Newquay Smuggler, Pirate and Wrecker!
Black Humphrey earned his name from his father a cruel Cornish pirate called Branock Clemons, he had notoriety for being daring and cunning, old Meg his grandmother, they were involved in kidnap of women for slaves to be sold in foreign lands.
His house an old mine shaft workings upon his own Island on Whipsiderry Beach with it's sea caves for smuggling, its rocks, wind and sea for wrecking..
The Search for Black Humphrey!
Looking for clues, a lost book and a Cornish pirate!
I had grew up with the family legends, the folklore of my ancestors past, I had found an article among my grandmothers items after her passing but no facts, we knew of the Island on the beach, i had heard Black Humphreys story many times a child along with that of my ancestor who married Henry Every’s daughter after he helped him capture a ship full of gold, I heard about Crooked Jackyo the pirate my 11th great grandfather but it would not be till just before my grandmother would pass that I would unearth my families 350 years of smuggling, piracy and wrecking..
It was like a treasure map without an X to mark the spot! I had found a clue to my past but I was so far removed, living in the North of England most fo my adult life.
The just before my grandmother passed she gave me a number to call, she could not speak very well by this time but in her months before we had sat for hours chatting about our family history, it would be the last person alive who could give me a clue to my bloodline.
I called the number I was given and spoke to a frail old lady, her husband a pirate collector. It would turn out he had sadly passed but on the day I called was the day she was boxing up his collection, as fate would have it led me back in time to discover my ancestors folklore.
Among some of my families items, I had an old flintlock with a note saying it was from the Angove and Clemens family, a book titled Black Humphrey and many articles of clothing, a knife and a gold coin in a small packet but what struck me was a list of ancestors all connected to piracy and smuggling, ship wrecking and worse.
It would turn out to be that Black Humphrey, the man I had heard so many stories of would turn out to be my 9th great grandfarther.
Black Humphrey was born Humphrey Clemens, a miner and church man a man of god and the devil who called Newquay or Blystra, as the new quay had not been built yet. His Grandmother lived upon the harbour, known as a sea witch and seer of visions which would sadly lead to her horrific death in her late 90's.
The family had long been connected with smuggling, piracy, wrecking, kidnap for slavery and many murders often of the revenue services or officers, cold blooded murder was not off the cards for them as all of their crimes would lead to the family dancing the hempen jig or better known as a hanging if caught.
As we go we have unearthed the smugglers tunnels by his island that lead inland to an old manor, a farm used for smuggling with booby trapped passageways, stories of his cruel deeds, dead-men's pools and how his son was born while his mother was wrecking, he was born under false lights in a raging storm upon the sand while drowning screams of the shipwrecked sailors echoed in his dying mothers ears...
We do not want to give too much away from the tails or from what we have found.
Join us for all the stories, legends and folklore..
The book, dating back to the early 1800's with stories and legends of Black Humphrey my ancestor and all about old Newquay.
Whats left of Black Humphreys Island after they tried to blow it up over 50 years ago as it was deemed unsafe, it blow many hotel windows out but left the rock standing!