Works in Progress, May 2022

Derry, 1913. Nationalists preparing to burn an effigy of Sir Edward Carson. Courtesy of Chris McKnight, Facebook

Dear All…

I realise it’s been some time since my last post on Paul Rabey the Younger, and no new articles as yet! I can only apologise; the demands of a full-time job and a family means I always research and write my work whenever I have a spare moment. But never fear, new and interesting items for you to read will be appearing soon…

A Cornish Wife Sale

In fact, you can now read one of my articles in its entirety in the 2022 Journal of the Cornwall Association of Local Historians. Copies are available from Kresen Kernow and the Courtney Library, Truro Museum, or can be ordered from The grim and harrowing tale of the events and lives surrounding a wife sale that happened at Redruth Market in 1819 are given a sensitive case-study!

It’s my first appearance in print, and I’m rather proud of myself!

Effigy Burning

A new article has also been submitted to Cornish Story Online. This examines the phenomenon of effigy burning in 1800s Cornwall. People who enjoyed extra-marital sex, or were abusive toward their spouses, or happened to be unpopular authority figures and employers, could all expect to have their effigy paraded through the streets of their town by an angry mob playing cacophonous music. The effigy would then normally be fired over a barrel of tar.

Effigy burning was a frequent feature of Cornish life in the 1800s, and firings occurred from Treen, in the far west, all the way up to Callington and Launceston. The authorities were often powerless to stop these demonstrations. My article examines the motivations behind effigy burnings, and addresses the reasons why burnings increased in frequency as the century wore on. I also provide plenty of juicy examples!

When this post goes live, I will share it with you all!

Rugby Special

Members of Camborne RFC, 1978

My current, and rather demanding, project is a departure from my normal areas. Camborne RFC‘s 1977-78 Centenary Season was a particularly successful and memorable one: the “Chiefs”, or 1st XV, won the double of the Cornwall Merit Table and the Cornwall Knockout Cup. They played over fifty matches, and took on the might of such teams as Saracens, Cardiff, Gloucester, and Pontypridd. The season paved the way for a golden period of rugby success, and the team remains highly rated to this day.

I am tracking down the former players, clubmen, barmen, fans, ballboys and opposition to tell, in their own words, the story of the 1977-78 season.

This is still in the research stage and is, trust me, my most ambitious project to date! But I have a feeling it’s going to be a very popular and satisfying one.

So, I hope this is plenty for you all to look forward to!

Thanks, as always, for reading and enjoying. Watch this space…


2 thoughts on “Works in Progress, May 2022

  1. Congratulations on getting into print – I know that great feeling of first published work! Keep up your interesting research and I look forward to reading more of your work in due course – also know that feeling of fitting the research writing in around family activities. Keep up the good work,


    Elaine Bolitho (New Zealand)


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