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The Cornish Riviera

Sidney Heath

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Cornish seaport, the town sent Edward III no less than forty-seven ships and 770 mariners for the Calais expedition—a quota exceeded only by the eastern port of Yarmouth. Leland tells us that the place rose rapidly into importance "partely by feates of warre, partely by pyracie; and so waxing riche felle all to marchaundize, so that the towne[Pg 15] was hauntid with shippes of diverse nations, and their shippes went to all nations". When the Cinque Ports of Rye and Winchelsea threatened to oust Fowey from its position as the premier Channel port, the Cornishmen defeated the mariners of Kent in a desperate sea fight, when they quartered the arms of the Cinque Ports on their own scutcheon, and assumed the title of "Fowey Gallaunts". They then made war on their own account against the French, and became little better than pirates ready to attack the ships of their own and every country, in port or on the high seas. They became such a thorn in the side of the king, Edwar. . . Read More