Timeline of Cornish history

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This timeline summarizes significant events in the History of Cornwall

400,000 - 200,000 BC[edit]

  • Ancestors of modern humans visited Cornwall for the first time; [3] Cornwall is too far south to be under the ice sheet, and is joined to Continental Europe.

10,000 BC[edit]

  • Rising sea levels cut Cornwall off from the Continent as the Channel floods.[4]

4000 BC[edit]

Rooms in a building within Chysauster village
The Mên-an-Tol, a small formation of standing stones in Penwith
Castle an Dinas, St Columb Major just visible at the summit of Castle Downs as viewed from St. Columb Major

2000 BC[edit]

  • Mining in Cornwall has existed from the early Bronze Age around 2150BC and it is thought that Cornwall was visited by metal traders from the eastern Mediterranean. It has been suggested that the Cassiterides or "Tin Islands" as recorded by Herodotus in 445BC may have referred to the Scilly Islands and Cornwall as when first discovered they were both thought to have been islands.[1][2]

1600 BC[edit]

  • Cornwall experiences a trade boom driven by the export of tin across Europe.

750 BC[edit]

  • The Iron Age reaches Cornwall, permitting greater scope of agriculture through the use of new iron ploughs and axes.

2900 BC[edit]

  • The first Celts have arrived by this point, although it is disputed when. They also built Stonehenge in 2700 bc - big massive stone circle. it was a religious centre

they also started the mining in England about 2000 BC.

330 BC[edit]

  • Pytheas of Massilia (now Marseilles), a Greek merchant and explorer, circumnavigated the British Isles between about 330 and 320 BC and produced the first written record of the islands. He described the Cornish as civilised, skilled farmers, usually peaceable, but formidable in war.[3]

100 BC[edit]

  • 60 BC - Greek historian Diodorus Siculus named Cornwall "Belerion" - "The Shining Land", the first recorded place name in the British Isles.
  • 43 BC - First attempted invasion of British Mainland by Julius Caesar. Over the next century, the Romans come to rule Cornwall, then part of Dumnonia.
  • 19 AD - Total eclipse in Cornwall.[4]

55–60 AD[edit]

  • Construction of Nanstallon Roman fort near Bodmin. One of only a few Roman sites in Cornwall.

150-230[edit]

300[edit]

400[edit]

"King Mark of Cornwall", illustrated by Howard Pyle (1905)
  • Cornwall's native name (Kernow) appeared on record as early as 400. The Ravenna Cosmography, compiled c. 700 from Roman material 300 years older, lists a route running westward into Cornwall and on this route is a place then called Durocornovio (Latinised from British Celtic duno-Cornouio-n – "fortress of the Cornish people"). In Latin, 'V' represented and was pronounced as a 'W' and the fortress name refers to Tintagel.[6]
  • King Mark, of Tristan and Iseult fame, probably ruled in the late 5th century. According to Cornish folklore, he held court at Tintagel. King Salomon, father of Saint Cybi, ruled after Mark.
  • 410: Emperor Honorius recalls the last legions from Britain. There is some uncertainty: some say that this "rescript" refers not to Britannia (= Britain) but to Bruttium in Italy.
  • Mid-5th century - first waves of settlers from Cornwall, and Devon, go to Brittany
  • 433: The Britons call the Angles to come and help them [as mercenaries ] against the Picts.[7]
  • about 446: The "Groans of the Britons" last appeal (possibly to the Consul Aetius) for the Roman army to come back to Britain.

500[edit]

Map of area of settlement of the Britons in the 6th century
  • 500 - The Kingdom of Cornwall emerged around the 6th century which included the tribes of the Dumnonii and the Cornish Cornovii.[8] The origins of the neighbouring Kingdom of Wessex are also in this period.
  • 490 to 510: likely range of dates for the Battle of Mons Badonicus, in which Romano-British Celts defeated an invading Anglo-Saxon army.
  • 535/6 - Extreme weather events of 535–536 cause European famine.
  • After 540s - Plague of Justinian, which would affect all of Europe.
  • 577 - Battle of Deorham Down near Bristol results in the separation of the West Welsh (the Cornish) from the Welsh by the advance of the Saxons. The earliest Cornish saints systematically convert Cornwall to Christianity, a considerable period before the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon peoples of England (the territory east of the River Tamar). According to tradition these early monastic foundations were made by Christian preachers or Christian Druids from other Celtic lands, mainly Ireland (as in the cases of Saint Piran and Saint Gwinear), Wales (as in the case of Saint Petroc and the Children of Brychan), and Brittany (as in the case of Saint Mylor).

600[edit]

  • 664 The Synod of Whitby determines that England is again an ecclesiastical province of Rome, with its formal structure of dioceses and parishes. The Celtic Church of Dumnonia is not party to the decision and the Cornish Church remains monastic in nature.
  • 682 Centwine, king of Wessex drove the Britons of the West at the sword's point as far as the sea. (ASC) This resulted in the West Saxon occupation of the north-eastern district of Cornwall. Even today several Saxon place names are found in that area, i.e. Widemouth (OE wid), Canworthy (OE worthig), Crackington Haven (OE hæfen), Otterham (OE hamm).[9]

700[edit]

  • 710 - Battle of Lining (probably between the rivers Lynher and Tamar) resulted from King Geraint of Cornwall's refusal to allow the Celtic church to follow the call of the English church (which was perhaps 300 years younger) to conform to the standards of Rome. The battle was fought against the West Saxon King Ine and his kinsman, Nonna.[10]
  • 722 - Battle of Hehil - The Cornish Britons together with their friends and allies, push back a West-Saxon offensive at "Hehil", unlocated, but probably somewhere in modern Devon.

800[edit]

  • 807 - Unsuccessful Cornish alliance with Danes.[6]
  • 815 - The Anglo Saxon Chronicle states "& þy geare gehergade Ecgbryht cyning on West Walas from easteweardum oþ westewearde."...and in this year king Ecgbryht harried the Cornish from east to west.[11]
The Doniert Stone which may refer to King Dungarth
  • 825 - The Battle of Gafulforda, at an uncertain location, thought to be Galford, near Lewdown in West Devon. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle only states: "The Wealas (Cornish) and the Defnas (men of Devon) fought at Gafalforda".[6][12]
  • 838 - Battle of Hingston Down: the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that the Cornish in alliance with the Danes were defeated by Egbert of Wessex at "Hengestesdun", generally considered to be Hingston Down in eastern Cornwall.[13]
  • 875 - King Dungarth (Donyarth) of Cerniu ("id est Cornubiae") drowns in what is thought to be the River Fowey.
  • 880s - the Church in Cornwall is having more Saxon priests appointed to it and they control some church estates like Polltun, Caellwic and Landwithan (Pawton, in St Breock; perhaps Celliwig (Kellywick in Egloshayle?); and Lawhitton). Eventually they passed these over to Wessex kings. However according to Alfred the Great's will the amount of land he owned in Cornwall was very small.[14]
  • late 9th century - earliest known example of written Cornish is a gloss in a late 9th century Latin manuscript of De Consolatione Philosophiae by Boethius, which used the words ud rocashaas. The phrase means "it (the mind) hated the gloomy places".[15][16]

900[edit]

Olaf Tryggvason, who supposedly visited the Isles of Scilly in 986. It is said an encounter with a cleric there led him to Christianise Norway
  • 926 The entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reads....'This year fiery lights appeared in the north part of the heavens. And Sihtric perished: and king Aethelstan obtained the kingdom of the North-humbrians. And he ruled all the kings who were in this island: first, Huwal king of the West-Welsh (Cornish); and Constantine king of the Scots; and Uwen king of the people of Guent; and Ealdred, son of Ealdulf, of Bambrough : and they confirmed the peace by pledge, and by oaths, at the place which is called Eamot, on the 4th of the ides of July [12 July]; and they renounced all idolatry, and after that submitted to him in peace.
  • 927 William of Malmesbury, writing around 1120, says that Athelstan evicted the Cornish from Exeter and perhaps the rest of Devon: "Exeter was cleansed of its defilement by wiping out that filthy race".[17] The area inside the city walls still known today as 'Little Britain' is the quarter where most of the Cornish Romano-British aristocracy had their town houses, from which the Cornish were expelled. Under Athelstan's statutes it eventually became unlawful for any Cornishman to own land, and lawful for any Englishman to kill any Cornishman (or woman or child).[citation needed]
  • 928 It is thought that the Cornish King Huwal, "King of the West Welsh" was one of several kings who signed a treaty with Aethelstan of Wessex at Egmont Bridge.
  • 930 Armes Prydein, (the Prophecy of Britain), this early Welsh poem mentions 'Cornyw', the Celtic name for Cornwall. It foretells that the Welsh together with Cornwall, Brittany, Ireland and Cumbria would expel the English from Britain. This poem also demonstrates any early allegiance between the Celtic people of Britain.[18]
  • 936 Athelstan fixed Cornwall's eastern boundary as the east bank of the Tamar.[6] There is no record of Athelstan taking his campaigns into Cornwall and it seems probable that Huwal, King of the Cornish, agreed to pay tribute thus avoiding further attacks and maintaining a high degree of autonomy. Prior to this the West Saxons had pushed their frontier across the Tamar as far west as the River Lynher, but this was only temporary. It was long enough, however, for Saxon settlement and land charters to influence our modern day inheritance of placenames: between Lynher and Tamar there are today many more English than Cornish place names, as is also the case in that other debatable land between Ottery and Tamar in north Cornwall.
  • 944 Athelstan's successor, Edmund I of England, styled himself "King of the English and ruler of this province of the Britons" [19]
  • 981 The Vikings lay waste "Petroces stow" (probably Padstow) according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.[20]
  • 986 Olaf Tryggvason allegedly visits the Isles of Scilly
  • 997 The Dartmoor town of Lydford, near the Cornish/Wessex border just east of the Tamar is completely destroyed by an angry mob of Danish Vikings. The surprise attack on Lydford is ordered by the King of Denmark and Viking leader Sweyn Forkbeard (previously, Lydford was believed to be impregnable against Viking attack). However, Cornwall is left alone as Sweyn Forkbeard has no intention of crushing Cornwall—unlike Wessex.

1000[edit]

A page of the Domesday Book (for Warwickshire)
  • 1013 Cornwall's enemy and Anglo-Saxon neighbour, Wessex is crushed and conquered by a Danish army under the leadership of the Viking leader and King of Denmark Sweyn Forkbeard. Sweyn annexes Wessex to his Viking empire which includes Denmark and Norway. He does not, however, annex Cornwall, Wales and Scotland, allowing these "client nations" self-rule in return for an annual payment of tribute or "danegeld".
  • 1014-1035 The Kingdom of Cornwall, Wales, much of Scotland and Ireland were not included in the territories of King Canute the Great[21]
  • 1016 - Famine throughout Europe.[22]
  • 1066 - Norman Conquest brings many Bretons into Cornwall. The Cornish and Breton languages are mutually intelligible at this point.
  • 1066 According to William of Worcester, writing in the 15th century, Cadoc, was described as the last survivor of the Cornish royal line at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066.[17]
  • 1066 William the Conqueror may have granted Cornwall to Brian of Brittany.[23]
  • 1067 - Harold Godwinson's sons, who have taken refuge in Ireland, raid Somerset, Devon and Cornwall from the sea.[24]
  • 1068 The Battle of Exeter - the Cornish attacked the Saxon stronghold of Exeter but were eventually driven back by an Anglo-Norman army sent to mop up pockets of resistance.
  • 1069 Brian of Brittany, lord of Cornwall, defeats the sons of Harold near the River Taw
  • 1070 (ca.) Robert, Count of Mortain made Earl of Cornwall.
  • 1086 Domesday Survey: the major landholders in Cornwall are Robert, Count of Mortain, King William, the Bishop of Exeter, and Tavistock Abbey[25]
  • 1099 Mount's Bay inundated by the sea making St Michael's Mount an island

1100[edit]

St German's priory church, St Germans
  • 1120 Ingulph's Chronicle records Cornwall as a nation distinct from England.
  • 1154-1214 (effective)/1242 (formal) Angevin Empire, which includes other Brythonic areas such as Brittany and parts of Wales.
  • 1173 Reginald de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall, grants a charter to his 'free bugesses of Triueru' and he addresses his meetings at Truro to: "All men both Cornish and English" suggesting a continuing differentiation. Subsequently, for Launceston, Reginald's Charter continues that distinction - "To all my men, French, English and Cornish".
  • 1198 William de Wrotham (Lord Warden of the Stannaries) writes of those working tin in Cornwall paying twice the taxation of their Devon counterparts.

1200[edit]

The opening verses of Origo Mundi, the first play of the Ordinalia (the magnum opus of mediaeval Cornish literature), written by an unknown monk in the late 14th century
  • 1265 Work starts on the Lostwithiel Stannary Palace. It is reputed to be the oldest non-ecclesiastical building in Cornwall and was said to have been built as a replica of the Great Hall of Westminster. Its original function was as a Court dealing with the Cornish tin industry.
  • 1265 Glasney College was founded at Penryn.
  • c 1280 - The Hereford Mappa Mundi highlights Cornwall.

1300[edit]

1400[edit]

St Petroc's Church, Bodmin, from the southwest
Commemorative plaque in Cornish and English for Michael Joseph the Smith (An Gof) and Thomas Flamank mounted on the north side of Blackheath common, south east London, near the south entrance to Greenwich Park

1500[edit]

Cranmer's Prayer book of 1549.
Route taken by the Spanish Armada
  • 1508 By the 'Charter of Pardon', Henry VII confirmed that relevant legislation in Cornwall required the consent of the stannators.[26]
  • 1509 King Henry VIII's coronation procession includes "nine children of honour" representing "England and France, Gascony, Guienne, Normandy, Anjou, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland."
  • 1509-1510 - Plague.
  • 1531 From the court of King Henry VIII, the Italian diplomat Lodovico Falier writes in a letter that "The language of the English, Welsh and Cornish men is so different that they do not understand each other". He also claims it is possible to distinguish the members of each group by alleged "national characteristics".
  • 1533-1540 - Henry VIII founds Church of England and commences Reformation.
  • 1536-1545 - Dissolution of the Monasteries including most religious houses in Cornwall
  • 1538 Writing to his government, the French ambassador in London, Gaspard de Coligny Châtillon, indicates ethnic differences thus: "The kingdom of England is by no means a united whole, for it also contains Wales and Cornwall, natural enemies of the rest of England, and speaking a [different] language".
  • 1542 - Andrew Borde writes in the Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, "In Cornwall is two speches, the one is naughty Englysshe, and the other is Cornysshe speche. And there be many men and women the which cannot speake one worde of Englysshe, but all Cornyshe."[27]
  • 1548 Glasney College is closed and much of the cultural heritage held there is destroyed
  • 1549 The Cornish rise up in the Prayer Book Rebellion—some 5,000 "rebels" were killed by mercenary forces. The main confrontations were the siege of Exeter, the battles of Fenny Bridges, Woodbury Common, Clyst St Mary, Clyst Heath (where 900 unarmed Cornish prisoners were killed) and Sampford Courtenay. Following this, Provost Marshal Sir Anthony Kingston was sent into Cornwall to seek retribution.[28] The Book of Common Prayer was enforced resulting in a decline in the use of the Cornish language.
  • 1555 - Famine.
  • 1578 - Plague in Penzance.[29]
  • 1585–1604 - Anglo-Spanish War, intermittent conflict, never declared, many raids on shipping; coastal defences strengthened.
  • 1586 - Famine [9]
  • 1588 - Spanish Armada. The first sighting is on July 19, when it appears off St Michael's Mount. Soon afterwards, 55 English ships set out in pursuit from Plymouth under the command of Lord Howard of Effingham, with Sir Francis Drake as Vice Admiral. There is an inconclusive skirmish off Eddystone Rocks, and the Spanish fleet sails eastwards up the Channel.
  • 1595 - Battle of Cornwall. Spanish forces under Don Carlos de Amesquita, land in Penzance area raiding and sacking settlements, including Newlyn[30] A detailed description of the Spanish raid of 1595 can be found here.

1600[edit]

  • 1603 Following Queen Elizabeth I's death, the Venetian ambassador writes that the "late queen had ruled over five different 'peoples'--English, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish and Irish".
  • 1616 Arthur Hopton (ambassador to Madrid) writes that "England is ... divided into three great Provinces, or Countries ... speaking a several and different language, as English, Welsh and Cornish".
Sir Bevil Grenville's memorial, in Kilkhampton church
Pendennis Castle keep
Sites of the battles of the First Anglo-Dutch War
  • 1616 - Pocahontas may have visited Indian Queens, although this is disputed.
  • 1618–1648 Thirty Years' War
  • 1620 - The Mayflower, en route to America with the Pilgrim Fathers, stops off at Newlyn to take on water.[31]
  • 1640 Charles I recalls Parliament in order to obtain money to finance his military struggle with Scotland. Parliament agrees to fund Charles, but only on condition he answer their grievances relating to his 11-year "personal rule" or "tyranny". Charles refuses and dissolves Parliament after a mere 3 weeks, hence the name of the "Short Parliament"
  • 1642 The Cornish played a significant role Civil War as Cornwall was a Royalist stronghold in the generally Parliamentarian south-west. The reason for this was that Cornwall's rights and privileges were tied up with the royal Duchy and Stannaries and the Cornish saw the Civil War as a fight between England and Cornwall as much as a conflict between King and Parliament.[17]
  • 1642–1646 - The First "English" Civil War
  • 1642 First Battle of Lostwithiel.
  • 1643 January 19 - Cornish Royalist victory at the Battle of Braddock
  • 1643 May 15 - Cornish Royalist victory at the Battle of Stratton.
  • 1644 August 1 - King Charles I arrived in Cornwall and spent the night at Trecarrel near Launceston[32]
  • 1644 August 31 - Cornish Royalist victory at the Second Battle of Lostwithiel.
  • 1645 Cornish Royalist leader Sir Richard Grenville, 1st Baronet made Launceston his base and he stationed Cornish troops along the River Tamar and issued them with instructions to keep "all foreign troops out of Cornwall". Grenville tried to use "Cornish particularist sentiment" to muster support for the Royalist cause and put a plan to the Prince which would, if implemented, have created a semi-independent Cornwall.[33][34][35][36]
  • 1646 Following the Roundhead victory at the Battle of Naseby in 1645 they had proceeded towards Cornwall reaching Launceston on 25 February 1646 and Bodmin by 2 March 1646. There were skirmishes but the Cornish were vastly outnumbered. Fairfax offered Hopton terms and the surrender took place at Tresillian Bridge, Truro, on 15 March 1646.
  • 1646 The siege of Pendennis Castle began in April 1646 and lasted for five months. Parliamentary forces attacked the castle from both land and sea and it finally surrendered on 17 August 1646.
  • 1648 The Gear Rout - The last Cornish armed uprising involving some 500 rebels.
  • 1648–1649 - Second English Civil War
  • 1649–1651 - Third English Civil War
  • 1651: June: Capture of the Isles of Scilly by Admiral Robert Blake
  • 1652 Battle of Plymouth off Cornish coast, part of First Anglo-Dutch War
  • 1676 - Chesten Marchant supposedly the last Cornish monoglot, dies.

18th Century[edit]

Richard Trevithick's statue by the public library at Camborne, Cornwall

19th Century[edit]

European strategic situation in 1805 before the War of the Third Coalition
Royal Albert Bridge: the first span and centre pier under construction in 1854, seen from Saltash

20th Century[edit]

Truro Cathedral
"Arthur", The world's first parabolic satellite communications antenna, based at Goonhilly
Tate St Ives

21st Century[edit]

The Eden Project

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Google books - Sharon Turner
  2. ^ Cornish Stannary Parliament since AD 700
  3. ^ BBC - British History Timeline
  4. ^ Total eclipse
  5. ^ O'Neill, B. St. J. (1933) The Roman Villa at Magor Farm, near Camborne, Cornwall
  6. ^ a b c Payton, Philip (1996). Cornwall. Fowey: Alexander Associates
  7. ^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
  8. ^ Ellis, P. B. (1993) Celt and Saxon. London: Constable
  9. ^ http://boscastle-archive.org/Pages/Book/chapter2.html
  10. ^ Weatherhill, Craig Cornovia; p. 10
  11. ^ harrying of Westwealas
  12. ^ Pearce, Susan M. (1978) The Kingdom of Dumnonia: studies in history and tradition in south western Britain, AD 350 - 1150. Padstow: Lodenek Press ISBN 0-902899-68-6
  13. ^ Higham, Robert (2008). Making Anglo-Saxon Devon. Exeter: The Mint Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-903356-57-9. 
  14. ^ Keynes, Simon; Lapidge, Michael (tr.) (1983), Alfred the Great - Asser's Life of King Alfred and other contemporary sources. London: Penguin, p. 175; cf. ibid, p. 89.
  15. ^ Oxford scholars detect earliest record of Cornish
  16. '^ Sims-Williams, P. (2005) "A New Brittonic Gloss on Boethius: ud rocashaas, in: Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies; 50 (Winter 2005), pp. 77-86
  17. ^ a b c Payton, Philip (1996). Cornwall: a history. Fowey: Alexander Associates
  18. ^ Armes Prydein Vawr; The Prophecy of Prydein the Great; Book of Taliesin VI
  19. ^ Todd, Malcolm (1987); p. 289
  20. ^ Orme, Nicholas (2007) Cornwall and the Cross. Chichester: Phillimore; p. 10 "[either Padstow or Bodmin] ... presumably by a Viking attack"
  21. ^ Dominions of King Canute
  22. ^ Famine; Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911
  23. ^ Golding, Brian. "Robert of Mortain". Anglo-Norman Studies; XIII. pp. 119–44. Retrieved 5 May 2010. ; p. 126
  24. ^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, ed. and tr. Michael Swanton (2000), London: Phoenix, ISBN 1-84212-003-4, p. 203; Florence, vol. 3, pp. 6-9
  25. ^ Thorn, Caroline, et al. (eds.) Cornwall. Chichester: Phillimore
  26. ^ Sources of Cornish History - Charter of Pardon - 1508
  27. ^ Jenner, Henry (1904) A Handbook of the Cornish Language chiefly in its latest stages with some account of its history and literature
  28. ^ Cornish World - The Anglo-Cornish War of June-August 1549; Aftermath: the death squads
  29. ^ Jennings, Canon. Notes on the Madron Parish Registers
  30. ^ Trelease, G. M. A History of the Church in Paul Parish
  31. ^ Newlyn Art Gallery
  32. ^ [1] 'Parishes: Lawhitton - Luxulion', Magna Britannia: volume 3: Cornwall (1814), pp. 193-206.
  33. ^ Stoyle, Mark (2002) West Britons. Exeter: University of Exeter Press
  34. ^ Burne, A. H. & Young, Peter (1959) The Great Civil War, a military history
  35. ^ Gardiner, S. R. (1988) History of the Great Civil War; Vol. i
  36. ^ Gaunt, Peter (1987) The Cromwellian Gazetteer
  37. ^ Tolchard, C. (1965) The Humble Adventurer. Melbourne: Lansdowne Press
  38. ^ House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 29 Mar 2007 (pt 0004)
  39. ^ BBC News 11 December 2001 [2]
  40. ^ BBC News November 2002 - Cornish gains official recognition from Government
  41. ^ http://www.onecornwall.cornwall.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=47800

External links[edit]