CHRISTOPHER A LONG - Saint Michael, Tin and the Age of Bells

The Celtic Christianity Of Cornwall

Divers Sketches and Studies

By Thomas Taylor, M.A., F.S.A.

Vicar of St. Just-in-Penwith
Author of "The Life of Dr. Taylor of Ashburne"

Published by Longmans, Green and Co. 1916

(an exerpt from The Celtic Christianity Of Cornwall)

IT is of little consequence to consider when and by whom the suggestion was first put forward, but it was one which captivated all who were anxious to endow their native county with a unique distinction. The suggestion was that St. Michael's Mount was identical with the island of Ictis, mentioned by Diodorus Siculus about the beginning of the first century before the Christian era.

Assuming the truth of this hypothesis, for which, indeed, many cogent arguments could be urged, historical writers were enabled to make a better start in the case of Cornwall than in the case of any other English county.

It is therefore somewhat disquieting to find a distinguished geologist staking a great reputation upon a counter-theory which, though promulged so recently as the year 1905, has at the present moment the support of the majority of those who are competent to form a judgment of its scientific value. Mr. Clement Reid, F.R.S., basing his arguments upon the evidence of geology and physical geography, has been able to show 1 that, nineteen hundred years ago, the Isle of Wight was, at high water, an island and, at low water, a peninsula answering exactly to the description of the island of Ictis given by Diodorus, whereas St. Michael's Mount was at that time "an isolated rock rising out of a swampy wood." On the other hand, however, it is only fair to say that Prof. Oman, who has doubtless examined and weighed, with his accustomed acumen, Mr. Reid's reasoning and conclusions, remains unconvinced. The Rev. H. R. Coulthard has broached a new theory, which has perhaps not yet received the attention it deserves ; it is that Ictis was the entire peninsula of Western Penwith. As against this, there is the evidence of Pliny who, on the authority of Timseus, states that the island of Mictis, apparently only another form of Ictis, was distant six days' sail along the British coast, a statement which is as fatal to the claims of Penwith as to those of the Mount itself.

The question can hardly be said to be finally decided, but the prevailing opinion is in favour of the Isle of Wight.

The Mount has had several names. In the life of St. Cadoc 1 it is called Dinsul, which probably means the citadel of the sun.

St. Cadoc is said to have visited his aunt St. Keyne there, and to have miraculously provided the Mount with a supply of water.

By the Cornish it was called Careg Cowse, or Karrek-luz-en-Kuz, which William of Worcester correctly translates "Hoar Rock in the Wood." It would be interesting to discover earlier evidence of this name. Its survival in the fifteenth century 2 in spite of the monastic and military occupation of the Mount for many centuries is very remarkable and seems to carry us back to the time when Mr. Reid's description was exactly realised.

At some period, very difficult to determine, the Mount became known as Mons Tumba. 1 A charter in the Otterton custumal recording the reconstitution of St. Michael's priory, in the reigns of Henry I, and Stephen, enjoins that the Cornish monks shall receive the blessing of their abbot at Monte Tumba unless, perchance, it shall please him to come into Cornwall and bless them there ; from which it may be inferred that the religious house in Monte Tumba was at that time identified with Mont St. Michel in Normandy, although the latter was then, at an earlier date and long afterwards, commonly described as St. Michael in Periculo Maris. 2 When dealing with the medley of notes collected by William of Worcester it will be necessary to bear this in mind.

The Mount was associated with St. Michael before the Norman Conquest, in all probability before the Saxon invasion of Cornwall.

As Professor Loth has pointed out, 3 the name- saints (hagio-onomastique) of ancient Brittany are entirely national. "With the exceptions of some apostles, of St. Michael, St. Matthew, of St. Peter who has given his name to Ploubezre, it is useless to seek for them in Gaul and the Roman Church : they are all of them insular (British or Irish) or native Breton." The same may be said of Cornwall with very few exceptions. The position assigned to St. Michael was everywhere unique. At some time subsequent to the Babylonish captivity St. Michael came to be had in special veneration of the Jews. From apostolic times in the East and from the fifth century, at least, in the West, he was received into the devotional system of the Christian Church. Nothing could have been more sane or scriptural than the honour paid to St. Michael. As the Prince of God's people and the Captain of the heavenly hosts 1 (militiae celestis signifer) he, who had prevailed against the Spirit of evil, might well be expected to lend his aid when the wrestling was against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. And what spot so worthy to be the site of an earthly fane for one whose warring is in the regions above man's head, as the lonely mountain's top. There is a sense of security felt by those who live on, or surrounded by, hills even now when so many ages have run since they were remotely responsible for it. The proper seat of the Archangel was clearly on the hill-top. They "found him an house" accordingly on the Cornish Mount, on Rowtor, on Rame Head, on Penkevil, on Caerhayes and on the western Carn Brea. Whether the cult of St. Michael superseded some earlier pagan cult in Cornwall it is impossible to say. Until some evidence is forthcoming it can serve no useful purpose to dilate upon the possible identity of Michael, Elias and Helios, or upon the possibility of one whose most notable achievement was the destruction of sun worship on Mount Carmel, being himself its personification to after ages.

That there was a religious community at the Mount bearing the name of St. Michael before the Norman Conquest hardly admits of doubt. All the saints, with three exceptions, found there by William of Worcester, in the Calendar, were Celtic and insular.

The late Professor Freeman and Mr. Horace Round have, however, expressed a contrary opinion based upon the doubtful authenticity of two charters, certain particulars of which, connected chiefly with their attestation, are admittedly and obviously inaccurate.

The first of these charters 1 purports to be a grant made by Edward the Confessor, "King of the English, to Michael the Archangel for the use of the brethren serving God in that place, of St. Michael near the Sea, of the whole of the lands of Vennefire and of the port called Ruminella with its mills and fisheries." This charter bears the signatures of Edward the King, Robert archbishop of Rouen, Herbert bishop of Lisieux, Robert bishop of Coutances, Ralph, Vinfred, Nigell the sheriff, Anschitill, Choschet and Turstin. The second charter 2 claims to be a grant by Robert Count of Mortain to the monks of St. Michael in Periculo Maris (Normandy), of St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall with half a hide of land and a market on Thursdays ; and three (Cornish) acres of land in Amaneth, namely Trevelaboth, Lismanoch, Trequaners and Carmailoc, the signatories being King William (the Conqueror), Queen Matilda, Count Robert, William Rufus the King's son, Henry the Boy (prince), Robert Count of Mortain, Matilda (his) countess, their son William, William Fitz Osborn, Roger de Montgomery, Tossetin the sheriff, Warin and Turulf.

To the grant there are added, 1 a confirmation of it by Livric (Leofric), bishop of Exeter, bearing date 1085 ; and 2 a postscript signed by the bishop, exempting by command of Pope Gregory, the church of St. Michael in Cornwall from episcopal control and conveying a remission of one-third of their penance to those who should enrich, endow or visit the said church.

With regard to Edward's charter, it has been pointed out by more than one writer that Edward probably did not assume the title of King of the English until after the death of Hardicanute in 1042, and that Robert, archbishop of Rouen, died in 1037. It is not stated whence Dugdale obtained his copy of the charter, but a footnote by Oliver informs us that the MSS. of the abbey of St. Michael are preserved in the public library at Avranches ; and it is noteworthy that the charter in his Monasticon is labelled Carta Edwardi regis Anglorum pro abbatia Sancti Michaelis, and that the three episcopal signatories are Norman ecclesiastics. It is therefore possible that during his sojourn in Normandy Edward who :

... loved the holy company
Of people of religion,
Who loved only all that was good;
Especially a monk who led
A high and heavenly life

may have been induced to promise or to give Cornish lands to the Norman St. Michael and that his friends may have styled him Rex Anglorum, knowing that only when he became de facto King of the English could any benefit accrue to the abbey. But it seems more probable that a gift of lands was made by him to the Cornish St. Michael after Hardicanute's death and that after the Norman Conquest when the two religious houses were united by the cession of the Cornish priory to the Norman abbey the deed which may have borne the signature of Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, was altered so as to bear that of Robert, archbishop of Rouen. In that case the grant would have been made between 1050 and 1066. There were undoubtedly bold and fruitless attempts made on the part of the Norman abbots to enrich the Norman at the expense of the Cornish house, just as at a later period there were bold and successful attempts made to enrich the latter by borrowing the legends and traditions of the former.

The substantial genuineness of Edward's charter will be regarded as probable when it is remembered that no ultimate advantage can be shown to have accrued from it to either house. A spurious document would hardly have been preserved in the face of facts witnessing to its failure. Neither Domesday Book nor the Inquisitio Geldi makes mention of any possessions in Meneage belonging to St. Michael.

The suggestion offered in Chapter VI, viz. that the Meneage was at an early period monks' land both in name and in fact, may possibly account for the entire series of transactions. Grants to religious houses and for religious purposes have not infrequently been a trifling recompense made to Paul for the spoiling of Peter. It was notably so in the reign of King Henry VIII. If in the early part of the eleventh century the Meneage represented alienated, that is, usurped monastic land, no one would have been more disposed than King Edward to make restoration or to honour St. Michael by granting it to the Mount. It is not unlikely that the grant remained inoperative owing to the difficulty of making terms with the layfolk in possession.

In the appendix 1 to volume iv. of his Norman Conquest, Mr. Freeman, after referring to the doubtful authenticity of Edward the Confessor's charter, goes on : "doubtful as this charter is, the spuriousness of that which accompanies it (the charter of Robert Count of Mortain) is still more manifest." He then recites the fact that whereas the latter charter is dated 1085, it bears the signatures of Queen Matilda, who died in 1083, and of Bishop Leofric, who died in 1072 ; also the exemption from ecclesiastical jurisdiction granted by Leofric at the instance of Pope Gregory, who did not become Pope until after Leofric's death altogether a most formidable indictment and he proceeds to quote from the Exeter Domesday, with a view of establishing the real date of the foundation of St. Michael, the following passage (which will also be found below labelled A.) :

"Sanctus Michahel habet i. mansionem quae vocatur Treiwal quam tenuit Brismarus ea die qua Rex E. fuit vivus et mortuus. . . . De hac mansione abstulit Comes de Moritonio i. de praedictis ii. hidis quae erat de dominicatu beati Michahelis."

"This," he says, "is the only mention of the house I can find, and it would seem to imply a foundation between 1066 and 1085. Brismar was a man of large property in all the three shires. He is not unlikely to have been the founder of the Cornish Saint Michael, and if so he must have founded it, or at least have given the estate, after Edward's death."

"It seems plain . . . that whoever was the founder of the Cornish house it was not Earl Robert." And he concludes, "a note in the Monasticon (vii. 989) speaks of another tradition as naming Robert's son William as the person who gave the Cornish house to the Norman one. Here we most likely have the clue to the mistake."

When therefore Mr. Round is found endorsing Mr. Freeman's opinion 1 that "Treiwal was given to St. Michael between the death of Edward the Confessor and the making of the great Survey," and suggesting that Earl Brian (who could have had no footing in England before the Conquest) may have been the founder, it may seem presumption to express an opinion clean contrary to both. But let Domesday Book tell its own story. There are three references in the Exeter Book and two in the Exchequer Book which bear upon the subject. They are given below and labelled A, B, C, D, E for convenience of reference those portions only being omitted which do not concern the present discussion. The extensions are for the use of those who are not familiar with the abbreviated Latin text.

A. Exeter Domesday, fol. 208b. (Ed. 1816, p. 189).

TERRA SANCTI MICHAHELIS DE CORNUGALLIA. Sanc- tus Michahel habet unam mansionem quae vocatur Treiwal quam tenuit Brismarus ea die qua rex Edwardus fuit vivus et mortuus. In ea sunt ii hidae terrae quae nonquam reddiderunt gildam. Has possunt arare viii carrucae. Ibi habet Sanctus Michahel i carmcam. . . . De hac mansione abstulit comes de Moritonio i de praedictis ii hidis quae erat de dominicatu beati Michahelis.

B. Ibid., fol. 508 (Ed. 1816, p. 471).

Sanctus Michael habet i mansionem quae vocatur Treiwal de qua abstulit comes de Moritonio i hidam, quae erat in dominicatu Sancti die qua rex Edwardus fuit vivus et mortuus.

C. Ibid., fol. 258b (Ed. 1816, p. 138).

Comes habet i mansionem quae vocatur Treuthal quam tenuit Brismarus sacerdos ea die qua rex Edwardus fuit vivus et mortuus. In ea est i hida terrae et reddit gildum (sic) Sancto Michaele (sic). Hanc abstulit comes Sancto. Bluhidus Brito tenet earn de comite.

D. Exchequer Domesday, page ii, column 2.

Terra Sancti Michaelis. Ecclesia Sancti Michaelis tenet Treiwal. Brismar tenebat tempore Regis Ed- wardi. Ibi sunt ii hidae quae nunquam geldaverunt. ... De his ii hidis abstulit comes Moritoniensis i hidam.

E. Ibid., columns 1 and 2, 125 a and b.

Idem (Blohiu) tenet Trevthal. Brismar tenebat tempore Regis Edwardi . . . Hanc terram abstulit comes aecclesiae Sancti Michaelis.

The very title which introduces extract A is suggestive. The land of St. Michael "of Cornwall" implies another St. Michael just as "St. Ives in Cornwall" implies a St. Ives elsewhere. And it is this St. Michael of Cornwall and no other who "has one manor which is called Treiwal which Brismar held at the time of Edward the Confessor's death. There are two hides of land which have never paid geld. From this manor the Earl of Mortain has taken away one of the aforesaid two hides which was of Blessed Michael's demesne." If St. Michael of Cornwall did not exist before the Conquest it is difficult to understand how he could have had lands in demesne in the time of the Confessor. But it may be objected there is here no mention of the saint holding lands in the time of the Confessor. Accepting the correction for what it is worth, which is probably infinitesimal, because the whole tenor of the Domesday assessment both as regards its ruling principle and its literary flavour is found in the reiteration of the contrast or comparison of the land values as deter- mined in the days of Bang Edward and at the time of the Survey, admitting the correction, let the reader refer to extract B. This reads, "St. Michael has one manor, which is called Treiwal, from which the Count of Mortain has taken away one hide which was in the demesne of the saint on the day upon which King Edward was alive and dead." St. Michael (of Cornwall) was, therefore, quite as truly alive at the decease of the Confessor as Edward was dead. In the light of what has been said consider extract C. This is important, because it tells us that Brismar was a priest and a very different person from the magnate described by Mr. Freeman who held lands in three shires.

Extract C also introduces us to Treuthal, which Brismar the priest held at the Confessor's death. "Therein is one hide and it renders geld to St. Michael." (The Domesday scribe, not the printer, is responsible for "gildum" and "Michaele.") "This the Count has taken away from the saint. Bluhid Brito (Blohiu of Brittany) holds it of the Count." No one who is acquainted with the history of Treuthal, with its almost endless variety of spellings, can doubt either where it was or what it was. It was the patrimony and the place of residence in the parish of Ludgvan of the Bloyou family, the descendants of Bluhid Brito (Ralph Bloyou was born there 1 on the Feast of the Nativity of the B.V.M. 21 Edward I) until 1354, when Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Alan Bloyou, sold it to Sir Nigel Loring. 2 It is still the name of a village and the name of a manor. While Treiwal, by which name the Domesday compiler seeks to distinguish St. Michael's land from Blohiu's, is almost, if not quite, forgotten, the variant Truthwall survives. But to revert to Brismar. Comparing A, B, and C, it is clear that one hide was taken away from Treiwal, that it was of Blessed Michael's demesne in the time of King Edward, that Brismar the priest held it in the time of King Edward, that the Count of Mortain took it away from St. Michael, that it, nevertheless, paid geld to St. Michael at the time of the Survey, that Blohiu held it of the Count at the time of the Survey, and that it was called Treuthal to distinguish it from Treiwal, the name of the parent manor. With these facts before us it is impossible to doubt that for fiscal purposes Brismar the priest and St. Michael the archangel were regarded as identical in the time of King Edward in other words, Brismar was the visible representative of the invisible archangel. This explains why in extract D Brismar held Treuthal in the time of Edward, and why in extract E Brismar held, in Edward's time, that which "the Earl has taken away from the church of St. Michael."

There are two further considerations which may be adduced in support of the contention that St. Michael of Cornwall was the name of a religious community which was not, at the time of the Survey, identical with St. Michael of Normandy. It will strike every careful reader of that part of Domesday which relates to Cornwall that wherever a church or a saint is mentioned the reference is to what we now call either a conventual or a collegiate church.

St. Aliquis holds a manor which is called Quidvis, the church of St. Aliquis holds a manor which is called Quidvis these are only different ways of saying that the manor of Quidvis belongs to the community of St. Aliquis. When, therefore, we read that one hide of Treiwal was of the demesne of St. Michael in the days of the Confessor, we know that the land belonged to a body of religious.

The second consideration is this : It has been pointed out to me that the phrase "nunquam geldaverunt" (have never paid geld) is also peculiar, in Cornwall, to quasi - monastic lands. But St. Michael not only did not pay geld, he received geld, and received it from that hide of land of which he had been despoiled by the Count.

Excluding St. German, who fared badly, the Count usurping all his demesne lands, and whose only dues had consisted of a cask of beer and 30d. paid to the church, there were ten such communities in Cornwall at the time of the Survey. Of these only three, St. Michael, St. Petrock and St. Stephen, ever became affiliated to the larger monastic bodies. The rest remained what they then were, collegiate churches, served by a body of secular canons, who in course of time disappeared, giving place to a rector. St. Buryan was apparently the last of these communities to be dissolved. To sum up the results. It will, I think, be admitted that extract A is not the only mention of the house of St. Michael to be found in Domesday, that it was not founded between 1066 and 1085, that Brismar the Brismar of St. Michael was not a man of large property but a priest representing St. Michael, that if he founded the house it was before and not after the Conquest, and, finally, that for reasons already stated, Earl Brian was not the founder. Moreover, it is hardly likely that a body of ecclesiastics, either at Mont Michel or at St. Michael's Mount, would have cited Edward as the patron of the Cornish house if there had been some earlier patron to cite. It would rather seem that what Mr. Round says of Count Robert's charter is not far from the truth, viz. "the fact that the form of the charter as we have it is probably not genuine does not of necessity invalidate its substance."

In justice to Mr. Round it must be added that after reading the arguments here put forward, he would, in support of his contention, read the concluding words of extract B elliptically : "one hide which was in (what became) the saint's demesne on the day on which King Edward was alive or dead (i.e. after the Confessor's death)."It is clear that such a method of interpreting Domesday Book can only be allowable when there is overwhelming evidence in its favour. In this case the evidence does not seem to warrant its application.

As we have seen, Count Robert by his charter gives to the Norman house, St. Michael's Mount with half a hide of land and a market on Thursdays and lands in Amaneth. Comparing this statement with that of Domesday Book, it will be observed that in the latter there is no mention of lands in Amaneth and no mention of the market, although in Domesday markets are frequently mentioned, while on the other hand there is mention made of two hides of land, one of which, Treuthal, the Count has taken from St. Michael to be held of him by Bloyou, the other being held by St. Michael in demesne. The question which arises is : Did the Count restore one half of the usurped lands or, assuming the charter to have been made before Domesday Book (1086) was compiled, did he by a later instrument add half a hide, thereby endowing St. Michael with a moiety of the hide held in demesne ? We know from the subsequent history of the lands under discussion that the Bloyous remained in possession of Truthall, which never had a market, and we know that a market was held at Marazion or thereabouts within the Domesday manor of Treiwal. We therefore conclude that the Count's gift to the Norman abbey was a further act of spoliation, which by connivance of the Conqueror he was allowed to practise against the Cornish monks, and also that his charter was executed subsequent to 1086. The presence of Queen Matilda's name among the witnesses is the only invalidating element in what we have every reason to regard as an authentic document. Its confirmation by Bishop Leofric, and also the bishop's postscript, are probably both of them forgeries. To give them the appearance of genuineness the Queen's name may have been added to the authentic document. Be that as it may, the alleged date, 1085, supposed to have been supplied by the bishop, is impossible, inasmuch as the fourteenth year of indiction with which it is made to synchronise would be either 1070 or 1094.

In 1094 the Conqueror was dead, and in 1070 "Henricus puer" was in the second year of his age. It must also be added that the date does not occur in the charter, but is supplied from the cartulary.

The composite character of the postscript to which also Leofric's signature is appended is seen in the wild statement to which it bears witness. In it we are informed that by command and counsel of Pope Gregory and of the King, Queen and Nobles of England, the bishop grants immunity from all episcopal control to the church of Blessed Michael the Archangel of Cornwall, and a remission of one -third of their penance to all who shall enrich, endow or visit it. Pope Gregory (Hildebrand) was not elected till 1073, the year after Leofric's death, and the indulgence which the postscript contains and which constitutes its raison d'etre was manifestly only an expedient to foster pilgrimages to St. Michael's Mount which, supposing the monastery to have been founded after the Conquest, would have been too obvious to achieve its object. Something more will be said under this head when dealing with the testimony of William of Worcester.

When allowance has been made for clerical errors and for the interpolations and additions to which attention has been drawn, there is no sufficient reason to reject either the literal interpretation of Domesday or the authenticity of Edward's charter, or the substantial accuracy of Count Robert's. The date of the latter would probably be 1086, or a little later, probably in the last year of the Conqueror's reign. A third charter of the reign of William Rufus records the grant to the Norman St. Michael, by Count Robert of Mortain and Almodis his Countess of the manor of Ludgvan held by Richard Fitz Turold, also that which Bloyou formerly held in Truthwall (Treiuhalo), and both the fairs (ferias) of the Mount, the monks paying to the grantors the sum of sixty pounds.

Now it is worthy of remark that neither of these manors ever became permanently attached to either religious house. Though it is impossible to speak with certainty, it looks as if the Count had wrested Ludgvan from Richard, had claimed Truthwall on the death of Bloyou and had sold them both to the Norman abbot, who afterwards found it impossible to resist the claims of the rightful heirs.

The Cornish St. Michael had assuredly no cause to hold the Count in grateful remembrance. From first to last he acted the part of a robber. On this occasion one is inclined to suspect that the possessions of the brethren serving God at the Mount were much more extensive before than after the Norman Conquest. Assuming the Confessor's charter to be genuine it would almost appear that the Meneage district had, at a remote period, become attached to a Celtic monastery at the Mount, and that he was merely ratifying the title while perhaps limiting the extent of its possessions.

There is yet another document of great importance. It is described in the Otterton custumal 1 as the Erection (Construction) of the Priory of St. Michael in Cornwall. It is, in reality, a notification by Bernard, abbot of the Norman house, that the church of Blessed Michael of Cornwall, built by him in 1185, was consecrated in his presence by Robert (Chichester), bishop of Exeter, that, with the advice of the said Pontiff and of Count Raner, and with the approbation of the barons of the province, he has got together thirteen brethren and has made provision for them out of old endowments and current contributions, that he has enacted that he who shall be selected by the parent house to be prior of St. Michael's Mount shall not fail to make a return to it of 16 marks yearly, that if he shall prove refractory he shall be degraded and another prior appointed by the abbot with the abbey's consent, and so on. Moreover, the Cornish brethren are to receive the benediction of the monastic order from the abbot in Monte Tumba unless perchance it please him to come to Cornwall and bless them there. At the end of the instrument there is a list of the possessions of the Blessed Michael of Cornwall, given to the archangel by Count Robert of Mortain, viz. Tremaine, where there is sufficient land for two ploughs, Trahorabohc for three, Listyahavehet for three, Treganeis for two, Carmahelech for two.

The entire document is needlessly defiant and menacing. The Cornish house is reduced to a mere appanage of the abbey and the prior to a mere collector of 16 marks for its benefit. Every vestige of independence is swept away, and that, too, in subversion of the primary principle of the saintly founder of the order. One hardly expected to find evidence in Cornwall in confirmation of Dante's description given more than a century later.

The walls, for abbey reared, turned into dens (of thieves),
The cowls to sacks, choked up with musty meal.

It is therefore satisfactory to note that the priory could only reckon among its possessions the lands given by the Count of Mortain, the rest of St. Michael's lands having either been confiscated or alienated between the date of the Domesday Survey (1086) and that of the document (1135).

To identify the several grants of land a more or less careful examination of the places mentioned in the charters becomes necessary. Taking them in order of date, the Confessor by his charter gives to St. Michael for the use of the brothers serving God the place known as St. Michael, which is by the sea, with all that belongs to it, and he adds the whole land of Vennefire, with its towns, vills and lands ; also the port of Ruminella, with its mills and fisheries. One of the witnesses is Vinfred, or, as the name is commonly written, Winfred. We are therefore justified in substituting "W" for "V" in Vennefire, and "s" for "f" according to the Avranches cartulary. Vennefire becomes Wenneshire. A glance at the Feudal Aids reminds us that the hundreds of Cornwall were entered as Poudreschir (Powder), Pydrisire, 1 Pydar, Trigrishire, etc. It is therefore safe to regard Vennefire as the equivalent of Wenneshire. But the name of the hundred in Domesday Book is Wineton, a correlative, in this case the equivalent of Wenneshire. Vennefire is therefore the hundred of Kerrier. Ruminella is the diminutive or feminine, not only in Latin but in Welsh, 2 of Rumin or Rumon. The port of Ruminella thus becomes the port of Ruan Minor, i.e. Cadgwith. One or more mills still exist in the valley and at no great distance from the port. If, as we have already suggested, the Meneage district was, like the hundred of Pydar, settled by Celtic monks, the Confessor's grant would mean little more than the confirmation to them of their ancient patrimony, focussed at St. Michael's Mount.

Edward can hardly be supposed to have had an intimate knowledge of the locality or of its conditions. Under the influence of men like Robert of Jumieges he may well have given more than he had at his disposal. The futility of the attempt is the best proof of its having been made. It is certain that at the time of his death the monks of St. Michael had no considerable holding in Kerrier. Earl Harold had become overlord of the manor of Wineton, seventeen thegns holding eleven hides of him, the rest being held by him in demesne. After the Conquest Wineton fell to the King, who gave the whole to Robert Count of Mortain, to be held of the Count by sub-tenants. It may have been in some measure as an act of reparation, but it was chiefly in order to augment the influence and revenue of St. Michael of Normandy that he granted to that abbey St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall, with half a hide of land and three (Cornish) acres of land in Amaneth, to wit Trevelaboth, Lismanoch, Trequaners and Carmailoc. No conditions of tenure are specified except freedom from the King's jurisdiction in all matters but homicide. It is not stated, for example, whether the lands shall be held of the Cornish or of the Norman St. Michael. In some sense no doubt the community at the Mount became henceforth an alien priory of Mont St. Michel, but there does not seem to have been any definition of the relations between the two houses until 1135.

The identification of the names Amaneth, Trevelaboth, Lismanoch, Trequaners and Carmailoc is not free from difficulty. The word Amaneth is probably for An-maneth, i.e. An-manech, the monastic (territory) and equivalent to Meneage. 1 Manaccan the monk's (church) (cf. Plou-manach in Brittany, the monk's parish) is situated in the northern portion of what is still known as the Meneage district, which Leland (1533-1552) calls the land of Meneke or Menegland.

The next name Trevelaboth presents no difficulty. There is a continuous chain of evidence to show that it is identical with Traboe, a small manor in the parish of St. Keverne. In order to equate the three holdings which remain, viz. Lismanoch, Trequaners and Carmailoc, it will be necessary to refer to a document in the Otterton custumal 2 in which they appear as Tremain, Listyavehet, Treganeis and Carmaheleck. Carmailoc is obviously Carmaheleck or Carvallack, a holding in St. Martin's parish which derives its name from the prehistoric earthwork in that parish. If we suppose the "n" in Trequaners and Treganeis to be a false reading for "u" a pardon- able blunder of constant occurrence we have the modern tenement of Tregevas or Tregevis also in St. Martin's. We are thus left with Lismanoch as the equivalent of Tremain (the modern Tremayne) and Listyavehet. Tremain calls for no remark in this connection : everyone knows where it is. Lismanoch, of which it appears to have formed a portion, presents some difficulty, because in that form the name is now unknown. As Lesmanaoc it occurs in a grant of King Edgar in 967 to Wulfnod Rumancant. In that grant its boundaries are minutely described, but unfortunately to little purpose owing to the fact that many of the place-names in it are either purely descriptive or have become so altered during the ten centuries which have elapsed since the grant was made as to be incapable of recognition. One or two points are clear. Lesmanaoc was of considerable extent. For some distance it lay along the river which empties itself at Porthallow. It must have reached well towards the south of St. Keverne parish if "Castell Merit" and "Crouswrah" (two places mentioned in the charter) are, as seems probable, the modern tenement of Kestlemerris and Crousa Downs. At the time of Count Robert's charter its area had evidently been contracted, otherwise it could hardly have escaped mention in Domesday Book. The portion which had been lost was probably the southern portion, for no mention is made of any possessions south of Traboe in the grants of the priory lands after its dissolution.

These considerations lend support to what is something more than a conjecture of Mr. Henry Jenner, viz. that in the two tenements now known as Lesneage we have the site of Lesmanaoc. Lesneage, as he points out, may well be a contracted form of Lesmeneage, which in turn may be only another form of Lesmanaoc, on the same principle as Treveneage in St. Hilary can be shown by an unbroken series of documents to have been derived from Trevanaek.

It is worthy of remark that within a short distance of Lesneage is Mill Mehal or St. Michael's Mill. If this be the true etymology then the name Listyavehet becomes less formidable than it looks.

The final "t" is the only difficulty. If we may regard it as a false reading for "1," Listyavehet becomes Lis-ty-amehel, the "court of the house of St. Michael," Lesmanaoc being the "Monk's Court," and the change of name easily accounted for by the transfer of the monks' possessions in Menegland (monastic land) to the house at St. Michael's Mount.

The Itinerary of William of Worcester deserves attention. It is a curious assortment of undigested and ill-arranged odds and ends of information com- piled in the year 1478, that is to say about half a century after the expulsion of the Benedictines from the Mount and the introduction of the Bridgettines, only five years after the Mount was seized by John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, and surrendered by him to the King's troops after a siege of twenty-three weeks. The Itinerary is properly speaking a note-book. For the most part William confines himself to matters of topography, genealogy and hagiology.

Once and again he condescends to men of low estate, as, for example, when he tells us that about the year 1476 one Thomas Clerk, of Ware, left Ware on the Octave of St. John the Baptist and rode to the Mount within ten days and then returned to Ware at the end of another ten days, thereby covering, according to the route bill which is given, something over thirty- two miles a day for twenty consecutive days. William himself rode more leisurely. Leaving Norwich on the 16th of August, 1478, travelling by way of Truro, he reached Marazion on the 16th of September. The next day he heard Mass at the Mount and in the afternoon of the same day he began the return journey to Penryn. The time spent by him in Cornwall was just over a week.

That he should have gathered as much material as he did is therefore a matter for surprise. Towards this harvest St. Michael's Mount contributed its full share, which is scattered without any regard for convenience or context throughout the work. After describing the tributaries of the river Fal, and a propos of nothing whatever, he inserts a (supposed) indulgence of Pope Gregory, said to have been granted by him in 1070, although Hildebrand did not become Pope until three years later. The indulgence is addressed to the church of Mount St. Michael in Tumba in the County of Cornwall, and of it, all but the opening words are a verbatim copy of the spurious postscript to the Count of Mortain's charter, of which mention has been already made. It is followed by a notice added by the Community at the Mount stating that the document, having been recently discovered in the old registers, is placed on the church door and, being unknown to most men, they, the ministers and servants of God, require and beg all who have the guidance of souls to do all in their power to publish it in their churches so that their subjects may be moved to greater devotion and may, by pilgrimage, frequent that place and obtain the said gifts and indulgences. William next mentions the apparition of St. Michael in Mount Tumba, formerly called the "Hore-rok in the Wodd," which happened at a time when woodland and meadow and plough land lay between the said Mount and the islands of Scilly, and there were 240 parish churches now submerged.

He observes that the first apparition of St. Michael in Mount Gorgon in the Kingdom of Apulia took place in A.D. 391 ; the second, in Tumba in Cornwall, near the sea, about A.D. 710 ; the third, in the days of Pope Gregory at a time of a great pestilence ; the fourth being in ierarchiis nostrorum angelorum. The next paragraph appears to be the fragment of a description of Mont St. Michel and its foundation by St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches.

Then follow various measurements. The length of the church of Mount St. Michael is stated to be 30 "steppys," its breadth 12 steppys ; the length of the chapel newly built is 40 feet, i.e. 20 steppys ; its breadth about 10 steppys ; from the church to the foot of the Mount, to the sea-water, 14 times 60 steppys ; the distance by sea between Marazion and the foot of the Mount is estimated at 1200 (feet), i.e. 700 steppys, in English 10 times 70 steppys. It is difficult to reconcile the last of these measurements with the former and to connect the "step" with a modern equivalent. The "step" was not a "pace," for speaking of the dimensions of Bodmin Church, William says in length it is 57 paces (passus) and in breadth 30 steppys. It was apparently two feet (pedes), but whether two modern feet of 12 inches we are unable to say. A little further on William tells us that the island of St. Michael's Mount is about a mile in diameter and is distant from the mainland the length of a bow-shot. It lies north of the island of Ushant in Brittany.

After dealing with the Bodmin martyrology, information given by Robert Bracey at Fowey and the kalendar of Tavistock, he mentions the capture and surrender of the Mount by the Earl of Oxford five years before the time of his writing. A fuller notice occurs towards the end of his work where, after some further details respecting the Mount's geographical position, he gives us the kalendar of the church. The saints commemorated are, as has been already remarked, with three exceptions all Celtic. Of one of them, Brokan (Brychan) and his twenty-four children, he supplies an account taken, as it would seem, from the Legenda. For in the enumeration the saint is described as Brokannus in partibus Walliarum regulus fide et morum> and in the account of the saint which follows the opening sentence is Fuit in ultinus (ultimis) Walliarum partibus vir dignitate regulus fide et morum honestate praeclarus, nomine Brokannus. A similar explanation may account for the fourth apparition of St. Michael being described by William as apparicio in ierarchiis nostrorum angelorum, a phrase which is meaningless as it stands, but assuming it to be a quotation from the Legenda may have been familiar and intelligible to William's readers.

From the foregoing abstracts from the Itinerary two conclusions appear to be inevitable. In the first place, whether of design or by inadvertence, the name Mons Tumba which had been exclusively used of the Norman Mount came to be also applied to the Cornish Mount and, in the second place, the associations of the former came to be adopted by the latter. The postscript to the Count of Mortain's charter and the newly discovered indulgence mentioned by William, the one an almost verbatim copy of the other, probably bear witness to a fact, namely, that an indulgence was actually granted by Pope Gregory, but that it was granted not to St. Michael's Mount but to Mont St.* Michel. When once the indulgence had been appropriated by the Cornish house it became necessary to account for the allusions contained in it. The ecclesia quae ministerio angelico creditur et comprobatur consecrari et sanctificari demanded some point d'appui, and this could only be obtained by increasing the number of apparitions vouchsafed by St. Michael.

The three apparitions generally accepted by Western Christendom, viz. the appearance in the fifth century to Garganus, that in the sixth century to St. Gregory at Rome, and that in the eighth century (A.D. 706) to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches (probably identical with the apparicio in ierarchiis nostrorum angelorum), were supplemented by an appearance (A.D. 710) in Tumba in Cornwall. It is impossible to say when this claim was formulated, whether before or after the expulsion of the Benedictines in the fifteenth century. The object was evidently to stimulate pilgrimages, concerning which, however, very little is recorded. Nor den, writing in 1584, states that the Mount "hath bene muche resorted unto by Pylgrims in devotion to St. Michaell whose chayre is fabled to be in the Mount, on the south syde, of verie Daungerous access."

When William of Worcester visited the Mount the priory was in possession of Augustinian nuns known as Bridgettines. Of them William says nothing.

So long as it was Benedictine and under the control of the abbot of Mont St. Michel, successive Kings of England felt constrained, on the declaration of war with France, to take it into their own hands and to administer its preferment. From 1337 onwards the rolls contain numerous entries dealing with the patronage of alien priories. During his war with France Henry IV required the prior of St. Michael's Mount to hold the priory at farm for a yearly rent of 10. Henry V, having founded the abbey of Syon in Middlesex, transferred the priory to it, the provost and scholars of the college of St. Mary and St. Nicholas at Cambridge, to whom an earlier grant of it seems to have been made, surrendering all their rights in 1462.

Thenceforth until 1536 it remained a Bridgettine nunnery. After the suppression of the monasteries several grants were made of it for terms of years. Eventually Queen Elizabeth sold it to Robert, Earl of Salisbury, by whose son, the second earl, it was conveyed to Sir Francis Basset. By his son, John Basset, it was sold in 1659 to Colonel St. Aubyn. Since that time it has remained in the St. Aubyn family, its present owner and occupier being General John Townshend St. Aubyn, second Lord St. Levan.

With its religious history alone are we here concerned. That the Mount was the home of a Celtic religious community in pre -Norman times hardly admits of doubt. As we have shown, there was some strong bond of attachment between it and the Meneage, a bond which, though weakened and attenuated, was not completely sundered until the dissolution of the monasteries in the sixteenth century. The main proposition here advanced is that the Mount was at a remote period, probably as early as the days of St. Cadoc, the focus of Celtic religious activity for the greater part, if not for the whole, of the Lizard peninsula.

This work was published in 1916 and is being reproduced here in order to make it more widely available to others.
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