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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Titheridge family of St Tudy

Village of St Tudy in Cornwall
St Tudy is not a name that you associate with the Titheridge family name. I did not even know where it was until I looked it up on a map and found it was a tiny village near Bodmin in Cornwall.

I first came across the name St Tudy many years ago when doing an Internet search for "Titheridge" and found a reference in an article on memories of St Tudy stating that one resident remembers that “The Clink in the village was a chemist shop, run by Mr Titheridge”. A more recent Internet search revealed reference to " A cherry tree planted in the church yard in memory of Lawrence Titheridge".

The unusual village name was memorable and one damp February day found my daughter and I on the A39 travelling between Tintagel and Newquay when we saw the road sign “St Tudy”. I couldn't resist making the 2 mile detour to the village.

The village was really pretty, although not looking at its best in my photographs on the very dull, cold, windy day. Between the showers I managed to walk around the village and take some photographs before the raindrops on my lens made further photography impossible and I retreated to the car for shelter (apologies therefore for not showing the village off to its best) .

The Clink at St Tudy
My first find was "The Clink" situated at the side of the church and by the war memorial. It is a rectangular building built in the 17th century. It was originally used as a church ales house, later used as a lock up (hence the name The Clink), later a school and now a community building . This is the building reportedly occupied by Mr Titheridge and his chemist shop, although this is unconfirmed and the date of this possible occupation is unknown.

In the churchyard, just by the church door, I found the cherry tree planted in memory of eleven year old Lawrence Titheridge. The original tree from 1952 was apparently replaced in 1975. Beneath the tree is a stone with the inscription.

“In loving memory of Lawrence Titheridge who died in this friendly parish December 31st 1952 aged 11 years. For such is the kingdom of heaven”

Further research has since revealed that Lawrence’s parents' ashes are scattered in the adjoining triangle which is reserved as a plot for the burial of cremated remains

So who was Lawrence Titheridge?
Who was Mr Titheridge?

A mystery I’m afraid. I have no reference to the birth of Lawrence Titheridge only a record of his death and no idea who his parents were. I have no reference to anyone with the surname Titheridge being born, marrying or dying in this part of Cornwall. My only clue is a reference in the Western Morning News newpapers of 1949 and 1950 to W Titheridge from St Breward, in the form of letters to the paper and his connection to the Labour Party.  St Breward is a parish 3 miles away from St Tudy.

Can you throw any light on this mystery?
What happened to young Lawrence who has been remembered with such a beautiful memorial, was he killed in an accident or by illness?
Who were Lawrence’s parents and where did they come from? for Cornwall is not the home of Titheridges.

Please get in touch if you can help solve this mystery.

If you are interested in the village of St Tudy I would recommend the following three links below which have been the sources for my research.

The Church at St Tudy

The Binding Stone - Memories of St Tudy

St Tudy History Group

Church yard at St Tudy
with cherry tree in memory of Lawrence Titheridge
Memorial Cherry Tree
in St Tudy's Churchyard

St Tudy Village
Church at St Tudy