Enys Family Archive

Landowners – Adventurers – Merchants

The Enys’ were once among the most important families in Cornwall.  The Enys Family Archive gives a clear insight into the history of the family and their national and international activities. This website was created as part of the Enys Project to tell the family’s story, as outlined below.

Click here to find out more about the Enys family crest.

About the collection

This Heritage Lottery Funded project focused on the historic archive of the Enys family of Enys, near to the town of Penryn.   The thousands of manuscripts, volumes, maps and photographs it contains date from the 13th century to the present day and hold a wealth of information on the history of Cornwall.  Until this project only a fraction of the collection had been researched and used. The family included successful landowners, traders, industrialists and active members of local and national life and the records they created and collected provide a fascinating glimpse of life in the past. 

The collection is held in over eighty large boxes of manuscript material, holding documents ranging from tiny medieval deeds to thick multiple-paged mortgages, and over thirty metres of books.  The catalogue lists over 2500 bundles of documents, plans and volumes including:

  • Estate records – deeds and leases, surveys, rentals, accounts, maps and plans,1298-1933.
  • Business records – merchants’ ledgers, accounts and correspondence,1704-1933.
  • Industry – mining setts, smelting records, accounts, legal papers, 1614-1904.
  • National and local life, 1513-1922.

Collected manuscripts, 1298-1940

The family’s collecting activities have also resulted in the preservation of important records which can be used to further understanding of the cultural and intellectual life of Cornwall. Of particular significance are William Scawen’s ‘Old Cornish MSS’, collected before his death in 1689, containing the constitution and customs of the Stannaries, the Lord’s Prayer in Cornish and early Duchy of Cornwall material; and The Reverend William Borlase’s ‘Memorandums relating to the Cornish Tongue’, compiled in 1748-1753, one of the most important early manuscripts relating to the Cornish language in existence, with Cornish-English vocabularies, notes on Cornish grammar and Cornish texts.

You can search the records held at Cornwall Record Office, including the Enys Collection, by visiting the following link – Enys Archive Catalogue. Type ‘EN’ into the RefNo box to exclusively search for documents from the Enys collection.

For more infomation about Cornwall Record Office click here



Back to top of page