The History of 37 Chapel Street, Penzance

The property is described as lying next to a certain other part of the tenement occupied by James Rosewall, mariner. It is described as being eighteen and a half feet wide and one hundred and twenty feet in depth and "on part of which stand parts of a certain messuages at present occupied by James Jenkin (later deeds call him Parkin) and ? Wallis". John Crocker is described as being aged 31 and the lease is extended to the lives of his nephews living with him, the sons of James Crocker (presumably deceased though it is not made clear). The sons are James the younger aged 13 and Francis Herbert aged 10.

In a deed dated 29th May 1815 the property is described as newly built and at present unoccupied. It is assigned to John Crocker in a mortgage deed involving James  Lavars, gentleman of Penzance. The neighbouring property is still referred to as occupied by James Rosewall, a mariner, as is the messuages occupied by James Jenkin (Parkin) and ? Wallis. At present it is still difficult to sort these houses out.

On the 26th December 1822 James Buller appears to have leased two houses to John Crocker both of them described as recently built by him. The lease is for one year only and a peppercorn is asked for in rent. On the 27th December 1822, (N.B. next day!) he sold both houses outright ("in fee simple") to John Crocker for one hundred pounds, but the deed leaves empty the names of the present occupiers. A note written on the deed and dated 5th April 1830 reports that one of the houses has "this day  been sold to B.P.Batten Esquire for �499". It is clear that Mr Batten bought the house
in order to demolish it and make way for his own mansion, which was I believe built in 1832. It is difficult to rationalise the various sums of money exchanged for the properties at this time.

On the 8th January 1839 the mortgage is transferred to Richard Richards and a Mrs Sarah Morgan is described as having been the tenant for many years.
On the 14th April 1842 Mrs Jane Richards (Richard's widow?) and John Crocker
assign the mortgage to Mr Edmund Davy. In a memo dated 2nd February 1871, Edmund Davy refers to the will of William Davy deceased claiming the transfer of mortgage referred to above as forming part of the immediate benefit of Constance Warner Colliver and Elizabeth Vinicombe James and their children.

On the 16th December 1886 the mortgage is transferred from Mr Thomas Crocker
to Miss C. W. Colliver, spinster of Cheltenham. By 1910 the property seems to pass back to a Charles Henry Crocker, accountant, of Penzance and then in 1919 from a Mrs Tharratt to the Weslyan Methodist School. From then on the house seems to be reserved for the Headmistress until Donald Behenna rents it in 1929.

The earliest reference is in a deed dated 1st March 1813 leasing the site to John Crocker with instructions to build a house on it. The property is referred to as in the manor of Rosemodress and belongs to James Buller of Shillingham in the County of Cornwall. The area is constantly referred to as "Ton Rosemodress". James Buller agrees to lease the site to John Crocker, who is described as a carpenter, for the sum of twelve pounds ten shillings.

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iriss of Penzance,

66 Chapel Street, Penzance,

Cornwall TR18 4AD   UK

Telephone/fax: +44 (0) 1736 366568
email: iriss@chapelstreet.co.uk