1550c – 1615 Peter Millett

Peter is the earliest Millett of our family in Cornwall whom we can identify with any confidence.  He was born around the middle of the 16th Century in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 and lived in Marazion.  Peter is recorded as one of the twelve Capital Inhabitants as mentioned in the town’s charter of 1595 granted by Queen Elizabeth. An excerpt of this reads:

“There shall be one good and discreet man who shall be Mayor of the Town to be selected as hereafter specified, and eight of the bettermost and worthiest of the inhabitants shall be the Burgesses, and twelve other good and discreet inhabitants shall be the Capital Inhabitants, which Burgesses and Capital Inhabitants shall be the Common Council of the Town and shall aid and assist the Mayor in all causes and matters concerning the Town….  The first Capital Inhabitants shall be Peter Millett, William Bawdon, John Christopher, Thomas Allen, William James, William Garland, Thomas Smith, John Salte, Richard Avery, John Smith, Robert Barnacott, and John Lutye, who shall hold office for life unless removed.” 5

To be selected as one of the Capital Inhabitants must have meant that Peter was already an influential and trusted community member, yet there is very little we know of him.  He may well have held some position of influence in the town before the charter of 1595.

Peter would have no doubt have been aware that, in the same year on the 23rd of July 1595, a small party of Spaniards landed near Mousehole, and burnt that town, Newlyn and Penzance.  He may well have been involved with organising a defence of Marazion.

The next day, the Spanish could see more Cornish people defending the area and decided not to come ashore at Marazion. On 25th July, ships were sent from England to try to attack the Spanish. However, the wind changed direction, which allowed the Spanish ships to quickly get away.

Peter married Elizabeth (surname uncertain, possibly Adams) (1574 – 1615) though we have no date for their wedding. 

Together they had three children:

Peter Millett died June 1615 and was buried at Madron on 8 June 1615.


Note: Early researchers of the Millett family and historians believed that Peter Millett was descended from William Milliton (or Militon) who was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1566. It has been shown that Peter was not the son of William Militon and so Peter’s parents are unknown

Sources:

[5] Marazion Charter 1595 – The Charter Town of Marazion (Pub. The Marazion History Group.)
[6] Collectanea Cornubiensia: A Collection of Biographical and Topographical Notes relating to the County of Cornwall. (George Clement Boase, printed 1890).

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