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A Handbook of the Cornish Language
chiefly in its latest stages with some account of its history and literature

written by "Jenner, Henry, 1848-1934"
...lf, but gives plenty of it, though perhaps not enough, to Gwavas, Tonkin, Lhuyd, and Borlase.  The impression left by the preface is that Pryce was a more or less intelligent editor who added a little of his own, the amount of which he exaggerated. In 1746 Captain (afterwards Admiral) the Hon. Samuel Barrington, brother of Daines Barrington the antiquary, took a sailor from Mount’s Bay, who spoke Cornish, to the opposite coast of Brittany, and found him fairly able to make himself understood.  In 1768 Daines Barrington himself writes an account of an interview with the celebrated Mrs. Dolly Pentreath, popularly, but erroneously, supposed to have been the last person who spoke the language.  He also contributed to Archæologia, in 1779, a letter received in p. 211776, written in Cornish and English, from William Bodenor, a fisherman of Mousehole, who according to Polwhele died in 1794.  The writer states that not more than four or five people in his town, and these old folk of eighty years of age, could speak Cornish.  But Barrington says that he received information that John Nancarrow of Market-Jew, aged only forty in 1779, could speak it.  Dolly Pentreath died in 1777; but Pryce, in the preface to his book of 1790, part of which is his own, though one knows not how much of it to believe, and Whitaker, vicar of Ruan-Lanihorne, in his Supplement to Polwhele’s History of Cornwall (1799), mention that two or three people were still living who were able to speak Cornish, though this was only hearsay evidence. In his History of Cornwall, vol. v. (1806), the Rev. R. Polwhele speaks of one Tompson, an engineer of Truro, whom he met in 1789, the author of the well-known epitaph on Dolly Pentreath, and says that he knew more Cornish than ever Dolly Pentreath did.  But Polwhele did not think that at the time he wrote there were two persons living who could really converse in Cornish for any length of time.  Some years ...

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