Francis Basset's Survey of Mariners
and Ship 1626 and 1629
Information taken from The Ships of North Cornwall,
by John Bartlett, pub Tabb House
Early Stuart Mariners and Shipping 1619 - 35 Ed. Todd Gray
pub Devon and Cornwall Record Society
War with Spain and then France in the 1620s led to the surveys being needed. The idea for the surveys was for the Navy to ascertain how many seamen and maritime resources each parish had for the Admiralty to call upon. Francis Basset of Tehidy, Vice-Admiral of North Cornwall was commanded by the Duke of Buckingham to take a muster of the mariners and fishermen and shipping on the north Cornish coast.
The surveys recorded those men whose occupation and experience was seafaring, rather than local fishing villagers. The surveys were not interested in part -time sailors or small shipping below 5 tons. There was, apparently, difficulty in impressing both men and shipping. The ages of the men are not reliable - the ages given in each of the surveys in 1626 and 1629 do not correspond. They may not have known their ages, or they may have simply not wanted to appear young and useful!
The first muster was made on 1st August 1626. Padstow produced a total 35 men of which 10 were masters, 18 were sailors and 7 were fishermen, and 3 barques between 28 and 40 tons. Endellion produced a total of 43 men, all of whom were fishermen. In comparison, St Minver produced a total of just 17 fishermen.
The second muster was made in February 1629. This time Padstow produced 44 men of whom 4 were mariners, 30 were sailors and 10 were fishermen. Endellion - 50 - of whom 1 was a mariner, 35 were sailors and 14 were fishermen. St Minver - 15 - of whom 3 were sailors, 12 were fishermen.
The names below are from my own database of St Minver Folk, so extra information has been included and the names do not appear as per the referenced books above. I have also included names of men from other parishes who are in my database, as they have connections with St Minver. All of those listed in the Mariner's Survey as residing in the parish of St Minver are included.
Page created August 2007