Argall family Worldwide

The move to Madron and its surrounding Areas

It would seem that as those Argall families in Cornwall spread out from Mabe/Budock in the late 14th century/early 15th century, they did so first to the surrounding areas of St Keverne, Helston, and Camborne. By the end of the 15th Century, they also established a presence, first at Gulval and then at Maddern (now Madron), a small farming community close to Penzance; it might well be that at this period (1524), Madron was within the area of Gulval ecclesiastical parish (Madron parish registers commence in 1577). It is from these families that moved to Madron that all Argalls today descend.

So these west–Cornish Argalls were, by the 16th Century, farming land at Luthergwearne which itself is on the outskirts of Madron and close to modern Penzance, and which had probably been in the Argall family since the early 1500s. By 1560, William and Katherine Argall were living at the Luthergwearne farm, and it is from these two that the firm evidence proves that most, if not all, ARGALLs today are descended.

The unconfirmed father of William is either Thomas Argall, who was recorded in Gulval in 1524, or Hugh Argall – a record of whose Will survives but, unfortunately, not the Will itself. It is also possible that these two were brothers, and were farming together, but it is also possible that Hugh was the son of Thomas or even the other way around; I have been unable to prove a relationship. Hugh was wealthy enough to leave property, but little is known about Thomas. There was also supposed to have been a family tradition that the youngest son inherited the farm property, whist the others were left bequests. Moreover, William’s younger son, another William is supposed to have inherited the Luthergwearne Farm from his grandfather, so by–passing his father.

Whatever the case of family management and relationships, Madron is most definitely the root of the modern ARGALL families, with the strong possibility (if not certainty) that their forebears came from St Keverne and the Lizard peninsular of Cornwall. So, the family continued to develop in Cornwall where they centred at Luthergwearne. There were other ARGALL families living in other locations close by, but these do not lead us to the families alive in the world at the beginning of the 21st century as they seem to have died (or ’daughtered’) out.

Back in Madron, William & Katherine Argall also had an elder son called Thomas; he married Joan Weymouth on 10 August 1578 and they had a number of children. No living ARGALL descendants of Thomas and Joan Argall can now be found. William and Katherine’s younger son, also called William (and who inherited the farm from his grandfather Thomas), married an Agnes (surname unknown) on 7 November 1591. William and Agnes named their first born Thomas, and this Thomas married twice: first to an Elizabeth by whom he had one son called Richard, and secondly to a Katherine by whom he had five more children. This Thomas’s family went to live in nearby Sancreed where it developed for two more generations before it disappears from the records. Thomas and William seem to be popular and regular family forenames in Cornwall.

The second child born to William and Agnes was another William Argall, who was born in 1600. This William became a farmer like his father and eventually (as the youngest surviving son) he inherited the Luthergwearne Estate and farm. However, he remained a bachelor until, in his sixties, on the 25 April 1668 he married Margery Beauchamp, who was the daughter of a wealthy merchant of Penryn. The Beauchamps were another very old and established family who had held the Manor of Binnerton, which is situated in Crowan parish, very close to Madron, for many generations. Margery was 43 years old when she married William at St Gluvias parish church on 25th April 1668, after which the couple moved back to the farm at Madron. Because of her years, Margery was only able to bear William one child, and that was in late 1669 when she was aged 45. The child was a boy, whom they named John; he was baptised in Madron parish church on 17th April 1670. This birth was very important for the ARGALL families of today, because it is from him that all are descended; indeed, it is interesting to think that if he had not survived as a child of this elderly couple, there would not have been any ARGALLs living today.

John Argall married an ’Elizabeth’ (again, the surname is not recorded) around 1698, although where is not clear since his marriage has not been found in the Cornish Church Registers. John & Elizabeth had four children. The first was Margery, named after John’s mother, who was born around 1701, but who died later in 1702. The second was John, named after his father, and who was born in 1703. The third was William, who was born in 1706. The youngest was Martyn who was born in 1709. These three boys were the ancestors of all the modern ARGALLs; they were brought up on the farm where they participated in all that running a farm entails.

However, John and Martyn left home together in 1724, leaving only William (as the youngest son) to stay on in Madron to help run the family farm. William married Alice Evah on 26 April 1736 by which time, his father, John, was widowed and was increasingly unable to take part in the running of the farm. After this marriage had taken place, old John moved to join his other two sons in Perranzabuloe where he died a month later. William inherited the family estate and his descendants continued with the estate until 1863, when the last died without issue . William, himself, died in 1762 when the farm passed to his youngest child and only surviving son Philip Argall.

Other Early Evidence

The Cornwall Protestation Returns of 1641 recorded the following ARGALLs, (using the original spelling) all ’making their own mark’:
  Crowan Tho(mas) Argoll Rich(ard) Argoll Bennet Argoll
  Madron John Argoll Nowell Argall
  Sancreed Thomas Argoll William Argoll
  The Cornwall Hearth & Poll Taxes 1660–1664 lists the following ARGALLs:
  Madron Anne Argall 1 ex.
  Morvah Philip Argall (side note: "No such person to be found")

This last–named Philip from Madron was the youngest son of Thomas Argall/Joan Weymouth and was not the Philip to whom the Luthergwearne farm was left. He had married Alice Guy from Morvah (the next parish) in 1656; he seemed to have excelled at hiding from the taxman, as he never did pay his dues!

The Addition of Polgoon

In 1793, William’s son, Philip Argall, leased the Polgoon Estate from the Rashleigh family, which he added to Luthergwearne. The two estates stretched northwards “….to the sea”, to Little and Great Bossullow; this was a considerable acreage stretching almost across the Cornish Peninsular. The various properties are shown on the 1840 Tithe map of Madron. Although the estate was broken up after Philip Argall died in 1819 (the land was shared between his children), the land and property continued to be occupied by the family. One son, Henry Eva Argall, however, took his inheritance and moved to London where he married and his family lived a comfortable life with his children eventually working in the Bank of England. Polgoon was ‘lost’ in 1863 when John Argall (Philip’s grandson and the last ’life’ upon whom the copyhold lease was secured) died unmarried and without an heir.

However, one of Philip’s unmarried daughters: Elizabeth Argall, retained much land from her inheritance from the estate. In 1873 she was recorded as owning 35 acres, 1 rood and 10 perches of land producing an estimated gross rental of £34 a year. Elizabeth died in 1877 when the property was disposed of. By this time, Madron had almost become a suburb of Penzance. My own grandfather, who was born in St Agnes in 1861, went to live there in 1894 when he married but, apart from this, there have been no continuous residences of ARGALLs there since the last quarter of the 19th century. My Uncle, Bertie Argall who lived his whole life in the town, died in Penzance in 1988; after then no Argall has lived in the Madron/Penzance area.

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