Cornwall has produced many famous people, some were born in Cornwall, some just lived there
|Acting and Theatre
|Myth and Legend
|Painters & Sculptors
|Other Notable People
|Acting and Theatre
|Morwenna Tamsin Banks (1964-) Actress born in Flushing, near Falmouth.
|Rowena Cade, (1893-1983) Founder of the Minack Theatre.
|Mary Ann Davenport, (1759-1843) - Actress Mary was born as Mary Ann Harvey in Launceston.
|Robert Duncan, (1952-) Actor from St. Austell.
|Samuel Foote, (1720-1777) Dramatist and actor from Truro.
|Dawn Roma French, (1957-) Famous actor who lives in Fowey.
|Simon Grant, (1980-) Television presenter and actor born in Falmouth.
|Jethro (real name Geoffrey Rowe), (1948-2021) Comedian born in St. Buryan.
|Rory Mc Grath, (1956-) Actor, writer and comedian born in Redruth.
|Sir William Lower, (1610-1662) from Tremeer, St. Tudy, near Bodmin. He becomes a noted playwright of his day. He is buried in London.
|John Vivian Drummond Nettles OBE, (1943-) Actor, in the series Bergerac and Midsomer Murders, born in St. Austell.
|Leon Ockenden, (1978-) Actor who grew up in Looe.
|Tristan Sturrock, (1968-) Actor born at Upton Cross near Liskeard.
|Kristin Scott Thomas OBE, (1960-) Actress born in Redruth.
|Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Francis "Dick" Strawbridge, MBE, (1959-) Television presenter who lived at Tywardreath for a few years.
|Captain William Bligh, (1754-1817) Famous for Mutiny on the Bounty fame was born at St. Tudy, near Wadebridge.
|Sir Francis Drake, (1540-1596) Elizabethan Sea Dog was also an MP for Bossiney.
|John Lander FGRS, (1807-1839) Born in Truro. Explored the Lower Niger River with his brother.
|Richard Lemon Lander, (1804-1834) Born in Truro. Explored the Lower Niger River.
|Samuel Wallis, (1728-1795) Born near Camelford, Pacific explorer, discoverer of Tahiti and Wallis Island as Captain of HMS 'Dolphin'.
|Thomas Bond, (1765-1837) Historian of Looe and for nearly 40 years Town Clerk of both East Looe and West Looe.
|William Copeland Borlase FSA, (1848-1899) An antiquarian and Liberal politician from Penzance who sat in the House of Commons from 1880 until 1887 when he was ruined by bankruptcy and scandal.
|Dr Alfred Leslie Rowse CH FBA, (1903-1997) Historian and poet born near St. Austell.
|Dr James C A Whetter, (1935-2018) Historian and Politician born in St. Austell.
|Henry Jenner FSA, (1848-1934) Cornish language revivalist, born in St. Columb Major but later lived in Hayle.
|Dorothy Pentreath, (1692-1777) The "last" monoglot Cornish language speaker lived near Mousehole.
|William Scawen, (1600-1689) One of the pioneers in the revival of the Cornish language and born in St. Germans. He was a politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1640 and fought for the Royalist cause in the English Civil War.
|Wilfred Melville Benetto, (1902-1994) Writer of the first full length novel in the Cornish Language.
|Sir John Betjeman CBE, (1906-1984) The former poet laureate, lived near Polzeath.
|William Borlase, (1696-1772) Author born at Pendeen near St. Just.
|Maria Branwell, (1783-1821) Mother of the Brontes born in Penzance.
|William John Burley, (1914-2002) Author of the Wycliffe series of novels, born in Falmouth.
|Richard Carew, (1555-1620) of Antony, published The Survey of Cornwall in 1602.
|Charles Stanley Causley CBE, FRSL, (1917-2003) Poet from Launceston who worked as a teacher.
|Jack Clemo, (1916-1994) Poet and writer born at St. Stephen near St. Austell.
|Nick Darke, (1948-2005) Playwright, writer and poet from Porthcothan.
|John Godolphin, (1617-1678) An English jurist and writer, and Judge of the High Court of Admiralty under the Commonwealth..
|Sir William Gerald Golding CBE, (1911-1993) Author of the Lord of the Flies born near Newquay.
|Winston Mawdsley Graham OBE, (1908-2003) Author of the popular Poldark novels lived in Perranporth.
|John Harris FRHS, (1820-1884) Cornish poet from Camborne who started life as a miner.
|Joseph Hocking, (1860-1937) Author born at St. Stephen near St. Austell.
|Silas Kitto Hocking, (1850-1935) Author born at St. Stephen near St. Austell.
|Alfred Kenneth Hamilton Jenkins MA, B.Litt, FSA, (1900-1980) Author born at Redruth, was best known for writing 'The Cornish Miner'.
|David Herbert Richards Lawrence, (1885-1930) Author who lived at Zennor in 1916-1917.
|Charles James Lee, (1870-1956) Author who lived at Newlyn from 1900-1907.
|Sam Llewellyn (1948 -) A British author of literature for children and adults, Born on Tresco, Isles of Scilly.
|Thomas Martyn, (1695-1751) Born at Gwennap near Redruth. He published several maps of the County.
|Daphne du Maurier DBE, (1907-1989) Author of Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, etc. Lived near Fowey.
|Rosamunde Pilcher OBE, (1924-2019) Author born at Lelant near Hayle.
|Hilda M Quick, (1895-1978) Born at Penzance, but later lived on St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly. She was the author of 'Birds of the Scilly Isles' published in 1964
|Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch, (1863-1944) Famous Cornish author and historian. Born in Bodmin but later lived and worked in Fowey.
|Joan Rendell MBE, (1921-2010) Author who lived near Launceston.
|Derek Alan Trevithick Tangye, (1912-1996) Author of a series of books about his life on a Cornish flower farm near Lamorna Cove.
|Donald Michael Thomas, (1935-) A Cornish novelist & poet born in Redruth.
|Ernest Victor Thompson MBE, (1931-2012) Author who lived in Launceston and wrote the Retallick series of historic novels.
|Anne Treneer, (1891-1966) Author born in Gorran Haven.
|Adeline Virginia Woolf, (1882-1941) Novelist, feminist & essayist lived for a while in St. Ives.
|Sir Humphrey Arundell, (1513-1550) From Helland near Bodmin. The leader of Cornish forces in the Prayer Book Rebellion early in the reign of King Edward VI. He was executed at Tyburn, London after the rebellion had been defeated.
|Sir John Arundell, (1576-1656) From Trerice, Commanded Pendennis Castle during the Civil War.
|Colonel Edward Thomas Bolitho, OBE (1955-) is a former British Army officer, who serves as Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall since 2011.
|Admiral Edward Boscawen, (1711-1761) The town of Boscawen, New Hampshire is named after him. He was born at Tregothnan near Truro, the Boscawen family home.
|Private James Henry Finn VC, (1893-1917) Born at St. Clement near Truro, he earned the Victoria Cross for his most conspicuous bravery in Iraq in 1916.
|General Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert, (1785-1853) Effected conquests in Northern India, was born in Bodmin.
|Sir Bevil Grenville, (1596-1643) Civil War commander and grandson of Sir Richard Grenville, was born near Bodmin.
|Sir John Grenville, (1628-1701) Born at Stowe House near Kilkhampton. He became heir to his family's extensive estates and he fought for the King under Sir Ralph Hopton in the Civil War. He was knighted by King Charles I after the capture of Bristol in August 1643.
|Sir Richard Grenville, (1542-1591) A naval captain, commanding the Revenge in the Azores battle, lived near Kilkhampton.
|Sir Richard Grenville, 1st Baronet (1600–1658) A Cornish Royalist leader during the English Civil War.
|Captain William Hennah CB RN (1768–1832) A British naval officer, whose largely undistinguished career was suddenly highlighted by his assumption of command of HMS 'Mars' at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 upon the death of that ship's captain, George Duff, who was decapitated by a cannonball. He was the son of Richard Hennah, the vicar of St. Austell and died at his home at St. Cuby, near Tregony.
|John Pollard, (1787-1868) Royal Navy officer who served with Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. Pollard from Cawsand is credited with being the man who killed the Frenchman who shot Nelson.
|Sir Nicholas Slanning, (1606-1643) Governor of Pendennis Castle for a while. And an officer during the Civil War.
|David Treffry OBE, (1926-2000) Colonial servant, International financier & High Sheriff of Cornwall. He served in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, transferring to the Indian Army, where he was a captain in the Frontier Force Regiment. Born at Porthpean near St. Austell.
|Sir Richard Hussey Vivian, (1775-1842) British cavalry leader who fought at the battle of Waterloo and later known as 1st Baron Vivian, born in Truro and whilst MP for East Cornwall lived at Glynn House near Bodmin.
|George Walter Selwyn Lloyd, (1913-1998) Composer from St. Ives.
|Mick Fleetwood, (1947–) Drummer and co-founder of the band Fleetwood Mac was born at Redruth.
|Alan Hodge, (1950-2006) Guitarist & Songwriter who was born in Bodmin.
|Benjamin Luxon, (1937-) Former international baritone was born in Redruth.
|Peter Skellern, (1947-2017) English singer-songwriter and pianist. In October 2016 he was ordained as a priest of the Church of England. Lived and died in Polruan.
|Richard Jose, (1862-1941) Singer who was born in Lanner, near Redruth.
|Thomas Merritt, (1863-1908) He became a composer of famous Christmas carols, he was born at Illogan near Redruth, the son of a copper miner.
|Brenda Wootton, (1928–1994) A Cornish poet and folk singer who lived at Newlyn.
|Tori Amos, (1963-) The American singer has lived near Bude since 1999.
|Roger Taylor OBE, (1949–) Queen's drummer grew up in Truro.
|Molly Hocking, (2000-) Winner of the eighth series of The Voice in 2019, was born in St. Ives.
|Dame Moura Lympany, (1916-2005) the pianist was born in Saltash.
|Myth and Legend
|King Arthur, (500-539) Of the Knights of the Round table fame, centred around Tintagel.
|King Constantine (520-560) Successor to King Arthur. He was killed by his nephew Aurelius Conanus.
|King Doniert (820-876) The last recorded King of Cornwall. He was probably an under-king, paying tribute to the West Saxons. King Doniert's stone lies in St. Cleer Parish on Bodmin Moor.
|King Mark, (400-450) Mark was a King of Kernow (Cornwall) in the 5th Century, the son of King Felix of Cornwall who died after a raid on his castle at Tintagel by the King of Ireland. Connected with the legend of Tristan and Iseult.
|King Geraint (650-710) King of Dumnonia who ruled in the early 8th century. During his reign, it is believed that Dumnonia came repeatedly into conflict with the neighbouring Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex. Belived to be buried at Gerrans on the Roseland Peninsula.
|Saint Michael, (495-550) Associated with the well known St. Michael's Mount.
|Saint Petroc, (510-564) Son of an unnamed Welsh King. Has given his name to Padstow (Petroc's - stow).
|Saint Piran, (400-460) Is the patron saint of tin-miners who is said to have floated safely over the water from Ireland to land upon the sandy beach of Perranzabuloe, near Perranporth. St. Piran's Day is held on 5th March every year.
|Painters & Sculptors
|Henry Bone, (1755-1834) Enamel painter born in Truro.
|Reuben Chappell, (1870-1940) One of the country's best known ship portrait artists who lived at Par.
|Stanhope Alexander Forbes RA, (1857-1947) Artist and one of the founder members of the Newlyn Art Gallery.
|Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth DBE, (1903-1975) Sculptress with a museum in St. Ives. Also a founder member of the Penwith Society of Arts.
|Patrick Heron CBE, (1920-1999) A British abstract and figurative artist, critic, writer, and polemicist, who lived in Zennor.
|David Hosking, (1944-2020) A well known painter from Porthleven
|John Knill, (1733-1811) Born at Callington, he was a slightly eccentric mayor of St. Ives, in 1767 and Collector of Customs from 1762–1782. He built his own memorial, a 50-foot high granite obelisk known as Knill's steeple.
|Peter Lanyon, (1918-1964) Abstract artist from St. Ives.
|Bernard Leach CH CBE, (1887-1979) Potter with a pottery in St.Ives and was a founder member of the Penwith Society of Arts.
|John Miller, (1931-2002) Artist of beach scenes around Newlyn.
|Ben Nicholson OM, (1894-1982) Abstract painter and member of the St. Ives Society of Artists.
|John Opie R.A., (1761-1807) Fashionable portrait painter born near St. Agnes. He was buried at St. Paul's Cathedral.
|Jack Pender, (1918-1998) from Mousehole started to paint in 1936 and went to the Penzance School of Art in 1938. At the end of the war, he spent a short time in Greece at the Athens School of Art and then the Exeter College of Art. He was a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists and the Penwith Society of Arts, and exhibited regularly in St. Ives.
|Alfred Wallis, (1855-1942) Artist and fisherman from Penzance.
|John Anstis, (1669-1744) An English officer of arms and antiquarian born in St. Neot. He rose to the highest heraldic office in England and became Garter King of Arms in 1718 after years of political manoeuvring.
|Sir Edward Buller, 1st Baronet (1764–1824) was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He died at his seat of Trenant Park, near Looe at the age of 59.
|Selina Cooper, (1864-1946) Suffragette and the first woman to represent the Independent Labour Party was born in Callington.
|Sir Richard Edgcumbe, (1443-1489) Worked as an MP for Tavistock and built Cotehele House. He was knighted after the Battle of Bosworth, where Henry Tudor and the Lancastrians were victorious.
|Sir John Eliot, (1592-1632) Worked as an MP for Cornwall for most of his life and lived at Port Eliot.
|John Mackintosh Foot, Baron Foot, (1909–1999) A Liberal politician and Life Peer, born at Callington.
|Michael Mackintosh Foot PC FRSL, (1913–2010) A British Labour Party politician and man of letters, born at Callington.
|Robert Barclay Fox, (1873-1934) Served as a Cornwall County Councillor and as a governor of a number of local schools, and of the Falmouth School of Art. He was also High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1920.
|Andrew Henry George (1958-) A British Liberal Democrat politician born in Mullion. He was MP for St. Ives from 1997 to 2015.
|Sir William Godolphin, (1640-1710) Born at Godolphin House later became MP For Helston.
|Sir William Lemon, (1748-1824) Born in Truro later became MP For Cornwall.
|Edward William Wynne Pendarves, (1775-1853) MP for West Cornwall from 1832 to 1853.
|David Charles Penhaligon, (1944-1986) Born in Truro later became MP For Cornwall. He became known in particular for defending the Cornish tin mining industry and the local fishing fleets.
|William David Mudd, (1933-2020), Born in Falmouth, MP for Camborne and Falmouth from 1970 until 1992 when he stood down, and for a while was a member of Mebyon Kernow. He was also a newsreader on Westward Television in the 1970's.
|Daniel John Rogerson, (1975-), A St. Austell born British Liberal Democrat politician. He was the MP for North Cornwall from 2005 to 2015.
|Michael Williams, (1784-1858), MP for West Cornwall from 1853 until 1858. He was the Cornish industrialist of the Williams family, he also bought Caerhays Castle in 1853.
|Billy Bray, (1794-1868) Cornish preacher born at Twelveheads, near Truro. He started life as a miner but later built three chapels.
|Reverend Pender Hodge Cudlip, (1835-1911) An English Anglican High Church clergyman, theologian and writer from Porthleven. He was also a well-known preacher in Cornwall.
|Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker, (1803-1875) Vicar of Morwenstow Church near Bude, wrote the "Song of the Western Men" He was regarded as a deeply compassionate person giving Christian burials to shipwrecked sailors washed up on the beaches. He was the first to introduce the Harvest Festival Service.
|Reverend Joseph Hunkin OBE MC DD, (1887-1950) Served as the 8th Bishop of Truro from 1935 to 1950.
|Henry Martyn (1781-1812), born in Truro, became a missionary in India and translated the New Testament into both Hindustani and Persian.
|Reverend Richard Polwhele, (1760–1838), born in Truro was a clergyman, poet and historian of Cornwall.
|Sir Jonathan Trelawny, (1650-1721) The hero of the Cornwall's National Anthem - "Song of the Western Men" was born at Pelynt near Looe.
|John Wesley, (1703-1791) Founder of Methodism across Cornwall which started at Wesley cottage in Trewint in 1743.
|John Couch Adams, (1819-1892) Co-discoverer of the planet Neptune, born at Laneast, near Launceston.
|John Arnold, (1736-1799) A Bodmin man, perfected the ships chronometer.
|William Bickford, (1744-1834) Inventor of the safety fuse which he made in Camborne.
|William Cookworthy, (1705-1780) Discovered china clay in the St. Austell area in 1746.
|Dr Jonathan Couch, (1789-1870) Cornwall's foremost naturalist in the 19th century from Polperro.
|Richard Quiller Couch, (1816-1863) British naturalist, eldest son of Jonathan Couch from Polperro.
|Frederick Hamilton Davey, (1868–1915) was an amateur botanist born at Ponsanooth, near Penryn who devoted most of his leisure time to the study of the flora of Cornwall.
|Sir Humphry Davy, (1778-1829) Inventor of the miners safety lamp from Penzance.
|John Edyvean, (1740-1780) A Cornish engineer from St. Columb Major who invented the inclined plane system for the Bude Canal.
|Davies Gilbert PRS, (1767–1839) (born Davies Giddy) A Cornish engineer, author, and politician born in St. Erth. He was elected to the Royal Society on 17th November 1791. He was High Sheriff of Cornwall from 1792 to 1793. He served in the House of Commons as MP for Helston from 1804 to 1806 and for Bodmin from 1806 to 1832.
|William Gregor, (1761-1817) British clergyman and mineralogist who discovered the elemental metal titanium, who was born near Tregony.
|Samuel Grose, (1791-1866) A mining engineer who built several notable engines and played a prominent part in developing steam engines in Cornwall with Richard Trevithick.
|Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, (1793-1875) Inventor of the 'Limelight' used in lighthouses, lived in Bude.
|John Harvey, (1730-1803) In 1779 he established a foundry and engineering works at Hayle called Harvey & Co. which continued to grow as he worked with Richard Trevithick, William West and, more importantly, Arthur Woolf. In 1797, Harvey's daughter, Jane, married Richard Trevithick. His company later built up a reputation for world class stationary beam engines.
|Anthony Hewish, (1924-2021) Born in Fowey was awarded a Noble Prize for discovering pulsars in 1974.
|Malachy Hitchins, (1741-1809) Was a Cornish astronomer and cleric. Born near Gwennap Pit.
|Jonathan Hornblower, (1753-1815) Inventor of the compound steam engine from Chacewater near Redruth.
|Michael Loam, (1797-1871) Inventor of the man engine from Ludgvan near Penzance.
|Richard Lower, (1631-1691) Born near Bodmin, was involved in some of the earliest experiments with blood transfusions.
|Sir William Lower, (1570-1615) Born at St. Tudy, near Wadebridge, was an astronomer from the early telescopic period. In 1607 he observed Halley's comet and took a number of careful measurements and it was determined that the comet was following a curved course.
|Guglielmo Marconi, (1874-1937) Transmitted the first Transatlantic radio signal from the Lizard Peninsula.
|Peter Denis Mitchell, (1920-1992) Received a Nobel Prize in 1978 lived at Glynn House near Cardinham.
|William Murdoch, (1754-1839) Invented domestic gas lighting while he lived in Redruth.
|Sir John Pender, (1816-1896) Installed the first international telegraph cable at Porthcurno.
|John Arthur Philips FRS FCS, (1822-1887) Geologist born at Polgooth near St. Austell.
|Philip Rashleigh, (1729-1811) Mineral collector lived near Fowey. Some of his work is in the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro.
|William Sims, (1762-1834) Leading Cornish mining engineer who worked with Richard Trevithick.
|John Stackhouse, (1742-1819) Was an English botanist, primarily interested in Spermatophytes, algae and mycology. He was born in Probus, and built Acton Castle near Perranuthnoe.
|Adrian Stephens, (1795-1876) Inventor of the steam whistle born in Penzance.
|Richard Trevithick Tangye, (1833-1906) Mechanical engineer was born at Broad Lane, Illogan near Redruth, he later invented the hydraulic jack.
|Henry Trengrouse, (1772-1854) Born in Helston, was the inventor of ship to shore rocket line.
|Richard Trevithick, (1771-1833) Engineer and inventor of steam engines from Camborne.
|Arthur Woolf, (1766-1837) Inventor of the high pressure compound steam engine from Camborne.
|John Williams, (1714-1790) Constructed the Great County Adit, which eventually became a 40-mile system of adits, draining over 60 mines whilst he was manager of the Poldice Mine.
|Michael Adams, (1971-) Chess grandmaster born in Truro.
|Sir Charles Benedict "Ben" Ainslie, (1977-) Olympic sailor who spent his childhood in Truro.
|Edwin Raymond "Ray" Bowden, (1909-1998) Footballer Ray was born in Looe.
|John Gilbert "Jack" Cock, (1893-1966) England Footballer born in Hayle.
|Chris Craft, (1939-) - Racing driver born in Porthleven.
|John Frederick Crapp, (1912-1981) The first Cornishman to play cricket for England was born in St. Columb Major.
|Matthew Etherington, (1981-) Footballer born in Truro.
|Bob Fitzsimmons, (1863-1917) World Champion Boxer born near Helston.
|Jonathan Fox, (1991-) Paralympic swimmer who lives in St. Austell.
|Ann Glanville, (1796-1880) Born in Saltash, she was a Cornishwoman who achieved national celebrity status for gig rowing.
|Helen Glover MBE, (1986-) Olympic Gold medal winner in rowing, born in Truro and now lives in Penzance.
|Chris Harris, (1982-) Speedway rider, born in Truro went on to become British Champion.
|Roger Hosen, (1933-2005) Rugby player, born in Mabe, who played rugby for England ten times in the 1960's.
|Reginald Jenkins, (1938–2013) was an English footballer from Millbrook who played as an inside forward in the Football League between the 1950's and 1970's.
|Tony Kellow, (1952-2011) An English professional footballer born near Falmouth. He made over 400 Football League appearances in the 1970's and 1980's.
|Nigel Martyn, (1966-) Footballer born in St. Austell.
|Jack Thomas Nowell, (1993-) England Rugby Union Player who was born in Newlyn.
|Ben Oliver, (1995-) Cornwall County record holder for the 100m and 400m in Wheelchair racing and ranked best in the world at 800 metres, having set a new European record, lives in Bodmin.
|Cassie Patten, (1987-) British Olympic swimmer born in Cardinham.
|Sweet Saraya, (1971-) Professional wrestler and promoter born in Penzance.
|Claude Brian Stevens, (1941-2017) Known as "Stack Stevens", born in Godolphin, near Helston, rugby player who won 25 caps for England.
|Colin Sullivan (1951-) A former football player for Plymouth Argyle, was born in Saltash.
|Michael Trebilcock, (1944-) Footballer born in Gunnislake.
|James Polkinghorne, (1788–1851) was a champion Cornish wrestler of the 19th century was born in St.Keverne.
|Richard Parkyn (1772-1855), is perhaps the most famous champion Cornish wrestler. He was from St. Columb Major.
|Leonard Austen Harvey (1907–1976) He was born in Stoke Climsland, near Callington. A great defensive boxer, he boxed at every weight division available at the time, from flyweight to heavyweight. He became the light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the British Empire, and was recognised as world light-heavyweight champion in Britain from 1939 to 1942.
|Other Notable People
|Francis Vyvyan Jago Arundell, (1780-1846) Born in Launceston he married into the Arundell family in 1815. He was in later life the Rector of Landulph, an antiquary and an oriental traveller.
|Sir Francis Basset, (1594-1645) Made his fortune from tin mining and later bought St. Michael's Mount.
|Tom Bawcock, (1750-1800) A well known local fisherman who lived in Mousehole. He saved the village from starving with a catch on the day before Xmas Eve, still celebrated as Tom Bawcocks Eve every year.
|Barry Bucknell, (1912-2003) An English TV presenter who popularised Do It Yourself (DIY) on the BBC was born at St. Mawes.
|Neville Northey Burnard, (1818-1878) Came from a long line of builders and sculptors went on to achieve national fame by sculpting the head of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. Burnard was born in the village of Altarnun.
|Florence Rose Endellion Cameron, (2010-2016) Former Prime Minister David Cameron's daughter was born at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.
|John Carter, (1770-1807) Smuggler and self styled "King of Prussia" was born near Helston.
|Edmund, 2nd Earl of Cornwall, (1249-1300) The last Earl of Cornwall to reside in Cornwall, he improved Restormel Castle and built Helston Castle and the Duchy Palace in Lostwithiel.
|Edward, 1st Duke of Cornwall, (1330-1376) The eldest son of King Edward III and known as the Black Prince. Trematon was his favourite Castle in Cornwall. After his victories over the French he became very popular and was made Prince of Wales in 1343. In 1348 he became the first Knight of the Garter.
|Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall, (1209-1272) The first Earl of Cornwall. King Henry III gave him Cornwall as a birthday present. He built Tintagel Castle and Restormel Castle, but Launceston Castle was his Cornish base.
|Thomas Flamank, (1468-1497) Co-leader of the Cornish rebellion of 1497 lived in Bodmin.
|Caroline Fox, (1819-1871) As a Quaker, she wanted to end slavery and improve conditions for people in prison. She helped to establish the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society in Falmouth.
|Sidney Godolphin, (1645-1712) Served as Lord of the Treasury was born near Helston.
|William Hamley, (1784-1866) Founder of Hamleys toyshop was born in Bodmin.
|Donald Mitchell Healey CBE, (1898-1988) The famous motor engineer and designer was born and died in Perranporth. His early flying career came to an end in 1916 when a crash resulted in him being injured. He took a course in automobile engineering whilst experimenting in radio transmissions before going on to design a range of sports cars. His descendants now own Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm.
|Emily Hobhouse, (1860-1926) Formed a relief fund for Boer women in South Africa born at St. Ive near Liskeard.
|Paul Rapsey Hodge, (1808-1871) Inventor of the fire engine was born in St. Austell.
|Michael Joseph (An Gof), (1475-1497) Led the Cornish rebellion of 1497 lived at St. Keverne.
|Sir William Killigrew, (1606-1695) Knighted in 1628, became MP for Penryn, later became Governor of Pendennis Castle.
|Captain Philip Gidley King, (1758-1808) Born in Launceston, he joined the Royal Navy at the age of 12 as captain's servant, and later became Governor of New South Wales, Australia.
|William Lovett, (1800-1877) Chartist leader born at Newlyn.
|Stanley Lucas, (1900-2010) Super-centenarian born in Morwenstow, near Bude. Stanley was the last living British male born during the 19th century. He was the only verified male super-centenarian to die in 2010.
|Sir William Molesworth, (1810-1855) Served as High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1842 and was connected with the building of the Wadebridge to Bodmin Railway in 1831.
|Percy Lane Oliver OBE, (1878-1944) from St. Ives was the founder of the first voluntary blood donor service in 1921.
|Dr William Oliver, (1695-1764) Inventor of the Bath Oliver Biscuit from Trevarno, near Helston.
|John Passmore Edwards, (1823-1911) Victorian philanthropist who built over 70 public buildings and library's, born at Blackwater, near Redruth. He had the Blackwater Institute built within a few hundred yards of the site of the cottage of his birth and youth.
|Anthony Payne, (1612-1691) A 7 foot 4 inch Cornish giant from Stratton who was enlisted as a bodyguard to the Royalist Sir Bevil Grenville during the Civil War.
|Andrew Pears, (1766-1845) Invented the eponymous transparent soap and lived in Mevagissey.
|Dolly Pentreath, (1692-1777) The last person to speak Cornish as a first language lived in Mousehole.
|Samuel Pollard, (1864-1915) Became a missionary in China, but was born in Camelford.
|Charles Rashleigh, (1747-1823) An entrepreneur who developed Charlestown as a port.
|Sir Tim Smit KBE, (1954-) Executive Vice-Chairman and Co-founder of the Eden Project, and discoverer of The Lost Gardens of Heligan in 1990.
|Augustus John Smith, (1804-1872) Was governor of the Isles of Scilly for over thirty years, and was largely responsible for the economy of the islands as it is today. He was laid to rest in St. Buryan's Church. A tall stone monument was erected in the churchyard of St. Mary's Old Church, to recognise Smith's involvement with the Isles. He also introduced compulsory education for the islands in 1834 some thirty years before it was introduced on the mainland.
|Rick Stein OBE (1947-), Restaurateur and celebrity chef, owns several restaurants and businesses in the Padstow area.
|David Treffry OBE, (1926-2000) Colonial servant, International financier & High Sheriff of Cornwall was born at Porthpean, near St. Austell.
|Joseph Thomas Treffry, (1782-1850) Builder of Par Harbour and the viaduct in the Luxulyan Valley.
|Silvanus Trevail, (1851-1903) Cornwall's most famous 19th century architect born in Luxulyan near St. Austell. He also became mayor of Truro.
|Joseph Trewavas VC CGM, (1835-1905) Able seaman from Mousehole who won the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War in 1855.
Michael Joseph (An Gof) and Thomas Flamank
These were the two leaders of the 1497 rebellion against Henry VII against the taxes he imposed to finance his Scottish war. There was great poverty among the Cornish tin workers, and much local resentment against having to pay towards a war that they felt had little to do with them. At St. Keverne, near the Lizard, Michael Joseph, the local blacksmith roused the village into open rebellion. And in Bodmin, Thomas Flamank, a lawyer, also urged the populace to arms to protest. They led an ill-clad, ill-armed army to march to London. Supporters were collected along the way, and in Somerset Lord Audley took command of the army. By the time it reached Blackheath near London, there were several thousand men armed with staves, pitchforks and home-made weapons. On June 17th 1497 they were surrounded by the King's army of ten thousand men. The battle was brief, 200 Cornishmen died. Lord Audley and Flamank were captured on the battlefield, Joseph caught as he fled towards Greenwich. They were taken to the Tower of London, Flamank and Joseph being executed at Tyburn 10 days later, with Lord Audley being beheaded at Tower Hill a day later. Joseph became known as An Gof, Cornish for The Smith. The rebellion is indicative of the state of Cornwall at that time, and Perkin Warbeck's landing in Cornwall in September 1497 shows further how Cornwall was perceived as being ripe for rebellion. A statue of the two men was unveiled at St. Keverne, on the 500th anniversary. A commemorative plaque was unveiled at Blackheath Common at the same time.
Sir Richard Grenville
The son of Roger Grenville, captain of the Mary Rose when it sank in the Solent in 1545. He was only three at the time. The Grenville's lived in Stowe House, near Kilkhampton in North Cornwall. He himself had became a naval captain, commanding the Revenge. Steeped in naval tradition, he was a cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh and a friend of Sir Francis Drake. In 1585, while commanding a fleet of five ships carrying colonists to Virginia, he captured a much larger Spanish ship. In 1591, as second in command to Lord Thomas Howard, he took a small fleet to the Azores to lie in wait for a Spanish treasure fleet homeward bound from South America. However the Spanish heard about the English fleet, and sent a large fleet to protect their treasure ships. Lord Howard decided that they did not have enough ships to fight the Spaniards, and ordered the English fleet to up anchors and put to sea. Richard Grenville refused to leave his ninety sick men ashore, and vowed to stay and fight the enemy. On August 31st 1591 the Revenge with about a hundred men fought a battle against some fifty Spanish ships and five thousand men. Battle was broken off as darkness fell, and the next day the Spaniards were amazed to see the Revenge still floating. Its mast and sails were gone, its holds were flooded, and only twenty men were left to fight, including the mortally wounded Grenville. Grenville called on his chief gunner to sink the Revenge to stop it falling into enemy hands, but the remaining crew begged him to surrender. Grenville agreed provided the Spanish would grant them full honours of war, and return them to England immediately. The Spanish commander agreed and the battle ended. Grenville died of his wounds on the Spanish ship. Shortly afterwards an enormous storm sank the Revenge and fourteen Spanish ships.
Sir Bevil Grenville
Born 1596 near Withiel, west of Bodmin, and a grandson of Sir Richard Grenville. At the start of the Civil War in 1642 he raised an army in Cornwall to fight for the King. When the Parliamentarians crossed the River Tamar his army fought a number of battles and threw them out of Cornwall. He won battles at Braddock Down near Lostwithiel, and at Stratton Hill near Bude, he then led his men on a victorious march through Devon into Somerset. In 1643 the Royalists won a battle at Lansdown Hill outside Bath, but Bevil Grenville was mortally wounded. His Cornish soldiers refused to fight under any other leader and returned home, carrying the body of Sir Bevil. It was buried in a tomb in Kilkhampton Church.
Sir John Arundell
Born in 1576 at Trerice (now a National Trust property), he led a comparatively quiet life, until he was appointed commander of Pendennis Castle at Falmouth at the age of seventy. In 1643, Pendennis probably seemed like a long way from the action of the Civil War, but he did fight at the battle of Braddock Down, near Lostwithiel. Although the parliamentary army had been thrown out of Cornwall by Sir Bevil Grenville in 1643, by 1646 they were strong enough to try again. By March 1646, town after town had fallen to the Roundhead army. General Fairfax captured St. Mawes Castle, then called on Arundell to surrender Pendennis Castle, Arundell replied "I will here bury myself before I deliver up this castle to such as fight against His Majesty". The siege lasted until 17th August. For five months the garrison had held out, but they had run out of ammunition and food. Sir John surrendered to Colonel Richard Townsend, and the defenders were allowed to leave with full military honours and flags flying. Of the sieges during the Civil War, only Raglan Castle in Wales held out longer (by two days more). Parliament was so glad of the fall of Pendennis Castle that they made September 22nd a day of general thanksgiving. Sir John is buried at Duloe in East Cornwall.
Admiral Edward Boscawen
Born in 1711 at Tregothnan near Truro, he joined the navy at the age of twelve, and was a captain at 26. He was MP for Truro several times, and during the 1745 rebellion raised an army of six thousand Cornishmen to fight for the King against the Young Pretender. In 1747 he was commander in chief of all military forces in India and the Far East. His last sea victory saved the country from invasion. In 1759, while his ships were undergoing repair in Gibraltar, he got news of a French invasion fleet gathering in ports along the Channel coast. He put to sea and defeated the French, so their invasion plans were cancelled. He died in 1761 and was buried at St. Michael Penkevil, near Truro.
Sir Nicholas Slanning
Sir Nicholas Slanning spent his early life at Maristow, near Plymouth. He left England, aged 23, "to learn the arts of war" in the Low Countries. He was knighted in 1632. Slanning's were one of five Cornish foot regiments formed in October 1641 by Sir Ralph Hopton during the Civil War. They were involved in the battles at Braddock Down, Modbury, Polston Bridge, Sourton Down, and Stratton. Thereafter, combined with Prince Maurice's men, they took Taunton, Bridgewater, Dunster Castle and Wells ending up, after the victory at Lansdown, taking Bath. He died in action in 1643.
Born in 1728 at Lanteglos-by-Camelford, he is not well known, but was a Cornish navigator and a British naval officer who circumnavigated the world. He served under Admiral Boscawen as his flag lieutenant, and was given command of H.M.S. Dolphin in 1766 to explore the Pacific. It was believed that another continent existed to the south of South America, and Wallis spent 20 months sailing round the world looking for signs of it. He found the islands of Tahiti and Easter island, and his reports led to Captain Cook's later voyages. In 1780 Wallis was appointed Commissioner of the Admiralty. He died in 1795.
Captain William Bligh
Born in 1754 at St. Tudy between Bodmin and Camelford. The family moved to Plymouth and he joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman. In 1772 he went with Captain Cook on his second voyage round the world and proved himself to be a good navigator and mapmaker on the Resolution. In 1776, Bligh was selected by Captain James Cook for the position of sailing master of the Resolution and accompanied Captain Cook again. He returned to England in 1780 with news of the final voyage and the death of Captain Cook. In 1787 he was chosen to command The Bounty on a voyage to the Pacific to bring breadfruit to the Caribbean, where they were wanted to provide cheap food for the plantation workers. The Bounty expedition was a disaster, the ship was a converted merchant vessel and was too small. There was a large crew including scientists, and they needed storage space for the cargo of breadfruit that they had to carry. Some of the sailors were known trouble makers, and Bligh did not get on with some of the officers and petty officers. By the time they reached the Pacific attempts to maintain discipline had led to mutiny, and Bligh and those crew loyal to him were cast adrift in a a longboat. In spite of the fact that he had little food and only basic navigational instruments, Bligh sailed the longboat over 3500 miles of open sea to Timor. At the time it was the longest known voyage in an open boat. News of the mutiny was sent to London. Bligh was not blamed for the mutiny, and in 1794 was given the Society of Arts medal for the 42 day longboat voyage. in 1801 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society for services to navigation and botany. He fought in a number of sea battles including The Battle of Copenhagen, where he was personally thanked by Nelson for bravery. In 1805 he was appointed governor of the colony of New South Wales. In 1808 there was a small revolt against taxes imposed by England, and Bligh was deposed and imprisoned for two years until military reinforcements arrived from England to restore order. Again Bligh was not blamed, and was promoted to Admiral. He died in 1817 and is buried in Lambeth in London.
General Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert
Born in Bodmin in 1785, a descendant of the Elizabethan seaman Sir Humphry Gilbert. At 15 he became a cadet in the Bengal Infantry. He rose to major-general and through his conquests in Northern India became a national hero. The army even issued a medal with his picture on it - only Wellington as an army officer has had the same honour. The citizens of Bodmin decided to erect a memorial to him on the hill overlooking the town known as Bodmin Beacon. A tall, slim granite obelisk was built in 1857 after his death in 1853. It is 144 feet high with the story of his Sikh and Afghan campaigns written on the four sides of the base. The Indian Empire has now gone, and those that fought there like Gilbert largely forgotten.
Born 1770 at Breage near Helston, matured to become one of the biggest rogues on the coast, the self styled King of Prussia. Carter was a mixture of hard working fisherman, honest merchant and out and out rogue. He operated out of Bessies Cove, a rocky inlet near Perranuthnoe in Mount's Bay. It was an area notorious for lawless gangs of wreckers and smugglers. But it was a time when few local people thought smuggling to be a crime. John and his brother Henry were well known along the French coast, but during the French Wars they were arrested and imprisoned in St. Malo for a year on one occasion. He mounted guns on the cliffs guarding the approach to Bessies Cove and fired on revenue boats that came too close. On another occasion he raided Penzance Customs House and removed some barrels of wine that they had seized from his boat. In 1807 he disappeared from the area and was never heard of again! He left a journal relating his life and times. The nickname King of Prussia came from his fascination with Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. Bessie's Cove is now called Prussia Cove.
John Arnold, born in 1736 at Bodmin, perfected the ships chronometer. For a ship to navigate accurately it had to know both latitude and longitude. Latitude was calculated by using the sun and a sextant, but longitude had to be worked from an accurate knowledge of the time. Ships timepieces had been inaccurate because of changes in temperature and motion effecting their working. After making some experimental machines, he produced what could be regarded as a production model to the Board of Longitude in March 1771. He lived and worked in a narrow street off Fore Street in Bodmin, and eventually moved to London to produce his chronometers and in 1788 produced the first pocket chronometer. John Arnold made very accurate regulator clocks for the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. His marine chronometers were of such quality that Captain James Cook used them on his South Sea voyages. He is still remembered with a plaque over the entrance to the narrow passage where he once lived - Arnolds Passage. John Arnold died on 11th August 1799 at the age of 63 and is buried in Chislehurst, Kent.
Born in 1744 in Devon, he invented the safety fuse for igniting gunpowder. Cornish mines did not suffer from explosive gasses, but there were many miners killed by misuse of gunpowder. Early fuses were often tubes of reeds filled with powder and were extremely unreliable. Either they exploded too early not giving miners time to get away, or took too long to ignite and killed miners who assumed the fuse had gone out. William Bickford was a leather merchant in Illogan. One day watching a rope maker spinning his threads, he realised that a strand of yarn, impregnated with gunpowder could be included in the rope to make a reliable, predictable fuse. In 1831 he took out a patent on his "safety rods" and manufactured them in a factory at Tuckingmill near Camborne, now commemorated by a plaque. It took some time to get miners to use these safer fuses, as the older, unpredictable ones were cheaper. Eventually common sense prevailed and the mining industry moved over to the safety fuses. He died in 1834. His grandson, William Bickford-Smith, became MP for Truro. In 1974, the Bickford-Smith family bought the Trevarno estate near Helston.
Richard & John Lander
Two brothers born in the Fighting Cocks Inn in Truro in 1804 and 1807 who grew up to become explorers. They were sent in 1830 to explore the lower reaches of the River Niger, and later mounted two more expeditions to the Niger. They found the source, route and mouths of the then unmapped river. A nine hundred mile trek inland took them through hostile natives, tropical diseases and intense heat. Richard Lander was killed in 1834 by a bullet during a fight with natives. John died five years later from a disease he had contracted in Africa. A statue of Richard Lander sculpted by the Altarnun sculptor Neville Northey Burnard in 1852, stands on a tall column at the top of Lemon Street in Truro.
John Couch Adams
A great scientist born in Laneast parish, Bodmin Moor on 5th June 1819. From an early age he showed a bent for mathematics and astronomy in particular. He went to Cambridge University. Solely by the application of mathematics, he proved that there must be another planet circling the sun. A French astronomer came to the same conclusion, and they published their conclusions at the same time in 1846. The planet was called Neptune. He became Professor of Astronomy in Cambridge in 1858. He turned down a knighthood and also the post of Astronomer Royal. He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1866. The Adams Prize, presented by the University of Cambridge, commemorates his prediction of the position of Neptune. He died on 21st January 1892 in Cambridge.
Born in 1772 at Helston, he was 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. A Helston cabinet maker, he stood helplessly on the beach at Loe bar near Porthleven on 19th December 1807 when the frigate 'Anson' was driven onto the coast. Nearly a hundred men drowned because they could not bridge the short distance from the wreck to the shore because of the boiling surf. Trengrouse spent the rest of his life and saving in inventing an apparatus that would save men under such circumstances. Inspired by a firework display he tried for many years to perfect a rocket that would fire a light line to a boat, so that the sailors could haul in a heavier rope that would bear the weight of men. It took ten years to interest the government in it, and eventually they paid him the grand sum of £20 for the invention. He also invented a type of life jacket, and built a model of an unsinkable lifeboat. He died penniless in 1854.
Born in 1761, the son of the village carpenter in Mithian near St. Agnes. From an early age he showed a great talent in drawing. An artist was not considered as employment for a poor boy, and he became an apprentice in his fathers business. Dr Walcot from Truro befriended him and encouraged his talents, and gave Opie an education in mathematics and science as well as drawing and painting. Dr Walcot took him to London and introduced him to Sir Joshua Reynolds, President of the Royal Academy. By 1782 his work was on display in the Royal Academy, and for the next 20 years he was the most fashionable portrait painter in London, painting some 700 portraits. However he died young, in 1807 after a short illness. He was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.
Born in Truro in 1755. He was apprenticed to William Cookworthy at the Plymouth China Works where china was made from the china clay that Cookworthy had discovered at St. Austell. Bone developed into a skilled painter of pictures on porcelain buttons and broaches. In 1778 he painted in watercolours on ivory and enamel in London, and by 1800 was the official enamel painter to the Prince of Wales, followed by the appointment as enamelist to the King from 1801. Later he was made an associate of the Royal Academy and enamel painter to George III. He continued to hold the royal appointment during the reigns of both George IV and William IV. On 15th April 1811 he was elected a Royal Academician. In 1831 his eyesight failed and he reluctantly took the Royal Academy pension. His eldest son became enamelist to Queen Adelaide and Queen Victoria. He died in London on 17th December 1834.
Sir Jonathan Trelawny
The hero of the Cornwall's National Anthem - Song of the Western Men. Born at Pelynt (Near Looe) in 1650. A staunch royalist, he was ordained in 1673 and became a beneficed clergyman. He was appointed Rector of Southill on 4th October and of St. Ives on 12th December 1677. The Duke of Monmouth's failed rebellion against James II in 1688, led to seven bishops being imprisoned in the Tower of London. They were put on trial for their lives as they refused to sign a document bringing back Roman Catholicism as the state religion. They said they were loyal to the king, but their consciences would not let them sign. The seven bishops were tried, acquitted and freed. Trelawny became Bishop of Exeter in 1688 on the accession of William of Orange to the throne, and Queen Anne elevated him to Bishop of Winchester in 1707. When he died in 1721 his body was brought back to the Trelawny family home at Pelynt for burial.
Richard Lower was born in 1631 on the family estate at Tremeer, St. Tudy. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He obtained his degree and remained at Oxford to study medicine. In 1666, he moved to London and started a medical practice. Before long, he became a member of the Royal Society and a successful court physician. Lower was involved in some of the earliest experiments with blood transfusions, following the similar investigations of Christopher Wren a few years earlier. His early subjects were dogs but he was also involved in the first experimental transfusions of blood into a human subject in 1666. Lower is particularly famous for his work on the brain and nerves, which he carried out as the assistant of Thomas Willis in Oxford during the course of his medical studies. His anatomical and physiological investigation of the structure and action of the heart is recognised as an early breakthrough and he was recognised as one of the most skilled vivisectionists of his time. Following the accession of James II, Lower fell into disrepute due to his anti-Catholic beliefs; he lost his court appointment and his medical practice suffered. He spent an increasing amount of his time in Cornwall until his death in 1691. He bequeathed money to St. Bartholomew's Hospital and to French and Irish Protestant refugees, making plain where his religious beliefs lay.
Sir William Lower
William Lower (1570–1615) born in Cornwall, was an English astronomer from the early telescopic period, and an MP. After studying at Exeter College, Oxford, he married and settled in South-West Wales. In 1607 he observed Halley's comet and took a number of careful measurements which he communicated to Thomas Harriot, by which it was determined that the comet was following a curved course.
William Murdoch was born in 1754 at Bello Mill Farm, near Cumnock in Ayrshire. He was said to have carried out early experiments in a cave on the banks of the River Lugar. In his mid twenties he walked from Ayrshire to Birmingham to find work at famous Soho works of James Watt and Matthew Boulton. In 1779 Watt and Boulton sent Murdoch to Cornwall, where he made his home in Cross Street, Redruth from 1782 to 1798. All his spare time was spent in design and innovation, he improved the efficiency of steam engines used in the mines and he is believed to have been the first in Britain to construct and use a steam-powered road going vehicle. This was in 1785. In 1792 William Murdoch was the first person in the world to light his house and office by piped coal gas. This laid the foundation for the gas industry of today. Murdoch House in Cross Street, Redruth has been fully restored and now houses various local bodies including Redruth Old Cornwall Society. Among the other successes of William Murdoch include a working model of a low pressure steam locomotive. He also invented a process for clearing beer. Murdoch returned to Birmingham in 1799 to continue his work with Boulton and Watt. He died there in 1839.
The memorial stone of Dolly Pentreath set into the wall of Paul churchyard, near Mousehole reads
'Here lieth interred Dorothy Pentreath who died in 1777, said to have been the last person who conversed in the ancient Cornish. The regular language of this county from the earliest records till it expired in the 18th century in this Parish of Saint Paul. This stone is erected by the Prince Louise Bonaparte in Union with the Reverend John Garret Vicar of St. Paul. June 1860.'
Her main language was Cornish and she only learned a little English as an adult. She is considered by many people to be the last person to speak Cornish as a first language, although this is contested by some. Cornish persisted as part of the local dialect until the 20th century revival. The Cornish language was already believed to have died out when Daines Barrington visited Mousehole in 1768 and discovered Dolly and others conversing in the language. This aroused a great deal of interest over a long period. Eventually the monument in her memory was set into the churchyard wall in 1860 by Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon's nephew. One story says it was originally placed over the wrong grave and had to be moved later.
Sir John Eliot
John Eliot was born on 20th April 1592 at Port Eliot, the Eliot family home at St. Germans on the bank of the River Tamar. He grew up in a household that was noted for its generous entertaining and relaxed way of life. As a result John seems to have been a little wild in his youth. In one instance he wounded a neighbour. a Mr. Moyle, of Bake, after he had been complaining to his father of his way of life. At the time of this incident Eliot was somewhere between 15 and 18 years old and it seems to have had a steadying effect on his character as from this time forward he lead a blameless life. At 24 years old John Eliot became MP for St. Germans, for the first time, in March of 1614. This parliament was an unproductive (no bills were passed) and short (dissolved in June). It is notable as the last Parliament with Sir Francis Bacon as Attorney an that Sir Edward Giles (a Cornish neighbour) was leader of the opposition. He led in the Commons for the impeachment of Buckingham (following his disastrous management of the anti-Catholic war) in 1626 and was imprisoned for eleven days and dismissed as Vice Admiral. He was returned to the Parliament of 1628 where, with Pym, he led the Commons in forcing Charles to accept the Petition of Rights and continued to attack Buckingham. Charles dismissed Parliament and imprisoned Eliot (and eight other commons leaders) in the Tower where he died in 1632.
Edmund, 2nd Earl of Cornwall
Edmund, the son of Richard Plantagenet (2nd Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans) was born on 26th December 1249 at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. He was not invested with the title until the last days of Henry III's reign. After the death of Henry, Edmund helped finance the newly crowned Edward I military campaigns to the extent, that on one occasion he placed the whole of the revenue of Cornwall at his disposal. Edmund improved Restormel Castle by replacing the wooden buildings in the keep at with stone structures. He also lived for a period at Helston Castle. He made Lostwithiel the county capital and built the 'Duchy Palace' including the Shire Hall, Hall of Exchequer of the Earldom and the Coinage Hall. When he died 1st October 1300 at Ashbridge Abbey, Buckinghamshire of natural causes and his bones were buried at Hailes. He was the last Earl of Cornwall to reside in Cornwall.
Edward, 1st Duke of Cornwall (The Black Prince)
Edward of Woodstock born in 1330 and later called the Black Prince, was the eldest son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, and the father of King Richard II of England. He was the first Duke of Cornwall (from 1337), the Prince of Wales (from 1343) and the Prince of Aquitaine (1362–1372). Edward died one year before his father, becoming the first English Prince of Wales not to become King of England. The throne passed instead to his son Richard II, a minor, upon the death of Edward III. In 1348 he became the first Knight of the Garter, of whose Order he was one of the founders. Edward married his cousin, Joan, Countess of Kent on 10th October 1361. She was the daughter and heiress of Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, the younger son of King Edward I by his second wife Margaret of France. They had two sons from this marriage. Both sons were born in France, where the Prince and Princess of Wales had taken up duties as Prince and Princess of Aquitaine. Trematon Castle became Edward's favourite castle and he stopped there at regular intervals on his way to and from the seemingly endless wars with France. Edward the Black Prince seemed to have good health until 1366. It was not until his campaign in Spain to restore Don Pedro the Cruel to the throne of Castille that he became ill. Edward contracted an illness on this expedition that would ail him up until his death in 1376. Edward died at Westminster Palace. He requested to be buried in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral rather than next to the shrine, and a chapel was prepared there as a chantry for him and his wife Joan.
Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall
Richard was born on 5th January 1209 at Winchester Castle, the second son of King John and Isabella of Angouleme. He was made High Sheriff of Berkshire at the age of only eight, was styled Count of Poitou from 1225 and in the same year, at the age of sixteen, his brother King Henry III gave him Cornwall as a birthday present, making him High Sheriff of Cornwall and the first Earl of Cornwall. Richard's revenues from Cornwall provided him with great wealth, and he became one of the wealthiest men in Europe. Though he campaigned on King Henry's behalf in Poitou and Brittany, and served as Regent three times, relations were often strained between the brothers in the early years of Henry's reign. Richard rebelled against him three times, and had to be bought off with lavish gifts. As the second son of King John, he had to wait to be crowned as King. In March 1231 he married Isabel Marshal, the wealthy widow of the Earl of Gloucester, much to the displeasure of his brother King Henry, who feared the Marshal family because they were rich, influential, and often opposed to him. Later that year Richard departed for the Holy Land. He fought no battles but managed to negotiate for the release of prisoners and the burials of Crusaders killed at a battle in Gaza in 1239. Later in life he built Tintagel Castle and Restormel Castle but Launceston Castle was his Cornish base. On the 2nd April 1272, Richard died at Berkhamsted Castle in Hertfordshire.
Sidney Godolphin was born in Godolphin Hall near Helston and baptised at Breage on 15th June 1645. He became a royal page to King Charles II in 1662 where he became a life long friend of John Churchill (later the Duke of Marlborough), who was at that time a page to the Duke of York. This relationship was to play a pivotal role in the affairs of England later on when Godolphin rose in position and influence and was responsible for raising the finance to support Marlborough's campaigns on the continent. Godolphin entered Parliament in 1668 as member for Helston and in 1678 he visited Holland. In that year he married Margaret Blagge, who subsequently died of pleural fever after giving birth to a son, Francis (she is buried at Breage). In 1684 Sidney created Baron Godolphin of Rialton and was made head of the treasury. He served as lord of the treasury until the end of James II reign. When William III landed in 1688, Godolphin stood by James II and was sent with Halifax and Nottingham to negotiate with William. However, when James flight was known, he voted for a regency. Nevertheless in February 1689 William reinstated him as first commissioner of the Treasury because of his outstanding political and economic skills. Godolphin was a Tory and when William began replacing his Tory ministers by Whigs he dismissed him in 1696. In 1698 his son, Francis, married Henrietta the daughter of the Duke of Marlborough Sidney's close friend and political ally. When Anne succeeded to the throne she made Godolphin her sole Lord High Treasurer in 1702 and Knight of the Garter in 1704. During this period he was a member of the triumvirate, along with Marlborough and Robert Harley (the future Earl of Oxford) at the heart of Anne's administration. In 1706 Anne created him Earl of Godolphin for his work with Marlborough in bringing about the union of England and Scotland. To maintain his position he pressured Anne to dismiss Harley in 1708, however in 1710 he was dismissed himself. Sidney's interests outside of his official life was horse racing. He was the first to import Arab stallions into England and all thoroughbreds in English racing today can trace their bloodline back to his stable. Two years later, on September 15th 1712, he died at the London home of his friend Marlborough.
Sir Francis Basset
Sir Francis Basset bought St. Michael's Mount in 1640 and held the titles of Lord and Captain of the Mount, High Sheriff of Cornwall, Vice-Admiral of the Northern Shore at the outbreak of the Civil War. A firm supporter of the King he played an active roll, on occasions at his own expense, of strengthening defences in Cornwall. He was at Boconnoc in 1644 where, after a successful campaign, the King Knighted him saying 'Now, Mr. Sheriff, I leave Cornwall to you safe and sound'. Sir Francis died in September 1645. A 90 foot high monument was erected to his son on Carn Brea in 1836, near Camborne, to the memory of Francis Lord de Dunstanville and Basset of Tehidy (1757-1835), the Tehidy Estate being the Basset family home.
Joseph Thomas Treffry
Born in Plymouth in 1782 as Joseph Thomas Austen, he changed his name by deed poll after the death of his mother's brother William Esco Treffry of Fowey in 1808, when he inherited the Treffry Family estate at Place House in Fowey. Trained in civil engineering, Treffry built a new quay in Fowey to take larger vessels for the export of tin, the major industry of Cornwall. As a result he became a partner in the Wheal Regent copper mine at Crinnis near Par. He then became a partner in Fowey Consols mine at Tywardreath and manager of Lanscroft mine. After he amalgamated the two mines in 1822 and took full control, Fowey Consols became the most productive mine in Cornwall and employed 1,680 workers. However, as Cornwall was geographically isolated form the industries of London and the Northwest, and as there were minimal port facilities through the narrow streets of Fowey, Treffry needed to find new means of distributing his tin ore. In 1828 he drew up plans for a new safe harbour at Par, and by 1829 Treffry had built a 12,000 foot breakwater on Par Beach. When the harbour opened, Treffry opened Par Consuls on the mount behind Par and build a double incline tramway to link it to Par harbour. This became his first venture into land transport, constructing inclines and Treffry Tramways to link with the canal up the valley to Ponts Mill and an inclined plane railway to the Fowey Consols mine on Penpillick Hill - taking tin ore out to the harbour, and coal in to power the steam engines. To bring water power to the mine he built a leat from Luxulyan along the west side of the valley. Treffry bought Newquay harbour and mines in the area of Goss Moor, and planned to link them by a railway system. He began developing a tramway from Ponts Mill to Newquay in 1837, constructing tracks to Bugle, which included building a viaduct at Luxulyan, to carry both tramway and water to power his mines. Treffry and his steward William Pease built the inclined plane tramway from the canal basin, past the Carmears Rocks, to the level of the top of the valley, then a level run through Luxulyan and on to its terminus at the Bugle Inn near Molinnis. This required a high-level crossing of the river, for which they built Treffry Viaduct in the Luxulyan Valley, which is 650 feet long and 100 feet high. Built of stone from the Carbeans and Colcerrow quarries, the lines from the quarries to the viaduct were the first parts of the tramway to be operational. The tramway was completed in 1844. Treffry served as vice-president of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society from 1849 until his death of pneumonia in 1850 at Place House in Fowey. He was also High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1839.
Antiquary and naturalist, born at Pendeen in 1696, of an ancient family (originating at St. Wenn). He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford from 1713 and in 1719 he was ordained. In 1722 he was presented to the rectory of Ludgvan, and in 1732 he obtained in addition the vicarage of St. Just, his native parish. In the parish of Ludgvan were rich copper works, abounding with mineral and metallic fossils, of which he made a collection, and thus was led to study somewhat minutely the natural history of the county. He married Anne Smith in 1724: she died in 1769. In 1750 he was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society; and, in 1754, he published, at Oxford, his Antiquities of Cornwall. His next publication was Observations on the Ancient and Present State of the Islands of Scilly. In 1758 appeared his Natural History of Cornwall. He presented to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, a variety of fossils and antiquities, which he had described in his works, and received the thanks of the university and the degree of Doctor of Civil Law Borlase was well acquainted with most of the leading literary men of the time. From 1722 he was Rector of Ludgvan and died there in 1772. William Borlase's great-great-grandson was William Copeland Borlase (1848–1899), an antiquarian who was influenced by his ancestor's archaeological work.
Silvanus Trevail (1851–1903) was a British architect, and the most prominent Cornish architect of the 19th century. Trevail was born at Carne Farm, Trethurgy near Luxulyan on 11th November 1851. Trevail rose to become Mayor of Truro and, nationally, President of the architects' professional body, the Society of Architects. Trevail rebuilt the derelict Temple Church on Bodmin Moor in 1883. He was Cornwall's most famous architect, certainly of the 19th century. Following the Education Act of 1870 which created Board Schools, Trevail designed around 50 such schools throughout the county. He also designed hotels including the Headland Hotel, Newquay, Carbis Bay Hotel in Carbis Bay. He was said to be a man ahead of his time, a campaigner for sanitation improvements and an entrepreneur. His success however, did not bring him happiness. Trevail had a history of depression and had been unwell for some time before committing suicide. On 7th November 1903 he shot himself in the lavatory of a train as it entered Brownqueen Tunnel a short distance from Bodmin Road railway station.
Dr Jonathan Couch
A British naturalist born in 1789, the only child of Richard and Philippa Couch, of a family long resident at Polperro, a small fishing village between Looe and Fowey. After receiving a sound classical education in Cornish schools, and some years' pupillage with two local medical men, he entered the united hospitals of Guy's and St. Thomas's in 1808, and in 1810 returned to Polperro, which he was rarely to leave, dying on 13th April 1870, aged 81. For 60 years he was the doctor and trusted adviser of the village and neighbourhood, and used with remarkable shrewdness and perseverance the great opportunities afforded to a naturalist at Polperro. He trained in succession a large number of fishermen to aid him in his pursuits, and the observations made at and near Polperro during his lifetime and since his death have not been equalled in value.
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