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The parish of Paul, (Cornish: Brewynni), (alias St Paul) is situated in the Deanery and Hundred of Penwith. It was bounded on the north by Madron, on the east by Mount's Bay, on the south by St Buryan, and on the west by St Buryan and Sancreed. It is located south of the fishing port of Newlyn, and contains the small village of Paul with its fishing port of Mousehole, (pronounced Mowzel), which was originally called Port Ennis.

In the 16th century three Spanish galleys landed a raiding party which left a trail of destruction in the surrounding area. It has been claimed that Dolly Pentreath, who lived in Mousehole in the 18th century , was one of the last people to speak only in the Cornish language. She died in 1778 in her 102nd year.

Many a local lifeboatman has lost his ife in attempting rescues at sea from here. The most recent event was in 1981 when the entire crew of the lifeboat Solomon Browne were lost in going to the aid of the Freighter Union Star.

The parish of Newlyn St Peter was created partially out of Paul in 1851. Villages in the parish are Tredavoe and Sheffield.


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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:

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Church History

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Church Records

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Civil Registration

The parish of Paul has been in the Penzance Registration District continuously from 1st July 1837. There were originally sub-districts at Marazion, Penzance, St Buryan, St Just, St Ives and Uny-Lelant but these have now been abolished. Parishes within the district are: Gulval, Ludgvan, Madron, Marazion, Morvah, Penzance, Perranuthnoe, St. Buryan, St. Erth, St. Hilary, St. Ives, St. Just in Penwith, St. Levan, St. Michael's Mount, St. Paul, Sancreed, Sennen, Towednack, Uny-Lelant, Wolfe Rock Lighthouse, and Zennor. The Superintendant Registrar can be contacted at: Alphington House, Alverton Place, Penzance, TR18 4JJ. Tel: 01736 330093.

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Description & Travel

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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.

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Paul parish was part of the Penzance Union for Poor Law administration and parish relief.

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Newlyn, St Peter was created from part of this parish in 1851. In 1974, boundaries were redrawn as part of local government reorganisation.

  • Population in 1801 - 2937 persons
  • Population in 1811 - 3371 persons
  • Population in 1821 - 3790 persons
  • Population in 1831 - 4191 persons
  • Population in 1841 - 4664 persons
  • Population in 1851 - 5408 persons
  • Population in 1861 - 5072 persons
  • Population in 1871 - 5748 persons
  • Population in 1881 - 2690 persons
  • Population in 1891 - 5997 persons
  • Population in 1901 - 5997 persons
  • Population in 1911 - 6332 persons
  • Population in 1921 - 6014 persons
  • Population in 1931 - 5398 persons
  • Population in 1951 - 5814 persons
  • Population in 1961 - 231 persons
  • Population in 1971 - 174 persons
  • Population in 1981 - 185 persons
  • Population in 1991 - 230 persons
  • Population in 2001 - 234 persons
  • Population in 2011 - 296 persons

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Probate Records

Wills & Admons for Paul (including Newlyn St Peter) parish, 1661-1770 are available on-line.

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The Penwith Local History Group aims:

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The parish comprised 2153 acres of land.

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