Sacred Texts  Sagas and Legends  English Folklore  Index  Previous  Next 


THE Daunays were great people in their day; but many of them bore indifferent characters.

Sir John de Daunay was a strange mixture of ostentatious pride and penuriousness. His Lady Emelyn was as proud as her husband, but extravagant to a fault.

The priests of St Germans persuaded Sir John to build a church on his lands at Sheviock. He commenced the work, and, notwithstanding his great wealth, his heart failed him, and he curtailed the fair proportions on which he had at first decided.

Emelyn was enraged at this; and it is said, that, prompted by the devil in visible presence, she resolved to build a barn which should exceed in beauty the house of God.

The barn rose with astonishing rapidity. Stones were laid at night, and the work proceeded as if the most lavish expenditure had been bestowed upon it. The church progressed but slowly, and was, after all, a very inferior structure to the barn. The devil, without doubt, having assisted Lady Damsay in her wicked work.

"There runneth a tale amongst the parishioners how one of the Daunay family's ancestors undertook to build the church, and the wife the barn adjoining; and that, casting up accounts on finishing their work, the barn was found to have cost i~d. more than the church." [a]

The Daunay aisle in Sheviock Church still preserves the name of this family, who appear to have possessed at one time nearly all this, and much of the adjoining parish.

[a] Davies Gilbert's "Cornwall."

Next: The Penryn Tragedy