Menu [toggle]


Henry Horswill (1821-)

Son of Henry Horwsill (1794-) and Catherine Penfound (1789-)

Born 1821 at Totnes, Devon
Married  Jerusha Neill on 27 Dec 1844 at Register Office, Tavistock, Devon.


Children from marriage between Henry Horswill and Jerusha Neill:

  1. Jessy Horswill, born 1845 at Tavistock, Devon
  2. Harry\Henry Penfound Horswill, born 1846 at Tavistock, Devon
  3. John Frederick Horswill, born 1848 at Calstock, Cornwall
  4. Emma Horswill, born 1850 at Calstock, Cornwall
  5. Francis Horswill, born 1853 at Calstock, Cornwall
  6. Edwin Horswill, born 20 Feb 1855 at Gunnislake, Calstock, Cornwall. Died 30 Oct 1914 at Victoria Hospital, Perth, WA
  7. Thomas Alfred Horswill, born 1857 at Bickleigh, Devon
  8. William James Horswill, born 1859 at Beer Ferris, Devon


On 1841 Census at Barley Market St, Tavistock aged 19, living with his parents and an apprentice tailor.
At the time of his marriage in 1844 he was shown as an accountant and living at Barley Market Street, Tavistock.

On 1861 Census at Collins Farm, Beer Ferris, Tavistock, aged 39, living with his wife Jerusha and 6 children. He was a mining agent.

On 1871 Census at Virtuous Lady, Buckland Monachorum, aged 49, living wih his wife and 3 children. A mining agent.

Buckland Monachorum

BUCKLAND MONACHORUM is a small, pleasant village, in a picturesque valley, 4 miles S. by E. of Tavistock. . . Buckland had the latter part of its name from its monastery, and is sometimes called Buckland Drake from the Drake family, who have held the manor since the reign of Elizabeth. Its parish contains 1411 inhabitants, and 6383 acres of land, including about 2000 acres of open moorland, woodland, &c.; the romantic hamlet of Milton, and a great part of the large village of Horrabridge, which is partly in the parishes of Sampford-Spiney, Whitchurch, and Walkhampton; being on both sides of the small river Walkham, and on the eastern side of Dartmoor, where there are two copper mines and a tin mine, employing 400 hands, and a woolen factory, employing about the same number. The parish comprises also many scattered farm-houses, &c., and several neat mansions, and is bounded on the west by the river Tavy. . . The Church (St. Andrew,) is a handsome cruciform structure, in the perpendicular style, with a tower and six bells. . . . [1]

Virtuous Lady Mine, Buckland Monachorum, Whitchurch, Tavistock District, Devon, England, UK
If you approach this site down the track from Buckland you pass over the leat adit, which runs for 50 or so feet through the spur of the hill. Entering from the south about 10 feet in there is a vein of fine shales with black Goethite widely distributed in it.
One of the main adits to the mine is located under the house at the riverside which used to belong to the mine captain. The local folklore has it that there is a trap door in the floor of the house which gives access to the workings. It is certainly true that from inside the workings you can clearly hear the dog barking in the property above.[2]

The site was once famed for the siderite crystals with curved faces.

Beer Ferris

BEER FERRIS, (or Ferrers), a parish in the hundred of Roborough, in the county of Devon, 3 miles to the N.E. of Saltash, and 8 N. by W. from Plymouth. It occupies a small peninsula on the English Channel, at the mouth of the rivers Tamar and Tavy, which bound it on the W. and E. The parish includes the town of Beer Alston, which was formerly a borough, and the village of Beer Ferris, or, as it is commonly called, Beer Town. Lead has been for many centuries obtained here in considerable quantities, mixed with much silver, and several other mineral products. The chief mine is known as the Tamar Consols, and gives employment to a great number of the inhabitants. The scenery of the neighbourhood is remarkably fine, and large quantities of fruit are produced here especially black cherries, known locally as "mazards." The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Exeter, of the value of £700, in the patronage of the Earl of Mount-Edgcumbe. The church, which is dedicated to St. Andrew, was erected in 1333. It is in the decorated style chiefly, but with additions of perpendicular and debased, and contains two monuments of Crusaders, besides tombs of the Ferrero and other families who formerly held the manor. Here is the grave of the painter Charles A. Stothard, who was killed, in 1821, by a fall while engaged in drawing the windows of this church. The rich stained glass belonging to the eastern window is now preserved in a cheat. There are several Dissenting chapels in the parish. The charitable endowments amount to £66 per annum, including £21, the revenue of Maynard's free school. The parish comprises an area of about 5,838 acres, chiefly the property of Earl Mount-Edgcumbe, who is lord of the manor.

Nuns Cross Mine

Built against the steep of the slope in the area of deep gerts associated with the workings of Nun’s Cross Mine, at the head of the Newleycombe Valley, is a long abandoned tinners’ house (P1114). The fireplace lintel and jambs are still intact, but otherwise the building is a total ruin. In the mid-late seventeenth century there must have been a fairly successful tin sett, or perhaps a number of small independent setts, being worked hereabouts, for in 1673 there were two tin mills operating in the immediate vicinity. Or, at least, they had been in operation in the not too distant past, although the precise purpose to which the buildings were being put in the 1670s is not clear from the documentary evidence which I have seen, which merely recorded the rents being paid on each property. George Wilcocke was the lessee at what was then known as Higher Nun Mill, paying 4s a year rent, whilst at Lower Nun Mill the tenant was Jasper Watts, paying the same annual sum for his lease. The locality names cannot be confused with that of the later East Nun’s Mine, which was on Duchy land, for both of these mills were located within Walkhampton Manor, and so they must have been situated somewhere near the later Nun’s Cross Mine.

There were earlier workings here called Wester Nunn (1596) and Easter Nunn "by the Cross of St Siward" (1632), the former name re-emerging in the records of two centuries later, when the following entry appears in the manor stewards' accounts —

13th Oct 1808 Wm. Giles rec'd your Share of Tin dues (being 5 parts of 20th)
from West Nuns Mine £1 Gave him 1/- — 19s

Oddly this is the only reference to the locality name from the entire first half of the nineteenth century, so the status of the workings for the next sixty years or so is not perfectly clear. Neither do I know anything of its later history, and all that I am able to record is the survival of two late nineteenth century leases for the sett.

The first, for what was then called Nun's Cross Mine, was issued on 16th January 1862 to James Sprague of Beer Ferris, mine captain, Thomas Horswill of Beer Ferris, mine agent, & Samuel T Gribell of Bristol, gent — at least, I assume that the lease was executed, for the deed is a true indenture on parchment, although the one which survives (there would originally have been two copies, the deed and the counterpart) is not signed. This contains the more or less standard terms and conditions of mining leases of the period, granting the lessees a sett over "All that piece of Common or waste Land...near to and adjoining a certain place called Nun's Cross" for 21 years, at dues of a fifteenth of all ores, the lessees also being instructed therein not to sink any shafts or place any rubbish with 15 fathoms of any cottage or within 30 fathoms of any farmhouse.

Another lease was issued ten years later to different persons, Thomas Gregory of Walls Mine, mine agent, Thomas Bewick of Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, civil engineer, and George Rowe of Gawton Mine, Tavistock, mine agent. This lease, signed on 16th July 1872, granted the same basic rights, including permissions to erect any buildings "except Burning or Smelting houses", and to divert all waters within the limits except streams used for irrigation or home consumption, at an annual rent of £20 plus a twentyfifth of the money which "such ores shall produce by public sale to be had in the usual manner for selling copper tin and lead ores in Devon and Cornwall". The limits of the sett were defined thus (and were also shown on an accompaying plan which, however, is not very exciting, for the sett was over open moorland only, so the plan does not show anything except the location of Siward's Cross or Nun's Cross and a red line defining the limits) —

...All that piece of Common or Waste land part of Walkhampton and adjoining a certain place called Nuns Cross and extending along the forest boundary Two hundred fathoms South west of Nuns Cross aforesaid then North westward to Plot Numbered 1044 and from thence eastward to White Works Road and by the said Road to and along Pitcot Road to the said Forest Boundary as more particularly described or delineated on the map or plan hereon indorsed and hereinafter referred to under the denomination of "Limits"...


  1. ^ From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)
  2. ^ (in part): Dana 6:A3:19; Dana 7:I:586; Dana 7:II:766; Min.Mag.: 17:1 (1913); Embrey & Symes, 1987, 118 - "Minerals of Cornwall and Devon".

Created by: Robf. Last Modification: Sunday 01 of February, 2009 17:35:18 WST by Robf.

RSS feed Wiki