The Duchy of Cornwall
William the Conqueror allocated Cornwall to one of his relatives, and by 1337 Edward III created the Duchy as an estate for the eldest sons of the monarch. This has remained the case down the ages, through 24 Dukes of Cornwall, to Prince Charles today.
Edward the Black Prince rode into Launceston Castle in 1337 to be proclaimed the first Duke of Cornwall. This was the first Duchy to be created in England. Apart from owning large estates the Dukes of Cornwall claimed taxes from tin and other mineral rights. The taxes on tin continued until 1828, although after this date they still received income from mineral rights. This was also known as Cornish Stannary (Tin) Law.
In 1760 the Crown gave up its estates to the nation in exchange for an income, but the Duchy of Cornwall estates were not included in this deal. The power of the Duchy politically can be seen in the fact that Cornwall returned 44 MP's to parliament until 1832 - the same number as the whole of Scotland. Today Cornwall is represented by only 5 MP's in a much larger House of Commons.
Nothing appears to have been written about the life or works of the 24 Dukes of Cornwall over the years, apart from the fact that they drew considerable wealth from the estates.
The Duchy of Cornwall refers to the land owned by the Duke of Cornwall, and not to the County of Cornwall. The Duchy owns 51,885 hectares, mostly in the south of England (and not necessarily all in Cornwall, in fact over half the estate is on Dartmoor in Devon) , which is run on a commercial basis - tenanted out to some 200 farms, plus 2400 acres of woodland, a few castles and mineral rights over the whole county.
Shellfish farming is the main commercial activity in the Duchy's estuaries. The most important is the historic Duchy Oyster Farm on the Helford River.
The Isles of Scilly have been part of the Duchy of Cornwall since its foundation in the 14th Century. The Duchy owns the freehold of most of the land and nearly a third of the residential buildings on the Islands.
The Duchy is above all else a landed estate and will continue to be so. Its relationship with the people who work on the land is of paramount importance and it is the farmer who is the backbone of the whole operation.
Edward, the Black Prince, 1337-1376 - the first Duke of Cornwall.
Richard of Bordeaux became Duke in 1376 at the death of his father, the Black Prince, then King Richard II.
Henry of Monmouth, 1399-1413, assumed title when his father, Henry IV, became king, later King Henry V.
Henry, 1422, then as King Henry VI.
Edward, son of Henry VI, 1453, killed 1471.
Edward, son of Edward IV, 1470-1483, then as King Edward V. One of 'the princes murdered in the Tower'.
Arthur, 1486-1502, eldest son of Henry VII.
Henry, younger son of Henry VII 1502-1509, then as King Henry VIII.
Edward, 1537-1547, then as Edward VI.
Henry Frederick, eldest son of James I, 1603-1612.
Charles, younger son of James I, 1613-1625, them as King Charles I.
Charles, son of Charles I, 1630-1649, then as King Charles II.
James Frances Edward, the Old Pretender, 1688-1689.
George Augustus, son of George I, 1714-1727. then as George II.
Frederick Lewis, son of George II, 1727-1751.
George Augustus Frederick, son of George III, 1762-1820, then as King George IV.
Albert Edward, eldest son of Queen Victoria, 1841-1901, then as King Edward VII.
George Frederick Ernest Albert, second son of Albert Edward, 1901-1910, then as King George V.
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, son of George V, 1910-1936, then as King Edward VIII and later the Duke of Windsor.
Charles Philip Arthur George, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, 1952-.
Cornish Stannary (Tin) Law Cornwall's History Farming in Cornwall Famous Cornish People