The Enys Family
Follow the tree link for the Enys Family Tree or click on a name from the drop-down list to find out more about individual family members.
Family Fortunes: what the collection reveals about the family
The Enys collection reveals that the family’s fortunes were founded on trade – there is a good range of business ledgers and correspondence. Notable items include the ‘out’ letter book of Valentine Enys, trading with Europe and the Canary Islands as a merchant in cloth, pilchards, herrings and wine, 1704-1721, and Samuel Eny’s general ledgers recording the sale and purchase of tin, wine, coal and pilchards in the mid-17th century, including copies of out-letters in Spanish. These are one of the few sets of early merchant’s records held by the Record Office, and the most comprehensive. The profits from these enterprises were used to buy land, fund investments and develop the house at Enys.
The mining records cover the period from the early seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, the zenith of the metal mining industry, and include hundreds of legal, business, financial and operating records of individual mines and smelting houses.
The family’s mining interests included important tin and copper mines in the parishes of St Agnes, Camborne, Kea, Kenwyn, Perranzabuloe and Wendron, all of which played key roles in the rising British metallurgical industry of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These records are a key part of Cornwall’s Designated hard-rock mining collection, which means they have been recognised as having national and even international significance.
The built environment of these areas – the distinct remains of its industrial and trading heritage – has been acknowledged as some of the finest in the world through World Heritage Site status ( http://www.cornish-mining.org.uk/). The records in the collection contribute to the understanding and interpretation of key sites in three of the ten mining World Heritage Areas: Camborne, Wendron, St Agnes.
The technological and industrial developments altered the landscape and the communities forever. The mines and associated industries created a rapid growth in employment, population and settlements, and the industrial and the estate papers reflect the economic, social and religious change this brought.
National and local life
Members of the family travelled extensively as part of military careers or for personal interest. Highlights include John Enys’s journals, compiled when he served in the 29th Worcestershire Regiment of Foot,1776-1788, of particular international interest is his eyewitness account of the American rebels’ invasion of Canada, 1776-1783.
There are also local connections to national events, such as the plans for the defence of the west of Cornwall during the Napoleonic wars. Local government documents include poor law records for St Gluvias and Wendron, which list inhabitants of the parishes and those receiving support – a fascinating source for the social history of these places.
[Please note, information (particularly dates) about family members derives from the documents below unless otherwise stated. All three are part of the Enys collection held at Cornwall Record Office.
EN/1886 - Pedigree of Enys Family, C13th-C18th
EN/1887 - Notes of Enys births, baptisms, marriages and deaths, 1611-1758
EN/1891 - Pedigree of Francis Enys, C13th - 1815]