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Post Info TOPIC: Cornish Research


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Date: Dec 12 3:17 PM, 2016
RE: Cornish Research
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Throughout Cornwall's history, several towns have been 'the county town'.  Bodmin was for a long time the centre of administration and the council were confident it would get city status.  Launceston was also important and further back in time, Lostwithiel was of significance.  It was an ancient medieval port and a Stannary town. 

Penryn was also long established as Glasney College (a college for training priests/monks) was founded there in the mists of time.  It was never in the running for becoming the city though.  A smallish village named St Columb Major was very hopeful of having  the cathedral sited there, but although it was notable at one time, with the decline in mining, it went backwards.

Truro has always been a good central town, and one-time port (alas now silted up) and straddling three little rivers, which still bubble along the street gutters at high tides (al la Poldark). Many the reveller, winding their way home in the dark, has reason to remember how water trickles along many side alleys, when they accidentally get a wetting! 

One of my favourite alleys, called opes in Truro, is called Squeezeguts Alley.  It is extremely narrow and is really just a gap between two properties, but I still like the name!

Although Truro became the only city in Cornwall, it is still small and most of the other towns have more residents.  Truro has about 20,000 population, so quite compact.  However, a great deal of development is due to begin in the next few years, making an already gridlocked road system still worse. 

 

Incidentally, I was researching something quite unrelated the other day and discovered that St Cuby (on the Roseland Peninsula) was a man!  I suppose I'd always thought of it as being female, simply because of Cuby Trevanion.

That's quite sufficient for now,

Old Ma G.



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Date: Dec 12 11:35 AM, 2016
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Stella,

The programme from King's is broadcast live on Radio 4 at 3pm on Christmas Eve.  The TV programme is an edited version.  We get 2 bites of the cherry in Truro - a service on 23rd and 24th!  Complete with bells..

Estimated world-wide audience - 350 million!  Unimaginable to our friends in the books.

 

 



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Monday 12th of December 2016 08:08:59 AM


 Thank you Mrs G. It is in my diary for 3pm on Christmas Eve. 



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Date: Dec 11 10:37 PM, 2016
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Stella,

The programme from King's is broadcast live on Radio 4 at 3pm on Christmas Eve.  The TV programme is an edited version.  We get 2 bites of the cherry in Truro - a service on 23rd and 24th!  Complete with bells..

Estimated world-wide audience - 350 million!  Unimaginable to our friends in the books.

 

 



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Monday 12th of December 2016 08:08:59 AM

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Date: Dec 11 10:09 PM, 2016
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Thanks Stella a very useful and interesting find....
Ross smile
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Stella Poldark wrote:

 

 

Although the following is not Cornish research it relates to the entire country. I think it is interesting and relevant to the Poldark novels.

Stella

 

Unquiet Lives: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England, 16601800Printer-friendly versionPDF version

 
 
  • turnerd.jpg?itok=K0iF1IKd
Book:
Unquiet Lives: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England, 16601800
Joanne Bailey
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN: 521810582X; 256pp.; Price: £40.00
Reviewer:
Dr David Turner
University of Swansea
Citation:
Dr David Turner, review of Unquiet Lives: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England, 16601800, (review no. 374)
http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/374
Date accessed: 11 December, 2016

 



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Date: Dec 11 9:46 PM, 2016
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Christmas, for many people, begins at exactly 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. It's the moment when everything stops, frantic present-wrapping, mince-pie making and tree-decorating ceases and calm briefly takes hold. The reason? A single boy treble whose voice, clear and fragile as glass, pierces through the chaos with those familiar words: 'Once in Royal David's city/ Stood a lowly cattle shed...'

The service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge, and its annual broadcast on BBC Radio 4 is as essential a part of contemporary Christmas folklore as stockings and Santa Claus, plum pudding and presents. Ageless and timeless, it seems as though there must always have been boys in red robes singing carols in a candlelit chapel - an ancient ritual renewed with each generation.

But the reality is quite different. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was celebrated at King's for the first time in 1918, not an historic service at all but an invented tradition - modern and man-made. And tempting though it is to imagine that this delicate fusion of words and music was created in the exquisite interior of King's Chapel, the product of contemplation and beauty, its origins were in fact far less exalted: born in a wooden hut in Truro and conceived in the muddy, bloody trenches of the first world war, a child of horror and suffering, not peace and goodwill.

The story of Nine Lessons and Carols begins with an Anglican clergyman. Eric Milner-White was the 'very shy, but tremendously kind' young man appointed chaplain of King's in 1912. Quick to volunteer when war broke out in 1914, he traded the quiet life of Cambridge for the squalor and violence of the French front line. Most of his letters home are gone, destroyed by Milner-White himself. But the few that remain paint a vivid picture of his experience, caught between banality ('On days when too many tragedies aren't happening there are many elements of the picnic about it') and horror ('Most of life is at night, and the nights are filled with prolonged terror - a horrid, weird, furtive existence').

Returning to Cambridge in 1918 after 'a battle of special horror', Milner-White was appointed dean of King's and immediately set about reforming a liturgy his experience convinced him was not just inadequate but irrelevant to the needs of a community so damaged and disillusioned. 'Colour, warmth and delight' were to be the focus, offering aesthetic as well as spiritual consolation in only the simplest and most direct language. Wanting to create a special service for Christmas, Milner-White took inspiration from Edward White Benson - the first bishop of the new diocese of Truro.

Created in 1876, the diocese had neither traditions nor a cathedral to house them in, so for seven years the congregation gathered in a temporary wooden hut, boasting neither ventilation nor heating. The context was a simple one, and Benson wanted a Christmas Eve service to match it - something that would serve, pragmatically,...both as a counter-attraction to the public houses and as a right prelude to Christmas'. And so the service was born, a potent combination of 'nine carols and nine tiny lessons' that provided the structure still familiar to us today.

The hierarchy of readers - progressing up through the ecclesiastical ranks from a lowly chorister to the Bishop himself - was already there, as was the Biblical narrative, moving from Old Testament to New, from Creation to Incarnation. But it was Milner-White who found the simple essence of the service, cutting the more ponderous elements to reveal its emotional and spiritual core, speaking directly to those attending without the need for a mediating sermon.

What started out as a local phenomenon, a 'gift to the city of Cambridge', quickly became a gift to a much wider community. In 1928 the service was first broadcast by BBC Radio, and since 1938 the World Service has transmitted it to listeners across the world, with television broadcasts joining it annually from 1963. Such popularity could never have been imagined by Milner-White, but the enduring and widespread appeal speaks to this young man's understanding of human nature. That the broadcasts persisted internationally throughout the second world war, not just in Allied but also occupied and even Axis nations, speaks loudly of the service's power, and stories abound of British and American soldiers imprisoned in German and Japanese prisoner-of-war camps recreating the King's service as best they could with makeshift instruments and robes.

The need for beauty, for simplicity and innocence is as great now as it ever was, and in a world of growing divisions, tensions and ever-escalating conflict we still find fulfilment in a service that stimulates but also consoles. So next time you turn on the radio and hear that lone chorister, or watch King's candlelit choir on the television, remember that this is beauty born in blood, a cry for peace that was nearly drowned out in the noise of battle.

Alexandra Coghlan is the author of Carols From King's: The Stories of our Favourite Carols from King's College, published by BBC Books and on sale now (£9.99).



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Date: Dec 11 9:28 PM, 2016
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Very interesting Mrs. G thank you. Up till then do you know what was the major town or was it still Truro...?



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Date: Dec 11 8:50 PM, 2016
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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

Going off at a tangent here is some information which might be of interest, since Christmas is fast approaching.

Long after all the Poldark characters we 'know' and love have gone, with the possible exception of R&Ds Great grandchildren, it was felt that Cornwall needed a city.  After much deliberation and not a few arguments,  several towns putting themselves forward, but it was decided to make Truro the city.  It is fairly central and already had some good municipal buildings.  Of course in those days, to have city status, meant there had to be a cathedral.  Problem: where do you site such a building in an already well built up centre?  The answer was to demolish the parish church, St Mary's, and build one in the resulting space.

Well, in the end, it didn't work out quite like that. John L Pearson, the architect, decided to incorporate the South Aisle of St Mary's into the new building.  This posed a further problem. His plans didn't quite fit the site.  To overcome this, the building was very slightly skewed - it is noticeable, but not by everyone. As it was, several dwellings had to be demolished and the burial ground was also utilised. The cathedral was the first new one to be built in UK since the Middle Ages, and is in the Gothic Revival style.  It took many years; the foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales in 1880 and the building was eventually completed in 1910. 

Other things grew from the exciting new building.  Church Lane (mentioned in the books) became Cathedral Lane and to accommodate the Victorian worshippers a large wooden 'shed' was erected for services.  The first Bishop was Edward White Benson.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well - Bishop Benson introduced some innovative ideas.  The one he is most famous for is a Christmas Eve service (held in the wooden 'cathedral') where he interspersed nine Bible readings with carols.  The texts were read by cathedral personnel, starting with a chorister and ending with Benson himself. 

The idea caught on and many years later Kings College Chapel, Cambridge, adopted the service.  We know it today as the Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols and it is broadcast worldwide on Christmas Eve.

The tradition is also continued at Truro.  Who would have thought such a simple idea would have caught the public imagination in the way it did, and still does?

For me, Christmas begins when I hear that solo treble singing Once in Royal David's City at 3pm each Christmas Eve.


 Thanks for posting this Mrs G. When I watch and listen to the Carols from Kings, which I do every year, I shall think of Truro cathedral although it will already have taken place there. The Kings carols are not broadcast until 6.15.

Stella



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Date: Dec 11 7:52 PM, 2016
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Going off at a tangent here is some information which might be of interest, since Christmas is fast approaching.

Long after all the Poldark characters we 'know' and love have gone, with the possible exception of R&Ds Great grandchildren, it was felt that Cornwall needed a city.  After much deliberation and not a few arguments,  several towns putting themselves forward, but it was decided to make Truro the city.  It is fairly central and already had some good municipal buildings.  Of course in those days, to have city status, meant there had to be a cathedral.  Problem: where do you site such a building in an already well built up centre?  The answer was to demolish the parish church, St Mary's, and build one in the resulting space.

Well, in the end, it didn't work out quite like that. John L Pearson, the architect, decided to incorporate the South Aisle of St Mary's into the new building.  This posed a further problem. His plans didn't quite fit the site.  To overcome this, the building was very slightly skewed - it is noticeable, but not by everyone. As it was, several dwellings had to be demolished and the burial ground was also utilised. The cathedral was the first new one to be built in UK since the Middle Ages, and is in the Gothic Revival style.  It took many years; the foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales in 1880 and the building was eventually completed in 1910. 

Other things grew from the exciting new building.  Church Lane (mentioned in the books) became Cathedral Lane and to accommodate the Victorian worshippers a large wooden 'shed' was erected for services.  The first Bishop was Edward White Benson.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well - Bishop Benson introduced some innovative ideas.  The one he is most famous for is a Christmas Eve service (held in the wooden 'cathedral') where he interspersed nine Bible readings with carols.  The texts were read by cathedral personnel, starting with a chorister and ending with Benson himself. 

The idea caught on and many years later Kings College Chapel, Cambridge, adopted the service.  We know it today as the Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols and it is broadcast worldwide on Christmas Eve.

The tradition is also continued at Truro.  Who would have thought such a simple idea would have caught the public imagination in the way it did, and still does?

For me, Christmas begins when I hear that solo treble singing Once in Royal David's City at 3pm each Christmas Eve.



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Date: Dec 11 6:30 PM, 2016
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Although the following is not Cornish research it relates to the entire country. I think it is interesting and relevant to the Poldark novels.

Stella

 

Unquiet Lives: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England, 16601800Printer-friendly versionPDF version

 
 
  • turnerd.jpg?itok=K0iF1IKd
Book:
Unquiet Lives: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England, 16601800
Joanne Bailey
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN: 521810582X; 256pp.; Price: £40.00
Reviewer:
Dr David Turner
University of Swansea
Citation:
Dr David Turner, review of Unquiet Lives: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England, 16601800, (review no. 374)
http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/374
Date accessed: 11 December, 2016


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Date: Apr 23 1:12 PM, 2014
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"The Institute of Cornish Studies"

  1. http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/history/research/centres/ics/staff/
  2. https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/history/research/centres/ics/

"Cornish Story"

http://cornishstory.com/#



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"Perfection is a full stop .... Ever the climbing but never the attaining Of the mountain top." W.G.

 

 

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