Polperro Family History
The GEORGE family of Polperro
Another of the old Polperro families, the George family can be traced back to the 17th century in the Lansallos church registers. William George married Ann Giles there in February 1737 and the couple had six sons and two daughters.
One of their sons, Thomas (born 1750), was among the crew of the Lottery, the Polperro smuggling lugger involved in the murder of a Customs officer in 1798. A description of him issued at the time described him as having 'a long thin face, very wide mouth, short black hair, rather bald, about 50 years of age and has lost part of the fore finger of one of his hands.'
Two later descendants of the family, William and Mark George, were serving aboard Royal Navy schooner HMS Grecian in the Caribbean in 1823 along with ten other Polperro men when they engaged a pirate vessel off the coast of Cuba. The Grecian ran aground as she fired at the pirates and the crew pursued their foe through the surf and onto the shore where they killed 12 and captured a further five. Mark George (born 1800) was badly injured in the fight and was later brought back to hospital in Portsmouth.
One of Mark's cousins, Stephen George (pictured left) was among the 80 Polperro men whose portraits were captured by the Cornish photographer Lewis Harding in the 19th century. Stephen, born in 1819, was in his fifties at the time. The collection, mostly of local fishermen, remains one of Harding's greatest achievements as a pioneer photographer.
Further information on the family would also be welcomed.
Jeremy Rowett Johns, Polperro Heritage Museum © 2003