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Bossiney in 1836

BOSSINEY with TREVENNA, a borough and market town in the parish of Tintagell, hundred of Lesnewth, and county of Cornwall, 18 miles W by N from Launceston, and 231 W by S from London.
The borough of Bossiney extends over a great part of the parish of Tintagell, and comprises about 350 English acres. The corporation claim to be a corporation by prescription ; but it appears that a charter was granted them by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III. Bossiney enjoyed the elective franchise from the seventh year of the reign of King Edward VI until the passing of the Reform Act when it was totally disfranchised. The revenue of the corporation is very small, arising only from the tolls of fairs and markets, and the rent of a mill, altogether not exceeding £4, 4 shillings.

The population is returned with the parish of Tintagell, which in 1831 was 1,006 : males, 487 ; females, 519. It appears from the Corporation Report, that in 1830 there was only one house above the value of £10, and none above that of £20. The assessed taxes ending 5th April, 1831, were £45, 15 shillings, 4 pence.

Bossiney has a market on Thursday, and a fair, which is now held at Trevenna, principally for horned cattle, on the first Monday after the 19th of October. The town hall is chiefly used as a charity-school, to the master of which the corporation pay a salary of £10 per annum.

Bossiney is situated on a wild bleak part of the N coast of Cornwall, and appears formerly to have been a place of some importance. Leland, in speaking of it, says ‘Bosseney hath beene a bygge thing of a fischar towne, and hath great privileges graunted unto it. A man may see there the ruines of a greate number of houses.'

Near this place is the castle of Tintagell, supposed to have been the birth-place of the famous King Arthur. Built on a high rock that juts out into the sea, by which it is nearly surrounded, this castle must have been a place of considerable strength. Both Norden and Carew speak of it as almost inaccessible, and Leland calls it 'a marvellous strong and notable fortress, and almost situ loci inexpugnabile.' In his time a chapel seems to have occupied part of the site of the keep, which he calls the dungeon of St Ulette, alias Ulianne.

The church of Tintagell is supposed by the author of the Magna Britannia to have been appropriated to the abbess and convent of Fontevralt in Normandy, and that, having passed in the same manner as Leighton-Buzzard in Bedfordshire, it was given by Edward IV to the collegiate-church of Windsor. The net income of the vicarage is £220. The dean and chapter of Windsor are the patrons.