May 2017 Extra

The theme of our second May meeting was local history. Dr Ben Dobson, who grew up in Crantock and is an expert on the village, gave a fascinating talk on “William Johns – Crantock Master Mariner”.  William was born in the early part of the 19th Century and went to sea as a young man. He worked his way up by serving in several sailing ships until he became the master of the Liberty. Ben had identified most of William’s vessels from Maritime Records.

In 1847, whilst living locally, William was instrumental in rescuing most of the crew of the Marchioness of Abercorn which had run aground on Crantock Beach.

William came from a large family, and of particular interest was his sister Jane who had married a Portuguese trader. At some point she seems to have been captured by Barbary pirates and imprisoned in North Africa. Local lore has it that William sailed to rescue her and that she was hidden in a barrel during her escape.

Guests then enjoyed our usual refreshments of tea and home made cakes before the meeting continued with an enjoyable game of Bird Bingo and concluded with a Historical  Events Quiz.