Captain Tom Gundry, champion Cornish wrestler. Probably early 1880s
A studio portrait photograph of the champion Cornish wrestler, Thomas Gundry, wearing a wrestling jacket and two championship sashes. Gundry was born at Higher Prospidnick, Sithney, on 16th October 1818 and died at Stennack, Camborne, on 22nd October 1888. His obituary in the 'Mining Journal' of 27th October 1888 reads "Captain Tom Gundry is dead. This brief announcement will be read with regret by Cornishmen in every quarter of the world. 'Captain Tom' was the best known of the old school of Cornish wrestlers, and will be remembered for his prowess in the ring, and not as a mine agent. Born 70 years ago Captain Tom was bred in the parish of Sithney and from a child developed a strong passion for the favourite sport of the West Countryman. In the old days, wrestling was cultivated to a far higher degree than now; the leading gentlemen of the county, assisted by their patronage, presence, and financial support; and a match was the signal for an exodus of miners to witness the bouts. Captain Tom held the championship for a long period; he won many cups, and wrestled, not only in Cornwall and Devon; but in London also. It is said of him that whilst he unquestionably bought many 'backs', he never sold his own. He was at one time agent at Camborne Consols, and at another period agent at North Basset. Of late years he now and then assisted as stickler in the wrestling field. He expired at his home near Camborne, on Tuesday evening." He was married four times, the last at Treslothan, Camborne in May 1880. Photographer: John Charles Burrow.
© From the collection of the RIC
Bournonite with Quartz, Herodsfoot Mine, Lanreath, Cornwall, England
Steel-grey twinned bournonite crystals, in distinctive cog wheel formation, with colourless quartz. This fine specimen from the lead and silver mine, Herodsfoot, may have been acquired by the Royal Institution of Cornwall as part of a group of specimens purchased from Richard Talling, the great Cornish mineral dealer, for £8.10s in December 1858. Bournonite, a rare sulphide of copper, lead and antimony, was first described in 1797 by Philip Rashleigh of Menabilly in Cornwall, who included illustrated descriptions of two specimens in his publication Specimens of British Minerals, Selected from the Cabinet of Philip Rashleigh. The specimens described by Rashleigh came from Wheal Boys, an antimony mine in St Endellion parish and the type locality for bournonite.
© RIC, photographer A.G. Tindle
Tin dressing floor at Wheal Sparnon being turned into Victoria Park, Redruth, Cornwall. Late 1800s
A gentleman wearing a bowler hat is standing to the left of centre. The area in the photograph is now covered by Clinton Road, Park Road and Albany Road, Redruth. According to the Ordnance Survey Six Inch map Cornwall LXIII. NE, surveyed 1877 to 1879, the mine is disused at that time. By the same OS area map Cornwall LXIII. NE Revised 1906, the whole are is covered in housing. The mine produced copper, as well as traces of cobalt and gold. Thomas Spargo states in his book, The Mines of Cornwall (1865), that "Wheal Sparnon was in the the parish of Redruth, Cornwall, in 6,000 shares. Secretary, Mr G.H. Cardozo, London. Purser, Mr W.P. Cardozo, Camborne. Manager, Captain Wm. Tregay, Redruth. Rocks, granite and clay-slate, 60 men employed in the mine, operations on the surface of which commenced in 1864. Land owner, Lord Clinton. Dues 1-20th. Depth of adit, 18 fathoms; depth under adit, 60 fathoms. A 70-inch pumping-engine just completed, also a 22-inch winding-engine. Little has been as yet been done by the Company under the surface; but it is generally believed that enormous quantities of tin will be raised after the mine has been cleared of water". Photographer: Probably Henry Opie.
© From the collection of the RIC