable
  in her person; and tho' she had a courtly wardrobe, she affected it
  not, because every thing became her that she putt on, and she became
  every thing was putt upon her.'

She afterwards moved to lodgings which Evelyn himself built for her,
'over against his Majestie's wood-yard in Scotland Yard,' at Whitehall;
settling here, as he says, 'with that pretty and discreete oeconomye
soe naturall to her; and never was there such an household of faith,
never Lady more worthy of the blessings she was entering into, who
was soe thankfull to God for them.' Her housekeeping and the mode in
which she kept her faultless accompts are all lovingly dwelt upon; and,
indeed, she seems to have been a bright example of the Wordsworthian
line, of

  'Pure religion, teaching household laws.'

At length, after many tormenting misgivings as to whether she was
justified before God in so doing, she married Sidney Godolphin, 'that
singular and silent lover,' whose gravity and temper at Court all knew
so well, on 16th May, 1675, at the Temple Church. The marriage was a
private one, for reasons which are by no means clear, and for which
even Evelyn can hardly quite forgive her; though he says, 'If ever
two were created for each other, and marriages, as they say, made in
heaven, this happy paire were of the number.' Two or three years after
their marriage she was brought to bed at Whitehall, of her first-born
son, Francis--to the great joy of herself and her husband. But shortly
afterwards a fever with alarming symptoms set in, causing the following
touching letter to be written by her husband to Evelyn:

  'My poore wife is fallen very ill of a ffevor, with lightness in her
  head. You know who sayes the prayer of the faithfull shall save the
  sick: I humbly begg your charitable prayers for this poore creature,
  and your distracted servant--London:--Saturday, 9 o'clock.'

The immovable man was moved to bitter agony now; and worse was to
come: for 'sweet, pale Margaret' soon passed away to a world more
worthy of her than that in which her lot had been cast. Evelyn says:

  'This fatall houre was (your Ladyshipp[159] knows) about one o'clock,
  att noone on the Munday, September the nineth 1678, in the 25 year and
  prime of her age. O unparalell'd loss! O griefe indicible! By me never
  to be forgotten--never to be overcome! Nor pass I the sad anniversary
  and lugubruous period, without the most sencible emotion, sorrow that
  draws tears from my very heart whilst I am reciteing it.'

I doubt whether there is anything more tender and dolorous in our
literature than the following letter which she addressed to her
husband--her 'deare man,' 'the husband that above all living I vallue,'
as she used affectionately to call him. The letter was not found till
after her death:

  'My deare, not knowing how God Allmighty may deale with me, I think
  it my best course to settle my affaires, soe as that, in case I be to
  leave this world, noe earthly thing may take up my thoughts. In the
  first place, my deare, believe me, that of all earthly things you were
  and are the most deare to me; and I am convinced that nobody ever had
  a better or halfe so good a husband. I begg your pardon for all my
  Imperfections, which I am sencible were many; but such as I could help
  I did endeavour to subdue, that they might not trouble you; for those
  defects which I could not rectifye in myselfe, as want of judgement
  in the management of my family and household affaires, which I owne
  myselfe to be very defective in, I hope your good nature will excuse,
  and not remember to my disadvantage when I am gone. I ask your pardon
  for the vanitye of my humour, and for being often (more) melancholy
  and splenetick[160] than I had cause to be. I was allwayes asham'd
  of myselfe when I was soe, and sorry for it, and I hope it will come
  into the number of those faults which I could not help. Now (my deare)
  God be with thee, pray God bless you, and keepe you his faithfull
  servant for ever. In Him be all thy joy and delight, satisfaction and
  comfort, and doe not grieve too much for me, since I hope I shall be
  happy, being very much resign'd to God's will, and leaving this World
  with, I hope, in Christ Jesus, a good Conscience. Now, my dear, if you
  please, permitt me to ask leave to bestow a legacy or two amongst my
  friends and servants.... Now, my dear, I have done, if you please to
  lay out about an hundred pounds more in rings for your five sisters,
  to remember me by. I know nothing more I have to desire of you, but
  that you will sometymes think of me with kindness, butt never with too
  much griefe. For my Funerall, I desire there may be noe cost bestowed
  upon it att all; butt if I might, I would begg that my body might lye
  where I have had such a mind to goe myselfe, att _Godolphin_, among
  your friends. I believe, if I were carried by Sea, the expence would
  not be very great; but I don't insist upon that place, if you think it
  not reasonable; lay me where you please.'

       *       *       *       *       *

It is scarcely necessary to say that her last wish was religiously
complied with, and in Breage Church her remains lie, under a plain
marble slab, awaiting the Resurrection of the Just.[161] Her husband,
with some of his brothers and sisters, attended the funeral (the cost
of which is said to have been about £1000), and on her coffin was
soldered a copper plate, thus inscribed:

    'Here lyes a pearle none such the ocean yields
    In all the Treasures of his liquid fields;
    But such as that wise Merchant wisely sought
    Who the bright Gemm with all his substance bought.
    Such to Jerusalem above translates
    Our God, to adorne the Entrance of her Gates.'

       *       *       *       *       *

While I write, I hear of an intention to dedicate the funds collected
at this year's (1881) Harvest Festival at St. Breage, towards the cost
of a spire to surmount the church tower, in memory of the saintly
Margaret Godolphin, and her Ruth-like devotion to her husband and her
husband's people.

But to return to her solemn and now solitary husband--who never married
again--and whom we left installed in the favour of a King almost as
taciturn as his great ancestor, or as the Minister himself. More
troubled times were at hand for him. Party spirit, and, above all,
jealousy at his rise and his secure position close to the throne,
were at work; and we accordingly find him assailed in the House of
Commons by Hambden and others; but, whatever he may have felt, rarely
condescending a reply. He was made Third Commissioner of the Treasury
in 1689, and First Commissioner in each of the three following years;
and, the King, on the death of Mary his consort, going across the sea
to head the Confederate Army in the Netherlands, Godolphin was made
one of the Nine Justices for managing the affairs of the Realm; still,
however, retaining his post at the Treasury. This state of things
continued, with slight variations, till the close of William's reign,
when the astute statesman left his post for a while, in order, as it
was supposed, to facilitate his re-appointment on the accession of Anne.

In 1702, only a few days after she ascended the throne, the Queen
made Godolphin Lord High Treasurer of England. He accepted the post
reluctantly--yet he 'conducted the Queen,' says Sarah, Duchess of
Marlborough, 'with the care and tenderness of a father, or a guardian,
through a state of helpless ignorance'--'the weight of affairs now
lying chiefly on his shoulders;' and those were times when wariness and
courage were as essential as at almost any period in the history of our
country. One of his first steps was to induce Anne, out of her somewhat
scanty resources, to subscribe £100,000 towards the expenses of the
new war; to abolish the sale of Places; and to settle her firstfruits
and tenths for the augmentation of small benefices (the origin of the
well-known Queen Anne's Bounty)--steps which, though they of course
involved heavy pecuniary sacrifice, were highly popular with the
nation, and tended to enthrone a Queen in the hearts of her people.

He was much interested in endeavouring to carry out the Treaty for the
Union with Scotland, and his brother Charles, now M.P. for Helston, and
First Commissioner of Customs, was one of the Commissioners appointed
for the purpose; but their efforts for the time failed; the weight
of the English National Debt, and the repugnance of the Scotch to
Episcopacy, being the main difficulties in the way.

It would occupy too much space to describe in detail--even if it were
now possible to do so--the intricate policy of Lord Godolphin and his
firm friend, the great Marlborough--another West-country man, born
at Ashe in Devonshire--at this juncture. Suffice it to say, that the
famous warrior absolutely refused the command of our armies unless
Sidney Godolphin was at the Treasury: he was the only man in England,
Marlborough said, on whom he could implicitly rely for being punctually
furnished with the indispensable 'sinews of war.' Nor would it be
profitable to enter very deeply into the party politics of the time.
The difficulties which the great general and the skilled financier
had to contend with were legion. Rochester, the Queen's maternal
uncle, had to be got rid of; and afterwards 'the careless Harley,' who
yearned to be independent of Godolphin--a far more difficult task, and
for succeeding in which, I believe, Anne never forgave him. On this
occasion Godolphin wrote to his quondam colleague, 'I am sorry to have
lost the good opinion I once had of you; but I must believe my own
senses. I am very far from having deserved this of you. May God forgive
you for it!' The bitter feelings which these transactions produced
may be seen in the 'Secret History of Arlus (Harley),' and in John
Lydgate's 'The Beasts in Power.'[162] Again, in 1705, Charles Cæsar
attacked Godolphin in the House of Commons for keeping up, together
with Marlborough and others, a treasonable correspondence with the
Court of St. Germains; and the speaker used language so intemperate
that he was committed to the Tower for the remainder of that session.
The fact was that the correspondence had taken place--at least so
it has been said--with the full privity and sanction of William, who
is even reported to have expressed his admiration of the results of
Godolphin's 'coquetting' with the exiled James and his French Court.

Attacks upon his consistency and his principles all failed; for, as
Bishop Burnet has observed, 'The credit of the nation was never raised
so high in any age, nor so sacredly maintained:' and so a new mode of
annoying him was invented in an attempt to depreciate his abilities. He
was thus satirized in 'Faction Displayed':

    '_Volpone_,[163] who will solely now command
    The Publick Purse and Treasure of the Land,
    Wants Constancy and Courage to oppose
    A Band of such exasperated Foes.
    For how shou'd he that moves by Craft and Fear
    Or ever greatly Think, or ever greatly Dare?
    What did he e'er in all his Life perform,
    But sunk at the Approach of ev'ry Storm?
    But, when the tott'ring Church his Aid required, }
    With _Moderation Principles_ inspir'd            }
    Forsook his Friends, and decently retir'd.       }
    Nor has he any real just Pretence
    To that vast Depth of Politicks and Sence;
    For where's the Depth, when publick Credit's high,
    To manage an o'erflowing Treasury?'

But, notwithstanding all this, the great Minister pursued his
successful career--as a huge mastiff passes on his way regardless of
the yelping curs at his heels. His honours increased. In 1704 he
was made a Knight of the Garter;[164] in the following year he was
appointed Lord Lieutenant of his native county, in the room of John,
Lord Grenville; and about the same time his son, (whose birth, as we
have seen, had cost his mother her life,) being now seven-and-twenty
years of age, became Lord Warden of the Stannaries.

Congratulatory addresses were from time to time sent up to the Throne
on the success of the English arms on the Continent. In some of them
reference is specially made to Godolphin's share in the national
triumph; and when the victory of Ramillies on the 23rd May, 1706,
was celebrated, Godolphin was selected to accompany the Queen to the
thanksgiving service at St. Paul's on the 27th of the following month.
That great battle, which caused the French to evacuate Flanders, and
secured the best part of the Spanish Netherlands to Austria, compelled
France to offer terms of peace, which Godolphin wisely rejected; for
three or four successful sieges were necessary in order to secure
Flanders. But this, too, like almost every other action of his life,
was afterwards brought forward by his enemies as a charge against him.
And here is perhaps a convenient place to refer to another of his acts
as a War Minister. It will be remembered that at the beginning of
the eighteenth century all the seaboard of America north of the St.
Lawrence was in French possession. But in 1710 Godolphin granted six
ships and a few hundred soldiers, with a sort of general commission,
to one Nicholson, who, in May of that year, compelled the garrison at
Port Royal (afterwards known as Annapolis) to surrender; thus acquiring
for England the whole peninsula of Nova Scotia, and giving to the then
capital of the province a name which will always associate the place
with the memories of Queen Anne and her illustrious chief Minister of
State. It cannot be supposed from his silence under attack--and he
almost invariably held his tongue--that he did not writhe under his
oppressors. 'Oh!' he wrote to Marlborough, 'a slave in the galleys is
in paradise compared with me!'

Another object, and one worthy of the great statesman's ambition, was
at length happily accomplished about this time--the union of England
and Scotland;[165] a matter in which he manifested unusual zeal and
activity. The Commissioners, wisely selected by Godolphin--holding
their meetings at his official residence, which stood on the site of
Henry VIII.'s cock-pit at Whitehall--at length happily brought it about
'to her Majesty's great satisfaction.' It was on the occasion of giving
her assent to this Bill that Anne uttered the noble words, which may
have been penned for her by Godolphin himself, 'I desire and expect
from my subjects of both nations that henceforth they act with all
possible respect and kindness to one another, that so it may appear to
all the world that they are heartily disposed to become one people.'

It is pleasant to be able now to quote a friendly critic, and I gladly
avail myself of this opportunity of inserting the following lines
by Dr. Garth, apparently in reply to an attack made upon Godolphin,
entitled 'Arlus and Odolphus,' in which the real names of those alluded
to are easily seen through their thin disguise:

    'Ingratitude's a Weed in every Clime,
    It thrives too fast at First, but fades in Time.
    The God of Day and your own Lot's the Same,
    The Vapours you have rais'd obscure your fame,
    But, tho' you suffer, and awhile retreat,
    Your Globe of Light looks larger as you set.'

We must pass briefly over his share in the Occasional Conformity Bill,
in which he was said by some to have felt in one way and voted in
another; and also his unfortunate attempt to provide for some poor
Palatines both in London and at Godolphin Town in Scilly: at the latter
place he proposed to maintain them as soldiers for the garrison. But,
notwithstanding that the project was abandoned, it raised a hornets'
nest about his ears. Some of his accusers (see the _Medley_, 11th
June, 1711) asserted that Ministers had appropriated to their own use
some of the thirty-five millions voted by Parliament; and more than
one hot-brained partizan even clamoured that Godolphin's head should
pay the price of the maladministration of his office. The _Weekly
Examiner_ (No. 47) stated that the Ministry had borrowed money at 5
per cent., whilst they charged the unhappy creditors upon the bills
assigned to them from 20 to 40 per cent. These and other similar
lying accusations were some of them pronounced by both Houses of
Parliament to be 'false and scandalous;' whilst others were promptly
and thoroughly disposed of in a pamphlet written by Walpole; but the
slanderous scribblers, and still more the irresponsible advisers and
gossips round Anne's toilet-table and at her music-parties, on whom the
Queen had latterly taken a fancy for relying, did to some extent attain
their end by discrediting for a while her responsible Ministers.

And here it should be said that Godolphin, though a Tory at heart--for
'a Whig was his aversion'--at once discerned the rising genius of
Walpole, favoured him with his protection, and recommended him to
Marlborough; and, when our great statesman was dying, he said to the
Duchess of Marlborough, who stood by his bedside, 'If you ever forsake
that young man, and if souls are permitted to return from the grave to
the earth, I will appear to you and reproach you for your conduct.'

Both Marlborough and Godolphin loudly and vehemently protested against
the line of conduct which Anne had adopted in slighting their counsels,
whilst she, with characteristic sturdiness, refused to listen to their
reproofs and entreaties. Wyon gives a letter from Godolphin to the
Queen on the subject of the appointment of the Duke of Shrewsbury
(the 'King of Hearts') _vice_ the Marquis of Kent, as Chamberlain--the
like of which, he thinks, can scarcely ever before have been addressed
to a sovereign by one of her subjects, observing that 'He reproached
her in round terms for permitting herself to be directed by a private
ministry. Her conduct, he said, would draw ruin upon herself and the
kingdom, and would force every man in the Council, except the Duke
of Somerset, to run from it as he would from the plague. He put it
to her what effect an entire change of Ministers was likely to have
upon her allies abroad, and whether the war was likely to be carried
on well by people who had been averse to it from the beginning.'
Nevertheless, Godolphin loyally assured the Queen that, whatever course
she determined to adopt, never would he in any way offer the least
obstruction to her or to her Ministers.

Need it be added that after passages such as these the star of
Godolphin paled? To what avail was it that, in 1706, he had been
made Earl of Godolphin and Viscount Rialton? His life was a burden
to him, as we have already seen; he was sick of the popularity which
Sacheverell's[166] violent diatribes against the Government had
secured for him; and he was weary of the intrigues of the discontented
Whigs, and the taunts and sneers of the ultra-Tories. His nerves were
shattered from constantly walking among many pitfalls; his mind was
distracted by the irksome dilemmas with which he had for so long a
time been compelled to deal; and he could no longer brook the black,
unforgiving looks of his royal mistress. Yet he might have truly
exclaimed, as Sir Robert Walpole did of himself afterwards, 'My crime
is my long continuance in office: in other words, the long exclusion of
those who now combine against me.' Was it a greater relief to him or to
her when, in August, 1710, the Queen dismissed Godolphin from his post,
and desired him, according to one account, that 'instead of bringing
the Staff of Office to her, he would _break_ it, as easier to them
both.' Swift says that in doing so, the Earl flung the pieces into the
fire, an act which greatly annoyed the Queen. And with Godolphin fell
his son--then Cofferer to the Household--and his son's wife, the Lady
Henrietta, one of the Ladies of the Queen's Bedchamber.

The time had come at length for Harley and St. John to reap the
fruits of their triumph; and, though Marlborough[167] had more than
once warded off the blow--not only for the sake of the friendship
and the family ties[168] which had so long subsisted between him and
the Minister, but for the sake of Queen and country--that blow fell
at last. But the result was terrible also to the financial credit
of England. The Treasury was put into commission; and vast was the
commotion in Change Alley. Bank shares at once fell from 140 to 110,
and soon to 106; whilst the Bank refused a loan of £400,000 to the new
Government. 'That Godolphin should retire,' wrote Marlborough to his
Duchess on 1st October, 1706, 'is impossible, unless it be resolved
that everything must go ill abroad, as well as at home; for, without
flattery, his reputation is as great in all Courts as well as at home;
that such a step would go a great way with Holland, in particular, to
make their peace with France, which at this time must be fatal to the
liberties of Europe.'

Then came the Report of the Commissioners of Public Accounts (17th
March, 1711-12), in which they stated, but did not dare to _print_
their statement, that there were certain irregularities in the
dealings of the English with the Scotch Treasury; and Godolphin's oath
was confronted by another to the contrary from the Earl of Glasgow.
Burnet describes this affair as an effusion of 'Tory malice,' and adds
that 'the Earl of Godolphin's unblemished integrity was such that no
imputation of any sort could be fastened upon him.'

To what could all this misery tend but to the breaking up of a
constitution never one of the strongest,--and to the 'last scene of
all, that ends this strange, eventful history'? Sidney Godolphin died,
after a long and excruciating illness, at the Duke of Marlborough's
house near St. Albans, on the 15th September, 1712, in the sixty-eighth
year of his age; and his death so deeply affected Marlborough, that he
left his native country, which had been as ungrateful to him as to his
dearest friend, to live 'beyond sea.'

Four Dukes--namely, Richmond, Schomberg, Devonshire, and
Marlborough--were the pall-bearers when the remains of one of our most
illustrious Cornishmen were interred at night in Westminster Abbey.
Here, in the south aisle of the nave, his monument was raised by his
daughter-in-law, Lady Henrietta Churchill, who, in default of male
issue, afterwards became Duchess of Marlborough, on her father's death
in 1722, and who found a resting-place within the same venerable walls,
twenty-one years afterwards.[169] Of her husband, Francis, the second
and last Earl of Godolphin, there is nothing of much importance to
record;[170] the history of the Godolphins may be said to end with
that of the illustrious Sidney. Yet from the union, in 1698, of the
second Earl and Lady Henrietta, some of our noblest families derive
their ancestry. Anne, then Princess, offered in the most delicate terms
to endow the bride with a marriage portion of £10,000, but could not
prevail upon the Lady Henrietta's parents to accept more than half that
sum; they contributing £5,000 themselves.

One daughter, named after her mother, Henrietta, married Thomas, Duke
of Newcastle, but they had no offspring. The correspondence between
the Duchess of Marlborough and Sir John Vanbrugh on the subject of the
marriage between Lady Henrietta Godolphin and the Duke of Newcastle,
forms an appendix to the second volume of Mrs. Thomson's 'Memoirs
of the Duchess of Marlborough.' Lady Henrietta had £22,000 to her
portion, procured by the Duchess, according to her own account. But
for all sorts of small family gossip, often of an amusing nature,
the Egerton and Additional MSS. in the British Museum should be
consulted--especially Additional MSS. 28,052.

The Lady Mary Godolphin, eventually sole heiress of the family,
married Thomas Osborne, fourth Duke of Leeds, and from them sprang an
illustrious succession, which it hardly falls within my province to
describe; a similar remark applies to members of other branches of the
family. The name of Godolphin has, however, been carefully retained
by those in whose veins Godolphin blood still flows; as in the cases
of Francis, fifth son of the Duke of Leeds, and Baron Godolphin; Lord
Sidney Godolphin Osborne, who died in 1861; and in those of more
than one Duke of Leeds, including the ninth and present Duke, George

A portrait bust adorns Godolphin's marble cenotaph in the south aisle
of the nave at Westminster; and there is also a fine portrait of the
Great Minister, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, in the collection of the Earl
of St. Germans, of which J. Smith has scraped a mezzotint. They both
convey the impression which the story of his life would lead one to
expect. Thoughtfulness, reserve mingled with sadness, and power, were
the chief characteristics of his countenance as of his career. And a
like reticence seems to have influenced biographical writers; for, so
far as I am aware, there is no good monograph life of Sidney Godolphin.
His gloomy expression was notorious; it procured for him more than one
nickname, and has been handed down to us in grey-eyed, savage-faced,
'miserrimus' Swift's line:

  'And wine cheers up Godolphin's cloudy face.'[171]

I do not, however, believe that there is any reason for supposing
that he drank to excess. For literature and the fine arts he cared
little; but he was a devoted and successful admirer of the fair
sex--notwithstanding the personal drawback of his face being much
disfigured by small-pox; and Swift tells us that Godolphin would
'sometimes scratch out a song in praise of his mistress, with his
pencil and card.' His devoted and romantic admiration of Mary of Modena
was a frequent subject of remark; and he was always sending her little
presents 'such as ladies love.' Gamble, he certainly did; but it has
been said, by himself as well as by Burnet, that he took to cards so
much as he did, in order to avoid the necessity of talking--a thing
which he detested having to do. Cock-fighting and horse-racing were
very favourite amusements with him, as with so many others of that
time; and at Newmarket, during the racing season, he used to keep open
house. His son seems to have had a similar love for the turf; and
to the latter we are indebted for the introduction into England of
the famous Godolphin Arab. This horse had a curious history. He was
presented by some Arab chief to Louis XIV., but was not admired by the
French Monarch, and was ultimately condemned to cart-work; but the
keeper of an English coffee tavern recognised the merits of the animal,
brought him to England, and sold him to Godolphin.

The details of the great Minister's sporting expenditure were known
only to himself; it was generally believed that he won, both on the
turf and at the card-table; but this at least is certain, that,
notwithstanding his long tenure of office, and his having been left
£5,000 a year by his brother, Sir William, he died very poor; indeed,
the Duchess of Marlborough endorsed on his letter of dismissal from his
office, that Sidney Godolphin, Lord High Treasurer of England, left
scarcely enough money to pay his funeral expenses. The following is the
endorsement referred to:

  'Had not his elder brother happened to die, he had been in very low
  circumstances after having been in several reigns for more than twenty
  years, though he was a man that never made any great expenses, for he
  won at play, and mortally hated all kinds of show and grandeur, but he
  was very charitable and generous; and though he had lived so long, and
  had great employments, when he died he had not in the world but about
  £14,000 in tallies, of which sum seven was mine, three Mrs. Rundal's,
  a thousand Mrs. Curtis's (a woman that looked after my two elder
  children), and many other small sums that he took of helpless people
  who thought themselves safe in his hands; and when all his debts were
  paid there could hardly be enough to bury him.'

It may not be out of place to note here, that Mrs. A. T. Thomson has
vindicated, in a most spirited and successful manner, the charge,
brought by some of the scandalmongers of the day, of a liaison between
the Duchess and Godolphin.

And yet, notwithstanding his own poverty, so far as regarded the public
weal hardly ever was there a statesman of more reliable, cool judgment,
or a more skilled political economist; nor did anyone possess in a
higher degree, says Mr. Wyon, the then rare virtue of incorruptible

Although Godolphin had been the trusted Minister of Sovereigns of so
various temperaments--holding his own with them all--yet that he was
no sycophant or hypocrite is clear from his having run counter to the
wishes of both Charles II. and James II., by voting for the Exclusion
Bill, and by favouring the suggestion of a Regency even when the
accession of William III. seemed inevitable. Men seemed to have felt
that in Godolphin's hands they were safe. We have seen the effect
which his fall produced amongst the financiers of London; and in the
concluding sentence of one of Evelyn's letters (addressed though it
was to Godolphin himself) we find, what is no doubt a true echo of the
regard in which he was generally held:

       *       *       *       *       *

  'In such a tempest and overgrown a sea, everybody is concerned, and
  whose head is not ready to turne? I am sure, I should myselfe almost
  despaire of the vessel, if any, save your Lordship, were at the helme.
  But, whilst your hand is on the staff, and your eye upon the star, I
  compose myselfe and rest secure.

  'Surrey Street, 16th June, 1696.'

Well might Swift write in one of his letters to Stella, dated 18th
Sept., 1712: 'The Whigs have lost a great support in the Earl of
Godolphin. It is a good jest to hear the Ministers talk of him with
humanity and pity, because he is dead, _and can do them no more hurt_.'
Lady Henrietta Godolphin never forgave Swift for his way of writing
about her father-in-law. She, as we have seen, cut him at a card-party
at Lady Clarges', just as sturdy, honest Dr. Johnson cut him in the

Godolphin's character has thus been sketched by another hand; and
with it the name and the fame of Sidney Godolphin will always be
indissolubly joined: 'He was of quick apprehension and wonderful
dispatch; almost unerring judgment ... of few words, but great Truth:
few promises but strict performance ... by nature grave, reserved and
taciturn, but without arrogance or scorn of others; and when he most
relaxed and let himself into the greatest freedoms, they were such as
might be told abroad without any hazard of his fame or Virtue.'

Bishop Burnet has thus summed up his character and career:

  'He was a Man of the clearest Head, the calmest Temper, and the most
  incorrupt of all the Ministers of State I have ever known. After
  having been thirty Years in the Treasury, and during Nine of those
  Lord Treasurer, as he was never once suspected of Corruption, or of
  suffering his Servants to grow rich under him, so in all that time his
  Estate was not increased by him to the Value of 4000_l_. He served
  the Queen with such a particular Affection and Zeal, that he studied
  to possess all People with great personal esteem for her: And she
  herself seemed to be so sensible of this for many Years, that if
  Courts were not different from all other Places in the World, it might
  have been thought that his wise Management at home, and the Duke of
  Marlborough's glorious Conduct abroad, would have fixed them in their
  Posts, above the little Practices of an artful Favourite.'

But Courts _are_ different from other places; and we have seen that in
the Court of Anne, the memory of Godolphin's virtues was 'written on
water.' Had he lived but two years longer he might, like Marlborough,
have once more been restored to Royal favour at the Court of George
I., and in yet another reign have been again the First Minister of the
Crown of England.


[146] From 1504 to 1638 the Sheriff of Cornwall was frequently a
Godolphin. One of them was also Lord Warden of the Stannaries, and two
other members of the family were Vice-Wardens.

[147] Notably in the adjoining parish of St. Hilary, where, in the S.E.
corner, forming the floor of a pew, is, or rather was, a Godolphin
monument inscribed with a turgid Latin epitaph consisting mainly of a
play upon the word 'delphinus.'

[148] Lipscombe, in his 'History of Buckinghamshire,' says of him that
'he was very ingenious, and entertained a Dutch mineral man, by whose
instructions he practised a more saving way of making tin. He also
undertook the coinage of silver out of the mines of Wales and Cornwall.'

[149] No doubt Carew here refers to Sir Francis's invention of mine
stamps for crushing the ore. An earlier Godolphin seems to have also
given attention to this branch of mining, for Leland says: 'From
Mr. Godolcan's to Trewedenek about a 4 miles. Wher Thomas Godalcan
(yonger) sun to Sir Willyam buildith a praty House, and hath made an
exceeding fair blo House Mille in the Rokky Valley thereby.' In fact
the neighbourhood of Godolphin seems to have been the birthplace of
many important mining inventions. Near here the first steam-engine
for draining the mine was put to work, early in the present century,
at Wheal Vor; and the following is recorded in the Register of Breage
Church: 'James Epsley sen^r of Chilchampton Parish Bath and Wells
Summersetshire he was the man that brought that rare invention of
shooting the rocks (viz., blasting them with gunpowder) which came
heare in June 1684 and he died at the Bal (the mine) and was buried at
breage the 16th day of September in the yeare of our Lord Christ 1689.'

[150] According to a passage in the 'Epistolary Curiosities of Rebecca
Warner,' the House of Commons voted an address to the King praying for
the recall of Sir William Godolphin on a charge of high treason, 'for
he is one of the plotters,' and Godolphin was accordingly recalled in
1678 or 1679.

[151] For information as to one of these Godolphins I am indebted
for the following notes to a source to which I am under the deepest
obligations--the 'Bibliotheca Cornubiensis':

  'Letter from John Verney to sir R. Verney.

  '"Capt: Godolphin, govenor of Scilly, was this week killed at the
  Cockpit ordinary in Drury Lane by Mr. Duncombe who also received 3
  wounds. Godolphin was a wild young gentleman and tho' he usually came
  to church yet 'tis said as he lay dying none but papist priests were
  in his room 9 Nov 1682. (_MS. penes Sir Harry Verney, bart. Clayden
  house, Bucks._)"

  '"The gentleman who killed Mr. Godolphin, governor of Scilly, is
  lately dead of his wounds which he received in that duel 11 Decr.
  1682. (_News Letter MS. penes Sir F. Graham, bart., Netherby hall,

Mr. Godolphin, Governor of Scilly, whose death is above spoken of, was
possibly William, eldest son of Fras. Godolphin, of Coulston, Wilts.

[152] According to Sir J. Maclean, in his 'Deanery of Trigg Minor.'

[153] Sidney was born at Godolphin. He was M.P. for Helston, 1640, and
supported Lord Strafford against the majority of the House. He wrote,
amongst other poems, a song on Thos. Killigrew and Wm. Murray, so Wood
says. He was buried at Okehampton.

[154] In his preface to the 'Leviathan,' which Hobbes dedicated to
Sidney's brother, Francis.

[155] Cf. Lyte's 'Eton College,' p. 356. 'A legacy of £5,550 from Lord
Godolphin did little to amend the fare of the unfortunate collegers,
for only a part of the interest was annually expended in providing
pudding on Sundays, the remainder of the money being allowed to
accumulate for the benefit of a future generation.'

[156] Evelyn's 'Life of Mrs. Godolphin' is well worth the perusal of
those who have not made its acquaintance. Enthusiastic it undoubtedly
is, but it is full of interest; especially, to my mind, the share which
his heroine so reluctantly took in the Court play of 'Calisto,' wherein
she represented, with the most perfect grace and propriety, 'Diana,
Goddess of Chastity.' Evelyn says the ladies 'were all cover'd with

[157] A pedigree of this family, and short accounts of some of its more
distinguished members, are given in Bishop Wilberforce's edition of
Evelyn's 'Life,' 1847.

[158] In the Crace Collection (Small Catalogue No. 898) is a
water-colour drawing, 'View of Old Devonshire House, formerly Berkeley
House, about 1730.' This was the house which passed from the Berkeleys
to the first Duke of Devonshire, and was destroyed by fire 16th Oct.,
1733. It stood where Devonshire House stands now.

[159] Lady Silvius, to whom Evelyn dedicates his book, written long
after Margaret's death. The original MS. was sold at Puttick and
Simpson's, in 1861.

[160] In the sense of having depressed spirits.

[161] The entry in the Register is that she was buried on the 27th
Sept., 1678. On the north side of the church is a door, now blocked up,
which is said to have been the entrance to the Godolphin pew.

[162] In the familiar correspondence of the period between the
Marlborough and Godolphin clique, the Queen was referred to as 'Mrs.
Morley,' Marlborough as 'Mr. Freeman,' the Duchess as 'Mrs. Freeman,'
and Godolphin as 'Mr. Montgomery.' Most of this correspondence is
preserved at Blenheim; many parts of it are in cypher, and the cypher
is frequently changed.

[163] It was under this name that Sacheverell attacked Godolphin in his
celebrated sermon.

[164] He wears the collar and jewel, (recalling the line which refers
to the star 'That gleam'd on Wise Godolphin's breast,') in his portrait
by Sir Godfrey Kneller, and carries in his hand his white wand of

[165] An event to which it may be remembered Andrew Fairservice
referred 'every symptom of depravity or degeneracy which he remarked
among his countrymen, more especially the inflammation of reckonings,
the diminished size of pint-stoups, and other grievances.'

[166] Especially that 'fiery, forward tool's' (as he was called by one
of his opponents) sermon at St. Paul's, on 5th Nov., 1709, for which he
was ordered to appear at the bar of the House of Commons.

[167] It is curious and instructive to notice how Marlborough himself
had suffered from the attacks of his assailants. Green, in his 'Short
History of the English People,' says: 'In the bitter moments before
his fall, he bade _Godolphin_ burn some querulous letters which the
persecution of his opponents had wrung from him. 'My desire is that
the world may continue in their error of thinking me a happy man,
for I think it better to be envied than pitied.' Yet he could write
philosophically enough, and in somewhat similar vein, from Tirlemount,
to his irritated Duchess, who had been deeply stung by one of the many
libellous pamphlets which were now making their appearance: 'The best
way of putting an end to that villany is not to appear concerned. The
best of men and women in all ages have been ill-used. If we can be
so happy as to behave ourselves so as to have no reason to reproach
ourselves, we may then despise what rage and faction do.'

[168] Godolphin's only son married Lady Henrietta Churchill, the Duke's

[169] William Congreve, the poet, who died 19th Jan., 1728-9, left a
legacy to the Duchess of Marlborough of about £10,000, with a portion
of which money she erected a monument to his memory in Westminster
Abbey. Cf. Sam. Johnson's 'Lives of the Poets' (P. Cunningham's ed.,
1854), ii. 240.

[170] He was buried in the chancel of St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, in
1766, aged seventy-seven. Mrs. Delany tells us that he gave his two
nieces, the Miss Owens, £5,000 apiece.

[171] Toland's 'Invitation to Dismal.' There was no love lost between
the Godolphins and the ferocious satirist. Lady Henrietta Godolphin
cut him dead at a card-party at Lady Clarges'. 'She's a fool for her
pains,' wrote Swift to Stella, 'and I'll pull her down for it!'


_Elliot Stock, Paternoster Row, London._


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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.