St John’s College MS O.72

Narcissus Luttrell, Memorandum book, English, early eighteenth century

Narcissus Luttrell, annalist and book collector (Fellow Commoner, 1673/4).  Autograph memorandum book.

Signed and dated 1704 on verso first leaf; titled on recto second leaf ‘A Book For Setled & Fix’t matters in Cornwall &c.’  Contents as listed in index at back (unpaginated third leaf from the end):

Journeys into Cornwall (pp. 1-2)

General Matters and Directions for me (pp. 3-5)

About Distraining tenants (pp. 11-12)

Tregonetha matters (pp. 13-15)

Crantock matters (pp. 17-20)

Crevick [Carrivick?] matters (p. 23)

Gurran [Gorran] matters (pp. 27-30)

Polsue matters (p. 33)

               The Barton (pp. 33-34)

               Tregoninny Vehor (p. 37)

               Tregoninny Venton (p. 39)

               Mill tenem[en]t (pp. 41-42,87-89)

               Penhale Fairs (pp. 43-44,95)

               Polsue Woods (pp. 45-46)

               Gelly tenem[en]t (p. 47) [page has heading only, no notes]

               Polperra Wartha (p. 49)

               Trethespan Vehan [Vean] (pp. 51-52)

               Conventionary Tenants (pp. 53-54)

               High Rents (pp. 59-62)        

Tresawl (pp. 71-73)

Rectory of St Earm [Earme] (pp. 75-76)

General Directions for my Steward (pp. 79-85)

 General matters in and ab[ou]t Polsue (p. 91)

Polsue Mannor (p. 97)

Smokesilver (p. 103)

Abstract of Act 8o Annae cap 17. for securing Rents and ag[ains]t Frauds of Tenants  (pp. 119-121)

Reliefs (p. 127)

Abstract of Act 12 Car.2 cap 24. touching Tenures, etc. (pp. 129-130)

An Account of Stewards in the West (p. 131)


Loose sheets:

at pp. [70]-71, and numbered p. 69 (possibly intended to be tipped in?), is a list of items ‘In my Portmanteau’, with pencilled annotation in later hand, ‘Pendarves N Luttrells Book’;

at pp. [118]-119, ’Marks for days of Week in this book’, giving symbols used and days of week in English and Latin, dated (possibly later) 1724;

one loose piece of blotting paper between second and third leaf from back;

inside back cover, ‘My Journey to Somersetshire & Cornwall 17 Aug[us]t 1749’ (William Wynne’s hand?), with notes relating to lifeleaseholds; on reverse is a memorandum, crossed through, of a bank post bill, No. J1631, for £20 to William Wynne, ditto nos. 1632 and 1633.


Luttrell appears to have used the book chiefly between 1704 and 1706, but at least one entry is c. 1710; also recorded are his journeys into Cornwall as far back as 17 July 1677.  In addition, two loose sheets (one certainly not Luttrell’s) are dated 1724 and 1749.

Entries record other place-names, personal names (land owners, tenants, etc.) and some descriptions of properties including tenements, farms, adjoining lands; land management and land uses including mowhays (‘mowhey’), quarries, woods; water sources for mill; information concerning fairs and rights therein; acreages; rates, etc.

Manuscript extra information

85 x 135mm. [4],131,[9], three additional loose leaves. Pp. 1-131 paginated by hand (blanks counted but left unnumbered).  In all, 73 pages of writing.

Previously deposited at the Cornwall Record Office as part of the family and estate collection of Pendarves of Pendarves, Camborne, some of which sadly is now widely dispersed.  Front cover marked in ink with CRO reference number PD 213; pencilled on verso last leaf ‘E3733  T5X7’ (also CRO?).  Purchased (Noël Marshall Fund) from Bernard Quaritch, June 2013.

In a single, small, neat hand, closely written, excepting loose leaf from 1749 as noted.  Paper.  Limp vellum wallet with simply engraved metal clasp intact; remnant of marbled pastedown in back cover; marbling to fore-edge and head.  Cover has become detached from page block.