Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/112

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BOCONNOC

sessor of Boconnoc, having succeeded to her brother in 1804.

The personal history of this young man is curious and extraordinary. He became an object of attention in Cornwall almost from his birth. On the event of his christening, in 1775, Boconoc was thrown open for public and indiscriminate entertainment, accompanied by exhibitions of the peculiar athletic exercise in which the Cornish boast to excel all their contemporaries, and to rival the Palaestrae of ancient Greece. A silver bowl of fifteen guineas was the prize of the victor (the first who threw five falls), and about fifty pounds were distributed among the vanquished.

His education was conducted under a private tutor alone in the seclusion of Boconnoc; but having made an excursion to Plymouth at a time when naval preparations were in full activity, he acquired a passion for the sea so strong and rooted, as not to be overcome by all the efforts of authority or of advice.

He went on the perilous voyage of discovery conducted by Captain Vancouver, and in the course of it, he is said to have experienced some harsh treatment on the part of the commmander, which seems to have stamped a new impression on his mind, rendered permanent by the long period during which it was necessarily concealed.

On Lord Camelford's return to England, the effects burst forth in acts of violence against Captain Vancouver, and from that time,

On each adventure rash he roved,

As danger for itself he loved.

It is impossible not be struck by a general resemblance between the two individuals who last possessed Boconnoc, of the families of Mohun and Pitt. Both seem to have been men of ability and of genius, of intrepid courage and of honour, fond of enterprise, and with vigour of body commensurate to their mental ener-