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Castle, Boscundle and Castledor

The present house at Castle, built about 1810, replaced the medieval manor house. The medieval house was possibly built by Nicholas (or William?) de Castel/Bodrugan in the 1300’s. This house was most likely made of stone because there has always been a good supply of it in Cornwall whereas there has never much tree cover there. At least not trees large enough to use for making long and strong supporting beams for a manor house.
If the original house was anything like a typical manor house of the time it would have been about 45 feet long by 24 feet wide and 40 feet high with a central fireplace and a dais at one end for the owners to live, eat and sleep. It was probably plastered inside and decorated with paintings of animals and plants. Over the years it would have been divided up into separate rooms and even separate floors. By 1810 it would have been well past it’s best.

The first record that I can find of Castle and Trewbody is this one from the Cornish Records Office (doc ref. no. CN/788) dated 12th May 1381 but Castle was then called Nantyan :-

Grant. Nicholas atte Castel to John Trewbody of Nithera Polscoath, and his wife Alice, daughter of Nicholas atte Castel, a Messuage and half a Cornish acre in Nantyan.

1.   John was the son of Walter Trewbody of Nithera Polscoth – see item 4 below.
2.   Alice was the daughter and heiress of Nicholas atte Castel, son of William Bodrugan atte/de Castel.

Who were the Bodrugan's?
As noted in CRO Document ref. no. CN/786/1 & 2 (dated 12 Sep 1352) it was a William Bodrugan (c1330?), lord of Nantyan, who gave Nantyan (alias Castle), a tenement (a multi-roomed house) and half a Cornish acre in Nantyan, to his son Nicholas atte Castel and his wife Joan.
A later CRO Document ref. no. CN/787 (dated 1369) confirms the transfer of those lands from Nicholas atte Castel to John son of Walter Trubody, and wife Alice, daughter of Nich. (Bodrugun) de Castel.
The Bodrugan’s must have been lords of the manor of Bodrugan, a location about 2 miles south east of Mevagissey in Cornwall but their lands clearly extended way up into the area around Lostwithiel. So they were surely a family to be reckoned with at that time.
A brother of Nicholas atte Castel (de Brodrugan), William
de Brodrugan, was knighted in 1491 and became MP for Cornwall in 1420. he does not figure in the Castle narrative.
A Henry de Bodrugan, in 1458, confirms gift of Castle to John & Alice Trewbody. But in 1623 another Henry de Bodrugan claimed that Castle still belonged to his family. More of that later.
(It is strange that the Visitations of Cornwall do not include a Bodrugan tree.

3.   That Alice was noted as heir to the estate is unusual. In the age of primogeniture even if she was the eldest child a yoiunger brother would have had precedence. Was she then the only surviving child of Nicholas? If Alice and John Trewbody were married around 1365 that would put her birth around 1348 because in those days girls of ‘good’ lineage were usually wed by the age of 17. The Great Plague was rampant in 1348/49 so if Alice did have an older brother, who would more likely to have been Nicholas’s heir, it may be that he, and any other more eligible brothers, had died. The plague killed of 40% of the population so this scenario is not all that fanciful. However, the full details of the transfer to Alice and John - CRO Ref AP/S/3924 - shown below does indicate that Alice did have other brothers, Walter and John, who were possibly younger than her i.e. born after 1348.
4.   On 24 May 1369, according to another document in Cornish Records Office, ownership of Trubodyston within Neyara polcosthe, transferred to John and Alice and their heirs. It seems that Neyara polcosthe is current day "Lower Polscoe", location of the current day "Lostwithiel Hotel Golf & Country Club" (PL22 0HQ) which is a little NE of Lostwithiel on Cott Road.
5.   Castle/Castel (or Nantyan as it was called when in Bodrugan ownership) was owned by Nicholas (Brodugan) atte Castel.
6.   ‘Atte’ means ‘of’ or ‘from’ and is the same as ‘de’.
7.   A messuage is an archaic term used in conveyancing, and is "nearly synonymous with dwelling house. A grant of a messuage with the appurtenances will not only pass a house but all the buildings attached or belonging to it, as also its curtilage, garden and orchard, together with the close on which the house is built.
8.   A ‘half a Cornish acre’ was about 135 of what we now know as an acre (or 55 hectares) i.e 4840 square yards or 1 chain by 1 furlong or the area of land that a team of oxen could plough in one day.
9.   The first document that actually mentions the of ownership of Castle by John Trubody is from 1402 when John Trewbody is noted as being ‘of a village called Castel’. (Cornish Records Office doc ref CN/847) which indicates that there was more than 1 habitation on the site, as there still is today.

And finally there is this document which confirms that on the 12 May 1381, Nicholas atte Castel (son of Nicholas) granted the land called Little Nantyan, to his daughter Alice and her husband, John TREWBODY of Nitherapolscoth, and to their lawful heirs. Source: CRO Ref AP/S/3924

‘Know present and future that I, Nicholas atte Castel, have given and granted, and by this my present charter have confirmed, to John TREWBODY of Nithera Polscoth and Alice his wife, the daughter of me, a messuage, and a Half Cornish Acre of land in Little Nantyan, being marshy ground neighbouring that was previously held by my father Nicholas, all the aforesaid messuage and land with their appurtenances to be had forever to the aforesaid John, Alice, and to the heirs between them lawfully begotten or to be begotten, freely and quietly, by right of inheritance, holding of the principal lord by due service and custom.
And if it should happen that the aforesaid John and Alice die without heirs between them lawfully begotten or to be begotten, I wish that all the aforesaid messuage and land pass to my son Walter and his heirs, by right of inheritance, holding of the principal lord by due service.
And if it should happen that the aforesaid Walter die without heirs, I wish that all the aforesaid messuage and land pass to my son [or daughter?] John [or Joan?] and his [or her?] heirs, by right of inheritance, holding of the principal lord by due service.
And I aforesaid Nicholas, and my heirs to warrant and defend forever the holding of all the aforesaid messuage and Half Acre of Land to the aforesaid John, Alice, and the heirs between. In which matter I have placed my seal to the present charter, with these testators Thomas Corteys Ralph Keyl John Penlyn Robert Simon Ralph Webba and others.
Given at Little Natyan on the Saturday after the feast of St. John at the Latin Gate the fourth year of the reign of Richard 2nd after the Conquest.

There would then seem to be no doubt that from 12th May 1381 the place called Nantyan, which later became known as Castle, was owned through marriage, by the Trewbody/Trubody family.

I can only think that it is coincidental that the Peasants Revolt began in June 1381. See Stephen Truebody - A Codicote Hero on the Additional page.

Another document called Trewbody Pedigree from circa 1630 (Cornwall Record Office: CN 3522/1 & 3522/2) spells out the terms and conditions of the gift and also provides some details of John and Alice's descendants :-

Transcribed by Jill Martin (Hawkesbury Local History Society), Bristol, 19th January 2013.

Sir William Bodrugan Knight 26 E 3 (= 26th year of reign of Edward III or 1352) gave half acre of land Cornish in little Nantyan unto Nicholas atte Castell and Johan (Joan) his wife and to the heirs of their bodies.
Nicholas and Johan had Issue Alice, who married John Trewbodie of Polscath unto whom the said Nicholas 4 R 2 (1381-82) gave this land.
John and Alice had Issue : John whose estate was 36 H 6 (1457-58) confirmed by Henry Bodrugan Esage (??) with a recital in the deed of (hatt – crossed out) Trewbodies Pedigree from atte Castell John the son ut puto (“as is believed”) married the Daughter of John Aumerle.
This John before the confirmation from Bodrugan, viz 13 H 6 (1434-35) gave this land amongst other unto John his son in marriage and unto Johan (Joan) the daughter of John Badele of Treworecke and to the heirs of their bodies.
This John had issue William unto whom the land came as heir in taile, no deed passed from his father to knowledge.
William - 6 Hen Octavi (1514-15) - gave this land to John his oldest son and to his heirs general (several?). John had issue John as appeareth by a Covenant (?) dated 38 Hen 8 (1546-47) & a release dated 10 day of January who had issue John which had Issue.

The document continues without mentioning the Trewbody name again.

Trewbody ownership of Castle therefore goes from :-
•   John (c1345) who married Alice Bodrugan to
•   John (c1370) who married the daughter of John Aumerle to
•   John (c1395) who married the daughter of John Badele to
•   William (c1420) who married ?? to
•   John (c1445) who married ?? to
•   John (c1470) who married ?? to
•   John (c1495) (see Cornwall 2 tree) who married Mary Corrylon/Coryton to
•   Nicholas (c1535) who married Dorothie Kemp? to
•   Peter (c1560) who married Margaret Fitzhugh to
•   Charles (c1586) who married Agnes Hoblyn to
•   Peter (1622) who married Sibella Tingcombe to
•   Charles (1646) and finally who married Katherine Allen to
•   The Rev Samuel Trewbody (1689) who married Elizabeth Elliot.

Ownership then passed to Samuel’s daughter Catherine (1721) who married Philip Carlyon in 1741. 


Who were the Carlyon's?
Carlyon is a locational from various places called Carlyon, Carleen and Carleon, all within Cornwall, and all of whom have much the same meaning of 'The camp of the legions'. This was presumably a reference to Roman legionnaires who spent several centuries trying, without a lot of success, to keep the Cornish quiet and the Bretons at bay.

The CRO hold some 3456 files relating to the Carlyon’s dating from the 13th century until 1951.

The documents include title deeds for Tregrehan, held by the Carlyons since 1565. Apart from a few early Bodrugan deeds, they show purchases of parts of Tregrehan by successive Carlyons in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, although the Edgcumbes of Mount Edgcumbe were still the overlords of the manor.

It is clear then that the Carlyons were another important family in the area and the Trrewbody’s had a long relationship with them. Tree Cornwall 1 begins with John Trubody married to a Mary Corrylon. Corrylon has all the elements of Carlyon and I would guess that they are one and the same family name.

(It is strange that the Visitations of Cornwall do not include a Carlyon tree.

Catherine and Philip's son, Edward Trewbody Carlyon, inherited Castle. He died unmarried and childless in 1768 leaving all this property to his cousin Thomas Carlyon (II), the son of Thomas Carlyon (I) who was the rector of St. Just and who died in 1793.
In 1778 Thomas Carlyon (II) married his first cousin, Mary Carlyon. She was the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Carlyons (I) brother William and his wife Elizabeth Pomery.

Edward Carlyon, son of Thomas and Mary, in 1820 married Anna Maria Spry of Place.
Presumably the Carlyon's continued to own Castle during the years from 1768 until 1849 but that is a guess. By 1845 he was noted as ‘of Truro. gent.’.

The ownership of the property seems to have been in contention between the Trewbody’s, a Henry Bodrugan and the Edgcumbe family from the late 1590’s.
A2A – 1596 to 1603 – says that the Trewbody’s and the Kendall’s ‘have entered and taken possession of the property saying their ancestors owned it’.
See Bodrugan claim below.

Document ref. no. CN/1508
Complaint of Peter Edgcumbe of Mount Edgcumbe, esq: Hen. {Henry?} Bodrugan owned Castle and Huntingdon; he was attainted, his lands siezed and given to Edgcumbe family, inherited by Peter E.; but Walter Kendall and Peter Trubody got into their custody "by indirect means" the conveyance made to Sir Rich. Edgcumbe by Hen. VII, (1485 – 1508) with counterparts of leases made by Edgcumbes to Kendalls and Trubodys, for years or lives, and have entered and taken possession of the property saying their ancestors owned it. Between 1596-1603 when Thos. Egerton was Chancellor. Date: 1596 - 1603

But A2A document CN/117b - 1680 - seems to imply that Trewbody’s did own the lands at Castle. They also owned lands at Boscundle.

Document ref. no. CN/117b
Articles of agreement for pre-nuptial settlement. Jn. {John?} Allen, sen., of St. Austell, gent., to Chas. {Charles?} Trewbody of Lanlivery, gent., on marriage between Chas. {Charles?} T. and Kath., dau. of Jn. {John?} A. Jn. {John?} A. to transfer to Chas. T.: Stray in Lanlivery (held on lease from Kendall of Pelyn); to pay Chas. T. £300. Chas. T. to convey to friends in trust for Kath.: Stray in Lanlivery, Lanheriot in Fowey and Little Polhorden in Lanlivery. Remainder of Chas.' lands, being Castle in Lanlivery, Boscundle in St. Austell and St. Blazey, Ennisvarth in Luxulyan, and Polscoath in St. Winnow, to be settled to use of his and Kath.'s children. Date: 1680

Document CN/1531
Letter containing copy of Bodrugan's conveyance of Huntingdon and Castell to Jn. {John?} Aumarle, and explanation of Trewbody {Charles?} title. Date: 1686

Document ref. no. CN/1509
Answer of Peter Trubody, gent., to Peter Edgcumbe's complaint, proving Bodrugan's ownership of property. Date: 1558 - 1951

Document ref. no. CN/1510/1,2
Answer of Chas. {Charles?} Trubody, gent., to Rich. {Richard?} Edgcumbe's complaint, affirming that Castle had been owned nearly 200 years by Trubodys and never did belong to Bodrugan. Date: 1558 – 1951

But this document is surely the clincher :-

Document ref. no. CN/791
Confirmation of grant. Hen. {Henry?} Bodrugan esq., to Jn. {John?} Trewbody. Messuage and half a Cornish acre in Nantyan. >
Wtn: Rob. Courteys, Jn. Pruet, Rob. Trethewy, Thos. Penlyn, Jn. Trethewy and others. Date: 1458

Game, set and match!


Census Records.

The 1841 census indicates a Phillippa Williams as occupier (or was she the owner?).

By 1849 Castle was owned by Richard Foster and then by his widow Caroline until her death in 1875.
The 1851, 1861 and 1871 censuses confirm this. The house is called Castle or Castle House, Lanlivery. Richard Foster was a banker.

The 1881 census shows Colman Battie Rashleigh as owner or occupier. He is listed as a Captain Militia Artillery D.L.A.J.P.

The 1891 census shows William Pease as the owner and the house now called Castle, Shire Hall Moor, Lanlivery, Sweetshouse, Lostwithiel. William Pease was a solicitor.

The 1901 census shows William Pease as a widower and he was at Victoria Terrace, Newquay but he could have been visiting his daughters who were also there. The census lists an Elizabeth Berry living at Shire Hall Moor House, Lostwithiel which may or may not be Castle. She is listed as ‘Living on own means’. (The 1911 census shows a Betty Berry living as a servant for a Crowhurst family at Penventon, Bodmin. Possibly a different person.).
The List of Electors for 1902 shows William Pease as living at Castle which probably indicates that the List of Electors was out of date. - http://www.cornwall-opc.org/Par_new/l_m/pdfs/lanlivery_electors_1902.pdf.

The 1911 census shows Count Eberhard Von Fabrice as occupier. He is listed as ‘Equerry In Waiting To H M The King Of Saxony’, Retired Calvary Captain. Born in 1852, he was German resident for apart of the year.

Kelly’s Directory for 1914 (http://www.cornwall-opc.org/Records/parishes/L-P/lanlivery_directory_1914.php) shows that ‘Castle, the property of Richard Foster esq.(which is strange as he died before 1871 census and his widow died in 1875!), Justice of the Peace of Lanwithan, is a mansion of stone and granite, beautifully situated in a well-wooded park, 1 mile south of Lostwithiel, and is at present occupied by Count Eluhart von Fabrice.’


Boscundle, nr St. Austell.

According to http://www.houseofnames.com/trewbody-family-crest the name Trewbody is ‘first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of Boscundle'.

The area of land known as Boscundle (including the mines?) was owned by the Trewbody’s from 1603 until Katherine Trewbody’s marriage to Philip Carlyon in 1741.

Katherine Trewbody, (heiress to the family of Trewbody whose seat was originally at Castle in Lanlivery married Philip Carlyon in 1741 (CN/99) which, once her parents died, added further properties to the Carlyon estates, including Boscundle, which the Trewbodys purchased gradually between 1603 and 1759 (CN/16-21) and which had more recently been their home.

Katherine and Philip's son, Edward Trewbody Carlyon, inherited Boscundle (and Castle). He died unmarried and childless in 1768, leaving all this property to his cousin, Thomas Carlyon, the son of the rector of St. Just.

Built in 1767, Boscundle Manor became home to the mine captain of Wheal Eliza Consoles Mixed Mine, at Boscundle, the 13th largest tin mine in Cornwall and reputedly one of the most prosperous. It is now a country hotel.

This mine was started under the name Boscundle Mine in 1851 and formed part of Pembroke Mine until 1863. In 1864, it was restarted as Wheal Eliza.


Castle dor.

I include a few notes about Castle Dore because there is some talk that it was connected to Castle :-

The site of Castle is reputedly that of King Mark's castle (the defensive stronghold, Castledore, is 2 miles away) and of his nephew Tristan's ill-fated love affair with Isolde.

King Mark was a king of Cornwall in the early 6th century. Mark sent his nephew Tristan to fetch his young bride, the Princess Iseult, from Ireland. Tristan and Iseult fell in love and, with the help of a magic potion, proceeded to have one of the stormiest love affairs in medieval literature. Mark suspected the affair, sent for Tristan to be hanged and banished Iseult to a leper colony. Tristan escaped the hanging and rescued Mark's bride from her confinement. Mark eventually forgived them, with Iseult returning to Mark and Tristan leaving the country. http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/bios/mark.html

Castledore is a defended settlement of Iron Age date. The archaeologist Dr. Ralegh Radford, who excavated the site in 1936/37, considered that a number of roughly parallel lines of post holes were the remains of a ‘Dark-Age timber hall’ with an attached kitchen. This he interpreted as the palace of King Mark.


 Did King Mark live at Castle? We will never know but it is an interesting story.


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