Carew, speaking of Catchfrench, says that it is “a house so named by
likelihood for some former memorable, though now forgotten accident.”
“This” observes Mr. Whitaker, “is plainly a name that has been thrown
into the crucible of vulgar pronunciation, and come out again completely
disfigured in its aspect. The mere sound of the letters, at first
suggests to an English ear, that the name is derived from some
interception of a French party landed upon the coast adjoining, and
penetrating thus far, about three or four miles up into the country.”
This antiquary intimates, that the word is purely Cornish, that it is a
compound, and signifies the Prince's enclosure.
“Here then,” he adds, “without offering any violence to the language, I
have found a house in the parish of St. Germans, that tells us its royal
origin, and was honoured probably with the residence of Germanus during
his visit to Cornwall.”
Catchfrench or Cadge-Fryns was formerly the
property of Talverne, a family that resided at Talverne in Northill.
an heiress of this family it passed to Kekewick, with whom it remained
for many generations.
Afterwards it became the property of the
Boscawens, from whom it passed in marriage to the Fortescues.
In 1728 it
was purchased of Hugh Fortescue Lord Clinton, by Julius Glanville, Esq.
ancestor of the present proprietor.
The benefice of St. Germans is a
perpetual curacy, of which the dean and chapter of Windsor are patrons.
The great tithes, which were formerly appropriated to the priory, are
held by Francis Glanville, Esq. of Catchfrench, under the church of
Mention is made in the registers of the see of Exeter, of a
chapel dedicated to St. Wynnel, having been in this parish ; but no
vestige of it at present remains. In the year 1657, a school was founded
at St. Germans, by Nicholas Hony, Esq. who endowed it with lands now
let at £10 per annum.