The parish of Bodmin (Cornish: Bosvenegh), including the municipal borough, is situated in the
Deanery of Trigg Minor and the Hundred of Trigg, in the centre of the county.
It is bounded on the east by Cardinham, on the south by Lanhydrock and Lanivet,
on the west by Withiel, St Breock and Egloshayle, and on the north by Helland.
The parish is probably named after the Old Cornish for 'Dwelling near the
Church'. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Bodmine.
Many Guilds were quartered in Bodmin; many having their own chapels and places
of worship. In 1179, the burgesses paid a fine of one hundred shillings for
mis-reprenting themselves and for setting up a Guild without licence. The
Guildhall is still in Fore Street.
The town of Bodmin is the County Town
of Cornwall, although the City of Truro is now the administrative Capital and
thus the de facto County Town. The town formerly housed a Jail (built in
1779), and the County Assizes were held here. Bodmin was also formerly the
registry for wills, and index to these registers are held in the various
libraries and record offices across the Duchy. It is a market town which is
situated in a small valley in roughly the centre of Cornwall. Its earliest
Charter was confirmed in 1285 by King Edward I. A number of insurrections have
taken place in the town and in 1497, Thomas Flamanck and Michael An Gof led a
rebellion against the taxes imposed by Parliament to fund the war with
Scotland. They marched with their followers to London and after a battle were
taken prisoner and executed for their 'crimes'. In the same year a
the Throne of England, Perkin Warbeck, had himself proclaimed Richard IV at
Bodmin. During the Civil War the town was held by both sides at various times.
The town is basically one main street with others leading off. there is a large
obelisk on Beacon hill called the Gilbert Monument. Bodmin is said to have been
one of the old coinage towns which had the priviledge of stamping tin, but this
appears to have been lost before 1347. The town has a small railway which is
now privately run; details of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway are
available. The area is hilly with wooded valleys around the town and a number
of small villages and hamlets. Farming and tourism are the main
Lunatic Asylum, built in 1820 and now called the St Lawrence's Hospital,
is located within the parish about a mile from the church, to the west of the
town (see also under Medical Records below).
In 2001, Bodmin was enumerated under two civil parishes: St Mary and St Petroc.
Most parish and church description(s) on these pages are from Lake's Parochial History of the County of Cornwall by J Polsue (Truro, 1867 - 1873)
- The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry Museum:
The Keep, The Barracks, Bodmin, Cornwall PL31 1EG.
Tel 01208 72810 - Overseas +44 1208 72810.
- Cornwall District Probate Office.
Post-1858 wills for the whole of
Cornwall can be seen at the District Probate Registry, Market Street, Bodmin,
Tel 01208 72279 - Overseas +44 1208 72279
- The Bodmin Town Museum covers the town's local and social history from earlist times to the 1950s.
A Municipal Cemetery, situated at the top of Rhind Street, belongs to the town, but there are no Mortuary chapels.
The Cornwall Family History
Society have published Monumental Inscriptions for:
- The Parish Church - 3592 entries.
- The Methodist Chapel.
Census information for this parish (1841 - 1901) is held in the
Cornwall Record Office. The Cornwall Family
History Society offers a census search service for its members. The Cornwall Family History Society have also published on-line census detail by surname on the FamilyHistoryonLine site.
Specific census information for this parish is available as follows:
- 1841. The 1841 Census of Bodmin (HO107/152) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- The 1851 Census of Bodmin (HO107/1904) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- Part of the 1851 Census of Bodmin is available from the West-Penwith resources as part of the 1851 British Census 2% sample - Cornwall.
- 1861. The 1861 Census of Bodmin is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1871. The 1871 Census of Bodmin is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1881. The 1881 Census of Bodmin is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- 1891. The 1891 Census of Bodmin (RG12/1816) is available on-line from the Cornwall Online Census project as follows:
- Anglican There were once several Anglican churches in this parish:
- Parish Church. The parish
church is located in OS Grid Square SX0767 and was dedicated to St Petroc prior to
the Norman Conquest in 1066.
The parish church is situated at the east end of the town, and was comparatively isolated. It was
wholly rebuilt during the time of Edward IV. It comprises a chancel, nave,
north and south aisles, separated by arcades of nine four-centred pointed
arches. the chancel and chancel aisles are divided transversly from the body of
the church by three semi-circular moulded arches. The material used for the
pillars and arches, and all interior dressings is St Stephens porcelain stone.
The northern chancel aisle and the tower appear to be of a much earlier date
than the other parts of the church. Attached to the church was the chapel of St
Mary in which was St Petroc's shrine, and in it the mortuary chapels of St
Andrew, St Martin, and King Harry built and endowed in 1494. A website for St Petroc's church
St Leonard's chapel-of-ease and burial ground is situated at the
western end of the town which had been in ruins for more than two hundred
years. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1871; it is a small rectangular building of stone. At the south-east extremity of the town was the chapel and burial ground of St Nicholas. Details about the plans of this church are available on-line.
- There was a chapel of St Thomas in Bodmin which is now in ruins, and a church of St Leonard.
- The Anglican Team Ministry of Bodmin now comprises the Church of Saint Lawrence with Saint
Leonard, Bodmin (formally the Chapel of St. Lawrence's Hospital),
together with the Parish Church of Saint Hydrock, (Lanhydrock), the Parish
Church of Lanivet, and the Church of Saint Stephen, and Nanstallon (Mission Church
within the parish of Lanivet).
The Team Ministry page is on-line.
- Roman Catholic The Canons Regular of the Lateran returned to Bodmin on the feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24th 1881. Before the reformation, the Canons were at the other end of the town - adjoining the present Anglican church, known as the Priory. Mass was celebrated on that day for the first time since the suppression of the monastery by King Henry VIII in 1539. On the 56th anniversary of the Canons Regular coming back to Bodmin, June 24th 1937, the foundation stone of the new church was laid by Bishop John Barrett. The plan was to create a conventual church on the lines of a pre-reformation Cornish Church. Construction work was abandoned during the war, and for fourteen years after that. Then, new plans were made. The present Church, built of local stone, was blessed and opened by Bishop Cyril Restieaux on 24th June, 1965.
- There was a chapel for the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion in Honey Street which was built in 1804, and rebuilt in Fore Street in 1870. It is a plain stone building.
- The Bible Christian chapel in Bore Street was built in 1851, and the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Fore Street was built in 1834.
- The Wesleyan Methodist Association chapel in Poole Street was built in 1842.
- There is also a Pentecostal Church in Bodmin.
- LDS Church Records.
- Cornwall Record Office. The Cornwall Record Office holdings: Baptisms 1588 - 1963, Burials 1558 - 1983,
Marriages 1559 - 1983, Boyd's Marriage Index 1559 - 1812, Pallot's Marriage Index 1790 - 1812, Non-Conformist records 1804 - 1837.
- Baptisms 1813 to 1841 and 1893 to 1900 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- Bodmin Wesleyan baptisms 1805 to 1837 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The Cornish Forefathers' Society have published on CD, baptisms 1730 to 1841 for this parish.
- Cornwall Legacy have published on CD baptisms (1837 to 1873) of the Bodmin Bible Christian Circuit. Areas include: Bodmin, Lanivet, Roche, Luxulyan, Withiel, and St Breock. They have also published on CD baptisms (1872 to 1900) of the Bodmin Bible Christian Circuit. Areas include: Bodmin, Lanivet, Roche, Lanlivery, Luxulyan, Withiel, and Egloshayle.
- Cornwall Legacy have also published on CD baptisms (1837 to 1900) of the Bodmin Wesleyan Circuit, including Fletchers Bridge Chapel (1896 - 1900). Areas include: Bodmin, Lanlivery, Lanivet, Roche, Luxulyan, Cardinham, St Mabyn, Withiel, Egloshayle and St Breock.
- Phillimore's Marriages 1559 to 1812, and parish registers 1771 to 1812 and 1884 to 1900 are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Marriages 1559 to 1837, which is available in Book, CD or downloadable .pdf file formats.
- Burials 1558 to 1752 and 1813 to 1900 (with small gaps) are available on-line through the OPC search Facility - (C-PROP).
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts of: Parish Burials 1813 to 1837, which is available in Book or CD format.
- Other Non-Conformist Records. OPC Coverage of Non-Conformist records of this parish is available.
The parish of Bodmin is in the Bodmin Registration District, and has been since 1st July 1837; there were
sub-districts are Bodmin, Egloshayle, Lanlivery and St Mabyn but these have now
been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Blisland, Bodmin, Bodmin Borough, Cardinham, Egloshayle, Endellion, Helland, Lanhydrock, Lanviet, Lanlivery, Lostwithiel, Luxulion, St. Kew, St. Mabyn, St. Minver Highlands, St. Minver Lowlands, St. Tudy, St. Winnow, Temple, Wadebridge, Warleggon, Withiel.
The Superintendant Registrar of Bodmin can be contacted at: Lyndhurst, 66 Nicholas Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AG. Tel: 01208 73677.
- The first Bodmin Gaol was built in 1779, and the execution of condemned men took place in a number of different places, since that time.
- The Cornwall Family History Society have published transcripts in CD format of:
- Bodmin Bridewell and its inmates 1821-1848.
- Debtors Imprisoned in Bodmin Gaol 1831-1853 & 1868-1879.
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 01 - 1831-1836 (1409 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 02 - 1836-1841 (1410 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 03 - 1846-1851 (1770 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 04 - 1851-1857 (1770 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 05 -1856-1859/60 (1836 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 06 - 1860 - 1863 (1891 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 07 - 1862-1865 (970 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 08 - 1863-1867 (1930 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 09 - 1866-1870 (2030 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 10 - 1869 - 1872 (2472 entries).
- Prisoners in Cornwall County Gaol Vol 11 - 1872-1875/6 (2250 entries).
- Pictures of the remains of Bodmin Gaol are available on-line.
- Parochial and family history of the parish and borough of Bodmin, in the county of Cornwall, by Sir John Mclean (Published 1870), is available on-line, courtesy of the Old Cornwall Society.
- ePodunk's Cornwall page - providing general, plus some historical and genealogical information, about Cornwall and its parishes, together with links (mainly relating to general sites and services, rather than ones that are specific to Cornwall or particular parishes).
of Bodmin are available.
The Domesday Settlements of Cornwall, a study undertaken by the Cornwall Branch of the Historical Association, has identified and located settlements listed in the Exeter and Exchequer Domesday Survey of AD 1086. The following places have been identified in Bodmin ecclesiastical parish:
- OPC Assistance. The On-line Parish Clerk (OPC) scheme operates a service to help family historians; the OPC page for this parish is available on-line, from where the OPC can be contacted by email.
- Mailing List. British-genealogy.com operate a mailing list for anyone with a genealogical and or historical interest in Bodmin Moor and its surrounding villages. Villages covered are: Advent (Tresinney), Alternun, Blisland, Bodmin, Boventor, Camelford (Lanteglos), Cardinham, Davidstow, Egloshayle, Helland, Laneast, Lanteglos by Camelford, Launceston, Lewannick, Liskeard, Michaelstow, North Hill, St Breward, St Breock, St Cleer, St Clether, St Mabyn, St Neot, St Tudy, Temple, Tresinney, Trewen, Wadebridge (Egloshayle & St Breock), and Warleggan. This list is in support of the OnLine Parish Clerk system. You can also subscribe to the Subscribe to ENG-CON-BODMINMOOR-L or Subscribe to ENG-CON-BODMINMOOR-D (digest) for the Digest version.
Lancarffe. The manor of Lancarffe or Lancoff, held of the honor of
Bodmin, or of S. Petrock, belonged, temp. Richard II, and for several years
afterwards, to the family of Whalesborough, who then held it under the
Bevilles; it is now in severalties. In the XVth century the barton belonged to
the family of Opie; afterwards successively to the Crossmans and Bullocks. It
was purchased of the latter family, in 1685, by John Mounsteven, Esq.,
secretary to the Earl of Sunderland, when secretary of state; his descendant,
Mr. Hender Mounsteven sold it in 1787, to Francis John Hext, Esq., father of
Admiral William Hext, of Tredethy, the present proprietor. The mansion has
latterly been occupied as a farm house. (From a History of Cornwall (pg.
Archived mental health records from St Lawrence's Hospital for the period
1860s to 1983 are in the Cornwall Record
Office. These comprise minute books, financial papers, patient
admission, discharge and treatment records, and archives of the hospital farm.
However, much of the information is protected under Data Protection
- Some indentures of Bodmin people are listed on the OPC site.
- Apprenticeship Indentures for Bodmin (1704 - 1749) can be found in the Cornwall Record
- Bodmin Borough and parish were part of the Bodmin
Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.
- There was an
old workhouse built in 1769 which was replaced by a new workhouse which was
located near the top of Rhind Street, and built in 1842, at a cost of about
£5,000. It was a plain but substantial stone building and able to hold 250
- Settlement Papers (1677 to 1732) and Bastardy Bonds (1673 to
1726), are available in the Cornwall Record Office.
- Population in 1801 - 1951 persons
- Population in 1811 - 2050 persons
- Population in 1821 - 2902 persons
- Population in 1831 - 3375 persons
- Population in 1841 - 4205 persons in Bodmin parish,
plus 165 persons
in Bodmin Asylum,
195 persons in Bodmin Gaol,
94 persons in Bodmin Union
- Population in 1851 - 4327 persons
- Population in 1861 - 4466 persons
- Population in 1871 - 4672 persons
- Population in 1881 - 5061 persons
- Population in 1891 - 5151 persons
- Population in 1901 - 5353 persons
- Population in 1911 - 5734 persons
- Population in 1921 - 5526 persons
- Population in 1931 - 5608 persons
- Population in 1951 - 6057 persons
- Population in 1961 - 6214 persons
- Population in 1971 - 9207 persons
- Population in 1981 - 12195 persons
- Population in 1991 - 12640 persons
- Population in 2001 - 12881 persons
- Population in 2011 - 14543 persons
In the May of 1641 it was agreed and ordered that every Member of the House
of Commons and House of Lords should make a protestation (declaration of
loyalty) to the crown. The Protestation was printed and then distributed by the
Members to their counties. The Protestation was to be made by everyone and the
Rectors, Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor, had to appear before the
Justices of the Peace in their Hundred to make their protestation and, on
returning to their parishes, any two of them were to witness the taking of the
Protestation Oath by all males over the age of 18 years. All names were listed
and anyone who refused was to be noted.
Protestation Returns of 1642 for Bodmin are available on-line.
The Bodmin Old Cornwall Society News Page is on-line.
The parish comprised 3395 acres of land and 22 acres of water.
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