Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/117

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75
BODMIN

river, in this county). But, since the dissolution of this priory by King Henry the Eighth, this royalty is disjointed, if not dismembered from it, and enjoyed in co-partnership by such as are the now owners of its lands and revenues, and by some others whose lands are contiguous with that river; though the now Duchy tenants of the manor of Helston aforesaid still pay barbe-agu, or bar-ba-gut money, id est, barbed-spear money, annually to the Duke of Cornwall, who is Lord thereof, for free fishing with salmon-spears.

The list or catalogue of the names of the Priors of this church is lost, except Thomas Vivian, the last save one;* a man famous in his days for his piety and charities, as his benefactions make him still memorable in ours; for he built the rectory-house at Withall, the mansion-house at Ryalton, the south roof at Edleshayle church, and the lofty spire and steeple lately upon his prioral, now parochial church of Bodmin aforesaid, which was all struck down with lightning and thunder anno Dom. 1699, and since again re-edified as it now stands, without a spire, at the proper cost and charge of the inhabitants of Bodmin town and parish.

This Prior Vivian was by the Pope consecrated Bishop of Megara, in Achaia, a city of Greece. He lies entombed with his bust or skeleton within a costly and curious stone chest or monument, about seven feet long, and three feet high above ground, on the top of which is cut at full length his portraiture as a man, and on this figurative body his episcopal robes, his mitre on his head, his staff or crosier in his hand, his face encompassed over with the wings of two cherubim standing by: somewhat defaced in the interregnum of Cromwell, as a superstitious monument. This tomb is also adorned round with crosses; the arms of his Bishopric of Megara, viz. in a field Gules, three human thigh-bones saltirewise Or, or Proper; the arms of his priory aforesaid;

* Speccot.