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> Famous People Of Cornwall
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  Posted: 25-Jan-2005, 01:54 PM
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Durdatha whye!
Good day to you!

I came across some interesting Cornish people who, whether in myth or history, have shaped not only Cornwall, but in some cases, the way we view the world around us.

King Arthur

Although various parts of Britain lay claim to Arthur, the strongest case seems to be that he came from Cornwall. While the English tribes were conquering more and more of Britain, the Celts were driven further westwards. There was a great Celtic leader called Arthur, who united the various tribes as they fought the invaders. According to Cornish legend he was mortally wounded at Slaughter Bridge, just outside Camelford, at a spot called Arthur's grave. There is a place called King Arthur's hall on Bodmin Moor, and there is a large hill fort at Kellybury, near Wadebridge that was Arthur's Cornish home. Truth and legend become intermingled, some say Camelot took its name from the River Camel, some legends say he was buried in the Isles of Scilly.

The present day legend of Arthur seems to come from the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth, who had heard about Arthur, and invented the stories of the Round Table. He also placed Arthur in Tintagel more out of romanticism than fact. The tales of Arthur and the Round Table are set some 600 years after he had really lived.

Nevertheless Arthur represents the Celtic spirit of Cornwall, and reminds people of their Celtic past. One story says that Arthur will return one day to restore Cornwall to Celtic independence, and that he still lives in the disguise of a Cornish chough.

* The Cornish chough is a member of the crow family with a red beak and legs. It also appears regularly in Cornish legend and it is said that King Arthur was transformed into a chough when he died, the red feet and beak representing his violent, bloody end.

John Couch Adams

A great scientist born in Laneast parish on Bodmin Moor in 1819. from an early age he showed a bent for mathematics and astronomy in particular. He went to Cambridge University. Solely by the application of mathamatics, he proved that there must be another planet circling the sun. A french astronomer came to the same conclusion, and they published their conclusions at the same time. The planet was called Neptune.

He became Professor of Astronom in Cambridge in 1858. He turned down a knighthood and also the post of Astronomer Royal

Sir Richard Grenville

The son of Roger Grenville, captain of the Mary Rose when it sank in the Solent in 1545. He was only three at the time.The Grenvilles lived in a great house at Stowe, near Kilkhampton in North Cornwall.

He himself had became a naval captain, commanding the Revenge. Steeped in naval tradition, he was a cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh and a friend of Sir Francis Drake.

In 1585, while commanding a fleet of five ships carrying colonists to Virginia, he captured a much larger Spanish ship. In 1591, as second in command to Lord Thomas Howard, he took a small fleet to the Azores to lie in wit for a Spanish treasure fleet homeward bound from South America. However the Spanish heard about the English fleet, and sent a large fleet to protect their treasure ships. Lord Howard decided that they did not have enough ships to fight the Spaniards, and ordered the English fleet to up anchors and put to sea. Richard Grenville refused to leave his ninety sick men ashore, and vowed to stay and fight the enemy. On August 31st 1591 the revenge with about a hundred men fought a battle against some fifty Spanish ships and five thousand men. Battle was broken off as darkness fell, and the next day the Spaniards were amazed to see the Revenge still floating. Its mast and sails were gone, its holds were flooded, and only twenty men were left to fight, including the mortally wounded Grenville. Grenville called on his chief gunner to sink the Revenge to stop it falling into enemy hands, but the remaining crew begged him to surrender. Grenville agreed provided the Spanish would grant them full honours of war, and return them to England immediately. The Spanish commander agreed and the battle ended. Grenville died of his wounds on the Spanish ship. Shortly afterwards an enormous storm sank the Revenge and 14 Spanish ships.

More Famous Cornish People

Tereba nessa. Comero weeth.
Till next time. Take care.

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you judge people you have no time to love them. ~Mother Teresa

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Posted: 25-Jan-2005, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for the fascinating info, Em! Seems like everybody wants a piece of King Arthur! Interesting link, too! I didn't know that Captain Bligh of the Mutiny on the Bounty was Cornish! You taught me something today! Thanks!

Sln agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tr mo chridhe. 'S i Gidhlig cnan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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