Seaweed Rights on the Foreshore

The rights to collect seaweed from the shoreline were of importance to farmers as it provided a natural fertilizer for their crops. Here we have a couple of letters discussing an opportunity to collect any extra seaweed that may have been washed up on Enys land.

CRO EN 1301 Mr Penaluna to Thomas Warren

I take the liberty to solicit the Right of what superfluous seaweed may be within the Boundary of Ennys Esq at Poldhu and all places adjoining in Mullion etc. for whom I presume you act – in which case you shall be paid a fair & reasonable consideration.
Please to observe it will not in any degree interfere with the privilege granted to the tenants.
I have already obtained the sanction of Mr Gregor’s Steward on letter.

I am Sir, waiting your reply,
your very obed. Sv’t
Mr Penaluna

Helston 22nd May 1808”


CRO EN 1301 Letter to Mr Thomas Warren Esq. Truro
from James Hendy and John Pearce

“Dear Sir,
On Sunday Last I Received your letter and in consequence of the same I have been consulting with my Uncle and Mr Pearce concerning it, and our opinions is that it would not injure us as it seems that Mr Penaluna only Desires to take such as the tenants would not want or therewayes. If he meant to include the whole it would certainly injure us very greatly as we all shares a very great practise in carrying the same/ for the Benefit of the Land – but the opinion of everyone is that such weed as meight be thrown on the shore is free for any person or persons to take of the same as it being free landing coves.
Mr Pearce and Me intends coming to Truro Fair on Winsday next and intends waiting on you and then we may be able to inform you in a more proper manner.
Signed by us { James Hendy
{ John Pearce

My best Respects    And am Sir, Yours
to Mr Warren Junior     for Joseph Hendy
Gwills, Gunwalloe
May 31st 1808”

On this occasion, the matter seems to have been settled amicably. Later, in 1811, we will find Uncle Joseph writing more anxiously about bulkier flotsam – the Rights to Shipwrecks!



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