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Universal Business Directory of 1791


PENRYN is an ancient borough in the hundred of Kirrier, in the county of Cornwall, pleasantly situated on a hill between two other hills, at the head of a navigable river, whose entrance is guarded by the strong and impregnable fort of Pendennis. It is exceedingly well watered, having streams of water running through it; and is bounded by a stream of water on each side.

This place was first incorporated by James I. and is now governed by a corporate body, consisting of twelve aldermen, twelve common councilmen, a recorder, a steward, and other inferior officers. The right of election is in the mayor, portreeve, aldermen, and inhabitants at large, who pay scot and lot. The number of voters is about one hundred and forty. Returning-officer the mayor. This is a scot and lot borough. The number of housekeepers paying to church and poor is about one hundred and forty. The property is divided between the Earl of Mouth Edgecumbe and Sir Francis Bassett; but the latter has, at present, the greatest part, and the majority of the electors are in his interest.

Penryn is an ancient manor, belonging to the see of Exeter; of which it is now held by the corporation, at a small annual rent. It is a free borough, and held by the corporation, at a small annual rent. It was a free borough, and had a market before 30 Edward I. and has sent representatives to parliament every since the first of Queen Mary. It was made a free borough about the year 1270, by Walter Bronescomb, then bishop of Exeter. It sends two members to parliament; the present are Sir Francis Basset, Bart. and Richard Glover, Esq.

Here was once a monastery, which was a cell to Kirton; and her are still to be seen a tower and part of the garden-walls, the ruins of a collegiate church.

There is no church within the borough, but the inhabitants attend divine service at the adjacent parish church of Gluvias, the vicar of which has the benefits of the borough. There are two markets in the week here, viz. Thursdays and Saturdays; and there are three fairs held here in the year, viz. May 12, July 7, and December 21.

Penryn is distant from Truro nine miles east, Grampound seventeen east, Marazion twenty west, St. Ives twenty-two west, Mitchel seventeen east, St. Columb's sixteen east, Penzance twenty-three west, Redruth eight west, and from London two hundred and sixty-two.

The principal street of Penryn is spacious and airy, and there are many very good houses. There is a fish-cross, market-house, town-hall, assembly-room, and an excellent town-clock with chimes, made by Tompion. Upon the streams, before mentioned, are four grist-mills and a paper-mill; and in the town are three very good porter and beer breweries. This place is the granary of the south-west of the county, the warehouses for flour and grain being very numerous, and the supply from the Isle of Wight and Hants being considerable. An extensive woollen-manufactory was once set on foot near the old abbey lands of Glasney, but for want of proper management did not succeed. At present trade is not very considerable here, but is likely to increase.

The inhabitants of Penryn are a loyal and affectionate people, and have raised a larger body of volunteers than any other town in Cornwall, for internal defence. They consist of four companies, and of the following commissioned officers:

Sir Francis Basset, Bart. Lieutenant-colonel Commandant
George Chapman George, Esq. Major


Benjamin Hearne, Esq.
Edward Penwarne, Esq.
Richard Harris, Esq.


Richard Behenner
Christopher Robins

Edward Williams
Richard Spargo
James Edgcome, jun.


John Street
William Pellowe
Thomas Adams

Rev. Robert Dillon, Chaplain
Hugh Parker, Acting Adjutant
John Street, Surgeon

The non-commissioned officers are, a sergeant-major, twelve sergeants, and twelve corporals. They have sixteen drums and fifes, two triangles, a long drum, and a pair of symbols. The privates amount to two hundred. They have a handsome pair of colours, presented them by their lieutenant-colonel, and are in every respect completely accoutred and disciplined.

Mr. Rymer gives very remarkable account how Penryn was once saved by a company of strolling players, viz. That, towards the latter end of the sixteenth century, the Spaniards were landing to burn the town just as the players were setting Sampson upon the Philistines, which performance was accompanied with such drumming and shouting, that the Spaniards thought some ambush was laid for them, and scampered back to their ships.

There is a very numerous and respectable lodge of free masons held at the principal inn in this borough, viz. the Lodge of Joy, Peace, and Brotherly Love, at the house of Brother Pellowes, the sign of the King's Arms. Treasurer, Francis Mukins, Esq. Secretary, William Crowsey, who is also commissary for French prisoners at the prisons of Kergilliack and Roscrow. Chaplain, Rev. Robert Dillon.

The manor of Penryn Forryn has a court of record, and the stewart holds pleas to any amount, and proceeds by bailable capias in all cases above ten pounds.

Steward of the Manor of Penryn Forryn

Philip Webber


William Pellowe
Richard Toy
Ezehiel Gregg
William Edgcombe

Sergeants at Mace

John Edey
Thomas Nurden

John Edey, Crier

Bread-weighers and Ale-conners

John Behenna

James Grey
Stephen Harris
William Turner

James Pellowe, Quay-master
Lewis Crowle, Master of the Workhouse


William Pellowe
Richard Toy


Jonathan Hornblower
Peter Price
William Croggen

The London mail comes in every Friday, and goes out the Sunday following.

The following is a list of the principal inhabitants:


Sir Francis Basset, Bart. Recorder
John Thomas, Gent.
William Williams, Gent.
William Jackson, Esq.
Edward Coode, Esq.
Benjamin Pender, Esq.
Rev. William Baker
John Stona, Gent.
Joseph Dillon, Esq.
Rev. Robert Dillon
Edward Penwarne, Gent.
John Penware, Gent.
John Davies, Steward of the Manor of Penryn


Crowgey William, Esq.
Dillon Robert, Esq.
George Chapman George, Esq.
Harris Richard, Gent.
Hearne Benjamin, Esq.
Hodge Edward, Esq.
Humphry James, Esq.
James Robert, Gent.
Mukins Francis, Esq.
Richards Robert, Esq.
Richards Philip, Esq.
Roberts William, Esq.
Robins Christopher, Esq.
Scott Sir Charles
Spargo Richard, Gent.


Bererley Rev. Thomas
Collins Rev. John
Dillon Rev. Henry


Street Samuel, Surgeon
Symons John, Surgeon


Johns Stephen James, Attorney


Adams Thomas , Brewer
Adams John, Brandy-merchant
Anderson Andrew, Gardener
Behenna Robert, Brewer

Behenna Richard, Maltster
Behenna John, Carpenter
Behenna Robert, Shopkeeper
Bolitho Thomas, Tanner
Bunster Matthew, Shopkeeper
Cock Elizabeth, Post-mistress
Cornish Ann, Shopkeeper
Croggon Thomas, Shopkeeper
Crowle James, Flour-merchant
Dillon Henry, Roper
Dixon John, Shopkeeper
Edgcombe John, Tanner
Edgcombe James, Tanner
Edgcombe William, Carpenter
Gregg Ezekiel, Mason
Grey Thomas, Mason
Grey James, Shopkeeper
Hearne Benjamin, Tallow-chandler
Hollings Nicholas, Shopkeeper
Hornblower Jonathan, Brazier
Jordan John, Stamp-distributor
Leverton James, Stationer
Leverton Mary, Tallow-chandler
Lugg Jenefer, Flour-merchant
Nicholas Richard, Currier
Olive Thomas, Silversmith
Pellowe Thomas, Carpenter
Pellowe James, Ironmonger
Polack Frances, Shopkeeper
Price Peter, Flour-merchant
Reed Thomas, Roper
Scott, Williams, and Co. Soap-manufacturers
Stona John, Shopkeeper
Trathan William, Shopkeeper
Treeve John, Brewer
Treloar Thomas, Maltster
Treloar John, Mason
Trewran Thomas, Brazier
Toy Thomas, Shopkeeper
Tucker William, Bookbinder and Paper-factor
Turner Thomas, Silversmith
Wescott Samuel, Shopkeeper
Williams William and Co. Brewers
Williams William, Tallow-chandler


Richard Behenna, Collector
James Edgcombe, sen. Tide-surveyor
Richard Corfield, Supervisor of Excise
J. Treloar, Salt. Officer
William Harris, Comptroller

Gentlemen's seats in the neighbourhood of Penryn:

Enysthe seat of John Enys, Esq. one mile distant
TresusisLord Clinton two miles
CarclewSir William Lemon, Bart. three miles
TretheageMrs. Tincombe four miles
TrevalesThomas Reed, Esq. three miles
TrelillJohn Rawe, Esq. nine miles
PenroseJohn Rogers, Esq. eleven miles
GodolphonDuke of Leeds fourteen miles
PenwarneSir Michael Nowell, Knt. three miles
RosemerrinPeter Bown, Esq. three miles
PenjerrickGeo. Fox three miles
MeurinRichard Pidseley, Esq. five miles
BoswarthackThomas Moore, Esq. four miles
TywardreathThomas Trewren, Esq. six miles
LenarthThomas Nicholas, Esq. six miles
HalvoseJohn Hawkins, Esq. eight miles
TrelowarrneSir Carew Vivian, Bart. ten miles
PengriepeJoseph Beauchamp, Esq. four miles
TrevinceMiss Beauchamp five miles
BochimSir Henry Trelawney, Bart. fourteen miles
ClowanceSir John St. Aubyn, Bart. fourteen miles
Tehidy Park Sir Francis Basset, Bart. twelve miles
PendawesJohn Stackhouse twelve miles
RosewarneWilliam Harris, Esq. twelve miles
Lower Rosewarne Matthew Vivian, Esq. twelve miles
KilliowRobert Lovel Gwatkin, Esq. seven miles
PlaceAdmiral Spry fifteen miles

Within the hundred of Kirrier, besides the borough of Penryn, are, the borough of Helstone ten miles west, the town of Falmouth about two miles south, and the village of Flushing, within the parish of Mylor, about two miles east.

The parishes within the hundred of Kirrier are as follows:

Gluvias and Budock Rev. William John Temple, Vicar
Perranarworthalfour miles Rev. James Buckingham, Vicar
Stythianssix miles Rev. James Buckingham, Vicar
Falmouthtwo miles Rev. ---- Wilbraham, Rector
Constenton six miles Rev. Edmund Gilbert, Vicar
St. Keverne ten miles Rev. James Pascoe, Vicar
Helstoneten miles Rev. Richard G. Grylls, Vicar
Ruan Major fourteen miles Rev. S. Sandys, Rector
Ruan Minor fifteen miles Rev. William Robinson, Rector
Mawganthirteen Rev. --- Trevillian, Rector
St. Martin thirteen miles Rev. --- Trevillian, Rector
Mabotwo Rev. Richard Mills, Vicar
Mylorthree miles Rev. Richard Mills, Vicar
Gwennapsix miles Rev. A. Radford, Vicar
Wendronsix miles a Vicarage
Mawnanfive miles Rev. William Peter, Rector
Manackaneight miles Rev. Richard Polwhele, Vicar
St. Anthony in Meneage eight miles Rev. William H. Reyne, Vicar
Mullionseventeen miles a Vicarage
Sithneytwelve miles Rev. Morgan Cove, Vicar
Breagefourteen miles Rev. Edward Marshal, Vicar

Curty, Gunwallo, Grade, and Germo, chapels to Breage