Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 19

Joel Smith

Personal project:

The Social And Economic Conditions Of


‘Downalong’ In St Ives 1800-1850

Word Count: 5113

1
Abstract
The industrial revolution affected many towns up and down the country, the impact it had in Cornwall
drastically changed the way of life that existed for centuries before. The purpose of this paper is to examine the
development of the lower part of St Ives during the late 18th to mid-19th century and how it affected people’s
lives.

2
Contents
Figure Index ...................................................................................................................................... 3
Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 4
Background History Of The Town ...................................................................................................... 5
The Construction Of ‘Downalong’ ...................................................................................................... 6
Living Conditions In ‘Downalong’ ....................................................................................................... 6
Economy of The Area ........................................................................................................................ 8
The Pilchard Fishery....................................................................................................................... 8
Boat Building & Rope Making ...................................................................................................... 10
Rent ............................................................................................................................................ 10
Society Of ‘Downalong’ ................................................................................................................... 11
Discussion ....................................................................................................................................... 12
Conclusion....................................................................................................................................... 12
Bibliography .................................................................................................................................... 13
Appendix ......................................................................................................................................... 16

Figure Index
Figure 1: Earliest known drawing of St. Ivesc.1745 by Christopher Borlase. Shown is the old pier
coming out along the present-day wharf. (Penzance Morrab Gardens Library) (Noall 1977) .............. 5
Figure 2 Water being fetched from St Ia’s well c. 1900, presumably this was one of the main water
supplies of ‘Downalong’(Noall 1977) ................................................................................................. 7
Figure 3 (estimated number of Hogsheads exported in St.Ives from 1827 to 1850, taken from J,T,
Shorts diary from the time) (Laity 1973) ............................................................................................ 8
Figure 4 (estimated number of Hogsheads exported in St Ives from 1851 to 1870, taken from J, T,
Shorts diary from the time) (Laity 1973) ............................................................................................ 9
Figure 5: salting pilchards in the ‘Downalong’ area, dated to 1871 (St Ives museum) (Noall 1977) ..... 9
Figure 6 Boat building on the beach, circa 1880 (Noall 1977) ........................................................... 10
Figure 7 aerial photograph of ‘Downalong’(Cornwall council, 2005)................................................. 16
Figure 8: 1840 tithe map marking the area of ‘Downalong’as part of town (Kresen Kernow, 1840) .. 16
Figure 9 Back road East circa 1910 (Noall 2002) ............................................................................... 18
Figure 10: figures taken from (Baly 1854) showing the deaths from cholera each county by each
month ............................................................................................................................................. 18
Figure 11 figures taken from (Baly 1854) showing the number of cholera related deaths per district19

3
Introduction
The aim of this project is to give an overall analysis into the socio-economic conditions of the fishing quarter of
St. Ives, Cornwall from 1800 to 1850. Though generalised to ‘Downalong’ the area examined will be more specific
to the streets of: Island road, Back road east, Burrow road, St Eia street, Teetotal street and Carncrows street.
These streets were chosen as they represent the mass development of the town in the early to mid-19 century,
an area which has come symbolised St. Ives for decades. With its terraced cottages which provided enough living
room for the average Victorian family and which included a loft and cellar space to store nets and provisions for
times of hardship.

Though specific to St. Ives, the socio-economic conditions will be similar to other coastal towns across the region,
as an increase in population at the time would have required more dwellings and more work. This excess of
births over deaths in the first half of the 19th century meant that these towns grew exponentially and towards
the later part of the century emigration was on the rise. The dependence of the region on fishing and mining
meant that all coastal towns on the north coast of Cornwall are similar, (there may be differences with the south
coast having increased trade but overall the region relied on the same industries) any impact on these key
industries would have region wide consequences.

This project will require an in-depth investigation into sources contemporary to the time frame chosen and
information related to the topic, as there is little written evidence from contemporary sources. Photographs will
also be used as to show the living conditions, although post 1850, photographs can provide an insight into the
living conditions of ‘Downlong’s’ inhabitants and show what life may have looked like at the time.

4
Background History Of The Town
Though written about extensively over the years in various forms, all sources relating to the history of St Ives
refer to John. H. Matthews who, published his book “A history of the parishes of Saint Ives, Lelant, Towednack
and Zennor in the county of Cornwall” in 1892. This source is considered the universal history of the town as its
author found borough accounts dating back to the early 1500s (the earliest known records of the town). These
accounts are now lost but Matthews transcribed them in his book as to save them from being thrown away.

The town of St. Ives although in its modern carnation is something of a coastal idle has not always been so,
originally being called Sancte ya (Matthews 1892) after a Irish princess called Saint Ia, landed at the peninsular
called Pendinas on an ivy leaf (more likely to be a coracle) and converted the local population to Christianity.
The name of the town gradually changed to Seyent Iysse and finally in 1593, St Ives. At this time St. Ives was
more of a backwater to the village of Lelant which at the time of the conquest of William the Conqueror was
owned by a Norman lord (Noall 2002) and was far more prosperous due to the influx of trade which at that time
had access to Mounts Bay on the south coast. In the village, the wealth acquired meant that Lelant could
construct a parish church and in 1295 Edward I granted a market. However, the trade did not last due to the
encroachment of sand over the area. Though the people of St.Ives still had to go to Lelant for church, this
changed after a petition to the lord of St.Ives; Lord Champernon, which interceded with the pope in order to
gain a parish church in the town (Guthrie 1994), which was constructed from 1410 to 1436.

St. Ives was known from being an area of dissent, Matthews (1892) mentions the townsfolk support for the
Payer book rebellion of 1549, which was against the implantation of English liturgy and resulted in the Cornish
laying siege to Exeter and being forced to retreat. eventually the leaders were caught and hung, one in the centre
of the town (Noall 2002). This event is what is considered to be the final blow to Cornish nationalism as Cornish
as a language would go into extinction only 200 years after the prayer book rebellion. During the Civil war the
town was one of only two boroughs to side with Parliamentary forces (Matthews 1892), this was likely to be due
to the Puritan influence in St. Ives prior to the conflict. The town fell to Royalist forces after a brief skirmish in
1644, the mayor was fined £500 for not keeping the townsfolk under control (Matthews 1892), this he refused
to pay and was incarcerated. The people of St. Ives therefore gained a reputation of being non-conformist which
adds to the character of the town and its people.

The harbour being main focal point of the town began to take its current shape towards the later part of the 18th
century with the construction of a new pier which increased the size of the harbour dramatically. Constructed
by the civil engineer John Smeaton in 1770 (Guthrie 1994), this pier replaced the far smaller ‘pier’ (more likely
to be considered a jetty) which stood at Carn Glaze (Figure 1) the current site of the fisherman’s coop the wharf
(Noall 2002) . The construction of this new pier also mean that a wharf had to be constructed and allow more
movement around the harbour.

Figure 1: Earliest known drawing of St. Ivesc.1745 by Christopher


Borlase. Shown is the old pier coming out along the present-day wharf.
(Penzance Morrab Gardens Library) (Noall 1977)

5
The Construction Of ‘Downalong’
Although this project focuses on the early to mid-19th century, it is important to note that this growth only came
about due to the innovation of the previously mentioned John Smeaton, in the latter half of the 18th century
(Cornwall & Scilly HER). Though known for planning the construction of the new pier in the town (Noall 2002), it
was his construction of a tidal wall along Porthmeor Beach in 1801 that allowed the expediential development
of the “new town”. This wall halted the constant shifting of the sand which at the time would have been more
like a sand bank and during the winter months would have been subjected to erosion. The wall kept in the sand
that was already there and halted the destructive waves, which meant that there was new land on which to
build upon (Noall 1977). This was needed as John Tregerthen Short’s diary (1817-1872) estimates the inhabitants
of the town being 2,714 in 1801 which increased to 6,507 in 1851. This boom in population which occurred
across the country (Deacon 2001), is considered to have been a result of more industrial agricultural techniques,
improvements in sanitation and infrastructure, therefore improved life drastically compared the century prior
and also meant a fall in the death rate.

Records of ownership of this new land are limited, it seemed that much of the land in the town was owned by
the Praed family estate until 1808 (Mornington 1782-1962) which passed to Christopher Hawkins who died in
1829. Having accumulated a considerable debt his estate was sold off at auction in 1829 and again in 1830 for
£63,000 to William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, 4th Earl of Mornington (nephew of the duke of wellington) who
was also member of parliament for St.Ives from 1812 to 1818 (Noall 2002) and owned the estate till his death in
1857. Though there were many other parties with interest in St. Ivesas the growth of its fishing fleet brought
more enterprising companies and individuals into the town.

The first known record of construction in “Downalong” was in 1811 and was granted by the Stephens family of
Tregenna Castle, on the area known as Carncrows and states. “To erect and build a good and substantial dwelling
house on the said spot or piece of land at least twenty feet long and fourteen feet wide within, provided William
Jennings leave chimnies in the end or western punion [gable] of the said dwelling house for the use of the person
who may build adjoining” (St Ives and Lelant records, et al, 1811). It can therefore be suggested that this is the
first of the houses to be built on Carncrows and may make up the terrace now present. This puts the date of
construction of ‘Downalong’ anywhere from 1811 to 1840 as the tithe map of that year (Figure 8) shows the
area as being part of the town (Ratcliff 2012). The streets would have constructed around a similar time as they
all use the same materials of granite brought (Stevens, B. 2020, personal communication, 8th April) from the
Steeple and Delabole slate brought from up the coast. Ratcliff (2012) in her survey of a house in teetotal street,
suggests, that the streets “form a grid, a distinctive element within the plan-form of this part of the town”.
Although there is little written evidence to suggest that there was a plan to develop, the streets are highly
uniform in their nature. Arial imaging shows this grid layout which is not seen in the rest of the town ( Figure 7).

Though there were industrial sized pilchard cellars in ‘Downalong’, it was the incorporation of cellars into the
domestic properties that highlights the reliance of the people on the fishing industry (Matthews 1892). As a
space to store nets and gear would have been essential to the livelihood of the residents, a loft space was also
included either to be used as an extra room or to be used as another storage space, it’s likely that both the
cellar’s and lofts were shared with other properties without any partitions (Ratcliff 2012). This co-ownership of
space would have added to the sense of community in ‘Downalong’, with family groups sharing with one another
down the generations.

Living Conditions In ‘Downalong’


Living in ‘Downalong’ during the early 19th century would have been a hard existence, solely based around the
fishing industry, all aspects of life depended on this even through to the 20th century and so the smell of
processed fish and the run off on the streets would have been overwhelming. The characteristics of the interior
of the houses would have been similar throughout the area, dark and dingey, (Murt, 1994) with the only light
source in the day coming from 4 small windows on the front and back of each house (Figure 9). At night tallow
candles would have provided limited light inside for a family. This changed in 1835 when the population voted

6
on the adoption of lighting the town with gas (Noall, 1977), which came from the Gas works built above
Porthmeor (rendered inactive due to bombing in the Second World War). Lime washed walls would have been
a common feature of houses in ‘Downalong’ as situated close by at Porthgwidden (Isham, 2000) were two lime
kilns built by Christopher Hawkins. This was a plentiful material and would have been a quick solution to whiting
the walls before plaster. Ship masts would have been incorporated into the building and used as beams or lintels
to support the structure (Ratcliffe 2012).

Sanitation in the area would have been poor, like many growing towns in the country at this time, there was a
lack of drainage in the streets. Its’s likely that most waste would go in the gutter or in shared waste pits and be
channelled into the sea (Ratcliff 2012), a shared exterior toilet may have been added later along with appropriate
drainage. The main water supply in the town came from 2 or 3 small streams which ran down from the Stennack
(hill leading down to the town, although these would probably been full of mining waste). There also may have
been wells providing water to the ‘Downalong’ area as the rivers are not close to the neighbourhood, though
there is no remaining evidence of a well, apart from the well of Saint Ia (Figure 2) which still remains at the
bottom of Porthmeor hill. Noall (1977) suggests that in 1834 a piped water supply was installed, he says
“available at ‘fountains’ (standpipes) in various parts of the town”, which would have made life a lot easier
especially during the winter months.

Figure 2 Water being fetched


from St Ia’s well c. 1900,
presumably this was one of
the main water supplies of
‘Downalong’(Noall 1977)

Like many towns during this time, cholera was the main cause of death in St Ives during the 1830s and was
exacerbated by the lack of sanitation. The first death from cholera is dated to the 28th of August 1832
(Short,1914), However, it seems that the mortality rate for the year 1832 was lower than the yearly average
from 1827-1839, this is surprising as that year was the peak of epidemic. On a whole Cornwall had less deaths
from the second epidemic than the rest of the country, figures for the 3 rd epidemic, estimate Cornwall as a
county to suffer from 974 total deaths compared to the national total of 72,1808, with a total of 17 in St.Ives
from 1848-1849 (Baly, 1854) (Figure 10 and Figure 11). This is likely to be attributed to the distribution of
population in rural areas compared to that of other counties which likely have a higher urban population with
more cities and market towns compared to Cornwall.

7
Economy of The Area
St. Ives during the early 1800s was becoming a major port on the north coast, the growth of the harbour thanks
to Smeaton, had brought an increase to the amount of fish landed in the port and the capacity of ships able to
dock was estimated to be around 60 large vessels (Guthrie, 1994). Smeaton’s sea wall along Porthmeor provided
a perfect site for fisherman to build their houses as it was so close to the harbour, so could allow the men to go
to sea quickly (aided by the “Huer” spotters on the cliffs, watching for pilchard shoals). And so, the whole
dynamic of ‘Downalong’ was purely focussed around fishing, with numerous net lofts and fish factories being
built on the Island Wasteral and along back road (Mornington 1850). It seems that this brought about an increase
in trade with the continent, especially Italy, which imported pilchards during the time of lent. Other contact with
the continent was with Bretton fisherman who were frequent visitors in St. Ives from around the 1500s
(Mathews, 1892) until the 1960s. They used the local waters to fish as it’s likely that the waters around St. Ives
provided a more bountiful catch compared to their native fishing grounds. They had such a presence in the town
that at one time Bailey’s Lane was called “Street Petite” and a barn like structure on the island was used to store
their gear. Although the fishing industry was the main source of income in the town, it cannot go without
mention the numerous mines which also greatly added to the economy of the area, although this industry was
more active in ‘Uplong’ and is therefore out of the scope of this study.

The Pilchard Fishery


Instrumental to the town’s and especially Downlong’s prosperity was the pilchard, which as mentioned
previously was a key export to Italy. Though fished for centuries in St. Ives, it wasn’t until the construction of
Smeaton’s pier in 1770 that allowed for more industrious fishing to be employed in the bay. This industry took
off at such a speed that in 1834, St. Ives was considered the headquarters of the pilchard industry in the country
(Mathews, 1892). So lucrative the industry was in the town that companies began to monopolise the industry,
having ownership over many boats in the harbour. Companies such as Tremearne & co, Bolitho’s, Wearne’s and
Union Co, owning a total of 124 seine’s (Boat designed to carry a special net for pilchards) out of the 138 seine’s
in the harbour in 1837 (Laity, 1973), which in 1800 numbered only 52 boats. These companies also owned
numerous net and sein lofts around the town, with a large concentration running along Back Road (Mornington,
1837). So big of an employer in ‘Downalong’ was the pilchard industry that over 800 women were employed in
the curing and processing of the fish landed (Laity, 1973) in 1822.

The scale of the fishing of pilchards in St. Ives during this time is highlighted in John Tregerthen Short’s diary of
local events from the year 1817 to 1872 (Laity 1973), in which he recorded details of shipping and harbour
reports. Included in this were details about the Pilchard fishery, the tables below (Figure 3 and Figure 4) are
taken from these reports and show the number of Hogsheads (Barrels containing an estimated 3000 pilchards
each) estimated to be exported from 1827 to 1870:

Figure 3 (estimated number of Hogsheads exported in St.Ives from 1827 to 1850, taken
from J,T, Shorts diary from the time) (Laity 1973)

8
Figure 4 (estimated number of Hogsheads exported in St Ives from 1851 to 1870, taken
from J, T, Shorts diary from the time) (Laity 1973)

Note that these numbers are only estimates and do not accurately represent the amount of fish traded, as we
will never know how many were really caught at this time. The anomalies in the second table can’t be accurate
as there must have been some fish exported, although, the low numbers in the years 1854, 1855 and 1856
represent a drop from the years prior. It seems that after 1851 the pilchard numbers begin to decrease; this may
be because the pilchard was a seasonal fish caught in months between October and January (to coincide with
lent) and that fish stocks may have fluctuated during this time. This was probably more common than one would
expect, due to the unpredictability of knowing when or if the fish shoals would arrive. The season at which the
fish were caught may have also of been a reason for why some years in both charts are lower than others, the
autumn gales which rage along the north coast of Cornwall would have prevented even the hardiest fishermen.
So, there are many reasons to why there are anomalies in both charts. Once caught the fish were then processed
and cured in seine lofts (Figure 5) which acted like proto factories (Hendrickx 1997), these were then exported
to the Mediterranean. This resulted in St. Ives becoming a highly enterprising area for the fishing industry in the
country. This is shown when Short states (Laity 1979) “The total quantity exported from St. Ives for the twelve
years 1839-1850 inclusive, had been 145,000 Hogsheads, or an average of 12,000 Hogsheads per annum,
allowing at a moderate estimate of £2 per Hogshead; this represents £24,000 per annum for this period as the
income of St Ives”. This income greatly benefited the town and in years following 1850 and the seine fleet grew
to 286 vessels by 1870. Capital investment in the town grew to exceed £150,000 by 1847 (Noall, 2002) and by
1850, St. Ives was marked as one of the most influential boroughs in the county (Pawley, 2015).

9
Figure 5: salting pilchards in the ‘Downalong’ area, dated to 1871
(St Ives museum) (Noall 1977)
The prosperity and growth of the harbour however took a blow in 1837 when it was declared a ‘free
port’(Guthrie 1994), up until then harbour dues were collected by trustees who owned shares in the port which
allowed money to be collected and allocated to improve the harbour and increase the overall capacity. This is
shown when in 1884 the overall tonnage of merchant vessels in the harbour was 9723 in comparison to Hayle
which had 65979 (Noall 2002).

Boat Building & Rope Making

A subsidiary to the booming pilchard industry in the town but by no mean less important, was the boat building
industry in St. Ives which by the start of the 19th century had already taken off. The men of ‘Downalong’ if not
fishermen would be employed in the many other industries affiliated to that occupation, boat building being
chief among them (Noall 1977). This industry took place mainly on top of the beach and out of lofts on the
harbour front, with boats of all shapes and sizes from seine’s and schooners to bigger vessels like briggs and
baraques (Figure 6). This However, put great strain on the harbour, the more vessels being produced, the less
room there was in the port and so to increase the capacity, extensions of the port were made in the 1860s and
the 1890s(Guthrie 1994).

Figure 6 Boat building on the beach, circa 1880 (Noall 1977)

Rope making was another industry that grew out of the town’s fishing practices, with sites all across town
designed for the production of rope and sail. “Rope walks” (Matthews 1892) as they are known, are areas which
are long enough to allow long strands of material to be twisted into rope. The production of rope in the town
became so industrious that one of the areas of town became known as ‘Park-an-roper’ (the ropers field) (Noall
1977). Without rope, boats could not go to sea, so it’s likely that many of the cellars in ‘Downalong’ would have
had some stored to spare. In stormy weather it would be common for a mooring rope to snap and so making
sure there was some spare just in case, would potentially save a family’s income.

Rent
From the accounts which remain relating to rent in the area, one can determine the kind of household income
the residents of the area acquired out of their hard labours. Accounts of this rent come from the Mornington
estate and the Stephens family, the two estates which owned the majority of ‘Downalong’ from 1800 to 1850.
It seems that the majority of these properties were tied into life-long leases, which were carried down the
generations and rents per annum were paid quarterly, these rents ranged on location (Murt 1994). Although it
was common in the area that once a property was built another would be built next to it by the same builder in
order to secure more income. Money to build the houses (materials) would be provided in mortgages by the
landowner. This benefited both the landowner and the property owner as both had more income. An example
of this was in 1847 when a “dwelling” was erected and £65 was borrowed with interest on Back Road

10
(Mornington 1849). Rent in the area ranged from 2 shillings and 6 pence in Pudding Bag Lane (slum area of
‘Downalong’) (Mornington 1822) to 5 shillings along back road and £2 10 shillings by Porthmeor. The cost of the
rent was determined by the size of the properties, in the case of the Porthmeor example, there is a stone cellar
and lofts included with the dwelling. Which suggests that some residents had more income compared to their
neighbours, as they required more land and more space. The disparity between the social classes in the 1800s
is well documented and fictionalised. The occupations of ‘Downalong’ being almost entirely concentrated on
fishing, meant that social climbing wasn’t an option, even with the pilchard companies’ revenue.

Society Of ‘Downalong’
From the evidence provided, it could be assumed that ‘Downalong’ was a downtrodden area of the town,
However, it has been suggested that the people who lived there enjoyed their lifestyle. Matthews (1892)
commented on the gaiety of the people in the town in the first quarter of the 19th century. He states, “their
mode of life; balls, concerts and dinner-parties in the winter season, and picnics and boating excursions in the
summer”. With local traditions providing a welcome break from the day to day norm. Such as the Hurling of the
silver ball which provided 5 shillings to the winner, the Guise dancing which took place during Christmas and
Knill’s (Noall 1977) ceremony up at the steeple, all made for good fun for all people in the community. Inns and
taverns (of which there were many) were places where business was conducted in the town between individuals.
Many of the mayors and parliamentary candidates started their canvas’s in the local taverns, the most notable
being the ‘George and Dragon’ in the Marketplace, this is where John Knill (a local benefactor and mayor of the
town) was known to frequent in the century prior to this study.

Education for children in the town was provided very early on by Sir Christopher Hawkins in 1822 (Matthews
1892). The school charged a penny per week and taught basic navigation skills which would have provided useful
knowledge as many of the attendees would go on to be fishermen and sailors. This was impressive for the time
as many children only received education when the parliamentary education act was implemented in 1870.
Christopher Hawkins was known for being a great benefactor in the town, owning much of the land, he was
known to lend out money for new development which included ‘Downalong’ (Mornington 1823).

Religion played a key part in society in the 19th century, with growing secular movements and thoughts on
theology having an impact on the day to day life. In St Ives, the presence of the church was paramount, this was
partly due to the Methodist preacher; John Wesley, who in 1743 first visited the town due to the concerns that
the county wasn’t receiving adequate religious teachings from the local reverends. He continued to spread the
word of methodism in the area until 1789. St Ives was a parish which features highly in his journal from the time
(Wesley 1872), as the inhabitants were considered the most unholy in all of Britain as, Matthews (1892) quoted
Wesley as saying “As I was preaching at St Ives, Satan began to fight for his kingdom”. This was in reaction to
local opposition of his sermons, which was due to the inhabitants mistaking the Methodists for being Catholic
sympathisers. However, by the end of the 18th century, opposition to Wesley had ceased, as he is quoted again
in 1775 (Matthews 1892), saying “The people in general here (excepting the rich) almost seem to be persuaded
to be Christians.” This change of heart of the population of St Ives, to begin to favour the Methodists was thanks
to Wesley’s persistence over time in persuading the town to listen rather than enact violence on his sermons.
Before his coming to the town, religion was based on local folklore and remnants of Catholic teachings.

Into the 19th century religious practice grew in the town, with a church dedicated to Wesley being built in 1785
and extended in 1825. Break away churches formed such as the Bible Christian church (built in 1824) and the
Primitive Methodists who preached open air sermons until the construction of their church on the harbour front
in 1831 (Noall 1977). The connection between Methodism and Cornwall is evident at this time, as the 1851
census of Religious worship marks Cornwall as being one of only two counties in the country where Methodists
are the majority, the other being in North Wales (Deacon 2001). This is suggested to be due to the message of
the gospel being used to legitimate the traditional industries of fishing, agriculture and mining (Hempton 1994).
Deacon (2001) proposed that Methodism gave reassurance to the labouring classes during economic hardship.
This would seem to the be the case in St Ives communities, where the scripture would have resonated with many
of the fishermen families in ‘Downalong’ as times of hardship would have been common. Teetotalism also

11
seemed to have been common in ‘Downalong’ as one of the streets became known as ‘Teetotal’ street (Ratcliff
2011), this was probably due to a number of the residents on this row committing to the absenteeism of alcohol.
Methodists began to adopt the temperance movement in the 1830s (Bailey 2007) and it can therefore be
suggested that this is when the street got its name. Deacon (2001) goes on to state that “Relatively high
attendance at Penryn would indicate that non-mining town dwellers were also attracted and the highest
Primitive Methodist attendances of all – at St.Ives and Paul – reveal that fishing, not mining, communities were
in fact the most fertile ground for Primitive Methodists”. Such was the devotion of the fishermen that on the
28th of August 1831, a shoal of pilchards came into the harbour but no cry of “Hevva” was made as it was the
day of the Sabbath (Hamilton 1988).

Discussion
The findings in this analysis point to years of change in the area with more industrialised techniques used in
fishing and construction from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s. It can be considered that this time was a period
of transition from one world to another which would have made many of the more elderly residents born before
Smeaton’s developments, feel as if they were in a different town to the one they grew up in. As the towns
appearance drastically changed during this time. Though this would have been the case for the majority of towns
in the county as the industrial revolution pushed development forward (Østensjø 1963). Though St Ives would
have been a town which retained aspects of its past and its identity through local traditions and through the
industry, as fishing had always been the way of life in the town. Unlike that of mining which declined in the latter
half of the 19th century, fishing clung on in coastal towns such as St Ives, Penzance and Newlyn. With record
catches of pilchards being recorded in the early 1900s (Hind 1924). The town’s adaptability and acceptance of
this change is what allowed it to become the head of the pilchard industry (Quick 1877).

Conclusion
St Ives from 1800 to 1850 was a growing industrial fishing town, with the area of ‘Downalong’ housing the
fishermen and their families, expanding the population and allowing more revenue into the town as increased
dwellings could accommodate more working families. The social and economic aspect of the area revolved
around fishing as the towns primary industry, it was the industrialisation of this which occurred over the first
half of the 1800s that allowed the town to grow and modernise. It can be said that this is partly due to the
developments and innovations in the latter 18th century however, the development of this would only come
about after the year 1800. As the county experienced a rapid change from an old way of life based around local
traditions with little contact with the rest of the country, to a more industrial and connected way of life where
improvements in infrastructure and education provided a better quality of life. ‘Downalong’ itself though, never
lost what it was built to be, it provided the necessary lodgings and facilities in order to be a practical space where
the fishing community could be active, with individuals providing for their families and adding to the local
economy. The role of religion on the town is one which accelerated in the years examined in this project, due to
changes in attitudes and events during the time. The marked overall change to the area would come in 1877
with the construction of the railway, this would bring the picturesque town to the masses with the development
of the art colony in the town, to the tourist industry which superseded the fishing industry in the mid-20th
century.

12
Bibliography

Bennett, W.J., (1952). A Century of Change on the Coast of Cornwall: Seaborne Trade, Fishing and the
Tourist Industry in the Mid-19th and 20th Centuries. Geography, pp.214-224.

Baly, W. and Gull, W.W., (1854). Reports on epidemic cholera. J. Churchill. (cholera tables see appendix)

Bailey, A.R., Harvey, D.C. and Brace, C., (2007). Disciplining youthful Methodist bodies in nineteenth-
century Cornwall. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 97(1), pp.142 157.

Billington, L., (1979). Popular religion and social reform: A study of revivalism and teetotalism, 1830–50.
Journal of Religious History, 10(3), pp.266-293.

Burrell, S. and Gill, G., (2005). The Liverpool cholera epidemic of 1832 and anatomical dissection—medical
mistrust and civil unrest. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 60(4), pp.478-498.

Daniel, W., (1803). ACCOUNT OF THE PILCHARD FISHERY. New universal magazine: or, Miscellany of
historical, philosophical, political and polite literature, 112, pp.406-408.

Deacon, B., 2001. The reformulation of territorial identity: Cornwall in the late eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries.

Guthrie, B. (1994). St. Ivesport and harbour. First edition. St. Ives. St. Ivesprinting and publishing company

Hamilton, A.K. (1988). CORNWALL AND ITS PEOPLE. New paperback edition. Newton abbot: David and
Charles publishers

Harvey, D.C., Brace, C. and Bailey, A.R., (2007). Parading the Cornish subject: Methodist Sunday schools in
west Cornwall, c. 1830–1930. Journal of Historical Geography, 33(1), pp.24-44.

Hempton, David (1994), ‘Evangelicalism in English and Irish Society, 1780-1840’ in Mark Noll, David
Bebbington and George Rawlyk (eds.), Evangelicalism: Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in
North America, the British Isles, and Beyond, 1700-1990, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 156-176.

Hendrickx, F.M., (1997). Economic change and demographic continuity: The demography of Borne and
Wierden (the Netherlands) in the period of proto-and factory industry, 1800–1900. The History of the
Family, 2(4), pp.425-450.

Hind, L.C (1924). DAYS IN CORNWALL. 4th edition. 36 Essex street, London. METHUEN & CO LTD

Isham, K.,( 2000). Lime Kilns and Limeburners in Cornwall: an introduction. Cornish Hillside Publications.

Kolosov, J., 2015. Pilgrimage to St. Ives. Sewanee Review, 123(3), pp.470-486.

Laity, R P, (1973). St Ives in the 1800s. A Guide to Saint Ives Its Surrounding Scenery Curiosities Antiquities
History and Traditions Matthews, J.H., 1892. A History of St Ives, Lelant, Towednack and Zennor in the
County Of Cornwall

Lindert, P.H. (1986). Unequal English wealth since 1670. Journal of Political Economy, 94(6), pp.1127-1162.

Luker, D., (1986). Revivalism in theory and practice: the case of Cornish methodism. The Journal of
Ecclesiastical History, 37(4), pp.603-619.

Martell, J.S., (1927). St. Ives.

Matthew, J.H. (1892) A HISTORY of the PARISHES OF SAINT IVES, LELANT, TOWEDNACK AND ZENNOR IN
THE COUNTY OF CORNWALL. London. Eliot stock. Paternoster row

Matthews, J.H. (2004). MARTIN COCKS Guide to Saint Ives. 2nd edition. Exeter. Short Run Press Limited

13
McWilliams, J. (2014). THE CORNISH FISHING INDUSTRY. First edition. Gloucestershire. Amberley
Publishing

Murt, E. (1994). Downnlong days. First edition. St. Ives. St. Ivesprinting and publishing company

Murray, J., (1865). A Hand-Book for Travellers in Devon & Cornwall. first edition. British museum

Mornington, (1782-1962). Mornington. GHW/12, (Kersen Kernow). Redruth. Cornwall. Available at:
https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/04c03e09-a84c-4cff-9118-82f98c8ae966/

Mornington, (1822). Agreement to lease, Pudding Bag Lane, St Ives. GHW/12/2/3/5, (Kresen Kernow).
Redruth. Cornwall. Available at: https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/98363cd5-a6c0-4493-9f01-
bb38e6289536/?tH=%5B%22GHW%7C12%7C2%7C3%7C5%22%5D

Mornington, (1823). Building agreement, The Island, St Ives. GHW/12/2/3/4, (Keresen Kernow). Redruth.
Cornwall. Available at: https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/cee05ccf-d6b7-40a4-8f43-
d086ca64d044/?tH=%5B%22GHW%7C12%7C2%7C3%7C4%22%5D – Building agreement CH

Mornington, (1837). Agreement to lease, Porthmeor, St Ives. GHW/12/2/4/17 (Kresen Kernow. Redruth.
Cornwall. Available at: https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/1d98bede-a6fd-4fdb-8194-
e05852722eb3/?tH=%5B%22back%20road%22%5D

Mornington, (1839). Agreement to lease, Porthmeor Bank, St Ives. GHW/12/2/4/21, (Kersen Kernow).
Redruth. Cornwall. Available at: https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/ca559477-9105-4ab9-81bd-
60e1aa3cfc67/?tH=%5B%22GHW%7C12%7C2%7C4%7C21%22%5D

Mornington, (1850). Lease, Porthmeor, St Ives. GHW/12/2/7/3 (Keresen Kernow). Redruth. Cornwall.
Available at: https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/6ee4f7ff-f1f9-420a-bcf7-
025ebd9a7155/?tH=%5B%22union%20fishing%22%5D

Mornington, (1850). Lease, The Island, St Ives. GHW/12/2/5/2, (Kresen Kernow). Redruth. Cornwall.
Available at: https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/cb0e01c0-ba31-486b-9d5b-
165081701710/?tH=%5B%22Building%22%2C%22agreement%2C%22%2C%22Island%22%2C%22Road%2C
%22%2C%22St%22%2C%22Ives%22%5D

Mornington, (1852). Lease, Back Road, St Ives. GHW/12/2/9, (Keresen Kernow). Redruth. Cornwall.
Available at: https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/8e44c10e-3263-4131-a782-6a21c9561295/

Noall, C. (1977). THE BOOK OF ST IVES. First edition. Barracuda books limited Chesham, Buckinghamshire
(images)

Noall, C . (1979). YESTERDAYS TOWN: ST IVES. First edition. Barracuda books limited Chesham,
Buckinghamshire

Noall, C. (2002). The story of St Ives. Fourth edition. Redruth. Tor mark

Østensjø, R., (1963). The spring herring fishing and the industrial revolution in western Norway in the
nineteenth century. Scandinavian Economic History Review, 11(2), pp.135-155.

Pawlyn, T., (2015). The Cornish Sea Fisheries in the Nineteenth Century. The Maritime History of Cornwall.

Petition, pier at St Ives (1825), Petition to the House of Commons by inhabitants, seine owners and fish
curers of St Ives. X411/1, (Keresn Kernow). Redruth. Cornwall. Available at:
https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/f67994d0-79f1-47de-b7ac-
67fef024dd17/?tH=%5B%22Building%22%2C%22agreement%2C%22%2C%22Island%22%2C%22Road%2C
%22%2C%22St%22%2C%22Ives%22%5D

Porter, S., (2010). Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues. Journal of the History of Medicine
and Allied Sciences, Volume 65, Issue 1

14
Pounds, N.J.G., (1944). Cornish Fish Cellars. Antiquity, 18(69), pp.36-41.

Quick, J., (1877). THE CORNISH PILCHARD FISHERIES. Fraser's magazine, 15(86), pp.219-223.

Ratcliffe, J. (2010). Archaeological & Historic Building Assessment, St Christopher’s (Nos. 3, 3a, 3b),
Porthmeor Road, Downlong, St Ives

Ratcliffe, J. (2011). Porthmeor Studios, St Ives - Phase 1 Archaeological Watching Brief. Report for Borlase
Smart Trust, March 2011

Ratcliffe, J., (2012). Porthmeor Studios, St Ives - Phase 2 Archaeological Watching Brief. Interim report for
Borlase Smart Trust, February 2012

Royal Cornwall Gazette, (1808-1853). Volumes, Hamilton Jenkin Collection. HJ/V, (Kresen Kernow).
Redruth. Cornwall. Available at: https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/067b9d57-f410-4d4f-b94d-
1285110730fe/?tH=%5B%22Royal%20Cornwall%20Gazette%22%5D -

Short, J.T., (1914). Prisoners of War in France from 1804 to 1814: Being the Adventures of John Tregerthen
Short and Thomas Williams of St. Ives, Cornwall. Duckworth & Company.

St Ives and Lelant records, Quick, Thomas and Dunn families, (1811). Assignment of lease by mortgage,
Carncrowse, St Ives. AD2530/1/1, (Kresen Kernow). Redruth. Cornwall. Available at:
https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/d6aaca64-0f67-4c78-bddb-
4b48b4763d23/?tH=%5B%22AD2530%7C1%7C1%22%5D

St Ives and Lelant records, Quick, Thomas and Dunn families, (1849). Demise by mortgage, Dinas Ia
wastrel, near pier or beach, St Ives. AD2530/1/4, (Kersen Kernow). Redruth. Cornwall. Available at:
https://kresenkernow.org/SOAP/detail/06dffc3e-db19-479b-ba7b-
796b415506dc/?tH=%5B%22Building%22%2C%22agreement%2C%22%2C%22Island%22%2C%22Road%2C
%22%2C%22St%22%2C%22Ives%22%5D

Stoyle, M., (2014). ‘Fullye Bente to Fighte Oute the Matter’: Reconsidering Cornwall’s Role in the Western
Rebellion of 1549. The English Historical Review, 129(538), pp.549-577.

Thomas, J. (2007) Lost Cornwall. first edition. Edinburgh. Birlinn Limited

Thompson, P., (1985). Women in the fishing: The roots of power between the sexes. Comparative Studies
in Society and History, 27(1), pp.3-32.

Tovey. D. (2009). St Ives (1860-1930) The Artist and the Community. First edition. Penryn. R. Booth Print

Wesley. J (1872). "The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, AM." Wesleyan Conference Office

Willett, J. and Giovannini, A., (2014). The uneven path of UK devolution: top-down vs. bottom-up
regionalism in England–Cornwall and the North-East compared. Political Studies, 62(2), pp.343-360.

Woods, R. and Shelton, N., (2000). Disease environments in Victorian England and Wales. Historical
Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 33(2), pp.73-82.

15
Appendix

Figure 8: 1840 tithe map marking the area of ‘Downalong’as part of town
(Kresen Kernow, 1840)

Figure 7 aerial photograph of ‘Downalong’(Cornwall council,


2005)

16
Figure 2 Water being fetched
Figure 9 Back road East circa 1910 (Noall 2002) from St Ia’s well c. 1900,
presumably this was one of
the main water supplies of
‘Downalong’(Noall 1977)

Figure 10: figures taken from (Baly 1854) showing the deaths from cholera
each county by each month
17
Figure 11 figures taken from (Baly 1854) showing the number of cholera related
deaths per district

18
19