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PENRYN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 118 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PENRYN, a market town and port, and municipal and contributary parliamentary borough of Cornwall, England, 2 M. N.W. of Falmouth, on a branch of the Great Western railway. Pop. (1901), 3190. It lies at the head of the estuary of the Penryn River, which opens from the main estuary of the Fal at Falmouth. Granite, which is extensively quarried in the neighbourhood, is dressed and polished at Penryn, and there are also chemical and bone manure works, engineering, iron and gunpowder works, timber-yards, brewing, tanning and paper-making. The harbour dries at low tide, but at high tide has from 9 to 121 ft. of water. Area, 291 acres. Penryn owed its development to the fostering care of the bishops of Exeter within whose demesne lands it stood. These lands appear in Domesday Book under the name of Trelivel. In 1230 Bishop Briwere granted to his burgesses of Penryn that they should hold their burgages freely at a yearly rent of I2d. by the acre for all service. Bishop Walter de Stapeldon secured a market on Thursdays and a fair at the Feast of St Thomas. The return to the bishop in 1307 was £7, 13S. 22d. from the borough and £26, 7s. 5d. from the forum. In 1311 Bishop Stapeldon procured a three days' fair at the Feast of St Vitalis. Philip and Mary gave the parliamentary franchise to the burgesses in 1553. James I. granted and renewed the charter of incorporation, providing a mayor, eleven preaching tours in Wales is slenderly supported; they could only have been made during a few months of 1586 or the autumn of 1587. At this time ignorance and immorality abounded in Wales. In 1562 an act of parliament had made provision for translating the Bible into Welsh, and the New Testament was issued in 1567; but the number printed would barely supply a copy for each parish church. Indignant at this negligence, Penry published, early in 1587, The /Equity of an Humble Supplication--in the behalf of the country of Wales, that some order may be taken for the preaching of the Gospel among those people. Archbishop Whitgift, angry at the implied rebuke, caused him to be brought before the High Commission and imprisoned for about a month. On his release Penry married a lady of Northampton, which town was his home for some years. With the assistance of Sir Richard Knightley and others, he set up a printing press, which for nearly a year from Michaelmas 1588 was h1 active operation. It was successively located at East Moulsey (Surrey), Fawsley (Northampton), Coventry and other places in Warwickshire, and finally at Manchester, where it was seized in August 1589. On it were printed Penry's Exhortation to the governours and people of Wales, and View of . . . such publike wants and disorders as are in the service of God . . . in Wales; as well as the celebrated Martin Marprelate tracts. In January 1590 his house at Northampton was searched and his papers seized, but he succeeded in escaping to Scotland. There he published several tracts, as well as a translation of a learned theological work known as Theses Genevenses. Returning to England in September 1592, he joined the Separatist Church in London, in which he declined to take office, though after the arrest of the ministers, Francis Johnson and John Greenwood, he seems to have been the regular preacher. He was arrested in March 1593, and efforts were made to find some pretext for a capital charge. Failing this a charge of sedition was based on the rough draft of a petition to the queen that had been found among his private papers; the language of which was indeed harsh and offensive, but had been neither presented nor published. He was convicted by the Queen's Bench on the 21st of May 1593, and hanged on the 29th at the unusual hour of 4 p.m., the signature of his old enemy Whitgift being the first of those affixed to the warrant. aldermen and twelve councillors, markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and fairs on the 1st of May, the 7th of July and the 21st of December. The charter having been surrendered, James II. by a new charter inter cilia confined the parliamentary franchise to members of the corporation. This proviso however was soon disregarded, the franchise being freely exercised by all the inhabitants paying scot and lot. An attempt to deprive the borough of its members, owing to corrupt practices, was defeated by the House of Lords in 1827. The act of 1832 extended the franchise to Falmouth in spite of the rivalry existing between the two boroughs, which one of the sitting members asserted was so great that no Penryn man was ever known to marry a Falmouth woman. In 1885 the united borough was deprived of one of its members. The corporation of Penryn was remodelled in 1835, the aldermen being reduced to four. Its foreign trade, which dates from the 14th century, is considerable. The extra-parochial collegiate church of Glasney, founded by Bishop Bronescombe in 1265, had a revenue at the time of its suppression under the act of 1545 of £22,,18s. 4d. See Victoria County History, Cornwall; T. C. Peter, Glasney Collegiate Church.
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