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Polperro Family History

The JOB family of Polperro

Zephaniah Job's arrival in Polperro in the early 1770s had a profound effect on the life of the small community during the 18th and 19th centuries for he became the greatest single benefactor in its history. In spite of the fact that he remained a lifelong bachelor, it also led to the settling of a substantial Job family in the area.

Over the years until his death in 1822, Zephaniah Job not only managed the business side of Polperro's smuggling trade, but also helped many local people by managing their financial affairs, acting as advisor, accountant and banker.

He hired lawyers in Cornwall and London when Polperro smugglers were to appear in court, sending them money when they were in prison. He also acted as banker and steward for the gentry too, including the Rev. Sir Harry Trelawny's family and estate at Trelawne near Polperro.

Job took charge of the pilchard export trade between Polperro and Italy, until it was ended by Napoleon. He was a corn trader, seed and timber merchant, coal importer, leased a number of lime kilns in the area and brought linen from Ireland to sell in Looe. He kept a copy of every letter he wrote, and some of his exquisitely written letter books and ledgers have survived to reveal the extent of his business activities. He kept accounts for several Polperro ships that were fitted out as privateers between 1777 and 1815 - privately owned vessels licenced by the Admiralty to attack and capture enemy ships. Some received large sums of prize money that brought great wealth to their owners and their families in Polperro. Later he turned his energies to other enterprises, including the repair of the harbour after it was destroyed by the storm in January 1817.

Gravestone of Ananiah Job in Lansallos churchyard After his death at Crumplehorn in 1822 at the age of 75, Zephaniah's nephew Ananiah - son of John Job of St. Agnes - came to live in Polperro with his second wife, Elizabeth, after inheriting part of his uncle's estate. Ananiah died at the age of 54 in 1829, but Elizabeth his six surviving children continued to live there. Several members of the family were subsequently buried at Lansallos church.

To read more about this remarkable man, - click here

Further details of the Job family of Polperro can be obtained from Jeremy Rowett Johns:

E-mail: jeremy.johns@polperro.org

Further information on the family would also be welcomed.

Jeremy Rowett Johns, Polperro Heritage Museum © 2000

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