Saints and Sinners.
In 1265, Walter Bronescombe, Bishop of Exeter, founded Glasney College in Penryn, which over time became a famous religious centre. The Enys family contributed a chaplain to Glasney – Richard Enys, whose will of 1513 has survived. [CRO EN 1898 fo.6 ]
Richard leaves various amounts for the maintenance of saints’ statues or shrines, perhaps to provide candles. Among these bequests, he left 12 pence for St Michael of Monte Tumba, an interesting choice. Mount Tumba is the old name for Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy. The feast day of Michael of Mount Tumba is October 18th, which was celebrated at Glasney. There was an image of Michael set up in the Church.
Another day dedicated to the Archangel marks his appearance on Monte Gargano, Italy, on May 8th. The townsfolk of Helston, who were saved by Michael lobbing a rock onto the Devil, celebrate with a bit of dancing on Flora Day…
“Whose round is it..?”
Valentine Enys (1653-1719) was a merchant of some repute and kept meticulous accounts of his dealings with the traders of Penryn, in an assortment of petty cash books, ledgers and letters. A ledger of 1719/20, begun by him and continued by his brother John and nephew Samuel, lists the debts owed to him for various goods, mostly for the supply of wines. [CRO EN/1037]
Among these, he wasted no time in billing a Mr Hallamore Carter of Penryn for all the Madeira and Canary drunk by his servant, who apparently wanted it for medicinal purposes, “having ye gout in his stomack ”
At least two gallons of Madeira had been enjoyed, at 4s 6d a gallon and one gallon of Canary at 6s. We can only speculate whether the gout was cured or caused by this amount or if Mr Carter approved of the bill his man was running up!
In the Enys household accounts, the names of people employed by the family are mentioned, along with brief descriptions of their duties. In 1726, one William James of Penryn was working as a tutor to the Enys children, specifically as a Writing Master.
On July 4th, Mr James was paid a half year’s wages of five shillings. Paper and pens had also been supplied for little Sam and Willy, costing fourpence ha’penny. His services were still valued in 1734, when he was paid twelve shillings a year to teach ye boy and six shillings a year for ye girls. (Presumably, girls are smarter so easier to teach!)
Lessons were not confined to writing. A Mr Dunn was taken on as a Dancing Master and a Mr Simmons as a Latin Master, though by 1729 a Mr Conor in Truro had taken over the Latin lessons for the young Enys boys.