News from the Cornish Studies Library, Redruth:
Recent Accessions at the Cornish Studies Library
"Since the last e-newsletter we have received a further 50 accessions. The largest of these is a copy of the Menheniot tithe map, which measures 2.8m by 3.6m. This map was surveyed by Messrs Henry Crispin junior and Richard Davie Gould and is drawn in ink and watercolour on linen-backed paper. Despite being nearly 175 years old it has suffered very little damage and is in better condition than the copy of the same map which we already hold and have digitised. It was, however, covered in dog hair so during the September collections week one of our archive assistants lovingly cleaned it using a museum-grade vacuum cleaner. She then made it a calico bag and shelved it safely in our strongrooms (reference P144/27/3).
The smallest document we have received this quarter is a Methodist class ticket dated December 1816. It measures less than 8cm by 5cm and is printed with a Bible verse. The name Mary Harvey has been written on it. We don’t know for certain which society this is for, but it could be the Redruth Wesleyan Society as it is believed to have come from a family with connections in this area. Given its size and ephemeral nature it is amazing that it has survived (reference X1416/1).
Many of the records we receive, such as the minutes for the last three years of Penryn Borough Council and the first 25 years of Penryn Town Council brought in recently by the Mayor of Penryn (references BPENR and PRTC), come from their original creator or their successors. Others reach us by far more circuitous routes. The most travelled document we have received this summer has to be a letter, originally sent by Richard Hoblyn in London to John Treis, steward, at Antony House near Torpoint in the summer of 1687 (reference AD2328). This was found in a bag of mixed documents purchased from a junk shop in New Zealand which was then acquired by a lady who took it into her local archive at Hawick in the Scottish Borders. Here she was astounded to be greeted by someone who not only knew where Antony House was, but had been to dinner there with the owners! (Paul Brough, formerly Historic Collections Manager for Cornwall Council, is now archive manager at the Heritage Hub in Hawick). The letter was then safely conveyed to us!
New Books at the Cornish Studies Library.
Cornish lives are explored in a selection of new books at the Cornish Studies Library.
Francis Basset: Lord De Dunstanville by James Whetter. (Lyfrow Trelyspen, 2014 ISBN – 0957467826) This detailed biography of Francis Basset of Tehidy combines research first published in issues of the magazine Cornish Banner during 2013. Born in 1757, Francis Basset is described by the author as 'one of the great Cornish figures of early modern times'. His life is commemorated with the monument on the summit of Carn Brea in Illogan parish.
Horses stood still: the lost letters of Richard Trevithick by Simon Parker. (Scryfa, 2013)
In this publication, Richard Trevithick's life is explored by Simon Parker through a series of imagined letters written by the great Camborne inventor and engineer to his daughter, Elizabeth. The letters build into a chronological account of his life, from his early years and school days, through work at East Stray Park Mine and the inaugural run of his revolutionary road engine, to his time in South America and London.
Apologise later: the biography of Robert Newton by Robert Penrose. (Simonthescribe, 2014, ISBN – 1291638725)
This book details the life of the actor, Robert Newton, from an idyllic childhood at Lamorna to the bright lights of Hollywood! He attended school in Newlyn and went on to star in many plays and films. He is best remembered for his roles as Long John Silver and Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist.
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