Penryn Cornwall Website Banner

Hals' History of Cornwall, ca1730


Gluvias is situated in the hundred of Kerryer, and hath upon the north Peran-Arworthan, east Mylor, west Mabe, south Budock. Here was an endowed church or chapel, or place of jurisdiction, before the Norman conquest; for in the Domesday Roll, 20 William I. 1087, Gluvias is rated as such. In the taxation of benefices in Cornwall, made by the Bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, 1294, Ecclesia de Sancto Gluviano, in Decanutu de Penryn , is rated xls. In Wolsey's Inquisition, 1521, it is valued together with Budock, in £21 16 9.; before which time it seems those churches were united and consolidated by the Bishops of Exeter, the patrons and endowers thereof; the incumbent Collyer; the rectory, or sheaf, in possession of Ennys; and the parish rated to the 4s. per pound Land Tax, 1696, £132 11s.

Roscrow is the dwelling of Alexander Pendarves, Esq., that married the Lady Dorothy Burke, daughter of the Earl of Clanricarde, and afterwards the daughter of Colonel Granville, his father Carew, his grandfather St. Aubyn, his great-grandfather (Roberts of Truro); viz. Samuel Pendarves, Esq., Sheriff of Cornwall, 19th James I. who gave for his arms, Sable, a falcon rising between three mullets Or; originally descended from the Pendarveses of Pendarves, or Constenton, as I am informed.

Roscrow have name and origin to an old family of gentlemen surnamed Roscrow, whose heir, about the time of Richard II was married to one of the Seneschalls of Holland where John de Seneschall held by the tenure of knight's service part of a knight's fee of land, 3 Henry IV, from whence it appears also that Luke, the son of Bernard Seneschallus, was by letters mandatory, or a mandamus, made one of the Barons of the Exchequer, by King Richard I.

Innis, Enys, Ennis, is an island or place encircled with water, in this place to be construed as a river island; where two rivers in their confluence meet, and shape the land between them in form of a corner, or triangle; from which place was denominated an old British family of gentlemen now in possession thereof, surnamed Enys; particularly John Enys, Esq., that married the inheritrix of Gregor of Truro, his father Pendarves, his grandfather Winifred, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Price, of Trewardreva; and giveth for his arms, Argent, three waters enets Vert , creatures frequently seen in the rivers by which those lands are insulated.

A great number of places, or lands in Cornwall, under the like circumstances, are from hence dominated Enys, Ennis, and Ennys in S. Erme, Roach, Luxsilian, Peransand, taken some times with other words.

Gosose river, in this parish (the slow-wood river), situate upon Gosose creek of the sea; from whence was denominated Gosose tenement, the native place of Captain Henry Carverth (i.e. rock-strength, or Carveth, rock-grave), who being bred to sea affairs and navigation in his youth, was taken into the service of King Charles II. in the beginning of his Dutch and French war, 1665, to whom he gave the command of a frigate, in the several engagements of the Dukes of York and Albemarle in their sea-fights with those nations; wherein he demeaned himself so well in point of valour and conduct, that after those wars were ended he was chosen one of the standing Captains under the Earl of Ossory, for which he received about £300 per annum salary, during his life, which ended about the year 1684, when he had a military interment in this church: who dying without legitimate issue, left his brother, Thomas Carveth, of this place, gentlemen, his heir and executor, who giveth for his arms, Argent, a chevron between three talbots Sable. Those gentlemen, from living at Carveth, or Carverth, in Mabe were transnominated from Thoms to Carverth; as another family of these Thomses, from living at Carnsew, in the said parish, were transnominated to Carnsew; and there are some deeds yet extant dated tempore Henry VIII which will evidence the truth of this fact, as Mr. Carverth told me.

Between the parishes of Budock and Gluvias, on a promontory of land shooting into the sea creek of Falmouth harbour, between two vales and hills, where the tide daily makes its flux and reflux, stands the ancient borough of Penrin, or Penryn, a name given and taken from the natural circumstances of the place; and by the name of Penrin it was taxed as the voke lands of a considerable manor in Domesday Roll, 20 William I. 1087.

This place I take to be the OCRINUM of Ptolemy. The town was a privileged manor, with a court leet, before the Norman Conquest; and in the year 1230 King Henry III granted a charter to William Brewer, Bishop of Exeter, then lord thereof, as his successors still are, in right of the bishopric of Bodmin, or Cornwall, long before annexed to Exeter. It was also incorporated by King James I by another charter, consisting of a Mayor, Recorder, and Portreeve, eleven Magistrates, and twelve Assistants; with liberty to send two of its members to sit in the Commons' House of Parliament, to be elected by the majority of those that are free men, and pay rates and taxes. It is also, amongst many other things apportenanced with markets weekly, upon Wednesdays and Saturdays; fairs on May 1, July 7, December 21; and of old had free warren in all the King's lands. The arms of this town are a Saracens' head couped at the shoulder, and crowned, or environed with a laurel.

The Precept from the Sheriff on the Parliament writ, as also to remove an action at law depending in this leet to a superior court, must be thus directed: "Majori et Burgensibus Burgi sui de Penrin in Comitatu Cornubiae salutem," otherwise, "Proposito, Ballivis, et Burgensibus Burgi sui de Penrin"; and to remove an action from the court leet of Penryn foreign: "Senescallo et Ballivis manerij de Penrin foreigne salutem."

But, alas! notwithstanding all it privileges, our Cornish Historian, Mr. Carew, in his time, tells us that on the top of a creek Penrin town hath taken up its seat; rather passable than notable for wealth, buildings or inhabitants. Though now, tempore, Charles II. I take it to be much altered for the better in these particulars, and to be parallel with, or equal therein, with any other town in Cornwall. And moreover, I look upon it as the most commodious, pleasantly situated, and healthful borough within that province, it being situated upon a hill, and having continually passing through its streets a useful river of water, and through the gardens and orchards of the town, behind the street-houses on each side, pass two considerable mill-leats, or rivers of water, met daily by the flux and reflux of the sea.

Where, on the south of this town, on one of those rivers, Walter Brounscomb, Bishop of Exeter, 1260, at a place called Glasnith, or Green-ford so named from the estuaries, or ebbing and flowing of the sea under it, found and endowed a collegiate church of Black Canons, or Canons Augustine, that could not marry wives, consisting of twelve prebends and a dean; "Clerici tresdecem, personae discretae,, are the very words of the leger book of its foundation; and then endowed and confirmed all by a charter in these words, as translated from Bishop Brounscomb's original Latin.

"To give to God, the blessed Virgin Mary, and S. Thomas of Canterbury, in Budock, Penryn, and Glasnith College, and his thirteen canonical brothers and their successors, all lands, woods, meadows, waters, pastures, mills, laws, rents, and courts, and all things to the same pertaining, to possess, have hold, and enjoy for ever. This agrees with the register,

Robert Michell, Register, 1611."

Afterwards this collegiate church, thus founded and endowed, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, received a greater augmentation of wealth, lands, and revenues from John Grandison, Bishop of Exeter, 1358, who had persuaded all rich priests of his diocese to make him his heir and executor, in order to build and endow churches with their riches; which trust, in a great measure, he performed to his lasting credit and renown; so that at length, amongst others, this collegiate church's yearly revenues, at the suppression, 26 Henry VIII was valued at £205 10 6 according to Speed and Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum, now worth £1200.

This collegiate church is now entirely demolished. Since the beginning of this century there was one of its towers standing, but it is lately pulled down, and a dwelling-house built in the place where it stood.

Bishop Brounscomb died 1280, and lies buried in his cathedral church of Exeter.

The chief inhabitants of this town of Penrin are Mr. Hallamore, Mr. Worth, Mr. Hearle, Mr. Kempe, Mr. Bloyse, Mr. Melhuish.

The Lady Jane Killigrew, of Arwinick, for some protection and favour shewn her in her troubles by the Mayor of this town, gave a silver cup and cover to the Mayor of this town and his successors for ever, containing about three quarts, and about £12 value, whereon is this inscription: "From Mayor to Mayor, to the town of Penryn, when they received me in great misery.

Jane Killygrew, 1613."