Enys family of Enys in Cornwall

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The Lodge, Enys Estate, St Gluvias, Cornwall

The Enys family have lived at Enys, which lies on the northern outskirts of Penryn, Cornwall, time out of mind. The Enys Trust website says: "Robert de Enys lived there during the reign of Edward I." The 1709 edition of Camden's Magna Britannia mentioned that Enys was noted for its fine gardens.[1]

The House and garden[edit]

The Enys Trust was formed in 2002 as a charity in order to secure the long-term future of the garden at Enys, near Penryn in Cornwall, and to open the garden to the public. In 2013 the house was opened to the public for the first time.[2]

John Davies Enys greatly enriched Enys with seeds and plants he regularly sent home from New Zealand and Patagonia.

The lakes in the lower valley have a water wheel which raised water to the house. The scenery created here has been much photographed over the years. In Spring the bluebells in the parkland, known as Parc Lye, are a sight to behold. This area is believed to be undisturbed since ancient times, and contains many trees of a great age. The formal gardens still contain plants shrubs and trees from the J D Enys Collection, and the Estate also has a fine collection of bamboos comprising a number of very rare varieties.

Probably the most valuable asset to the garden is its microclimate. It is virtually frost free, and this, together with the mild and temperate influence of the Gulf Stream, enables many tender plants and trees to flourish. One of the most important of these is the "Peruvian Laurel", one of the few specimens growing in England today. There is also a Maidenhair tree, (Ginkgo biloba) which is said to be the tallest specimen outside Kew Gardens.

Public service[edit]

Samuel Enys represented Penryn in Parliament in 1660.

The family has supplied the Duchy of Cornwall with several High Sheriffs and the Quarter Sessions with many J.P.s

Enys family High Sheriffs of Cornwall[edit]

Selected Enys family members[edit]

Samuel and Valentine Enys[edit]

Samuel Enys and his son Valentine were merchants, trading between the river Fal and Spain.[5]

Samuel was a younger son. His father was also called Samuel Enys. He was a highly successful merchant and was able to buy back the Enys family's land, that had to be sold and mortgaged during the first half of the 17th Century. He also built himself a large house on the waterfront at Penryn. He married Elizabeth Pendarves and they had four sons, Samuel (again), John, Valentine and Richard. They were trained as merchants.[6]

Valentine Enys (1653-1719) was the third of four sons of Samuel and Elizabeth. He was a merchant, who exported in salted pilchards to the Canary Islands and imported canary wine. Extracts from his letter-book have been published.[5] June Palmer, the editor of the book, has placed a transcript of all the letters, other than those in the Spanish language in the Cornwall Record Office. The Letter-book remains in private hands. The publication is a remarkable source for maritime history and the life of a remarkable Cornishman.

John Enys, soldier[edit]

John Enys (17 December 1757 – 30 July 1818), son of John Enys and Lucy Basset, was British soldier during the American Revolution and the War with France.

John Samuel Enys[edit]

John Samuel Enys was born 21 September 1796, son of Samuel Hunt and Luce Ann Enys, his wife, the daughter of Samuel Enys. In 1813, his mother reverted her name from Hunt to Enys, after the death of her husband.[7] He was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1824. In 1833 John Samuel Enys engaged Henry Harrison,[8] a London architect, to produce designs for the garden as well as the house. Amongst these features was the Ladies Garden, later called the Flower Garden" [1]

He married, on 17 April 1834 Catherine Gilbert, eldest daughter of Davies Gilbert (1767–1839), a President of the Royal Society and Mary Ann Gilbert (c. 1776 – 26 April 1845), his wife. Their children were:[9]

  • Jane Mary (1835 - 1874).[10]
  • Francis Gilbert (30 July 1836 - 13 July 1906), who was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1876.
  • John Davies (11 October 1837 – 7 Nov 1912.[11]
  • Charles (18 December 1840 - January 1891).[12]
  • Mary Anne

None of the brothers married. On August 28, 1860 [10] Jane Mary Enys married Captain Henry Rogers RN.[13][14][15]

John Davies Enys[edit]

John Davies Enys was the son of John Samuel Enys and Catherine Gilbert.

He was educated at Harrow School.[16]

In the 1850s he attended lectures at the Geological Society of London, took walking tours in Britain and carefully recorded discoveries of ferns, wild-flowers and shells, establishing a pattern of life as an inveterate collector and keen amateur naturalist.

He settled in South Island, New Zealand, at Castle Hill, where he raised sheep and studied the local fauna, flora and geology. His brother, Charles joined him.


  1. ^ a b Enys Place: The garden is now run by a trust, which opens it several days per week, during the summer months.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ 1708-1709: Samuel Enys - Sheriff 1708 -Cornwall Record Office: X793/262
  4. ^ John Enys - Sheriff - 1796 - Cornwall Record Office:G/1280
  5. ^ a b Cornwall, the Canaries and the Atlantic : the letter book of Valentine Enys 1704-1719, edited by June Palmer, Exeter, Institute of Cornish Studies, 1997 (Series: Sources of Cornish History, Volume 4) ISBN 0-903686-76-7 with extensive introduction, commentaries and postscript, brief biographies of people mentioned in the letters, glossary, bibliography and indexes of commodities, people, places and named ships and a general index. An informative review of Cornwall, the Canaries and the Atlanticis in SW Soundings, No. 45 (June 1999)
  6. ^ It is not yet known whether he or his father was the Samuel Enys, who was an MP, or the Samuel Enys who was a High Sheriff, mentioned above.
  7. ^ Enys papers at Cornwall Record Office: Ref - ref. EN/1898 f.2. "Sign manual warrant, by the Prince Regent on behalf of King George III to Charles Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshall, informing him that he has given licence to Luce Ann Hunt, daughter of the late Samuel Enys and widow of Samuel Hunt, to take the surname and bear the arms of Enys, and requiring him to record it in the College of Arms, 27 Dec. 1813, with an endorsement if its having been recorded, in the College of Arms, 7 March 1814"
  8. ^ ODNB article by Steven Brindle, ‘Harrison, Henry (c.1785–c.1865)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 2 May 2008
  9. ^ ' 'Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry' ' Part 1 (1862), Page 551 Enys of Enys, on Google Books.
  10. ^ a b Obituary of Henry Roger in the Western Morning News, 27 November 1912)
  11. ^ The Times, Friday, Nov 08, 1912; pg. 11; Issue 40051; col E: "Mr. J. D. Enys." (Obituaries)
  12. ^ Some paintings of South Island, New Zealand by Charles Enys are in the Australian National Library.
  13. ^ ODNB article by George McRobert, ‘Rogers, Sir Leonard (1868–1962)’, rev. Helen J. Power, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 2 May 2008. Sir Leonard Rogers FRS was one of their sons. Another son of Jane and Henry Rogers was C. Ambrose Rogers, FRS.
  14. ^ An article on J.D. Enys by Eva Carlisle Richards in the Encyclopedia of New Zealand (1966) says of Jane Rogers: "her son took the name and property of the Cornish estate." Presumaby, this was the eldest son, following the death of J D Enys.
  15. ^ According to the Obituary of Henry Rogers in the Western Morning News, 27 November 1912) their children were
    • the Rev Enys Henry Rogers, vicar of Herodsfoot 1900-2, and since then of St Stephens, Brighton;
    • Charles Gilbert Rogers, of the Indian Woods and Forest Service, conservator in Burmah;
    • Ernest Rogers of Cheltenham, retired from the Indian Civil Service;
    • Claude Somerset Rogers, of the Woods and Forests Department, Trinidad;
    • Surgeon-Major Leonard Rogers of the Indian Medical Service, the author of an important work on tropical diseases and their remedies, based largely upon his own researches;
    • the Rev Kenneth St Aubyn Rogers, a missionary in British East Africa under Bishop Peel;
    • John Davies Rogers commander R.N. retired, and lay reader of Emmanuel Church;
    • Miss Catherine Mary Rogers, who lived at home with her father.
  16. ^ Starke, June. "Enys, John Davies 1837 - 1912". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 April 2011.