Cornwall was settled by Man in the dawn of history. The many prehistoric remains show that Bronze Age man was here in large numbers, followed by Iron Age man. Pressure from the east by the Romans and Saxons who in turn occupied the southern part of our island led to the emigration of many of the original Brythonic-speaking people from what is now England first of all to Cornwall and then across to Armorica (roughly corresponding to modern Brittany).
This was the period of conversion to Christianity and the legacy it left behind was a large number of local saints, whose memory survives in village names and in church dedications. These saints do not appear on the official list of saints and were usually local Christian leaders who had converted the particular district. These saints names are not usually found outside Cornwall. This is also the period of King Arthur.
Meanwhile, the Saxons prepared to attack the "West Welsh", as the Cornish were then known. This happened under Egbert in 815 and by 825 West Wales was overrun after the Cornish had been defeated at Camelford. The Danish raids gave the Cornishmen an opportunity to revolt and they did so in 836, assisted by their Danish allies. But they were crushed on Hingston Down, a high ridge of country north-east of Callington, in 838. Athelstan fixed the eastern boundary of Cornwall on the Tamar in 926 and gave the large majority of the land holdings to English landowners.
The Norman Conquest led to a change of masters for the Cornish. Most of the manors were assigned to Robert de Mortain and an earldom was created which was usually held by the eldest son of the king. In 1337 this earldom became a dukedom, the oldest in the country, and the title of Duke of Cornwall was automatically conferred upon the king's eldest son. The Tinners Charter is granted by Edward 1.
Cornwall supported the Lancastrians in the Wars of the Roses and for about a century afterwards it remained a centre of disaffection as it was so far from the capital. There were two rebellions in 1497 under Thomas Flamank and Perkin Warbeck, respectively and another in 1549 led by Humphrey Arundell. Cornwall was strongly Royalist in the Civil War, and the local Parliamentarian forces were roundly defeated at Braddock Down east of Lostwithiel and at Stratton just outside Bude in 1643. The Earl of Essex invaded Royalist Cornwall in August 1644 and this led to a particularly bloody campaign round Fowey and Lostwithiel. Cornwall was not finally occupied by the Parliamentarian forces until the end of the war.
At one time Cornwall boasted 2,000 tin mines and it was a world leader in tin production. Foreign competition was to change all that. Competitors overseas were producing ores far more cheaply than Cornwall. Prices for tin plummeted and dropped below the cost of production. Within half a century of the tin boom of 1870-72, the mining industry was almost dead in the face of foreign competition. Two of the last remaining mines were Levant and Geevor, both near St. Just, which are now open as tourist attractions.
Most of the subsequent history of Cornwall has been peaceful - it was an important Methodist centre in the 18th century. Wesley Cottage and Gwennap Pit can still be visited. Around the same time the tourist industry came into being. Visitors were attracted by the mild climate - in small numbers at first, but then the fashion spread and more and more began arriving in Cornwall from all parts of the country. The railway came in 1859 and the Royal Albert Bridge built by Brunel at Saltash formed a link between Cornwall and the outside world.
In the years between the two World Wars the motor-car gained in popularity and traffic increased rapidly. But still the motorist had to choose between the Plymouth ferries or roads north of the Tamar estuary. The Second World War brought bombing to Cornwall, especially in the extreme south-east of the county. The years after the war saw the stream of motor traffic become a flood. At last a road bridge was built across the River Tamar at Saltash, which was opened in 1961 - 102 years after the railway bridge. In 1962 a Satellite Tracking Station was built at Goonhilly Downs on the Lizard Peninsula and pictures were received by the satellite Telstar from the United States. Tourists from other countries began to visit Cornwall in increasing numbers and today the future for Cornwall as a holiday area is bright.
|200 to 1 million years ago||PREHISTORY
The granite areas were formed and weathered down to more like we see today. The dinosaurs came and went and flowering plants evolved, the climate was tropical and dominated by monsoons. Later during the Ice Ages the rotten rock was further broken up and washed down to lower areas to form soils, minerals and china clay. Ancestors of modern humans visited Cornwall for the first time. Cornwall is too far south to be under the ice sheet, and is joined to Continental Europe.
|400,000 - 200,000 BC||PALAEOLITHIC (EARLY STONE AGE)
From 400,000 BC to 200,000 BC, the archaeological record (ie. flint axes and blades) shows us that people, that were probably settled in Devon, were beginning to make periodic visits into Cornwall. By 40,000 BC (The Upper Palaeolithic) these modern humans (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) have spread throughout the South West, but there is still no evidence of settlements in Cornwall at this time (as yet).
|10,000 BC||MESOLITHIC (MIDDLE STONE AGE)
This period begins at the end of the last glacial period, when water levels began to rise cutting Cornwall off from the Continent as the Channel floods, and hunter-gatherer bands begin to settle around the coastlines of Cornwall, around the Lizard, for example, and have working sites on upland areas, such as Bodmin Moor as the lower areas would have been tree covered.
|4,000 - 2,400 BC||NEOLITHIC (NEW STONE AGE)
The Neolithic period is a time of great social and agricultural development. This can be seen through the adoption of farming and increased monument construction, brought about largely by an increasing population. Settlements begin to be fortified such as the one on top of Carn Brea, and structures such as Chun Quoit, Boscawen-Un and Chysauster Ancient Village.
|2,400 - 1,500 BC||EARLY BRONZE AGE
This period is defined by the introduction of metalworking, especially in bronze, which uses Cornwall's natural resources of tin and copper.
|1,500 - 600 BC||LATE BRONZE AGE
The climate begins to get wetter during this period which causes settlement movement to lowland sites such as Trethellan, Newquay, and a move to more seasonal and less intensive grazing on the uplands. Population pressure, as a result, creates a more warlike society which often sacrifices weapons to their gods.
|600 BC - AD 43||IRON AGE
Iron gradually replaces bronze for weapons and farming tools. People are starting to live in defended settlements called rounds which are bank-and-ditch enclosures protecting a number of round-houses within. There are also economic and social centres, where manufacturing and trading occur, establishing on hill-tops and headlands, such as Trevelgue Head, near Newquay.
|AD 19||(June 21st) A total eclipse of the sun is visible in Cornwall.|
|AD 43 - AD 410||ROMANO-BRITISH PERIOD
(AD 47 for Exeter / AD 55 for Nanstallon)
Cornwall's native name (Kernow) appeared on record as early as 400.
King Mark, of Tristan and Iseult fame, probably ruled in the late 5th century. According to Cornish folklore, he held court at Tintagel.
|238 - 244||The reign of Gordian III. A milestone inscribed with the Roman's name is found at Menheer, Gwennap, in 1942. It is the earliest example in Cornwall.|
|c250||Romans start to exploit the Cornish tin.|
|410 - 1000||Later Roman geography indicates that there are territorial sub-groupings, and what is now Cornwall - distinguished by its Late British name, Cornouia, the land of the Cornovii - may survive as one such subdivision. Welsh sources point to a succession of Dumnonian Kings right through to the 9th century, and a 10th century memorial to King Ricatus stands in the grounds of Penlee House, Penzance. By this time, Cornouia has become Cornubia (Latin), Cernyw (Welsh) and Kernow (Cornish). The British language evolves in Dumnonia into what becomes the Cornish language.|
|450||First waves of settlers from Cornwall, and Devon, go to Brittany.|
|c500-600||English invasion: period of Arthur, Doniert & other Celtic kings; and 'The age of the Saints', with Saint Michael, Saint Petroc and Saint Piran all making an appearance.|
|539||King Arthur's last battle at Camlann where he died.|
|550||Plague of Justinian, which would affect all of Europe.|
|577||Battle of Deorham Down near Bristol results in the separation of the West Welsh (the Cornish) from the Welsh by the advance of the Saxons.|
By now, the Saxons, have destroyed the remains of Roman civilisation in eastern England, and in the west it is almost forgotten. The Saxons are established as the most important tribe of invaders and they are converting to Roman Christianity.
|664||The Synod of Whitby determines that England is again an ecclesiastical province of Rome, with its formal structure of dioceses and parishes. The Celtic church of Dumnonia is not party to the decision and the Cornish church remains monastic in nature.|
English reach Bristol Channel: Celts of Cornwall cut off from Celts of Wales.
Cornwall had began to be recorded as Cornubia by the Romans, and its people as Cornovii or Cornavii.
|705||Saxon westward advance is renewed and by 710 Exeter is occupied.|
|c710-711||Ina, King of the West Saxons, attempts to destroy the kingdom of Dumnonia. Until 766 several battles took place, with the Saxons mainly victorious, except in 722 when Roderic, King of the Britons in Wales and Cornwall, repels Adelred, King of Wessex.|
|787||Viking Danes visit the coasts of Wessex, and form an alliance with the Cornish against the Saxons in 807.|
|814||The Saxon Ecgberht of Wessex conquers Cornwall but is unsuccessful in subjugating the Cornish people despite having 'laid waste the land from east to west'.|
|825||Cornish send army into Wessex (under attack from Mercians) but to no effect
The Cornish rise against Ecgberht only to be defeated at Gafulford (Galford on the River Lew, West Devon).
|838||A Cornish-Danish alliance is initially successful in a number of skirmishes with Egbert, but is eventually defeated in a pitched battle at Hingston Down, near Callington, the last against the Saxons.|
|839||Aethelwulf succeeds his father Egbert as King of Wessex.|
|858||Aethelwulf dies at Steyning in Sussex. His son Aelthelbald becomes king.|
|860||Aehelbald dies and his brother Aethelbert becomes king.|
|866||Aethelred becomes king on the death of his brother Aethelbert.|
|871||Alfred becomes King of Wessex following the death of his brother Aethelred.|
|878||Dungarth, (identified as Doniert in Saxon records), king of the Cornish, is drowned. Doniert's Stone stands in St. Cleer parish.|
|900||Edward the Elder, son of Alfred, crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames.|
|924||Athelstan becomes King of Wessex and Mercia on the death of his father Edward the Elder.|
|927||Athelstan, eldest son of Edward the Elder and grandson of Alfred, attacks the south western Celts, forcing their withdrawal from Exeter. There is no record of him taking his campaigns into Cornwall. It seems probable that Hywel, King of the Cornish, agreed to pay tribute to Athelstan, as did Alfred the Great, and thus avoided more attacks and maintained a high degree of autonomy.|
|930||King Athelstan builds a church in St. Buryan on the site of the oratory of Saint Buriana.|
|931||King Athelstan sets up a bishopric at St. Germans. It lasts until 1042 when the see is united with Credition and is later removed to Exeter, after which Cornwall remains an archdeaconry until 1876. The church of St. Germanus is finally consecrated in 1261 after its reorganisation by Bishop Bartholomew as an Augustinian priory (1161-84). Eight centuries on, St. Germans displays more of Norman planning than any other Cornish church, although two thirds of them have some Norman traces.|
|936||Athelstan's settlement fixes the east bank of the River Tamar as the boundary between Anglo-Saxon Wessex and Celtic Cornwall.|
|940||Athelstan's successor is Edmund I of England.|
|946||Edred succeeds his brother Edmund.|
|955||Edwy crowned King of England.|
|959||Edgar King of Mercia and Northumbria becomes King of all England.|
|975||13 year old Edward succeeds to the throne.|
|978||Aethelred, son of Edgar, becomes King of England following the murder of his half brother Edward.|
|981||The Vikings lay waste to Padstow.|
|986||Olaf Tryggvason allegedly visits the Isles of Scilly.|
|992||Aethelred makes a truce with Duke Richard I of Normandy.|
|1015||King Canute II of Denmark & Norway again invades England.|
Edmund Ironside, son of Aethelred II the Unready of England, becomes King. At the battle of Abingdon, in Essex, King Canute II of Denmark defeats Edmund who is assassinated a few months later and Canute takes the throne as King Canute of England.
Famine throughout Europe.
|1017||Canute marries Emma of Normandy, the widow of Aethelred II. Canute divides England into four earldoms - Northumbria, Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia.|
|1035||Canute's illegitimate son Harold Harefoot usurps the throne from his half-brother, Harthacanute, the rightful heir who is away fighting in Denmark.|
|1040||Harold Harefoot dies and Harthacanute accedes to the throne.|
|1042||Harthacanute dies and is succeeded by Edward the Confessor, son of Aethelred II.|
Harold Godwinson becomes King Harold II.
The Cornish and Breton languages are mutually intelligible at this point.
William and his Norman army defeat Harold II and the Anglo Saxons at the Battle of Hastings. Harold is killed and, after subduing the south of the country William is crowned King of England.
|1068||The Cornish attacked the Saxon stronghold of Exeter but were soon driven back.|
Earl Moreton takes Moresk Castle at St. Clements near Truro, for William the Conqueror.
Robert, Count of Mortain is made Earl of Cornwall.
Domesday survey: the major landholders in Cornwall are Robert, Count of Mortain, King William, the Bishop of Exeter, and Tavistock Abbey.
Cornwall was divided into 7 (subsequently 9) administrative areas known as 'hundreds'. The original hundreds were Penwith, Kerrier, Pydar, Powder, East and West Wivel and Trigg. Trigg was tri-divided to produce an additional two hundreds of Lesnewth and Stratton. Bodmin was recorded as the largest town in Cornwall with 68 houses.
|1087||William II accedes to the throne on the death of his father, William I.|
|1099||Mounts Bay is inundated by the sea making St. Michael's Mount an island.|
Henry I succeeds his brother, William II.
'Rugby' evolved from hurling in Penzance.
|1120||Ingulf's Chronicle records Cornwall as a nation distinct from England.|
|1126||Henry persuades the barons to accept Matilda as his lawful successor to the throne.|
|1130||Truro receives its first Charter of Incorporation from Earl Richard de Lucy, the King's Justicar.|
Stephen usurps the throne from Matilda, Henry's daughter.
Edward the Confessor granted St. Michael's Mount to the Benedictine monks from Mont St. Michel in France, and they built a priory on the summit of the mount. They also constructed a harbour and causeway. Henry V granted it to the Abbey of Syon in Twickenham.
|1141||The wooden castle at Launceston was replaced with the imposing stone castle known as 'Castle Terrible' (Launceston is the only Cornish town to have been surround by a stone wall, up to 6 feet wide, and gates for defensive purposes).|
|1154||Henry II accedes to the throne at the age of 21 upon the death of his second cousin, Stephen.|
|1173||Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, grants a charter to his 'free bugesses of Triueru', possibly during 1173, and he addresses his meetings at Truro to 'All men both Cornish and English' suggesting a continuing differentiation.
Subsequently, for Launceston, Reginald's Charter continues that distinction - 'To all my men, French, English and Cornish'.
Richard I becomes King of England upon the death of Henry II.
Lostwithiel is granted a Royal Charter.
|1190||Prior Theobald of Tywardreath established a 'free borough' at Fowey which quickly became a major cornish port.|
|1198||William de Wrotham writes of those working tin in Cornwall paying twice the taxation of their Devon counterparts.|
|1199||John accedes to the throne on the death of his brother, Richard I.|
|1201||King John grants a charter for the Cornish Stannaries. No fixed boundaries were set for the Stannaries so in effect they covered all of Cornwall and as each Stannary appointed 6 Stannators to the Stannary Parliament, the Parliament represents all of Cornwall.|
|1202||King John visits St. Buryan after landing at Sennen from Ireland, for an inspection of the local mining works.|
A passenger ferry between Cremyl and Plymouth is started.
Grant to William de Boterell of a market at Boscastle.
|1205||Grants of markets at Derteigne and Launceston.|
|1207||Grant of a fair at Stratton.|
|1214||Battle of Bouvines confirms French crown's sovereignty over the duchy of Normandy's lands in Brittany and Normandy, meaning Cornwall and Brittany are once more in separate states.|
|1216||Henry III is crowned King at the age of nine. England is ruled temporarily by two regents, Hubert de Burgh and William the Marshal.|
Grant of a market at St. Germans.
Cornwall is acknowledged as having the continuing right to appoint its own sheriff.
|1224||Grant of a market and fair to Lostwithiel.|
Grant of a fair at St. Keyne.
Henry III grants the Earldom of Cornwall to his younger brother, Richard of Cornwall.
|1226||Grant of a market at St. Ives.|
|1228||Grant of a market at Camelford.|
|1230||Grant of a market at Launceston.|
|1233||Richard, Earl of Cornwall, acquired Tintagel and built Tintagel Castle on the headland.|
|1235-1237||Cornish militia fight against the Scots.|
The Franciscan Friary at Bodmin is founded.
|1242||Richard, Earl of Cornwall after returning from a campaign in France finally entered the port of Mousehole after nearly foundering in a storm.|
|1250||Craft Guilds come into existence at Bodmin.|
|1256||Grant of a market at Stratton.|
|1257||Grant of a fair at St. Ives.|
|1258||Grant to Bishop of Exeter for a market and fair at Penryn.|
Walter de Bronescombe, Bishop of Exeter, makes a tour of Cornwall dedicating nineteen parish churches which had been rebuilt or remodelled. They include St. Anthony-in-Roseland, Antony, Botus Fleming, St. Breoke, St. Dominick, Pillaton, and Truro St. Mary's. By this time Norman designs are considered dark and old-fashioned.
|1260||Grant of market and fair at Camelford.|
|1261||A Charter for the removal of sea sand distinguishes between rights in Cornwall and England.|
|1265||Bishop Bronescombe lays the foundation of Glasney College at Penryn, and within two years several buildings including a church, refectory, chapter house and mills are completed.|
|1266||Grants of market and fair at Porthenesse, Mousehole, and Stratton; grant to Henry de Pomeray of a fair at Tregony.|
Edward learns that he has succeeded to the throne on his way home from the Crusade after the death of Henry III.
The title Earl of Cornwall passes to Edmund, who holds it until 1300, and on his death it then reverts to Edward I then to Edward II.
Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, makes Lostwithiel the county capital where he built the 'Duchy Palace'. This once extensive building incorporated the Shire Hall, the Exchequer of the Earldom (later Duchy), the Stannary Goal and the Coinage Hall. Edmund also modernised Restormel Castle at Launceston. He was the last Earl of Cornwall to reside in the county.
Mappa Mundi [in Hereford Cathedral] shows the four constituent parts of Britain as England, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.
|1281||Grant of market and fair at St. Germans.|
|1284||Earl Edmund refutes the King of England's claim to jurisdiction over Cornwall, and again similarly in 1290.|
|1292||Grant to Philip Daubeney for market and fair at Polruan.|
|1295||Truro, Bodmin, Tregony, Launceston and Liskeard are granted the right to send 2 representatives each to the Parliament of Edward I. This privilege continued until the Second Reform Act of 1867.|
|1296||Grant of a market and fair at Lelant, near Hayle.|
|1300||Grant of a market and fair at Mousehole.|
|1302||Grants, or claims proved, to allow markets and/or fairs at Bodmin (claim of the prior of Bodmin), Boscastle (claim of W. de Boterus), Boswythgy, Callington (claim of Reg. de Ferrars), Kilkhampton (claim of R. de Grenville), Lananta (claim of W. de Boterus), Looe (claim of W. de Bodrygan), Michell (claim of J. de Arundel), Mousehole, Penryn (claim of Thomas, bishop of Exeter), Plymouth, St. Brian, St. Germans (claim of the prior of St. Germans), Tregony (claim of H. de Pomeray); claim of the burgesses for a merchant guild at Helston proved.
Grant of a market and 2 fairs at St. Buryan.
|1303||There is reluctance in Cornwall to supply ships to assist England against Scotland.|
|1305||Stannary Charter re-affirms the Crown's right of pre-emption, its first call upon the tin mined in Cornwall and Devon.|
Edward II accedes to the throne on the death of his father, Edward I.
The Tinners Charter is granted by Edward 1.
Edward II gives the title, Earl of Cornwall, to his court favourite Piers Gaveston who holds it until his execution in 1312.
|1311||Grant of market and fair to bishop of Exeter for Lawhitton, and market and fair at Penryn; grant of market and fair at St. Breock, and St. Germans.|
Grant to the bishop of Exeter of a market for Caergaule (Cargoll, Newlyn East); grant of a market and fair at Castelboterell.
The Italian, Antonio Pessaigne, obtains from the Crown a lien on coinage dues in Cornwall and Devon and the authority to buy all tin coined. This causes great hostility in the stannaries. The miners continue to sell to whom they please and in 1316 obtain a revocation of the patent.
|1314||Grant to Nicholas Dawnye for market and fair at Sheviock.|
|1315||Grant to the prior of Tywardreath of a market and fair at Fowey.|
|1315-1316||Total failure of the harvest in Cornwall through bad weather.|
|1316||Grant of a market and fair at Helston.|
|1320||Grant to the Treasurer of the Cathedral of Exeter to De St. Probain (Probus) for markets and two fairs.|
|1322||After Edward III's unpopular choice of Piers Gaveston to be Earl of Cornwall, and his execution on the orders of the Earl of Lancaster in 1312, a number of the Cornish gentry support Lancaster in rebelling against the King. Lancaster is defeated at Boroughbridge and executed.|
|1324||A charter for two weekly markets and two annual fairs was granted at Redruth.|
|1327||Edward III accedes to the throne after his father, Edward II, is formally deposed.|
|1331||Grant to Ralph de Bloyou of a market and fair at Marazion.|
Grant of weekly market and 7-day fair at Penzance to Alice de l'Isle.
A Charter is granted to the village of Grampound by the Earl of Cornwall.
|1333||Grant to William Basset of 2-day a week market and two annual fairs at Redruth; grant to Sir John Arundell of market and fair at St. Columb Major.|
Grant of a market and fair at Inceworth (in Maker and Antony), and Shepstall (in Ruanlanihorne).
|1337||Edward the Black Prince, eldest son of Edward III, is created first Duke of Cornwall.|
|1346||Cornish archers, conspicuous for their long bows and accurate shooting, distinguish themselves at the Battle of Crecy.|
|1347||777 men from Fowey ("Gallants of Fowey") fight at the Siege of Calais.|
|1348||At least half of the inhabitants of Truro die of the Black Death pestilence.|
|1350||The 'Black Death' claims half the population at Bodmin - 1500 people.|
|1351||Grant of a market and fair at Polruan.|
|1360||Second outbreak of The Black Death in Cornwall lasting to 1362.|
|1376||Edward the Black Prince dies, making Richard of Bordeaux Duke of Cornwall.|
|1377||Ten year old Richard II succeeds his grandfather, Edward III; the kingdom is ruled at first by the King's uncles, John of Gaunt and Thomas of Gloucester.|
|1379||Castle built on Carn Brea by the Basset family.|
|1381||Grant to Daubeney family of market and fair at Polruan.|
|1387||John Trevisa of Cornwall wrote the first book about England in the English language (previously latin was the language used by authors).|
|1399||Henry IV returns from exile in France to reclaim his estates seized by Richard II; he claims the throne and is crowned. Henry of Monmouth becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
|1400-1500||A period of concentrated church building occurs. Almost every Cornish church is altered or enlarged. Five centuries later, most remain substantially unchanged in form, despite subsequent restorations.|
|1400||Cornwall is described as Cornubia - Land of the Saints.|
|1404||Grant to Thomas, Lord Berkeley, of a market and fair at Penzance, in lieu of one 7-day fair, three 2-day fairs to be held.|
|1413||Henry V accedes to the throne at the age of 25 upon the death of his father, Henry IV.|
|1409||The hermit's chapel on Roche Rock (St. Austell area), dedicated to St. Michael, is licensed.|
|1422||Henry VI aged 8 months becomes King of England on the death of his father, Henry V.|
|1430||John Trewollas builds the first pier at Mevagissey.|
Work is started on building a new quay at Newquay.
|1440||St. Blazey Church is built around this time, and thoroughly restored in 1839 by W Moffat, and again in 1897.|
|1446||Sir Nicholas Carew of Antony House, died.|
|1453||Edward, son of Henry VI becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
|1455||Wars of the Roses begins as a feud between the Courtenays and Bonvilles in Cornwall and Devon.|
|1456||Fowey was attacked by the French and set on fire.|
|1461||Edward IV, son of Richard of York, is declared king following the murder of Henry VI.|
|1469||Rebuilding of St Petroc's church, Bodmin.|
|1470||Edward, son of Edward IV becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
|1470's||'Piracy' against Breton, Norman and Spanish vessels (what would now be termed mutual reprisals) is rife along Channel coast . The 'Fowey gallants' are particularly notable. Determined to put an end to this, Edward IV despatches a commission to Cornwall to 'arrest all mariners, masters, pirates, victuallers of ships' of Fowey, Bodinnick, and Polruan. The independent Cornish seafarers and their ships are removed to England and placed in custody. One Harrington is executed.|
|1473||Henry Pomeroy captured St. Michael's Mount, on behalf of Prince John, against 6,000 of Edward IV's troops.|
On the death of Edward IV, the crown passes to his 12 year old son, Edward V.
Richard III declares himself King after confining and possibly ordering the murder of his two nephews, Edward V and Richard Duke of York, in the Tower of London.
Henry VII becomes King after defeating Richard III of York at the Battle of Bosworth Field. The Wars of the Roses are ended.
|1486||Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
|1488||St. Saviours chapel at Polruan was re-built by Sir Richard Edgcumbe.|
|1497||Cornish uprising against Henry VII's taxation to pay for his war against the Scots, which is a curtailment of Cornish constitutional rights under the Stannary law Charter of 1305 (that no tax of 10ths and 15ths may be raised in Cornwall). Resistance, particularly at St. Keverne under the leadership of Michael Joseph (an gof), gains momentum at Bodmin when taken up by lawyer, Thomas Flamank. They lead a march to London, are joined by Lord Audley en route, but are confronted by 10,000 of Henry's men under Lord Daubeney. On 16th June the Cornish force, armed only with country weapons, are routed. Audley, Flamank and Joseph are executed. The Cornish are resentful... On September 7th Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the throne, lands at Whitesand Bay, near Land's End and then occupies St. Michael's Mount. Warmly welcomed, he is proclaimed King Richard IV at Bodmin.|
|1498||Plague hits Cornwall.|
|1501||The church at St. Buryan was re-built and enlarged and a tower added.|
|1502||Henry, younger son of Henry VII becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
|1508||'Charter of Pardon' granted by Henry VII states 'that no statutes, acts, ordinances... or proclamations shall take effect in...[Cornwall] or elsewhere to the prejudice or in exoneration of the said tinners, bounders, possessors of tinworks... dealers in white tin or the heirs or successors of any of them, unless there has previously been convened twenty-four good and lawful men of the four stannaries of the county of Cornwall...; so that no statutes ...[etc.] to be made in future by us, our heirs and successors, or by the said Prince and Duke of Cornwall for the time being shall be made except with the consent of the said twenty-four men so elected and appointed...' allowed the Cornish Stannary Parliament to veto English legislation.|
Henry VIII accedes to the throne on the death of his father, Henry VII.
Henry VIII's coronation procession includes 'nine children of honour' representing 'England and France, Gascony, Guienne, Normandy, Anjou, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland.'
|1510||Plague across Cornwall again.|
|1512||Death of Thomasine Bonaventure of Week St. Mary. Known as 'the Cornish Shepherdess' (later Dame Thomasine Percival), she has been Lord Mayoress of London.|
|1514||Marazion was attacked and burnt during a war with France that started in 1511.|
As part of the colonisation of Ireland an English official suggests that one man should be sent from 'every parish in England, Cornwall and Wales'.
|1520||The New Bridge across the River Tamar at Gunnislake is built.|
|1535||Polydore Vergil's Anglica Historia describes Britain as being made up of 'Scots, Welsh, English and Cornish people' and that 'England is limited on the West part with the bounds of Cornwall and Wales.'|
|1536||St. Catherine's Castle built by Henry VIII in Fowey.|
|1537||Edward becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
|1538||Leland's tour of Cornwall.|
Dissolution of the Monasteries including most religious houses in Cornwall.
|1542||Andrew Boorde's First boke of the introduction of knowledge... records that 'In Cornwall is two speches, the one is naughty Englysshe and the other is Cornysshe speche. And there may be many men and women the which cannot speak one word of Englysshe but all Cornysshe.'|
|1545||Loss of the flagship Mary Rose in the Solent and Roger Grenville.|
Edward VI accedes to the throne at the age of nine after the death of his father, Henry VIII.
Roger Palmer, a local mason, was commissioned to build Mount Edgcumbe House.
|1548||Glasney College Penryn is closed and much of the cultural heritage held there is destroyed.|
|1549||Uprising in protest against the imposition by Edward VI of the use of the Book of Common Prayer in English. From the 9th. June, rebels attacked St. Michael's Mount and Marazion. Following this the rebels, under their leader Sir Humphrey Arundell of Helland, marched to Bodmin and where they were joined by the towns mayor Nicholas Boyer. Soon after they captured the governor of Trematon Castle and plundered the buildings. They then drew a petition to the king. This spells the end for the use of the Cornish language.|
|1553||Edward VI dies of tuberculosis at Greenwich Palace and Lady Jane Grey is proclaimed Queen, she is later known as Queen Mary I.|
|1558||Accession of Queen Elizabeth I on the death of her half-sister, Mary I.|
|1565||Sir Walter Raleigh brings potatoes and tobacco from the New World.|
|1566||Birth of Sir John Arundell at Trerice.|
|1567||Spaniards land at Penryn late at night with the intent of burning the town. It is during a performance of the Miracle Play of St. Sampson and, according to Richard Carew writing in the 1590s, they are put to flight by the players.|
|1571||Trerice House near Newquay was built by Sir John Arundell.|
|1577||Cuthbert Mayne executed at Launceston and Francis Tregian imprisoned.|
|1578||Plague in Penzance.|
|1581||Sir Francis Drake knighted by Queen Elizabeth I on the deck of The Golden Hind.|
|1584||Boscastle harbour, built by Sir Richard Grenville.|
Sir Walter Raleigh was knighted and was appointed warden of the stannaries in Cornwall.
Meeting of the Convocation of Tinners of Cornwall petitions Queen Elizabeth I to confer powers to legislate, but this goes unheeded. In 1624 the Meeting of Tinners of Cornwall assumes the power to legislate. These laws are added to in later Convocations in 1636, 1688 and 1753.
|1591||Death of Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge.|
|1593||Sir Francis Godolphin builds Star Castle on St. Mary's.|
|1595||Marazion is granted its charter, the first in Penwith.|
|1596||Birth, near Bodmin, of Sir Bevil Grenville grandson of Sir Richard Grenville.|
|1600||Various small mines which are later to form Polberro Tin Mine are working at St. Agnes. By the 1830s the mine employs 480 people and in 1846 it is visited by Queen Victoria.|
|1602||Publication of Richard Carew's 'The Survey of Cornwall'.|
Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Arthur Hopton the Venetian ambassador described her as ruling over five different peoples: English, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish and Irish. James VI of Scotland becomes King James I of England, Scotland, and Ireland uniting the thrones of Scotland and England.
Henry Frederick, eldest son of James I becomes the Duke of Cornwall.
|1608||Sir Francis Godolphin, born in 1540, dies. Expert in mining, he has prospered from some of the best Cornish mines of the time, bringing in German engineers to improve mining processes. His success added to Queen Elizabeth's revenues by £1,000 per year.|
|1613||Charles, younger son of James I becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
|1616||Pocahontas may have visited Indian Queens, although this is disputed.|
|1619||Sir John Killigrew's lighthouse built at the Lizard Point, but was demolished again after complaints from the locals about the reduction in the number of shipwrecks.|
Sir Richard Robartes, a Truro tin and wool merchant. buys the Lanhydrock estate and begins to build the house which bears two dates at the front, 1636 and 1642. The gatehouse is only completed in 1658. In 1881 a large part of the house is destroyed by fire, but re-built with additions.
The Mayflower, en route to America with the Pilgrim Fathers stops off at Newlyn to take on water.
|1625||Charles I succeeds his father, James I.|
|1629||Sir John Eliot imprisoned.|
Sir John Dodridge re-interprets preceding historical records in his book An historical account of the ancient and modern state of the Principality of Wales, Duchy of Cornwall and earldom of Chester, referring to Cornwall as 'anciently reputed a Dukedom', and earlier 'an Earldom'. He states that 'until the 11th year of King Edward III, at a time it was a-new constituted a Duchy, the first erected in England after the Conquest', suggesting ancient Duchy Charters and royal intents had been misunderstood over the preceding 300 years.
Charles, son of Charles I becomes the Duke of Cornwall.
|1633||Trewan Hall at St. Columb Major is built.|
|1635||Sir Francis Vyvyan of Trelowarren, died on 11th June and was succeeded by his eldest son Richard.|
|1640||St. Michael's Mount is sold to Sir Francis Basset.|
War of the five peoples - Civil War in Britain, involving the English, Scots, Irish, Welsh, Cornish.
|1643||Battle of Braddock Down (19th January). Col. Ruthin's Parliamentarian troops are defeated by Sir Ralph Hopton with Sir Bevil Grenville's Regiment which includes the 7-foot Anthony Payne carrying his colours.
Battle of Stratton (16th May). The Earl of Stamford's Parliamentarian force is repelled by Hopton's men after day-long fighting, with 300 men killed and 1700 captured, and retreats to Bideford.
The victories for Hopton with the Cornish militia provide the impetus for campaigns in Devon and Somerset. Taunton and Bridgwater are taken by the Cornish army, but Sir Bevil Grenville and John Trevanion are killed in the moment of victory at the Battle of Lansdown in Somerset and Hopton is seriously wounded. Bristol falls to Hopton's troops, and later Exeter.
The seige of Plymouth begins (3rd December), but the result is disastrous for the Cavaliers. Sir Richard Grenville, having previously declared for Parliament, invites his troops to follow him into the King's service. Parliament proclaim him a traitor.
Sir Richard Grenville arrives in Plymouth in March to maintain a blockade, but it results in a stalemate as inhabitants obtain enough provisions to survive. The arrival of Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, in command of the Roundhead army of 8000 men forces Grenville to retreat westwards across the River Tamar.
Campaign at Lostwithiel.
Sir Thomas Fairfax is chosen to command the New Model Army. The Royalist army is also reorganised and a succession of command changes and squabbling ensues. Prince Charles becomes the Commander-in-Chief. The Royalists suffers a noted defeat at Naseby in Northamptonshire and Fairfax's men overrun them in confrontations in the south and west of England.
Launceston Castle eventually fell to Cromwell.
Cornish Royalist leader Sir Richard Grenville, 1st Baronet made Launceston his base and he stationed Cornish troops along the River Tamar and issued them with instructions to keep "all foreign troops out of Cornwall".
The siege of Pendennis Castle began in April 1646 and lasted for five months. Parliamentary forces attacked the castle from both land and sea and it finally surrendered on 17th August 1646.
Hopton advances from Stratton to Torrington en route to Exeter, but is driven out by Fairfax's men, and falls back to Stratton. Fairfax proceeds into Cornwall reaching Launceston (25th February) and Bodmin (2nd March). Hopton's army is in disarray but he refuses to surrender. News at Bodmin of an imminent Irish invasion further damages the Royalist cause locally and Fairfax offers Hopton terms. Surrender of the Royalist forces to the Parliamentarians takes place at Tresillian Bridge near Truro on 15th March.
|1648||The Gear Rout - The last Cornish armed uprising involving some 500 rebels.|
|1649||Charles I is executed. There follows 11 years of rule by Parliament as the Commonwealth under Cromwell.|
|1650||Sir Jonathan Trelawny was born near Looe. The hero of the Cornwall's National Anthem - Song of the Western Men.|
Rev. Hugh Peters baptised at Fowey in 1598 becomes Chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Author of numerous publications, his life ends by hanging and decapitation at Charing Cross in 1660.
|1652||Battle of Plymouth off Cornish coast, part of First Anglo-Dutch War.|
|1655||William Hals, the historian, is born at Tresawsen, Merther, near Truro. Part of his projected History of Cornwall is published in 1750, covering 72 parishes alphabetically from Advent to Helston. A manuscript for Illogan survives but the remainder is unfinished.|
|1658||Death of Oliver Cromwell. He is succeeded by his son Richard Cromwell.|
Richard Cromwell is forced to resign. The Rump Parliament is restored.
|1660||Charles II returns to England from Holland and is restored to the throne.|
The village of Flushing near Falmouth is founded.
Falmouth received its charter from Charles II.
|1662||Sir William Lower is born at Tremeer, St. Tudy. He becomes a noted playwright of his day. He is buried in London.|
|1666||Dr. Richard Lower, of Tremeer, St. Tudy, baptised in 1631, publishes information on the transfusion of blood between animals, and of an experiment practised on a man in London.|
|1671||A man called John Trehenban (1650-1671) of St. Columb Major, murdered two young girls and was sentenced to imprisonment in a cage on Castle an Dinas, and eventually starved to death.|
James II succeeds his brother, Charles II.
Sir Robert Geffrye, born at Landrake in 1613, becomes Lord Mayor of London. Dying in 1703 he leaves money for the building of almshouses (built in 1715). They are now renowned as the Geffrye Museum.
Imprisonment in Tower of London of Jonathan Trelawny for refusing to sign a paper to bring back Catholicism as official religion - acquitted.
Falmouth is selected as the most westward port for packets to carry mails to the Groyne (Corunna), and was named The Royal Mail Packet Station, the first sailing being in January 1689.
James Frances Edward, the Old Pretender becomes the Duke of Cornwall.
|1689||William and Mary become joint King and Queen after King James II abdicates and flees to exile in France.|
|1694||Death of Queen Mary, William III now rules alone.|
|1695||Thomas Martyn, a topographer, is born in Gwennap. He is noted for his 'New and accurate map of the County of Cornwall from actual survey' published in a number of editions and scales, from 1748 to 1784. He dies at Ashburton, Devon, in 1751.|
|1696||William Borlase, the Cornish antiquary, is born at Pendeen. Author of a 'Natural History of Cornwall' 1758 and 'Antiquities of Cornwall' 1754. Dies in 1772.|
The first lighthouse is built on the Eddystone Reef by Henry Winstanley.
Anne succeeds her brother-in-law, William III.
Sidney Godolphin becomes Lord Treasurer until 1710.
The first Falmouth Packet service across the Atlantic to the West Indies.
(27th - 28th August) A violent storm, the tail end of an American hurricane results in damaged houses, ships being driven ashore and the destruction of Henry Winstanley's Eddystone Lighthouse.
Daniel Gumb is born at Linkinhorne. Raised as a stone-cutter, he makes a name for himself as a self-taught mathematician. He makes his home carving out a rock by The Cheesewring. The roof serves as an observatory, and the whole as a place where he can study uninterrupted but near to his work. He becomes more reclusive and the home also serves as a chapel for him as he was never seen to attend the parish church. His wife and several children also live in the rock dwelling.
|1705||Grant to Anthony Nicoll for 2 fairs or markets at St.Tudy.|
|1707||(22nd October) HMS Association, the flagship of Sir Cloudesley Shovel, wrecked on the Scilly Isles.|
|1708||Grant in fee for Robert Hooker, gent. of 3 fairs at Camborne.|
The thatched Friends' Meeting House at Come-to-Good, near Feock is built.
Rudyerd's Tower built on the Eddystone rock, but burnt down in 1755.
|1710||Antony House, the home of the Carew family at Torpoint, begins construction, and is completed in 1721.|
|1711||Birth of Admiral Edward Boscawen near Falmouth.|
|1712||(5th November) Charles Mohun, 5th Baron Mohun, is killed in a duel with the Duke of Hamilton. Mohun has previously been tried and cleared (1692-3) by the House of Peers for the murder of William Mountford.|
|1714||George I, the first Hanoverian King, succeeds his distant cousin, Queen Anne after she dies at Kensington Palace. George Augustus, son of George I becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
(3rd May) "The most celebrated eclipse ever recorded in England. Totality passed right across England from Cornwall to Norfolk".
Jacobite uprising in Cornwall.
Trewithen House near Probus, under re-construction by Thomas Edwards of Greenwich is bought by Philip Hawkins.
|1718||John Anstis, born at St. Neot in 1699, (MP for St. Germans (1702) and Launceston (1713)) becomes Garter King at Arms. Author of a number of heraldic works.|
Thomas Newcomen comes to Cornwall to erect an atmospheric engine at Wheal Fortune in Ludgvan.
Thomas Pitt, otherwise known as 'Diamond Pitt', (1653-1726) buys Boconnoc, near Lostwithiel, and other manors in Cornwall with the proceeds of the sale of a famous 127 carat diamond to the Regent of Orleans (later Louis XV) in 1716 for approximately £125,000. While Governor of Fort St. George, Madras, he had bought it for around £20,400. Thomas Pitt becomes the grandfather of William Pitt the Elder (statesman) and Great Grandfather of William Pitt the Younger (Prime Minister), and 2nd Baron Camelford (see 1775).
Ralph Allen devises the first cross-country postal service. Known as 'The Man of Bath', he was born in St. Blazey in 1693, becoming Post Master in Bath; Contractor for Cross Posts (1722-1764) and Mayor of Bath 1742.
|1720s||Dolcoath, near Camborne, perhaps Cornwall's most celebrated mine, is already working and by 1778 is 160 fathoms deep. By 1864, equipped with its ten engines, seven water wheels, and a man-engine, it employs about 1200 people. Underground working ceases in 1920 by which time the bottom level is at 550 fathoms, the deepest of all the Cornish mines.|
|1721||Mining is in operation by this time at Botallack Mine on the cliff's edge near St. Just, and by 1800 the workings extended to over 100 fathoms and a long distance beneath the sea. It becomes one of Cornwall's richest tin mines. Operations finally end in 1914.|
|1727||George II succeeds his father, George I. Frederick Lewis, son of George II becomes the Duke of Cornwall.|
|1733||John Knill who instigated the 5-yearly celebrations at his mausoleum near St. Ives, is born at Callington. He becomes Collector of Customs at St. Ives and is elected Mayor in 1767. Resigning his Customs post in 1782 around which time he arranges the erection of a mausoleum on Worvas Hill as he "abhorred the practice of burial within the body of the church" which prevailed in St. Ives at the time. He moves to London and buys chambers in Gray's Inn Square and is called to the Bar in 1787. In 1811 he dies and is buried at Holborn, not St. Ives.|
|1734||Tehidy House, Illogan, is built for the Basset family to the design of Thomas Edwards of Greenwich. It is destroyed by fire in 1919.|
|1736||John Arnold, was born in Bodmin. He later perfected the ships chronometer.|
|1737||The Sherborne Mercury newspaper commences publication in Dorset. It includes Cornish news and advertising, and circulates throughout the south west of England. It continues until 1867.|
|1739||Carclew House designed by the architect Thomas Edwards, is built near Truro. It was destroyed by fire in 1934.|
|1740||Expansion of deep copper mining in Cornwall. This heralds the Industrial Revolution in Britain.|
|1741||John Williams is born. He becomes a successful mining engineer, and manager of Poldice and Gwennap mines. He is noted for driving the County Adit from Bissoe Bridge to drain the mines of Poldice, a task which lasts twenty years and the completed work, thirty miles long, takes in numerous branch adits and drains fifty mines. After profiting spectacularly from a sudden tin price rise, he builds Scorrier House, enlarging it substantially in 1845. After a serious fire in 1908, it is rebuilt.|
John Wesley's Methodism becomes the dominant religious denomination. This is his first of forty visits to Cornwall.
(13th June) The Dutch East India Ship Hollandia was wrecked off the Isles of Scilly. The entire ship's company of 276 - crew, soldiers and passengers - all perished.
|1745||William Cookworthy, (a Kingsbridge Quaker who began a wholesale chemist's business in Plymouth around 1733), having researched the Chinese manufacture of porcelain, obtains kaolin from Virginia in America. Around 1746 he locates china-clay and china-stone deposits on the western side of Tregonning Hill in Germoe parish, near Helston. On a later journey to Cornwall he finds much larger quantities in the vicinity of St. Stephen-in-Brannel and St. Dennis, near St. Austell.|
|1747||Admiral Boscawen wins fame at Cape Finisterre by singly engaging the French fleet until the English fleet arrive.|
|1748||Sir William Lemon, who becomes MP for Penryn (1769-72) and the County (1774-1824), is born in Truro. He dies at Carclew, Mylor, in 1824.|
|1751||The Lizard lighthouse is built.|
|1752||The Cornish Stannary Parliament is suspended, subsequent to a dispute with the Lord Warden, Thomas Pitt, over the location of the Convocation in Lostwithiel contrary to the wishes of the Stannators.|
(9th September) William Bligh, grandson of John Bligh of St. Tudy is baptised in Plymouth. In 1787 he sets sail as Captain of the 'Bounty' to procure bread fruit trees from the South Seas.
'Antiquities of Cornwall' by William Borlase, published.
(1st November) The Lisbon Earthquake strikes at about 09:40 hours. Its magnitude is somewhere between 8 and 9 on the Richter Scale, the epicentre being some 200 km West of Cape St. Vincent. It has knock-on effects throughout Europe, mostly in the form of flooding. Further damage is done by a Tsunami hitting the city & this is followed by several massive fires. In Cornwall, at St. Michael's Mount, at about 14:00 hours, the sea is observed to rise suddenly and then to retire. After 10 minutes the sea rises nearly 6 feet, very rapidly coming in from the South East; it then ebbs again to the West with the same speed for about 10 minutes, until it is nearly 6 feet lower than before. It returns again, and falls again in the same space of time, and continues to do so for some 5 hours after. In Penzance the tide rises some eight feet, at Newlyn Pier some ten feet. The same effect is reported at St. Ives & Hayle somewhat later.
|1756||The old church of St. Enuy at Redruth is taken down and replaced by a new building in the classical style, although its C15 tower remains.|
|1759||Smeaton's tower built on Eddystone rock, which was replaced in 1882.The top half of the tower was dismantled and re-erected on Plymouth Hoe as a monument to the builder.|
George III becomes king on the death of his grandfather, George II.
Rev. Richard Polwhele, who becomes the Vicar of Manaccan (1794-1821) and Newlyn East (1821-1838) and the author of a two-volume seven-part History of Cornwall, a similar work on Devon and many other books, is born at Truro.
Admiral Boscawen dies. A hero of his time, he assists in the capture of Porto Bello in 1740, commands a party which storms Carthagena in 1747 capturing two batteries, becomes Commander-in-Chief of the Navy in 1758, and, with General Wolff, captures Louisberg and in 1759 beats the French fleet in Port Lagos.
John Wesley first visits Gwennap Pit in 1762, and thereafter 18 times until his last visit in 1798 at the age of 86. In the entry in his Journal for Sunday 22nd August 1773 he estimates that 'two and thirty thousand' were present, and other dates record upwards of 20,000 in attendance. The pit we see today was remodelled by local tinners and their helpers, re-opening on Whit Monday 1807. The annual Whit Monday service is still a feature of the local Methodist calendar.
George Augustus Frederick, son of George III becomes the Duke of Cornwall.
|1765||Pencarrow, near Bodmin, is built in the Palladian style by Sir John Molesworth.|
|1766||Francis Basset inherited Tehidy and became M.P. for Penryn.|
|1767||Davies Gilbert (Giddy) PRS FAS FGS is born at St. Erth. He becomes a national figure of the Industrial Revolution, an antiquarian, the President of the Royal Society, and MP for Bodmin. He chairs several parliamentary committees concerning, for instance, the building of roads, steam power, feeding the population, and the Poor Laws. He moves in the same circles as Boulton and Watt, Peel and Canning, and Darwin, and many others; he is patron of Cornish inventors like Trevithick and Hornblower and he discovers Humphry Davy.|
|1768||William Cookworthy takes out a patent for the making of porcelain using Cornish materials, and this and the establishment of a (short-lived) porcelain factory in Plymouth is greatly supported by the Hon. Thomas Pitt of Boconnoc (later Lord Camelford) who grants Cookworthy a lease on his land in St. Stephen.|
|1769||The Bodmin to Launceston turnpike road is opened.|
|1770||John Smeaton, noted for the Eddystone lighthouse, constructs a pier at St. Ives, since lengthened.|
The 123 feet high obelisk commemorating Thomas Pitt, Lord Camelford, is erected at Boconnoc.
|1772||Henry Trengrouse is born at Helston. He became the inventor of the rocket line apparatus that fired a rope to stricken ships on the rocks, and enabled the crew to be taken off.|
|1773||The St. Columb Canal, proposed by John Edyvean, is authorised and planned to run from Mawgan Porth through parishes inland and to return to St. Columb Porth. Its purpose is to import sea-sand for manuring to improve land. Two sections are built. One, from Trenance Point to near Whitewater, and the other from Lusty Glaze to near Rialton Barton in St. Columb Minor.|
John Edyvean an engineer from Cornwall, invented the inclined plane system, to reduce the necessity for locks within the Bude canal system. He started building work on the St. Columb Canal, but died in the 1780's before it was completed.
William Cookworthy passes his patent for making porcelain from Cornish china-clay to Richard Champion, prompting the interest of Josiah Wedgewood, the distinguished Staffordshire potter. Following a legal battle, Champion loses his monopoly over the Cornish materials.
(28th July) Richard Hussey Vivian (afterwards General Lord Vivian) is born at Truro. During a distinguished military career he became MP for Truro (1820-25) and Windsor (1825-30), and later a Privy Councillor (1834), Master General of Ordnance (1835) and MP for East Cornwall (1837-41) at which time he was created Baron Vivian of Glynn.
Sir John Call's mansion at Stoke Climsland near Callington is built. It is demolished in 1912.
Thomas Pitt, 2nd and last Baron Camelford is born at Boconnoc, near Lostwithiel. He becomes a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, leads a short but remarkably adventurous life, and is mortally wounded in a duel with a friend Captain Best in 1804, behind Holland House, London.
Bodmin Jail is opened.
|1777||Dolly Pentreath, who dies in 1777, is often claimed to be the last speaker of the Cornish language. However, William Bodinar who dies in 1794 knows five people in Mousehole who speak the language. Others claim knowledge of it as late as the 1890s. It is probably safe to say that the last native speakers are alive in the late 19th century. However, the Education Act of 1870 makes the teaching of English compulsory in all schools.|
James Watt erects his first pumping engine in a Cornish mine at Great Wheal Busy near Chacewater, one of the oldest of Cornwall's copper mines. It replaces a Newcomen engine installed by John Smeaton. By now, the mine has worked at various times from 1700 and continues to do so until 1900.
|1779||Scottish engineer, William Murdoch, (born in Ayrshire in 1754) comes to Cornwall in the employment of Boulton & Watt.|
|1782||Joseph Treffry, famous for building the railway viaduct at Luxulyan and the harbour at Par, is born in Plymouth.|
|1784||William Murdoch makes a small steam locomotion which he tries successfully in Redruth in Church Lane.|
|1785||Birth of General Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert at Bodmin.|
|1786||John Silk Buckingham, MP, journalist and reformer, is born at Flushing near Penryn.|
|1787||Riots at Poldice mine due to the copper price depression.|
John Wesley's last visit to Cornwall.
Bread riots in Truro at the outbreak of the French Revolution - the tinners are nearly starved.
King George III and Queen Charlotte visited Cotehele House.
|1790||William Gregor discoveries manaccanite, now know as Titanium at Manaccan, on the Lizard Peninsula.|
Cornwall County Library is founded at Pydar Street, Truro, with nearly 30 subscribers, minimum subscription 1 guinea, and survived until 1920. In that time the library moved to Princes Street and then to the Public Rooms, situated between Quay Street and the Green.
James Ruse, a Launceston man, is deported on the first Australian convict ship.
A public meeting is held at Bodmin which resolves that a canal linking the River Camel to the River Fowey at Wadebridge would be advantageous. Sir William Molesworth arranges surveying and costings and plans are sent to John Rennie for comment. It all comes to nothing, but Marc Isambard Brunel surveys the Padstow - Fowey route in 1825 for a ship canal., proposing one 13 miles long. This too is not taken further.
In Truro the building of Boscawen Street and Lemon Street is started.
Lanherne at St. Mawgan in Pydar, formerly the family home of the Arundells, becomes a convent.
Billy Bray, Cornish evangelist, is born at Twelveheads, near Chacewater.
|1795||Longships Lighthouse completed.|
The American engineer and inventor, Robert Fulton, with the surveyor Charles Moody, examined the practicality of building a canal from the Helford River at Gweek to the Hayle River near St. Erth. It was not proceeded with.
"On Saturday 20th August at 20 minutes past 2 o'clock (p.m.) a slight Shock of an Earthquake was felt at St. Hilary near Penzance, which lasted 2 or 3 seconds being in the middle space of a rumbling Noise which attended it and which lasted 6 or 7 seconds. The Motion was from East to West. The Air was still. The Thermometer at 70" - St. Hilary parish records.
|1800||William Lovett, noted Chartist, is born at Newlyn. He migrates to London in 1821 where he becomes a formidable spokesman on behalf of the deprived.|
The Cornwall Gazette and Falmouth Packet newspaper commences publication in Truro, becomes the Royal Cornwall Gazette in 1803 and continues until 1951 when it is incorporated into The West Briton.
Richard Trevithick runs his road locomotive from Leather Lane, London - to Islington and back.
Trerice House is sold to the Acland family of Killerton in Devon.
Richard Trevithick invents a high pressure steam dredge.
Rev. Robert Stephen Hawker, the noted vicar of Morwenstow, is born in Plymouth. Famed as a poet,and particularly for The Song of the Western Men ('Trelawny'), he is remembered for risking his life to help shipwrecked mariners, supporting his impoverished parishioners, and for reviving harvest-time festivals. He dies in 1875. His cliff-top hut is a National Trust property.
(February) - Richard Trevithick runs his railway locomotive at Penydarren in Wales.
Glynn House, near Bodmin Parkway (formerly Bodmin Road) Railway Station is re-built.
The first announcement of the death of Nelson was made from the balcony of the Union Hotel, Penzance.
|1806||Caerhays Castle, designed by John Nash for J B Trevanion, is erected in St. Michael Caerhays parish.|
|1807||The wreck of the frigate, 'HMS Anson' which went aground with the loss of 120 sailors on The Loe Bar near Porthleven, is witnessed by Henry Trengrouse, the Helston cabinet maker. The terrible loss of life spurs him on to devise at his own expense a line-throwing apparatus to be propelled across any stricken vessel by a rocket. His successful experiments in 1816 pave the way for saving the lives of thousands of seamen. Like Richard Trevithick before him, he dies in poverty in 1854.|
|1808||The Board of Trade decreed that Falmouth was to become a compulsory pilotage area. The first pilot's licence was issued on 22nd December.|
Ordnance Survey's first mapping of Cornwall. It is published at 1" scale in 1813.
(21st June) HMS Primrose, an 18-gun Cruiser, was wrecked and sank after striking the Manacle rocks off The Lizard, with only 1 of the 126 on board surviving. Also on the same night HMS Dispatch was wrecked on the same reef.
|1810||The West Briton newspaper commences publication at Truro.|
|1811||Joseph Mallord William Turner toured Cornwall studying artwork and gallerys centering on St. Ives.|
Work is re-started at Great Wheal Vor Mine near Tregonning Hill. By 1820 it employs over 500 men underground. In the 1860s it is described as 'probably the richest tin mine in the world' by the Mining Journal. It closes in 1877, although part of the sett sees limited working at the end of the 19th century.
Refined soap is invented by William Pears of Mevagissey.
The brilliant Henry Martyn, born in Truro in 1781, dies alone in Tokat, having devoted his life to missionary work in India and Persia.
The worlds first steam powered rock boring machine was built by Harvey's of Hayle.
The Cornwall Central School is founded in Fairmantle Street, Truro, as Cornwall's first Anglican elementary school. It trains men and women teachers and, with a move to Agar Road, evolves into the Truro Training College which closes in 1938.
The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall was founded.
Ding Dong Mine in west Penwith is restarted and continues until 1878. Tradition says it was working in Roman times.
|1815||The miners safety lamp is devised by Sir Humphry Davy of Penzance.|
|1816||(20th October) Richard Trevithick goes to Peru - to superintend the Silver Mines on the Cerro de Pasco mountains, Lima and erect his engines. He returns on 9th October in 1827.|
|1817||Sir Charles Hawkins commences building the harbour at Pentewan for the shipment of china-clay. It is the first china-clay port to be linked by rail - a horse tramway - to its hinterland.|
|1818||The Royal Institution & Museum, situated in Pydar Street, Truro, is founded.|
|1819||Torpoint's chapel-of-ease, dedicated to St. James the Great, is erected. Its north and south galleries are removed in the 1930s.
Tresavean Mine, near Lanner, worked through much of the 18th century, is said to have already produced over £1,500,000-worth of copper ore. In the 1830s it is for a while the third largest copper producer in Cornwall, employing over 1300 people. By 1860 another £1,500,000-worth of ore has been sold. Working finally ends in 1927. From 1819 to 1840 the Consolidated Mines of Gwennap, worked as a number of smaller concerns from the 1750s, are the richest of all the Cornish copper mines, and for many years richest of the whole world. Ores to the value of £2,250,000 are sold. By 1838 63 miles of underground workings have been driven, and the mine employs 2000 persons.
George IV accedes to the throne, having spent the last nine years as Prince Regent for his blind and deranged father.
Silas E Martin of Crantock proposes a canal from Newquay to Retyn near St. Enoder to serve the then-prospering East Wheal Rose lead and silver mine and carry sea-sand for the land. John Edgcumbe carried out a survey but no action was then taken.
The population of St. Michael's Mount peaked with the island having 221 persons living on it. There were three schools, a Wesleyan chapel, and three public houses, mostly used by visiting sailors.
|1822||Wheal Fortune and Wheal Chance were consolidated by Joseph Treffry to form Fowey Consolidated Mine.|
(November) The Scilly Isles experience very heavy gales, which cause the loss of roofs and chimneys.
John Passmore Edwards of Blackwater near St. Agnes, journalist and philanthropist, is born. He amasses his fortune as a publisher and devotes his resources to helping the public library and cottage hospitals movements in particular. He realises his aim of establishing a library for every one of the 19 letters in his name (for instance at Penzance, St. Ives, Camborne, Redruth, Truro, Falmouth, and Bodmin) as well as village Institutes to help the education of the miners (Blackwater, St. Agnes, Chacewater etc.) and cottage hospitals (Liskeard, Perranporth etc). Most were in Cornwall, but several were in London. Many of the buildings that he paid for are still in use for their original purpose.
Porthleven Harbour is completed after fifteen years of difficulties during the construction.
William Jago of St. Columb Major announces plans to build a new port at St. Columb Porth for the conveyance of China Clay.
|1825-30||The Treffry Viaduct, 700 feet long and nearly 100 feet high, situated in the Luxulyan Valley, is built by Joseph Treffry.|
|1826||Redruth and Chacewater Railway (for goods and minerals) opens, running from Wheal Buller to Devoran, with a branch to Redruth. It closes in 1915.|
|1827||Penwerris St. Michael's church at Falmouth is erected, and is made parochial in 1848.|
|1827-8||The Liskeard and Looe Canal opens.|
|1828||St. Paul's church at Chacewater is erected, and is later repaired in 1886 following a lightning strike. Except for the tower, it is completely rebuilt in 1892 to the design of Edmund Sedding. Nearby St. Day church is built. Its original galleries are removed in 1930 and it was condemned in 1956 as unsafe and closed. A preservation scheme of the 1990s sees it re-open as stabilised ruin with a historical display. In west Penwith, Morvah church, dedicated to St. Bridget of Sweden is constructed.|
The Falmouth Packet and Cornish Herald newspaper commences publication in Falmouth and continues until 1848.
The St. Austell to Pentewan Railway (for goods and minerals) opens. It closes in 1918.
Sir Humphry Davy of safety lamp fame, dies.
|1830's||The Great Migration of the Cornish Miners begins in earnest and continues into the next century.|
William IV succeeds his brother, George IV, at the age of 64.
Richard and John Lander (born in Truro in 1804 and 1806 respectively) go out to Africa to discover the course of the Niger and become the first to find its source in November, returning home in June 1831.
St. Martin-in-Meneage church is erected, with the 15th century tower of an older building remaining.
|1831||William Bickford (born in Devonshire in 1744) who is a leather merchant in Tuckingmill (near. Camborne) devised and patented the Safety Fuse - in doing so, he saves countless miners and quarry workers from death.|
Richard Lander returns to Africa and dies of gunshot wounds at Fernando Po.
Brenton Symons AICI is born at Rosehill, Gwennap. He is educated at Truro Grammar School, becomes a noted lithographer, assayer, draughtsman and mineralogist, Civil Engineer of the Chontales Mining Co., Central America, 1866-68, Managing Director of the Servian Copper Mining and Smelting Co, 1871, and publishes maps of Falmouth, the Redruth Mining District and the Bodmin and Liskeard District.
Since 1823 Gwennap Mine has produced 30.1% of the total production of Great Britain's copper, and 37.7% of the Cornwall total.
Reform Act-Cornish M. P.`s reduced from 42 to 12.
Construction of Newquay harbour begins.
(22nd April) Richard Trevithick dies.
The Cornish Polytechnic Society in Falmouth is founded by 'the exertions of some ladies, among the most active of whom were the Misses Fox . . ' (reports RCPS, 1864). It was the first society to describe itself as 'polytechnic' and Miss Caroline Fox, (1820-1871), then aged 13, is credited with the idea.
Webb's Hotel, one of the finest in Cornwall, is built on the Parade at Liskeard.
The Isles of Scilly becomes the first place in Britain to have compulsory education, introduced by Augustus Smith.
St. Mary's church at Hugh Town, Isles of Scilly, is begun at the instigation of William IV. Penzance's church of St. Mary-the-Virgin, designed by Charles Hutchins, is built on the site of the ancient chapel on the headland which gives the town its name. It is made parochial in 1871. Severely damaged by an arson attack on 23rd March 1985 it is restored.
The West Briton joins the campaign against 'oppressive' royal taxation in Cornwall and miners rally in London to protest.
Queen Victoria succeeds her uncle, William IV
The earliest known published reference to the Cornish Banner - the Cross of St. Piran.
The Redruth Union Workhouse at Barncoose, Illogan is constructed to the design of George Gilbert Scott. Its remaining buildings now form part of the Camborne-Redruth Community Hospital.
China-clay production increases to around 13,000 tons a year from approximately 2,000 tons in the 1820s
Abolition of tin coinage (stannary), it was replaced by customs duties.
Construction of Newquay harbour is completed.
The Penzance Gazette newspaper commences publication, becoming the Penzance and Cornwall Gazette in 1855, and continues until 1858.
The Liskeard Union Workhouse is constructed, designed by John Foulston of Plymouth. It later becomes the Lamellion Hospital.
A chapel-of-ease for Liskeard parish is erected at Dobwalls.
Since 1823 Great Britain has produced 231,163 tons of copper, of which 198,200 tons, or 82.6%, have come from Cornwall's Mines.
(13th April) William and James Lightfoot were hanged at Bodmin Jail with an audience of 25,000 for the murder of businessman, Neville Norway.
|1840's||Significant emigration of Cornish Miners to Mexico and the Real del Monte silver mines; also to the iron mines of Lake Huron in Canada; and in the 1840's and 1850's to the Wisconsin lead mines in America; and to Australia following the discovery of copper at Kapunda and Burra Burra - and later Wallaroo and Moonta.|
Albert Edward, eldest son of Queen Victoria becomes the Duke of Cornwall.
Children's Employment Commission publishes a report by Dr. Charles Barham (of Truro) examining employment of children and young persons in the mines of Cornwall and Devon.
Man engine installed at Tresaven Mine, it had been invented 8 years earlier by Michael Loam.
Robert Stephen Hawker introduced the harvest festival service.
St Pirans oratory was excavated before the site was engulfed by sand again.
|1844-6||The Liskeard and Caradon Railway opens with horse power until 1862, transporting goods and minerals.|
John Couch Adams, born at Laneast in 1819, reported on his 1841-5 calculations re Neptune. His submission to the Astronomer Royal was put aside until 1846 when calculations by the French scientist Le Verrier were verified.
(9th July) East Wheal Rose (Newlyn East) mine disaster, 39 lives lost in flooding.
The first pan-kilns for the artificial drying of Cornish china-clay are introduced at Greensplat and Parkandillick and by 1858 annual production increases to 65,600 tons from 89 active china-clay works.
A new church is built at Illogan on a new site. The 14th century tower of the old one with a ring of six bells remains nearby.
The Penzance Journal newspaper commences publication and continues until 1850.
(16th July) Devastating floods swept down from Davidstow Moor, caused terrible damage in Boscastle and washed away all but 2 of the bridges along the River Camel - Wadebridge and Helland being the only survivors.
Trevose Head Lighthouse completed.
|1849||St. Paul's church, Charlestown, designed by Christopher Eales is built and consecrated in 1851. A fibreglass spire is added to the completed tower in 1971, and a peal of six bells by Taylor of Loughborough in 1972. In the same year St. Mary's church at Par is erected to the design of G E Street, his first complete church.|
Holy Trinity church at Carnmenellis is erected to serve the thriving mining community. In the same year Herodsfoot All Saints is constructed for similar reasons. G E Street's church at Treverbyn, St. Austell, dedicated to St. Peter, is also built. Declining population around Carnmenellis in the twentieth century leads to the eventual demolition of its church in 1970.
Period of greatest mining prosperity.
1850's - The greatest influx of Cornish miners to South Africa, to mine in the Namaqual and copper mines in the northern Cape.
The Census on Religious Worship showed that in Cornwall 27% are Anglicans. 60% are Methodists and the remaining are mostly non-conformists of other denominations.
The Cornish Telegraph newspaper commences publication in Penzance and continues until 1915.
Mary Kelynack, a Madron fishwife born in 1777 at Newlyn, walks alone from Cornwall to London to see the Great Exhibition where she met Queen Victoria.
West Wheal Basset near Redruth is re-started and yields good quantities of copper. By the 1860s it employs over 400 men. The adjacent South Wheal Frances is successfully worked at the same time.
Cornish architect Silvanus Trevail born in Luxulyan. He was Mayor of Truro 1894 - 1895 and, President of the Society of Architects.
|1855||St. George's church in Truro, designed by Rev William Haslam, vicar of Baldhu, is erected.|
Legal arguments of the Duchy of Cornwall defeat the Crown's aspirations of sovereignty of the Cornish foreshore. The Duchy argues that the Duke has sovereignty of Cornwall and not the Crown. During the same case, Parliament defines the Cornish as 'aborigines'.
Also on behalf of the Duchy, the following submission was made.
Thenceforth mineral rights above the Low Water Mark belonged to the Duchy and below it to the Crown.
The Launceston Weekly News commences publication and continues until 1931, when it is incorporated into the Cornish and Devon Post
John Verran, who becomes Premier of South Australia in 1910, is born at Cusgarne, Gwennap. Working in the Australian mines he becomes a strong trades unionist and is elected for Parliament in 1901, achieving leadership of the Labour Party in 1908. He dies in 1932.
Year of maximum copper production, 209,000 tons of ore produced.
|1856-57||The 144 feet high obelisk commemorating Lt-Gen. Sir W R Gilbert is erected at Bodmin.|
|1857||The Cornish Times newspaper commences publication at Liskeard.|
Lake's Falmouth Packet Newspaper commences its publication in Falmouth.
Construction of Godrevy Lighthouse begun.
Bishop Rock Lighthouse completed at a cost of £34,560.
The Miners Association established.
(May) The Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash is Isambard Kingdom Brunel's spectacular solution to bridging the River Tamar to allow the connection of the railway through Cornwall with the rest of the GWR system. 2,200 feet long and 100 feet above the water, it is officially opened on 2nd May 1859 by Prince Albert, having cost £225,000 and is opened to the public on 4th May 1859.
(October) Storm, said to be the worst since 1823, with numerous shipwrecks off Cornish coasts.
The East Cornwall Times newspaper commences publication in Launceston, and continues until 1877, when it is incorporated into the Cornish and Devon Post.
The St. Day Brick Works is begun at about this time by a Mr. Hawke. A large kiln is erected in 1874 and daily output is eventually 20,000 bricks per day. It closes down in 1912.
The foundation stone for Falmouth Docks was laid by Viscount Falmouth.
Marazion's All Saints church, designed by J P St. Aubyn, is built, replacing an old chapel-of-ease, which had become ruinous by 1735 and was rebuilt. In the same year St. Peter's church, Mithian is erected to a design by William White. Its spire is taken down in 1898 and a new three-stage tower is built in 1928.
'Cornwall Works' in Birmingham is built by the Tangye's, tool-makers of Illogan. The growth of their business follows success in moving Brunel's 'Great Eastern' ship from its stocks when all else had failed.
Cornwall's first Mining Exchange, where mining men could gather and transact business, is established in November in Camborne by Charles Carkeek in the former premises of the Miners' Bank. It closes around 1865. The Redruth Mining Exchange is established at the end of 1863 and its later premises in Alma Place still stand.
John Tabois Tregellas, 'the Cornish Matthews', a gifted lecturer and story-teller, dies and is buried at Llantysilio in Wales. Born at St. Agnes in 1792, and a merchant and mine purser by trade, he is best known for his dialect stories - for example Specimens of Cornish provincial dialect (1846) and Peeps into the haunts and homes of the rural population of Cornwall (1879).
The Duchy of Cornwall Management Act confirms that the Duke possesses seignory and territorial rights befitting a king.
(22nd April) John Harris, the poet (1820-1884) of Bolenowe, Camborne, wins the Shakespeare tercentenary first prize.
Mines Commission introduced.
|1865||St. Stephens' church at Treleigh, Redruth commences construction to a design by J Piers St. Aubyn.|
|1865-6||Newlyn St. Peter's church is built in the 14th century style. A north aisle is added in 1888.|
Collapse of copper prices begins the de-industrialisation of Cornwall and increases Cornish emigration.
The High Sheriff appeals for aid to prevent 'severe distress and great destitution' in Cornwall. Between 1860 and 1870 700 people die of poverty-related diseases in Truro alone.
Five of the crew of thirteen of Padstow lifeboatmen were drowned when going to the rescue of the schooner "Georgiana".
|1868||Sir Charles Lemon famous for development of much of Truro, dies aged 84.|
The Wolf Rock Lighthouse is completed at a cost of £62,726.
The Lostwithiel and Fowey Railway was opened.
|1870||A telegraph cable was laid from Porthcurno to Carcavellos in Portugal.|
|1871||Royal Cornwall Yacht Club (RCYC) was formed in Falmouth.|
|1872||The East Cornwall Mineral Railway opened from Kelly Bray near Callington to Calstock.|
|1873||A telegraph cable was laid from Porthcurno to Vigo in Spain.|
|1874||The Par to Newquay railway was taken over by Cornwall Minerals Railway and opened to traffic.|
|1875||The Duke of Cornwall sails down the River Nile accompanied by six blue and gold steamers towing supply barges. One carried 3,000 bottles of champagne, 4,000 bottles of claret, 10,000 pints of beer and four French chefs.|
|1876||(17th August) Act creates the Bishopric of Truro.|
The Cornish & Devon Post newspaper commences publication at Launceston.
(17th August) City status granted to Truro.
The first use of a high-pressure hose in the extraction of Cornish china-clay is introduced by the West Of England Company, but is sabotaged by the workers.
|1877-9||St. Nicholas' church, Tresco, Isles of Scilly, is erected. Mount Hawke church, by the architect Charles Hancock, is also built in 1878.|
The Cornishman newspaper commences publication in Penzance.
The Redruth Independent newspaper commences publication and continues until 1895.
Tresmere church is wholly rebuilt except for the tower, and re-consecrated in 1881.
A telegraph cable was laid from Porthcurno to Brest in France.
Most of Lanhydrock House is destroyed by fire.
Douglass's tower built on Eddystone rock.
At Temple on Bodmin Moor, the site of a 12th century Knights Templar commandery, St. Catherine's church is built to a design by Sylvanus Trevail in the location of an earlier one which had become ruinous by the 18th century.
Artists' colony established at Newlyn.
|1884||St. Andrew's at Redruth, daughter church to St. Euny's, is erected and completed in 1938.|
|1885||The church of St. John & St. Petroc designed by J L Pearson (architect of Truro Cathedral) is built at Devoran.|
|1886||Cornwall's first free public library service was founded by the creation of the Truro Free Public Library at the Public Rooms, Truro.|
|1886-7||J D Sedding's St. Elwyn's church at Hayle is erected, and is considered to be one of the architect's best works.|
The Newquay Guardian newspaper commences publication, and continues until 1911 when it is incorporated into the Newquay Express.
The Cambornian newspaper commences publication in Camborne, changes its title to The Western Star in 1890 and continues until 1896.
Camborne School of Mines was established.
(31st May) A new Town Hall is opened in Wadebridge.
Artists' colony established at St. Ives.
(1st April) Cornwall County Council is created by the Local Government Act of 1888. Committees include County Rate Basis, Finance, Highways and Bridges, Lunatic Asylum, Contagious Diseases of Animals, General Purposes & Parliamentary, Standing Joint, and Sea Fisheries.
The Cornish Post and Mining News newspaper commences publication in Camborne, and continues until 1944 when it is incorporated into The Cornishman. The St. Austell Star newspaper commences publication and continues until 1915. The Western Echo newspaper commences publication in St. Ives and continues until 1957 when it is incorporated in the St. Ives Times.
Commencement of the 'Cornishman' train service from Paddington to Penzance.
|1891||(9th March) A blizzard swept through Cornwall bringing snowdrifts up to 20 feet deep. But it is the hurricane force wind that causes most damage: over 200 lives are lost, the majority at sea where 63 ships founder. Upwards of 6,000 sheep and lambs die, and half a million trees are brought down.|
|1892||(20th May) All the broad gauge railway lines on The Great Western Railway were re-laid to the standard gauge.|
(10th January) Wheal Owles (St. Just) mine disaster, 20 lives lost in flooding.
The St. Ives Weekly Summary newspaper commences publication and continues until 1918. From 1910 it becomes a local edition of The Cornishman.
The first free public library building in Cornwall is provided when Penzance's Public Library is opened in Morrab Road. It is established with a bequest of £1,947 from Octavius Allen Ferris of Highgate, London, who gives similar amounts to Truro, Falmouth, Camborne and Redruth. Thomas Bedford Bolitho and J. Passmore Edwards each present 1,000 volumes. Passmore Edwards finances the building of these libraries too, as well as those at St. Ives, Bodmin, Liskeard and Launceston.
|1894||Newlyn Art Gallery opened.|
All Saints church, Millbrook, is built echoing the 15th century style.
|1896||Stannaries Court (Abolition) Act enforced.|
Blue Hiils Tin mine finally closes.
The Victoria Gardens in Truro are laid out and opened for public use in commemoration of the 60th year of the reign of Queen Victoria.
A telegraph cable was laid from Porthcurno to Gibraltar.
(2nd May) The liner The Paris, was stranded on the Manacles off the Lizard.
Annual production of Cornish china-clay is over 550,000 tons.
(26th September) Pendeen Lighthouse is commissioned.
Edward VII becomes King on the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.
The Cornish Guardian newspaper commences publication in Bodmin.
A telegraph cable was laid from Porthcurno to Maderia.
George Frederick Ernest Albert, second son of Albert Edward becomes the Duke of Cornwall.
|1902||Camborne and Redruth Tramway opens, Cornwall's only electric street tramway, and unique in Britain in providing for the transport of minerals too.|
New Iceworks are built at Newlyn harbour.
Publication of Jenner's 'Handbook of the Cornish language', prompts the revival of Cornish.
The first Cornish Rivera Express was run, reducing the Paddington to Penzance time to 7 hours from 8½ hours.
Cornwall accepted into Celtic Congress.
The Newquay Express newspaper commences publication, and continues until 1945, when it becomes the Newquay Guardian and Cornwall County Chronicle. In 1955 it is incorporated as a local edition of the Cornish Guardian.
Geevor Mine is the name given to the former North Levant Mine which has worked from about 1810. It survives as a working mine until August 1986. It re-opens as a mining heritage centre in August 1993.
|1906||A telegraph cable was laid from Porthcurno to Fayal in the Azores via the island of St. Helena.|
(13th May) Author Daphne du Maurier is born.
Thomas Merritt, composer of famous carols was born at Broad Lane, Illogan on October 26th 1863, the son of a copper miner. He attended Pool School until his father died when Thomas was age 11. For a time Thomas then worked at Carn Brea mine & later Tolvaddon Tin Streams. Mr Humphrey Broad taught him music for about 6 months at Redruth when he was about 18 or 19, but apart from that he appears to have had no formal training. He was organist at Chili Road Chapel & Illogan Highway Chapel. In addition to his carols, Merritt also composed (among others) The Christian Solider, an Oratorio & Shepherd of Israel, a Sacred Cantata. Merritt died on April 17th 1908, aged 46.
(4th October) The Alice Marie was wrecked in Mounts Bay after hitting the Runnel Stone.
The last hanging is performed in Bodmin Jail.
George V becomes King and Emperor of India on the death of his father, Edward VII, and his son Edward becomes the Duke of Cornwall.
Truro's three-spired cathedral is completed.
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, is knighted.
The St. Ives Times commences publication and continues until 1971.
St Pirans oratory was excavated and a number of skeletons, including one of a large headless man, were found before the remains were encased in a large concrete structure.
A new coal-fired power station is opened on Hayle Quay, it closed in 1977.
The granite quarries at Lamorna Cove ceased production.
75% of Cornish china-clay production is for shipment overseas.
Among the 2,000 people on board the ill-fated Titanic on 15th April, there was a group of Cornish miners hoping to build a new life in America.
A major strike occurs in support of a minimum wage of £1 5s 0d (equal to approx £82.00 in 2005) for the china clay industry in the St. Austell area. 200 policemen met 2,000 strikers at Bugle and charged the strikers and beat them back with truncheons.
159 china-clay works are in operation in Cornwall.
Young men across Cornwall flocked to join the services at the start of WW1.
|1915||Newlyn was selected as the Ordnance Survey datum point, the mean sea level from which all heights throughout Britain are calculated.|
|1917||The author Charles Causley was born in Launceston.|
A Torpedoed Tramp Steamer beaches near Land's End.
Celebrations across Cornwall as WW1 ends.
The amalgamation takes place of three large china-clay companies - Martin Brothers, the west of England and Great Beam Company, and the North Cornwall China Clay Company, to become English China Clays Ltd or ECC. It controls 50% of the production.
Tehidy House, near Illogan, is destroyed by fire.
Donald Healey transmits an air-to-ground radio message over Perranporth, the first in Cornwall and possibly in the country.
First Old Cornwall Society founded at St. Ives
(29th November) The Capitaine Remy ran aground just off Polkerris.
Cornwall's deepest mine, the 3,500ft Dolcoath, near Camborne closes.
The Forestry Commission purchase Cardinham Woods.
(February) The five-masted schooner Adolf Vinnen was wrecked off the Lizard in a gale during her maiden voyage.
The County Library Service begins. In January 1925 Cornwall County Council adopts the Public Libraries Acts, and by 1926 48 villages have boxes of up to 30 volumes sent out by bus and rail. In 1928 the first 'exhibition library van' is purchased, to carry about 2,000 books, visiting each village regularly to permit the public to select books for their village centre.
HMS Cornwall was launched at Devonport Dockyard, watched from across the river at Saltash by the crowds.
The St. Ives Society of Artists was founded.
Carclew House Gardens first opened to the public.
Bodmin Jail, the last County Jail in Cornwall, eventually closed.
First Cornish Gorsedd at Boscawen-un, (instituted by Henry Jenner) symbolising the resurgent interest in Cornwall's cultural and linguistic heritage conducted by Pedrog, Archdruid of Britain.
Cornwall College at Camborne is the first college of further education in the county.
|1929||Callington Old Cornwall Society holds the first Annual Midsummer Eve Bonfire on Kit Hill.|
|1930||The Council for the Preservation of Rural England publishes Cornwall: a survey of its coast, moors and valleys, with suggestions for the preservation of amenities. Its preface is contributed by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.|
The Roman Villa at Magor Farm, Camborne, is discovered.
Daphne du Maurier publishes her first book 'The loving spirit'.
Sir John Betjeman publishes his first book of poems 'Mount Zion'.
|1932||Miss Rowena Cade and her gardener begin to carve out the amphitheatre on the cliffs at Porthcurno which becomes the remarkable Minack Theatre. The process of the amalgamation of Cornish china-clay companies begun in 1919 continues with the formation of English Clays, Lovering, Pochin & Co (ECLP) which controls 75% of the industry.|
|1933||King Arthur's Great Halls in Tintagel are opened to the public.|
|1934||Carclew House owned by the Lemon family was destroyed by fire.|
Cornish author Silas Kitto Hocking becomes the first author to sell 1 million books in his lifetime.
George VI accedes to the throne upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII.
A large coal-fired power station is built by ECLP at Drinnick to serve the whole Hensbarrow area.
|1937||Godolphin House was aquired by the Schofields.|
|1938||(31st January) The SS Alba ran aground on the rocks off St. Ives.|
(3rd September) Start of WW2.
(29th June) Bombs fall on Torpoint during a German air raid.
Charlestown dock taken over for fitting out mine sweepers.
Mount Edgcumbe suffered a direct hit by a German bomb and was gutted by fire.
Captain Dick Yelland retires in January after 60 years work at the same china-clay works.
A medium wave radio transmitting mast is erected near Redruth.
|1943||(11th October) John Nettles the actor was born at St. Austell.|
(30th May) Falmouth is bombed during a German air raid, destroying a large petrol storage tank.
(6th June) Troops left from various ports and beaches all along the south Cornish coast for the WW2 D-day invasion.
East Pool mine closed and its engine was given to The National Trust in 1967.
Winston Graham published the first of his Poldark novels - Ross Poldark.
(8th May) VE day celebrated across the county marking the end of WW2.
|1946||The S.S. Sphene a coal carrying coaster, was wrecked and sank after striking the Mouls rocks off Port Isaac in bad weather.|
|1947||Cotehele House was donated to The National Trust.|
|1948||The Great Western Railway company was finally nationalised.|
Helston Folk Museum is opened in the former Market House.
Royal Institution of Cornwall suggests to the County Council the establishment of a County Record Office.
The Cable & Wireless Telegraph Engineering College opens at Porthcurno.
(6th September) Torrential rain causes terrible floods in Boscastle.
Wesley Cottage at Trewint was restored and opened to the public.
Mebyon Kernow (The Sons of Cornwall) is formed, initially as a pressure group working within existing political parties, canvassing for Cornwall to have greater control of its own destiny.
Charles Causley's first volume of poetry is published - Farewell Aggie Weston.
(6th February) Queen Elizabeth II's reign begins on the death of her father, George VI, and Charles her son becomes the Duke of Cornwall.
A telegraph cable was laid from Porthcurno to Harbour Grace in Newfoundland.
Rev Frederick Densham dies alone in his vicarage at Warleggan, which he is now said to haunt.
Mebyon Kernow wins first council seat.
|1956||Television came to Cornwall with the opening of the new transmitter at North Hessary Tor on Dartmoor.|
|1957||Geevor Tin Mine was visited by The Queen and Prince Philip.|
|1958||(3rd June) Serious flooding occurs at Boscastle in which Mr Charlie Berryman, the local Bandmaster, loses his life by drowning, and Miss Rachel Beadon, trapped in a telephone box, has to be rescued by fishermen.|
The Atomic Energy Authority took over operations in the tunnel under Kit Hill, and used the tunnel for underground explosions.
|1960||Mount Edgcumbe House, originally erected in 1547-54, is rebuilt following its destruction in the Second World War.|
|1960's||Counter-urbanisation results in major inward migration to Cornwall.|
Tamar Road Bridge opens for traffic at Saltash.
St. Austell Public Library is built to the design of F K Hicklin, County Architect. It is now a listed building.
Cornish Author, Derek Tangye, published his first book, 'A gull on the roof'.
An 800ft television mast is erected on Caradon Hill to supply East Cornwall with an improved TV service and some commercial channels.
(26th April) The Tamar bridge at Saltash was officially opened by the Queen Mother.
(July) Goonhilly Earth Satellite Station's first aerial ready for the launch of Telstar. This was the first satellite communication between the UK and the rest of the world.
Sir James Smith Comprehensive School at Camelford, designed by F K Hicklin, is built.
Newquay County Branch Library is built to the design of F K Hicklin, County Architect.
|1963||A pedestrian precinct is begun in the centre of St. Austell, containing a supermarket and shops, flats, offices, a restaurant and a multi-storey car park. It is designed by Alister MacDonald & Partners.|
The last steam train ran between Plymouth and Penzance.
An 500ft television mast is erected at Four Lanes near Redruth to supply West Cornwall with an improved TV service.
|1965||Tater Du Lighthouse built near to Lamorna Cove.|
Cornwall's new County Hall in Truro, now a listed building, is completed to the design of the County Architect's Department under Alan J Groves.
(8th June) Leo Walmsley, a Yorkshire born author who lived most of his life in Cornwall, dies at Fowey.
The Tall Ships Race started in Falmouth.
(18th March) The Torrey Canyon goes aground on the Seven Stones reef between Land's End and The Isles of Scilly with a cargo of 119,328 tons of crude oil en route from the Persian Gulf to the BP Refinery in Milford Haven. Salvage preparations are begun, but by 21st March the oil slick was 35 by 20 miles in extent and the ship is abandoned. The entire Cornish coastline, north and south, is polluted by the end of the month.
A Chapter House is added to Truro Catherdral.
Queen Elizabeth accompanied by Prince Charles and Princess Anne visit the Isles of Scilly.
|1968||The wreck of HMS Association was discovered just off The Isles of Scilly. More than 2,000 coins and other artefacts were finally recovered from the wreck site and auctioned by Sotheby's in July 1969.|
|1969||Kilbrandon Report into the British constitution recommends that, when referring to Cornwall - official sources should cite the Duchy not the County. This was suggested in recognition of its constitutional position.|
Foundation of the Institute of Cornish Studies in Exeter University.
Institute of Cornish Studies set up at Trevenson House, Pool, with Prof. Charles Thomas as its first Director.
|1972||Peninsula West, Cornwall's first modern-day free newspaper, commences publication and continues until 1974.|
The Cornish Chough became extinct in Cornwall.
Reform of Cornish Stannary Parliament.
(1st April) Local Government re-organisation establishes 6 new districts, Penwith, Kerrier, Carrick, Restormel, Caradon and North Cornwall.
Creation of the Cornish Studies Library in Redruth.
The North Cornwall Courier newspaper commences publication in Bodmin, continues as the Cornwall Courier, published in Falmouth, and thence until 1986, to be succeeded by the Newquay Packet and the St. Austell Packet (local editions of the Falmouth Packet).
The filming of the famous Poldark series begins using many locations on the north coast.
(24th September) 80 properties in Polperro are seriously flooded.
The Stannators right to veto Westminster legislation is confirmed by Parliament.
|1978||Peter Mitchell of Cornwall receives the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his contribution to the understanding of biological energy transfer through the formulation of the chemiosmotic theory.|
|1979||(6th May) Bernard Leach founder of the Leach Pottery dies aged 92.|
Mid Cornwall Galleries opened at St. Blazey Gate.
The new Mary Williams Pier at Newlyn harbour was completed, and opened by her Majesty the Queen.
|1981||(20th December) Penlee Lifeboat Disaster - 8 lifeboatmen, all unpaid volunteers, perished today off Land's End with 4 shipwrecked sailors they had rescued. The lifeboat 'Solomon Browne' was launched from the fishing village of Mousehole into hurricane-lashed seas and was crushed against the 1,400ton coaster, Union Star, by 60ft. waves.|
(15th June) The Falklands war ends when Argentine troops surrender to the British.
The Tall Ships Race started in Falmouth.
(17th January) Radio Cornwall begins its service in Truro.
Tehidy Country Park was bought by Cornwall County Council.
(26th December) Launceston Steam Railway opens on the original LSWR Track.
Channel 4 TV finally arrived in Cornwall.
The Gazette: Launceston and Bude newspaper commences publication in Launceston. In 1987 it becomes The Launceston and Bude Gazette, in 1989 the Launceston, Bude and Holsworthy Gazette, and changes its title again, to the Journal Gazette in 1991.
(19th May) Author Sir John Betjeman dies.
Geo-thermal experiments using hot-rock energy are successful at Rosemanowes, Longdowns, near Helston.
Creation of the new Courts of Justice at Truro, designed by Evans and Shalev, begins.
(1st April) Britain's first Air Ambulance service is launched in Cornwall.
The Duke of Cornwall suggests the formation of a Devon and Cornwall Development Corporation thereby promoting closer administrative links. Concerned Cornish label this concept 'Devonwall'.
(6th July) Pollution of Lowermoor Water Treatment Works, Camelford.
Mount Edgcumbe House is opened to the public.
Cornwall produces over 3.25 million tons of refined china-clay, mostly from the St. Austell area.
The town of Saltash is by-passed with a 3-lane tunnel on the Cornish side carrying the A38.
Newquay's Martin Potter was World Surfing Champion.
(24th - 25th January) Storm winds of 177 mph are recorded in Falmouth. The Polurian Hotel at Mullion loses its roof. 400,000 South West residents are left without power for 2 hours. 50,000 Cornish residents lose power for over 24 hrs.
Geevor tin mine closes.
Cornwall's unemployment has increased by 300% since 1961 (20,000 cf. 5,000) while its population has increased by 39% (473,000 cf. 339,000).
Restoration of The Lost Gardens of Heligan is begun.
(3rd April) Cornwall's first commercial radio station, Pirate FM102, begins broadcasting from Redruth.
(30th December) Polperro suffers extensive flooding and 99 properties are deluged.
The joint Cornwall and Devon bid for Objective One funds fails because of Devon's high GDP.
Geevor tin mine opens as a heritage centre.
The Cable & Wireless college at Porthcurno closed.
The Queen handed out maundy money during a visit to Truro.
Launch of new campaign for a University for Cornwall by Sir Geoffrey Holland, Vice-Chancellor of University of Exeter.
(2nd June) Callington Heritage Centre opened.
Sharp's brewery is established in Rock.
Seaton Valley Country Park is opened by Caradon District Council.
The Ministry of Agriculture conducted an official investigation into the Beast of Bodmin.
Land's End goes on sale in a package deal with John O'Groats.
Statistics reveal that out of 56 deprived communities in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, 51 are in Cornwall.
(26th October) Author of the Minack Chronicles, Derek Tangye dies.
The first Lafrowda Festival is held at St. Just.
(July) A major restoration programme is carried out at Penlee House Art Gallery & Museum.
(November 15th) The inaugural performance at The Hall for Cornwall takes place.
(19th July) The Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race started in Falmouth.
(February) Cornwall County Council vote in support of the campaign to include Cornish as a minority ethnic group for the purposes of the forthcoming 2001 Census. The Government's Office of National Statistics subsequently agrees the inclusion. English China Clays International (ECCI) is acquired by the French company Imetal, which changes its name in the same year to Imerys.
(25th March) Cornwall is awarded Objective 1 status.
(22nd May) Cornwall beat Gloucestershire at Twickenham in the Rugby Union County Championship.
(August) The Government's Compliance Report to the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities declines to recognise the term 'national minority' as applicable and applies the Council of Europe principles to ethnic groups and visible minorities, using the Race Relations Act 1976 to define racial groups. The Scots, Welsh and Irish, although not 'national minorities' as defined by the Government, are included as racial groups, implying that the Cornish are neither.
(11th August) A total eclipse of the Sun occurs over the south-western part of the UK mainland.
|2000||Saltash Museum opened.|
(22nd October) The Cornwall Centre opens at Alma Place, Redruth, as a significant town centre regeneration project, at a cost of £2.6million. It incorporates the much-enlarged Cornish Studies Library with a visitor centre, 12 shop units with a market stall area, and Cornwall's first 'Forum' scheme for housing and training homeless young people.
The Cornish Chough returns to the cliffs in Cornwall.
The Tamar Bridge at Saltash is widened to 5 lanes.
(March) The Council of Europe request the Government to consult the Cornish with a view to incorporating Cornish language, history and culture into the education curriculum.
(April) Liskeard and District Museum was re-opened in the refurbished and extended Foresters Hall.
(5th November) UK Government confirms that Cornish will be included in the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, joining Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Scots and Ulster Scots as a protected and promoted language within the United Kingdom.
(10th July) The author of the Poldark novels Winston Graham dies aged 95.
(27th March) HMS Scylla was sunk in Whitsand bay near Rame Head to provide a living reef.
(13th April) Baseresult claims a new era of mining has begun at South Crofty mine, which it acquired in 2001, with the blasting of a new tunnel to link the Tuckingmill Decline with New Cook's Kitchen shaft. The company estimates an 80-year life for the mine.
The annual value of china-clay sold from the UK is over £200 million. UK china clay from the St. Austell area is used for paper coatings (21%), paper filling (49%), ceramics (21%) and plastics, rubber, paint, etc (9%).
(10th June) Nick Darke a well known Cornish playwright dies. He was born in 1948 in St. Eval near Padstow.
Radio Scilly started transmissions from the The Isles of Scilly.
The university at Penryn starts offering courses on Cornish Studies.
(18th August) Penhallow hotel in Newquay was destroyed by fire and cost the lives of three people.
(18th October) The Castle, Bude is opened to the public as a restaurant and heritage centre.
(January) Radio St. Austell Bay launched in the St. Austell area.
The standard written form of the Cornish language was agreed.
A million pounds has been awarded to 'Funding for Cornish Museums'.
(30th October) Parts of north Cornwall are hit by serious flooding.
An Eco-Town has been short listed for contruction in the St. Austell area.
(4th June) An election for Cornwall's new unitary council took place.
(19th June) First cases of swine flu hit Penzance.
(13th July) A private buyer bought the Upton Towans beach near Hayle for £80,000.
(24th August) David Cameron's wife Samantha gives birth to their fourth child in Truro hospital.
Wave Hub installed off the Cornish coast near Hayle. The world's largest wave energy site.
Trewey Mill at Zennor Wayside Folk Museum is restored and put into working condition.
(17th November) Altarnun and other parts of Cornwall hit by flash floods.
(22nd February) Delabole wind farm re-opened with 4 new huge wind turbines replacing the 10 earlier ones.
(17th March) The Eden Project celebrates its 10th anniversary.
(18th May) Land's End is announced as the starting point for the 2012 Olympic torch relay across Britain.
(4th June) Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip visit the Isles of Scilly.
(6th December) Princess Anne visits the Tamar Bridge at Saltash which celebrates its 50th anniversary.
(14th March) St. Austell looses its bid to be given city status.
(19th May) The 2012 Olympic torch parade sets off from Land's End on its journey across Cornwall.
(2nd July) Prince Charles and Camilla visit The Isles of Scilly and Cornwall for three days.
(6th March) BT announces plans to connect the Isles of Scilly to the Internet by fibre optic cable.
(22nd March) After days of heavy rain a house in Looe is swept away in a landslide with one person killed.
Ancient Sites in Cornwall 1497 The Cornish Rebellion Cornish Stannary (Tin) Law
The Civil War in Cornwall The Duchy of Cornwall Cornwall's Patron Saints
Famous Cornish People Notable Cornish Families Mining in Cornwall