Chaplet/Wreath of LaurelsChaplet/Wreath of Laurels FranceUKSpain


Home Contents Back Next

The Pellowes of Penryn
a Family History by Dr E. F. Pellowe, 1964




(17)Coulthard when writing of Sir William Pellour of Breage called him 'one of the numerous family of Pellors', but he could not have had any idea of the much greater number of Pellows of Mabe and with them, we must take those in Gluvias, Budock and Constantine.

Robertus Pellowe of Mabe was born about 1550 and paid 5/- on 3 for his farm in the Subsidy Roll of 1584. and was rated also in 1597, 1598 and 1613. He died in 1614 and an inventory of his will is recorded for this year in the Calendar of Wills proved in the Consistory Court.

In 1613, we find Thomas the Elder and Thomas the Younger, and the former is also rated for St. Gluvias in 1570. The boundaries of Mabe, Penryn and St. Gluvias are complicated in the Treliever-Roscrow area and there are several farms which could spread across the boundary. Thomas Pellowe married Elizabeth Jeffery at Mabe in 1616.

John Pellour of Mabe, also of Budock, paid 8/. on 3, and died in 1625, and in that year in Penryn before Richard Harris, Clerk, and Vicar of Gwennap, the administration of the goods of John was granted to his son Alexander.

From the above three people Robert, Thomas and John, we trace all the names in our four parishes of Mabe, Mylor, Gluvias and Budock and most present day possessors of the name in the district can do the same.

The descendants of Robert appear to have maintained a continuous line of Roberts from 1550 to 1811.

The spelling of John Pellour and the Christian name of his son Alexander which arose a generation before in Breage, are interesting.

The main line of Thomas the Elder, however, is one which spreads out in farming, seafaring and trading.

The Christian names tell us something. From Thomas Pellor at Breage in 1427, down to the 18th century, there was a Thomas in every generation and sometimes two or three where young boys died. We have already seen how Matthew has survived from 1579 to the 20th century.

The eldest son of Thomas was Thomas the Younger (q.v.) and probably Henry, who married before 1630 at St. Gluvias, and George, whose son was baptised at St. Gluvias, were his brothers. (18) William the Elder of St. Gluvias who was born about 1600, married Jane before 1629 and buried in 1671, may have been another.

This William is possibly that ancestor of Exmouth whom Osler described as 'the earliest of the family of whom anything is certainly known lived at Plymouth during the Great Rebellion (The Civil War) where his loyalty made him so obnoxious to the Republicans that the Mob on one occasion, assaulted him on the Hoe and plundered his house.' This is not the only member of the family who fought for the King's cause.

William the Elder baptised six children at St. Gluvias between 1630 and 1643, and the fact that he does not appear in the Subsidy Rolls at all, supports the theory that he was no farmer but a mariner, and if he were at Plymouth during the Civil War this would also support the mariner theory.

His eldest son, William the Younger, was baptised in 1630, at St. Gluvias, married Bridget Edgecombe in 1656, and baptised 14 children at St. Gluvias. This William is also not mentioned in Subsidy Rolls but he is found in the Hearth Tax for 1662 as of Penryn for 3 Hearths, but he is 'very poore and does not own any.' In the archives of the Borough of Penryn exists The Town account book 1652-1795. This remarkable document records in one book 143 years of receipts and payments.

For the year 1659 we find that Willie Pellowe the Younger was paid 6/8 for carrying stones and labour in repairing the wall going to church 1.

Thirteen of his children died very young or without issue but one, Charles, born 1662, married twice and the second marriage is recorded twice, once at Budock and once in the new church register at Falmouth. He died n 1724 and his will was proved in 1725. We know that he was a mariner (as probably were his father and grandfather) because we have a Treasury Note dated 1713 addressed to H.M. Agents for managing the tin contract. It was a petition from the shipmasters against the terms of a new shipping contract. Previously they were aid 25/- per ton in times of war and 20/- per ton in times of peace to carry tin to London. The new order to Agents forbade any shipment except in the summer and cut the price to a flat 20/- per ton. The petition asked for the old terms and was signed by Samuel Osborn and Charles Pellew, shipmasters. Charles' only son was drowned at the age of seven and three daughters lived on unmarried for many years at Falmouth.

William the Elder's son, George, was baptised at St. Gluvias in 1640. He is probably the person described by Osler on p.3 as 'Capt. Pellew, Lord Exmouth's great grandfather, who served in (19) the Navy during the war of Succession'. No record exists of Capt. Pellew in 'Records of Naval Men' by Fothergill. although it contains an index of Captains 1660-1741. He may have been a privateer officer. He married Jane before 1665 and of their four children Humphrey was baptised at St. Gluvias as also were George in 1667 and William to 1669. Jane was baptised at Mylor in 1680. Of these children only Humphrey had issue and he had fourteen.

This Humphrey so Osler says was 'a merchant of consideration as the official revenue books attest. He held a large property in shipping, and traded chiefly in America where he had purchased a valuable tobacco plantation of 20,000 acres in Kent Island, Maryland. Of this estate, upon which the town of Annapolis is built, the writings remain, but the property was lost at the revolt of the Colonies. Mr. Pellew built part of Flushing, a large village on the shores of Falmouth Harbour including the present manor house in which he resided, but this being leasehold property, has long ago reverted to the Lord 2

Flushing which is but a mile by water from Penryn, was in those days in the Parish of Mylor and it is to Mylor and St. Gluvias that we must go for the record. Humphrey baptised at St. Gluvias in 1665, married Judith Sparnon at Breage in 1692 (notice this return to Breage) and was buried at Mylor in 1721, as Capt. Humphrey and his widow, as Mrs. Judith in 1756.

In the Penryn account book for 1728 Mrs. Pellew paid 7 5s. for her cellars. This could be Mrs. Judith renting fish cellars on the Penryn side of the harbour. Her husband Humphrey, ancestor of the Exmouths had died in 1721.

There is a Mylor burial in 1697 of Thomas Sharpe, a seaman belonging to Ye Bridget of Falmo, Capt. Humphrey Pellow, Master. In each of the last three generations in this line, there are daughters named Bridget and both these and the ship, are presumably named for Bridget Edgecombe, the wife of William lI and Humphrey's aunt.

At or about this time, there were four Pellows afloat and three of them ships' masters. Apart from Humphrey there was Charles taking tin to London, John Pellowe of Penryn, master of the good ship Frances, captured by the Moors when returning from Genoa, and Matthew Pellowe of Mabe who died in the Baltic in 1716, as recorded in the Mabe registers.

The rest of the story of this branch of the family is adequately covered by two biographies and the peerages of the nation. Of Humphrey's fourteen children, only one son concerns us, viz. the youngest son Samuel, although one of the others, Israel, married the heiress of Trefusis. Samuel was baptised in 1712. at Mylor, (20) married Judith Langford, was Captain of the Dover packet and died young, leaving four sons and two daugthers. The eldest, after qualifying as a surgeon, became a collector of customs at Falmouth; the second. after a long and distinguished naval career became Lord Exmouth; the third followed his brother in the navy to become Sir Israel Pellow K.C.B., and the fourth, John, was killed at the battle of Saratoga fighting the American rebels.

They were all baptised at Mylor, Samuel, in 1755, Edward in 1757, Israel in 1761, and John in 1763. A younger sister was married there in 1804 and Samuel's family were baptised there as well as some of Edward's.

Six wills between 1743 and 1763 are recorded in the Calendar of Wills proved in the Consistory Court at Exeter for this branch of the family in Mylor.

 We return now to Thomas the Younger of Mabe.

 He paid 4d. in the Subsidy roll of 1613, married Elisabeth Jeffery in 1616, and figures again in the rolls for Mabe in 1624, 1625, 1628, 1641 and 1660, paying then 5/- on 12 10s. He also pays in the same years, for property in Stithians the adjoining parish. He was a man of some consequence. This will was proved in 1663, and what a pity it is that we cannot read it. He and Elisabeth had five sons:-

Matthew of Goodigrane.

And we know quite a lot about all of them.

    1. John - was baptised at Constantine in 1622, married there in 1647, appears in the rolls for 1641 for both goods and land; his death is recorded in St. Gluvias registers of 1701 as John of Mabe. and in the Mabe registers as John of Penryn for the same date. In the 1660 Subsidy Roll, he paid 6/. on 15/- and in the Hearth Tax of 1662, he is rated for one hearth in Budock, probably in that part of Penryn across the river where Glasney was. This John is probably the one in the Penryn Borough account book for 1674, being paid 7/- as a Constable. He married Catherine before 1656 and of their five children two were baptised at Mabe and later three at St. Gluvias simultaneously in 1685. (21)

Thomas, one of these married Frances Pascoe a widow of Wendron, a parish between Breage and Mabe, in 1685 and died in 1728. (See Pellowes of Penzance.)

Deed 52523 in Exeter City Library shows that Goodigrane in Mabe was no longer leased to a Pellow in 1708 (although it had been earlier) but in 1712, it looks very much as if Thomas was back as a farmer, for Deed 52526, shows him nearby at Potters Downes in 1712.

Goodigrane and Potters Downes were part of the Manor of Merthen and Sir Richard Vyvyan of Trelowarren leased the latter to Thomas (excepting all the minerals and timber) for 3 per year, which was a little more than Matthew had to pay sixty years before.

It seems from Deeds in a private collection, as if Thomas was a sort of bailiff to the Taylders. Thus in 1720, Zacharias Gillard, of Helland and Pallesten paid Thomas one quarter's great rent and for this received a receipt. The next year, Thomas collected the great rate, land tax and window tax, and on this occasion, it is stated that Helland belonged to John Taylder. Receipts were issued by Thomas for the next two years.

In Thomas' deed for Potters Downes, two of the three lives are Matthew and John, his eldest children. Matthew, the eldest, was born in Mabe in 1686, and according to the Mabe register, died in the Baltic in 1716.

It is my opinion that he was Master of a ship bringing over pit props for the tin mines; at about this time, his kinsman, Charles. was taking tin to London; his second cousin, John, was being captured by the Moors and his more distant cousin, Capt. Humphrey, was building Flushing and operating tobacco plantations. Matthew's son Matthew, married Ann Copelin at Mabe in 1760, and died in 1766, his will being proved in the Consistory Court of that year and from this marriage, there may be descendants to this day.

The second son, John, was born at Wendron in 1689, and he may have been the Steward of the Manor of Gulval near Penzance who wrote the first of the Lanisley letters 3. The letters which are written by the Stewards to their absentee Landlords were written by John Pellow in 1724 and Thomas in 1741. The latter was probably his son. The clue to this problem probably lies with their mother, Frances Pascoe of Wendron, for the name Pascoe had a high status in the Mount's Bay area at one time. There were no early Pellowes in the Parish Registers around Penzance but there were some in the 18th century.

    2. Julyan - married Jane the daughter of Matthew Crowgie in 1665. Crowgie's brother was the John who was much persecuted (22) for being a Quaker and in 1680 'John Crowgie of the parish of Mabe was fined two thirds of his estate (although only on lease) and had taken from him by the Sherriff's order in 1680, the value of 5 4.'

Julyan was rated 4/- on 10 in 1660, and it appears that he farmed Helland or Pellasten to Mabe. In the Hearth Tax of 1662, his father who died in 1663, is charged for two hearths 'now Matthew and Julyan'. He died in 1672 and letters of administration were granted to his widow, Jane, who died in 1720.

Deed 346, in a private collection refers to this Jane. Margaret Taylder and Jane Pellow, widow, were executors of the will of William Crowgie, who in his life twice possessed the lease of Helland in Mabe and two furze crofts called Pallesten in Mabe for the usual 99 years or three lives.

The three lives were Thomas Carnsaw, Florence his wife, (both dead by 1713) and Grace Carnsaw, now the wife of John Trewinnard, gent. Crowgie had been assigned these properties under the will of Benjamin Pender of Falmouth in 1698. This same Pender was a famous Mayor of Falmouth.

John Taylder of Mabe owned Helland, but did not want to destroy the original lease and so caused it to be assigned to William Crowgie and when the latter died, he purchased the assignment back for 5/-.

Julyan, had only two children: Joan who married Constantine Locke at Budock in 1680, and John who died an infant.

    3. Thomas - The Third - was a soldier and was listed as a private in Capt. Penwarne's Company for the Parish of Mabe 5. This company formed part of Sir Nicholas Slanning's Regiment in the Civil War with Lt. Col. Bonython of Carclew in Mylor second in command. Sir Nicholas was Governor of Pendennis in 1635 and was killed in the Battle of Bristol in 1643. Thomas may well have been in the garrison of Pendennis and in the protracted siege before its capitulation to Cromwell's forces. He married but had no issue.

    4. Henry - married Catherine before 1659. She dies in 1677 and he died in 1705. Of their three children, John and Henry died young and Alice married John Harris of Gwennap in 1677. In the 1660 Roll Henry paid 4/- for 10 in Mabe. In 1662, at Stithians, William Jenkins is rated for one hearth 'but is poore and Henrie Pellow is the owner'. There is no doubt that he was a man of property. As previously noted, it is extremely probable, that he was the man who filled in the blanks for Roger Blois, Churchwarden of Mabe, and remembered his father's marriage in 1616. We have a little information about his will 6 for in 1704 Henry (23) Pellowe was sick and sent for Dennis Russell of Falmouth, gent. to come to Mabe to make his will 7. Henry declared how and what he would give, one of the witnesses being Margaret Taylder whom we have encountered before, and then he set his mark and seal. The next year Henry sent for Russell again and wanted to alter his will. Instead of giving his kinsman Thomas Pellow's children a guinea, he wanted this reduced to 10/- and a codicil was prepare

The next year, this will was challenged by the wife of John Harris, Henry's daughter, and the will and the witnesses were examined at Penryn 8.

We have no more than this, but we can guess that the touchy old man left his money to the Thomas Pellowes because they looked after him while his daughter was away at Gwennap.

Thirty years before, he had been a parish constable and persecuted the Quakers and Dissenters, yet a Taylder and a Dissenter witnessed his will.

    5. Matthew of Godigrane - married Joan before 1655 and and died in 1670. In the Subsidy Roll for 1660, he paid 4/- on 10 and in the 1662 Hearth Tax is rated for two hearths in Mabe; later in the same roll he is taxed for one hearth for 'Goodigrane' with the remark that he is already charged for this.

There is a deed in the Exeter City Library (52521) which is relevant.

In 1661 James Robins of Glasney near Penryn, leased to Matthew Pellowe of Mabe, yeoman, the farm of Goodigrane for the lives of Mathew, his son Thomas and his daughter Jane. The names of the fields are given and the rent was 10-13 quarterly with one capon at Christmas. Matthew's seal was a man's head which is also the seal of Penryn Borough, and William Halvosow was a witness.

Another deed in Exeter Library (52522 (Year 1675)) between Sir Vyell Vyvyan of Trelowarren and Matthew Pellowe of Mabe, yeoman, relates to a lease of Potters Downes next to Goodigrane for 21 years at 3 a quarter. Matthew's seal was a fleur-de-leys and, this Matthew was a son of Matthew of Goodigrane for the latter died in 1670 and the former in 1704.

In a valuation of the Hundred of Kerrier 9 in 1522, among a list of inhabitants of Mabe and their arms, is to be found John Godygranoe valued at 3.

In the 1839 Tithe award, Sir Richard Vyvyan is listed as owner of Goodigrane 72 acres and Potters Downes 26 acres. Both locations are marked on the 1908 6" ordnance map and are near the 500 ft. contour on the S.W. side of the parish close to Constantine. The ground is much disturbed with granite quarries - (24) there are nearly 20 marked within 1/2 mile of Goodigrane and some of the workings go back to Matthew's time.

Matthew had four children; Jane who died in 1665, Joan who married in 1684, Matthew of Potters Downes and Thomas (q.v.)

The elder son, Matthew, married Christian Chegwyn in 1673 and had three daughters. She was buried in the church at Constantine.

The younger son, Thomas of Penryn, is to be found in the Consistory Court Records of 1693 (as a witness in a contested will) as Thomas Pellowe cordwynder (shoemaker) of Penryn where 'he has lived 30 years, born at Mabe.'

It is difficult to establish why he was put to trade in Penryn unless he went to live with his cousins Humphrey and George of Mylor. I feel there may be some connection between Lord Exmouth's punitive expedition to Algiers (and his suppression of the Moors) and the tragic adventures of Thomas Pellowe of Penryn who was captured by them. The latter was a grandson of Thomas the shoemaker and in his book, refers to Mylor church-town where he lived as a boy.

Leaving speculation to one side, Thomas the shoemaker the 4th, married Alice Cook, in 1679, and their six children were baptised at St. Gluvias between 1682 and 1692. He must have been reasonably well off because throughout the register he is termed 'Mr. Thomas' and this is unusual in the group of registers studied. He died in 1699 and letters of administration were granted to the Consistory Court, probably to his eldest son Thomas for his wife Alice died in 1696.

There is an entry in the Penryn account book for 1689 which states that Thomas Pellowe was paid 1 11s. 6d. by the borough for six months water, which suggests that he owned or controlled one of the town's water supplies.

Thomas Pellowe, the fugitive from Morocco in his book refers in 1738 to his father's house being almost at the other end of the town from the quay.

These two facts suggest Druggan Moor or Tremough Dale as possible places.

John the youngest son, born in 1691, at St. Gluvias. was captain of the good ship 'Frances' captured by the Moors in 1715 and we shall come up against him later. Thomas. the eldest born 1684, was contemporary with Humphrey Pellow of Flushing and was probably a merchant as well.

At this time, there was a fair trade at Penryn of cattle imports from Spain. All along the quayside, there were cattle lairs and there may well have been some co-operation between the importing of cattle and the farming community of Mabe. (25)

We come across Thomas Pellow 10 of Penryn, Gent, as a witness to a will of Edward Chapman in 1714 when he was 32, and although born at Penryn, he had lived . there for only 20 years.

He married Elizabeth Lyttleton in 1702 and their ten children were baptised between 1703 and 1723, two at Kylor and eight at St. Gluvias. The eldest son Thomas, born at Penryn 1704, and buried there in 1745, was captured by the Moors and wrote a book about it. I think it is worthwhile to give some extracts from it.

This book was originally printed by R. Goadby and sold by W. Owen, bookseller at Temple Bar London, in 1740. A new edition by Fisher Unwin was published in 1890. The sub-title of the original is as follows:

'The History of the Long Captivity and Adventures of Thomas Pellow, in South Barbary. Giving an Account of his being taken by two Sallee Rovers and carry'd a Slave to Mequinez at Eleven Years of Age: His various Adventures in that Country for the space of Twentythree Years: Escape and Return Home. In which is introduced, a Particular Account of the Manners and Customs of the Moors; the astonishing Tyranny and Cruelty of their Emperors, and a Relation of all those great Revolutions and Bloody Wars which happen'd in the Kingdoms of Fez and Morocco, between the Years 1720 and 1736. Together with a Description of the Cities, Towns and Public Buildings in those Kingdoms; Miseries of the Christian Slaves; and many other Curious Particulars, written by Himself.'

Thomas writes: 'In the eleventh year of my age, the second of the reign of our late Sovereign Lord King George the First. and of our Lord Christ 1715, I being at the Latin School in Penryn in the county of Cornwall, and John Pellow, my uncle, being about to proceed on a voyage from Falmouth to Fowey, and thence for Genoa with Pilchards. in the good ship 'Frances', Valentine Enes (then of Penryn) merchant, the owner; and I, by no means liking my so early rising, and (as I then thought) most severe discipline of the school. so far insinuated myself into my uncle's favour as to get his promise to obtain the consent of my parents for me to along with him: and indeed he did, though not without much difficulty, they urging the hardships which probably I might, in my so tender years, undergo thereby, and their ominous fears of our falling into the hands of the Moors,. who were then at open ' _ war with us, and had, as they saw by the newspapers, very lately taken some of our ships; so that it was with the greatest reluctance and regret, that I obtained their consent, which at last (26) I did, and was soon rigged in my sailor's dress; and after taking (as it proved) my long, long farewell of my friends, our ship sailed from Falmouth to Fowey, where in a few days we completed our cargo, and as soon as all other necessary business was despatched, we set sail for our desired port.'

He soon began to repent of his rash undertaking, however, and wished himself back at school 'my uncle keeping me so close to my book that I had very little or no time allowed for play; and which if I at any time I presumed to borrow, I failed not of a most sure payment by the cat of nine tails, so that by the time we got to Genoa. I thought I had had enough of the sea, being every, day during our voyage out obliged (over and above my booklearning) to go up to the main-top mast head even in all weather.'

On the return voyage, they were surprised and captured by two Sallee Rovers off Cape Finisterre and taken to Sallee as prisoners. From here they were taken to Mequinez to the Emperor's Palace where they were sold as Slaves and Thomas Pellowe, at the age of eleven, became the slave boy of one of the Emperor's favourite sons. He was tortured to turn Moslem 'burning my flesh off my bones by fire; which the tyrant did by frequent repetitions after a most cruel manner; insomuch that through my so very acute pains I was at last constrained to submit, calling on God to forgive me who knows that I never gave the consent of the heart though seemingly yielded by holding up my finger.'

After a period in various schools, he became doorkeeper to the Queen and during this time, his Uncle John was carried off 'with a violent flux'. Thomas now began to prosper in the Emperor's army and before going off on his first expedition was given a wife. Thereafter, the book goes into considerable detail about the Sultan's expeditions both to punish rebels and to collect taxes. A great deal of detail is given about the cruelties practised and Thomas made a determined effort to escape. He was betrayed and wounded and returned to his wife and daughter to find them dead.

At this time, the truce between England and the Moors was broken and the crews of four captured English ships were brought in Mequinez. Thomas Pellow set forth from his castle very early in the morning to see if any of them belonged to or near Falmouth and found there was one named George Davis of Flushing, a small seaport town within the harbour. 'And with whom I soon joined asking him if he knew me. He told me no. "Why ", said I, "You and I were once schoolfellows together at the church town of Mylor." "Indeed," said he, "I cannot imagine who you should be unless you are Thomas Pellow who I have of (27) a long time heard was in his childhood carried with his uncle into Barbary." '

Thomas hung around those English prisoners cheering them up with supplies of brandy in bullocks bladders until a few months after they were ransomed and taken back to England but poor Thomas, no longer being a Christian could not go.

He escaped again and got as far this time, as a Portuguese outpost. Here he found some ships and the commander of one of these was John Simmons of Penryn who had been to school with Thomas. Unfortunately, John died soon after. and Thomas Pellow had to move further along the coast. He soon found some more English ships and engaged himself as interpreter. Although the ships were searched, he finally arrived safe at Gibraltar m July 1738. Even here he was claimed by the Bashaw of Tangiers as one of his subjects and the Governor gave his ruling that Thomas was a British subject. He was not permitted to return to England in a small vessel but was kept in Gibraltar until the big ship 'Euphrates', mounting 26 guns, and with Captain Peacock in command (bound for London from Turkey) came to anchor in the roads.

Thomas was hustled on board directly for fear of possible foul play, and sailed for home. He records that on the 24th day of the passage, he heard called out from aloft. the very much expected and pleasing word "Land" which proved to be the western Land's End of England. Thirty one days from Gibraltar Thomas went ashore off Deptford and going directly to the church returned public thanks to God for his safe arrival in Old England. He was advised to go to Beal's Wharf just below London Bridge in Southwark, where he could find some Cornish tin vessels. He went and found three but had to go over London Bridge to the 'King's Head', in Pudding Lane, near the Monument to see the Captains. He found one captain Francis of Penzance, commander of the 'Truro', who readily offered him a passage in ten days time. Thomas got lodgings in Pudding Lane and then went to the Navy Office praying for an introduction to his Majesty, but all he got was the extraordinary favour of a hammock on board a man-of-war. However, he accepted several invitations to the Moroccan Embassy where he dined off his favourite dish of boiled rice and mutton. They got home in four days : 'And the next being Sunday, we got about four o'clock in the afternoon safe into Falmouth pier; whence being to Penryn the place of my, nativity no more than two miles I got to the town in the evening and as my father's house was almost quite the other end of the town perhaps about half a mile, it was before I could reach it more than an hour; for notwithstanding, it was almost quite (28) dark, I was so crowded by the inhabitants that I could not pass through them without a great deal of difficulty though this I must own was of a different and far more pleasing nature to me than my first entrance into Mequinez everyone instead of boxing me and pulling my hair, saluting me and after a most courteous manner, bidding me welcome home being all very inquisitive with me if I knew them which indeed did not for I was so very young at my departure and my captivity and the long interval of time had made so very great an alteration on both sides that I did not know my own father and mother, nor they, me.'

It was October 1738, and Thomas was 34. He was buried at St. Gluvias in 1745, unmarried in England.

He was the eighth Thomas Pellowe from Thomas the Elder in 1571, and since then there have been no Thomas Pellowes in that branch of the family.

The youngest son of Thomas Pellowe, gent, was James, who was born in 1723, at Penryn and died in 1798, and whose will was proved in the Consistory Court in that year. He married Sibella Dunn of Mylor in 1745; their nine children were baptised at St. Gluvias between 1747 and 1763.

This James was quite a character and well documented in the Penryn Town account book.

In 1748 the Council paid him 1 19s. for making the Sergeants Seats in the Town Hall and further amounts in 1761 and 1764. In 1771 he carried out repairs at the Grammar School and was paid 3 17s. 10d. In 1772 he served as a constable and his disbursements on account of the soldiers amount to 2 13s. 94d. He is doing better later on in the year because he builds an engine house for the new fire engine and is paid 9 17s. 44d. Four years later he erected a new crane on the Town Quay, and in 1778 is Constable. In 1780 he becomes tenant of the Town Quay and is still so in 1793. He is employed in making a chest to hold the Town's papers for preservation in 1782.

Of his children, the most notable was Richard born in 1763. His first wife and two daughters died early and he married a second time in 1805. She was a widow named Mary Hearne Spargo. Their four children were baptised 1807-1811, and are characterised by interesting names: Richard Trefusis Pellowe and William Osborne Pellowe occur in 1807 and Mary Heame and Edward Lampin Pellowe in 1811. In Collecteana Cornubiensis there is a reference to Richard. He was a Lieutenant in 1790 and Agent for prisoners of war, and was probably in charge of the prison at Penryn during the whole of the Napoleonic campaign. One can still see the names of some of these prisoners (29) carved on the beech trees in a local lane. It must have been quite a family set-up with Admiral Sir Edward Pellew and Israel chasing in and out of Falmouth with their squadrons, Samuel in charge of the customs and Richard in charge of the prisoners. It was probably this Richard who achieved the honour of becoming the Mayor of Penryn in 1826. His son William Osborne Pellowe became Capt. in the 2nd battalion Madras L.I. in 1839.

Captain Richard Pellowe who was Mayor in 18267 left a very detailed account of the beating of the Town's boundaries as recorded in the History of Penryn (1964). The expenses for that day were 36 15s. 81d. This included 23 17s. 9d. for wine, 2 14s. for 36 gallons of beer and 2/- each for the boys who had to swim the water boundary.

A map recording these activities hangs in the Town Clerk's office to this day.

Richard's eldest brother William born in 1747, married Catherine at Mabe in 1771 and had four children before she died in 1778. The marriage of one of these, Sibella, to Thomas Barber of London, 1811, is listed in Collecteana Cornubiensis. William married again and had a son, Richard, who may have been the naval captain also listed in Collecteana and mentioned in the Exmouth biography as a kinsman. This second Richard married at Bodmin in 1802 and is said to have died in 1812 at Stoke Damerell in Plymouth.

Another member of this family, Thomas Pellowe, was born in 1754, and married firstly in 1778. He occurs as a witness to a will on page 1942 of the Exeter Consistory Court Papers: "whereas Richard Mitchell late of Penryn, mariner deceased did sometime since die intestate leaving a widow and three children aged 18, 17 and 13, whereas the children are incapable of receiving their shares of the goods of their father, they now appoint their good friend Thomas Pellow of Penryn, joiner, to be their guardian (1785)."

In 1785 James, William and Thomas Pellowe are paid for their work in making furniture for the Council Chamber (Penryn account book) probably the father and his two sons.

He married secondly, as of Falmouth, Anne Eathorne of Mawnan and their son John Eathorne Pellowe was born their in 1794.

In a rare book, a parochial history of Cornwall, published by Penaluna, at Helston in 1836, (vol. 2. page 107) there is a reference to the melancholy death by drowning, of Miss Pellowe of Penryn. The ferry boat at the Restronguet crossing sank due to the horses it was carrying becoming excited. The book refers to the accident as occurring some forty years ago, i.e. in (30) 1798, so that the young lady was almost certainly one of this family.

The naval captain referred to above as Richard Pellowe, was a Lieutenant in 1793, and he is mentioned on page 86, of Ostler's biography of Exmouth.

This year saw the outbreak of war with France and Exmouth (or as he then was, Capt. Pellew), was in command of the frigate "Nymph." This ship was manned almost entirely with Cornish miners because of the shortage of trained seamen.

Israel Pellow, Exmouth's brother, was in charge of the guns and they captured a French frigate the 'Cleopatra' by the seer genius of their gunnery.

This was the first capture of the war and the two brothers were presented to the King; Edward, becoming a Knight and Israel a Post-Captain. Two years later, Edward was in command of the 'Indefatigable' and his First Lieutenant was a Mr. Pellowe who endeavoured to help with the wrecked transport 'Dutton' in Plymouth Sound in 1796, and had this young man not died at Plymouth in 1812, nepotism might have done much for him.

Parkinson in his biography of Exmouth, mentions how probably in later life, Exmouth came across a midshipman by the name of Edward Thomas Pellew, who claimed kinship and who came from Penzance. On the strength of this Exmouth promised him furtherance of his interests. This particular Pellew preferred the land, however, and when a farm was willed to him he retired from the sea. We shall come across him later in the parish of Gulval near Penzance.

Thomas, who was captured by the Moors, had two younger brothers, William and James. The latter and his descendants have already been discussed.

William, was born in 1715, married Elizabeth at Budock in 1739 and had three children. John 1740, Elizabeth 1744 and William 1748. The first two were baptised at Budock and the last at St. Gluvias and in this year of 1748, their mother died probably in childbirth. William lived to be 88 but so far as can be ascertained, did not marry, nor did his sister Elizabeth.

We think they kept a hostelry because in 1793 we find a notice to the Portreeve of Penryn stating that the Court leet will be held at the House of Mr. William Pellowe, Innkeeper in the said borough.

The Town account book in 1789 had the entry 'To the servants at Pellowe's at the Public Entertainment 1.' Three years before, Miss Pellowe is twice paid 2/6 for a lanthorn, presumably to light the homeward way of some worthy Alderman after a good evening. (31) 

Here at the end of the 18th century is the flowering of a family.

We have already seen how Lord Exmouth and his brother Sir Israel Pellew are engaged in naval matters and their elder brother Samuel is in charge of customs.

Their cousin Richard is agent in charge of prisoners of war and soon to be Mayor of Penryn. Another cousin James and his sons are craftsmen and merchants, and James must have been one of the principal merchants since he tenanted the main quay. No doubt they had all been educated at the Grammar School and lived in the Georgian houses then being built. Another cousin, William and his sister ran the principal hotel.

They were not to know that the 19th century would bring an end to mining, would make the hinterland a distressed area and that gradual decay would come to their beloved quay.

The farmers in Bindock and Mabe carried on and we return to John Pellowe (the eldest son of William Pellowe) born in 1740.

I have tried to find out what he did and who he was but without success.

John Pellowe married Elizabeth Rawlings in 1765, at Budock and their six children, John in 1769 at Mabe, Joanna in 1771 at Mylor, Henry in 1773 at Mabe, Joseph in 1775 at Mylor, Elizabeth in 1766 and William in 1768 at Mylor, were all christened with Rawlings as a second name. This is unusual and there must be some reason for it. Was Elizabeth the heiress of a merchant or a farmer? I can find no place name like it. The eldest son Henry Rawlings Pellow, born at Mabe, married Jane Stephens at Budock in 1794, and had eight children. There may be descendants of this family today.

The second son, Joseph Rawlings Pellowe. baptised at Mabe 1775, married Catherine Lowry at Budock in 1795, fought in the Peninsular War and died in 1823.

His eldest son Joseph, baptised in 1806 at Budock, married in 1833 at St. Gluvias and buried in 1876, in St. Gluvias was my great grandfather. (32)


  1. R. J. Roddis History of Penryn, 1964.
  2. ibid p. 3.
  3. JRIC 23 1881 p. 374.
  4. Records of the Sufferings of Quakers in Cornwall (1928) p. 108.
  5. JRIC 1914 Vol. 19.
. Consistory Court Records 1705, p.167.
  7. CCR p. 167.
  8. CCP p. 171.
  9. PRO Misc. Vol. 77.
10. CUP p.486 and p. 2493.



Home Contents Back Next