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A CORNISH INHERITANCE: The Harveys of Chacewater

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Cornwall is described as an “enchanted land”. This rocky peninsula forms a remote corner of south-west England, almost surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It has its own distinctive Celtic history and is renowned for its seafarers and its miners, both of whom feature in this story. It begins with the huge exodus of people from Cornwall which reached its peak about 125 years Cornwall is described as an “enchanted land”. This rocky peninsula forms a remote corner of south-west England, almost surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It has its own distinctive Celtic history and is renowned for its seafarers and its miners, both of whom feature in this story. It begins with the huge exodus of people from Cornwall which reached its peak about 125 years ago when competition from abroad closed many of its copper and tin mines. It forced thousands to leave their Cornish homes to seek their fortunes elsewhere – to the mines of Europe, North and South America, Australia and South Africa where their descendants live today. Among them were the Harvey family of Chacewater, a large and fairly prosperous mining family with their origins around St Agnes, Redruth and Truro. This is their story as they found themselves scattered “like thistledown on the wind”, and the stories of other Cornish families, allied to the Harveys - the buccaneering Pellews, the Hichens of St Ives waterfront and the Penroses from Redruth. Finally stories of a notable artist and other travellers in the present generation of Harveys bring this short history up to date.


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Cornwall is described as an “enchanted land”. This rocky peninsula forms a remote corner of south-west England, almost surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It has its own distinctive Celtic history and is renowned for its seafarers and its miners, both of whom feature in this story. It begins with the huge exodus of people from Cornwall which reached its peak about 125 years Cornwall is described as an “enchanted land”. This rocky peninsula forms a remote corner of south-west England, almost surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It has its own distinctive Celtic history and is renowned for its seafarers and its miners, both of whom feature in this story. It begins with the huge exodus of people from Cornwall which reached its peak about 125 years ago when competition from abroad closed many of its copper and tin mines. It forced thousands to leave their Cornish homes to seek their fortunes elsewhere – to the mines of Europe, North and South America, Australia and South Africa where their descendants live today. Among them were the Harvey family of Chacewater, a large and fairly prosperous mining family with their origins around St Agnes, Redruth and Truro. This is their story as they found themselves scattered “like thistledown on the wind”, and the stories of other Cornish families, allied to the Harveys - the buccaneering Pellews, the Hichens of St Ives waterfront and the Penroses from Redruth. Finally stories of a notable artist and other travellers in the present generation of Harveys bring this short history up to date.

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