NZ-CIG-L ArchivesArchiver > NZ-CIG > 2007-07 > 1183506641
From: "Geoffrey Williams" <>
Subject: [NZ-CIG] Williams, David Of Dunveth
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 11:50:41 +1200
David Williams Of Dunveth
David was born at Roskear in the parish of St Breock near Wadebridge 08 Sep
1856 and as a child of two moved with his family to Dunveth. Emma Williams
(Magor) has written how continuously the names David and John were
alternately given to the eldest son of our Williams family.
The earliest record I can find of Wadebridge was in 1313 when a market and
two fairs were granted to Wade within the manor of Pawton. This was when the
town was in two parishes, St Breock on the west side of the Camel and on the
east Egloshayle. The name is Cornish for church on an estuary. The word
eglos is Gwyddel for church and heyl; estuary. This parish is by the Camel
River south of Wadebridge, and contains the villages of Washaway, Ford,
Sladesbridge, Gonvena, Bodieve and Egloshayle.
The school David attended was situated at Egloshayle to which he rode each
day. His horse clattered down the hilly Whiterock Road, along the cobbled
streets of Wadebridge, across the Pons War Glan and up the road towards
Bodmin where the one-roomed grey stone school stood on a hillside facing the
warmth of the southern sun. David's father was one of the original members
of the United School Board of St Breock and Egloshayle. The building had at
one time been a Quakers' meeting house and is still in existence, now as
part of a newer building of the Egloshayle girl's school.
As well as being a farmer he was interested in history and genealogy and
loved pouring over books, which he found on Dunveth book-shelves and in his
Uncle Jonathan Williams' house. One was the torn and tattered Hal's
Parochial History of Cornwall, which came from the Phelp family. With
jutting end wings and other beauties of Elizabethan period architecture the
imposing mansion of Dunveth was three storeys high. It had been demolished
and a new farmhouse built by David Williams soon after his marriage to Mary
Relics from this mansion became part of an old-world shrubbery in which
David and his siblings toddled during their childhood. Stone pillars called
stoops which Emma later took to Hillside were once adorning this alluring
old Dunveth garden with its winding box-edged walks; huge well pruned box
trees; old-fashioned shrubs of Cuba and currant ribies; and encircling
hedges covered in season with sweet-scented white violets.
In a far corner of this garden Mary Grose had seen to the building of a
summerhouse. Moss lined and circular seated, its roof was thatched and
steeple-pointed. The sole window was made of leaded diamond-shaped panes of
glass, taken from one of the windows of the old mansion - perhaps even a
part of the window of her own little childhood room.
Through the oblique crystal panes could be seen eastward over Bodmin the
distant Cornish hills of Rough Tor and Brown Willy. Closer lay undulating
countryside with Egloshayle church and the winding road prominently in view.
On the banks of the river Camel nestled the little town of Wadebridge.
Standing on low ground near the waterway Egloshayle Church is dedicated to
St Petroc who has several other churches in Cornwall and Brittany dedicated
to him. Petroc arrived in Cornwall and stayed for a while during the fifth
century. The church tower is twenty-six metres high and was a gift from
Reverend John Lovebone. The Camel played an important part in the village's
early wealth as all cargo travelled by sea. Guineaport was the main wharf.
>From reserved vantage ground nearby reached by stone steps could be seen
five church towers, and yet southward not the tower of the Williams family's
own parish church of St Breock tucked under the shoulder of the hill. The
parish is named after its patron, St Briocus and was often referred to as
Pawton after the manor of which it formed part. The church is thirteenth
century and stands where the Mary and Michael lines cross at Nancient, which
in Cornish means "Holy Well".
For centuries David's family had lived in Cornwall. In neighbouring parishes
many relatives could be found: Groses, Pollards and Symons [afterwards
Potter] of Gonvena.
He remained a bachelor and after his father's death on 18 Jun 1889 was for
some years the chairman of St Coulomb board of guardians. During this time
it fell to his lot to open the Porth Bridge at Newquay. For his efforts in
cutting the ribbon he was given a pair of handsomely chased silver scissors
in a case suitably inscribed.
His long connection with the collection of income tax made him a real boon
to large numbers of his puzzled and harassed neighbours in the duty of
filling out their returns. He was kindly and sympathetic freely giving help
to his more humble friends in their suffering of mind, body and estate.
On one occasion still as chairman he and a few selected guardians were
paying a visit to the county mental asylum at Bodmin when during the round
of inspection some of the less afflicted patients were enjoying their spell
of liberty. A patient remarked in an awe inspiring whisper more to himself
then any other: "Well I do not know who you all are nor from where you come,
but you are a rough looking lot." David often smiled at this summing up in
recounting the incident.
David and Edgar farmed Dunveth and Tredinnick after their father died and
they and Clara eventually went to Penquain in St Breock farming that and
Tregunna another farm in the district until the two brothers died during
1914. David died 09 Nov 1914 Penquean, St Breock, CON, ENG, and was buried
11 Nov 1914 Parish Church, St Breock, CON, ENG.
Kind regards, Geoffrey
|[NZ-CIG] Williams, David Of Dunveth by "Geoffrey Williams" <>|