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The Pellowes of Penryn
POSSIBILITIES ABOUT THE NAME
(34) It is extremely probable that the origin of the name lies in the place name Pellour in Breage and that the two modern variants Pellowe or Pellew derive from this, depending upon the pronunciation of the last syllable, to rhyme with hour or dour. In any case. the accent is always on the second syllable and many of the family who spell their name in the first way, pronounce it as the second.
Throughout this paper, the name is spelt just as it occurs in the original record and it will be observed that many variants exist.
The first entry in the Breage registers is John Pellowe d. 1578 Whilst his son Henry Pelowre d. 1590. Other spellings at Breage are Piller, Pellor, Pellew, Pelleow and Pelor.
At St. Gluvias are found Poleo, Polewo, Pelhew, Pellow, Pelew. Pillowe, Pelleow, Pullowe; at Constantine among others is Polleeowe and at Mylor where the 14 children of Humphrey Pellew are baptised one finds seven different spellings among the 14 children.
Barber in 'British Family Names' asserts that Pellew or Bellew = Belot, a tenant in chief in Domesday Book which becomes Baleewe and Belewe under King John, but I am not in agreement on this point. Henderson (History of Constantine 1937 p. 173), stated that in 1709, a settlement of Busvathick was made with parcels of land called - The Pillowe's Croft - etc. On p. 239 it is stated that Pillowe = Pella = farther when translated from the Cornish. On p. 243 reference is made to fields in 1649, at Drift named Croft Pellas. i.e., the distant farm. Again Henderson (History of Mabe 1934) refers on p. 40 to some fields in Treliever as Park-Pellow and to a field in Trevone as Pellow's Croft. Here Pellow is supposed to mean bare.
Osler in his biography of Exmouth derives the name from the French Pelleu and Thomas Pellowe in his 'Adventures' is sometimes spelt Pilleau.
There is little doubt that the true source of the family name is the place name Pellour in Breage which has had an identity for some 700 years. This name may originally have been Cornish and meant 'bare' or 'distant' or have been brought over by Norman invaders or Breton settlers. This can only be a matter for speculation. It seems very probable that fields or crofts named Pellow are enclosed by, or named after, people, especially as it is known that Pellowes lived in the parishes where these field names occur. (35)