« AnteriorContinuar »
The manuscript relating to this parish is lost.
Lelant is in the hundred of Penwith, and hath to the west Towednack, to the north St. Ives, to the east the river Hayle and St. Ives Bay, to the south St. Earth and Ludgvan.
I take Lelant to be compounded of Le, a place, and Lan, a church, so as to signify the church place. It is dedicated to St. Uny, and therefore hath the adjunct of Uny Lelant mostly used in writings. But Leland calls it Lannant; and if that be the right name, it is a church in a valley. In the Taxatio Ecclesiastica of Pope Nicholas, Lanvanta or Laventa is rated at 15l. 13s. 4d.
It is a vicarage valued in the King's book together with St. Ives and Tewednack, which pass in the same presentation, at 221. 11s. 10d. The patronage in the Bishop of Exeter. The sheaf and tithe of fish in Lord Hobart, as heir to Sir John Maynard, who got possession of them from Edward Noseworthy, Esq.
St. Uny, to whom not only this church, but also that of Redruth, and a ruined chapel in St. Wendrone, are dedicated, is by Leland called St. Unine.
The church of this parish is situated in the midst of sand, at the very extreme point inclosed by the sea, and by the estuary of Hayle. It is said to have been almost entirely covered towards the early part of the last century by one of these immense drifts of shell-sand which occasionally overwhelm this coast, originating, as is supposed,
from the Nympha Bank, lying about midway between the Land's End and Cape St. Clear. The Editor has in his possession the following receipt for money contributed by his collateral ancestor towards clearing the church, and accommodating it for the celebration of divine service; which was then done, and the old church restored—not a·· new one constructed, as some writers on Cornwall have erroneously stated.
August 11th, 1738.
Mr. Hugh Powley and Mr. John Pears received of Mr. Henry Davies for bounty money towards Lelant church, twenty-six pounds five shillings, as appears by the church book. THOMAS KNIVETON.
Several great inundations of sand appear to have covered this coast at distant and uncertain periods; but the comminuted shells are perpetually increasing on the seashore, from whence they are drifted over the adjacent lands: their progress has, however, been checked, and in some places almost arrested, by the simple expedient of planting the Arundo Arenaria of Linnæus, named by others, Calamagrestis Arenaria. This rush grows readily in the sand, where it mechanically opposes all motion on the surface, and ultimately favours the production of a grassy turf.
Tradition asserts, that a town of some magnitude, having. a market, and the establishment of a custom-house, stood near the church, when Hayle afforded deep water without the aid of artificial works, and before St. Ives had risen into consequence. Foundations of houses have undoubtedly been discovered here under the sand; and the tradition is somewhat confirmed by a distinction paid to the principal village, which is universally called Lelant Town, and not Church Town, as in other parishes.
The town is divided into two separate portions, usually distinguished as higher or lower, but the latter was formerly called Tredreath, the town on the sand or beach.
This parish has several other villages: Brunion, Trecrobben, giving name to the most picturesque granite hill in that whole district, Polpear, Trink, &c.
In the taxation of Pope Nicholas, Lelant, under the name of Lanvanta or Laventa, is rated at 15l. 13s. 4d. without any notice of St. Ives or Towednack.
Lelant, as the mother church, is alone of the three parishes provided with a glebe; but this land, although more extensive than what falls, on an average, to neighbouring incumbents, is rendered of very little value, and totally unfitted for a residence, by the encroachment of sand. An ancient vicarage house is believed to have disappeared with the town at the last great inundation, and the parish has remained longer than the period of memory, without a resident clergyman; but in this very year (1835) the Reverend Uriah Tonkin having been most liberally accommodated with an elevated situation at some distance from the sea, by Mr. Praed, is now constructing a house adequate to every thing that can be wished.
The rectorial tithes are said by Mr. Lysons to have been given by Robert de Cardinham, in the reign of Richard Cœur de Lion, to the monastery of Tywardreath; but that afterwards they were appropriated to the College of Crediton. Although this college has in part survived the general devastation of King Henry the Eighth, yet the tithes of Lelant were taken from it, and after passing through various hands, they now belong to Mr. Praed.
Mr. Lysons also states, but without giving any authority, that St. Uny (a brother of St. Herygh), patron of Lelant, Crowan, and Redruth, was buried in this church.
If St. Uny and St. Herygh ever existed at all, they were probably two of the missionaries from Ireland.
The parish feast is celebrated on the nearest Sunday to Candlemas day, but supposed to be in commemoration of the Saint.
Trembetha is said to have been the seat of John Hals, one of the judges in the reign of King Henry the Fifth,
and to have been sold by him to the Godolphins. In the time of Queen Elizabeth it belonged to the Mahons. The barton and manor are now the joint property of Mr. Praed and Mr. Champernowne, of Dartington, near Totnes, as to two-thirds; and the remaining share is divided between Mr. Tremayne, Mr. Rodd, and Mrs. Stephens, as coheirs of the family of Hearle.
Lelant was for centuries the residence of three old and respectable families-Praed, Hoskin, and Pawley. The Hoskins still remain possessed of their ancient freehold, and other property; and Mr. Henry Hoskins, the present head of the family, resides in a house at the northern extremity of Tredreath, or Lower Lelant Town, bearing all the marks which distinguished the dwellings of private gentlemen in the times of the Tudors or Plantagenets. The Pawleys are extinct, having declined through a series of years; Goonwhyn, or Gunwin, (the White Croft) where the family had long resided, together with some other remnants of property, came to Miss Jane Pawley, sufficient, however, to give her the reputation of an heiress : but misfortunes and disgraceful conduct reduced her so very low, that the Editor recollects her soliciting charity from those who once looked up to her superior station; and this representative of an ancient family closed her mortal career in a parish workhouse.
The Praeds are also extinct; but the name has, with singular felicity, arrived at tenfold splendour in a new dynasty.
The original family became at last represented by two brothers: the elder distinguished as Colonel Praed, married a Basset of Tehidy, but died soon after, leaving all the personal property to his widow: the younger brother succeeded to the real estate; but having been unsuccessfully engaged in trade, and finding the farms mostly leased on lives with the payment of small quitrents, according to the custom of those times, he became more and more embarrassed; till, meeting with a gentleman of the family
of Mackworth, in Glamorganshire, bred to the higher department of the law, he arranged with this gentleman, that on being freed from all pecuniary difficulties, and receiving a certain annuity for life, the whole Cornish estate should be transferred to Mr. Mackworth; on the further conditions of his taking the name of Praed, and what seems almost ludicrous, of his engaging, so far as the consent of one party could be sufficient, to marry Miss Penrose, of Penrose, near Helston, the heiress-at-law to Mr. Praed's estate.
Mr. Praed died about the years 1716 or 1717, when Mr. Mackworth came into possession, having performed every engagement to the utmost of his power; for the Editor recollects having heard from his son, the late Mr. Humphrey Mackworth Praed, that his father went to Penrose in execution of the condition dependent on another; but that, so far from obtaining success, he found some difficulty in escaping with his life.
The validity of the transfer was ultimately disputed on the part of Miss Penrose; and Mr. Humphrey Mackworth Praed has told the Editor that he was present at the trial in his nurse's arms, when the agreement was finally esta blished. The lady married a gentleman of the name of Pearse, and left an only daughter, who married Mr. Cumming; and their great-grandson, Sir Alexander Cumming Gordon, of Elginshire, is the present representative of the former family of Trevethow.
Mr. Mackworth Praed settled at Trevethow, where he was succeeded by his eldest son, Mr. Humphrey Mackworth Praed, one of the most distinguished men in his adopted country, for abilities, acquirements, wit, knowledge of the world, kindness, and unbounded hospitality. He once represented the county in Parliament, and on another occasion the borough of St. Ives. He married a lady of the eminent family of Forrester, in Shropshire, widow of Sir Bryant Broughton Delves, and had six children: William, his eldest son and heir; Herbert, Rector of