Page:The parochial history of Cornwall.djvu/119

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
There was a problem when proofreading this page.

are piled up the dry bones of such men and women as are found in new-made graves, to put the scholars and townsmen in mind of mortality; and is now commonly called the Bone-house. This school Queen Elizabeth endowed with about l6l. 13s. 4d. per annum revenues out of the Exchequer for ever.

The name Bodmin anciently comprehended no more than the town or borough itself, as it is now taxed in the Exchequer; for in the Domesday tax Beni, Lanlaran, now St. Lawrence, and Lantallan, were districts rated by themselves, though now consorted under that name of Bodmin parish and town. It is called a burge, or burghs, from the same Japhetical original as the Cornish word purguse, nvpyos [purgus], turris, a tower, castle, fenced or fortified place, from whence the Latins had their word burgus, of the same import; and suitable thereto, notable it is, this town hath in it still a place called Tower-hill; as also, that every considerable town or burg in Cornwall heretofore had near it, for its defence, some castle, tower, or citadel, to defend it from, the invasion of enemies. And agreeably to this interpretation and custom, Bodmin town, upon the east part thereof, upon a high-mounted hill, hath still extant the ruins and downfalls of a treble British entrenchment, containing above twelves acres of ground, formerly and still called Castle Kynock, alias Cunock, synonymous words, i.e. the King's, or the supreme and sovereign castle. (See Truro, Launceston, Saltash, Helston, &c. for the like.)

Hence it is in the Cornish-British we have Trvpyes, purges, Anglice burgess, or a citizen (from whence the Latins had their word burgensis), which signifies an inhabitant of such a place as kept a tower, castle, fort, or hold, or had a college-court of purgesses (now burgesses) in it. And I doubt that, long before the Norman Conquest, or bishopric here was erected, this town of Bod-