The Craddock family lived in North Hill from 1723 to 1851, as Craddocks, and trace their origins back to the area around St Minver, St Kew and St Endellion on the east of the Camel estuary. Descendants of the Craddocks were still living in North Hill in the latter half of the 20th century and there may still be some in the parish today.

Some of the family surnames descended from the Craddocks are like a Who's Who of North Hill life and include :
Alford - Basset - Bennett - Caunter - Doidge - Doney - Foott - Hocking - Laundry - Maunder
Mitchell - Moyse - Pearce - Perry - Reed - Sleep - Spoure - Tucker - Vosper

The story of the connection with North Hill begins with the birth of two boys, Humphrey Craddock and John Craddock both born around 1700. Whether they were cousins or brothers or unrelated is not definitively known. We do know that:

  • Humphrey was probably baptised in St Kew and after his marriage he lived in St Minver where he had children; two of his children were Martin Craddock (b1724) and Jennifer Craddock (b1730).
  • John was baptised, as the son of John and Joan Craddock, in neighbouring St Endellion and lived in St Breward after he was married, where he had his children; two of them were Elizabeth Craddock (b1728) and John Spoure Craddock (b1730).
  • The two branches of the family coalesced when Humphrey's children married John's children: Martin Craddock married Elizabeth Craddock in her parish of St Breward in 1751; John Spoure Craddock married Jennifer Craddock in her parish of St Minver in 1752.

These two images are thought to represent a large congregation in St Breward church in the early 19th century. Not much would have changed from the times when the Craddock family were part of that congregation.
Thomas Rowlandson (1756 -1827), British Museum

There are two significant events that influenced the arrival of the Craddock family in North Hill and the parts that these events contribute to the narrative will unfold below. The two events are the deaths of Joan Craddock (nee Curnock) in St Endellion in 1757 and Elizabeth Craddock (nee Spoure) in North Hill in 1771.

The first record we have of a Craddock family member in North Hill is that on the 24th of October 1723 in St Torney's Church in North Hill was celebrated the marriage of local girl Elizabeth Spoure and John Craddock of St Breward, son of John and Joan shown above. Elizabeth was the daughter of Richard and Blandina Spoure of North Hill and a member of the 'lesser' branch of the Spoures They spent their married years living in St Breward where John's parents farmed. John died in 1747 and his mother, Joan, died in 1757. Both died and were buried in St Breward. The death of Joan is the first of the two events that brought the Craddocks to North Hill.

John and Elizabeth had four children:

  1. Elizabeth Craddock (1727-1763) of St Endellion married in 1751 to Martin Craddock (1724-1763) of St Minver, as shown above; they lived in Egloshayle and had six children there.
  2. John Spoure Craddock (1730-1799) married in 1752 to Jennifer Craddock (1730-1793), as shown above. John and Jennifer lived in St Breward; they also had six children between 1753 and 1772 who were baptised in St Breward, St Minver, St Endellion and North Hill.
  3. Agnes Craddock (1732-1775) married Richard Caunter of Linkinhorne in 1760 at St Torney's; they lived in North Hill.
  4. Richard Spoure Craddock (1737-1823) married Elizabeth Harvey in 1773, also in St Torney's; they also lived in North Hill.

Elizabeth, having been widowed in 1747 continued living with her mother-in-law, Joan, in St Breward. The home was held in Joan's name and her death 1757 meant that occupation of the home had to be relinquished. This was the first of the two significant events mentioned earlier because Elizabeth was now in need of a home for herself, Agnes and Richard. At this time Elizabeth was in her mid fifties. Agnes and Richard were in their early twenties and unmarried. She left the premises in St Breward and moved back to her childhood home of North Hill. It is interesting to speculate on her motivation to return to North Hill.

Elizabeth had not lived in North Hill for over 30 years and it would be reasonable to think that she had rejoined her own family but this appears not to have been the case. Her parents had died 1751 and 1752; her one other sibling was Mary who had died, childless, in 1733; Elizabeth's maternal grandparents had died by 1710 and her paternal grandparents had died by 1730. Elizabeth's maternal great grandmother was the long since deceased Temperance Vincent who had a family connection to the Darley family living in Battens Farm in North Hill at the time of Elizabeth's need for a home. There was also a potential link to the Spoures of Trebartha Hall. It is possible that she invoked one of these connections to secure a home that the family could farm.

The last will and testament of Elizabeth Craddock nee Spoure - 1771, click for larger image.

At some point after 1764 and perhaps around the time of Elizabeth's death in 1771, the second of the significant events mentioned above, her elder son John Spoure Craddock brought his family to live in North Hill. His arrival, with his wife and children, to live with his mother may have been influenced by the huge debt he had incurred. By 1758 he owed £1240 to William Vivian, a physician, and the debt was being sold to John Trehawke of Liskeard (Kresen Kernow reference BK/78). This could have made securing a tenancy of his own difficult and living with his mother and siblings was perhaps his only course of action.

Some Notable Family Members


Mary Nicholas nee Craddock (1845-1914)

Mary Craddock was born in Egloshayle in 1845. By 1870 she was living in London and married in October to Police Constable Alfred Nicholas. They had eight children in the period from 1871 to 1888 and lived all this time in the Chelsea area of London.

It is believed that Mary died in July 1914, a month before the start of the First World War and was spared the knowledge that at least three of her sons fought on the Western Front. James and Fritz were killed there and Arthur was wounded twice and gassed but survived the war only to be killed in a freak accident in 1933 (see article "Trailer Mounts Pavement" below, click on the article for a larger image). Alfred died in 1922.


The banner image shows the locations of St Endellion, St Minver and St Kew. Polzeath, on the estuary of the River Camel, is also marked as a guide for the reader.