The Cornish people or Cornish are a Celtic ethnic group native to, or associated with Cornwall and a recognised national minority in the United Kingdom, which can trace its roots to the ancient Britons who inhabited southern and central Great Britain before the Roman conquest. Many in Cornwall today continue to assert a distinct identity separate from or in addition to English or British identities. Cornish identity has been adopted by migrants into Cornwall, as well as by emigrant and descendant communities from Cornwall, the latter sometimes referred to as the Cornish diaspora. Although not included as an explicit option in the UK census, the numbers of those claiming Cornish ethnic and national identity are recognised and recorded. Throughout classical antiquity, the ancient Britons formed a series of tribes and identities in Great Britain; the name Cornwall and its demonym Cornish are derived from the Celtic Cornovii tribe. The Anglo-Saxon invasion and settlement of Britain in the 5th to 6th centuries restricted the Romano-British culture and language into the north and west of Great Britain whilst the inhabitants of southern and eastern Britain became English.
The Cornish people, who shared the Brythonic language with the Welsh and Bretons across the sea, were referred to in the Old English language as the "Westwalas" meaning West Welsh. The Battle of Deorham between the Britons and Anglo-Saxons is thought to have resulted in a loss of landlinks with the people of Wales; the Cornish people and their Brythonic Cornish language experienced a process of anglicisation and attrition during the Medieval and early Modern Period. By the 18th century, following the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Cornish language and identity had faded replaced by the English language and/or British identity. A Celtic revival during the early-20th century enabled a cultural self-consciousness in Cornwall that revitalised the Cornish language and roused the Cornish to express a distinctly Celtic heritage; the Cornish language was granted official recognition under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2002, in 2014 the Cornish people were recognised and afforded protection by the UK Government under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
In the 2011 census, the population of Cornwall, including the Isles of Scilly, was estimated to be 532,300. The Cornish self-government movement has called for greater recognition of Cornish culture and language, urged that Cornish people be accorded greater status, exemplified by the call for them to be one of the listed ethnic groups in the United Kingdom Census 2011 form. Both geographic and historical factors distinguish the Cornish as an ethnic group further supported by identifiable genetic variance between the populations of Cornwall, neighbouring Devon and England as published in a 2012 Oxford University study. Throughout medieval and Early Modern Britain, the Cornish were at some points accorded the same status as the English and Welsh and considered a separate race or nation, distinct from their neighbours, with their own language and customs. A process of Anglicisation between 1485 and 1700 led to the Cornish adopting English language and civic identity, a view reinforced by Cornish historian A. L. Rowse who said they were "absorbed into the mainstream of English life".
Although "decidedly modern" and "largely retrospective" in its identity politics and Celtic associations have advanced the notion of a distinct Cornish national and ethnic identity since the late 20th century. In the United Kingdom Census 2001, despite no explicit "Cornish" option being available 34,000 people in Cornwall and 3,500 people elsewhere in the UK—a combined total equal to nearly 7 per cent of the population of Cornwall—identified themselves as ethnic Cornish by writing this in under the "other" ethnicity option; the census figures show a change in identity from West to East, in Penwith 9.2 per cent identified as ethnically Cornish, in Kerrier it was 7.5 per cent, in Carrick 6.6 per cent, Restormel 6.3 per cent, North Cornwall 6 per cent, Caradon 5.6 per cent. Weighting of the 2001 Census data gives a figure of 154,791 people with Cornish ethnicity living in Cornwall; the Cornish have been described as "a special case" in England, with an "ethnic rather than regional identity". Structural changes to the politics of the United Kingdom the European Union and devolution, have been the cited as the main stimulus to "a growing interest in Cornish identity and distinctiveness" in late-20th century Britain.
The British are the citizens of the United Kingdom, a people who by convention consist of four national groups: the English, Northern Irish and Welsh. In the 1990s it was said that the notion that the Cornish are to be classified as a nation comparable to the English, Irish and Welsh, "has vanished from the popular consciousness" outside Cornwall, that, despite a "real and substantive" identity, the Cornish "struggle for recognition as a national group distinct from the English". However, in 2014, after a 15-year campaign, the UK government recognised the Cornish as a national minority under the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, giving the Cornish the same status as the Welsh and Irish within the UK. Inhabitants of Cornwall may have multiple political allegiances, adopting mixed, dual or hyphenated identities such as "Cornish first and British second", "Cornish and British and Eur
Pascon agan Arluth
The anonymous poem Pascon agan Arluth is the oldest complete literary work in the Cornish language, dating from the 14th century. The modern title means "The Passion of Our Lord", but the poem has been published as Mount Calvary. Pascon agan Arluth dates from the early 14th century; the author's name is not known. More than a dozen manuscripts of the poem have been found, but all derive from BL Harleian 1782, a mid-15th century manuscript; the Pascon deals with the last days of Jesus Christ, beginning with the temptation in the wilderness. Though it is in narrative form it incorporates commentary on the story to explain its meaning; the main source of the poem is the Gospels, but it draws on legendary material such as can be found in the Historia scholastica of Petrus Comestor and the Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine. It consists of 259 stanzas, each of four rhyming couplets, each line having seven syllables, stressed on the first, third and seventh syllables. Pascon agan Arluth was known to the author of Passio Christi, one of the Middle Cornish mystery plays comprising the Ordinalia, as some of the poem's lines are incorporated in it.
The modern Cornish poet Ken George was inspired by the Pascon to write Devedhyans Sen Pawl yn Bro Leon a poem about the journeys of St. Paul Aurelian, using the same metre as the older poem; the Pascon was first edited by Davies Gilbert in 1826 under the title Mount Calvary. A better edition by Whitley Stokes appeared in 1860–1861, another by Robert Morton Nance in 1934–1936, both with new English translations. More there have been editions by E. G. R. Hooper, by Goulven Pennaod, by Ray Edwards. Murdoch, Brian. Cornish Literature. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer. ISBN 0859913643. Retrieved 19 June 2016. Murdoch, Brian. "Cornish Literature". In Classen, Albrecht. Handbook of Medieval Studies: Terms – Methods – Trends. Volume 1. Berlin: De Gruyter. Pp. 369–379. ISBN 9783110184099. Retrieved 19 June 2016. Preminger, Alex, ed.. Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691060320. Retrieved 19 June 2016; the 1826 edition by Davies Gilbert, with translation by John Keigwin, at Google Books The 1826 edition at the Internet Archive
Edward Lhuyd was a Welsh naturalist, linguist and antiquary. He is known by the Latinized form Eduardus Luidius. Lhuyd was born in Loppington, the illegitimate son of Edward Lloyd of Llanforda and Bridget Pryse of Llansantffraid, near Talybont, Cardiganshire, he attended and taught at Oswestry Grammar School. His family belonged to the gentry of south-west Wales. Though well-established, the family was not well-off, his father experimented with agriculture and industry in a manner that brought him into contact with the new science of the day. Lhuyd attended grammar school in Oswestry and went up to Jesus College, Oxford in 1682, but dropped out before graduation. In 1684, he was appointed assistant to Robert Plot, the Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum and replaced him as Keeper in 1690, holding the post until his death in 1709. While at the Ashmolean, he travelled extensively. A visit to Snowdonia in 1688 allowed him to construct for John Ray's Synopsis Methodica Stirpium Britannicorum a list of flora local for that region.
After 1697, Lhuyd visited every county in Wales travelled to Scotland, Ireland and Brittany and the Isle of Man. In 1699, financial aid from his friend Isaac Newton allowed him to publish Lithophylacii Britannici Ichnographia, a catalogue of fossils collected around England Oxford, now held in the Ashmolean. In 1701, Lhuyd received a MA honoris causa from the University of Oxford, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1708, he was responsible for the first scientific description and naming of what we would now recognize as a dinosaur: the sauropod tooth Rutellum implicatum. In the late 17th century, Lhuyd was contacted by a group of scholars, led by John Keigwin of Mousehole, who were trying to preserve and further the Cornish language, he accepted their invitation to travel there to study it. Early Modern Cornish was the subject of a paper published by Lhuyd in 1702. In 1707, having been assisted in his research by fellow Welsh scholar Moses Williams, he published the first volume of Archaeologia Britannica: an Account of the Languages and Customs of Great Britain, from Travels through Wales, Bas-Bretagne and Scotland.
This is an important source for its linguistic description of Cornish, but more so for its understanding of historical linguistics. Some of the ideas attributed to linguists of the 19th century have their roots in this work by Lhuyd, "considerably more sophisticated in his methods and perceptions than Jones". Lhuyd noted the similarity between the two linguistic families: P -- Celtic, he argued that the Brythonic languages originated in Gaul, the Goidelic languages in the Iberian Peninsula. He concluded that as the languages were of the people who spoke them were Celts. From the 18th century, the peoples of Brittany, Ireland, Isle of Man and Wales were known as Celts, are regarded to this day as the modern Celtic nations. During his travels, Lhuyd developed asthma, which led to his death from pleurisy in Oxford in 1709; the Snowdon lily was for a time called Lloydia serotina after Lhuyd. Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd, the National Naturalists' Society of Wales, is named after him. On 9 June 2001, a bronze bust of Lhuyd was unveiled by Dafydd Wigley, the former leader of Plaid Cymru, outside the University of Wales's Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth, adjacent to the National Library of Wales.
The sculptor was John Meirion Morris. Delair, Justin B. and William A. S. Sarjeant. "The earliest discoveries of dinosaurs: the records re-examined." Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 113: 185–197 Emery, Frank. Edward Lhuyd. 1971 Evans, Dewi W. and Brynley F. Roberts Archæologia Britannica: Texts and Translations. Celtic Studies Publications 10. 2007. Description Gunther, R. T; the Life and Letters of Edward Lhuyd. 1945 Roberts, Brynley F. Edward Lhuyd, the Making of a Scientist. 1980 Williams, Derek R. Prying into every hole and corner: Edward Lhuyd in Cornwall in 1700. 1993 Williams, Derek R. Edward Lhuyd, 1660–1709: A Shropshire Welshman. 2009 "Never at rest" A biography of Isaac Newton by Richard S. Westfall ISBN 0521274354 581 pp. Archaeologia Britannica. Downloadable pdf at The Internet Archive Biography of Edward Lhuyd from the Canolfan Edward Llwyd, a centre for the study of science through Welsh Lithophylacii Britannici ichnographia – full digital facsimile from Linda Hall Library
Cornish literature refers to written works in the Cornish language. The earliest surviving texts are in date from the 14th century. There are none from the 18th and 19th centuries but writing in revived forms of Cornish began in the early 20th century; the Prophecy of Ambrosius Merlin concerning the Seven Kings is a 12th-century poem written ca. 1144 by John of Cornwall in Latin, with some of the marginal notes in Cornish. John stated that the work was a translation based on an earlier document written in the Cornish language; the manuscript of the poem, on a codex held at the Vatican Library, is unique. It attracted little attention from the scholarly world until 1876, when Whitley Stokes undertook a brief analysis of the Cornish and Welsh vocabulary found in John's marginal commentary; these notes are among the earliest known writings in the Cornish language. In 2001 this important work was translated back into Cornish by Julyan Holmes. Pascon agan Arluth, a poem of 259 eight-line verses composed around 1375, is one of the earliest surviving works of Cornish literature.
The most important work of literature surviving from the Middle Cornish period is the Cornish Ordinalia, a 9000-line religious verse drama which had reached its present form by 1400. The Ordinalia consists of three mystery plays, Origo Mundi, Passio Christi and Resurrexio Domini, meant to be performed on successive days; such plays were performed in a Plain an Gwarry. In 1981, the Breton library Preder edited it in modern scripture under the name of Passyon agan arluth; the longest single surviving work of Cornish literature is Beunans Meriasek, a two-day verse drama dated 1504, but copied from an earlier manuscript. Other notable pieces of Cornish literature include the Creation of the World, a miracle play similar to Origo Mundi but in a much manuscript; the earliest surviving examples of Cornish prose are the Tregear Homilies, a series of 12 Catholic sermons written in English and translated by John Tregear around 1555-1557, to which a thirteenth homily The Sacrament of the Alter was added by another hand.
Twelve of Edmund Bonner's Homelies to be read within his diocese of London of all Parsons and curates were translated into Cornish by John Tregear, are now the largest single work of traditional Cornish prose. Nicholas Boson wrote three significant texts in Cornish, Nebbaz gerriau dro tho Carnoack between 1675 and 1708; the first two are the only known surviving Cornish prose texts from the 17th century. Boson's work is collected, along with that of his son John Boson and his cousin Thomas Boson in Oliver Padel's The Cornish writings of the Boson family. Fragments of Cornish writing continued to appear as the language was becoming extinct during the 18th century. However, in the late 19th century a few works by non-native speakers were produced. Of the early pieces the most significant is the so-called "Cranken Rhyme" produced by John Davey of Boswednack, one of the last people with some traditional knowledge of the language; the poem, published by John Hobson Matthews in 1892, may be the last piece of traditional Cornish literature.
In 1865 German language enthusiast Georg Sauerwein composed two poems in the language. Hobson Matthews wrote several poems, such as the patriotic "Can Wlascar Agam Mamvro", Robert Morton Nance, a disciple of Henry Jenner, created a body of verse, for example "Nyns yu Marow Myghtern Arthur", which concerns the popular Cornish subject of King Arthur's legendary immortality. Both of these writers' works are characterised by a revivalist mode; these efforts were followed in the early 20th century by further works of revivalist literature by Cornish language enthusiasts. Works of this period were printed in limited publications by authors far removed from Cornwall and each other; the literary output of the Cornish revival has been poetry. Notable writers of the time include Edward Chirgwin and A. S. D. Smith, whose epic poem Trystan hag Isolt, a reworking of the Tristan and Iseult legend, is one of the most celebrated pieces of Cornish revival writing. Another significant early text is Peggy Pollard's 1941 play Beunans Alysaryn, modelled on the 16th-century saints' plays.
This is an example of Cornish written by the hand of a native speaker. The text is interesting from a sociolinguistic point of view in that Bodinar speaks about the contemporary state of the Cornish language in 1776. Below it is written in Bodinar's original spelling in modern Cornish spelling a translation in English: The 20th century saw increasing interest in the Cornish language and its literature, an expansion into other media; the dearth of Cornish readers has made the production of novels difficult, though three have been published. The earliest was Melville Bennetto's An Gurun Wosek a Geltya in 1984.
A plen-an-gwarry or plain-an-gwary, is a "playing-place" or round, a medieval amphitheatre found in Cornwall. A circular outdoor space used for plays and public events, the plen-an-gwary was a Cornish variant of a construction style found across Great Britain. Common across Cornwall, only two survive nearly complete today: the Plain in St Just in Penwith and Saint Piran's Round near Perranporth; the theatre area could be used for local gatherings, sports events, production of plays. Cornwall culture had a type of play called miracle plays, written in the Cornish language, that were meant to spread Christianity. To capture the attention of the audience, "the plays were noisy and entertaining." The most important work of literature surviving from the Middle Cornish period is Ordinalia, a 9000-line religious verse drama which had reached its present form by 1400. The Ordinalia consists of three miracle plays, Origo Mundi, Passio Christi and Resurrexio Domini, meant to be performed on successive days.
Such plays were performed in a plain-an-gwarry. St Just's plain-an-gwarry is a large circular space, encircled by a 2 metre high wall of stone. There are two entries into the space. In November 1878 the ″Plane-an-Guare″ was restored under the guidance of several gentlemen including William Copeland Borlase; the outer wall was exposed and several loads of stone were brought up from Boscean. By December 1878 the ″renewal″ of the outer wall was complete; the restoration was funded to provide relief for the unemployed due to the closure of local mines. It is central to the celebrations of the annual Lafrowda Day festival. Perran Round in the parish of Perranzabuloe, between Perranporth and Goonhavern is considered to be the best surviving example of a plen-an-gwary. Depending on sources there are a possible 48 to 51 plen-an-gwarys including nine sites with extant remains and a further nineteen sites with no above-ground remains; the possible sites are based on place-names. The Long Sentry field south-east of the church in St Mabyn, has been identified as the possible location of the most northerly Plain-an-gwarry.
There is evidence to suggest that Bartinney Castle near Sancreed in the Penwith Peninsula may have been an Iron Age Plen An Gwarry for the celebration of Celtic Fire festivals. There is an area called Plain-an-Gwarry one mile to the north-east of Marazion. Site in the parish of Grade–Ruan 200 m from Treleage farm In circa 1587 it is recorded that in Penryn a group of Spaniards landed with the intention of sacking the town, however finding the streets deserted they were alarmed by a'mighty shout' and ran to their boats; the townfolk were at a performance of'Samson' and the gates of Gaza had just fallen resulting in a defeaning cheer. Christianity in Cornwall Cornish literature
Glasney College was founded in 1265 at Penryn, England, by Bishop Bronescombe and was a centre of ecclesiastical power in medieval Cornwall and the best known and most important of Cornwall's religious institutions. The site at Glasney was at the head of a small creek. Much of the building was modelled on Exeter Cathedral, as a defence Bishop Bronescombe built three towers, forming one block that acted as a defence both for the college and for the town of Penryn. After its founding in 1265, during the Middle Ages, Glasney was the largest clerical body in Cornwall, as large as any of the ancient monasteries had been, with an equivalent income derived from the rectorial tithes of Budock, Feock, Manaccan, Mylor, St Allen, St Enoder, St Gluvias, St Goran, St Just in Penwith and Zennor. There were no monks at this college or collegiate church, but it had an establishment of one provost and 12 secular canons and held the patronage of sixteen parishes. William Bodrugan was the first official Provost of Glasney, from 17 April 1283 to 1288, before he became Archdeacon of Cornwall.
Miracle plays were performed elsewhere in Cornwall in the Cornish language. Only a few Cornish-language plays survive today, but those that do include several composed at Glasney, the Ordinalia: The Creation of the World, The Passion of our Lord, The Resurrection of Our Lord. King Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, between 1536 and 1545, signalled the end of the big Cornish priories, but as a chantry church Glasney survived until 1548, when it suffered the same fate; the smashing and looting of the Cornish colleges at Glasney and Crantock brought an end to the formal scholarship that helped sustain the Cornish language and the Cornish cultural identity, played a significant part in fomenting the opposition to cultural'reforms' that led to the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549. The granite taken from the college was used to form and build King Henry VIII's fort at Pendennis castle. Apart from being sorely missed centres of indigenous cultural excellence, many in Cornwall saw these institutions as bridges to the Celtic past, back to the Christianised paganism of their forefathers.
When traditional religious processions and pilgrimages were banned in 1548, commissioners were sent out to destroy all symbols of Cornish Roman Catholicism. In Cornwall, this job fell to William Body. Along with other assaults on Cornish legal rights, culture and religion, this led to his murder on 5 April 1548 at Helston. Today the only surviving remains of Glasney are a length of an arch. In 1986 the Friends of Glasney College Society was established in Penryn by Dr James Whetter, who in his book The History of Glasney College describes the destruction of Glasney as a damaging blow to the history and spirit of the Cornish nation. At the present-day Penryn Campus of Falmouth University and the University of Exeter, the student accommodation has been named Glasney Student Village, split into two areas, Glasney View and Glasney Parc. Kent, Alan M. "Glasney College." In Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, ed. John T. Koch, pp 814–815. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO Inc, 2006; this entry contains a brief bibliography.
Penn, Peter. "Glasney Collegiate Church: A College of European Fame." Cornish Notes and Queries. Penzance: The Cornish Telegraph Office, 1906. A review of Thurstan C. Peter's book. Full text version available on Google Books. Peter, Thurstan Collins; the History of Glasney Collegiate Church, Cornwall. Camborne: Camborne Printing and Stationery Company, 1903. Full text version available on Google Books. Sowell, C. R. "The Collegiate Church of St. Thomas of Glasney." Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, vol. 1, no. 3, 1865. 21–34. Vincent, John A. C. translator. Abstract of Glasney Cartulary: a Quarto Manuscript containing 96 Leaves of Parchment and Bound in Old Oak Boards, in the Library of Jonathan Rashleigh, Esquire, of Menabilly, County of Cornwall. Truro: Lake and Lake. 1879. Full text version available on Google Books. Vincent, John; the History of Glasney College Church. 1903. Whetter, James; the History of Glasney College. Padstow: Tabb House, 1988; the Friends of Glasney College. Aims to promote an interest in Glasney College, to protect the area, to encourage methodical investigation of the site and its history.
The Gatehouse article on Glasney College. The Gatehouse is a "comprehensive gazetteer of the medieval fortifications and castles of England and Wales." History of Glasney College History of Glasney College Glasney at the Roseland Institute Penryn Museum
Dorothy Pentreath, known as Dolly, was the last known native speaker of the Cornish language. She is the best-known of the last fluent speakers of Cornish. Baptised on 16 May 1692, Pentreath was the second of the six children of fisherman Nicholas Pentreath and his second wife Jone Pentreath, she claimed that she could not speak a word of English until the age of 20. Whether or not this is correct, Cornish was her first language. In old age, she remembered that as a child she had sold fish at Penzance in the Cornish language, which most local inhabitants understood, she lived in the parish of Paul, next to Mousehole. Due to poverty, Pentreath never married, but in 1729 she gave birth to a son, John Pentreath, who lived until 1778. Pentreath is described as having been "the old matriarch of the Cornish language Dolly was a Cornish fishwife who tramped her fishy wares around Penwith and Penzance. At the latter place she gained the reputation of being the last native Cornish speaker, though she may not have been.
Opinion is divided about how much Cornish she could speak - though everyone agreed she could swear in Cornish." In 1768, Daines Barrington searched Cornwall for speakers of the language and at Mousehole found Pentreath a fish seller said to be aged about 82, who "could speak Cornish fluently." In 1775 he published an account of her in the Society of Antiquaries' journal Archaeologia in an article called "On the Expiration of the Cornish Language." Barrington noted that the "hut in which she lived was in a narrow lane," and that in two rather better cottages just opposite it he had found two other women, some ten or twelve years younger than Pentreath, who could not speak Cornish but who understood it. Five years Pentreath was said to be 87 years old and at the time her hut was "poor and maintained by the parish, by fortune telling and gabbling Cornish."In the last years of her life, Pentreath became a local celebrity for her knowledge of Cornish. Around 1777, she was painted by John Opie, in 1781 an engraving of her after Robert Scaddan was published.
In 1797, a Mousehole fisherman told Richard Polwhele that William Bodinar "used to talk with her for hours together in Cornish. Her own account as recorded by Daines Barrington indicates she spoke English. Dolly Pentreath has passed into legend for cursing people in a long stream of fierce Cornish whenever she became angry, her death is seen as marking the death of Cornish as a community language. There are many tales about her, she was said to curse people, including calling them "kronnekyn hager du," an "ugly black toad," and was said to have been a witch. Numerous other stories have been attached to their accuracy unknown, she was at one time thought to have been identical with a Dorothy Jeffrey or Jeffery whose burial is recorded in the Paul parish register, but this has been doubted. Dolly Pentreath was buried at Paul, where in 1860 a monument in her honour was set into the churchyard wall of the church of St Paul Aurelian by Louis Lucien Bonaparte, a nephew of Napoleon, by the Vicar of Paul of the time.
It read: Here lieth interred Dorothy Pentreath who died in 1777, said to have been the last person who conversed in the ancient Cornish, the peculiar language of this country from the earliest records till it expired in the eighteenth century, in this Parish of Saint Paul. This stone is erected by the Prince Louis Bonaparte in Union with the Revd John Garret Vicar of St Paul, June 1860. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Exod. xx. 12. Gwra pethi de taz ha de mam: mal de Dythiow bethenz hyr war an tyr neb an arleth de dew ryes dees. Exod. xx. 12. Contradicting the monument, in 1882 Dr Frederick Jago of Plymouth received a letter from Bernard Victor, of Mousehole, who wrote "She died Decr. 26, 1777, at the age of 102. At her funeral the undertaker was George Badcock, he being my grandfather, the reason I am so well informed. There was not anything. I know quite well the grave where her remains are deposited." In a letter he went on to say that it was no surprise that Bonaparte and Garret had mistaken both the date and the place of the grave.
"Dolly's actual resting place is 47 feet south-east, a point easterly from Prince L. L. Bonaparte's monument to her, it is not to be said that the monument is in its right place, because it was put there by the order of Prince L. L. Bonaparte, or by the Rev. John Garrett – the one a Frenchman and the other an Irishman!" However, the erroneous idea that Pentreath had lived to be 102 is believed to originate in a Cornish language epitaph, written by December 1789 and published in 1806 by a man named Tomson. No burial of Dorothy Pentreath is recorded, but it has been argued that this appears in the parish register under the name of Dolly Jeffery, suggested to be the surname of her son's father; this theory is accepted by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. In 1887, the monument was moved to the site of her unmarked grave, a skeleton was disinterred, believed to be hers. Pêr-Jakez Helias, the Breton writer, has dedicated a poem to Dolly Pentreath; as with many other "last native speakers," there is controversy over Pentreath's status.
Her true claim to notability is not as the last speaker of the language, but rather as its last fluent n