1749 – 1832 Richard Oke Millett

Richard was born on 29th March 1749 in Marazion to Oke Millett and Mary (Tyack) and Christened on 18th April 1749 at St. Hilary Church, near Marazion.

Richard married Jane Curnow on the 3rd April 1770 at St. Clements. Through his wife Jane, one of the three co-heirs of John Curnow, and by an arrangement with the other co-heirs, he was able to lease the Penpol estate and move into the ancient Penpol House (See photo). In 1778 he bought the property from the Rt. Hon. Lord Arundel. 24

Richard Oke Millett was a Partner in the Deed of 25 October 1779 in the Cornish Copper Company (with £1,000). His presence at Penpol House proved to be an asset for the Cornish Copper Company in what came to be known as the “Thirty Years War” with rival company set up by John Harvey. (See “Rivalries” below)

Picture: A view of the copper mine at Dolcoath, Cambourne, Cornwall. The mine was established in the late eighteenth century and was the deepest and most productive copper and tin mine in Cornwall. Thomas Allom

Millett, John Carnow. s. Richard Oke, of Phillack, Cornwall, gent. Pembroke Coll., matric. 2 April, 1789, aged 18; B.A. 1793 (as J. Curnow M.). 25

Captain of One Corps of the Copperhouse Company of Volunteers.

In 1806, Richard’s wife died. The following year on the 5th September, he married Elizabeth Richards.

Richard died on 3 September 1832 aged 83 at Penpol and was buried on 8 September 1832 at Phillack.

Marriages:
Richard was married twice. On 3rd April 1770, he married Jane Curnow (1742 – 1806) at St. Clement, near Truro, Cornwall. They had 9 children:

  • Revd John Curnow Millett 1771 – 1848
  • Richard Oke Millett Jnr. 1772 – 1819
  • Jacob Millett 1773 – 1795
  • Hannibal Curnow Millett 1776 – 1865
  • Leonard Millett 1778 – 1798 (4)
  • Henry Curnow Millett 1779 – 1781
  • Anna Maria Millett 1781 – 1781
  • Amelia Oke Millett 1783 – 1814
  • Sophia Millett 1784 – 1785

Richard’s second marriage was to Elizabeth Richards (1772-1842) on 5 September 1807 at St Hilary. They had one child:

  •  Caroline 1808-1817

Rivalries
Richard was always willing and ready to contest, on CCC’s behalf, the rights which John Harvey claimed to the waters of the Penpol River.  In January 1795, probably on a suggestion from John Edwards (Manager of CCC from 1765-1807), Richard withdrew the permission given some time previously to Harvey to make a small leat [an open watercourse conducting water to a mill] on the edge of the Penpol wastrel to carry off the water from the working of a Boring Mill.  This was followed by a threat to fill in the leat if Harvey’s men did not stop using it.  If this threat of force were carried into effect it would result in the Boring Mill coming to a halt.  In the event, Harvey did fail to act and so John Edwards sent in his men to fill in the leat”.

In February 1795 Richard Oke Millett, Captain Henry Prideaux with about 40 men “knocked off the stocks a lighter being built by Harvey’s”; Harvey complained that the timber “was put in a place where the tide flows and this morning [25 February 1725] the sea carried off a great many pieces which is a great loss”.

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