Vingoe Occupations

None of them attained any great eminence in public life although many of them married into families that did.-celebrity by association. They were, and still are mostly, good citizens, leaning a little to the side of non-conformity, both in politics and religion and with a strong sense of injustice often arousing them to action, sometimes on someone else's part ! They became the teachers, preachers, engineers, bankers policemen, doctors, lawyers, musicians, artist and actors. Probably performing in some degree is what they do best. The one thing they do not do well is take orders ! They made their living in the past from the sea that surrounded them and the land ,both under the ground and on top. Today many of them still enjoy the natural pleasures and head for solitude wherever it can be found.

There are records of the careers of  William Henry Vingoe, who died at Penzance in 1888, aged 81, and was a clever taxidermist. He and his father Henry Vingoe, of Penzance, took out a patent in 1843 for “improvements in apparatus for planting seed, etc.” This father and his other sons, Richard, Henry & James,  were builders and they took on the contract to re-model the Market House with the dome at the top of the Market Jew Street in Penzance plus building numerous other properties in Penzance and surrounding villages. One row of properties was in Madron and when these were demolished in the 1990’s a new estate was built and the road was named after the family. Another son of the family, John, moved up to London with a desire to make something of himself, which he apparently achieved. John Vingoe b1811-1889 married Josepha Mathews at Madron in 1840 and despite ups and downs and return visits to Penzance, when he died he left estate valued in to-days terms at over 1 million pounds John used to display a family crest on the doors of his carriage as he drove about London. This was all the rage in Victoria's reign, especially if you had become prosperous and felt that you had reached a higher status befitting such a symbol ! The design was a collection of the customary heraldic emblems including ermine, a device which he was hardly entitled to display, having never been raised to the peerage as far as I am aware. The motto seems fairly apt "Cave Torum" which I think translates as "Beware of the Bull". I have heard a rumor that there exists another crest with a bunch of grapes displayed. Perhaps this carries the single salute "Cheers".

His son Edwin b1841 did not enter the building profession but was established as a wine merchant and lived to the ripe old age of  95. What happened to all the property and money I have no idea but Edwin's son Mathew b 1876 I found working in the gold fields of Australia on a mine claim. Another Francis b 1880  made his living as a traveling artist painting pictures of the houses of the nouveau-riche  around Oxfordshire. A sister, Virginia emigrated to Canada .

As we have worked on the family tree, we have noted that many became teachers. This seems to have started way back in the early 1700’s when a small school room was built in Escalls in sennen, Cornwall. Education was a way out of poverty and drudgery and the ability to read and write helped many in the family climb upward to greater things. There were many who still had to leave for unknown foreign lands as making a living got harder at home but they were better equipped with communication and literary  skills. In the 1850,  Alice Badcock nee Boase was the schoolmistress at Escalls and on one of the censuses she is still so described at past seventy-odd years of age. No early retirement then! Today the schoolhouse is a cow shed and has been little altered although at the last visit it looked as if someone might be starting to convert it to a dwelling.   In 1881 Alexander S Vingoe b c1854, son of Alexander Vingoe b1824 a yeoman of Madron , was a schoolmaster in Toxteth Park, Lancashire. His cousin, Alexander Luke Vingoe b1852, son of Alexander Mills Vingoe b1825  a cordwainer [shoemaker] of Penzance, became organist of Tavistock Church, Devon and later headmaster of Harrow Road Board School and organist at St. Stephens Church, Ealing.  These families were closely related, the earlier Alex pair being the sons of two brothers, Henry and Alex who both came to be married in Madron in1818. This line had lived for over a hundred and fifty years in Escalls.  Probably their fathers and grand-fathers had been taught to read, write and do numbers in the little schoolhouse with it's back to the windswept cliffs that run between Sennen and St. Just. Even today, as we get in touch with members of what is still a relatively small number of Vingoe’s around the world, we find the teaching connection being made time and time again from Alaska to Australia. On the other hand perhaps it is just an innate tendency to believe we know better than others.

Sandra and George Pritchard are the authors of original work on this site.  They give permission to copy and use this information on the following conditions.
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Revised: October 22, 2006 .