List of vicars:—

Richard de Bello Prato,
who died January 3, 1333-4, when
Henry Marsley
was instituted vicar, Ecclesiæ Sci. Justi in Penwith in Cornubiâ, April 20, 1334, on the presentation of Sir Richard de Campo Arnulphi, Knt., by reason of the, minority of John, son and heir of Sir Ralph De Bello Pratto, Knt., deceased.
Walter Botreaux
was collated by John de Grandisson, bishop of Exeter, to the parish church, que tanto tempore vacavit, Nov. 12, 1340.
Richard of S. Austle,
instituted May 27, 1349. Patron, Sir John Beauprè, Knt.

In bishop Grandisson’s Register is the deed of appropriation of this parish church to the Provost and Chapter of S. Thomas the martyr at Glasney. Sir John Beauprè, and his wife Margaret had offered to convey all their interest in the living to this ecclesiastical community. The above named bishop accepted the offer and confirmed the grant at Exeter, April 15, 1355, and Sir John Beauprè, affixed his seal to the instrument in manerio meo de Lanesely, May 1, 1355; but it was not to take effect until the cession or death of the actual incumbent, Richard of S. Austle.

John Carbons,
admitted October 8, 1365, on the presentation, for the first time, by the Provost and Chapter of Glasney.
John Clerk,
He exchanged for S. Euny juxta Lanante, with
Thomas de Lamanvâ
Sep. 25, 1393. Patrons, Provost and Chapter of Glasney.
Nicholas Harry,
on whose death
John Cunegy
was admitted June 19, 1427. Patrons, Provost and Chapter of Glasney.
Richard Bahon,
on whose death
John Raffe
was admitted October 27, 1479. Patrons, Provost and Chapter of Glasney.
John Luky,
on whose death
Benedict Tregoos
was admitted May 15, 1492. Patrons, Provost and Chapter of Glasney.
William Trelect, or Trelike,
on whose death
Thomas Vivyan,
Junior, was admitted Feb. 15, 1547. Patrons, Pro hâc unciâ vice, Thomas Vivyan, Clerk, and John Vivyan, Jun., by virtue of a grant of the next presentation formerly made by the Provost and Chapter of Glasney.
Bennet Lathon,
admitted by James Tuberville, bishop of Exeter, May 18, 1557, on the cession of the last incumbent. Patrons, Philip and Mary. On the death of this vicar,
William Drake
was instituted April 4, 1582. Patron, queen Elizabeth. On whose death March 30, 1636,
Amos Mason
was instituted. On his death, June 2, 1678,
James Millett
was admitted July 18, 1678. Patron, Charles II.

In the parish register, under the date 1732, it is stated that this vicar was buried April 20, aged 85, in the 54th year of his incumbency, and was succeeded by William second son of John Borlase, Esq., of Pendeen, rector of Ludgvan. Mr. Millett wrote all the entries in the register, in a good clear hand, to the close, of 1731, within a few months of his death, and showed but little marks of age.

William Borlase
was admitted May 22, 1732; Patron, George II. On the death of this vicar,
George Pender Scobell
succeeded Nov. 2, 1772. Patron George III. On whose death,
Thomas Nankivel
was instituted July 29, 1814. Patron George III
John Buller
was admitted Nov. 14, 1825, on the presentation of George IV.
George Cornelius Gorham
was admitted February 6, 1846. Patron the Lord Chancellor.
William Sprainger White,
admitted in 1850; he was son in law to Lord Campbell, the then Lord Chancellor.
George Hadow,
admitted in 1855. Patron the Lord Chancellor. On his removal to Tiverton, the Rev.
John Ramsey McDowell,
A.M.; the present vicar, was instituted March 8, 1867.

Bishop Grandisson dedicated the high altar of a church at this place July 13, 1336 the same day with that of Madron; but all that remained of it at that time was pulled down and rebuilt in 1834.

The present church comprises a chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and a vestry. When the east end of the chancel was taken down in 1831, an inscribed stone was found in the wall, bearing on one side the words—


[SELINUS HIC JACET tr. Selinus lies here] On the upper side of the stone, as it now lies in a recess in the north wall of the, chancel is an incised cruciform pastoral staff, clearly indicating that the monument marked the grave of an ecclesiastic of some dignity. In the same wall were found the fragments of a piscina, and the capital of a Norman pier. [The stone, when it was removed also shows a Chi/Rho, the Greek letters for Christ and the word “presbyter”. It is thought to date from the 5th century.]

The south arcade has six arches of irregular breadths, some pointed and others semicircular. The north arcade has five arches of similar character. The capitals are richly sculptured with coats of Arms, foliage, etc. The arms are those of Arwenack, Boscawen-rose, Bray or Brea, and probably of Petit. The material of the arches and pillars is Caen stone. The capital of one of the pillars has an angel with a shield on which the letters M.J. for Maria Jesus. The hood mould terminals of one of the south windows near the porch bear the same letters in reversed order, J.M.. The letters are curiously formed and have dots around them.

The font is octagonal; on one, of its sides is Noah’s ark in debased sculpture. The bowl is of Pentewan stone and it rests on a granite shaft.

In the wall of the north aisle is a piece of sculptured granite which probably once formed the shaft of an ancient cross.

There are rood stairs in both the south and north wills of the church, each of which is perfect and open.

The tower arch is circular and has a plain soffit.

The church, now lighted with gas, has four large chandeliers suspended in the nave and aisles, on every one of which is engraved Ex dono Johannes Edwards de Truthwall, 1746.

The communion plate consist of the following,—a massive silver flagon, inscribed, Parochæ d’ St. Just. Ex dono Johannis, Edwards d’Truthwall, 1747,—a bason, inscribed Ex dono Jacobi Adams de Carallack Ecclesiæ Sancti Justi 1742,—a cup, inscribed, St. Just de Penwith Ex dono Johanes Borlace 1666,—and a plate inscribed, Ex dono Lydiæ Borlase uxoris Johannes Borlaise de Pendeen, Ari. 1699. On the last named plate are engraved the arms of Borlase impaling those of the donor, who was the, youngest daughter of Christopher Harris, Esq., of Kenegie, who died in April, 1754, aged 88.

There is a south porch, embattled and supported by Buttresses with rudely cut finials; a staircase from the inside, now closed up, led to the roof. There is also a priest’s door. In the north wall are a north door and a vestry door, both blocked.

The tower is of three stages, and is finished with battlements and pinnacles; it contains three bells and a clock. The largest bell, weighing about 1200 pounds, was cast in 1741. It is supposed to be an old bell recast and bore the name of the patron saint, S. Just. It is inscribed St. Just bell cast at St. Earth, 1741. So bless King George. James Reynolds, James Tregere, & Admiral Vernon, Ch. Wardens. This was about the time of the admiral’s victories in the West Indian seas, and it is probable that in compliment to him, the parishioners named him as an honorary churchwarden for that year. [Admiral Vernon was known as “Old Grog” as it was he who introduced the rum ration to the Navy.]

The two other bells are much older, and were cast at a time when almost every bell was dedicated to some saint whose name it bore. The second bell was called S. Michael, and was inscribed, sce michael ora pro nobis. The third, S. Mary, with this inscription,— protege virgo pia, quos convoco sancta maria.

The church was handsomely and substantially restored in 1866, from the designs and under the supervision of Mr. St. Aubyn, architect.

In removing the plaster from the wall of the north aisle some mural paintings were discovered. The designs were bordered by the running pattern of rude foliage twisted round a straight continuous stem, so common on capitals and woodwork, of the fifteenth century. The chief figure represented S. George and the dragon. The hinder part of the horse was unfortunately destroyed before the other parts of the figure were discovered. The breed, with a handsome bridle and bit, was of a very spirited design and execution; around the horse’s neck were ornamental trappings, and the saddle girth appeared to have been gilt. The rider raised a sword above his head with his right hand, while the left was on the bridle; around him were faces of women. Upon the chest and near fore leg of the horse were the paws of a lion, or some such animal, but very large in proportion to the horse. The claws of the animal were black, and the paws red.

On the wall on the other side of the window near which those figures wore found, were drawings of various kinds, and of miscellaneous character; among them a rake, a plough, a balance, a horn, a comb, a boat with a large fish in it, something resembling spectacles, and many things that could not be made out.

Near these drawings were found, buried with a skull and some other bones in the wall, numerous pieces of coloured glass; also a ring, large enough to be worn on the thumb; the metal, an alloy of gold and brass, and on it rudely engraved the letter P, enclosed in a circle, and having on each side four dots.

There was also found in the earth beneath the floor, the upper portion of a floriated cross of gilded copper. It was about six inches in length by four in width, and similarly ornamented on both sides, and had been affixed to a flat surface by copper pins.

The church is fitted throughout with varnished deal, the roofs being of the same material. The chancel is separated from the other parts of the church by a carved screen; and the vestry is tastefully formed at the east end of the north aisle; in it are preserved some fragments of ancient carving. In the chancel is an antique shield bearing the arms of the see.

Affixed to the tower wall is a board with the following inscription:—

The incorporated Society for building, &c. Churches, granted, £50, A.D. 1864, towards re-seating and restoring this church, by which additional accommodations has been obtained for 122 persons. The entire area will accommodate 500 at the least. The sittings are free and subject to allotment by church wardens, suitable provision being made for the poorer inhabitants.

Monuments and tablets in the church bear the following inscriptions:—

Sacred to the memory of John Millett, Esq. of Bosavern in this parish, who died Septr. 29th 1815; aged 65.

Also to the memory of his sons.

Edward Millett, who died at Trinidad May 24th, 1803; age 16.

Samuel Cornish Millett, who died March 15th, 1813; aged 18.

William Smith Millett, who died April 27th, 1814; aged 32.

And John Millett, who died May 4th, 1814; aged 33.

Their remains are deposited in the family vault beneath.

His widow who survives to deplore the loss of her affectionate husband and children, erects this monument to their memory.

Sacred to the memory of George Thomas Millett, Surgeon, fifth son of John Millett, Esq., of Bosavern, in this parish, who died Septr. 23rd, 1824; aged 34, years.

With health while glowing, sudden Palsey came,
To blast the vigour of his manly frame.
But Faith and Hope, as Angels near his bed,
Made smooth the pillow for his drooping head;
Taught him with hallowing lips the rod to kiss,
And know that sorrow is the path to bliss.
Though yet in Life to feel himself in Death
And anxious for the Summons yield his breath.

C.V.L.G. (C. V. Le Grice.)

This memorial is erected by his sisters in testimony of their affection.

To the memory of Captain William Chenhalls, late of the Royal Stannary Artillery, who died on the 3rd day of February, 1834; aged 58 years.

He united with an active mind great intelligence and considerable talent; and his regard for the interests of his parish was as ardent as the services which he rendered it were various and effectual.

Also to the memory of William Chenhalls, his son, who died on the 11th day of January 1839; aged 33 years.

In memory of Grace the wife of Nicholas Grenfell of this parish, who departed this life March 23rd, 1842; aged 73 years. “She was suddenly summoned hence, but her lamp was trimmed and her light burning.”

Also Captain Nicholas Grenfell, husband of the above, who died June 26th, 1855; aged 85 years.

A tablet bearing the following fanciful inscription was originally attached to one of the pillars; it has latterly been removed.

Reader! The tablet that graces this ancient Pillar is dedicated as a small gratuity to maternal sorrow, by a disconsolate mother, for an only child, born an orphan and well acquainted with the thorny paths of affliction—Unfortunate Voyager! He received his dismission the xviii of Feb. MDCCLXXI, from this vale of tears, where the fluctuating scenes of sorrow are perpetually changing, the mournful voice of woe is ever heard, & care, anxiety, & pain, make up the dismal variety.

Alas! gentle passenger perhaps thou may’st in thy pilgrimage through the [the] solitary region taste of this bitter cup of affliction. ‘But God tempers the wind,’ said Maria, ‘to the shorn lamb.’

For know, O thou hereditary heir of Corruption, that Adam wept when the archangel recounted to him the misery of human life, ‘tho’ not of woman born.’

Clarissimo et amantissimo Filio Gulielmo Tregurtha

Supremum Munus Mater mærans posuit.

[According to Dominic Corry, William Tregurtha, Gentleman (died age 32) was son of the Rev. William Tregurtha Curate of St. Just (died age 29 before his son was born. He was son of Gregory Tregurtha of Paul) and Thomasin Mason (daughter of Charles Mason of Saltash and Ann Millett of St. Just.]

In the churchyard are numbers of small granite headstones, the greater part be initials and dates only.

On the hoodmould terminals of the chancel window are the initials S.B., J.B.

There is good reason to believe that a church existed here long before the days of S. Just, and that its name was Laf-Rood-dha or La Frouda, still retained in the name the churchtown tenement, Lafrouda. The name is written in ancient documents Lafroudha and Lafrooda, and is evidently derived from Laf or Lan, the Cornish word for church; Rood, Rode, or Rod, Saxon words signifying a cross, crucifix, or an image of the crucifixion; and Dha, a Cornish word meaning good. Thus Lafrooddha, most probably signifies the church of the good cross, synonymous with the church of the holy cross. Now if there can be any reliance placed on the following traditional story of S. Just’s notions of meum et tuum, the change in the name has added but little to the church’s sanctity.

On a time he went to visit S. Keverne, a brother saint who resided near the Lizard, and was entertained with great hospitality. After enjoying the society of each other for some time, S. Just, remarking that he had some distance to go, took an affectionate leave, grasped his staff and strode away on his journey homeward. He had not been long gone however, before S. Keverne found that some of his most valuable relics were missing. There was no doubt as to who had taken them, so picking up some loose rocks on Crouza Downs, every one of about a quarter of a ton weight, he pursued the thief. As S. Just had expected this, he had made the best use of his time, and had arrived at Germoe before his injured brother overtook him. On the property being demanded he obstinately refused to make restitution. Whereupon S. Keverne had recourse to his ponderous ammunition, which he, used so successfully that S. Just was compelled to drop the stolen articles and fly.

In evidence of the truthfulness of this story, the stones that were used in the combat are still to be seen by the road side between Penzance and Helston. They are of the sort called iron-stone, and none are to be found elsewhere in that locality; but are plentifully scattered over Crouza Downs. Many times, saith the tradition, the stones used by S. Keverne have been removed for building purposes, but they have always been found in their places by the roadside the next day.

The vicarage is pleasantly situated in a vale at a little distance to the east of the church. The house is commodious and well-built; a portion added by the late Mr. Buller has its gable inscribed “J. B. Vic. 1827.” The gardens and shrubberies exhibit a considerable degree of luxuriance. In the grounds are preserved two ancient granite crosses, and a mên-an-tol or holed stone. [An old wayside cross, known as the "Grouse Cross" is low located outside the church door. It was found by Grouse Hill in Nancherrow.]

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