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The Cornwall Coast
by Arthur L. Salmon
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In Mevagissey Church there is a curious old font, probably Norman in date as it is in appearance. The tower of this church was removed for some reason, perhaps because it was out of repair; and it was slyly reported in the neighbourhood that the townsfolk had sold their bells to pay for the removal of their tower. Cornish parishes are fond of these jibes against each other. Penwarne, the seat of "One-handed Carew," is in this parish; he lost his hand at the siege of Ostend in 1601, and returning after the fight, he presented the amputated limb to his hostess, remarking "This is the hand that cut the pudding to-day." A little south is the fishing hamlet of Portmellin; and just beyond Chapel and Turbot Points reach out into the Channel. There are remains of entrenchment on the headlands, and a little inland the farm of Bodrigan perpetuates the name of an old Cornish family, once of power and reputation. The waste known as Woful Moor, and the rock on the coast named Bodrigan's Leap, both have a tale to tell in relation with the ruin of this ancient family. It seems that in the days of Richard III. Sir Henry Bodrigan was engaged in a fierce feud with the leaders of the Edgcumbe and Trevanion families, and in the hour of his prosperity he pressed them hardly. When the day of adversity came and he was attainted by the newly crowned Henry Tudor, Bodrigan's enemies turned on him with vindictive zeal. Driven to bay, the desperate Bodrigan met them in a last conflict on Woful Moor, so named to commemorate his sorrow, and was so hotly pressed that he was compelled to leap from the shore, at the spot still known as his "leap." The drop was of a hundred feet, but he escaped without injury and was picked up by a vessel that lay beneath. His later story is not told; but Gilbert says that "he seems to have perished in exile. His property was divided between the two families opposed to him, and, after the lapse of three hundred and fifty years, continues to form a large portion of their respective possessions." But much water has passed by Black Head since Gilbert wrote.

There is a recollection of Bodrigan at Gorran Haven, where he is said to have built the old pier; this was rebuilt in 1888. Gorran Haven is a most attractive little fishing-village, and may have a future before it as a watering-place; at present it only draws the quietest of visitors. The beach is excellent, pleasantly diversified with crags; and there is a small outlying mass of rock known as the Guineas or Gwinges, round which a rough sea breaks finely. There is a daughter chapel here, late Tudor, dating from about 1450 and restored in 1885; while the mother-church of St. Gorran at the church-town has a pinnacled tower of 110 feet in height (late Perpendicular) with six bells. This was renovated in 1896. There are some good initialled bench-ends in the church. It is a district of grain culture. Gorran men were rather made a butt of by their neighbours in the old days; they "tried to throw the moon over the cliffs," and they "built a hedge to keep in the moonlight." Such parochial witticisms may be laughed at to-day, but they often provided a stinging grievance in the past and were a handy weapon in neighbourly feuds. They were by no means limited to Cornwall, though the Duchy was very plentifully supplied. The typical instance in England is that of the unfortunate men of Gotham, whom it is amusing to find old Ray seriously defending in his Proverbs, where he says that "as for Gotham, it doth breed as wise people as any which causelessly laugh at their simplicity. Sure I am, Mr. William de Goteham, fifth Master of Michael House in Cambridge, 1336, and twice Chancellor of the University, was as grave a governour as that age did afford." All which may be very true; and doubtless the men of Gorran were no more simple than their decriers. Doubtless also they had a payment for all compliments. The local dedication seems to be to the Gorran or Goron who surrendered his cell at Bodmin to St. Petrock, perhaps because he recognised a better man.

The coast around Gorran is very grand, and reaches its culmination in Dodman Point, sometimes called the Deadman, which rises to about 370 feet. The cliff has a sheer drop to the water, which is here deep, so that large vessels can pass close inshore. The local saying linking Dodman with Rame Head has already been quoted; and it is asserted that Dodman and Rame really did meet when they both came into possession of Sir Piers Edgcumbe. This bare, gaunt headland has proved disastrous to shipping, and some will recollect that two torpedo-destroyers, the Thresher and the Lynx collided with the rock here in a fog, several lives being lost through the resultant explosion. This point is the eastern gateway of Veryan Bay; in the heart of which bay lies the very small parish of St. Michael Caerhayes, or Carhays. The parish is inseparably connected with the old Cornish family of Trevanion, one of which family, Sir John, fell at the siege of Bristol in the Civil War, and left his name to the sad commemorative couplet in which Cornwall recorded those by whose lives she had to pay for their glory:—

"The four wheels of Charles's Wain, Grenville, Godolphin, Trevanion, Slanning, slain."

The list was not exhaustive. Speaking of Trevanion and Slanning, Clarendon says: "They were the life and soul of the Cornish Regiment; both young, neither of them above 28; of entire friendship to each other, and to Sir Bevil Grenville, whose body was not yet buried." It would be a poor thing if the horrors of war did not sometimes allow us such glimpses of heroic friendship and valour. In the church of St. Michael's are hanging many weapons that once belonged to Trevanions, including the sword said to have been worn at the field of Bosworth by Sir Hugh, who was knighted after the battle by the conquering Richmond. There is a doorway supposed to be Saxon in this church. The present Caerhayes House, beautifully situated at the head of Porthluney Cove, is the successor of the old Trevanion mansion, and was built about a century since by Nash, the architect of Buckingham Palace and Regent Street. For the sake of contrast, it is interesting to remember that the Brighton Pavilion was also Nash's work; and thus the mind can wander from this peaceful Cornish cove to that most populous of British watering-places. At Portholland is a small hamlet wedged into a tiny cleft, where those who desire the uttermost quietude might be satisfied; westward along the coast is the slightly larger fishing village of Portloe. This is in the parish of Veryan, one of the "Roseland" parishes whose name has really nothing to do with roses. Roseland, formerly Rosinis (Roz-innis, "moorland" or "heath island"), was in its origin a very early designation of this strip of land lying between Veryan Bay and the Fal; and we find the same original in the Rosen Cliff, just above Nare Head.

Nare Head, a fine bluff of rock, is the southward point of Veryan parish and the western extremity of Veryan Bay. There is some memory of Tregeagle around this headland, but his tale belongs more fully to Dozmare Pool on the Bodmin Moors and to the Land's End district. More immediately concerning us is the story of Geraint—at least of one of the rather numerous Cornish princes bearing that name—which is associated with Gerrans Bay and Dingerrein, now opening upon us, and with the great barrow of Carne Beacon. Perhaps Geraint, Latinised as Gerennius and sometimes as Gerontios, was simply a title of chieftainship or kingship; it is certain that the name was applied to more than one British chieftain, though since Tennyson's Idylls there has been only one Geraint in the mind of the general reader. Gerrans Bay, of course, embodies the name, and so do the remains of the entrenchment or camp at Dingerrein. It is possible that he whose name thus survives was truly the Arthurian champion; we may certainly give him the benefit of the doubt, and believe that this was the Geraint who married the sweet Enid, who tested her faith so harshly, and who died at Llongborth (probably Langport in Somerset) about the year 522. He is claimed by the Welsh bards as one of their heroes, and there can be no historic objection to such a claim. Llywarch Hen sang of his death—

"In Llongborth Geraint was slain, A brave man from the region of Dyvnaint, And before they were overpowered they committed slaughter."

Tennyson's version of the legend is mainly taken from the Mabinogion. We usually think of this Geraint, son of Erbin, as a fighter, but in Cornwall he appears as a saint and the father of saints; both characters, indeed, have been united in the same person, before and since. Geraint is claimed as the founder of Gerrans, as well as of St. Geran in Brittany; and Dingerrein is supposed to have been his residence, while Carn Beacon was his tomb. The last supposition is the most dubious. There is a traditional rumour that he was driven from Wales by Teutonic invaders, that he settled here near Veryan and built this stronghold, that he embraced religion and resigned his rule to his son, and died a holy man. If we accept this tale we must decide that it was another Geraint who fell fighting at Langport. The Book of Llandaff tells us that the great St. Teilo visited Geraint while on his way to Brittany, and that he hastened back from the Continent in time to administer viaticum to his dying friend, bringing a stone coffin for the burial with him. Tradition further says that the dead chieftain was buried with his golden boat and silver oars in which he had been wont to row himself. The place of burial was Carn Beacon, and there was long an expectation that these treasures would be discovered if the barrow was opened. This was done about half a century since, but the kistvaen that was found only contained some prehistoric ashes, of far earlier date than Geraint; the gold boat and silver oars were not visible. The remains were replaced and the excavation closed. There was a later Geraint who fought against the Saxon Ina in 710. But it is almost more difficult to identify these Geraints than it is to attain any certitude about King Arthur himself.

Gerrans is close to one of the lovely creeks that run inland from Falmouth Harbour. On the coast is the little settlement of Porthscatho, which is undergoing the transformation so common in Cornwall, from fishing-village to watering-place. The artists came first, and then the tourists. The charm of the place, with its whitewashed houses and grey slate roofs, has not yet been destroyed; and Porthscatho is still a delightful haunt. Southward is Zose Point, or St. Anthony's Head, so called from the parish of St. Anthony-in-Roseland, with its beautiful restored Early English church. The Norman doorway and lighted steeple are noteworthy. Close by is Place Houses (Places are common in Cornwall), a mansion erected by Admiral Spry on the site of a priory founded by Athelstan, belonging later to the monks of Plympton. There is a lighthouse, as well as a prehistoric castle, on Zose Point, the light visible for fourteen miles, and a valuable guide to vessels making Falmouth. This St. Anthony Headland dominates St. Mawes Harbour, Falmouth Bay, and the mouth of the Carrick Roads; the view is even more magnificent than that from Plymouth Hoe or Staddon Heights.



CHAPTER V

FALMOUTH AND TRURO

About a century since Lord Byron was at Falmouth, waiting a favourable wind that would enable the sailing of the Lisbon packet. He seems to have been detained here about a week, during which time he made characteristic observations and embodied them in a letter to his friend Hodgson. With some sportive malice there was evidently a spice of truth in his remarks. He tells his friend that Falmouth "is defended on the sea side by two castles, St. Maws and Pendennis, extremely well calculated for annoying everybody except an enemy. St. Maws is garrisoned by an able-bodied person of fourscore, a widower. He has the whole command and sole management of six most unmanageable pieces of ordnance, admirably adapted for the destruction of Pendennis, a like tower of strength on the opposite side of the channel. We have seen St. Maws, but Pendennis they will not let us behold, because Hobhouse and I are suspected of having already taken St. Maws by a coup-de-main. The town contains many quakers and salt fish—the oysters have a taste of copper, owing to the soil of a mining country; the women (blessed be the Corporation therefor!) are flogged at the cart's tail when they pick and steal, as happened to one of the fair sex yesterday noon. She was pertinacious in her behaviour, and damned the mayor." One might have expected that he would at least have had a word for the town's beauty of position and for its magnificent harbour; but such things were features that he usually ignored in his letters, and his avoidance of the poetical always amounted to an affectation. Defoe, who had been here about eighty years earlier, found something to say about the harbour as being, "next to Milford Haven, the fairest and best road for shipping that is in the whole isle of Britain." Of Falmouth itself he says that "it is by much the richest and best trading town in this county, though not so ancient as its neighbour town of Truro." Truro might have the honour, but "Falmouth has gotten the trade." He says further that "Falmouth is well built, has abundance of shipping, is full of rich merchants, and has a flourishing and increasing trade. I say 'increasing,' because by the late setting up the English packets between this port and Lisbon, there is a new commerce between Portugal and this town carried on to a very great value." The origin of this trading, he suggests, was very much assisted by a species of export-smuggling, whereby British manufactures were carried from England to Portugal without paying custom at either end. But the custom-house soon put an end to this, or at least greatly modified it. Among other notable visitors it is interesting to remember that Disraeli was here in his younger days, in 1830, detained before starting on his own somewhat Byronic voyage to the Mediterranean; he found the town "one of the most charming places I ever saw." In days when Falmouth was a port-of-call for nearly every outward-bound vessel, many another distinguished traveller must have put in here and explored the town while the ship waited its sailing orders; but it must be confessed that the records of such visits are rather scanty, and the literary or other associations of Falmouth are not of the richest. There are some, however, that claim a mention; and although Falmouth as a town can boast of no antiquity, yet this noble estuary of the Fal lies in a centre that must have witnessed many remarkable scenes forgotten by history, and as early as man began to trust himself to the waters its harbourage must have had a profound value and significance.



Long before men had begun to speak of Falmouth, except by applying that name to the estuary of the river, the headland on the western side of the river-mouth was known as Pendinas, now Pendennis; it was evidently entrenched, for its Celtic name means the "headland fortress." There was a settlement at Penmerryn, or Penmarin, now Penryn; and the spot on which Falmouth stands appears to have been known as Pen-y-cwm, the "head of the valley," to which the syllable quic was added, thus forming the familiar Penny-come-quick, for which it has been easy to find a plausible but erroneous derivation. If this quic is merely a corruption of wick, meaning dwelling or village, it would be obvious that Saxon influence had been at work here, as in the other old name for Falmouth, Smithic or Smethic, interpreted as Smith-wick. But we know very little with certainty about the place until the Arwenack manor was acquired by the Killigrews, through marriage with its heiress, which seems to have been somewhere about 1385, though some of the rather confused records tend to show that the Killigrews had connection with Arwenack earlier than this. The family came from Killigrew, meaning a "grove of eagles," in the parish of St. Erme, and they had everything to do with the founding and prosperity of early Falmouth, championing it against the rival claims and animosity of Penryn and Truro. There has been some attempt to prove that Gyllyngvase, which is the present Falmouth bathing-place, was the scene of the burial of Prince William, son of Henry I., who was drowned off Barfleur, to his father's lasting sorrow; the supposition being that Gyllyng was a corruption of William. This seems purely imaginary; there is nothing to show that William's body was ever recovered, and if it had been brought to England his father would certainly not have let it be buried in this far-distant and lonely spot. We must probably go to the Celtic for the derivation of Gyllyngvase. One of the Killigrews erected a fort on Pendinas, which, under the sanction or by the command of Henry VIII., was expanded into Pendennis Castle, which it is said that king visited. In 1552, on his return from the expedition to Guiana, Sir Walter Raleigh was entertained at Arwenack, and was much struck by the fine naval capabilities of Falmouth Harbour, laying the matter before James I., and gaining that monarch's countenance for the Killigrews' views for the furtherance of Falmouth in spite of the opposition of its neighbours.

During the Civil War Pendennis Castle was held for the King by its aged and gallant governor, John Arundel, and it afforded brief shelter both to the fugitive Charles II. and to his mother, the Queen Henrietta Maria. The Sheriff of Cornwall, who saw her at this time, described her as "the woefullest spectacle my eyes ever yet look'd on; the most worne and weake pitifull creature in the world, the poore Queene shifting for one hour's liffe longer." She escaped to France, adverse winds preventing her capture by the Parliamentary fleet. It was in the following year that the young King took refuge at Pendennis, before he sought an asylum at Scilly; the approach of Fairfax warned him to fly in time. Then followed one of the most strenuous sieges of the war, John Arundel, "John for the King," defending the place for about six months, and only surrendering on honourable terms, when there was only one salted horse left as provision. This brave old defender was in his eighty-seventh year. Two hundred sick persons were left behind when the garrison marched out, under the stipulation that none of them should be compelled thereafter to fight against their king; and it is said that many died from eating too heartily after their prolonged famine. Lord Clarendon tells us that "the castle refused all summons, admitting no treaty, till they had not victual for twenty-four hours, when they carried on the treaty with such firmness that their situation was never suspected, and they obtained as good terms as any garrison in England." Pendennis was the last stronghold, with the exception of Raglan, to hold out for the Royalist cause; and it was fitting that this most gallant defence and dignified surrender should be placed to the credit of loyal Cornwall. It tallies with the brave struggle of the previous century, on behalf of the old faith and the old tongue. We may not wish that either struggle had terminated differently, but they were both in keeping with the tenacious character of the Cornish people. As a striking proof of their desperate resolution, the defenders of Pendennis themselves fired the manor-house of Arwenack, in order that it might not be occupied by the Parliamentary troops, and these had to be content with such trenches and defences as they could contrive from the ruins. The mansion was never suitably restored, and there are only a few relics of it to be seen at the present day in Arwenack Street. Its beautiful avenue became a rope-walk, and the site of its park is covered with buildings. Charles II. was not specially notable for remembering those who had assisted him in the day of his trouble—indeed, there were a great many for him to remember; but it is pleasant to know that the son of the defender of Pendennis was created a peer at the Restoration, while one of the Killigrews became a baronet, and a charter of incorporation was granted to the infant town. It was enacted that the settlements hitherto known as "Smithike and Penny-come-quick" should become a corporate town under the name of Falmouth. Sir Peter Killigrew had already obtained from the Commonwealth a patent for a weekly market and two fairs, together with the rights of ferry to Flushing; and the custom-house had been removed to Falmouth from Penryn. In 1661 a quay was authorised, and two years later a church was erected, with a dedication to King Charles the Martyr. However incongruous such a dedication may now seem, it had great significance at the time. By dint of effort, also, Falmouth was created a distinct parish, freed from St. Budock and St. Gluvias. All these steps were taken in face of much opposition, and against the influence of Robartes, Arundels, and Godolphins, who supported Truro, Helston, and Penryn in petitioning that "the erecting of a town at Smithike would tend to the ruin and impoverishing of the ancient coinage towns and market-towns aforesaid, not far distant from thence; and they therefore humbly prayed the King's Majesty that the buildings and undertakings of Mr. Killigrew might be inhibited for the future." Such had been an earlier petition to James I., and the same spirit of opposition pursued every development of the young town. Strife and litigation pursued the Killigrews unremittingly, until the extinction of the family in the direct line, somewhere about the middle of the eighteenth century. There is one great literary glory attaching to them. It was to Mistress Anne Killigrew that Dryden wrote his noble elegiac ode, which Dr. Johnson thought the finest in the language. With the dignity and melody that distinguished Dryden at his best, he apostrophises the lady as one who had herself courted the muses of poetry and painting—

"Hear then a mortal Muse thy praise rehearse In no ignoble verse, But such as thy own voice did practise here, When thy first fruits of poesy were given, To make thyself a welcome inmate there; While yet a young probationer And candidate of heaven."

The ode was addressed to Anne, daughter of Dr. Henry Killigrew, born in 1660, who died of smallpox in 1685; she was a Maid-of-Honour to the Duchess of York. A volume of her poems appeared in the following year, with Dryden's ode as an introduction. In painting she seems to have done portraits of James II. and his queen. She was buried at St. John the Baptist, Savoy. It is Dryden's verse, and not her own, that has immortalised her.

There is no need to follow in detail the somewhat unexciting tale of Falmouth's growth. Its one event of national moment was the selection of the port, in 1688, for the sailings of the Mail Packet service, which proved to be of immediate consequence both to Falmouth and Flushing, as the families of captains and crews soon chose one or other of those places for residence, thereby bringing prosperity and a keen rivalry. The story of the packets is very notable, and has been worthily told by Mr. A. H. Norway. We may assume that it was one of Mr. Norway's ancestors who lost his life while gallantly defending his packet, the Montague, from the attack of an American privateer. At first only three packets sailed, between Falmouth and Lisbon; but the service soon extended to the West Indies, America, Barbadoes, and elsewhere. They were not only a fine training-school for seamen, but were in some sense an auxiliary to the British navy, frequently coming in close contact with the King's enemies or with privateers, in which conflicts they generally rendered a good account of themselves. They seem at first to have been supplied for the use of the General Post Office by contract, and sometimes belonged to their captains or to companies of private shareholders; but about the year 1820 they were taken over by the Admiralty, with the idea that a stricter discipline was needed. The greatest days of the packets were before this transference, and their diminishing splendour terminated entirely in 1850, when the port ceased to be a packet station, the mails having been taken in charge by ocean liners. Plymouth has succeeded to the position that once was Falmouth's. It is no exaggeration to say that some of the actions of the packets and their dauntless crews recall the palmy days of Elizabethan naval prowess and exploits such as that of the immortal Revenge. The very name of the hero of that great adventure was perpetuated by one of the packets, which accomplished something worthy of his fine tradition. It is told by Gilbert how "in the year of 1777 Captain William Kempthorne was opposed off the island of Barbadoes in H.M. Packet Granville to three American privateers, two of whom were each of equal force to the Granville, and lay alongside her in a raking position. After a desperate action, in which the captain received a severe wound in the head and lost the roof of his mouth, the enemy was compelled to sheer off, and the Granville with her brave commander returned safe to England." This is only one example among many. It is said that within the three years, 1812-14, "thirty-two actions were fought between Falmouth packets and privateers, which resulted in seventeen victories for the Cornish against superior numbers of men and guns, while the remaining contests, in which also great numbers lost their lives, were in respect to valour, as glorious." One of these grand struggles may be best told in Mr. Norway's words:—

"On November 22, 1812, the Townshend packet, armed with eight 9-pounder carronades, a long gun of similar calibre for use as a chaser, and a crew of twenty-eight men and boys under the command of Captain James Cock, was within a few hours of dropping her anchor at Bridgetown, Barbadoes, when the first light of morning revealed two strange vessels cruising at no great distance. These vessels proved to be American privateers, the Tom, Captain Thos. Wilson, and the Bona, Captain Damaron. The former was armed with fourteen carronades, some 18- and some 12-pounders, as well as two long 9-pounders, and carried 130 men. The latter had six 18-pounders, with a long 24-pounder mounted on a traverse, and a crew of ninety men.... This enormous preponderance of force was greatly increased in effective power by being divided between two opponents. A single enemy might be crippled by a single shot; but if good fortune rid the Townshend of one antagonist in this way, there still remained the other to be reckoned, more powerful at every point than herself.

"If ever circumstances justified surrender after a short resistance they were present in this case. It might even be thought that resistance was a useless sacrifice of life; but such was not Captain Cock's view. He held it to be his plain duty not only to keep the mails out of the hands of the enemy—which could be done effectually by sinking them at any moment—but to use every means in his power to preserve them for their proper owners, and not to abandon hope of delivering them at the office of the post-office agent at Bridgetown until every chance of doing so was gone. Now, there were still two chances in his favour: first, that he might hold out until the noise of firing attracted some of the British cruisers which were probably in the immediate neighbourhood; and secondly, if that chance failed, he might run the Townshend ashore on some shore of the coast where the privateers could not follow him. Both these chances were desperate enough; but Captain Cock saw his duty clear before him, and cared nothing for the consequences. All his preparations were quickly made, and every man was at his post before the privateers came within range, which they did about 7 a.m.

"At 7.30 the Tom had placed herself abeam of the packet to larboard, while the Bona lay on the starboard quarter, and both their broadsides were crashing into the Townshend at pistol-shot distance, all three vessels running before the wind. This lasted till eight o'clock. The Americans, as was usual with them, made great use of 'dismantling shot,' i.e., chain- and bar-shot; the effect of which upon the rigging of the Townshend was most disastrous. It was not long before her sails were hanging in ribbons, and her spars were greatly damaged, and in some momentary confusion from this cause the Tom seized an opportunity of pouring in her boarders, while the Bona redoubled her fire, both of great guns and musketry, to cover their attack. After a fierce tussle the Americans were driven back to their own ship; but this success was won by the loss of four of Captain Cock's best hands, who received disabling wounds in the fight. Thereupon both privateers resumed the cannonade, maintaining the positions which they had taken up at the commencement of the action, and for another hour the Townshend endured the fire of her enemies' heavy guns, the courage of her commander and crew remaining as high and stubborn as ever. But the packet was by this time so much shattered that she could with difficulty be handled. Again and again the Tom bore down upon her, and hurled fresh boarders up her sides. Time after time Captain Cock led his wearied men to meet them, and each time drove them back.

"But the post-office men were now so reduced in numbers that it was with the greatest difficulty that Captain Cock could continue to serve the guns and at the same time collect sufficient men to meet the constantly recurring boarding attacks. It was plain that this situation of affairs could not last: there was no sign of succour on the sea, and when Captain Cock looked aloft he could not but admit that in the crippled condition of his ship all chance of running her ashore was gone. The Townshend was in fact a mere wreck. Her bowsprit was shot in pieces. Both jib-booms and head were carried away, as well as the wheel and ropes. Scarcely one shroud was left standing. The packet lay like a log on the water, while the privateers sailed round her, choosing their positions as they pleased, and raking her again and again. Still Captain Cock held out. It was not until ten o'clock, when he had endured the attack of his two powerful enemies for nearly three hours, that he looked about him and realised that the end had come. There were four feet of water in the hold, and the carpenter reported that it was rising rapidly. The packet was, in fact, sinking. Nearly half the crew were in the hands of the surgeon. The rest, exhausted and hopeless of success, had already fought more nobly than even he could have foreseen, and were now being uselessly sacrificed. Still Captain Cock's pride rebelled against surrender; and as he saw the colours he had defended so well drop down upon the deck, it is recorded that he burst into tears. He had no cause for shame. Such a defeat is as glorious as any victory, and is fully worthy of the great traditions of valour on the sea which all Englishmen inherit."

It would be easy to quote many such stories, which, together with the siege of Pendennis, form the heroic memories of Falmouth. Otherwise, the town's associations are chiefly provincial, not to say parochial. The abiding glory of the place is its beauty of position, and the magnificent views that it commands. Something of an old-world atmosphere still lingers around the quays. One attraction is gone; John Burton is no longer at the old curiosity shop bearing his name. Memories of the Killigrews are preserved by the curious pyramidal monument, erected in the Grove by Martin Killigrew in 1737, and now standing at Arwenack Green. Perhaps there should be some memorial of the Rev. John Collins, who, during the Commonwealth days, practised here as a physician, having been ejected from his living at Illogan. His diary proves how well he deserved remembrance. One entry tells how he "did this day administer —— to old Mrs. Jones for her ague." Then, the following day: "Called on Mrs. Jones, and found she had died during the night in much agony. N.B.—Not use —— again." We may hope he is now forgiven for his experiments. Falmouth, however, can only claim him as a resident. There is little more to tell about Falmouth. Its present docks, covering an area of 120 acres, were built in 1860. There is some ship-building, some brewing, with oyster and trawl fishing; the fishery engages nearly seven hundred persons. Industrially, the town cannot hope for much, unless it should ever become a naval base; but as a residential district it is very delightful, combining the charms of sea and noble river. The Castle Drive can hardly be surpassed, of its kind; and if we proceed past the Gyllyngvase bathing-beach, there is a pleasant little lake known as the Swanpool, which was once a swannery of the Killigrews.

For antiquity as for present-day industry we must go to Penryn, which lies about two miles up the Penryn Creek and is devoted to the export of granite. The busy but not very lovely little town has very much of a granite tone about it, and can boast that it supplied the material for Waterloo Bridge; it can also boast that it was in existence before the Conquest—how much earlier is difficult to say. Its parish church was so largely restored in 1883 that it is practically new; it is dedicated to "Gluvias the Cornishman," who was a Welshman. Among the gardens at the back of Penryn's chief street are some remains of Glassiney College, founded in 1246 by Bishop Bronescombe of Exeter for secular canons and vicars. It became perhaps the most important centre of learning and literature in Cornwall, and was a nursery of the old miracle-plays or interludes—some of which still survive in the Cornish original and prove themselves to be no better, no worse, than the average of such performances throughout the kingdom. Old Cornwall, it must be confessed, did very little for literature; and if we regret the extinction of the vernacular, it is not for any literary treasures that remain embodied in it. But an event that took place at Penryn is the theme of something a little better than the Cornish interludes—namely, the "Penryn Tragedy," which inspired Lillo's play The Fatal Curiosity. It is said that a Penryn man who had left Cornwall in his early days and had become rich abroad, returned to his home just as a present-day miner might return from South Africa. He was recognised by his married sister, but, begging her keep the secret, he proceeded incognito to his parents' house and asked their hospitality for the night. Unhappily the old mother caught sight of the treasure that he had about his person, and she persuaded the father to kill the man in his sleep. Next morning the sister came to share in their joy at the wanderer's return, and asked for her brother. To their horror, the wicked old couple found that they had murdered their own son. They had grace enough to commit suicide after the discovery. The same tale seems to have been conveyed to Wales, where it is related of a parish in Montgomeryshire; but a Welsh poem that tells the story rightly attributes it to Cornwall. And yet it is possible that the same event happened in Wales also; a few years since the newspapers related an almost identical incident as having occurred in Russia. Perhaps the story really belongs to folk-lore, reappearing at times under a new guise and in a new locality.

In the possession of the Penryn Corporation is a silver chalice, given by Lady Jane Killigrew "to the towne of Penmarin when they received mee that was in great miserie." It seems that about this time (1633) the lady was divorced, and took refuge from her domestic troubles at Penryn, where the animosity of the townsfolk towards the Killigrews caused her to be received with great favour; she afterwards married Francis Bluett. A mistake has been made by many in attributing to her the piracy committed two generations earlier by Lady Mary Killigrew, who illegally boarded some foreign vessels lying at Falmouth Harbour and carried away treasure. There was some bloodshed over the matter, and a considerable scandal; so much, that it is said the lady was sentenced to death by the authorities, but escaped through influence. In any case, poor Lady Jane, who, whether she had been frail or not, had enough private sorrows of her own, must not be saddled with this additional load of blame for an act that she never committed.

Immediately opposite Falmouth, across the Penryn creek, the little port of Flushing, with a climate supposed to be the mildest in England, has survived to tell us of an extinguished glory. The passing of the packet service brought comparative stagnation to Falmouth; it actually crushed Flushing. It is a pleasant little place, and one cannot wonder at its popularity with the naval men who resided here. It is said to have been founded by Dutch settlers, who brought the name with them. Some few of its old houses remain, suggestive of its former life, and Flushing is left to luxuriate in the dreams of its past. The church here is modern. Flushing is in Mylor parish, and Mylor can claim a greater antiquity. There was once a royal dockyard here. The dedication is to Melor, son of St. Melyan; both father and son appear to have suffered martyrdom, or were victims of political intrigue. The church was restored in 1869, but retains much of its Norman character; and one of its best monuments perpetuates the memory of the Trefusis family, whose name also attaches to the headland eastward of Flushing. Lord Clinton is of this family. Mylor is most pleasantly situated at the mouth of its own little creek, and looks up the Carrick Roads towards Truro; but before taking the journey thither, delightful in itself and delightful in its objective, it may be worth while to cross the harbour for a peep at St. Mawes, which somehow seems like an off-lying shoot of Falmouth. It is named apparently from St. Maudez or Mauditus, of Ireland, though some have asserted that the real dedication is to St. Maclovius of the Breton St. Malo. The question is rather involved, and may not appeal to many. The castle was built in 1542, about the same time as Pendennis, and both forts were supposed to have been under the special fostering care of Henry VIII., who realised the strategic importance of Falmouth Harbour. Its first Governor was Michael Vyvyan, and its last Sir Alexander Cameron. At the time of the Civil War it could not boast the fine resistance that Pendennis offered, being easily commanded by ordnance from the heights above; but as a defence on the seaward side and a protection to the estuary its position is very powerful, and must prove so should Falmouth ever become a naval base. At present the castle has little but its size to recommend it; but the little town, with its small jutting pier, has some attractiveness. An interesting ingot of tin was discovered near here, many years since, showing how the old tin-workers shaped their metal for transport. Truro can hardly be said to be on the coast; but certainly no book on Cornwall can ignore this town, which is, in fact, the capital of the Duchy intellectually and ecclesiastically, however loudly Bodmin may claim to be the assize town. Partly by reason of its shape, partly perhaps from other causes, there has been little centralisation in Cornwall, and the very selection of Truro to be the cathedral city was in some sort an artificial and arbitrary arrangement. No doubt it was the best that could have been made; but old Cornwall had no such centre, and there were rival claims to be considered. It may not be incorrect to say that Cornwall of to-day has several capitals: Penzance is the commercial centre of the far west; Redruth and Camborne dominate the mining districts; St. Austell is the metropolis of china-clay; while Bodmin and Launceston perhaps more intimately represent agriculture. Truro stands apart from them all, and represents the Church. In one sense the real capital of Cornwall to-day is Plymouth, meaning by that the Three Towns, as in old days it was Exeter. But of all existing Cornish towns, none would be better qualified than Truro to play the dignified part of the cathedral city; and, with its population of about 13,000, Truro does this very well. Its honours sit well upon it, and have been accepted with becoming pride. Undoubtedly the pleasantest way of reaching the cleanly and agreeable little town is by the boat from Falmouth, and the trip is one of the recognised things that visitors to Cornwall are supposed to do. There can be no question of the journey's beauty, though when it is contended that this is the loveliest river in England, one remembers other beautiful streams whose claims are at least equal. In Cornwall itself there is the Fowey River, quite as rich in loveliness, if on a smaller scale; and there is the Tamar, whose charm is so great that both Devon and Cornwall are eager to claim it. Then there are the exquisite reaches of the Dart, from its mouth to Totnes, to say nothing of its wilder course beyond, among the fastnesses of the moors. In Monmouthshire there is the "sylvan Wye." All these, and many other claimants, spring to mind and enforce upon us the foolishness of any comparisons at all. Beauty must be always complete and satisfying in itself, unless we let our thoughts be disturbed by ideas of a possible better. It is certain that the passage up the Fal, especially in suitable weather, is of very real charm, with its numerous tempting creeks and pools, its ferries and riverside hamlets, its sloping meadows and spreading woodlands. But when we speak of going up the Fal to Truro, we are speaking incorrectly; the true Fal turns eastward after passing King Harry's Reach and runs to Ruan Lanihorne; the water on which we pass to the Truro quayside is the Truro River. It has been spoken of by our late Queen, among the many visitors who have admired it. She said, "We went up the Truro, which is beautiful, winding between banks entirely wooded with stunted oak and full of numberless creeks. The prettiest are King Harry's Ferry and a spot near Tregothnan, where there is a beautiful little boathouse." Tennyson was here a little later (in 1860) after a visit to the Scillies, and he made the river trip from Falmouth to Truro. On the boat the poet was recognised, his portraits, and perhaps some knowledge that he was in the neighbourhood, being responsible for the discovery. Palgrave, who was with him, writes: "Our captain presently came forward with a tray and squat bottle, and said, with unimpeachable good manners, that he was aware how distinguished a passenger, &c., and that some young men sitting opposite, and he, would be much honoured if Mr. Tennyson would take a tumbler of stout with them." The poet gave a gracious response, and willingly drank the health of his admirers. But "presently the captain reappeared, and this time it was the ladies in the cabin who begged that the Laureate would only step down among them. But the height of that small place of refuge, Tennyson declared, would render the proposed exhibition impossible. Might he not be kindly excused? The good women, however, were not to be balked; and one after another presented her half-length above the little hatchway before us, gazed, smiled, and retreated." It was well for Tennyson that he had overcome some of his early shyness, or the ordeal might have tried him considerably. There was no cathedral in those days, rising with somewhat foreign aspect from near the waterside; but its germ was there in the old parish church of St. Mary's, which now welds the ancient and the modern into one beautiful and fairly harmonious whole. It is difficult to over-estimate the value of this old church as a component part of the new cathedral; and the atmosphere that it sheds seems gently pervading the entire building, taking away the glare of its modernity, softening what might otherwise be crudity, and giving a vital sense of continuity to the worship of the bygone and the present. It may have been impossible to include more of the old church in the new edifice, but we are grateful that this south aisle remains. It is generally supposed that the Cornish are a Dissenting people, yet they all took kindly to the building of this minster, and they all feel a pride in it. Gifts poured in from all parts of the Duchy to assist in its erection, and, suitably enough, very little but Cornish material was used in its construction—Cornish granite, china-stone, polyphant, and serpentine, with Cornish copper in the clock-tower. It might, perhaps, have been better if Perpendicular, the prevalent church style in Cornwall, had been adhered to, instead of a rather French-looking Early English; but even on this point opinions may be divided.

The cathedral has made Truro a place of pilgrimage for all loyal Cornish folk, and they may feel proud that in a materialistic age such an emblem of faith has been fostered and reared. Local guide-books will sufficiently explain the details, but every visitor should notice the beautiful marble paving of the choir, and the fine baptistery in memory of the missionary, Henry Martyn, himself of Truro. This revival of the Cornish see, some thirty years since, formed a link between the present generation and the old days, nine hundred years earlier, when St. German's was episcopal; further still, it takes us back to the times of the old saints, fitly commemorated here, who came from Ireland and Wales and Brittany to bring the Cornish people a knowledge of that in which they believed. The Truro cathedral is a fact, and certainly a fact of considerable significance. Its first bishop was the beloved Dr. Benson, his memory perpetuated in the Benson Transept, with its graceful rose-window. One thing is impressed upon us by this new minster—that present-day architecture, when meritorious, is an imitation. The closer it keeps to old models, the better is the result. Did church-building really say its last word four centuries since?

For its greater antiquity we have to remember that Kenwyn, about a mile inland, is the mother of Truro, and this place has been claimed as a Roman station named Cenion. The Itineraries speak of the stations on the rivers Tamara, Voluba and Cenia. Tamara is the Tamar; Voluba probably the Fowey; Cenia the Truro or Kenwyn River. But it is exceedingly doubtful that Rome ever had definite stations in Cornwall at all. This does not affect the antiquity; Kenwyn was a British settlement, if never Romanised. Truro is supposed to signify the "town on the river"; its manor was held by Robert de Mortain after the Conquest, and the place seems to have had a charter as early as the days of Stephen. Its position, far retired up the river, is eloquent of times when men dreaded to settle close to the sea—the sea brought foes and deadly night attacks; it was when commerce became more important that Falmouth sprang into being. We have similar instances at Lostwithiel and Fowey, Totnes and Dartmouth, Exeter and Exmouth, as well as a striking modern instance in Bristol and Avonmouth. There was a castle at Truro, on the present site of the cattle market, but it was "clene down" in the time of Leland; there were also a Dominican friary and a house of Clare monks. As a port Truro did its best to oppose the building and growth of Falmouth, but the inevitable could only be delayed, not prevented. The town's recompense came late, but it has come. Though it welcomed the fugitive Charles II., the town itself does not appear to have seen any fighting during the Civil War—it is certainly quite indefensible; but at Tresillian Bridge, about three and a half miles east, at the head of the creek so named, the desperate struggle of Cornish Royalists was brought to a close by the surrender of Sir Ralph Hopton to Fairfax.



CHAPTER VI

FROM FALMOUTH TO THE LIZARD

The southward limit of Falmouth Bay is Rosemullion Head, which does not rise to any great height, but it commands fine views, on one side towards the Fal estuary, with Zose Point and the Dodman beyond, and on the other commanding the mouth of the Helford creek. The "Rose" of course means heath; and Mullion we shall meet again. Penjerrick, which lies a mile or two inland towards Falmouth, will be visited by many not only for its beautiful botanic gardens, but for its memories of the Foxes; but our own steps must now be turned towards the Lizard. Rosemullion is in the parish of Mawnan, whose church-town lies a little south of it; the dedication appears to be to a certain St. Mawnanus, but there is great difficulty in identifying him. From here to the mouth of the Fal there is a raised beach, more or less perfect; in fact, all along this Cornish coast there are plentiful signs that the shore contours have been by no means permanent. When we reach the Helford River we have come to another rival of the Fal, with creeks and inlets, wooded banks and fields, differing in size but hardly in degree of beauty. Strictly, the name Helford only applies to the little ferry town; the river is the Hel, or Hayle, and affords comfortable harbourage to many craft. There is a literary association here of some interest; for Kingsley tells us how Hereward the Wake sailed up this river to Gweek, hungry for adventure. "He sailed in over a rolling bar, between jagged points of black rock, and up a tide river which wandered and branched away inland like a land-locked lake, between high green walls of oak and ash, till they saw at the head of the tide Alef's town, nestling in a glen which sloped towards the southern sun. They discovered, besides, two ships drawn up upon the beach, whose long lines and snake-heads, beside the stoat carved on the beak-head of one, and the adder on that of the other, bore witness to the piratical habits of their owner. The merchants, it seemed, were well known to the Cornishmen on shore, and Hereward went up with them unopposed; past the ugly dykes and muddy leats, where Alef's slaves were streaming the gravel for tin ore: through rich alluvial pastures spotted with red cattle; and up to Alef's town. Earthworks and stockades surrounded a little church of ancient stone, and a cluster of granite cabins, thatched with turf, in which the slaves abode." If this is a picture of Gweek, the church must be imaginary; the nearest churches are those of Constantine and of Mawgan. This is Mawgan-in-Meneage, so called to distinguish it from the Mawgan-in-Pydar, near Newquay. The Meneage, which we find affixed to several other parish names immediately north of the Lizard, clearly derives from the Cornish men—a stone—and denotes the "stony district"; just as Roseland signified the heath or moorland district. Whenever we find man in an early place-name, we can feel pretty sure that it has no reference to the human species. Defoe, who took Helford in the way of his journey to the Land's End, speaks of it as "a small but good harbour, where many times the tin-ships go in to load for London; also here are a good number of fishing-vessels for the pilchard trade, and abundance of skilful fishermen. It was from this town that in the great storm which happened November 27, 1703, a ship laden with tin was blown out to sea and driven to the Isle of Wight in seven hours, having on board only one man and two boys." He proceeds to tell how the boat was loaded at "a place called Gwague Wharf, five or six miles up the river," by which he must mean Gweek. The captain and his mate stayed on shore for the night, not detecting signs of anything unusual in the weather; but orders were given that in case of wind the vessel should be moored with two anchors. As a matter of fact, the gale soon increased so remarkably that the man on board, with his two boy assistants, soon found it necessary not only to drop their second anchor but also two others. "But between eleven and twelve o'clock the wind came about west and by south, and blew in so violent and terrible a manner that, though they rode under the lee of a high shore, yet the ship was driven from all her anchors, and about midnight drove quite out of the harbour (the opening of the harbour lying due east and west) into the open sea, the men having neither anchor or cable or boat to help themselves." Avoiding rocks as best they could, they drifted past the Dodman and tried to make Plymouth, but the first land they made was Peverel Point in Dorset, and by seven o'clock next morning they were driving full towards the Isle of Wight. One of the boys was for running the boat to the Downs, where it would almost certainly have perished; but the other lad remembered a creek in the Isle of Wight, where he thought there would be room to run the boat in. Very wisely the man yielded to his advice, and gave him charge of the helm. "He stood directly in among the rocks, the people on shore thinking they were mad, and that they would in a few minutes be dashed in a thousand pieces. But when they came nearer, and the people found they steered as if they knew the place, they made signals to direct them as well as they could, and the young bold fellow ran her into a small cove, where she stuck fast, as it were, between the rocks on both sides, there being just room enough for the breadth of the ship. The ship indeed, giving two or three knocks, staved and sank, but the man and the two youths jumped ashore and were safe; and the lading, being tin, was afterwards secured. The merchants very well rewarded the three sailors, especially the lad that ran her into that place." A very fitting sequel, for it was indeed a daring exploit. The storm was that tremendous tempest which desolated the British coasts in 1703, commemorated by Addison in his "Campaign":—

"So when an angel, by divine command, With rising tempests shakes a guilty land, Such as of late o'er pale Britannia pass'd, Calm and serene he drives the furious blast, And, pleased th' Almighty's orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm."

That simile, then considered the height of sublimity, had a powerful effect in furthering the writer's fortunes.

Helford is in the parish of Manaccan, which lies about a mile south of it. The place was once known as Minster, which seems to evidence the existence of a monastery. The creek and valley of the Durra stream are very beautiful, and the church especially interesting. There is a fig-tree of great antiquity growing out of the tower wall. Chancel and south transept are Early English, and the south doorway very excellent Norman. About a century since the Cornish historian and versifier, Polwhele, was Rector at Manaccan, also having charge of the neighbouring parish of St. Anthony, and though he liked the place less than his former residence by the mouth of the Exe, he admitted that "in the walks to St. Anthony, the tufted creeks, the opening sea, the prospect of Pendennis Castle, there was picturesque beauty—there was even sublimity." Polwhele was magistrate as well as parson, and on one occasion the famous Captain Bligh (himself a Cornishman) was brought before him, charged with plots of treachery by the officious Manaccan constables; he had been detected surveying the harbour of Helford. Bligh appears at first to have been in a great rage, but he melted gradually, and after indulging in woodcocks for supper, with a variety of wines, parted from his host on the very best of terms. Polwhele also tells us of a brother-magistrate whom he invited to meet Whitaker, the historian of the Cornish diocese, who was at that time Rector of Ruan Lanihorne. The fellow-magistrate was a trifle lax in his opinions, and on his expressing a sceptical view, "Mr. Whitaker started up in a burst of passion. The justice turned pale, and his lips quivered with fear. Not a culprit before him, at the moment of commitment, ever trembled more; and Whitaker imperiously charging him with infidelity, the old gentleman made a confession of his faith, to an extent which surprised me." He seems to have been "at best an Arian"; yet "he was on the whole a respectable man." Theology apart, one cannot help sympathising with the culprit, and rejoicing in his respectability. But times have greatly changed; men can now confess something more than Arianism without trembling with fear.

Dennis, or Dinas Head, running to the sea beyond St. Anthony, has some ancient entrenchments which were put to practical use during the Civil War, being occupied by Richard Vyvyan of Trelowarren in the Royalist cause; they were surrendered to the conquering Fairfax. The church of St. Anthony is said to have been erected as a thank-offering, after escape from shipwreck, by Norman settlers soon after the Conquest. Beyond Gillan stretches Nare Point, a bold bluff of rock, and a mile lower is the little fishing-village of Porthallow, which is attracting some of the visitors who are now coming increasingly to the Lizard district. At Porthoustock (locally often called Proustock), a little more than a mile beyond, we have come into the immediate presence of a great wreck region, for Manacle Point lies close below, and the Manacles themselves foam yonder with perpetual menace, their bell-buoy sounding a dismal but quite insufficient warning.

Ever since men began to navigate British waters, these half-covered rocks and the whole of this Lizard coast must have been a deadly peril. The number of their victims cannot be reckoned; for, as Sir John Killigrew wrote three centuries since, "neither is it possible to get parfitt notice of the whence and what the Ships ar that yearly do suffer on and near the Lizard, for it is seldom that any man escapes and the ships split in small pieces." The Manacles (meneglos, "church rocks") lie about half a mile from the shore, and extend for about a square mile; all but one are covered by the highest tides, which of course renders them the more fatal. The name "church rocks" has some connection with the far-seen landmark of St. Keverne tower. If we could give the whole list of wrecks we should probably find it rival that of the Scillies, perhaps surpass; the Manacles lie even more directly in the route of navigation. It is just a century since two vessels, the one homeward and the other outward-bound, were wrecked almost at the same moment near here. One was the transport Dispatch, returning from the Peninsula with many officers and men on board; the other was the eighteen-gun brig Primrose, bound for the seat of war. There is a graphic account in the now defunct Cornish Magazine—a magazine that was obviously too good for the public, and therefore died much regretted by its few but select admirers. It was a bitter and rough January, 1809. "At half-past three on Sunday morning the Dispatch, an old ship in bad repair, was driven on the rocks near Lowland Point, and speedily became a total wreck. While men and women were rushing through the gale with news of this disaster, and men and horses were being dashed about by the roaring sea, there came tidings that at the other end of the Manacles another ship filled with soldiers was foundering. In those days there was no Lifeboat Institution with its record of gallant services all along the coast. But there were men of the sort that the grandest lifeboat crews are made of, and six Porthoustock fishermen, taking the best boat they could find, went out from their cove across the wind-torn sea towards the rocks barely discernible in the early morning light. Little it was that they could do, though, and worn out with their strivings against the wind and sea, they returned with only one boy and the news that the vessel disappeared almost immediately after she struck, at five o'clock, and all except the boy were lost." In those two wrecks that morning about two hundred lives were lost. The noble heroism of the Porthoustock men came to the ears of Government, and ten guineas were sent to each man. More than a hundred of the drowned were buried in St. Keverne graveyard, an Act having just been passed that allowed bodies cast up by the sea to be admitted to consecrated ground. Another notable wreck was that of the emigrant ship John, in 1855. This time the disaster may have been a result of carelessness, for the weather was fine; in any case, the vessel got on the Manacles. Some boats were launched and selfishly filled, but the captain apparently thought there was no cause for alarm. Those in the boats took the tidings to Coverack, but in the meantime a wind had sprung up; a message was sent across and Porthoustock men set out to the rescue. There were many children on board; the crew, unlike true Britons, thought only of their own safety; the ship was settling fast, leaving only the rigging for such survivors as could cling to it. After many gallant attempts, and three journeys to and from shore, the brave fishermen managed to save all that were left on the wreck, but 196 were drowned. There was another rich harvest for St. Keverne graveyard. The memorable blizzard of 1891 of course paid its tribute of wrecks to these shores. The largest loss was the Bay of Panama, a Liverpool boat of 2,282 tons, making for Dundee with jute from Calcutta. Eighteen of her crew were lost, some being frozen to death. On this occasion a most wonderful feat of courage and endurance was accomplished by a man of Porthoustock, that village of brave men. It was important that telegraphic messages should be despatched from Helston, and a man named James volunteered to carry them. He reached Helston with infinite difficulty, and found the place practically snowed up, all communication broken. Against strong advice he resolved to push on to Falmouth, distant at least fourteen miles by road, the roads almost impassable with snowdrifts. He began his journey by pony, but soon had to leave the animal behind. Once he was near succumbing, but a rest in a wayside cottage restored him; the last two and a half miles he covered by crawling on his hands and knees, being too exhausted to walk. Falmouth was reached at last, and the messages from Porthoustock, St. Keverne, and Helston were delivered. But the tale of wrecks is not finished. In 1895 the Andola was broken here, its crew saved by the lifeboat from Porthoustock. More recent, and the best remembered of all, is the wreck of the Mohegan, in 1898. She was a boat of 7,000 tonnage, leaving Gravesend with about 150 persons on board. She struck one of the Manacles, and within twenty minutes was submerged with the exception of masts and funnel. Rescue proved very difficult, but the lifeboat saved forty-four; all the remainder were lost. One of the Porthoustock lifeboat crew that did the rescuing had been also active in taking succour to the John, forty-three years earlier. It needs these records of heroism to relieve the sadness of such a chronicle.

St. Keverne, whose church stands high at rather more than a mile's distance from the sea, is a place of striking interest for its situation and its traditions. It is not easy to say who Keverne was; some, such as Leland, Whitaker, and Mr. Baring-Gould, say that he was none other than St. Piran, retaining his original Gaelic name of Kieran. But it is difficult to see why he should remain Kieran here, while he became Piran or Perran in connection with all his other Cornish churches; and there is the awkward fact that St. Piran's Day is the 5th of March, while St. Keverne's is near Advent. Dr. Borlase thought that the two are distinct persons; and, identifying St. Keverne with the Lannachebran of Domesday, he supposes a Celtic saint named Chebran or Kevran. Tin has never been successfully worked in this parish, and there was a local saying that "no metal will run within sound of St. Keverne's bell," supported by a tradition that the saint cursed the district because of the irreligion of its people. Piran, the patron saint of tinners, would hardly have called down such a curse, though he might have done so if greatly provoked. But if not metalliferous, much of the parish is exceptionally fertile and verdant, in contrast to the barrenness of the Goonhilly Downs. Without attempting to decide authoritatively as to the personality of Keverne, we may at least be amused by the curious story told about him, which brings a strong touch of human nature into the record of one who is otherwise so hazy. It is said that he was visited by St. Just of the Land's End district, and that when the more western saint departed, after freely indulging in Keverne's hospitality, he carried away Keverne's drinking-cup—some say his chalice. Shortly after the departure, Keverne discovered that his cup was missing, and he guessed at once that his saintly friend had taken it. In great heat he hastened after the guest, and while passing Crowza Downs he pocketed a few large stones for future use. Presently he saw St. Just plodding along in the distance, and shouted after him. St. Just was too deeply absorbed in religious meditation to notice the cries. Finding shouts were useless, Keverne began to throw his stones, and these proved more effectual. St. Just dropped the chalice and hurried away home. Keverne had three stones left, and he satisfied his still heated feelings by hurling these after his visitor; which done, he took up his cup and proceeded homewards. It is said that these stones lay in a field near Germoe till last century, when they were broken up for road-metal, and that they consisted of a kind of gritstone common enough to the Crowza Downs, but quite unknown in the district where they lay. The field in which they lay actually bore the name of Tremen-keverne, the "three stones of Keverne"; and if we need further proof than that, we must be sceptical indeed. The tale is valuable as a picture of Celtic saintdom; no monkish fabulists would have told such stories of Latin saints. Without approving of St. Just's action, he seems nearer to us than if he had run about with his head under his arm or perpetrated any other of the absurdities often attributed to the conventional Romish saints. St. Keverne's is a large church, the largest in West Cornwall, being 110 feet in length; and it was collegiate before the Conquest, afterwards passing to the Cistercians of Beaulieu. There are some curious traces of former rood-lofts which seem to speak of eastward enlargements. The bench-ends bear the symbols of the Passion. In the south aisle are the arms of Incledon, famous singer of a past century, who began his career at Exeter Cathedral when eight years old, and later became celebrated at Bath, at Vauxhall, and at Covent Garden; he was a native of St. Keverne.

In this parish, about a mile and half southward, is the delightful little fishing-village of Coverack, which is deserving and winning a quiet popularity. There is no pretension about the place, though it can boast one hotel, a modern chapel-of-ease, and the usual small conventicles. Being sheltered from the north, and with a rich soil, every cottage garden luxuriates in great hedges of mesembryanthemum; and, as we find further west, the fuchsias grow like trees. Coverack indeed is an oasis in a district much of which is stony and desolate. The down-lands around are purple in its season with the beautiful Cornish heather, and golden with gorse, while dodder grows freely over the hedges; near the shore there is abundance of squills, sea-holly, and sea-campion. The descent to the village is a sharp drop; visitors usually alight above from their coach, and walk down the steep zigzag road. It is not surprising to read that this secluded spot was formerly notorious for smugglers, but now it peacefully devotes itself to fishing, and to the entertainment of guests who can appreciate quiet loveliness. Pilchards are still caught here, with the old-fashioned seine-nets; but their numbers have much decreased. We can realise what the pilchard has been to Cornwall when we read that in 1847 over 40,000 hogsheads were exported to Genoa, Leghorn, Naples, Venice, &c., estimated at more than a hundred million fish. The annual catch now is about half this quantity, and some proportion of these are retained for home consumption. When we pass Black Head we come at last in sight of the true Lizard, with the fine reach of Kennack Sands lying between; and for those who can appreciate a walk of surpassing beauty, the best thing to do is to take the path at the top of the cliffs, leading through Cadgwith to the Lizard Point. The walk takes us into the true serpentine region; at Coverack serpentine is largely blent with felspar and crystal. Perhaps in the future these sands of Kennack will be thronged by thousands of holiday-makers, but they are better as they are, haunted by seabirds and washed by tides of ever-varying aspect. Several small streams run to the sea here, and at Poltesco the sands are broken by a gorge of lonely and romantic charm, with a charming cascade, opening into Carleon Cove. There was a serpentine factory here once, but it is deserted; the water-wheel turns no longer. It may be said that this walk from Coverack along the cliffs is not easy; it is rugged, undulating, tortuous, and Cornish miles sometimes seem very long. But it repays. When we reach Cadgwith we seem to be genuinely at the Lizard. We have come to a port of crabs and lobsters, and of painters.



Cadgwith is certainly a most picturesque and attractive little place, and if it does not share the luxuriant fertility of Coverack, it has the compensation of being nearer to the wonders of the Lizard. It is in the parish of Ruan Minor, and this is a dedication to a saint whose name we also find at Ruan Major, Ruan Lanihorne, and Polruan near Fowey. He also appears at Romansleigh in Devon. He seems to have been an Irishman, some say converted by Patrick, who travelled widely, and when in Brittany was accused by a woman of being a were-wolf; she said he had eaten her child. The king of that part, who favoured the saint, said, "Bring him hither. I have two wolf-hounds; if he is innocent they will not harm him, but if there is anything of the wolf about him they will tear him to pieces." The dogs came and licked Ruan's feet; and the child whom he was supposed to have eaten was discovered hidden away. However, the saint found it well to leave Brittany for Cornwall. He is said to have been buried at Lanihorne, but Ordulf, who dedicated his abbey at Tavistock to the honour of Mary and St. Rumon, professed to have brought the saint's relics to his Devon foundation and there enshrined them. It proves how slightly Saxonised that part of Devon was, and how powerful was the Celtic tradition, that Ordulf should have selected a Celtic saint for his monastery. A portion of Cadgwith is in the parish of Grade, which is supposed to be a dedication to the Holy Creed; but here, as at Sancreed and St. Creed, Grampound, we may be safe in believing that there was a living personality behind the dedication, not a mere abstraction. Churches had definite founders in Celtic days, and there was a certain St. Credan who may be responsible for all these. But does the ordinary visitor care much about these questions of dedication and saint-lore? Probably not. South of Cadgwith are some of the grand caves and rock-freaks that have a more immediate appeal, and north of the hamlet some of the best serpentine is obtained. Serpentine is a blend of silica and manganese, so named from its imagined resemblance to a snake's skin; its colour varies from green to red and brownish yellow, and is often remarkably beautiful. It has been used with striking effect, architecturally, in Truro Cathedral; while with regard to its use for ornaments and decoration, the visitor has many opportunities of judging for himself.

When we remember the seas to which these shores are exposed, it is easy to understand how the coast has been eroded into its present contorted and cavernous condition. Massive rocky frameworks have resisted the action of the waves, but softer measures have yielded; the shore has been licked into hollows, basins, caves, by continuous water-action, and the process continues unendingly. One remarkable excavation of this kind is the Devil's Frying-pan, covering about two acres, which the sea enters through an archway of rock at high tides; the pit is nearly 200 feet deep. Literally, it is a cave whose roof has fallen in. Close to this is Dollar Hugo, a cave whose roof has not fallen nor seems likely to, with a magnificent gateway of serpentine. The name is sometimes spelt Dolor, suggestive of grief, but its origin is not easy to trace; Hugo seems to be a corruption of the Cornish word fogou, meaning a cave. Johns, who wrote a very interesting book about the Lizard some sixty years since, said that "of all the caves that I have ever inspected, this wears the most perfect air of mysteriousness and solemnity. At the entrance it is large enough to admit a six-oared boat, but soon contracts to so small a size that a swimmer alone could explore it. Its termination is lost in gloom, but as far as the eye can discriminate the water is unceasingly rising and falling with a deep murmuring sound, which is reverberated from a great distance, and falls on the ear with a most imposing effect. The colouring of the rocks at the entrance is magnificent. The base is of a deep rose-pink; the sides rich dark brown, with blotches of bright green and rose colour; the roof purple and brown. The water is very deep and of a fine olive green, and, being remarkably clear, the light stones lying at the bottom are distinctly visible, among which at my last visit we could descry great fishes, probably bass, pursuing shoals of launces." By "launces" the writer meant what we should now call the lancelet. Just south of Dollar is the old smugglers' cave known as Raven's Hugo. Below this to the extreme point of the Lizard the coast is a series of jagged cliffs and clefts, with tiny coves and black chasms. For seaward and distant views it is best to take the head of the cliffs, but for the caverns a boat should be used, and this of course necessitates caution. We have now reached Lendewednack, the true Lizard parish and the most southerly in England. Apparently the dedication, like that of Towednack, near St. Ives, is to a St. Winoc or Gwynog. There is a church with the same name (Landevenech) in Brittany; yet there has been some attempt to prove that Winwaloe, whom we find at Gunwalloe on the western side of the headland, was the founder. This seems unlikely, unless it can be shown that Winwaloe and Winnow or Winoc were the same person. The church is interesting in itself, and beautifully placed, giving traces of many periods of architecture, from Norman to Perpendicular. The font, which happily was preserved by former coats of whitewash, is Early English; it bears the inscription "Ric. Bolham me fecit." The lofty south doorway is a very good specimen of Norman; the pulpit, which is modern, is of serpentine, and there are serpentine tombstones in the graveyard. Like St. Keverne, this is a burial-ground of the wrecked. It has also been the sepulchre of persons dying from the plague, of which there was a severe visitation in 1645. It is said that, about a century later, the soil where its victims had been buried was dug to receive shipwrecked seamen, and that, in consequence, the plague reappeared. The bells have Latin mottoes and some curious bell-marks. The blending of granite with darker local stone in the tower has a rather singular effect; it makes the walls look like a chequer-board. Landewednack claims to be the last place where a sermon was preached in the Cornish tongue, in 1678; as was natural, the old language lingered longest in isolated districts of the Lizard and Land's End. It may be guessed that some of his younger hearers would not have understood the preacher, for the language had already greatly decayed. It was never a particularly rich dialect of the Celtic, and left no remains worthy to perpetuate its existence. Norden, who wrote in the middle of the sixteenth century, stated that "of late the Cornishe men have much conformed themselves to the use of the English tongue, and their English is equal to the best, especially in the eastern parts. In the weste parts of the countrye, in the hundreds of Penwith and Kirrier, the Cornishe tongue is most in use amongste the inhabitants." A little later, a loyal Cornishman bewailed "our Cornish tongue has been so long on the wane that we can hardly hope to see it increase again; for, as English first confined it within this narrow country, so it still presses on, leaving it no place but about the cliffs and sea, it being now almost only spoken from the Land's End to the Mount, and again from the Lizard towards Helston and Falmouth." The inevitable happened, just as somewhat the same process has taken place in Wales, in Ireland, and in the Scottish Highlands. In these three countries the old tongue had the aid of a powerful literature. Welsh and Erse may be very long in dying out, as we hope they will be; yet nothing can prevent the people of Wales and Ireland becoming bi-lingual, and this can only have one ultimate result. Commercially, a single language is necessary to the nation, and there has never been any doubt as to which that language must be. And some of those who cling to their vernacular as a proof of their Celticism may be making a great mistake; speech is never a proof of race, and survivals of other blood than Celtic adopted dialects of the Celtic speech.



CHAPTER VII

THE LIZARD TO HELSTON

Mr. Norway says that it would be hard to find an uglier spot than Lizard Town, but of course he fully admits the grandeur of the coast of which it is the small metropolis. The name, which first applied only to the most southern headland, was not given from any fanciful resemblance to a Lizard, but appears to be a corruption of the Cornish words Lis-arth, lis being the secular enclosure, the palace or court, as distinct from lan the sacred enclosure, and arth meaning high. Lizard Town is a cluster of houses, growing in number to meet an increasing popularity, of which Landewednack is the church town, about half a mile distant; it is served by motor-buses from Helston, and in time there will doubtless be a branch line of the railway here. Housel Bay, formerly Househole, is the bathing-place, with a large modern hotel standing close to the cliffs; on the east is Lloyd's signal station, and on the west the lighthouse. Vessels that used to call at Falmouth for sailing orders, or for other information, now receive these instructions by signal from Lloyd's station here, flags being employed by day and lights by night; a wireless telegraph has also been established. All vessels, outward or homeward, are thus reported at this most southern point of England. At the lighthouse there were formerly two lights, whose double purpose was to warn seamen not only of the Lizard but also of the Wolf rocks off Land's End; these rocks have now a light of their own, and at the Lizard is displayed a single electric lamp, of 1,000,000 candle power, revolving, whose reflection is visible at over sixty miles' distance. It is said that when its revolutions first turned its light towards the houses of Lizard Town, some alarm was felt at this sudden searching gaze piercing into the very heart of the dwellings; it was like the vivid illumination of a flash of lightning, a great prying eye which no one could avoid. To obviate this a screen has been placed on the landward side of the lantern. The light stands about 200 feet above the sea; and in addition to this there is a fog-siren, whose tremendous voice bellows through thick weather at intervals of two minutes. West of the lighthouse is the little fishing-cove and lifeboat station of Polpeor. In old times this headland was lit by a bonfire beacon, kept burning at night; and there is a story that a Government packet, passing in the days of our French wars, noticing that the sleepy watchman had allowed the fire to dwindle to a mere smoulder, discharged a cannon-ball at the spot to arouse the neglectful watcher. It must be remembered that the Lizard is rendered doubly perilous by a sea-covered stack of rocks lying to the southward. Before oil was introduced for the lamps it is said the lantern was lit by coal-fires—a kind of first-hand use of gas. Below the lighthouse is the striking Bumble Rock, and close to this the hollow known as the Lion's Den, formed by a natural sudden subsidence in 1847. This formation was an immediate object-lesson as to the manner in which these remarkable hollows, caverns, and rock-freaks have been produced in the course of time; and there can be no doubt that such natural weathering alone accounts for the Belidden Amphitheatre, east of the fine Penolver Point. Bass Point is the eastward bluff of this rugged and bare old headland, known to ancient geographers as Ocrinum, the southern extremity of the Britains.



With many visitors, to speak of the Lizard is to speak of Kynance. It is Kynance that the guide-books and the artists have chiefly popularised; it is Kynance that is probably the most celebrated beauty-spot on the whole south-Cornish coast. Is it worthy of its reputation? Some visitors give an emphatic affirmative; others are a little dubious. To some the spot is a little spoiled by its popularity; during the season it is like a corner of a fashionable watering-place, covered with tourists, refreshment booths, and sellers of serpentine. But autumn and winter bring a grand solitude when all traces of the tripper are washed away: the storms cleanse it with their mighty lustrations; only the white sands, the black or richly stained rocks remain, a haunt of homeless winds and crying gulls. The cove is encircled by a group of off-lying rocks, insular at high tide; it is only at low water that Kynance can be explored. The Gull Rock, Asparagus Island, the Lion, the Steeple, the Kitchen, the Drawing-room—these names of the crags and clefts have become almost as familiar as household words; while every one knows that if you post a letter in the Devil's Post-office, it will presently be returned in a great outburst of water. It is of little use for the local authorities to forbid such posting, as being dangerous to the individual who waits too eagerly near for his reply; visitors will still venture, and are sometimes drenched, if nothing worse, by the natural blow-hole for their pains. There are other places here where care must be exercised—steep sudden descents, unguarded chasms, nooks and coves where it is easy to be entrapped by the tide; even the active and skilful may get into trouble, and visitors who bring venturesome boys must be prepared for alarms. It is natural that many a parent of a family should prefer a level sandy shore for his summer resort, and Cornwall happily has many such spots to offer, where father and mother can recline restfully without constant anxiety for their boys and girls.

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