Bevill Grenvile

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

PRIDEAUX PLACE. Bevill Grenvile of Stowe in Kilkhampton was Cornwall's best-loved Royalist leader. This portrait came to Prideaux Place after Stowe was demolished and there is a portrait of Bevill's servant Anthony Payne in the Royal Cornwall Museum. A copy of the latter painting is on display at the Castle Heritage Centre, Bude.

1643 was ultimately a disastrous year for Cornwall's Royalists and arguably marked a turning point in the Civil War. After wins at Braddock Down and Stratton, Bevill was killed at the battle of Landsdowne near Bristol. Three other key Royalist leaders Sir Nicholas Slanning, John Trevanion and Sidney Godolphin died in the same year. Bevill's younger brother Richard initially joined the Parliamentarians, but defected to the king in 1644. Daphne du Maurier's book The King's General is a fictionalized account of this Grenville.

Cornwall's reputation of being loyal to the king was reinforced when Charles I wrote a letter of thanks to the Cornish in 1643. After Charles II's Restoration this was painted on boards and put up in many churches.





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